<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&amp;c2=15743189&amp;cv=2.0&amp;cj=1&amp;&amp;c5=&amp;c15=">

Dropping the bomb on Japan: Right or wrong?

Japan The Nuclear Option
In this Sept. 8, 1945 photo, an allied correspondent stands in front of a building that once was a movie theater in Hiroshima, Japan, a month after the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare was dropped by the U.S. on Aug. 6, 1945. (AP File)

Six decades have passed since America dropped nuclear weapons on two Japanese cities to end World War II. Washington Examiner columnists Timothy P. Carney and Michael Barone have conflicting opinions on whether it was right or wrong.

Carney writes: "Deliberately targeting civilians is murder, and is never morally licit, even in pursuit of a good thing such as ending a war."

Barone replies: "Many, many more deaths, of Japanese as well as Americans, would have occurred if the atomic bombs had not been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

Carney responds to that: "With a principle as strong as “don’t murder kids,” I think you’d need a lot more certainty than Truman could have had."

Not surprisingly, Washington Examiner readers are weighing in online. A few comments:

"Truman's decision [to drop the atomic bombs on Japan] could haves a million lives," IronTiger writes. "But if he only saved my father's life, it was worth it to me."

A dissenting view from A.J. MacDonald Jr.: "Dropping atomic bombs upon women shopping, children studying in classrooms, and peoples praying in churches was the worst crime in history."

What do you think?