Leo Szilard's Petition to the President
This was originally written on July 3, 1945 and received 59 signatures. It was rewritten on July 17, 1945 and received 70 signatures. This petition was never submitted to the President.
This petition was regarding the atomic bombs that were threatening to be used during World War II against Japan.
Having reckoned with the possibility that the US might be attacked by atomic bombs and the only defense might be to counterattack by the same means. As the danger has been averted the scientists' felt impelled to petition the President (Szilard).
The scientists', including Szilard, felt that an attack against Japan could not be justified under the circumstances at that time (Szilard). When Japan was given an opportunity to surrender, if the atomic bombs were used, it would make the United States look like they could not be taken on their word.
At the time of WWII the US Air Force was striking Japanese cities which the American public opinion condemned being used by the Germans against cities of England (Szilard). If atomic bombs were used it could carry the war further than necessary and would cause more injuries and deaths.
Atomic power would be the beginning of a destruction and there could possibly be no limit to the damage done by either side. If one side has agreed not to use atomic power than the other side should agree also. It is possible that if the atomic bomb was used that the war would not have ended when it did and it could have been a lot worse than it was and it was bad enough.
The scientist petitioned the President since he was the Commander-In-Chief, he had the final decision on using the atomic bombs or not.
As most of us, if not all of us know, the atomic bombs were not used during WWII. Should they have been used? Would it have shortened the war or made it longer? We all can give our opinions on what we think. The fact is that it wasn't used and the war did end. Whether or not it could...