Philip Hudson wrote:...So is anyone hit by the atomic bombs or the drones any less dead for all this humanitarianism?
Indeed, humanitarian warfare is a tragic oxymoron. Someone once said, "War is Hell!"
No, for any particular person, dead is dead, no matter if it's from small arms fire, Zyklon-B, being buried alive in Nanking, a Nakajima bomber at Pearl Harbor, a B-17 raid in Europe or a B-29 raid over Japan, or the Enola Gay and the Bockscar; if there is a "humanitarian" aspect to it, it would be in the final numbers.
Even though the Japanese were beaten before Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Tojo and the Japanese Army refused to surrender. The human cost of the Battle of Okinawa
over 82 days, for an island with an area of 1,201.03 km² (463.72 sq mi), was: Americans -- more than 12,000 killed, more than 38,000 wounded; Japanese -- more than 110,000 killed, more than 7,000 captured; and 40,000–150,000 civilians killed.
These numbers led American planners to predict enormous casualties on both sides should the Americans invade the Japanese homeland. The Japanese Army valued their honor more than their lives, or the lives of their countrymen. Even after Nagasaki some in the Japanese Army still wanted to fight on.
As an American planner, which would you rather do: kill a million or more American troops and tens of millions of Japanese soldiers and civilians in a conventional invasion, or kill 146,000 to 240,000 of the enemy in two strikes? I believe they made the right call.
As to the "War is Hell" quote, that "Someone" was General William Tecumseh Sherman from "his address to the graduating class of the Michigan Military Academy (19 June 1879); but slightly varying accounts of this speech have been published ..." (Wikiquote