Are you so enamored of the reams of propaganda that justify nuking Japanese cities during WWII that you are willing to allow the same excuse to be used again, in some current or future war, and do nothing to prevent the use of atomic weapons today?
If so, I hope you are near Ground Zero when the Bomb goes off. Then maybe your ghost can explain to the rest of us what a fabulous experience that was for you as you turned to ash in a flash.
Today is a sad day in the history of the world. It was the day that Little Boy roared.
The Hiroshima bomb, known as "Little Boy" – a reference to former President Roosevelt, devastated an area of five square miles (13 square kilometres). More than 60% of the buildings in the city were destroyed.
Official Japanese figures at the time put the death toll at 118,661 civilians. But later estimates suggest the final toll was about 140,000, of Hiroshima's 350,000 population, including military personnel and those who died later from radiation. Many have also suffered long-term sickness and disability.
Keep these facts in mind when George Warmonger Bush talks about tactical nukes — they will have a similar yield in firepower and in casualties.
Sixty years ago today, the ultimate act of terrorism — one that is today used to scare otherwise rational human beings into believing the unbelievable — was first committed. In an act of wartime revenge rife with racism and nationalism, the city of Hiroshima was leveled by the newest weapon in our arsenal, the atomic bomb. In an instant, 70,000 Japanese paid with their lives for the attack on Pearl Harbor which killed less than 5% of that number.
[Concerning the racism involved in the decision to drop the Bomb on Japan: In The Rise of American Air Power by Michael S. Sherry, he writes that "the Japanese seemed an enemy by virtue of race." [p.245] Because of this officially-sanctioned division between Good Caucasian Human and Evil Asiatic Sub-human (see any site that presents WWII propaganda), it was possible to ignore certain societal and religious injunctions against the usage of savagery and barbarity (even though the Nazis did evil things on a larger scale than the Japanese), and many vile weapons were used against Japan and restricted to the Pacific theater of operations, because it was easier to perform retribution on the Japanese due to their Asian genetics – 'they aren't like US!']
Such distinctions continue to hold a place in American foreign policy. While there is still an artificial genetic differentiation, religious bigotry is again in play ('Christian' v. 'Muslim') as it was in 1942-45 ('Christian' v. 'Shinto' / 'Buddhist' / others …) as a foil to block the economic justification for taking from those who 'aren't like US!' A couple of WWII veterans of the Pacific War who would have been personally affected by Operation Downfall — the invasion of the Japanese homelands — still felt it necessary to make amends for the atomic bombings which happened instead of the traditional massive invasion, thus saving their lives to be able to make apologies.
It wasn't just Japanese who suffered from the Bomb – among the Nagasaki dead were American POWs.
Some believe to this day that without these bombs, Japan wouldn't have surrendered, and would have fought to the last person when invaded. I wasn't there, so I can't say who was right. But I can defer to some who were there to tell their story — an Army Air Force chaplain and a US Marine (slated to participate in the invasion of the Japanese homeland).
In Nijyuu Hibaku (Twice Bombed, Twice Survived: The Double Atomic Bomb Victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), by director Hidetaka Inazuka, seven survivors who lived through both atomic bombs recount their experiences. These people suffered the terror of an atomic blast, not once, but twice. For a long time, no one noticed that such double-bombing victims existed. There is no good excuse for this oversight, as Robert Trumbull wrote Nine Who Survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki, published in 1957 by Charles E. Tuttle Company of Tokyo, Japan, from data gathered during the 1950 census conducted by the Atomic Bomb Commission. The only logical explanation for this 'ignorance' is that the Japanese government didn't want to acknowledge that some of its wartime citizens got to experience Hell twice.
Was there another option? Was there another reason? According to this article, the answer to both questions is: YES. So why was the Bomb dropped on Hiroshima?
British scientist P.M.S. Blackett suggested (Fear, War, and the Bomb), that the United States was anxious to drop the bomb before the Russians entered the war against Japan; the Japanese would surrender to the United States, not the Russians, and the United States would be the occupier of postwar Japan. In other words, Blackett says, the dropping of the bomb was "the first major operation of the cold diplomatic war with Russia."
"The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants." – General Omar Bradley (Eisenhower's field commander)
Just what kind of a leader could George W. Bush be if it wasn't for the Manhattan Project?
Bogged down in third world Iraq and fourth world Afghanistan, and fought to a standstill by irregular forces in both countries, the foreign policies of the Bush administration have revealed that the United States isn't to be feared on a conventional level any longer. Thus, Bush's empty boasts about winning the 'War on Terra' merely reveal him to be the biggest fool on the planet. The only thing that keeps this disdain from being blatant and open is the fact that this fool is nuclear-armed.
The power of The Bomb isn't just in its properties as an explosive, but also as a tool for international blackmail. Would Iran fear the US today without the means to make Teheran vanish in an instant? Would the American people support the costs of a conventional war in any distant part of the world without it? Would the Russians have had as much to fear from the American paranoiacs who listened to James Forrestal about how the Russians were coming?
But with the Bomb, King George is a Really Big Man on Terra. Everyone is going to listen respectfully to him, no matter how insane his hostile ranting [Axis of Evil], or how blatantly false his lame lines of professed friendliness [Pooty-Poot], for no one wants him to begin the snap count for the 'football'.
Guardian columnist Max Hastings writes the the United States has forgotten that might does not confer right:
The US and its allies do not play by the rules they impose on others. Higher standards are expected from a sovereign state than a terrorist organisation. Somehow, though surely not under this US President, this is what we must regain.
Which would you prefer to be the motto of your nation: "We want to be a part of the world community" or "You're either with us or you're against us"?
It's either the Lady or the Tiger — so choose wisely.