World War I dead, Hiroshima dead and British nuclear weapons


This video from the USA says about itself:

On August 6, 2007, activists in Syracuse, NY, marched for a nuclear free future. As part of this Hiroshima Day parade they called for an end to nuclear weapons, an end to nuclear power, and for a responsible energy policy.

By Symon Hill in Britain:

An insult to the dead

Wednesday 6th August 2014

Today, on Hiroshima Day, SYMON HILL calls on our political leaders to mark WWI by doing the decent thing – abolishing Trident

FEW things illustrate the absurdity of British political debate more than the row over the notes attached to wreaths from party leaders to mark the World War I centenary.

Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg were accused of insulting the people killed in war because they did not write personal messages on their wreaths.

David Cameron’s wreath came with a handwritten note and signature.

This is a row drummed up by politicians and commentators utterly detached from the realities of war.

Cameron and Clegg insult the victims of war every day by ploughing billions into the sixth-highest military budget in the world.

Just as we should “never forget” World War I, today we mark the anniversary of another event that should always be remembered.

At 8.15am on August 6 1945, US forces, with the backing of the British government, dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima in Japan. Around 70,000 — 80,000 people were killed instantly.

Numbers are difficult to estimate, but the death toll by the end of the year may been double this figure.

Some died of radiation and injuries. With over two-thirds of the city’s buildings destroyed, many became homeless and slowly died of starvation or hypothermia.

Three days after the bombing, the US dropped a similar bomb on Nagasaki.

It is a chilling thought that those bombs were relatively small in their impact compared to what some of today’s nuclear arms can do.

If Cameron were serious about honouring the dead of past wars, he would not have just spent millions upgrading the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire, where major parts of Trident nuclear weapons are developed.

The payment implies an arrogant assumption that MPs will back Cameron’s plan of renewing Trident when the decision comes before Parliament in 2016.

If Miliband wants to honour the dead, he still has time to speak up for a different approach to the world.

This would include reduced military spending and an end to arms exports to oppressive regimes.

It would have to include opposition to the renewal of the British government’s nuclear arsenal.

If he took such a stance, Miliband would be aligning himself with public opinion.

Trident is an issue on which the British public are well to the left of most politicians.

A poll in 2010 showed 63 per cent opposed to Trident renewal. This had risen to 79 per cent by April this year.

Protests and blockades are becoming ever more frequent at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, many co-ordinated by the diverse activist group Action AWE.

Along with CND, Action AWE will mark the Nagasaki anniversary on Saturday by unfurling a seven-mile scarf between the two AWE bases of Aldermaston and Burghfield.

Over 4,000 people have knitted parts of this scarf. The novelty of their action has triggered local media interest where the knitting is taking place and brought the anti-Trident message to people who may not otherwise have heard it.

History shows time and again that the build-up of arms makes war more likely, not less.

In the early years of the 20th century, right-wing politicians were keen to quote the Roman saying, “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

As we remember both World War I and the Hiroshima bombing, it should be obvious that if we prepare for war, we will get what we have prepared for.

Symon Hill is a socialist Christian writer and campaigner. He is teaching about the peace movement in World War I for the Workers’ Educational Association.

Political and military leaders from Europe and the US used commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I to press for new wars: here.

An extraordinary pro-war propaganda juggernaut has been set in motion in Australia this week, with commemorations held across the country to mark the centenary of World War I: here.

A remarkable document published July 31 on US military planning calls for the Pentagon to prepare to wage as many as half a dozen wars at the same time, including wars in which the antagonist possesses nuclear weapons: here.

Japan marks 69th anniversary of Hiroshima bombing: here.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui challenges world leaders to see atomic bomb-scarred cities first-hand to be convinced that nuclear weapons should not exist: here.

“War Makes Everyone Crazy”: Hiroshima Survivor Reflects on 69th Anniversary of Atomic Bombing: here.

NOAM CHOMSKY TACKLES THE NUCLEAR ERA: “If some extraterrestrial species were compiling a history of Homo sapiens, they might well break their calendar into two eras: BNW (before nuclear weapons) and NWE (the nuclear weapons era). The latter era, of course, opened on August 6, 1945, the first day of the countdown to what may be the inglorious end of this strange species, which attained the intelligence to discover the effective means to destroy itself, but — so the evidence suggests — not the moral and intellectual capacity to control its worst instincts.” [HuffPost]

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3 thoughts on “World War I dead, Hiroshima dead and British nuclear weapons

  1. Pingback: British peace scarf, seven miles against nuclear weapons | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Seven-mile pro-peace scarf rolled out in England | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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