Hiroshima after 63 years

This video is called The Hiroshima [nuclear] bomb.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Shrouded in dishonesty

(Tuesday 05 August 2008)

SIXTY-THREE years ago on Wednesday, the detonation of an atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima ushered in the nuclear age and, with it, the cold war.

Its use was based on a lie and, since then, the development of nuclear weapons and justification for their possession have been shrouded by dishonesty.

Even before the end of the war against nazi Germany and militarist Japan, the White House was preparing to shatter the wartime alliance and resuscitate the politics of the red scare, which was directed as much at the aspirations of working people in the US, Britain and liberated Europe as at the Soviet Union.

There was no military necessity for the destruction of Hiroshima and, three days later, Nagasaki.

It was a demonstration not so much to the Japanese monarchy but to the Soviet leadership, announcing that the US had the most powerful weapon the world had ever seen and implying that it would be used against the Soviet Union if Moscow trespassed on the essential interests of US imperialism.

After the end of the war with Germany, in 1945, Japan became the intended nuclear weapon target. Not for the sake of ending the war with Japan: the Japanese government was willing to capitulate, provided that Emperor Hirohito would remain head of state. The US government also wanted the emperor to stay on, as they feared a new republic in Japan might shift to the left. So, the US government decided to kill ten thousands of mainly working class Japanese civilians by nuclear catastrophe, in order to intimidate the Soviet Union and the rest of the world.

To his discredit, the post-war Labour prime minister Clement Attlee, whose government introduced the NHS and a welfare state, signed up to the mirage of a British independent nuclear deterrent, omitting to inform even his Cabinet that he had done so.

Initial responses to the mass slaughter in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, especially among the civilian populations of the Allies, were muted.

Most people accepted US president Harry Truman‘s assertion that the bombings had taken place “to shorten the agony of war” and there was little awareness of the enormity of the new weapon.

That awareness grew in the following weeks, as people realised the damage that bombs of 15 kilotons and 21 kilotons – tiny in comparison with the explosive power of tens of megatons deployed by today’s nuclear arsenals – could wreak.

In Hiroshima, an initial death toll of 70,000 grew to 100,000 in a year and 200,000 in five years. In Nagasaki, the figures were 40,000, then 70,000 and, after five years, 140,000. Radiation sickness entered popular consciousness.

Opposition to nuclear weapons became a global movement, spearheaded by Japanese peace campaigners and represented in Britain by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. International public opinion succeeded in galvanising the nuclear and nonnuclear powers to draw up the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which was signed in New York 40 years ago.

It committed non-nuclear states not to seek atomic weapons, which is the US pretext for threatening Iran but it also bound the nuclear powers to reduce their own arsenals as a step on the road to total abolition.

Not only have they not done so but the US is pressing ahead with its son of Star Wars militarisation of space scheme and our own government has already agreed to replace its nuclear-armed Trident submarines, while denying – shades of Mr Attlee – that any decision has been taken.

The longer that nuclear weapons exist, the more likely it is that they will be used, creating death and misery on a scale unrecognisable even by the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The best way to honour their memory is to press our own government to reverse the decision to upgrade its own nuclear weapons.

See also here.

The CND peace symbol: here.

Why the WWII nuclear bombs dropped on Japan weren’t needed: here.

3 thoughts on “Hiroshima after 63 years

  1. CND: From Fear To Sanity

    This exhibition focuses on the early years of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). It combines photography, cartoons and posters with talks from those involved in CND at the beginning and film showings.

    It brings out well the terror that people felt at the thought of nuclear war breaking out between the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

    This feeling led to the birth of CND in Britain and a mass movement that challenged nuclear weapons.

    The film screenings include the Richard Burton narrated The March to Aldermaston, Trinity And Beyond and On The Beach.

    From Fear To Sanity
    The Horse Hospital, central London
    Until 30 August
    » thehorsehospital.com



  2. 2,000 anti-nuclear protestors target Büchel airforce base

    Published: 31 Aug 08 12:58 CET
    Online: http://www.thelocal.de/14015/

    Around 2,000 people demonstrated against what they fear are American nuclear weapons stored at the airforce base in Büchel in the German state Rhineland-Palatinate at the weekend.

    Carrying placards with slogans including “Missing in Iraq, found in Büchel,” the protestors called for the weapons – thought to be the last ones still on German soil – to be removed and destroyed.

    Several hundred police officers were on duty, and arrested 24 people, three of whom had scaled the fence around the base.

    The demonstrators targeted Büchel after a report in June about alleged security problems at most of the US nuclear weapons in Europe.

    Although officials will not confirm the presence of such weapons in Büchel, the place is on a list of spots visited by US experts for nuclear weapon security.

    DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)


  3. Pingback: Indonesian volcano Krakatoa | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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