Imagine a time when it all began
In the dying days of a war
A weapon that would settle the score
Whoever found it first would be sure to do their worst
They always had before...
The big bang took and shook the world
Shot down the rising sun
The end was begun and it hit everyone
When the chain reaction was done
It’s that time of year, for the 70th time. I am not sure I have anything new or creative to add, yet I do not want to let this anniversary pass without some comment. I will keep this simple and offer links to some previous posts of mine; click on if my introductory comments pique your interest.
The two bombings, three days apart, were not and are not the most egregious evils ever committed in war, only, perhaps, the most symbolic of the species. The so-called Good War had more than its share of terrorizing civilian populations from the air, and well before August 1945.
It was not always a given – as it is today – that non-combatants are fair game in war. The Middle Age tradition in Europe almost completely differentiated between combatants and non-combatants. This changed after the time of the reformation – the so-called renaissance. However, eventually European tradition returned by the eighteenth century toward an era of civilized warfare. Napoleon began to change this; Lincoln demonstrated that it was never a consideration in his new world.
One of the foremost scholars on the topic of the nuclear bombings, Gar Alperovitz, has examined both the decision to use the bomb and the myth that was manufactured to legitimize the use; suffice it to say, everything about the myth is a lie. His book is entitled “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb.” I have offered an overview of his book here.
The bombing and aftermath of Hiroshima is captured in this first person account offered by Dr. Shuntaro Hida. He was only 1.5 miles away when the bomb was dropped. It is not an easy story to read.
Before the myth-creation machine performed its national lobotomy, there were many voices publicly questioning and even condemning the act.
One of the myths is that Japan was ready to fight to the bitter end; up to a million Americans would die to defeat Japan. Of course, Japan was ready to surrender; documents discovered in 1979 – misfiled in Truman’s archive – present the fact that Truman knew, before he dropped the bombs, that Japan was prepared to surrender.
Even Herbert Hoover documents the many approaches that Japan took toward surrender – for several months before the bombs were dropped.
The myth is callously parroted today even by those who appear to be otherwise jaded by the exercise of raw power.
We continue to live under this threat. The elimination of nuclear weapons – being the ultimate tool for violation of the non-aggression principle – should be of highest priority to libertarians. The idea of MAD is…mad.