Thursday, August 5, 2010
I am proud and thankful to have been born in America and to enjoy all of the privileges that comes with it. That does not mean that the actions of every American Administration gets a pass for anything and everything.
It was 65 years ago today that the United States dropped a nuclear bomb over the civilian population center of Hiroshima killing an estimated 70,000 men, women and children. I love my country and am thrilled to have been born an American in this time, yet when I visited Hiroshima several years ago I was thoroughly embarrassed. If December 7, 1941 is "A Day which will Live in Infamy", August 6, 1945 is A Day which will Live in Shame.
It is a sad state of affairs that it is commonly accepted by Americans that dropping a nuclear bomb on a city filled with civilians was a legitimate and necessary step to ending WWII. Many commanders in the U.S. military at the time were completely opposed to the use of nuclear weapons - but history is written by the victors and the politicians. In the aftermath of the bombings the U.S. kept all reports of what actually occurred on the ground in Hiroshima and Nagasaki classified - for nearly 20 years. No one knew what had really happened because in the aftermath our government at that time realized what it had done.
As an American traveling in Japan not a few Japanese asked me how I felt about the bombings. If Americans think that the Japanese have forgotten and forgiven, they are sorely mistaken.
I was in Hiroshima a couple years, almost to the day, after 9/11. This is sure to meet with criticism, but I could not help but feel that the Taliban's murder of nearly 3,000 American civilians at the Trade Towers and the Pentagon was an attempt to influence policy in Washington via terror and was strikingly similar to the Truman Administration's desire to influence policy in Imperial Tokyo with nuclear strikes resulting in the murder of 140,000 Japanese civilians. Murdering innocent civilian to influence policy has been going on since the advent of sticks and stones, but it was a crime against humanity then and it is a crime against humanity now.
Imperial Japan was every bit the disgusting animal that Nazi Germany was. What the Japanese did in Mainland Asia and China has been glossed over by history while the atrocities of Nazi Germany have received the proper airing (if that is even possible). I read the book "The Rape of Nanking". After reading that book one might be sorely tempted to think of the nuclear bombings as some kind of crude justice - but only for a moment. Killing innocent people is not justice. Justice must only be brought to bear on the guilty.
I have also been to the Nazi Concentration camp at Dachau. This might also meet with criticism but I do not see a difference between the crimes of Dachau and Hiroshima.
Americans, through our controlled version of history, have swept Hiroshima and Nagasaki under the rug. Our enemies, and even our allies, have not. Should a nuclear weapon be detonated by some group in an American city, I do not think that many "man on the street" types in Japan, China, Viet Nam, the Middle East and quite a few other places will not see this as evening the score. "What comes around, goes around", if you will. Many of America's military leaders warned the Truman administration of this unintended consequence before the bombings. The bombings were hardly uniformly supported both within the Administration itself and the Pentagon Brass, though you wouldn't know it by reading the American history text books of the 50's thru today.
A nuclear blast in ANY city anywhere in the world would completely end banking, trade, fiat currencies, etc.... wrap your mind around that... THINK of the repercussions... if Paris or Sao Paolo or Tel Aviv experienced a nuclear explosion, would you trust the media explanation? Would ANYONE remain in New York City, London, or Moscow? Trade and commerce would shut down immediately. Everything as we know it would end.
Let us hope the Genie stays in its bottle.