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August 8, 2009

U.S. nuclear terror on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The Canadian Charger

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On Aug 6 and 9, 1945, the U.S. launched nuclear attacks against the civilian population of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

On Aug 6 and 9, 1945, the U.S. launched nuclear attacks against the civilian population of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Around 120,000 were killed as the two cities were flattened. About the same number died of burns and radiation sickness in the months that followed. In the words of survivor Junko Morimoto, Hiroshima after the bomb was a “perfect picture of hell.”

“Hiroshima and Nagasaki taught us two lessons,” she said. “One of them is to realize that we humans now have the power to create hell. The other lesson is that there are some shameful people who will use those horrible powers.”

One of the best accounts of this crime is a little book by Dr. Takashi Nagai entitled We of the Nagasaki – The Story of Survivors in an Atomic Wasteland, published just before his death in 1951.

Five adults and three children, all relatives and neighbors of Nagai, recall their experiences of the explosion and its aftermath. They should be mandatory reading for high school students everywhere, especially in the U.S.

“Very little has been said about people in atomic war as people,” said Nagai. “The mentality of human being is not going to be simply a wartime mentality—a familiar pheromone, somewhat intensified. They are going to flee their cities and abandon their civilization. They are going to dig into hillsides and hole up in mountain caves like beasts. They are going to go mad of fear without surcease.

And the fact that they survived when friends and loved ones died; that when faced by the grim choice, they left these to perish that their own skins might be saved; that they loved not their neighbor—will press ever down upon their souls.”

Today the alternative to state-sanctioned nuclear terror is total disarmament of nuclear weapons—“total” means total—and who better to set an example than the only country to use the bomb; the U.S. Then, and only then, will everyone disarm completely.

“The world had two ugly scars—Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” said Nagai, “We thought of these as anti-war vaccination. But when two or three years had passed, it began to appear that the immunity against war that such vaccinations should have provided was decreasing.”

How true Nagai’s words were then, and they are just as true now.

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M. Elmasry

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