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On Friday, May 27th, 2016, President Obama visited the Hiroshima Peace Park for two hours commemorating the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. He offered no apology, but gave a stirring speech about the need for a moral transformation of human beings on the Earth that will end war and establish a peaceful, interdependent world. His speech ended with these memorable words:
“That is why we come to Hiroshima. So that we might think of people we love. The first smile from our children in the morning. The gentle touch from a spouse over the kitchen table. The comforting embrace of a parent. We can think of those things and know that those same precious moments took place here, 71 years ago.
Those who died, they are like us. Ordinary people understand this, I think. They do not want more war. They would rather that the wonders of science be focused on improving life and not eliminating it. When the choices made by nations, when the choices made by leaders, reflect this simple wisdom, then the lesson of Hiroshima is done.
The world was forever changed here, but today the children of this city will go through their day in peace. What a precious thing that is. It is worth protecting, and then extending to every child. That is a future we can choose, a future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening.”
In the week following Obama’s visit, my wife and I were in Hiroshima for three days speaking with Japanese citizens of that city who had witnessed President Obama’s speech. What were their thoughts and feelings about this historic visit (the first by a sitting American President)? One of our hosts was Professor Mineko Morishita, who was interviewed by the Associated Press regarding Obama’s statement.
There have been some excellent articles analyzing the hypocrisy and crassness of this spectacle engineered for public consumption by President Obama and the U.S. State Department at Hiroshima. Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick outline a truer history (than that implied by President Obama) behind the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki three days later. They point out that 100 Japanese cities had already been destroyed by firebombing, including Tokyo in March 1945, five months earlier. They point out that Japan was ready for surrender, and that the key event that led to surrender was the Soviet Invasion of Japanese held Manchuria on August 8.
They point out the lies in history textbooks in the U.S. that claim these bombings were necessary to save the U.S. from having to invade, which would have lost many more lives than those of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We know today, they point out, that the real motive of using these horrific weapons had nothing to do with saving lives. The intent was to send a message to the Soviets that would supposedly cow them before the might of the U.S. military (instead the result was that the Soviets threw all their energies into building a bomb of their own). They intimate as well that the state of war was used as an excuse to test these weapons against human populations. The two bombs were different forms of atomic bomb (one fission-based uranium and the other an implosion plutonium based device) for which the U.S. wanted to test for their actual effectiveness as weapons.
The last time I visited Hiroshima, in February of 2005, I saw testimony in the Hiroshima War Memorial Museum that the U.S. brought in medical teams immediately after the bombing and Japanese surrender. Although there were many thousands with horrific burns and terrible wounds from the blast, these medical teams did nothing for the victims. Their purpose was to assess the effects of the blast, to record its effectiveness as a weapon. Has Obama had a change of heart? Is he different from the callous war-criminals like President Truman who mercilessly and needlessly used these weapons against civilian populations?
The call for “moral awakening” in President Obama’s speech comes from the one individual who has served as the most powerful agent of US imperialism worldwide for the past eight years. It issues from the Commander in Chief of a military that is in the process of surrounding Russia with offensive military weaponry, including nuclear weapons, that is challenging China’s need to protect its primary trade routes through the South China Sea, that is waging a dozen clandestine wars in Africa, including support for a brutal Saudi Arabian assault on Yemen that targets many civilians, that is promoting coup d’etats in Brazil and Latin America, that has recently destroyed the stable societies and civilian infrastructures of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and that is currently supporting terrorist forces bent on “regime change” in Syria.
Obama heads a military and security machine that has killed several million persons in this process since 2001, the vast majority of them civilians, women and children, just like those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This speech issues from the man personally in charge of a program of targeted killings by militarized drones, who assumes the arrogant power over life and death of people anywhere in the world whom he decides, without trial, by so-called “secret evidence,” are guilty of resistance to imperial forces and must be executed remotely, with inevitable “collateral damage” to families, women, children, their homes, lives, and hopes. Surely the words quoted above illustrate the epitome of callous, compassionless, meaningless rhetoric.
William Boardman correctly identifies Obama’s speech as that of an “empty suit”: “the sterile language of a detached president illustrates how far we are from facing the reality of our own government’s deliberate atrocities.” He points out the “passive voice” used by Obama. It as if this atrocity just happened, as if no one was actively responsible. While Obama currently spearheads a one trillion dollar upgrade of the U.S. nuclear weapons systems, the “empty suit” speaks of “America’s commitment to peace and security in a world without nuclear weapons.” The callousness of this publicity stunt defies the imagination.
This technique of propaganda (i.e., “we care so much and seek a moral awakening for the world”) reminds one of that of Nazi minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, who, following Hitler’s Mein Kompf, used the principle of the “big lie” to mold the German people to the will of the Nazis. If the lie is big enough, he declared, people will believe it even in the face of apparently contrary evidence. They will not be able to imagine a lie that big, in such contradiction to the reality they are experiencing. So too with President Obama: his entire record of speeches for the past eight years evidences a perpetual lie about morality, responsibility, concern, and ideals that bespeaks the exact opposite of his actual record of criminal wars, crimes against humanity, and callous use of terror and violence at the head of U.S. global imperialism.
However, neither Obama, with his contention that human beings must morally grow, nor Stone and Kuznick with their admirable commitment to bringing forth an honest history of the past century, nor Boardman who rightly exposes the moral atrocities of the atomic bombings that are continued in the on-going war crimes of the Obama administration, have penetrated to the heart of the matter of these bombings and the perpetual wars of which they are simply one manifestation. I was in Hiroshima to meet with the leading World Federalists of Hiroshima and with the Directors of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation that sponsors the “Mayors for Peace” project worldwide. The Chairperson of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, Yasuyoshi Komizo, told me that there were more than 7000 mayors of cities around the globe who work with them for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Mayors, he told me, were closer to the people than heads of state, and perhaps understand more concretely why nuclear weapons must be eliminated from the Earth.
My friends at the World Federalists of Hiroshima put the matter more in terms of the world system: it is the existence of autonomous territorial entities called “sovereign nation-states” that is itself a central root of war and violence everywhere on Earth. World Federalists believe in “World Peace through World Law.” It is the due process of enforceable democratically legislated laws that can establish fundamental peace. We do not have to wait, as Obama declared, for human beings to awaken morally and finally end war and live in peace (somewhere “beyond his lifetime”). Indeed, as long as absolute territorial nation-states exist, living in peace will be impossible, because the rule of law does not exist between or over the nations. And without the enforceable rule of the due process of law, there remains only power relationships: the powerful do what they please (like execute people worldwide by remotely controlled drones) and the weak resist violently (with suicide bombs and surprise terror attacks). The system of sovereign nations is inherently a war-system.
I pointed this out in my talks with the people of the Universal Love and Brotherhood Association (ULBA) in Kameoka, Japan: internally Japan is at peace because all the individuals and cities there live under the common rule of enforceable laws. Externally, the U.S. is urging Japan to repeal Article 9 of its Constitution (the article placed there by the U.S. after WW II prohibiting Japan from having a military) and to remilitarize itself. The argument is that there are hostel nations nearby, whether China or North Korea, from which Japan might need defense. Hence, the U.S. is urging Japan to come back into the war-system of fear, mistrust, secrecy, arms races, and ultimately war. In a world without enforceable laws this is inevitable.
To my friends at ULBA, the World Federalists of Hiroshima, and the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation I presented copies of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. We want not just to end weapons of mass destruction, we must end all war, all extra-legal executions, all state and private terrorism. The only practical and really actualizable way to do this (within our lifetimes) is to transform the war-system into a world peace system through uniting all nations under a World Parliament and the enforceable rule of democratically legislated laws.
Under the Constitution, every nation has representation in the World Parliament where they can dialogue with one another about how together we can best pilot our Spaceship Earth. No more arms races, fear, and distrust, but rather dialogue and discussion on how we can work together to solve our planetary problems. The Earth Constitution is our best bet for doing this. It is widely available and brilliantly designed for planetary unity in diversity (www.worldparliament-gov.org).
This is also the key to the moral ascent of humanity. We will only grow to world-centric compassion and conscience if we can end the fragmentation of militarized sovereign states, allowing people everywhere to identify as brothers and sisters and fellow world citizens. The root cause of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki terror is the sovereign nation-state system itself. What we need most is a democratic world parliament, legislating laws enforceable by civilian world police, under the authority of the Earth Constitution and the sovereignty of all the people who live upon the Earth.
Glen T. Martin is professor of philosophy and chair of the Peace Studies Program at Radford University in Virginia. President of the World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA), the Institute on World Problems (IOWP), and International Philosophers for Peace (IPPNO). His website is http://www.radford.edu/gmartin. His books, focusing on human liberation and planetary paradigm shift, include Millennium Dawn — The Philosophy of Planetary Crisis and Human Liberation (2005), World Revolution Through World Law — Basic Documents of the Emerging Earth Federation (2005), Ascent to Freedom — The Practical and Philosophical Foundations of Democratic World Law (2008), Triumph of Civilization — Democracy, Nonviolence, and the Piloting of Spaceship Earth (2010), and Constitution for the Federation of Earth — with Introduction, Commentary, and Conclusion (2011). His 2013 book “The Anatomy of a Sustainable World: Our Choice between Climate Change or System Change — and How You Can Make a Difference” examined the fundamental worldwide changes necessary for a sustainable civilization. Dr. Martin has given lectures, seminars, and workshops in many countries of the world directed toward transforming our world order to one of peace, prosperity and sustainability under a democratic world parliament. In November 2013 in the Philippines, he received the GUSI International Prize for Peace in recognition of this global work toward planetary peace with justice. His forthcoming book: “One World Renaissance: The New Transformative Holism and Our Global Social Contract” (2015) explores the immense transformative potential of the new scientific, philosophical, spiritual, and psychological holism that is sweeping the world.
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Articles Listed By Date List By Popularity
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 (3 comments)
The Deeper Roots of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atrocities This article looks at President Obama’s speech in Japan as a massive propaganda stunt, examines the real story behind the bombings and his speech, and identifies the root problem of war in the nation-state system itself. It advocates the Constitution for the Federation of Earth to end both nuclear weapons and all wars.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016 (27 comments)
The Left Needs a Vision: A Response to Chris Hedges, Sheldon Wolin, and Pepe Escobar The article proposes the Earth Constitution as an authentic vision for the left and explains why this is absolutely fundamental.
Monday, May 2, 2016 (29 comments)
Empire of Chaos meets Global Dracula: Trashing Democracy: What is Our Way Out? A long-overdue presentation of the only concept that could possibly save humanity from certain extinction, this article is a call to endorse the Earth Constitution, which would lead to a World Parliament, giving the left the necessary tools to effect meaningful change. A must tread!
Friday, March 18, 2016 (10 comments)
Social Democracy in Venezuela, Latin America, and the World Having just returned from Venezuela, this article describes the current situation in Venezuela still identified as a “threat” by the Obama administration. It speaks of the socialist projects currently going on, of the relationship with Simon Bolivar and with the struggles for freedom and justice throughout Latin America. It links this struggle to our need to unite the Earth under the Earth Constitution.
Monday, February 8, 2016
Hillary, Bernie, and the World Federalist Vision: Whom Should We Support? As world crises continue to mount, and as it becomes ever-more clear that the system of sovereign nations is unable to deal with these crises, world federalist voices should expect to become much more mainstream. But the US needs an internal environment that ends the Patriot Act and makes real dialogue possible. For this reason alone, Bernie Sanders is by far the best choice.
Sunday, January 31, 2016 (1 comments)
Patterns of Thought and Human Survival: Holism vs. Fragmentation This article argues that we must begin thinking holistically if we want to survive much longer on Earth. We must look at our problems from a holistic perspective like that in the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
The Global Democracy Manifesto: A Critical Appraisal This article is a critique and analysis of the well-known “Global Democracy Manifesto” that is being circulated worldwide. It shows in what ways the Manifesto is ineffectual and empty, a far cry from that the world absolutely needs if we are to create a decent future and real global democracy.
Friday, October 16, 2015 (6 comments)
The New Sustainable Development Goals and Global Schizophrenia This article examines the newly formulated UN “sustainable development goals” (SDGs) in the light of the global realities of climate-collapse, militarism, war, imperialism, and economic exploitation. It concludes that achievement of these SDGs is only possible if this reality is addressed through converting the UN to a democratic world government under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 (2 comments)
American Violence and the Commonwealth of God Violence permeates American domestic life and foreign policy, as journalist Tom Engelhardt has pointed out. One book about American Imperialism says that we need to replace this with the “commonwealth of God.” This conception of a nonviolent community is indeed the vision of Jesus, but I argue that the real commonwealth of God also requires ratification of the Earth Constitution.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 (2 comments)
Trans-Pacific Partnership versus National Sovereignty: A False Dilemma The Trans-Pacific Partnership cannot be successfully opposed through protecting an illusory “national sovereignty.” We need insight into the global system as a whole, and we desperately need a “utopian” vision of human liberation. This vision is provided by the Earth Constitution.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 (5 comments)
Changing the System Requires Seeing It Clearly This article reviews the lies made by the state-terrorist nations that they are fighting terrorism. It points out that the world-system itself is the root cause of our inability to pacify the planet or to protect the environment. We need a global cooperative economics and politics under a global social contract. Nothing else will create a decent future for humanity.
Saturday, November 29, 2014 (16 comments)
Climate Marches May Well Promote, Not Prevent, Climate Collapse This article describes why the giant environmental protests will fail to protect the environment and what we must do if we really want a sustainable future.
Friday, May 23, 2014 (2 comments)
Global Robocop, a Multipolar World, and Climate Collapse: How to Think Outside the Box This article defines the alternatives between US global domination and a multipolar world as false alternatives characterized by “inside-the-box” thinking. It defines “progressive” and shows that progressives are still thinking inside the box and therefore putting the endangered future of humanity at risk. It shows the genuine alternative to both capitalism and nation-states as ratifying the Earth Constitution.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 (17 comments)
The Moral Collapse of U.S. and Global Society- and the Necessary Conditions for Rebirth The illegitimacy of Neoliberal domination contrasts with the moral legitimacy of democracy. The destruction of democracy within the U.S. is connected with the same phenomenon worldwide — the two are inseparable. Thinkers have long understood that democratic values are universal, and that, to really establish democracy, it must be a global democracy under the Earth Constitution.
Thursday, April 10, 2014 (7 comments)
Planetary Maturity and Our Global Social Contract: Part Two- The Social Contract Where Part One focused on the emerging consensus regarding ‘planetary maturity’, this Part Two focuses on our global social contract. It shows in what ways the holism of the contemporary paradigm-shift is embodied in the Earth Constitution and the ways in which the meaning of a ‘global social contract’ goes far beyond the limited and problematic uses made of the concept by 18th century thinkers such as John Locke.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 (4 comments)
Planetary Maturity and Our Global Social Contract: Part One- Planetary Maturity This article reviews the amazing consensus among psychologists, systems scientists, and planetary thinkers concerning a paradigm-shift from fragmentation to holism in all the sciences and an emerging planetary maturity for human beings who are adopting a world-centric and holistic perspective regarding fundamental global issues. Part Two argues that the Constitution for the Federation of the Earth embodies this paradigm-shift.
Saturday, February 1, 2014 (6 comments)
NSA Spying, Secrecy, and the Totalitarian Threat This article examines the growing totalitarianism in the U.S. in the light of the characteristics of totalitarian societies in contrast with the basic principles of democracy.
Sunday, May 19, 2013 (4 comments)
“Terrorism” and the Plans for Absolute Tyranny within the US: Our Need for a New Image of Human Liberation This article diagnoses the structural causes of the momentum toward tyranny within the US in terms of the global war-system. It shows why the global war-system necessarily destroys freedom and democracy everywhere. It shows what is required for a global peace-system. It is only such a global peace system, under the Earth Constitution, that can protect freedom, democracy, and the rule of law within the US or anywhere else.
Monday, May 6, 2013 (3 comments)
The “Double Blowback” and Why Progressives Fail to Learn from It. Richard Falk criticizes the US for not seeing terrorist attacks such as the one in Boston as blowback for the US policy and he gets blowback from the establishment. This article shows why this is true and why progressives who defend him have missed the point.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013 (1 comments)
Turning Our Bleak Future into Real Hope and Action This article cites recent news about the bank confiscations of depositors’ savings and other frightening economic trends. It also summarizes current negative environmental news. It argues that we need a global vision and hope based on institutions that can really deal with our interrelated global crises. Such vision can create a self-fulfilling prophesy leading to a renaissance for human civilization.
Friday, February 8, 2013 (4 comments)
The U.S. Global Assassinations and the Rule of Law This article argues that the current outrage at the Obama administration’s use of targeted assassinations is misguided. It leaves out of the discussion the system of sovereign nations in relation to the rule of law. There is no way to solve the problem of global tyranny without transforming the assumptions by which we understand to rule of law. We need to think in terms of a planetary Earth Federation.