Archive for the ‘Hiroshima’ Category

You Cannot Begin a Crime in Good Faith

August 8, 2017

David Swanson via via
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Press event in DC tomorrow (Tuesday): U.S. planes out of Syria!

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I’m just back from Democracy Convention in Minneapolis. Videos and transcripts here:

Hiroshima Haunting Video

Hiroshima Haunting Text

Law vs. War: Scott Shapiro and David Swanson on Kellogg-Briand Video

You Cannot Begin a Crime in Good Faith Text

Getting to Peace Through Local Governments Text

Prosecuting Famine Creation Text

Why We Can and Must End Our Greatest Crime Text

David Swanson and Medea Benjamin: The Case for Abolishing War Video

Leah Bolger and Norman Solomon – Do the People Want War? Video Haunting Video

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Hiroshima Haunting

August 8, 2017

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Hiroshima Haunting Video

Hiroshima Haunting Text
In “オバマ”
In “オバマ”
Hiroshima Haunting

Remarks at Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration at Peace Garden at Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Minn., Aug. 6, 2017

Thank you for inviting me to speak here. I’m grateful and honored, but it is not an easy task. I’ve spoken on television and to large crowds and to important big shots, but here you are asking me to speak to hundreds of thousands of ghosts and billions of ghosts in waiting. To think about this subject wisely we must keep all of them in mind, as well as those who tried to prevent Hiroshima and Nagasaki, those who survived, those who reported, those who forced themselves to remember over and over in order to educate others.

Perhaps even more difficult is thinking about those who rushed to make all those deaths and injuries happen or who went along unquestioning, and those who do the same today. Nice people. Decent people. People superficially similar to you. People who do not abuse their children or their pets. People perhaps like the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet who was asked last week if he would launch a nuclear attack on China if President Trump ordered him to. His response was a very principled and reasonable yes, he would obey orders.

If people don’t obey orders, the world falls apart. Therefore one must obey orders even when they rip the world apart — even illegal orders, orders that violate the U.N. Charter, orders that ignore the Kellogg-Briand Pact, orders that annihilate forever all existence of or memory of every beautiful childhood memory and every child.

In contrast, Jeremy Corbyn, the head of the Labour Party in the U.K., and the next prime minister if current trends continue, has said he would never use nuclear weapons. He was widely denounced for being so unreasonable.

We can and must eliminate nuclear weapons from the face of the earth before they are intentionally or accidentally used. Some of them are thousands of times what was dropped on Japan. A small number of them could create a nuclear winter that starves us out of existence. Their proliferation and normalization guarantees that our luck will run out if we do not eliminate them. Nukes have been accidentally launched in Arkansas and accidentally dropped on North Carolina. (John Oliver said not to worry, that’s why we have TWO Carolinas). The list of near misses and misunderstandings is staggering.

Steps like the new treaty advanced by most of the world’s nations to ban possession of nuclear weapons must be worked for with everything we’ve got, and followed with campaigns to divest all funding, and to extend the process to nuclear energy and depleted uranium.

But bringing the nuclear nations, and in particular the one we are standing in, to join the world on this will be a major hurdle, and it may be insurmountable unless we take steps not only against this worst of all weapons thus far manufactured but also against the institution of war itself. Mikhail Gorbachev says that unless the United States scales back its aggression and military dominance with non-nuclear nations, other nations will not abandon the nuclear missiles that they believe protect them from attack. There is a reason that many observers view the latest sanctions against Russia, North Korea, and Iran as a prelude to war on Iran, and not on the other two.

It is the ideology of war, as well as the armaments and agencies of war, that condemns Jeremy Corbyn while applauding a man who professes blind obedience to an illegal order. One wonders whether such good soldiers and sailors view Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov as a degenerate or a hero. He was of course a Soviet Navy officer who refused to launch nuclear weapons during the Cuban missile crisis, thereby quite possibly saving the world. As enjoyable as we may find all the lies and exaggeration and demonization directed at Russia by our elected and unelected officials and their media outlets, I think erecting statues of Vasili Arkhipov in U.S. parks would be much more useful. Perhaps next to statues of Frank Kellogg.

It’s not simply the ideology of war we have to overcome, but parochialism, nationalism, racism, sexism, materialism, and the belief in our prerogative to destroy the planet, whether by radiation or by fossil fuel consumption. This is why I have misgivings about something like a March For Science. I have yet to hear of a march for wisdom or a rally for humility or a demonstration for kindness. We even had a rally for Nothing, in opposition to rallies, organized by a comedian in Washington, D.C., prior to ever having had one demonstration for these other important causes.

There’s a line in a book and movie by Carl Sagan called Contact that has the main character sagely wanting to inquire of a more technologically advanced civilization how they made it past the stage of “technological adolescence” without destroying themselves. But this is not technological adolescence we are in. Technology will continue to produce more and more dangerous devices as time goes by. Technology will not become mature and begin producing only helpful stuff, because technology is not a human being. This is MORAL adolescence we are in. We empower delinquents who urge police to crack heads and their buddies to assault women, and who try to solve problems with giant walls, junior-high-level propaganda, denial of healthcare, and the frequent firing of people.

Or we empower equally adolescent prom-king characters like the U.S. president who went to Hiroshima a little over a year ago and declared quite falsely that “Artifacts tell us that violent conflict appeared with the very first man,” and who urged us to resign ourselves to permanent war with the words: “We may not be able to eliminate man’s capacity to do evil, so nations and the alliances that we form must possess the means to defend ourselves.”

Yet a dominant militarized nation gains absolutely nothing defensive from nukes. They do not deter terrorist attacks by non-state actors in any way. Nor do they add an iota to the U.S. military’s ability to deter nations from attacking, given the United States’ ability to destroy anything anywhere at any time with non-nuclear weapons. They also don’t win wars, and the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, France, and China have all lost wars against non-nuclear powers while possessing nukes. Nor, in the event of global nuclear war, can any outrageous quantity of weaponry protect the United States in any way from apocalypse.

We must work to eliminate nuclear weapons, President Barack Obama said in Prague and Hiroshima, but, he said, probably not in his lifetime. We have no choice but to prove him wrong about that timing.

We need to evolve beyond what our leaders tell us about nuclear weapons, including what our schools tell our children about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Weeks before the first bomb was dropped, Japan sent a telegram to the Soviet Union expressing its desire to surrender and end the war. The United States had broken Japan’s codes and read the telegram. President Harry Truman referred in his diary to “the telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace.” Japan objected only to surrendering unconditionally and giving up its emperor, but the United States insisted on those terms until after the bombs fell, at which point it allowed Japan to keep its emperor.

Presidential advisor James Byrnes had told Truman that dropping the bombs would allow the United States to “dictate the terms of ending the war.” Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal wrote in his diary that Byrnes was ‘most anxious to get the Japanese affair over with before the Russians got in.’ They got in the same day Nagasaki was destroyed.

The United States Strategic Bombing Survey concluded that, “… certainly prior to 31 December, 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November, 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.” One dissenter who had expressed this same view to the Secretary of War prior to the bombings was General Dwight Eisenhower. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral William D. Leahy agreed: “The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender,” he said.

The United States needs to stop lying to itself and start leading a reverse arms race. This will require humility, deep honesty, and openness to international inspections. But as Tad Daley has written, “Yes, international inspections here would intrude upon our sovereignty. But detonations of atom bombs here would also intrude upon our sovereignty. The only question is, which of those two intrusions do we find less excruciating.”

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Pictures of Hiroshima 3 hrs. after the A-bomb Dropped

October 3, 2016

Pictures of Hiroshima 3 hrs. after the A-bomb Dropped


(attested) What was happening then there?!



Hereunder is my running translation of the narration and quotations with NHK introduction and sites:

Pictures Taken 3 hrs. after the A-bomb Dropped
What was happening

2015年10月22日(木) 午前2時15分(65分)


NHK Special, “What Was Happening under the Mushroom Cloud?”
Pictures Taken 3 hrs. after the A-bomb Dropped

Broadcast: October 22, 2015 (Thursday) from 2:15 a.m. (65 minutes) (with English subtitle)

One A-bomb obliterated the city seventy years ago.
The city of Hiroshima, (the picture was) taken seven months later by the occupation force.
The city picture taken by American Army three months later.
The black-burned tramcar is blown derailed from the track.
The shadow of a person printed by the heat-wave.
It is said that more than 140,000 people died in this year only.

August 6, 1945
The A-bomb dropped by America
Exploded about 600m above the sky emitting the fatal amount of radiations.
The atmospheric temperature caused by the heat wave emitted immediately after the explosion at the epicenter reached more than 3,000 degrees centigrade.
Further the explosion wind of 440m per minute speed was created.
After that the fire burnt down the city completely.
2km from the epicenter became so to speak the obliterated zone.
The details, however, of how people died are not known.

There are only two pictures to become the clues to know them remain in the world –
The pictures of people taken three hours after the dropping of the bomb.

People’s clothes were broken and their hairs extremely curled.
These are the important records of the people immediately after the dropping of the bomb, but have never been examined in detail.

The pictures were taken at 2.3km, just outside of the obliterated zone.

Can we make it clear what was happening there?
We looked for people who were there in the pictures and passed there witnessing it and listened to 31 people.

“Men and women were naked. They came bare-footed, pat, pat, pat,…”
“They cried – “Father, Mother, help me!” “Teachers, help me!” – cries came into my ears all at once.”

“Hell. Hell that was. It was really hell.”

We further deciphered the pictures with the newest technologies.
By changing the angles, enlarging the pictures, the real scenes became clearly visible.
A person lying, a person crouching, people about to die,…

Also the states of injuries became known by medical analyses.
They suffered the special burns by A-bomb, which could not occur in ordinary cases.
They must have felt the most extreme pain among pains humans can feel.
What was the Hell the witnesses told?
By the witnessing words, we reproduce the fact of the people taken in the pictures.
70 years after the A-bomb dropped, we press on the truth printed in the pictures under the mushroom clouds.

“What happened under the mushroom clouds “

There are the materials strictly stored in the newspaper company in Hiroshima.
They are negative film of the pictures taken 3 hours after the A-bomb was dropped.
It is said that they were developed at the river in the confused situation just after the bomb dropped.

The person who took the pictures was is Yoshito Matsushige, who was a cameraman of the newspaper company.
He, bombed at his house 3km from the epicenter, went out with his camera and witnessed the disaster scene with his eyes on the way toward the center of the city.
In those days It was prohibited to take pictures of damaged scenes which deprive people of their fighting spirits.
Mr. Matsushige pushed the shutter against this.
“The eye-sights of many people injured in front of my eyes were concentrated on me. It seemed as if this miserable scene might well reported, I also felt. Is taking picture here cruel? Is taking picture of this justice? I was not sure.”

The first picture, he pushed the shutter, thinking he must report this after a long hesitation. The second one taken after approaching ten steps closer. He was said to be unable to take more pictures due to clouding of the finder by his tears.

The place the pictures were taken was on the bridge called Miyuki-bashi. It was an important bridge to connect the city center and its suburbs since those days.

At the place of the pictures taken, there is the picture posted.

Many people were there in the pictures.
Why were they gathering there?
The mushroom clouds covering Hiroshima immediately after the A-bomb was dropped.
Under it the 2km zone was becoming the obliterated zone.
Miyuki Bridge was scarcely escaped from fire.
Because of this, it was the place where those who escaped from that zone could at last take rest.

The camera took the pictures of the people from about the middle of the bridge.
The right beyond lies the epicenter.
What kind of the state were the people taken in the pictures?
Their hairs were extremely rough with curling.
Their clothes were tattered and their skins exposed.
Most of the people were bare-footed.
They were thought to be running away as they only had been clothes.
In comparing the two pictures, we found the same persons were taken pictures – the girl wearing sailor’s uniform. Her left arm is bleeding with the split sleeve. Her hand seems injured.

In pursuing our search, we found that this girl is alive at present.
She was Ms. Mitsuko Kochi, 83 years old.
She was the 2nd grader of Hiroshima Women’s Commerce School then, 13 years old, fond of talking with her classmates about movies and make-up.
The reason why she found her in the picture was the triangle collar of the sailor’s uniform. She got it from her cousin living in Yamaguchi Prefecture. She was injured. I found broken glass pieces sticking all around my body, which I tried to shove off in this way. I was covered with blood, but was not conscious about pain. That time, Ms. Koch was occupied with the injury of her friend. The person next to her is her friend. Her shirts were ripped and her skin exposed.

What had happened until the time they reached the bridge?
In the morning of August 6, Ms. Kochi et al were working in place for adults who went to the battle fields.
Ms. Kochi was working at the Money Saving Bureau at 1.6km from the epicenter.
8:15 a.m. the A-bomb exploded. She was attacked by the strong explosion wind of more than 70m/sec.
“Shuh! Something like a fire ball came into fully through the window. I thought I was targeted. I remember I cried out, “It came!” My body flew up with the cards I held – Alas! I thought and swooned.”
Kochi was blown off and slapped on the wall.
She became conscious and found a girl lying down with her inner organs coming out and already breathed out. When she went out, taking care not to step on her, she found her friend with her face bloodied.
“My friend came embracing me saying, “Micchan, my head was broken!” She was bloody. As she got hold of me tight, I became bloody also.”

These are the fires confirmed in the obliterated zone. The fires were spreading out.
Ms. Kochi with her friend went toward their homes, but returned, as they heard that they could not go that way due to fire.
They looked for the streets passable and reached Miyuki Bridge
Three hours after the bomb dropped, they stayed there, not knowing what had happened.
There is the scene in the picture which Kochi could never forget.

“It was about here.”
The figure of a woman who was diagonally in front of her. The posture like running, holding something black.
“She was holding a baby, burnt black – unknown if it was alive or not. It didn’t cry.”
She was holding the black-burnt baby – she seemed like her sister.
What was the state of her?
While we listened to Ms. Kochi, her memory became clearer.
“She cried out, I didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl, “’X’-chan, Wake up! Wake up!” swaying and patting like this. She was screaming out, “Wake up! Wake up!”

What were the conditions of those who run away from the obliterated zone?
We decided to make what Kochi had seen into images.
According to the witnessing words, we reproduced her movements and voices and asked her to make sure of them.
The Scene Kochi saw:
“Wake up! Wake up! Yi-ah (Alas)! Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Yi-ah! Wake up! Wake up,…”
“Miserable! Really miserable! But I could not do anything about it. I can never forget it. I think I take it to my grave.”

The two pictures showing people from the totally obliterated zone.
There is the gathered people on both pictures. What are they doing?
This person is taking off the sandals – smearing something on the feet
There was something like a box lying.
There was a person looking at this from a little distance.
This man is still alive.
Mr. Sunao Tsuboi, 90 years old, says people were applying oil on their burnt bodies.
He was waiting for his turn to apply oil
The lying thing at their feet was a can for edible oil.
They were instructed to use it for emergency treatment for burns.
“They brought rape oil. Edible oil is okay. One by one, however, they apply it minutely.
Everyone used it sparingly, sticking their hands into the can and applied well. Soon all gone.

He was a student of Hiroshima Kogyo Senmon Gakko (Engineering Professional School), then 20, wanting to become an engineer, helpful for people.

He was irradiated outdoor at the distance of 1.2km from the epicenter, where one out of two died.
He incurred heavy burn on his back and face. A half of his ear was torn off. There were people swallowed in fire, those who walk with their eyeballs ejected. He walked around seeking the place where he could be treated. He reached Miyuki Bridge at last after three hour’s search. He sat down there at the brink of death. He almost gave up his life. A young girl crouching in front of his eyes. Her upper body was hideously burnt.
At the bridge beyond people were the legs of people lying down without enough strength to apply oil. They were dying. There were many more lying down.
“No other way than only to die. The atmosphere of before dying, indeed.”
The people Mr. Tsuboi saw, we will reproduce the scene of the people lying down.

Tsuboi wrote with the stone near his hand: “Tsuboi dying here.”
“Lonely, miserable to say! At the last end, there-s no one to save me. There, lonely, miserable,…”

Miyuki Bridge – people reached desperately and near dying.
It became the boundary between life and death here.

The A-bomb claimed more than 140,000 lives – many due to burn.
The heat wave which brought burns – the temperature above ground became beyond 3,000 degrees centigrade, melting even iron.
In the Miyuki Bridge pictures, the unique burn due to A-bomb became understood.
The women’s face became blackened, eyes, lips were swollen. This person’s hand was swollen.
This heat burn is not caused by ordinary heat.
We asked Dr. Teruichi Harada, ex-trustee of the heat burn, to medically analyze it.
The especially noted point by him was this person considered to be a woman.
The seeming tattered clothes is actually her skin drooping down from her shoulder.
“Here is the rough skin, stripped off drastically at the deep layer in a very short time – this is not the heat injury seen in ordinary life. Dr. Harada says that it can’t occur in ordinary life.” The reason was shown in the American article written soon after the war.

The U.S., noticing serious burns occurred after dropping the A-bomb, secretly doing research on the burn. The report of the result was flash burn, special type of burn.
The burn of the woman was suspected as flash burn.
Dr. Harada pursued the mechanism: the extreme heat burns, the water in the skin becomes vapor instantly. The swollen skin splits and droop down – this is the flash burn specific to A-bomb. Then one is attacked by the terrible pain. There are pain nerves which perceive pain spread over in the skin, composed of the surface skin and the inner skin. The pain nerves were exposed due to the surface skin peeled off.
“I think it made considerable pain. The pain nerve is spread in the inner skin and perceives pain whichever part of the inner skin is stimulated. I think all the injured parts were stimulating the pain nerves. So, I imagine she was feeling the severest pain among the pains humans perceive.”

There was a person who directly saw the flash burn. She is Michiko Kochi who was taken picture of her wearing her sailor suit.
The man on the right side was her father looking for her, Kochi Michiko. He was irradiated outdoor and sustained heavy burn with his hands swollen. When Ms. Kochi called him and unwittingly held his arm, his skin peeled off.
“It came off, from his arm. I saw it wet all over. I threw it off to the edge of the road, saying Ye-aah! “Don’t hit me!” said he. I asked him, “Painful?” “Don’t ask me!” saying, he scolded me.”

We reproduce the skin color of the people in the picture under the consultation of Dr. Harada.
In the picture, people mourning with the cute pain were taken.

This time, we listened to the stories by thirty-one people who passed by Miyuki Bridge on the day when the A-bomb was dropped. (33.02)
The horrific scene caused be burns became revealed.

The person stretching out both arms – it is said to prevent the skin-peeled arms from being scrubbed.
“All in multitudes walked toward Miyuki Bridge, like ghosts appearing, in miserable figures.”
“They were tattered, as if drooping dirty zokin (dust-rags), smeared brown – all, children and adults altogether, were walking, stretched their arms out, in this way.”
The scene at Miyuki Bridge reproduced based on the collected information.
People walking with their skins drooping and groaning – it is said that multitudes of people came from the direction of the epicenter.
The people burnt lost their body water rapidly. They died, seeking water. (34:40)
“They said to give them water, “Oh-ye! Oh-ye!” called they in weak voices.”
“As they say, “Water!”, I came back with water, and found they were already dead. There were a lot of people in that way – Indeed.”

The place toward which those burnt was heading was the river.
Many who jumped in were said to be dead.
“Because of heat, there are people who jump in – jumping in continuously.”
“Under Miyuki Bridge, they were walking upstream, but (becoming) dead bodies streaming down. I don’t want to recall such a scene now.”
The scene those people who reached Miyuki Bridge saw:
The scene is the reality happening everywhere in the obliterated zone.

Miyuki Bridge, which became the boundary from the obliterated zone:
At 11 a.m., when the picture was taken became the front line of rescuing activities, as at that time, the place beyond Miyuki Bridge could not be entered.
The obliterated zone was enveloped by fire flames.

The uniform man in the center of the picture was a member of the guard band at rescuing activities.

Military trucks also came to rescue injured people.
The trucks were carrying them to hospitals in the suburbs repeatedly.

There was a witness words that tells the selection of life was happening at this rescuing activities.

It is Mr. Sunao Tsuboi who suffered burns.
It happened in front of the eyes of Mr. Tsuboi. (37:46)
While soldiers were loading injured people on their truck cargo board, a small girl ran to it and tried to get on the truck.
At that time a soldier shouted, “Hey! All children are afterward!”
They were selecting young males.
“Even I was terrified by the voice – It was a scary voice. Whoa! They were severe in that sense: “Let only those who are useful for war on board.” “

The girl shouted at was running away crying – beyond there was the city fire was raging.
“I cried out in my heart, “Run out of the fire! Escape from the fire!” I just prayed that, only that for the child.
Because it was a child, It was so unbearable. If that was an adult – as adults were fussing a;bout and started the war. Why this child has the responsibility? Where on earth is the reason she must die? I feel terribly sorry for not being able to save her. So, I can never forget that. I can’t forget it.”

Under the mushroom cloud, there was the reality of war that even a small girl could not be reflected upon. (40:16)
The pictures taken 3 hours after the A-bomb was dropped
were not seen by the public for a while after the end of the war.
The existence of it coming to be known was in America.

It was by the scoop in the picture magazine, LIFE.
“This is the LIFE magazine, issue of September 29, 1952.”
Seven years had passed after the A-bomb had been dropped.

Why seven many years had to be required before being publicized?
The person who knew the circumstances was found:
Mr. Greg Mitchel who was a journalist specializing in the theme of nuclear weapons.
He heard the story from Matsushige who took the pictures before he had died. (41:58)

“When I interviewed him, Mr. Matsushige said that the pictures of Miyuki Bridge had been confiscated by the American occupation forces.
They, occupying Japan after the war, were censoring the information of the war damages. They were searching for the pictures Japanese people took and confiscating them.
The American government tried to hide the dropping of the A-bomb actually brought. It did not want people to know the fact it had involved citizens and driven them into miserable deaths.

There is a person who says that the there is an important meaning in not letting the public know the pictures for seven years.
It is Prof. Peter Caznic who had an exhibition in Washington D.C. this year – exhibiting the Miyuki Bridge pictures.
“During those seven years when the pictures were not allowed for the public to know, Americans came to think that nuclear weapons are necessary, by 1952.”
Immediately after the end of WWII, the cold war between America and Soviet became serious, and their competition for nuclear development accelerated. (43:51)
There are now about 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world.
“Because these pictures were not publicly known, the one chance of knowing the dread of nuclear weapons was lost. If people saw these pictures, Americans also could have known that nuclear weapons should not be allowed.”

The pictures were exhibited in Japan also after the American public exhibit and many people came to know of their existence.
The pictures have been held up so that the fact that A-bomb was dropped over citizens may not be forgotten. (45:00)

Seventy years after the A-bomb was dropped –
there came out a new fact: many of the people in the pictures were children.
Beside the heavily burnt adult is a boy with his hair clipper-cut.
Beyond them is the figure of a child with his upper body naked is pictured.
According to a background researcher many of those along the bridge railing seem to be junior high students.
“The sailor suit collar, the length of the sailor suit to the waist is specific to the sailor suits (for junior high students). In those days, (junior high) girl students wore sailor suit or blouse and exactly monpe (war-time work pants) down part. They seem, I suppose, to be a group of friends.”
In those days junior high students were summoned to work in factories, etc. in place of the adults drafted to the battlefields.
Many junior high students were called to Hiroshima. The junior high students gathered within 2km obliterated zone were about 8,000, WHERE the A-bomb was dropped.

What happened to the children there?
From the witnessing words of a junior high student arrived at Miyuki Bridge came out the fact.
Mr. Mitsuo Kodama, was then 13 years old.
“The place taken picture of seem to be taken roughly here.”
Mr. Kodama was not taken in the pictures, but was just next to the cameraman, when the pictures were taken.
Mr. Kodama of a first grader of the First Hiroshima Junior High School was at school with 315 classmates. (48:25)
The school was located 800m from the epicenter, the distance within which more than 80% of people irradiated were killed.
When they were waiting in the school building, the bomb was exploded.
Most of his classmates lost their lives on the spot.
Mr. Kodama made a picture of the scene he saw, when he escaped from the school building.
He is standing frozen in the center. He tried to save his classmates, but flames pressed on to him.
Then came voices shouting, “Bless the Emperor! Bless the Icchu (First Hiroshima Junior High School)!” Voices of “Mother!” there might have been among them. Then came out the School song. Its chorus started.
Mr. Kodama who could not but leave there, was sitting at Miyuki Bridge ALONE.
“I with tears running down said, ‘Forgive me, friends! Forgive me!” – crying with gassho (palms together in prayer). The very heart of I’m sorry (for not being able to save them) remain until today.”

There was a girl student, who reached Miyuki Bridge after straying around with her friends.
Ms. Chiyoko Kuwabara – then 13 years old, a student of a second grader of the Third Kokumin Gakko (National School).
“I was sitting in this way, slanting, sitting in this posture.”
Girl students, Ms. Kuwabara, et al, were at work outdoors. (51:27)
She was Irradiated at 800m from the epicenter. Ms. Kuwabara and others who suffered heavy burn walked aiming at Miyuki Bridge.
“We walked making a line side by side with Taka-chan in the center, intending to “return to Ushina.” Children as we were, full of our eager hearts to go back home, said, “Let’s go back, let’s go back!””
Ms. Kuwabara and her friends started taking refuge, but one friend after crossing the river and another at the destroyed hospital became unable to move any further.
She desperately tried to find out water for her friend to drink.
“That much she wanted saying, “Water! Water!,” but she could not drink the water in front of her.
She could not open her mouth. So, I opened her swollen mouth. Her mouth remained open. I poured a little bit of water into her mouth, then she swallowed it. I gave water to her to gulp about two times. (53:21)
After advancing a while, another friend exhausted her strength.
When they arrived at Miyuki Bridge, there were only three people of them.
“We wanted to bring them also, but were exhausted. So, we could not do anything for them, but only say, “We will contact (your family), so stay there not moving away.”
“I can’t move any further,” said she, so we left her alone.

Out of 8,000 students 70% were deprived of their lives.
According to the investigation of this year, it became clear that among those who died on the day when the A-bomb was dropped the majority were junior high-school students, 12 and 13 year olds.

Ms. Kuwabara often visits even now with her friends the places where her friends died.
Here her friend became unable to move any further here.
“She sat down in this way here, and did not move any more.”
She could never forget her friends seeking water.
“Enjoy it (water)!” (55:36)
“It sticks to my head. I could not do anything (for them). I can never forget it. Tears come out.”

The greatest sacrificed ones of the A-bomb: children – (56:24)
Those children survived stayed here embracing the profound regrets.

There were only four people confirmed of their survival in the two pictures taken under the mushroom clouds: Ms. Mitsuko Kochi, her father, Mr. Sunao Tsuboi, and her classmate.
The classmate girl later got married and was endowed with her child.
But, fearing to be discriminated as hibakusha, she has not disclosed her identity in the pictures.
Those who were at Miyuki Bridge have been living embracing varieties of their memories.
Mitsuko Kochi, who was irradiated at 13, found her mother as a figure burnt black and dead in her house.
Those who died miserably and those survived have been facing each other.

“Most of them there have died. Why have I been living? Why have I been saved? I feel sorry somehow to be alive. I am, however, made to live. Is it to inform like this? I do not know.”

On Miyuki Bridge Mr. Sunao Tsuboi decided to accept his death. He has been fighting with his cancer, etc., thought to be effects of radiation. He is 90 years old this year. While hibakusha is decreasing in their number, he has been transmitting his experience to the young generation.
“When I got the A-bomb, I was twenty years old. Whatever there may be, human life is the most precious thing. Wars taking that life is beyond all bounds!”

At the end of our interview, he wanted something to be seen by us.
“Look at it well!”
The body burnt by flames and deeply dug out.
“This one. This one. There are only bones and skin. There is no flesh. From here way up…”
Is the truth of irradiation known well? He showed it to us for the first time.
“I have been trying my best for 70 years to survive. I am moving with such a body as this.”

Seventy years after the A-bomb was dropped,
Miyuki Bridge,
the pictures taken at the border of life and death.
What was burnt into (pictures were) the profound despair,
which could not be erased from the people’s memories, even after seventy years! (1:03:50)

“Wake up! Wake up! Ye-ah. Wake up! Wake up! …”
Those who were dying deprived of their human dignities…
Children whose desires to live were cut off,
Nuclear weapons,
and wars,
what do they bring?
– the pictures under the mushroom clouds are asking us now.

Obama’s Ironic Visit to Hiroshima

June 30, 2016
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Abe and Obama
Abe and Obama
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Sixty years ago a “Class A” war criminal gave an address to congress in a bid to ensure that his peace-minded countrymen would not force the U.S. military from his homeland. 1,2 Nobusuke Kishi, a member of Hideki Tojo’s cabinet and a signatory to Japan’s declaration of war on America, was the top Japanese official in Japan’s annexed territory of Manchuria during a time of unspeakable crimes against humanity including mass rape, enslavement, murder of children and infants, biological experiments on civilians, including vivisection, and a beheading contest celebrated by his home country’s press.3.4,5,6,7 Arrested by the American occupation in 1945, he was freed three years later to be put back in power by the CIA so the U.S. could have a puppet government in Asia to check the growing fear of communism. Eight years after escaping the hangman’s noose that claimed some of his Class A colleagues, secret U.S. funds helped install him as Prime Minister.8 That was 1957, the same year he addressed U.S. lawmakers in Washington. When Kishi’s U.S.-sanctioned security treaty came to a vote in Japan three years later, he had the opposition forcibly removed from the voting chamber so it would pass. 9 Though the security agreement, which guaranteed large tracks of land for U.S. military bases, become law, it was so unpopular with the Japanese masses that Kishi was run out of office.

Last year, Shinzo Abe, the current prime minister of Japan, who happens to be Kishi’s grandson, made his own speech to congress in a bid to shore-up support for amending Japan’s U.S. written constitution that “forever renounce[s] war as a sovereign right of” the Japanese people.10, 11, 12 Although the move to allow the Japanese military to once again wage war is opposed by the majority of the Japanese population, the Obama administration has given Abe its full support. 13,14,15,16

Here lies the tragic irony of Obama’s visit to Hiroshima. Upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, the President lamented, “The capacity of human beings to think up new ways to kill one another proved inexhaustible,” and again in Hiroshima he opined, “Science allows us to communicate across the seas and fly above the clouds, to cure disease and understand the cosmos, but those same discoveries can be turned into ever more efficient killing machines.” 17,18 Such statements made by a president who believes that “Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice (peace prize speech),” may lead one to ask, “How was justice served by placing a Class A war criminal head of state? 19 Where can one find justice in supporting his grandson’s renunciation of Japan’s “peace constitution?” Where is the justice in the recent authorization of U.S. weapon’s sales to Vietnam? 20 Where lurks justice in a massive assassination campaign, replete with abundant “collateral damage,” via drones? 21 Where can one read justice in the recently released UN report that 65.3 million people were displaced from their homes in 2015 by conflict or persecution, an all-time high?” 22 And most frightening and contradictory of all, “What direction is justice heading in the redesigning our own nuclear stockpile into ‘more efficient killing machines?'” Meet bomb B16 Model 12, the first precision guided nuclear weapon with a “dial a yield” setting which allows for the adjustment of its “explosive power.” 23General James E. Cartright, former head of the U.S. Strategic Command and a retired vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former Defense Secretary William Perry have respectively stated that such weapons make their use “more thinkable” and raise “the possibilities of a ‘limited nuclear war.'” 24

Standing with Shinzo Abe at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Obama proclaimed:

[I]n the image of a mushroom cloud that rose into these skies, we are most starkly reminded of humanity’s core contradiction. How the very spark that marks us as a species, our thoughts, our imagination, our language, our toolmaking, our ability to set ourselves apart from nature and bend it to our will — those very things also give us the capacity for unmatched destruction. How often does material advancement or social innovation blind us to this truth? How easily we learn to justify violence in the name of some higher cause. 25

He would know.


1. America’s Favorite War Criminal: Kishi Nobusuke and the Transformation of U.S.-Japan Relations:

2. Japanese protest security treaty with U.S. and unseat Prime Minister, 1959-1960: click here


4. America’s Favorite War Criminal: Kishi Nobusuke and the Transformation of U.S.-Japan Relations:

5. Reporting from Shanghai since the 1930s:

6. Unmasking Horror — A special report.; Japan Confronting Gruesome War Atrocity:
7. The beheading competition:

8. America’s Favorite War Criminal: Kishi Nobusuke and the Transformation of U.S.-Japan Relations:

9. Japanese protest security treaty with U.S. and unseat Prime Minister, 1959-1960: Shinzo Abe Bets on America’s Fading Memories:

11. Japan’s Leader Has Little Use for Hiroshima’s Lessons of Pacifism: click here 12. Japan: Article 9 of the Constitution: 13. Japanese PM’s plan to allow troops to fight overseas angers voters: click here 14. America’s Military Pivot to Asia: Obama Wants Japan to be “Able to Wage War” against China: Hagel Welcomes Japan’s New Collective Self-defense Policy: Shinzo Abe Eyes End to Pacifist Japan’s Ban on Overseas Combat: Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize: click here 18. Text of President Obama’s Speech in Hiroshima, Japan: click here 19. Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize: click here 20. U.S. Lifts Arms Embargo on Vietnam: click here 21. Obama-led drone strikes kill innocents 90% of the time: report: Global forced displacement hits record high: ‘Modernizing’ the Opportunities for Nuclear War: 24. Ibid 25. Text of President Obama’s Speech in Hiroshima, Japan: click here

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The Deeper Roots of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atrocities

June 8, 2016
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Ground Zero: the Atomic Dome, Hiroshima
Ground Zero: the Atomic Dome, Hiroshima
(image by Glen T. Martin)

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 (

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 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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Ground Zero: the Atomic Dome, HiroshimaTuesday, June 7, 2016 (3 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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.

World Parliament meets in TripoliTuesday, May 10, 2016 (27 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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.

Photo by Glen T MartinMonday, May 2, 2016 (29 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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!

For the fatherland we go with ChavezFriday, March 18, 2016 (10 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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.

Writing in 1795, Immanuel Kant considered World Citizenship to be a necessary step in establishing world peaceMonday, February 8, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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.

Photo by Glen T MartinSunday, January 31, 2016 (1 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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.

DemocracyThursday, December 10, 2015      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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.

The Constitution for the Federation of EarthFriday, October 16, 2015 (6 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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.

Malmo - .Non-Violence.Wednesday, September 9, 2015 (2 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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.

NASA GOES-12 Full Disk view March 25, 2010Wednesday, January 21, 2015 (5 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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.

.System Change Not Climate Change. banner - United Nations Climate CSaturday, November 29, 2014 (16 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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.

Winter's DemiseFriday, May 23, 2014 (2 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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.

// Moloch TotalitarianismSaturday, February 1, 2014 (6 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
“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)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
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.

“Historic” Empty Suit Visits Hiroshima

June 6, 2016

President Obama lays a wreath at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. (photo: AP)
President Obama lays a wreath at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. (photo: AP)

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

05 June 16


“Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead, including over 100,000 Japanese men, women and children, thousands of Koreans, a dozen Americans held prisoner.”

he sterile language of a detached president illustrates how far we are from facing the reality of our own government’s deliberate atrocities. Hiroshima was certainly destroyed, abstractly, with “a terrible force unleashed” – but by no one? In the president’s passive parsing, it’s as if he thought it was an “act of God.” More honestly told: President Truman approved the atomic bombing of Japan, which was carried out on August 6, 1945, by a Boeing B-52 named Enola Gay, after the pilot’s mother, that dropped a uranium-235 fission bomb cutely nicknamed “Little Boy” on a largely civilian city, killing an estimated 140,000 people (thousands of whom were vaporized without a discoverable trace, while thousands more died from radiation effects over ensuing years, a death toll made worse by US denial of radiation danger and strict censorship of any public discussion during the occupation). Hiroshima was one of the greatest military massacres in history, eclipsing American massacres of Native Americans by several orders of magnitude.

In his initial announcement of the Hiroshima bombing, President Truman said, misleadingly, that the bomb had “destroyed [Hiroshima’s] usefulness to the Army.” In a radio broadcast three days later, Truman falsely characterized Hiroshima as “a military base.” Hiroshima was not a military base, though it had some relatively unimportant military installations. Hiroshima was chosen as the A-bomb target in part because it had so little military significance that it was one of the few Japanese cities that had gone almost un-attacked by the daily American bomb runs. Because it was largely intact, Hiroshima was ideal as a place to demonstrate the A-bomb’s total destructiveness.

The US chose an almost undamaged city full of civilians as the target that would best bring the Japanese to their knees. Now that is something to “ponder,” as Obama suggested, but chose not to do. It doesn’t take much pondering to begin to wonder whether incinerating thousands of civilians might not be a war crime. It would be, if it happened today. During World War II, the laws of war made it a war crime for armies on the ground to attack, harm, and kill civilians. The laws of war did not specifically apply to aerial warfare, and so all sides cheerfully murdered civilians from the air with the kind of legalistic self-righteousness only corrupt lawyers can create. That’s why there were no war crimes trials for any of the horrendous bombings of the war – Rotterdam, Shanghai, Coventry, Cologne, Warsaw, Tokyo, to name a few.

Are war crimes actually war crimes until they’re illegal?

The Anglo-American firebombing of Dresden in February 1945 burned tens of thousands of people alive, including mostly civilians and prisoners of war (one of whom was Kurt Vonnegut, who survived). The actual death toll is unknown, with good faith and politically-motivated estimates ranging from 25,000 to 500,000. The US firebombing of Tokyo in March 1945 killed more than 100,000 people and destroyed more than 15 square miles of the city. By any reasonable moral reckoning, all these air campaigns were war crimes, crimes against humanity in the most obvious sense. American history teaches us that World War II was a just war, “the last good war,” and there’s a case to be made for that. It was also, on all sides, a ruthless criminal enterprise.

None of this very real history was part of Obama’s speech in Hiroshima. American presidents are not expected to be truthful, and would likely be crucified if they were. Once Obama acknowledged the “terrible force unleashed” out of nowhere by nobody, he shifted to a conventionally maudlin but politically shifty call “to mourn the dead,” whom he listed by category. First he somewhat lowballed the Japanese dead, consistent with US policy for 71 years now. Then he mentioned “thousands of Koreans,” a reference to Korean forced labor that would play well in Seoul if not Tokyo. And then he referred to those 12 “Americans held prisoner,” for decades an official secret, in part because other POWs who survived were suffering from radiation sickness and the US government didn’t want anyone to know about that.

Now the first sitting president of the US has visited Hiroshima, has solemnly visited a scene of American crime, and has been greeted with equally hypocritical solemnity by a Japanese government whose own hands are just as dirty and whose own current ambitions are as imperial as America’s in Asia. Obama’s speech would have you believe that that his goal is to “eliminate the existence of nuclear weapons” and to mark “the start of our own moral awakening.” That doesn’t fly when he’s making nice with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose goal is to re-militarize Japan and eliminate all pacifist tendencies from its constitution. Obama is an enabler of Japanese militarization, not only for the sake of arms sales, but also as a “response” to China’s agitation over US provocations under the strategic umbrella of Obama’s “pivot to Asia.”

Why does Obama address Hiroshima in the passive voice?

The conventional wisdom and mainstream media call Obama’s trip to Hiroshima “historic” because he’s the first US president to go there, not because there’s anything actually historic about the visit. Politically, the Hiroshima event appears to be pretty reactionary on both sides. Before Obama in 2016, Richard Nixon went to Hiroshima in 1964, before he was president, and former president Jimmy Carter went there in 1984 when he, too, pledged to “eliminate nuclear weapons from the face of this earth.” Early in his presidency in 2009 in Prague, Obama echoed this sentiment:

So today, I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. [Applause.] I’m not naive. This goal will not be reached quickly – perhaps not in my lifetime. It will take patience and persistence. But now we, too, must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change. We have to insist, “Yes, we can.” [Applause.]

But this was only a sentiment, expressed in campaign rhetoric. America had made no such commitment, even if the president was sincere. America is a long, long way from making such a commitment. American presidents and candidates still talk about using nuclear weapons as if that were a sane option. Yes, the Obama administration negotiated a new treaty (START) in which the US and Russia each agreed to deploy no more than 1550 strategic nuclear warheads and bombs each. That’s a cap, but a high cap. And it applies to no one else, leaving the UK, France, Israel, China, India, Pakistan, and even North Korea a rational basis for each having its own 1550 nukes. The US currently says it has 1528 warheads and bombs deployed, ready to use. The US also says it can“maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent while safely pursuing up to a one-third reduction in deployed nuclear weapons from the level established in the New START Treaty.” [Emphasis added.]

Both Bushes reduced nuclear weapons more than Obama

At its peak in 1967, the US had more than 30,000 nuclear warheads, both deployed and in reserve. By September 30, 2014, the total was 4766 warheads. This represents roughly a 10% reduction since Obama took office. Among other presidents, Reagan maintained the US nuclear arsenal at well over 20,000; George H.W. Bush cut the greatest number of warheads of any president (41% of more than 20,000); and George W. Bush cut the greatest percentage, 50% of slightly more than 10,000 when he took office).

To get Republican support for the START treaty in 2010, President Obama had to promise to improve and expand the US nuclear arsenal in other, creative ways. Obama’s nuclear “modernization” plans, insofar as they’re known, will cost the US an estimated $1 trillion over the next 30 years (more than $30 billion a year). “Modernization” includes things like nuclear-tipped cruise missiles or new, “smaller” bombs that might be politically easier to use. By today’s standards, the Hiroshima bomb is “small.” (Nuclear modernization is also intended to upgrade “a command and control unit tasked with coordinating the operational functions of the nation’s nuclear forces [that] still uses 8-inch floppy disksand runs on an IBM / Series 1 computer … first produced in 1976” even though the Pentagon says “it still works.”)

Factors like these – the slow pace of reducing redundant weapons and the willingness to risk a renewed arms race with nuclear “modernization” were enough to arouse one Democratic senator – but only one, Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts – to criticize the president:

If Obama wants to keep the pledge he made in 2009 to “reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security,” he must rein in this nuclear spending insanity. The lesson of Hiroshima is clear: Nuclear weapons must never be used again.
If the United States wants other countries to reduce their nuclear arsenals and restrain their nuclear war plans, it must take the lead. It cannot preach nuclear temperance from a bar stool.

Preaching nuclear temperance has been done to inebriation, as it were

Picturing Obama preaching from a bar stool might seem harsh. But the United Nations’ Open-Ended Working Group on multilateral nuclear disarmament, with more than 100 countries, has been working for two years – without US participation. Also without participation by China, France, Russia and the UK – and they don’t even preach from barstools. Nor do many of them visit Hiroshima. The vision of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial is the complete international abolition of all nuclear weapons and the promotion of world peace. It’s where officials go to engage in lip services.

If Obama had wanted to be genuinely historic, he could have visited Nagasaki. There was no excuse for Nagasaki; it was a pure war crime. Unlike Hiroshima, there’s no credible military argument that Nagasaki had to be destroyed to get Japan to surrender. Hiroshima on August 6 was probably enough. The Soviet invasion of Manchuria and declaration of war on Japan on August 8 was surely enough. The class was done, all the grown-ups had to do was collect the papers and start grading them. Japan’s Emperor Hirohito publicly accepted the terms of unconditional surrender on August 15. The Soviets, who had been begged by the Allies for months to enter the war, continued fighting till the official surrender on September 2.

Some historians argue persuasively that the US used the atomic bomb more as a warning to the Soviet Union than as a military necessity, although these are not mutually exclusive – not for Hiroshima in any case. The bombing of Nagasaki was gratuitous overkill with no demonstrable military value in the field. But testing the Nagasaki bomb had real value as a military experiment. Unlike the uranium fission bomb that obliterated Hiroshima, the Nagasaki bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man,” was the last atomic bomb the US had, and it was different: it was an implosion bomb with a plutonium core. Its prototype had worked in the first atomic explosion in a controlled test at Alamogordo, New Mexico, less than a month earlier. But would it work operationally? Military planners wanted to know and, without any order from the president, they successfully destroyed Nagasaki and some 70,000 people (even though the bomb was two miles off target). The experiment proved that the US could build two kinds of atomic bomb, and both worked.

Truman had his fill of killing “all those kids,” as he said

Apparently surprised by the gratuitous wiping out of Nagasaki, Truman issued an order that no more A-bombs be used, apparently unaware that the entire US atomic arsenal had been expended.

Obama seems to hope, like any rational person, that nuclear weapons will never again be used, but he has done little to change the governmental reality that holds nuclear weapons high on its list of final military solutions. Obama could have gone to Nagasaki and talked about Truman’s order to use no more. He could go to Alamogordo and express sadness that the first test worked. He could go to Bikini and finally make things better for Marshall Islanders who were victims of US nuclear testing. He could go to the Nevada proving grounds where the US government used American soldiers as guinea pigs in assessing the effects of ionizing radiation, and he could apologize for that and so much more. But he didn’t, he hasn’t, and probably he won’t. Crocodile-tear rhetoric is the best we’re likely to get. And maybe that’s because the dream of nuclear disarmament is impossible to realize in a world where the US can’t be trusted.

Even as the president was all hopey-changey in Hiroshima, his government was in its second year of participating in a criminal war in Yemen, where the US is helping the Saudis and their allies slaughter civilians from the air. It took over a year for the US to stop selling internationally condemned cluster bombs to the Saudis. And every time this president orders another drone strike on someone he decides with no due process is an enemy, he commits another of his own war crimes. “We may not be able to eliminate man’s capacity to do evil,” Obama said at Hiroshima – a homily he illustrates with his failure to confront evil. As the country approaches the 2016 election, Obama has created a context where the president can act as assassin-in-chief with impunity and where the development of miniaturized nuclear warheads for drones is a possibility. Sounds like the ingredients for making America great again.

William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.



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+19# RMDC 2016-06-05 14:29

Thanks fore this article. it is a good deconstruction of Obama’s lecture. His emptiness in many of his speeches is just appalling. In 2008 this emptiness was not so apparent. But now it is just intolerable. I’ll just be glad when he is gone and I never have to listen to him again. But the future looks bad – it could be Trump or Clinton and they would be empty too. ‘

+20# sashapyle 2016-06-05 17:10

I don’t think the words were sterile; in fact some of what Obama said was lovely and thoughtful. BUT those words will be HOLLOW, which is worse than sterile, if the planned trillion-dollar “modernization” –military upgrade– of our nuclear bomb factories is allowed to happen.
Words are one thing; sucking your own nation dry of resources to keep weaponeers fat while the rest of us struggle, that’s another. I live in New Mexico and the nukes industry has us in a stranglehold, economically and environmentally as coal has historically had West Virginia. The decision to prioritize bomb-making when we have a perfectly good deterrent in our existing arsenal is shocking, tragic, and dangerous.

+5# futhark 2016-06-05 18:36

This is the economic addiction to militarism which we must overcome for ethical reasons and for our own survival as a species. Addictions are fairly easy to slip into, but take determination, planning, and patience to overcome.

Step 1 is always recognition of the problem. Yes, it is unfortunate that so many people, mostly civilians, would suffer from financial dislocation as their current employment developing or manufacturing weapons or just providing maintenance services at military bases is wound down and terminated. There may also need to be a conversation over the role of the military in developing responsible citizens. As things are in my community, many see the military as an institution in which young people develop proactive approaches to life and acquire useful skills. These need to be questioned and peaceable alternatives need to be developed.

Step 2 then is to identify useful employment for such affected persons, making the necessary transition to genuinely constructive work as painless as possible. This requires society reorienting its goals and possibly redefining the term “national security”.

These necessary steps can only be accomplished if we choose leadership that displays wisdom and courage. Falling back on the old mantras of “Making America great”, etc. is not going to result in any tangible progress.

-1# MidwestTom 2016-06-05 19:09

Whenever I heard people talk about finding employment, I know that they are not in the hiring/firing end of a business. Most of the people employed in our military supply firms are highly skilled or engineers earning big wages. Replacement jobs for them simply are not out there. Those with lesser skills now find themselves fighting for positions with people who are here illegally who are willing to work for lower wages (guess who gets hired).

Our military industrial group has trapped us. They are the highest payers, and as a group one of the largest industries, if not the largest. Cut them back, and you will accelerate our economic decline. Stop creating wars, and the market for our biggest exports drops. If the complex declines, so does our standard of living. Only the Wall Street types make money as the country declines, and the fly-over zone gets crushed.

-1# Promoting Peace 2016-06-05 20:31

Does this mean that killing thousands of innocent people is far more important than some Americans having to retrain for jobs that creat value, rather than destroy other people and our environment, and possibly the world as we know it??? When will we ever develop the guts to transition from war and destruction, to people’s health and happiness??? One day I hope we develop the wisdom and courage to begin putting people ahead of money and greed!!!

0# economagic 2016-06-05 20:46

Tom, I’m busy with a computer problem and shouldn’t take the time, but I can’t let that pass. I can’t let it pass because it points to a dead end, no solution, might as well roll over and die.

That is bullshit and on some level you know it. There are two kinds of solutions, some of which are idealistic and highly unlikely to occur, others realistic and practical, if not as perfect as we could wish. Solutions of the first kind include electing a president not hell-bent on projection of US power and extension of the empire. Such solutions by stipulation if not by definition are unlikely, but they serve as a guide to where we would like to go.

The second kind of solution is far from ideal, at least in terms of our current thinking, but they have the great advantage that they can actually be implemented by individuals and communities. We’ve been hearing about the “jobless economy” for a decade now, and it’s here to a large extent. The “sharing economy” in terms of Uber and Air b ‘n’ b is TOTAL bullshit, the worst of the Old economy with none of its benefits. But where there are human needs to be met there are opportunities. How will jobless people “buy” what they can’t do for themselves? The same way we always have: We barter, we invent money (“whatever people agree to use as money”), and probably before all else fails, we share. Seriously.

I’m out of time and characters, but to say there is no way out is to create that reality. How many “good” jobs are there even now?

+4# JayaVII 2016-06-05 19:05

Yes, there’s altogether too much of the “lovely and thoughtful” in Obama’s rhetoric, too little of the straightforward and forceful. In the home stretch of his presidency, he still presents himself as a candidate, not as a wielder of power. Hollow is a good word for this man.

-1# wantrealdemocracy 2016-06-05 20:22

No mention by our Peace Prize President about the nuclear weapons we have used in Faluja. Scientist working to figure out why the cancer rates of children in that city was so high. They tested the ground to determine if the cause of the problem was our use of depleted uranium weapons. To their surprise, (and horror!) they found high levels of high intensive weapons levels of uranium in the soil. This proves that the United States has used nuclear weapons in these endless wars in the Middle East. Our nation is the terrorist champion of all the world. We are the bad guys, no doubt about that. The citizens of this nation must change our corrupt and evil government. The sooner the better. Don’t vote for any D or any R, there is no lesser evil between these two.

+13# keenon the truth 2016-06-05 17:11

Thank you, Mr. Boardman. As I said in a previous post, I knew from the start of the very first sentence that we were in for a hypocritical speech. Death fell from the sky? No, it didn’t fall, it was dropped, and we all know who did it. In fact, the Japanese translator choose a different word for ‘fell’, a word much closer to ‘was dropped’, and the Japanese audience was duped.

The Japanese language is rather indirect, often with no obvious subject in the sentence. It can feel rather unsubstantial and Obama’s speech was easy to translate. Many Japanese people I spoke to were happy about it.

At least the BBC drew attention to the hypocrisy when remarking on the presence right behind Obama of the official carrying the briefcase with the nuclear codes.

+16# capt400 2016-06-05 17:21

B-52??? How about a B-29 named Enola Gay?

+4# WBoardman 2016-06-05 19:17

capt 400 is so very correct, but I did get the name right ;-)))

+4# zach 2016-06-05 18:57

The article is both right in criticisms as well as have done.
President Obama had to make this a cold, academic ‘deus ex machine’ event, otherwise his use of drones looks too much like the same thing. After all, if you are roasted to a crisp by a terrible force from the sky, does it really matter how many ÿou’s” there are?
Perhaps he should have said, there were 5 “high value targetsA”elimin ated with regrettable, but unavoidable, collateral damage.
The problem is that “war is hell.” Once the dogs of war are unleashed, there is no knowing where it leads, but usually it leads to terrible consequences. The arrogance of power temps us to think war is a video game, that this time it will be different.
Obama, for being a very smart man, is a fool.

+3# zach 2016-06-05 19:00

Apologies for some errors. My glasses are broken and I am having a hard time seeing.

-1# Caliban 2016-06-05 19:00

Perhaps the President will have a speech more to Mr. Boardman’s liking on December 7, 2016.

+2# WBoardman 2016-06-05 19:20

Caliban is cute, but irrelevant.

That’s the day Shinzo Abe has promised
to lay a wreath at Pearl Harbor….

0# angelfish 2016-06-05 19:11

After 60+ years this is the ONLY American President to have EVER ventured to this site! WHY is he getting NOTHING but criticism? I call BULL-PUCKEY! on Mr. Boardman and ANYONE who tries to diminish this deed! Harry Truman DROPPED the Bomb, President Obama DIDN’T! Harry took the Heat. WHY is everyone so quick to jump on this President? I have hope that SOME DAY we will practice War NO MORE. It is a USELESS occupation and is based SOLELY ont the Greed and desires of the Mega-Wealthy who LIKE the Status Quo and want to reinforce it to the Hilt! Just another reason to support Bernie Sanders for the Presidency. He is the least likely to bomb aanyone or go to useless War without REAL cause. Get OVER the Hill and the Hair and FEEL the Bern!

-1# angryspittle 2016-06-05 19:25

Jesus, get an editor. It was not a damn B-52, they weren’t even produced until 1952. It was a B-29…….

+2# economagic 2016-06-05 19:56

Mentioned above. It’s a good idea to read the comments before commenting.

0# lfeuille 2016-06-05 19:54

Yeah, but Obama is detached about everything. Drone warfare, government and Wall Street corruption, income equality,survei llance state. It’s all intellectual games to him. The only time I’ve ever seen him really engaged is the Sandyhook massacre and other gun atrocities. Maybe he identifies as a parent. But he doesn’t seem to have the imagination to put himself in others shoes on any other issue.

+1# CarolYost 2016-06-05 20:24

Boardman is right on target. I thank him. One more thing to mention is that before the atom bombs were dropped, the Japanese were defeated and ready to surrender; they just needed assurance of the Emperor’s safety. The US held off on that assurance so that it could have an excuse to drop the atom bombs. Despicable! Unspeakable horror!

I find most of the comments very useful, except for the complaint that we should lay off on criticizing Obama. He needs a lot more. He’s murdering people. And that speech was so empty!

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The Speech Obama Should Have Given in Hiroshima

May 30, 2016
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POTUS in Hiroshima
POTUS in Hiroshima
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Barack Obama became the first U.S. President to visit Hiroshima on Friday, more than seven decades after the U.S. B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped a 10,000-pound atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” on the city whose military value was far less than that of Tampa to the United States. More than 70,000 people were instantly killed, and virtually the entire city was flattened. Many survivors would suffer prolonged and unimaginably painful aftereffects of radiation, which would cost at least 100,000 more people their lives. The effects of radiation would harm people for years and decades after the initial explosion.

Obama stood at a podium with the epicenter of the blast, the Genbaku Domu, in the background and said that he had “come to mourn the dead.” While Obama mourned, there was one thing he did not do: apologize.

He said that “death came from the sky.” No mention of why. Or who was responsible, as if it were a natural disaster rather than a crime perpetrated by actual people. Obama was either unwilling or unable to confront the truth and make amends.

Here’s what he could have said to try to do so

Seventy-one years ago, on a bright cloudless morning, an American warplane unleashed the most horrific and inhuman weapon ever invented, immediately imperiling the survival of the entire human species. This act of terrorism was the ultimate crime: a crime of mass murder, a crime of war, and a crime against humanity.

The victims, those who died incinerated in a flash, and those who died slowly and painfully over years from chemical poisoning, were never able to see justice served. Sadly, there is no way the criminals who carried out this heinous and barbaric act will ever face justice for their crimes.

I cannot change that. But, there is one thing I can do as the leader of the nation in whose name the bombing of Hiroshima was carried out: I can tell you, residents of Hiroshima and the rest of Japan, that I am sorry. I am sorry on behalf of my government and my country. I wish an American President would have come earlier and said this. This apology is decades overdue. It is a small and symbolic act, but it is necessary as a first step for true reconciliation.

A nuclear bomb should have never been dropped on Hiroshima. The most important goal of mankind should be to ensure that no nuclear bomb is ever dropped again. Anywhere in the world. Ever.

It would be easy to stand here and tell you that there are reasons why the American military and political officials chose to use a nuclear bomb. I could say it served a greater good of saving lives that would have been lost if the war had continued. I could say it was a decision made by people who were dealing with the pressure and horrors of fighting a war. But that would not be the truth. Those would be empty rationalizations. There is no justification for the bomb. Period.

The truth is that by August 6, 1945 Japan was defeated and had been seeking a conditional surrender for months. And American war planners knew this. They knew it because they had cracked the Japanese code and were intercepting their messages. [1]

Japan was willing to surrender under the condition that their Emperor, who was seen as a God among the Japanese people, be allowed to maintain his throne and not be prosecuted for war crimes. The Emperor himself called for “a plan to end the war” six weeks before the fateful day. [2] After so much unspeakable death and destruction, this reasonable offer should have been met with ecstatic celebration and relief.

Instead, U.S. officials disregarded it. They decided that it was necessary not just to defeat Japan, but to leave them utterly humiliated and disgraced. They wanted to demonstrate to their public that they could force another country to lay prostrate in front of them in complete submission. This is the mindset of terrorists, torturers, and sadists.

The United States joined with China and Great Britain to issue the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, in which they called on Japan “to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces.” These were terms they understood Japan could not accept.

Unfortunately, the use of the atomic bomb had become inevitable after the massive investment of time and treasure represented by the Manhattan Project. Military planners worried about “the possibility that after spending huge amounts of money … the bomb would be a dud. They could easily imagine being grilled mercilessly by hostile members of Congress.”

Historian and former Nuclear Regulatory Commission employee J. Samuel Walkerconfirmed that aside from “shortening the war and saving American lives, Truman wanted to justify the expense and effort required to build the atomic bombs.”

That financial considerations and a self-interested desire for bureaucrats to validate themselves and protect their careers could lead to the single most destructive and cruel act in history is an abomination. It is a deep offense to the idea that people are innately moral, and it makes us ask how in a democratic society we can vest people with the authority to make decisions of such profound impact secretly and without accountability?

Walker notes that another consideration for using the bomb on Hiroshima was to put fear into the leaders of the Soviet Union and make them “more amenable to American wishes.” Just six weeks earlier the UN Charter had been established. It included the demand that “all members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force” against other states. The drafters of the treaty could never have imagined such an unconscionable violation of their words so soon after the monumental pact had been written.

As horrific as the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima was, it did not occur in a vacuum. What no one in mainstream American political discourse has so far been able to admit is that not only was there no justification for the bomb, there was little justification for the war against Japan in the first place.

The war was the result of the notion, which first emanated from the Council on Foreign Relations in 1941, that the U.S.’s “national interest” called for a “Grand Area” that consisted of the Western hemisphere, the British Empire and the Far East, while assuming the majority of Europe would be controlled by Nazi Germany. This was translated into a policy that demanded a military confrontation with Japan for control of the Far East. [3]

A pillar in this policy was an economic embargo against Japan. Cut off from imports and raw materials from the United States and Great Britain, Japan grew desperate and subsequently sought to expand its Empire. Japan saw itself in need of a sphere of influence involving the same areas in the Far East as the United States.The U.S. had several options to avoid war. For one, they could develop a program of agricultural and economic self-sufficiency which would allow them to insulate themselves from dependence on colonial powers, as well as allow them to steer clear of unpredictable and potentially hostile regions of the world.

But for businessmen who wanted to maintain control over the direction of the economy and keep their own fortunes growing at a limitless pace, this was a nonstarter. Instead, they were dedicated to challenging Japan. Hence, the embargo and the buildup for an inevitable military confrontation over Eastern Asia.

This is the background to Pearl Harbor. Japan was obviously not justified for attacking sovereign American territory in a blatant act of aggression. But we cannot pretend that it was not predictable or logical from their point of view.

Japan felt itself backed into a corner by the embargo. They felt they needed to expand further into Asia. They believed that if they did so, the U.S. military would have attacked them. They were right.

Both countries should have worked together to recognize each other’s perceived interests, deescalate, and achieve a mutually acceptable compromise. It is the ability to understand one’s perceived adversary as a rational counterpart, rather than an evil and irrational enemy, that separates humans from beasts. If we are not able to use this ability, we are no better than a predator seeking his prey.

The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima did not need to happen. But the bombing that took place on this site was just a symptom of the war it was part of. War will necessarily produce horrific crimes, some of which are unimaginable at the time they happen. As horrific as the nuclear bomb was, 70 years of technological advancements have made not just the destruction of an entire city, but of an entire country or continent within the realm of possibility.

We need to eliminate nuclear weapons from the earth. But that is not enough. Chemical weapons like napalm, Agent Orange, depleted uranium, and white phosphorous; biological weapons like Dengue bacteria and germ bombs; and conventional weapons like cluster bombs, pineapple bomblets, butterfly bombs and land mines are just some of the savage weapons used by the U.S. military alone in the years since the close of World War II to kill and maim millions of people. Many other countries possess similar weapons of mass destruction and have the capacity to do the same.

We need to eliminate war. All war. Forever. War is evil, plain and simple. We cannot undo the actions of the past. But we can let them guide us to a better world where we don’t repeat the horrors that the people of Hiroshima suffered here 71 years ago. That will be the only way to prevent the victims from having died in vain.


[1] Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present. New York: HarperCollins, 2003. pp. 423.

[2] U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey: The Effects of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, June 19, 1946. President’s Secretary’s File, Truman Papers. click here

[3] Shoup, Laurence H. and William Minter. Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations & United States Foreign Policy. Lincoln, NE: Authors Choice Press, 2004.

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広島でのオバマは爆弾に平和サインを描く:Obama in Hiroshima Paints a Peace Sign on a Bomb

May 29, 2016
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President Obama went to Hiroshima, did not apologize, did not state the facts of the matter (that there was no justification for the bombings there and in Nagasaki), and did not announce any steps to reverse his pro-nuke policies (building more nukes, putting more nukes in Europe, defying the nonproliferation treaty, opposing a ban treaty, upholding a first-strike policy, spreading nuclear energy far and wide, demonizing Iran and North Korea, antagonizing Russia, etc.).

Where Obama is usually credited — and the reason he’s usually given a pass on his actual actions — is in the area of rhetoric. But in Hiroshima, as in Prague, his rhetoric did more harm than good. He claimed to want to eliminate nukes, but he declared that such a thing could not happen for decades (probably not in his lifetime) and he announced that humanity has always waged war (before later quietly claiming that this need not continue).

“Artifacts tell us that violent conflict appeared with the very first man. Our early ancestors having learned to make blades from flint and spears from wood used these tools not just for hunting but against their own kind,” said Obama.

“We may not be able to eliminate man’s capacity to do evil, so nations and the alliances that we form must possess the means to defend ourselves,” he added, leaping from a false claim about the past to a necessity to continue dumping our resources into the weapons that produce rather than avoid more wars.

After much in this higly damaging vein, Obama added: “But among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them. We may not realize this goal in my lifetime, but persistent effort can roll back the possibility of catastrophe.” He even said: “We’re not bound by genetic code to repeat the mistakes of the past. We can learn. We can choose. We can tell our children a different story. …” That’s right, but the U.S. President had already told a really bad one.

If war were inevitable, as Obama has repeatedly suggested, including in the first ever pro-war Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, there would be little point in trying to end it. If war were inevitable, a moral case might be made for trying to lessen its damage while it continued. And numerous parochial cases could be made for being prepared to win inevitable wars for this side or that side. That’s the case Obama makes, without seeming to realize that it applies to other countries too, including countries that feel threatened by the U.S. military.

Developing ways to avoid generating conflicts is part of the answer to eliminating war, but some occurrence of conflict (or major disagreement) is inevitable, which is why we must use more effective and less destructive tools to resolve conflicts and to achieve security.
But there is nothing inevitable about war. It is not made necessary by our genes, by other inevitable forces in our culture, or by crises beyond our control.

War has only been around for the most recent fraction of the existence of our species. We did not evolve with it. During this most recent 10,000 years, war has been sporadic. Some societies have not known war. Some have known it and then abandoned it. Just as some of us find it hard to imagine a world without war or murder, some human societies have found it hard to imagine a world with those things. A man in Malaysia, asked why he wouldn’t shoot an arrow at slave raiders, replied “Because it would kill them.” He was unable to comprehend that anyone could choose to kill. It’s easy to suspect him of lacking imagination, but how easy is it for us to imagine a culture in which virtually nobody would ever choose to kill and war would be unknown? Whether easy or hard to imagine, or to create, this is decidedly a matter of culture and not of DNA.

According to myth, war is “natural.” Yet a great deal of conditioning is needed to prepare most people to take part in war, and a great deal of mental suffering is common among those who have taken part. In contrast, not a single person is known to have suffered deep moral regret or post-traumatic stress disorder from war deprivation.

In some societies women have been virtually excluded from war making for centuries and then included. Clearly, this is a question of culture, not of genetic makeup. War is optional, not inevitable, for women and men alike.

Some nations invest much more heavily in militarism than most and take part in many more wars. Some nations, under coercion, play minor parts in the wars of others. Some nations have completely abandoned war. Some have not attacked another country for centuries. Some have put their military in a museum. And even in the United States, 44% of the people tell pollsters that they “would” participate if there were a war, yet with the U.S. currently in 7 wars, less than 1% of the people are in the military.

War long predates capitalism, and surely Switzerland is a type of capitalist nation just as the United States is. But there is a widespread belief that a culture of capitalism — or of a particular type and degree of greed and destruction and short-sightedness — necessitates war. One answer to this concern is the following: any feature of a society that necessitates war can be changed and is not itself inevitable. The military-industrial complex is not an eternal and invincible force. Environmental destructiveness and economic structures based on greed are not immutable.

There is a sense in which this is unimportant; namely, we need to halt environmental destruction and reform corrupt government just as we need to end war, regardless of whether any of these changes depends on the others to succeed. Moreover, by uniting such campaigns into a comprehensive movement for change, strength in numbers will make each more likely to succeed.

But there is another sense in which this is important; namely, we need to understand war as the cultural creation that it is and stop imagining it as something imposed on us by forces beyond our control. In that sense it is important to recognize that no law of physics or sociology requires us to have war because we have some other institution. In fact, war is not required by a particular lifestyle or standard of living because any lifestyle can be changed, because unsustainable practices must end by definition with or without war, and because war actuallyimpoverishes societies that use it.

War in human history up to this point has not correlated with population density or resource scarcity. The idea that climate change and the resulting catastrophes will inevitably generate wars could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is not a prediction based on facts.

The growing and looming climate crisis is a good reason for us to outgrow our culture of war, so that we are prepared to handle crises by other, less destructive means. And redirecting some or all of the vast sums of money and energy that go into war and war preparation to the urgent work of protecting the climate could make a significant difference, both by ending one of our mostenvironmentally destructive activities and by funding a transition to sustainable practices.

In contrast, the mistaken belief that wars must follow climate chaos will encourage investment in military preparedness, thus exacerbating the climate crisis and making more likely the compounding of one type of catastrophe with another.

Human societies have been known to abolish institutions that were widely considered permanent. These have included human sacrifice, blood feuds, duelling, slavery, the death penalty, and many others. In some societies some of these practices have been largely eradicated, but remain illicitly in the shadows and on the margins. Those exceptions don’t tend to convince most people that complete eradication is impossible, only that it hasn’t yet been achieved in that society. The idea of eliminating hunger from the globe was once considered ludicrous. Now it is widely understood that hunger could be abolished — and for a tiny fraction of what is spent on war. While nuclear weapons have not all been dismantled and eliminated, there exists a popular movement working to do just that.

Ending all war is an idea that has found great acceptance in various times and places. It was more popular in the United States, for example, in the 1920s and 1930s. In recent decades, the notion has been propogated that war is permanent. That notion is new, radical, and without basis in fact.

Polling is not often done on support for the abolition of war. Here’s one case when it was done.

Quite a few nations have chosen to have no military. Here’s a list.

And here’s a movement to accomplish now what Obama discourages the world by claiming it can’t be done anytime soon. Those who say that such things cannot be done have always had and still have the responsibility to get out of the way of the people doing them.


Video and Audio:

This video addresses the myth that humans are naturally violent: Book Discussion with Paul Chappell on The Art of Waging Peace.

This 1939 antiwar cartoon from MGM gives some indication of how mainstream opposition to war was at the time.

Doug Fry on Talk Nation Radio.

John Horgan on Talk Nation Radio.

An example of humans’ inclination away from war: the 1914 Christmas truce.


Joyeux Noel: a film about the 1914 Christmas truce.


Fry, Douglas P. & Souillac, Genevieve (2013). The Relevance of Nomadic Forager Studies to Moral Foundations Theory: Moral Education and Global Ethics in the Twenty-First Century. Journal of Moral Education, (July) vol:xx-xx.


Henri Parens (2013) War Is Not Inevitable, Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, 25:2, 187-194.
Main arguments: Human civilization is at its best with universal education, affordable communication, and international travel as human connectors. War prevention is possible through support and fostering of human rights, securing of governments and institutions against abuses and exploitations by others, internationalization of children’s education, compulsory parenting education, and countering extremism of all kinds.Brooks, Allan Laurence. “Must war be inevitable? A general semantics essay.” ETC.: A Review of General Semantics 63.1 (2006): 86+. Academic OneFile. Web. 26 Dec. 2013.
Main arguments: Warns against two-valued positions: we are not either aggressive or non-aggressive. Points to the predominant mode of human cooperation throughout history. Arguments in line with many social and behavioral scientists who state that we have the potential to be aggressive and fight wars, but we also have the potential to be non-aggressive and peaceful.Zur, Ofer. (1989). War Myths: Exploration of the Dominant Collective Beliefs about Warfare. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 29(3), 297-327. doi: 10.1177/0022167889293002.
Main arguments: Author critically examines three myths about war: (1) war is part of human nature; (2) decent people are peaceful and seek to avoid war; (3) war is a male institution. Good point made: Disqualifying myths scientifically does not reduce their importance to the people and cultures subscribing to them. “Exposing the erroneous nature of these beliefs can be the first step out of the vicious cycle of destructive, unconscious self-fulfilling prophecies”.

Zur, Ofer. (1987). The Psychohistory of Warfare: The Co-Evolution of Culture, Psyche and Enemy. Journal of Peace Research, 24(2), 125-134. doi: 10.1177/002234338702400203.
Main arguments: Humans have had the technical and physical ability to create and use weapons against each other for the last 200,000 years, but only created and used weapons against each other in the last 13,000 years. Wars have been waged only one percent of human evolutionary time.

The Seville Statement on Violence: PDF.
World’s leading behavior scientists refute the notion that organized human violence [e.g. war] is biologically determined. The statement was adopted by the UNESCO.

War Can Be Ended: Part I of “War No More: The Case for Abolition” by David Swanson

Wars Are Not Unavoidable: Chapter 4 of “War Is A Lie” by David Swanson

On Ending War by E. Douglas Kihn


Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace by Doug Fry

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Dave Grossman

Peaceful Revolution by Paul K. Chappell

The End of War by John Horgan

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War Is A Lie by David Swanson

When the World Outlawed War by David Swanson

War No More: The Case for Abolition by David Swanson

A Future Without War: The Strategy of a Warfare Transition by Judith Hand

American Wars: Illusions and Realities by Paul Buchheit

The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War by James Bradley

Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves by Adam Hochschild

Fry, Douglas. P. (2013). War, peace, and human nature : the convergence of evolutionary and cultural views. New York: Oxford University Press.

Kemp, Graham, & Fry, Douglas P. (2004). Keeping the peace : conflict resolution and peaceful societies around the world. New York: Routledge.

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Today, in Hiroshima…

May 27, 2016
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Samantha Meyer, Global Zero via 

8:42 AM (8 hours ago)

to me

Dear Friend,

Today President Obama made history by becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima. At Peace Memorial Park, he once again brought the world’s attention to his vision — to “eliminate the existence of nuclear weapons.”

President Obama in Hiroshima
This is, in large part, due to the efforts of Global Zero members all around the world who stood up and demanded that our world leaders take bold action to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Just last week, we delivered tens of thousands of Global Zero petition signatures to White House officials, urging the president to make plans during his visit to stand down nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert and prevent a disaster like Hiroshima from ever happening again.

Global Zero at the White House
Unfortunately, President Obama failed to announce any concrete plans during his speech this morning. Instead of using his historic visit as an opportunity to announce steps to reduce the threat posed by nuclear weapons, he gave us just another speech.

Simply making a speech about nuclear weapons is not enough.

We need rhetoric to be backed up with action, because the serious threat posed by nuclear weapons will not end until our leaders take steps to completely eliminate them.

The good news is that it can be done. In the last seven years alone, we’ve seen significant progress in this fight. Global Zero members have been there each step of the way — and we will continue to be there until we reach zero.

Thanks for all that you do.

Fight on,

Samantha Meyer
Deputy Campaign Director
Global Zero
P.S. Our movement is possible because of the thousands of donations we receive from supporters like you all over the world. If you would like to help support this effort, please consider making a small contribution to Global Zero so we can continue this fight to the end.

Global Zero is the international movement for the elimination of all nuclear weapons. Support the movement with a contribution here. Receiving emails is one of the best ways to stay up to date on our campaigns and actions. You can also like Global Zero on Facebook here and follow us on Twitter here. To stop receiving fundraising emails but stay on the Global Zero list, click here. If you really need to cut back, you can unsubscribe here. We’re sad to see you go!

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Top 12 Reasons the Good War Was Bad: Hiroshima in Context

May 24, 2016

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune

Welcome Ceremony in Japan 33962

Consider this a friendly reminder to President Obama on his way to Hiroshima.

No matter how many years one writes books, does interviews, publishes columns, and speaks at events, it remains virtually impossible to make it out the door of an event in the United States at which you’ve advocated abolishing war without somebody hitting you with the what-about-the-good-war question.

Of course this belief that there was a good war 75 years ago is what moves the U.S. public to tolerate dumping a trillion dollars a year into preparing in case there’s a good war next year, even in the face of so many dozens of wars during the past 70 years on which there’s general consensus that they were not good. Without rich, well-established myths about World War II, current propaganda about Russia or Syria or Iraq would sound as crazy to most people as it sounds to me.

And of course the funding generated by the Good War legend leads to more bad wars, rather than preventing them.

I’ve written on this topic at great length in many articles and books, especially this one. But perhaps it would be helpful to provide a column-length list of the top reasons that the good war was not good.

1. World War II could not have happened without World War I, without the stupid manner of starting World War I and the even stupider manner of ending World War I which led numerous wise people to predict World War II on the spot, without Wall Street’s funding of Nazi Germany for decades (as preferable to commies), and without the arms race and numerous bad decisions that do not need to be repeated in the future.


2. The U.S. government was not hit with a surprise attack. President Franklin Roosevelt had committed to Churchill to provoking Japan and worked hard to provoke Japan, and knew the attack was coming, and initially drafted a declaration of war against both Germany and Japan on the evening of Pearl Harbor — before which time, FDR had built up bases in the U.S. and multiple oceans, traded weapons to the Brits for bases, started the draft, created a list of every Japanese American person in the country, provided planes, trainers, and pilots to China, imposed harsh sanctions on Japan, and advised the U.S. military that a war with Japan was beginning.


3. The war was not humanitarian and was not even marketed as such until after it was over. There was no poster asking you to help Uncle Sam save the Jews. A ship of Jewish refugees was chased away from Miami by the Coast Guard. The U.S. and other nations would not allow Jewish refugees in, and the majority of the U.S. public supported that position. Peace groups that questioned Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his foreign secretary about shipping Jews out of Germany to save them were told that Hitler might very well agree to that but it would be too much trouble and require too many ships. The U.S. engaged in no diplomatic or military effort to save the victims in the camps. Anne Frank was denied a U.S. visa.


4. The war was not defensive. FDR lied that he had a map of Nazi plans to carve up South America, that he had a Nazi plan to eliminate religion, that U.S. ships actually assisting British war planes were innocently attacked by Nazis, that Germany was in fact a threat to the United States. A case can be made that the U.S. needed to enter the war in Europe to defend other nations, which had entered to defend yet other nations, but a case could also be made that the U.S. escalated the targeting of civilians, extended the war, and created more damage than might have been, had it done nothing, attempted diplomacy, or invested in nonviolence. To claim that a Nazi empire could have grown to someday include an occupation of the United States is wildly far fetched and not borne out by any earlier or later examples of other wars.


5. We now know much more widely and with much more data that nonviolent resistance to occupation and injustice is more likely to succeed, and that success more likely to last, than violent resistance. With this knowledge, we can look back at the stunning successes of nonviolent actions against the Nazis that were not well organized or built on beyond their initial successes.


6. The good war was not for supporting the troops. In fact, lacking intense modern conditioning to prepare soldiers to engage in the unnatural act of murder, some 80 percent of U.S. and other troops in World War II did not fire their weapons at the enemies. That those soldiers were treated better after the war than soldiers in other wars had been, or have been since, was the result of the pressure created by the Bonus Army after the previous war. That veterans were given free college was not due to the merits of the war or in some way a result of the war. Without the war, everyone could have been given free college for many years. If we provided free college to everyone today, it would take way more than World War II stories to get people into military recruiting stations.


7. Several times the number of people killed in German camps were killed outside of them in the war. The majority of those people were civilians. The scale of the killing, wounding, and destroying made this war the single worst thing humanity has ever done to itself in a short space of time. That it was somehow “opposed” to the far lesser killing in the camps — although, again, it actually wasn’t — can’t justify the cure that was worse than the disease.


8. Escalating the war to include the all-out destruction of civilian cities, culminating in the completely indefensible nuking of cities took this war out of the realm of defensible projects for many who had defended its initiation — and rightly so. Demanding unconditional surrender and seeking to maximize death and suffering did immense damage and left a legacy that has continued.


9. Killing huge numbers of people is supposedly defensible for the “good” side in a war, but not the “bad.” The distinction between the two is never as stark as fantasized. The United States had an apartheid state for African Americans, camps for Japanese Americans, a tradition of genocide against Native Americans that inspired Nazis, programs of eugenics and human experimentation before, during, and after the war (including giving syphilis to people in Guatemala during the Nuremberg trials). The U.S. military hired hundreds of top Nazis at the end of the war. They fit right in. The U.S. aimed for a wider world empire, before the war, during it, and ever since.


10. The “good” side of the “good war,” the party that did most of the killing and dying for the winning side, was the communist Soviet Union. That doesn’t make the war a triumph for communism, but it does tarnish the tales of triumph for “democracy.”


11. World War II still hasn’t ended. Ordinary people in the United States didn’t have their incomes taxed until World War II and that’s never stopped. It was supposed to be temporary. The bases have never closed. The troops have never left Germany or Japan. There are over 100,000 U.S. and British bombs still in the ground in Germany, still killing.


12. Going back 75 years to a nuclear-free, colonial, world of completely different structures, laws, and habits to justify what has been the greatest expense of the United States in each of the years since is a bizarre feat of self-deception that isn’t attempted in the justification of any lesser enterprise. Assume I’ve got numbers 1 through 11 totally wrong, and you’ve still got to explain how the world of the early 1940s justifies dumping into 2017 wars funding that could have fed, clothed, cured, and environmentally protected the earth.