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Hiroshima: the Crime That Keeps on Paying, But Beware the Reckoning

August 8, 2016

On his visit to Hiroshima last May, Obama did not, as some had vainly hoped he might, apologize for the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of the city. Instead he gave a high-sounding speech against war. He did this as he was waging ongoing drone war against defenseless enemies in faraway countries and approving plans to spend a trillion dollarsupgrading the US nuclear arsenal.

An apology would have been as useless as his speech. Empty words don’t change anything. But here was one thing that Obama could have said that would have had a real impact: he could have told the truth.

He could have said:

“The atom bombs were not dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ‘to save lives by ending the war’. That was an official lie. The bombs were dropped to see how they worked and to show the world that the United States possessed unlimited destructive power.”

There was no chance that Obama would say that. Officially, the bombing “saved lives” and therefore, it was worth it. Like the Vietnamese villages we destroyed in order to save them, like the countless Iraqi children who died as a result of US sanctions, the hundreds of thousands of agonizing women and children in two Japanese cities remain on the debit side of the United States accounts with humanity, unpaid and unpunished.

“It Was Worth It”

The decision to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a political not a military decision. The targets were not military, the effects were notmilitary. The attacks were carried out against the wishes of all major military leaders. Admiral William Leahy, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in his memoirs that “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…” General Eisenhower, General MacArthur, even General Hap Arnold, commander of the Air Force, were opposed. Japan was already devastated by fire bombing, facing mass hunger from the US naval blockade, demoralized by the surrender of its German ally, and fearful of an imminent Russian attack. In reality, the war was over. All top U.S. leaders knew that Japan was defeated and was seeking to surrender.

The decision to use the atom bombs was a purely political decision taken almost solely by two politicians alone: the poker-playing novice President and his mentor, Secretary of State James F. Byrnes.[1]

President Harry S. Truman was meeting with Churchill and Stalin in the Berlin suburbJohnstone-Queen-Cover-ak800--291x450 of Potsdam when secret news came that the New Mexico test of the atomic bomb was a success. Observers recall that Truman was “a changed man”, euphoric with the possession of such power. While more profound men shuddered at the implications of this destructive force, to Truman and his “conniving” Secretary of State, James Byrnes, the message was: “Now we can get away with everything.”

They proceeded to act on that assumption – first of all in their relations with Moscow.

In response to months of U.S. urging, Stalin promised to enter the Asian war three months after the defeat of Nazi Germany, which occurred in early May 1945. It was well known that the Japanese occupation forces in China and Manchuria could not resist the Red Army. It was understood that two things could bring about Japan’s immediate surrender: Russia’s entrance into the war and U.S. assurance that the royal family would not be treated as war criminals.

Both these things happened in the days right after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But they were overshadowed by the atom bomb.

And that was the point.

That way, the U.S. atom bombs got full credit for ending the war.

But that is not all.

The demonstrated possession of such a weapon gave Truman and Byrnes such a sense of power that they could abandon previous promises to the Russians and attempt to bully Moscow in Europe. In that sense, the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki not only gratuitously killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. They also started the Cold War.

Hiroshima and the Cold War

A most significant observation on the effects of the atomic bomb is attributed to General Dwight D. Eisenhower. As his son recounted, he was deeply depressed on learning at the last minute of plans to use the bomb. Shortly after Hiroshima, Eisenhower is reported to have said privately:

“Before the bomb was used, I would have said yes, I was sure we could keep the peace with Russia. Now, I don’t know. Until now I would have said that we three, Britain with her mighty fleet, America with the strongest air force, and Russia with the strongest land force on the continent, we three could have guaranteed the peace of the world for a long, long time to come. But now, I don’t know. People are frightened and disturbed all over. Everyone feels insecure again.”[2]

As supreme allied commander in Europe, Eisenhower had learned that it was possible to work with the Russians. US and USSR domestic economic and political systems were totally different, but on the world stage they could cooperate. As allies, the differences between them were mostly a matter of mistrust, matters that could be patched up.

The victorious Soviet Union was devastated from the war: cities in ruins, some twenty million dead. The Russians wanted help to rebuild. Previously, under Roosevelt, it had been agreed that the Soviet Union would get reparations from Germany, as well as credits from the United States. Suddenly, this was off the agenda. As news came in of the successful New Mexico test, Truman exclaimed: “This will keep the Russians straight.” Because they suddenly felt all-powerful, Truman and Byrnes decided to get tough with the Russians.

Stalin was told that Russia could take reparations only from the largely agricultural eastern part of Germany under Red Army occupation. This was the first step in the division of Germany, which Moscow actually opposed.

Since several of the Eastern European countries had been allied to Nazi Germany, and contained strong anti-Russian elements, Stalin’s only condition for those countries (then occupied by the Red Army) was that their governments should not be actively hostile to the USSR. For that, Moscow favored the formula “People’s Democracies” meaning coalitions excluding extreme right parties.

Feeling all-powerful, the United States sharpened its demands for “free elections” in hope of installing anti-communist governments. This backfired. Instead of giving in to the implicit atomic threat, the Soviet Union dug in its heels. Instead of loosening political control of Eastern Europe, Moscow imposed Communist Party regimes – and accelerated its own atomic bomb program. The nuclear arms race was on.

“Have Our Cake and Eat It”

John J. McCloy, labeled by his biographer Kai Bird as the informal “chairman of the U.S. establishment”, told Secretary of War Henry Stimson at the time that: “I’ve been taking the position that we ought to have our cake and eat it too; that we ought to be free to operate under this regional arrangement in South America, at the same time intervene promptly in Europe; that we oughtn’t to give away either asset…”[3] Stimson replied, “I think so, decidedly.”

In short, the United States was to retain its sphere of influence in the Western Hemisphere, claimed by the Monroe Doctrine, while depriving Russia of its own buffer zone.

It is necessary to recognize the sharp distinction between domestic policy and foreign policy. The nature of the Soviet internal regime may have been as bad as it is portrayed, but when it came to foreign policy, Stalin scrupulously respected deals made with the Western allies – abandoning, for instance, the Greek Communists as they were crushed by the Anglo-Americans after the war. It was the United States that reneged on the deals made at Yalta, which were then stigmatized as sellouts to “communist aggression”. Stalin had absolutely no desire to promote communist revolution in Western Europe, much less to invade those countries. In fact his failure to promote world revolution was precisely the basis of the campaign against “Stalinism” by Trotskyists – including Trotskyists whose devotion to world revolution has now shifted to promotion of US “regime change” wars.

There is a prevailing Western doctrine that dictatorships make war, and democracies make peace. There is no proof of that whatsoever. Dictatorships (think of Franco Spain) may be conservative and inward-looking. The major imperialist powers, Britain and France, were democracies. Democratic America is far from peaceful.

As the Soviet Union developed its own nuclear arsenal, the United States was unable to interfere effectively in Eastern Europe and fell back on lesser enemies, overthrowing governments in Iran and Guatemala, getting bogged down in Vietnam, on the theory that these were surrogates for the Soviet communist enemy. But now that the Soviet Union has collapsed, abandoning Russia’s buffer zone in Eastern Europe, there appears to be a resurge of the sort of confidence that overcame Truman: a euphoria of limitless power. Why else would the Pentagon undertake a trillion dollar program to renew America’s nuclear arsenal, while stationing troops and aggressive military equipment as close as possible to the Russian border?

In his 1974 book about his relations with his brother Dwight, The President Is Calling, Milton Eisenhower wrote: “Our employment of this new force at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a supreme provocation to other nations, especially the Soviet Union.” And he added, “Certainly what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki will forever be on the conscience of the American people.”

Alas, the evidence so far is all to the contrary. Concerned critics have been marginalized. Systematic official lies about the “necessity to save American lives” have left the collective American conscience perfectly clear, while the power of the Bomb has created a lasting sense of self-righteous “exceptionalism” in the nation’s leaders. We Americans alone can do what others cannot, because we are “free” and “democratic” and they – if we so decide – are not. Other countries, not being “democracies”, can be destroyed in order to liberate them. Or simply destroyed. This is the bottom line of the “exceptionalism” that substitutes in Washington for the “conscience of the American people” which was not aroused by Hiroshima, but asphyxiated.

The Moral Sleep

As a guest in Hiroshima, Obama pontificated skillfully:

“The wars of the modern age teach us this truth. Hiroshima teaches this truth. Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well.”

Well yes, but no such moral revolution has taken place.

“…the memory of the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, must never fade. That memory allows us to fight complacency. It fuels our moral imagination. It allows us to change.”

“Change” is an Obama specialty. But he did nothing to change our nuclear arms policy, except to beef it up. No sign of a “moral imagination” imagining the devastation that this policy is leading us toward. No imaginative ideas to bring about nuclear disarmament. Just promises not to let the bad guys get ahold of them. They belong to us.

“And since that fateful day,” Obama continued, “we have made choices that give us hope. The United States and Japan have forged not only an alliance but a friendship that has won far more for our people than we could ever claim through war.”

This is sinister. As a matter of fact, it was precisely through war that the U.S. forged this alliance and this friendship – which the United States is now trying to militarize in its “Asian pivot”. It means that we can wipe out two of a country’s cities with nuclear weapons and end up with “not only an alliance but a friendship”. So why stop now? Why not make more such “friends” in the same way, for instance in Iran, which Hillary Clinton has expressed willingness to “obliterate” if the circumstances are right.

“That is a future we can choose,” said Obama, “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.”

But so far, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are very far from marking the “start of our own moral awakening”. On the contrary. The illusion of possessing limitless power removed any need for critical self-examination, any need to make a real effort to understand others who are not like us and don’t want to be like us, but could share the planet peacefully if we would leave them alone.

Since we are all-powerful, we must be a force for good. In reality, we are neither. But we seem incapable of recognizing the limits of our “exceptionalism”.

The bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki plunged the United States leadership into a moral sleep from which it has yet to awaken.

Notes.

[1] All of that is known to experts. The documentary proofs were all laid out by Gar Alperovitz in the 800 pages of his 1995 book, The Decision to Use the Atom Bomb. However, official lies outlive documented refutation.

[2] Alperovitz pp 352-3.

[3] Ibid p.254.

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50 Years Ago: The Start of America’s Mass School Shooting Epidemic

August 8, 2016

And the Story of the “Clock Tower Sniper”

It is a fact that 90% of America’s school shooters were on prescription brain-altering psychiatric drugs – drugs that are well known to cause inebriation, intoxication, loss of impulse control, rage, aggression, homicidal ideation, suicidal ideation, and temporary drug-induced mania and/or psychosis.

But the well-documented psychiatric drug connections to school shootings and a host of other widely-publicized episodes of “senseless violence” has been treated as a taboo subject by Big Media, Big Pharma and the medical profession. (For much more on the connections between psych drugs and “irrational” behaviors of many types.)

The first cover-up started rather innocently after August 1, 1966, when a likely drug-intoxicated (and/or drug-withdrawing) ex-Marine sharp-shooter named Charles Whitman earned his infamous title as the “Clock Tower Sniper” at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin.

Whitman was likely drug-intoxicated because of his prescribed amphetamine (Dexedrine) and barbiturate drugs, for he had been a patient of a campus physician during his second try at being a college student. (He had flunked out after his first matriculation and re-joined the Marines for a second “tour of duty”. However, he was court-martialed by the Marine Corps and re- enrolled in college.)

From Whitman’s homicide/suicide note, one only has hints of the psychological and spiritual traumas that he suffered during his child-rearing years. His biological parents had divorced, and dysfunctional families always cover up family violence so there is not much family history to research.

But Whitman wasn’t an outcast in his childhood. He had been an Eagle Scout before he went into the Marines, and seemed to have been generally well-liked, at times being described as an “all-American boy.” After the shooting spree, Whitman’s father-in-law said that he was “just as normal as anybody I ever knew, and he worked awfully hard at his grades. There was nothing wrong with him that I knew of.”

Whitman took his prescribed Dexedrine and barbiturates, and, not surprisingly when one knows amphetamines and what withdrawal symptoms can come from the highly addictive barbiturates, he had chronic headaches. (Although a benign brain tumor was found at autopsy.) He hated his stern father, a self-made man whom Whitman was never able to please.

After stabbing his mother to death hours before the shootings, Whitman wrote the following explanatory note: “The intense hatred I feel for my father is beyond description. My mother gave that man the 25 best years of her life,” He explained that he had killed his mother to ease her suffering. “[My father] has chosen to treat her like a slut that you would bed down with, accept her favors and then throw a pittance in return.” Any child who experiences seriously dysfunctional parents, especially if there is a lot of punishment involved, feels intense humiliation and shame, which, in the case of American boys, often motivates aggressive violence. In the case of American girls, it motivates self-blame and depression.

In the case of Whitman, one would also like to know if he had suffered humiliations, hazing or other forms of psychological or physical violence during his Marine Corps basic training or during his 18 month tour at Guantanamo Bay, which can be a miserable tour. The records that might have identified the reasons for his court-martial from the Marines have probably been “lost”. Whitman was never deployed to Vietnam.

One also would like to know what the symptoms were that made him seek psychiatric “treatment”. What information was he given about the dangers of the two prescribed brain-altering drugs together before he took them? Why was he given a combination of two powerful psych drugs that had never been tested for safety even in the rat labs? What were the doses of the drugs? What was the frequency with which he took them, and what adverse effects did he experience?

But the 50 year-old trail is cold, and the journalists who write for the corporate-controlled media, whose editors and publishers are beholden to advertising dollars from Big Pharma and Big Medicine, are not inclined to truly investigate and report on such issues as prescription drug-induced violence, drug-induced suicides, drug-induced dementia, vaccine-induced autoimmune diseases, vaccine-induced developmental disorders, etc, etc. Iatrogenic disorders that expose Big Medicine and Big Pharma are taboo subjects.

Harry Chapin and “Sniper”

But in 1972, singer-songwriter Harry Chapin wrote a brilliantly insightful song about Whitman, which he titled “Sniper”. The song contains verses about parental abuse and neglect, social isolation, rejection and subsequent homicidal rage that have, since 1966, became common denominators in America’s unique epidemic of young white male school shooters. What Chapin couldn’t have known about was the brain-altering, violence-inducing and suicidal effects of Whitman’s highly addicting psych drugs — amphetamines and barbiturates — that he had been prescribed by his unaware and probably well-meaning campus psychiatrist.

After his second tour of duty with the Marines ended in disgrace, Whitman tried again to make it as a student by re-enrolling at UT Austin. During the summer months before the shooting rampage, he became a patient of a psychiatrist and was on, or was withdrawing from, the two drugs. While under the influence of the drugs (or while experiencing crazy-making withdrawal symptoms after stopping or cutting down on them) he killed 14 and wounded 31 during a five-hour shooting spree from the top of the Austin campus clock tower. Whitman had already stabbed to death his mother and his wife – probably experiencing the now well-understood reality of psychiatric drug-induced remorselessness and rage.

As referred to above, Whitman had been a victim of parental conflict that led to his parent’s divorce. He had likely suffered physical abuse, not just emotional abuse, from his strict father, and he had suffered the humiliation of his court martial and failure at college. Extracting some revenge, even at the expense of innocent scapegoats like his mother and wife, may have seemed logical to his drug-altered brain.

And then, at the last moment of his tragic life, like the ex-military veteran and PTSD-afflicted “madman” and drug-intoxicated Adolf Hitler two decades earlier, he avoided having to face the humiliation of a trial by jury or the hangman by committing “suicide by cop”. Whitman didn’t actually kill himself, but rather orchestrated the inevitable suicide when his position on the observation deck of the tower was stormed by city police officers.

Going out in a “Blaze of Glory”

Whitman may have gained some psychological satisfaction by not killing his despised father. Leaving him alive would make him pay for his sins for the rest of his life. He may have gained some satisfaction via his “control” over the scapegoated victims on the mall below him. He knew that he would finally be getting recognition – albeit negative – via the intense media attention and that he would get to go out in a “blaze of glory” rather than living in humiliating obscurity. At least he would be famous for something rather than being a “nothing” who failed both in his military and academic careers. Whitman had become an unloved, invisible, inconsequential failure that, except for the temporary power over others that his guns gave him, would otherwise never have been remembered for anything.

Angry, sociopathic men, who threaten to shoot or actually shoot their estranged ex-lovers or wives are often motivated by similar feelings of humiliation when they act out violently. And it is more likely to happen when they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, whether the drugs are prescribed or illicit. Guns and drugs don’t mix.

The Similarities Between the Austin, Columbine and Aurora Shooters

Unlike the Littleton, Colorado shooter Eric Harris (who realized that he could ratchet up his hostility, hatred and rage by altering the dose of his Prozac-like drug Luvox), Whitman had no way of knowing that his “senseless” behavior was intimately connected to his psychiatric drugs, just like the Aurora, Colorado shooter James Holmes, who also didn’t realize that he was under the brain-altering influence of neurotoxic and psychotoxic synthetic prescription drugs Zoloft (Pfizer) and Klonopin (Roche) when he was making his irrational online purchases of assault gear, assault weapons and ammunition.

It is common knowledge that virtually all American psychiatrists reflexively “treat” with psychotropic drugs over 95 – 98% of their out-patients (and 100% of their in-patients) in various combinations of neurotoxic and psychotoxic, brain-altering synthetic chemicals like Holmes’s Zoloft {Pfizer}, which has an amphetamine base molecular structure and is known to adversely affect impulse control and to cause homicidal impulses, suicidal impulses, agitation, aggression, mania, psychosis, etc). Neither of the shooters, Whitman or Holmes, were aware that the barbiturates or the benzodiazepine (Klonopin) act on brain synapses like long-acting alcohol, which are crazy-making whether one is taking those drug or withdrawing from them.

Harry Chapin immortalized Whitman and his tragic (possibly even preventable) story in the powerful, haunting, and psychologically accurate song “Sniper.” Here are the lyrics:
Sniper

It is an early Monday morning.
The sun is becoming bright on the land.
No one is watching as he comes a-walking.
Two bulky suitcases hang from his hands.

He heads towards the tower that stands in the campus.
He goes through the door, he starts up the stairs.
The sound of his footsteps, the sound of his breathing,
The sound of the silence when no one was there.

I didn’t really know him.
He was kind of strange.
Always sort of sat there,
He never seemed to change.

He reached the catwalk. He put down his burden.
The four sided clock began to chime.
Seven AM, the day is beginning.
So much to do and so little time.

He looks at the city where no one had known him.
He looks at the sky where no one looks down.
He looks at his life and what it has shown him.
He looks for his shadow it cannot be found.

He was such a moody child, very hard to touch.
Even as a baby he never smiled too much. No, no. No, no.

You bug me, she said.
You’re ugly, she said.
Please hug me, I said.
But she just sat there
With the same flat stare
That she saves for me alone
When I’m home.
When I’m home.
Take me home.

He laid out the rifles, he loaded the shotgun.
He stacked up the cartridges along the wall.
He knew he would need them for his conversation.
If it went as he planned, then he might use them all.

He said Listen you people I’ve got a question
You won’t pay attention but I’ll ask anyhow.
I found a way that will get me an answer.
Been waiting to ask you ’til now.
Right now!

Am I?
I am a lover who’s never been kissed.
Am I?
I am a fighter who’s not made a fist.
Am I?
If I’m alive then there’s so much I’ve missed.
How do I know I exist?
Are you listening to me?
Are you listening to me?
Am I?

The first words he spoke took the town by surprise.
One got Mrs. Gibbons above her right eye.
It blew her through the window wedged her against the door.
Reality poured from her face, staining the floor.

He was kind of creepy.
Sort of a dunce.
I met him at the corner bar.
I only dated the poor boy once.
That’s all. Just once, that was all.

Bill Whedon was questioned as he stepped from his car.
Tom Scott ran across the street but he never got that far.
The police were there in minutes, they set up barricades.
He spoke right on over them in a half-mile circle.
In a dumb struck city his pointed questions were sprayed.

He knocked over Danny Tyson as he ran towards the noise.
Just about then the answers started coming. Sweet, sweet joy.
Thudding in the clock face, whining off the walls.
Reaching up to where he sat, their answering calls.

Thirty-seven people got his message so far.
Yes, he was reaching them right where they are.

They set up an assault team. They asked for volunteers.
They had to go and get him; that much was clear.
And the word spread about him on the radios and TV’s.
In appropriately sober tone they asked “Who can it be?”

He was a very dull boy, very taciturn.
Not much of a joiner, he did not want to learn.
No, no. No, no.

They’re coming to get me, they don’t want to let me
Stay in the bright light too long.
It’s getting on noon now, it’s going to be soon now.
But oh, what a wonderful sound!

Mama, won’t you nurse me?
Rain me down the sweet milk of your kindness.
Mama, it’s getting worse for me.
Won’t you please make me warm and mindless?

Mama, yes you have cursed me.
I never will forgive you for your blindness.
I hate you!

The wires are all humming for me.
And I can hear them coming for me.
Soon they’ll be here, but there’s nothing to fear.
Not any more though they’ve blasted the door.

As the copter dropped the gas he shouted “Who cares?”.
They could hear him laughing as they started up the stairs.
As they stormed out on the catwalk, blinking at the sun,
With their final fusillade his answer had come.

Am I?
There is no way that you can hide me.
Am I?
Though you have put your fire inside me.
Am I?
You’ve given me my answer can’t you see?
I was!
I am!
and now I will be,
I will be,
I will be,
I will be,
I will be,
I WILL BE!

Dr Gary G. Kohls is a retired physician from Duluth, MN. Dr Kohls has been actively involved in peace, justice and nonviolence issues for much of his adult life and, since he retirement, has written a weekly column for the Duluth Reader. His Duty to Warn columns mostly deal with the dangers of American fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism and other movements that threaten American democracy. He can be reached at:gkohls@cpinternet.com. Read other articles by Gary.

All along Canada’s Pacific coast, mussels are dying

July 8, 2016

ENENews


“Like the plot of a summer horror flick”: All along Canada’s Pacific coast, mussels are dying… Bodies are swollen by cancerous tumors — Unprecedented mutations allowing cancer to spread from one species to another like a virus — Scientists: “It’s beyond surprising” (VIDEO)

Posted: 07 Jul 2016 11:13 AM PDT

All religious people should denounce terrorism, wars, militarism, money-ism, me-ism!

July 7, 2016

 

Why don’t you, Islam believers, denounce terrorism, as Muhammad said, “Killing a human is killing a humanity (humankind)?” Any other religious believers should do the same, as killing, robbing, lying, sexual misconduct, etc. are prohibited in their teachings. Religion is reunion (religare) with holiness (wholly wholesome way world).

Hussain writes: Recent shootings and assaults have amplified an already widespread climate of fear among Muslims.
READERSUPPORTEDNEWS.ORG|BY MURTAZA HUSSAIN, THE INTERCEPT

Guess Who Wants Authority to Murder by Drone

July 2, 2016

“I am persuaded no constitution was never before as well calculated as ours for extensive empire and self-government.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, April 27, 1809.

“We Americans are the peculiar, chosen people — the Israel of our time.” –Herman Melville, 1850.

“I chant the new empire.” –Walt Whitman, 1860.

“Our frontiers today are on every continent.” –John F. Kennedy, 1960.

“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” –Frederick Douglas.

Guess Who Wants Authority to Murder by Drone
Have a Chilcot Fourth of July
Video: St. Paul, Minn. — War Is A Lie
Video: David Swanson on State of U.S. Democracy
Unreported Mass Killing Leaves Thousands Dead
We Should Be More Viking
ISIS and U.S. Weaponry: At Home and Abroad
The Sacrifice of an American Gladiator
Orlando Killer’s Secret Shared by Other Terrorists
Gorbachev Disagrees With Obama on Nukes
The Supreme Court Just Legalized Bribery
David Swanson and Susan Santiago on Pieces of Peace on KWMR
What is a Global Citizenry, and Can It Save Us?
Talk Nation Radio: Peter Kuznick on Untold Nuclear History and No War 2016
Video: Coy Barefoot and David Swanson on Ending Endless War
Talk Nation Radio: Harvey Wasserman on Environmental and Antiwar Activism
Audio: Interview With Peter B. Collins
Party’s Over, Quarter Billion Dollars on Bernie, Now What?
Put a Peace Pole in Charlottesville
Brexit Violence Deeply Rooted, With Lessons for U.S.
Talk Nation Radio: Sandy Davies on Asking World’s Help in Resisting U.S. Crimes
Talking About Forgiveness
“Modern Warfare Destroys Your Brain” in More Ways Than One
Does the US Really Want War with Russia?
Beauty Contestants Now for World War, not World Peace
Lessons for Peace from Back in the USSR
Thomas Friedman Says Hillary’s Lies No Big Deal

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AP: Officials “admit deadly Fukushima meltdown coverup”

June 23, 2016

ENENews


AP: Officials “admit deadly Fukushima meltdown coverup” — TEPCO President: We lied about meltdowns, “It was a cover-up… This is a grave issue” — “It’s an unprecedented nuclear disaster… about as bad as it gets” — Revealed “unpardonable breach of trust” (VIDEO)

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 09:55 PM PDT

A Nuclear Weapon That America Doesn’t Need

June 18, 2016

PRESIDENT OBAMA spoke last month in Hiroshima about charting a course to a future free of nuclear weapons. He discussed the “persistent effort” necessary to eliminate the threat of nuclear war.

To advance that goal, the president should reconsider the Defense Department’s effort to develop a new nuclear weapon called the Long-Range Standoff Weapon.

The Air Force is set next year to accelerate the development of this new nuclear cruise missile. It would carry an upgraded W-80 nuclear warhead and be able to penetrate the world’s most advanced air-defense systems.

We agree that a safe, reliable nuclear stockpile is needed. Our backgrounds, voting records and entire careers show that we understand and value the deterrent effect of our nuclear stockpile. However, building new nuclear weapons like this one could be unnecessary, costly and dangerous.

Like our current nuclear cruise missile, the Long-Range Standoff Weapon could strike an adversary’s territory from great distances. But there are compelling reasons not to introduce a cruise missile that could increase the risk of nuclear war.

As former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and Andy Weber, a former assistant defense secretary, wrote last year, “Cruise missiles are a uniquely destabilizing type of weapon” because “they can be launched without warning and come in both nuclear and conventional variants.” We can reduce the risk of setting off accidental nuclear war by retiring nuclear cruise missiles and instead rely on conventional weapons.

Unfortunately, Congress has shirked its duty to carefully evaluate the need for new nuclear weapons capable of immense destruction. The decision to build the Long-Range Standoff Weapon should be thoroughly and publicly debated.

There are three key questions that remain unanswered.

First, does the military need a new nuclear cruise missile? In other words, are there any enemy targets we can no longer “hold at risk” using existing nuclear and conventional weapons and the platforms used to deliver them? We are aware of no such military necessity.

Photo

A Tomahawk cruise missile launched at an Islamic State target in Syria in 2014.CreditEric Garst/U.S. Navy, via Associated Press

Next, what role does the military intend this weapon to serve? The Pentagon says it would “provide the president with uniquely flexible options in an extreme crisis.” This suggests a lowering of the threshold for nuclear war, a perilous approach that would endanger not only America but allies that we are pledged to protect, like Japan and South Korea.

Finally, what is the weapon’s cost? The Defense Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration have yet to provide concrete estimates for the program, but the Federation of American Scientists has reported that it could cost as much as $30 billion.

At a time when the Defense Department is set to modernize every leg of the nuclear triad, investing $30 billion in an unnecessary and dangerous new nuclear weapon is irresponsible.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter needs to address these issues. He should provide Congress with an analysis of alternatives to this missile. In particular, we want to know if the Defense Department has studied whether existing nuclear and conventional weapons are sufficient to strike enemy targets.

He should also certify that the sole objective of the weapon is nuclear deterrence. We want to eliminate any ambiguity that this new missile would be an offensive weapon.

And he should provide a public cost estimate. If taxpayers are expected to foot the bill, the price should not be shrouded in secrecy.

Instead of devoting our limited resources to a new nuclear weapon, President Obama would be wise to follow one of the main conclusions of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review and reduce the role of our nuclear arsenal by developing advanced conventional weapons capacities.

The Air Force’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile and the Navy’s Tomahawk cruise missile both provide conventional alternatives to nuclear cruise missiles. Each can attack enemy targets from tremendous distances without the risk of nuclear escalation.

The United States must lead the way to a nuclear-free world. We may not realize this goal in our lifetime, but we embrace the president’s call for “persistent effort” in that endeavor.

Unreported Mass Killing Leaves Thousands Dead  

June 17, 2016

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Unreported Mass Killing Leaves Thousands Dead

Orlando Killer’s Secret Shared by Other Terrorists

ISIS and U.S. Weaponry: At Home and Abroad

Brexit Violence Deeply Rooted, With Lessons for U.S.

We Should Be More Viking

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St. Paul, Minn. — War Is A Lie Video

Talking About Forgiveness

“Modern Warfare Destroys Your Brain” in More Ways Than One

Audio from Minneapolis Radio Show

“Flag Day Has Been Canceled!”

Does the US Really Want War with Russia?

Talk Nation Radio: Ahmed Salah on Masterminding the Egyptian Revolution

Beauty Contestants Now for World War, not World Peace

Rhapsody of a Superdelegate

Lessons for Peace from Back in the USSR

Coy Barefoot and David Swanson on Ending Endless War Video

Thomas Friedman Says Hillary’s Lies No Big Deal

Democratic Party Ignored Its 2012 Platform

David Swanson on War Is A Lie in Sarasota Audio

What if Revolution Were More Than a Campaign Slogan?

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Talk Nation Radio: Sam Husseini on Greatness of Katharine Gun, How to Vote, and Hillary v. Muslims

How Dateline NBC Lies About Drones

David Swanson and Daniel Ellsberg on War and Peace Video

Obama in Hiroshima Paints a Peace Sign on a Bomb

“Looking Forward” Comes to Hiroshima

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

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June 17, 2016

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Full text of Obama’s speech at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

May 28, 2016

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a speech at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on May 27, 2016. (Pool photo)

U.S. President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima on May 27, becoming the first sitting American president to do so after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city 71 years ago. After visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Obama laid a wreath before the cenotaph for A-bomb victims and made a speech at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

The full text of the speech follows:

***

Seventy-one years ago on a bright, cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed. A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city, and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself.

Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in the not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead, including over a hundred thousand Japanese men, women and children, thousands of Koreans, a dozen Americans held prisoner. Their souls speak to us, they ask us to look inward, to take stock of who we are and what we might become.

It is not the fact of war that sets Hiroshima apart. 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. On every continent, the history of civilization is filled with war, whether driven by scarcity of grain, or hunger for gold, compelled by nationalist fervor or religious zeal. Empires have risen and fallen. Peoples have been subjugated and liberated. And at each juncture, innocents have suffered — a countless toll, their names forgotten by time.

The world war that reached its brutal end in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was fought among the wealthiest and most powerful of nations. Their civilizations had given the world great cities, and magnificent art. Their thinkers had advanced ideas of justice and harmony and truth. And yet the war grew out of the same base instinct for domination or conquest that had caused conflicts among the simplest tribes — an old pattern amplified by new capabilities and without new constraints. In the span of a few years, some 60 million people would die: men, women, children, no different than us, shot, beaten, marched, bombed, jailed, starved, gassed to death.

There are many sites around the world that chronicle this war, memorials that tell stories of courage and heroism, graves and empty camps that echo of unspeakable depravity. Yet in 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 tool-making, 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. Every great religion promises a pathway to love and peace and righteousness. And yet no religion has been spared from believers who have claimed their faith is a license to kill.

Nations arise, telling a story that binds people together in sacrifice and cooperation, allowing for remarkable feats, but those same stories have so often been used to oppress and dehumanize those who are different.

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.

The wars of the modern age teach us this truth. Hiroshima teaches this truth. Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speak with the Atomic Bomb Dome seen at rear at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima on May 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

That is why we come to this place.

We stand here, in the middle of this city, and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell. We force ourselves to feel the dread of children confused by what they see. We listen to a silent cry. We remember all the innocents killed across the arc of that terrible war, and the wars that came before, and the wars that would follow. Mere words cannot give voice to such suffering. But we have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again.

Someday the voices of the hibakusha will no longer be with us to bear witness. But the memory of the morning of Aug. 6, 1945 must never fade. That memory allows us to fight complacency. It fuels our moral imagination. It allows us to change.

And since that fateful day, we have made choices that give us hope. The United States and Japan forged not only an alliance, but a friendship that has won far more for our people than we could ever claim through war.

The nations of Europe built a union that replaced battlefields with bonds of commerce and democracy. Oppressed peoples and nations won liberation. An international community established institutions and treaties that worked to avoid war, and aspired to restrict, and roll back, and ultimately eliminate the existence of nuclear weapons.

Still, every act of aggression between nations, every act of terror and corruption and cruelty and oppression that we see around the world shows our work is never done.

We may not be able to eliminate man’s capacity to do evil, so nations and the alliances that we formed must possess the means to defend ourselves. 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.

We can chart a course that leads to the destruction of these stockpiles. We can stop the spread to new nations and secure deadly materials from fanatics. And yet that is not enough. For we see around the world today how even the crudest rifles and barrel bombs can serve up violence on a terrible scale.

We must change our mindset about war itself — to prevent conflict through diplomacy, and strive to end conflicts after they’ve begun; to see our growing interdependence as a cause for peaceful cooperation, and not violent competition; to define our nations not by our capacity to destroy, but by what we build. And perhaps above all, we must reimagine our connection to one another as members of one human race — for this, too, is what makes our species unique. 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, one that describes a common humanity, one that makes war less likely and cruelty less easily accepted.

We see these stories in the hibakusha: the woman who forgave a pilot who flew the plane that dropped the atomic bomb because she recognized that what she really hated was war itself; the man who sought out families of Americans killed here because he believed their loss was equal to his own.

U.S. President Barack Obama greets Shigeaki Mori, second from right, an atomic bomb survivor who created a memorial for American WWII POWs killed at Hiroshima, during a ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima on May 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

My own nation’s story began with simple words: “All men are created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Realizing that ideal has never been easy, even within our own borders, even among our own citizens. But staying true to that story is worth the effort. It is an ideal to be strived for, an ideal that extends across continents and across oceans.

The irreducible worth of every person, the insistence that every life is precious, the radical and necessary notion that we are part of a single human family: That is the story that we all must tell.

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 the 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.

投稿日: 2016年05月27日 19時45分 JST 更新: 3時間前
OBAMA

印刷

アメリカのオバマ大統領は5月27日、広島市の平和記念公園で原爆死没者慰霊碑に献花した。

オバマ氏は現職のアメリカ大統領として初めて被爆地・広島を訪問。原爆投下国として、広島と長崎を含む第二次世界大戦のすべての犠牲者らに哀悼の意を示すスピーチをした。その中で「核なき世界」を主導する責任についても言及した。

献花には安倍晋三首相が同席した。オバマ大統領のスピーチは以下のとおり。

■オバマ大統領「広島と長崎が教えてくれたのです」

71年前の明るく晴れ渡った朝、空から死神が舞い降り、世界は一変しました。閃光と炎の壁がこの街を破壊し、人類が自らを破滅に導く手段を手にしたことがはっきりと示されたのです。

なぜ私たちはここ、広島に来たのでしょうか?

私たちは、それほど遠くないある過去に恐ろしい力が解き放たれたことに思いをはせるため、ここにやって来ました。

私たちは、10万人を超える日本の男性、女性、そして子供、数多くの朝鮮の人々、12人のアメリカ人捕虜を含む死者を悼むため、ここにやって来ました。

彼らの魂が、私たちに語りかけています。彼らは、自分たちが一体何者なのか、そして自分たちがどうなったのかを振り返るため、内省するようにに求めています。

広島だけが際立って戦争という事実ではありません。遺物を見れば、暴力的な衝突は人類の歴史が始まった頃からあったことがわかります。フリント(編注・岩石の一種)から刃を、木から槍を作るようになった私たちの初期の祖先は、それらの道具を狩りのためだけでなく、自分たち人類に対しても使ったのです。

どの大陸でも、文明の歴史は戦争で満ちています。戦争は食糧不足、あるいは富への渇望から引き起こされ、民族主義者の熱狂や宗教的な熱意でやむなく起きてしまいます。

多くの帝国が勃興と衰退を繰り返しました。多くの人間が隷属と解放を繰り返しました。そして、それぞれの歴史の節目で、罪のない多くの人たちが、数えきれないほどの犠牲者を生んだこと、そして時が経つに連れて自分たちの名前が忘れ去られたことに苦しめられました。

広島と長崎で残酷な終焉へと行き着いた第二次世界大戦は、最も裕福で、もっとも強大な国家たちの間で戦われました。そうした国の文明は、世界に大都市と優れた芸術をもたらしました。そうした国の頭脳たちは、正義、調和、真実に関する先進的な思想を持っていました。にもかかわらず、支配欲あるいは征服欲といった衝動と同じ衝動から、戦争が生まれたのです。そのような衝動が、極めて単純な部族間同士の衝突を引き起こし、新たな能力によって増幅され、新たな制限のないお決まりのパターンを生んでしまったのです。

数年の間に、およそ6000万人もの人たちが亡くなりました。男性、女性、子供、私たちと何ら違いのない人たちがです。射殺され、撲殺され、行進させられて殺され、爆撃で殺され、獄中で殺され、餓死させられ、毒ガスで殺されました。世界中に、この戦争を記録する場所が数多くあります。それは勇気や勇敢な行動を綴った記念碑、言葉では言い表せないような卑劣な行為の名残でもある墓地や空っぽの収容所といったものです。

しかし、この空に立ち上ったキノコ雲の映像を見た時、私たちは人間の中核に矛盾があることを非常にくっきりとした形で思い起こすのです。

私たちの思考、想像力、言語、道具を作る能力、そして人間の本質と切り離して自分たちを定めたり、自分たちの意志に応じてそうした本質を曲げたりする能力といったものを私たちが人類として際立たせること――まさにそうしたことも類を見ない破滅をもたらすような能力を私たちに与えられることによって、どれだけ悲劇をもたらす誘発剤となってしまうか。

物質的な進歩、あるいは社会的な革新によって、どれだけ私たちはこうした真実が見えなくなってしまうのか。

より高い信念という名の下、どれだけ安易に私たちは暴力を正当化してしまうようになるのか。

どの偉大な宗教も、愛や平和、正義への道を約束します。にもかかわらず、信仰こそ殺人許可証であると主張する信者たちから免れられないのです。

国家は犠牲と協力で人々が団結するストーリーをこしらえ、優れた功績を認めるようになります。しかし、自分たちとは違う人々を抑圧し、人間性を奪うため、こうしたものと同様のストーリーが頻繁に利用されたのです。

科学によって、私たちは海を越えて交信したり雲の上を飛行したりできるようになり、あるいは病気を治したり宇宙を理解したりすることができるようになりました。しかし一方で、そうした発見はより効率的な殺人マシンへと変貌しうるのです。

現代の戦争が、こうした現実を教えてくれます。広島が、こうした現実を教えてくれます。

技術の進歩が、人間社会に同等の進歩をもたらさないのなら、私たち人間に破滅をもたらすこともあります。原子の分裂へとつながった科学的な変革には、道徳的な変革も求められます。

だからこそ、私たちはこの場所に来るのです。

私たちは、この街の中心に立ち、勇気を奮い起こして爆弾が投下された瞬間を想像します。

私たちは、目の当たりにしたものに混乱した子どもたちの恐怖に思いを馳せようとします。

私たちは、声なき叫び声に耳を傾けます。

私たちは、あの悲惨な戦争が、それ以前に起きた戦争が、それ以後に起きた戦争が進展していく中で殺されたすべての罪なき人々を追悼します。

言葉だけでは、こうした苦しみに言葉に表すことはできません。しかし私たちは、歴史を直視するために共同責任を負います。そして、こうした苦しみを二度と繰り返さないためにどうやってやり方を変えなければならないのかを自らに問わなければなりません。

いつの日か、証言する被爆者の声が私たちのもとに届かなくなるでしょう。しかし、1945年8月6日の朝の記憶を決して薄れさせてはなりません。その記憶があれば、私たちは現状肯定と戦えるのです。その記憶があれば、私たちの道徳的な想像力をかき立てるのです。その記憶があれば、変化できるのです。

あの運命の日以来、私たちは自らに希望をもたらす選択をしてきました。

アメリカと日本は同盟関係だけでなく、友好関係を構築しました。それは私たち人間が戦争を通じて獲得しうるものよりも、はるかに多くのものを勝ち取ったのです。

ヨーロッパ各国は、戦場を交易と民主主義の結びつきを深める場に置き換える連合を構築しました。抑圧された人々と国々は解放を勝ち取りました。国際社会は戦争を防ぎ、核兵器の存在を制限し、縮小し、究極的には廃絶するために機能する組織と条約をつくりました。

それでもなお、世界中で目にするあらゆる国家間の侵略行為、あらゆるテロ、そして腐敗と残虐行為、そして抑圧は、私たちのやることに終わりがないことを示しています。

私たちは、人間が邪悪な行いをする能力を根絶することはことはできないかもしれません。だから、国家や私たちが構築した同盟は、自らを守る手段を持たなければなりません。しかし、私の国のように核を保有する国々は、勇気を持って恐怖の論理から逃れ、核兵器なき世界を追求しなければなりません。

私が生きている間にこの目的は達成できないかもしれません。しかし、その可能性を追い求めていきたいと思います。このような破壊をもたらすような核兵器の保有を減らし、この「死の道具」が狂信的な者たちに渡らないようにしなくてはなりません。

それだけでは十分ではありません。世界では、原始的な道具であっても、非常に大きな破壊をもたらすことがあります。私たちの心を変えなくてはなりません。戦争に対する考え方を変える必要があります。紛争を外交的手段で解決することが必要です。紛争を終わらせる努力をしなければなりません。

平和的な協力をしていくことが重要です。暴力的な競争をするべきではありません。私たちは、築きあげていかなければなりません。破壊をしてはならないのです。なによりも、私たちは互いのつながりを再び認識する必要があります。同じ人類の一員としての繋がりを再び確認する必要があります。つながりこそが人類を独自のものにしています。

私たち人類は、過去で過ちを犯しましたが、その過去から学ぶことができます。選択をすることができます。子供達に対して、別の道もあるのだと語ることができます。

人類の共通性、戦争が起こらない世界、残虐性を容易く受け入れない世界を作っていくことができます。物語は、被爆者の方たちが語ってくださっています。原爆を落としたパイロットに会った女性がいました。殺されたそのアメリカ人の家族に会った人たちもいました。アメリカの犠牲も、日本の犠牲も、同じ意味を持っています

アメリカという国の物語は、簡単な言葉で始まります。すべての人類は平等である。そして、生まれもった権利がある。生命の自由、幸福を希求する権利です。しかし、それを現実のものとするのはアメリカ国内であっても、アメリカ人であっても決して簡単ではありません。

しかしその物語は、真実であるということが非常に重要です。努力を怠ってはならない理想であり、すべての国に必要なものです。すべての人がやっていくべきことです。すべての人命は、かけがえのないものです。私たちは「一つの家族の一部である」という考え方です。これこそが、私たちが伝えていかなくてはならない物語です。

だからこそ私たちは、広島に来たのです。そして、私たちが愛している人たちのことを考えます。たとえば、朝起きてすぐの子供達の笑顔、愛する人とのキッチンテーブルを挟んだ優しい触れ合い、両親からの優しい抱擁、そういった素晴らしい瞬間が71年前のこの場所にもあったのだということを考えることができます。

亡くなった方々は、私たちとの全く変わらない人たちです。多くの人々がそういったことが理解できると思います。もはやこれ以上、私たちは戦争は望んでいません。科学をもっと、人生を充実させることに使ってほしいと考えています。

国家や国家のリーダーが選択をするとき、また反省するとき、そのための知恵が広島から得られるでしょう。

世界はこの広島によって一変しました。しかし今日、広島の子供達は平和な日々を生きています。なんと貴重なことでしょうか。この生活は、守る価値があります。それを全ての子供達に広げていく必要があります。この未来こそ、私たちが選択する未来です。未来において広島と長崎は、核戦争の夜明けではなく、私たちの道義的な目覚めの地として知られることでしょう。

【追記 2016/5/28 9:40 訳文を修正しました】

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