Today, 06 August 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima by the United States. I know many disagree with me, but in my opinion, the bombing of Hiroshima, and three days later Nagasaki, were nothing short of war crimes, of crimes against humanity. Approximately 210,000 people died as a result of those two bombings.. These people were not the military brass who were leading the Japanese army and navy in attacks against the allies, nor were they even the soldiers who were following orders. They were innocents — senior citizens, women, children, civil servants — people who were only going about their lives until suddenly … BOOM … they no longer had lives to go about. I will always believe that the use of nuclear weaponry is wrong. Period.
Three years ago at the observance of the anniversary, Japan held their annual ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, attended by some 50,000 people representing 80 nations. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for global cooperation to end nuclear weapons.
“For us to truly realize a world without nuclear weapons, the participation of both nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states is necessary.”
In July of that year, the United Nations reached its first agreement to ban nuclear weapons. But Japan, along with the nine nuclear-armed nations, including the United States, refused to take part in the negotiations and the vote, saying it does nothing to counter the “grave threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear program.”
Japan already adheres to a policy of not possessing, producing or allowing nuclear weapons on its territory. It is the only country to have ever come under nuclear attack. So far.
U.N. Secretary General António Guterres issued a message calling for the United States and other nuclear-armed countries to do more to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
“Our dream of a world free of nuclear weapons remains far from reality. The states possessing nuclear weapons have a special responsibility to undertake concrete and irreversible steps in nuclear disarmament.”
Every president since 1945 has worked toward test bans and global reduction of nuclear weapons … until the current administration who, we learned in May, is considering resuming nuclear testing. Trump has withdrawn the United States from arms treaties including the landmark INF agreement and the Iran nuclear deal. Additionally, he has failed to extend the New START accord, which expires early next year. If it expires without renewal or a replacement, then we will have no treaty in place controlling the two largest nuclear arsenals. There will be no trust, no verification. Today, there are about 14,000 nuclear weapons worldwide according the Arms Control Association, most of them held by the United States and Russia.
Contrary to the “dream of a world free of nuclear weapons”, in February 2017 Trump told Reuters that “if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack.” Trump, in fact, has said some chilling things along those lines:
- Trump said he might use nuclear weapons and questioned why we would make them if we wouldn’t use them. – March 2016
- “Europe is a big place. I’m not going to take cards off the table.” (Answering a question whether he would ever ‘nuke’ Europe) – March 2016
- Trump said that “you want to be unpredictable” with nuclear weapons – January 2016
- Trump reiterated that it was important to be “unpredictable” with nuclear weapons – March 2016
- Trump said he’d be OK with a nuclear arms race in Asia – May 2016
He has made other, similar comments, and I won’t go into detail here, but suffice it to say that he does not, apparently, realize what the use of nuclear weapons by any country on the globe would mean for the future of mankind. Or perhaps he does …
In my opinion, the absolute worst invention in the world … ever … was the invention of nuclear weapons that are capable of killing hundreds of thousands of people in a matter of seconds. This is not a toy, not something funny to play around with, and it is damn sure not something that should be used to threaten other nations.
Today, let us simply remember the atrocities, the horrors, of August 6th and August 9th, 1945. And let us hope that somehow, someday, we can have a world free of the nuclear threat.
In Memory …