Voices from Russia

Friday, 7 August 2015

“Foreign Policy’s” Shameful Attempt at Spinning Hiroshima Bombing as Beneficial for Japan

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Foreign Policy magazine ran a provocative article makes it seem like the nuclear bombings were a godsend, and that the USA humanely intended to save Japan from communism. In the month of August, we sombrely commemorated the only time in the world when a country used nuclear weapons in warfare, when the USA dropped two bombs that killed over 200,000 people in two fatal moments… one on 6 August over Hiroshima, and again three days later over Nagasaki. For 70 years, people marked this occasion with respect for the many victims who tragically lost their lives during these attacks, but now an influential American international affairs outlet, Foreign Policy, decided to spin the event, blaming the USSR for what happened. In the article “Did Hiroshima Save Japan From Soviet Occupation?”, Sergei Radchenko questioned whether the nuclear bombings were actually good for the country, in that they may have saved it from Western bogeyman I V Stalin. The article’s own conclusion contradicted this callous inference, but nonetheless, it’s worthwhile to look at why the magazine would find it fitting to denigrate the victims’ memory in the first place with such a misleading and politically self-serving angle.

Misleading the Masses

The USA isn’t known for issuing international apologies, and in the exceptionally rare instance that it does (like during Obama’s 2009 trip to Egypt), it often does so to further the goal of strategically disarming a target population before an asymmetrical offensive against their country (such as the Arab Spring Colour Revolutions). As a general rule of thumb, no matter what it does, the USA always seeks to promote its own interests, be it by hard or soft means. Things get a bit more complicated when it comes to non-state American actors such as Foreign Policy, but here, they have a lot more flexibility in honing the USA’s strategic message whilst retaining plausible deniability that such an attempt is free from ulterior motives.

Nevertheless, it’s clear what Foreign Policy is trying to express on behalf of the US State Department… the nuclear bombings may have been justified to “save Japan from Soviet occupation”. Sure, they ultimately (and correctly) conclude that Stalin’s decision to refrain from attacking Imperial Japan in Hokkaido had nothing whatsoever to do with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but in today’s non-stop media-driven environment, the average information consumer probably didn’t get to that point since they likely only read the headline and maybe the two-sentence lead-in. Supposing that’s the case with most people, the simple message they understood was that there was a connection between the two, and that maybe, as the article intimates, the nuclear bombings were perhaps justified after all, and they and all other Americans could feel absolved of any guilt for the tragedy.

Victim Shaming and Historical Revisionism

However, what’s worse is the lingering thought suggested by the headline and lead-in that the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki actually helped Japan in some perverse type of way. A democratic-proselytizing USA saying that “I nuked you to save you” to Imperial Japan is almost like a religiously oriented sexual predator saying, “I raped you to change you” to a lesbian. One side sees the other as existentially incompatible with its beliefs and in need of forced salvation, and horribly takes it upon itself to commit a gruesomely horrendous crime to “save” the victim. Don’t read too deep into the analogy, but do understand that in both cases, criminal moralistic paternalism is the driving force behind each outrageous wrongdoing, except in the case of Japan’s nuclear victimhood, over 200,000 people were immediately violated and perished within an instant, unable to ever face their attacker and demand justice. Moreover, as Foreign Policy would have its readers believe, this might have been in the name of the greater good.

Another takeaway from the article is the overarching anti-Soviet fearmongering that the author is peddling. If one weren’t all that educated about the last days of World War II and only had the Foreign Policy article in question to guide their understanding, you could forgive them for thinking that the USA was essentially at war with the Soviets and nuked Japan as a final and “successful” measure to stem the “Red Tide” from flowing further eastward. It makes it seem like the USSR was the one on the cusp of an unforgettable war crime and not the USA, and that the latter simply acted to save Japan from whatever the former was plotting. This kind of conspiracy circulation is pure and simple historical revisionism, and it serves mostly to deflect attention away from the USA’s nuclear bombings and more towards the stereotypical intrigue that surrounds Stalin, their new World War II scapegoat, in the carefully cultivated imagination of the Western public.

Timing Is Everything

Typically, people remember every fifth and tenth commemoration of a certain major event with extra pomp and circumstance, and the 70th anniversary of the American nuclear attacks on Japan is no different. However, what changed in the past 14 five-year cycles is that the USA is now engaged in a New Cold War with Russia, one that, unlike its predecessor, has no established limits and even incorporates historical revisionism. Be it the ridiculous talk by some voices that the USSR “occupied” the Ukraine after World War II or the presently discussed insinuation that the USA “saved Japan from Soviet occupation” by nuking it twice, such uncomfortable changes in the historical discourse have become ever more common over nearly the past two years. However, what really disturbs us is how readily the West accepted them, which frighteningly opens up the possibility for a full-scale historical revisionism of the post-World War II era and the fact that the pursuit of political subjectivity will lay waste to unquestioned objectivity. That in and of itself is bad enough, but we should also mention that this particular stunt is part of the USA’s Pivot to Asia. As Washington shifts its strategic focus more to East and Southeast Asia, it’s not only bringing its military, but also its journalistic interpretation of history.

One of the effects that this may have is a long-term transformation of the Japanese consciousness to the point where the country’s citizens no longer understand the proper and objective context in which the USA committed these atrocious actions. Instead, Japanese students might one day be indoctrinated with the false idea that the USA nuked their country to “save Japan from Soviet occupation”, thus making the bombings a historical “godsend” and the USA its accompanying “saviour”. After all, the USA is prepping for a prolonged global rivalry with Russia, and in this context, rest assured that they’ll resort to whatever means necessary to sully Russia’s reputation and stave off a Russian-Japanese resolution of the Kuril Islands dispute to offset Russia’s redirection to the east. However, despite whatever the US government or its friendly media outlets allege, there’s no taking away from the fact that the USA’s nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the main reason Japan is still occupied to this day, albeit by the Pentagon and not the Kremlin.

7 August 2015

Andrew Korybko

Sputnik International

http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20150807/1025506979.html

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