Voices from Russia

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Why America Has to Deny Its Greatest Crime

00 Hiroshima Japan 1945. 090815


The absence of justice over Hiroshima and Nagasaki is due to America’s refusal to admit the truth about its nuclear holocaust. That denial is necessary because otherwise it’d reveal the criminal nature of US governments and their continuing criminal prerogative to persist in using the threat of nuclear weapons to maintain global hegemony. Nagasaki, the second atomic bombing of Japan by the USA on 9 August 1945, was in many ways an even bigger crime. The US government had three days to assess the devastating human horror of the first bomb dropped on Hiroshima on the morning of 6 August, which incinerated some 70,000 civilians. Hardly a building stood in the southern Japanese port city amidst people vaporised or turned into charred jelly, yet the American leaders went ahead with the second atomic bombing on the western city of Nagasaki in which they annihilated another 40,000 people. In total over the following year, the death toll would reach at least 200,000, and many more again over subsequent decades from cancers and other malignancies.

One can adjudge both attacks as premeditated mass murder… indeed, acts of genocide by any legal definition… that had little to do with compelling Imperial Japan to surrender towards the end of the Pacific War. Historians document that American and British wartime leaders were well aware that Japan was seeking to surrender in early 1945… not least because of the merciless firebombing by the Western powers of the capital, Tokyo, and other Japanese cities, whose death tolls would match those later incurred at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With the USSR about to enter the Pacific War in mid-August 1945, as agreed upon at the Potsdam conference held in July, it seems unequivocal that the Americans rushed to deploy their new nuclear weapon as a way of demarcating the postwar order in the East Asia-Pacific region.

Only three weeks prior, on 16 July, the Americans tested the first atomic explosion in the desert of New Mexico. The Americans and the British didn’t want their then wartime Soviet ally to make territorial gains in Asia, as it’d done in Europe when it alone had largely rolled back and defeated Nazi Germany. To prevent Stalin’s Red Army also taking Japan and other Asian territories as it was poised to do on entering the Pacific War, US President Harry Truman went ahead with the A-bombing of Japan. The Americans weren’t planning a land invasion of Japan’s mainland until November 1945. Therefore, official US claims that they dropped the atomic bombs in order to end the Pacific War promptly are partially true. However, the objective wasn’t to save up to one million American troop lives, as Truman claimed. Rather, the real objective was to forestall the geopolitical advance of the USSR and the “dread of communism”. Thus, the atomic bombing of Japan by the USA wasn’t the last act of the Pacific War, but rather was the opening act of the soon-to-be Cold War between the American-led Western world and the USSR.

Since the USSR wouldn’t obtain its own nuclear weapons until 1949, the dropping of the A-bombs on Japan certainly would have served as blood-curdling check on Moscow and any ambitions it may have had in expanding into Asia following the defeat of Japan. However, the salient point here is that the USA deployed weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations not for any supposed military or moral imperative… the defeat of Japan and saving of American lives. No, the objective was primarily political, that is, the prevention of perceived Soviet geopolitical advance in the postwar global order. That makes the twin bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki nothing less than acts of state terrorism… on a scale that puts the American government in a barbarous class of its own.

The myth of military necessity to defeat Japan to save American lives has proven to be an enduring one. A recent public opinion survey by the Pew Institute found that a majority of Americans (56 percent) believe that it was right to drop the A-bombs on Japan. However, if we strip away that myth, then, that leaves us with a most chilling conclusion… that American leaders viewed it as their right to obliterate 200,000 civilians for geopolitical objectives. That genocidal ideology… to use weapons of mass destruction… still resides in Washington. At the close of World War II, American and British leaders weighed up a secret plan, Operation Unthinkable, in which they contemplated dropping atomic weapons on their then Soviet wartime ally. They eventually shelved this treacherous plan.

However, in July 1961, the head of the American CIA, Allen Dulles, and the US Joint Chiefs of Staff presented a plan to President John F Kennedy for a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the USSR. To his credit, Kennedy quashed the proposal in disgust, reportedly saying to one of his aides, “And we call ourselves the human race”. Just this year, in June, the Associated Press reported on a Pentagon plan under Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey for “pre-emptive nuclear strikes to take out Russian military sites”. According to AP, “The options go as far as one implied… but not stated explicitly… that’d improve the ability of US nuclear weapons to destroy military targets on Russian territory”. Seventy years ago, the world witnessed the cold-blooded destruction of entire human populations with nuclear weapons. Today, the world has some 16,000 such weapons, each many times more powerful than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The USA and Russia possess 90 percent of the world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.

However, the USA has doggedly prevented moves towards full-scale nuclear disarmament… despite incumbent US President Barack Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. Under Obama, the USA is planning to spend some 355 billion USD (22.72 trillion Roubles. 2.2 trillion Renminbi. 22.63 trillion INR. 467 billion CAD. 479 billion AUD. 324 billion Euros. 230 billion UK Pounds) over the next decade in upgrading its nuclear arsenal. In May 2015,, the USA blocked a global nuclear disarmament initiative signed by 107 nations, including Russia and Iran, which called for the immediate implementation of the 40-year-old Non-Proliferation Treaty. In addition, the USA also unilaterally withdrew in 2002 from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty between Washington and Moscow. Ironically, in the same week that the world commemorates the horror of the American atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, President Obama delivered a major speech in which he hailed the recent Geneva nuclear accord with Iran because it “would prevent Iran from obtaining the bomb”… a bomb that the Iranian leadership has repeatedly said that it isn’t seeking nor desires. The monstrous American arrogance in Obama’s words is breath taking.

What the world has to contend with is this… the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons with cold-blooded criminality, still presumes the right to use those weapons for its own twisted political objectives. American “Exceptionalism” and propaganda still contaminate the USA’s mindset, so, the world remains perilously under the pall of horror that the USA visited upon on Japan 70 years ago. Until we disarm that American genocidal ideology, then, the threat to world peace will persist.

7 August 2015

Finian Cunningham

Sputnik International



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