Afscme Local 444, retired
I was just watching Antique's Road Show. I have to admit it, I like that show. But an item one person brought was a document from her relative who was a radar operator on the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
The appraiser was very impressed with it. But he then went on to say that they had no idea of what this bomb would do or its effect. This is nonsense. They had some idea, enough of an idea to know that it would kill every living thing within a considerable radius of impact.
The appraiser then read some words from the log that said they didn't know whether or not the guys in the plane would not be killed by the blast. The bomb was called "little boy" (these military types give some harmless type names to their murderous machines don't they). He said also, in a nod to the dead, that the bomb killed 100,000 people, and I refuse to believe that they didn't know that, but he added that to invade Japan it would have cost a couple million lives.
This is the line the US bourgeois put out there. It is not true. Japan was a defeated nation. The dropping of these horrific bombs on a defenseless civilian population, that not only killed more than 100,000 but poisoned millions more, was not to crush Japanese resistance and "save" lives, it was a warning to the Russians and to the Chinese. It was US imperialism stamping its mark on the rest of the world, a warning that the eagle has landed.
The US is the only nation and the Democratic Party the only political party that has committed such atrocious acts of barbarism in dropping atomic bombs on defenseless civilians. We should not forget that.
In this instance that I describe, the owner of the document also had the medals that the fliers got for dropping the bomb and risking their lives.
Kill two hundred thousand people and you get a medal.
There were plans to drop more atomic bombs if Japan didn't surrender. Of course, the ruling class refused to surrender but by some accounts 97% of Japanese cities had been destroyed and the mass of the population was fed up with the war. But US capitalism was triumphant. The productive forces of its allies had been weakened and the productive forces of its rivals destroyed. The European colonial giants had found their place in the dustbin of history after two disastrous and costly global capitalist wars for control of the world's markets and resources. US capitalism by 1950 had more than 50% of world trade and its productive forces intact. It had made a lot of money from the war and it's allies were indebted to it.
The anti-Japanese sentiment was such that a 1944 opinion poll that asked what should be done with them 13% of the U.S. public were in favor of "killing off" all Japanese: men, women, and children. Opponents of the bombing argue as I have here that Japan was a defeated nation. We should remember also the internment of Japanese here, including those who were American citizens. This had a traumatic effect on the entire Japanese population and their families. German or Italian Americans were not incarcerated in camps. The most militant of the Japanese resisters to this atrocity were called the No No Boys. There is a book with the title No No Boys that is a novel but describes the tragic consequences of internment on Japanese Americans and their families.
|Sorry, but I wouldn't want a medal for this.|
There are many who reject the official US position on the bombings.
"As the United States dropped its atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, 1.6 million Soviet troops launched a surprise attack on the Japanese forces occupying eastern Asia. "The Soviet entry into the war played a much greater role than the atomic bombs in inducing Japan to surrender because it dashed any hope that Japan could terminate the war through Moscow's mediation", said Japanese historian Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, whose recently published Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan is based on recently declassified Soviet archives as well as US and Japanese documents." Wikipedia.
My father was a prisoner of war in Japan captured in Hong Kong in 1939. He worked for Mitsubishi on the docks in Yokohama. When his camp was liberated he was taken by an American ship to Mindanao and then on to Vancouver Washington. He thought what happened to Japan was a terrible, terrible thing. He loved the Americans and was in prison camp with many of them. As for their war dates, he always used to say jokingly to his American buddies, "The yanks always came in late, they call the 1914-18 war the 1917-18 war." He never forgot the kindness Americans showed him as a liberated prisoner when they took him to Mindanao.
The US capitalist class is the most crass, vulgar and violent of all of them. Engels explained it this way. If we take the British bourgeois, they fought a few hundred year battle against feudalism. They fought an ideological war in which they had to defend their ideas. For the US capitalist class on the other hand it was a matter of simply wiping out a couple of million pastoral tribes people and building some infrastructure.
With all their talk of peace and democracy we should never forget that the only group of people in the world who have dropped nuclear weapons on highly populated civilian areas is the US bourgeois and their Democratic Party.