in the remembrance Atomic bombs against hiroshima and nagasaki

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by EagleOne, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. EagleOne

    EagleOne Regular Member

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    The Law of War, for 5000 years human history, avoided killing unarmed civilians and women, children, the sick and wounded were always protected. But at that hour, thousands of wounded soldiers and the sick civilians were in Hiroshima and Nagasaki hospitals. Tens of thousands of unarmed citizens – Buddhist and Christians, irrespective of gender, region and religion were killed instantly. The law of warfare was thus violated by a technically advanced democratic state that swore In God We Trust and claimed to follow the Christian morality.

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    Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki, with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day. The Hiroshima prefectural health department estimates that, of the people who died on the day of the explosion, 60% died from flash or flame burns, 30% from falling debris and 10% from other causes. During the following months, large numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries, compounded by illness. In a more plausible estimate of the total immediate and short term cause of death, 15–20% died from radiation sickness, 20–30% from flash burns, and 50–60% from other injuries, compounded by illness. In both cities, most of the dead were civilians


    Nuclear Path would lead us to no return from the nuclear night and nuclear winter lasting for thousand years. Still the mad nuclear arms race is high on the agenda of most super-patriots and religious fanatics on both sides of our political divides. Although the divided we are but a peace and friendship is the only alternative for the survival of civilization. On this Hiroshima Day
    We call the whole nation having nuclear wepons to “Remember your Humanity and forget the rest”, says the Russell-Einstein Manifesto
     
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  3. EagleOne

    EagleOne Regular Member

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    Horror of Hiroshima seared into survivors' minds
    Three days after an atomic bomb devastated Hiroshima, six-year-old Kazuko Uragashira and her parents were aboard an evacuation train out of their charred home city.



    Horror of Hiroshima seared into survivors' minds
    Having narrowly survived the nuclear inferno, the family headed for the home of an uncle, not knowing that another date with destiny lay ahead of them. His home town was Nagasaki.

    Uragashira remembers sitting on the train, her legs burnt from the radioactive blast, when their train stopped in a tunnel outside Nagasaki after a 300-kilometre (190-mile) journey.

    "It was another scene from hell," Uragashira, now 71, recalled. They had stumbled into the immediate aftermath of the second atomic bombing in Japan, on August 9, 1945.

    As the train passengers painstakingly trudged their way through the carnage, she saw survivors with molten skin dripping off their bodies.

    "I still remember the smell of charred bodies and the weak screams of the dying, for water... Even if I suffer dementia, I will never forget it," she said.

    Uragashira, who now lives on a remote island off Nagasaki, is one of the few remaining "niju hibakusha" -- survivors of not one but both US atom bomb attacks on Japan in the final days of World War II.

    "I was lucky as a lot of others died instantly, but I still want to know why such a horrible thing happened to me twice," she said quietly.

    An estimated 140,000 people died instantly in Hiroshima or succumbed to burns and radiation sickness soon after the blast, and over 70,000 perished as a result of the Nagasaki attack three days later.

    Friday marks the 65th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.

    For the first time, the United States will send an envoy to a ceremony held each year to remember the bombing, reflecting US President Barack Obama's push for global nuclear disarmament, a campaign long pioneered by Japan.

    The US ambassador will be joined by diplomats from Britain and France, while Ban Ki-moon will become the first UN chief to attend the annual event at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.

    Many in Japan hope Obama will visit Hiroshima later this year.

    Friday's ceremony will also commemorate the thousands who survived the blasts but spent their lives living with its after-effects, with many suffering leukaemia and other cancers.

    Around 150 people, like Uragashira, are thought to have been exposed to both bombings.

    The only person officially recognised as a survivor of both bombs, Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who died in January aged 93, once told an interviewer: "I thought the mushroom cloud had followed me."

    Media interest has grown in the double-survivors. Last month, a publisher released the Japanese translation of interviews a New York Times correspondent held with nine of them in the 1950s.

    Film director Hidetaka Inazuka has recorded testimonies by double bomb survivors to keep alive their memories.

    While many Americans believe the bombs were necessary to bring a speedy end to the war, Inazuka, like many Japanese, argues the attacks -- at least the one on Nagasaki -- were unwarranted because Japan was on the verge of surrender.

    "Hiroshima was completely destroyed, which should have been sufficient," Inazuka said. "We need to strictly verify why they were dropped on the two cities."

    Inazuka said the clock is now ticking to record the voices of the survivors, whose average age is above 75, saying: "Their children or grandchildren need to take the baton as we only have 10 years or so left."

    Many single and double "hibakusha" -- atom bomb survivors -- have long kept silent, fearing discrimination against them or their offspring, but many have now started speaking out about their traumatic memories.

    "I didn't tell anyone before that I'm a hibakusha because I thought no one wants to marry a person like me," said another survivor of both attacks, 80-year-old Misako Katani.

    "Bodies were everywhere in the city," she said about Hiroshima. "Some were skeletons and others were bloated from the black rain."

    She remembers the feel of the ashes of her 14-year-old sister, whose human shape remained recognisable in their charred family home, where the remains of their mother were also found.

    Katani was told by her father to bring the ashes to their ancestors' graveyard in Nagasaki, where she was exposed again -- a double dose that she said caused her to fall into a three-day coma, bleed and lose her hair.

    "The atomic bombings destroyed my life," Katani said.

    "I heard that President Obama wants to make a visit, but just a visit doesn't mean much. I hope he will pledge to create a world without nuclear weapons."
     
  4. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    US attends first Hiroshima atomic bomb anniversary

    The Japanese city of Hiroshima is marking the 65th anniversary of the world's first atomic bomb attack.

    For the first time, a representative of the United States, which dropped the bomb on the city, is attending.

    About 140,000 people were killed or died within months of the bomb being dropped by a US aircraft in 1945 in the final days of World War II.

    Japan surrendered after a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki three days later on 9 August.

    The site where the bomb was dropped 65 years ago was filled with the sound of choirs of school children and the solemn ringing of bells.

    A minute's silence was held at 0815 - the exact time the bomb fell.

    Offerings of water were made to the 140,000 who died, as many died of thirst in the days and weeks after the attack.

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who was also attending the ceremony for the first time, presented flowers at the Eternal Flame in Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park.

    "Life is short, but memory is long," he said.

    "For many of you, that day endures... as vivid as the white light that seared the sky, as dark as the black rains that followed."

    He told the gathered crowd of 55,000 people from 74 nations that the time had come to move from "Ground Zero, to Global Zero" - a world without any nuclear weapons.

    Japan, the only country to have been attacked with nuclear weapons, has been pushing for their abolition

    Top objective
    Hiroshima's mayor welcomed Washington's decision to send US Ambassador John Roos, saying he hoped the event would boost global denuclearisation.

    Mr Roos said the memorial was a chance to show resolve towards nuclear disarmament, which US President Barack Obama has said is a top objective.

    "For the sake of future generations, we must continue to work together to realise a world without nuclear weapons," Mr Roos said in a statement.

    The presence of Mr Roos is being seen by some in Japan as a sign that President Obama may visit Hiroshima when he comes to Japan.

    If so, he would be the first sitting US president to visit the city.

    Some Japanese have called on the US to apologise for the atomic bombings, but the BBC's Roland Buerk, in Hiroshima, says this is unlikely to happen.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-10888571
     
  5. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    Enola Gay navigator has 'no regrets'

    As the Japanese city of Hiroshima marks the 65th anniversary of the world's first atomic bomb attack, a member of the US crew that dropped the weapon talks to the BBC's Kristin Wilson about his memories of that day.

    To his family and friends, the elderly man in a little retirement community in Georgia is just "Dutch".

    But 65 years ago on Friday, Lt Theodore Van Kirk was flight navigator for the Enola Gay on its mission to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

    On the morning of 6 August, 1945 he, two of the closest friends and nine other Americans took off for the flight that launched the world into the nuclear age.

    "I looked out the window and saw the just-rising sun and thought about what a beautiful morning it was over the Pacific," he recalls, sitting in his home office surrounded by pictures, books, model planes, awards and mementos marking the mission.

    "We didn't know at first what we were going to do. Just that maybe it would shorten the war."

    The bomb killed an estimated 100,000 Japanese, but it ended the war and precluded an invasion of Japan, and Mr Van Kirk says he has no regrets. None of them did.

    "Look, we did what we had to do," he says. "They were never going to give up. But I just could not see how they could continue the war and subject their people to that."

    He remained friends with bombardier Tom Ferebee and pilot Paul Tibbets until their deaths in 2000 and 2007 respectively. They flew 35 missions together.

    'Nine miles away'
    In spring 1945, the war in Europe drew to a close while the battle in the Pacific raged on and an allied invasion of Japan seemed imminent.

    The crew learned about their mission from the atomic scientists who had come to their base on the island of Tinian. But not even the scientists had all the answers.

    "One said, 'We think that you'll be OK if you're nine miles away when the bomb explodes,'" he recalls. "And that kind of got our attention. And we said, 'you think?' They said, 'We just don't know. Probably best to be at least nine miles away.'"

    The next order was to go get some sleep.

    Mr Van Kirk laughs at the recollection.

    "Sleep? After that? There was no way we were going to sleep," he says. "So, we played poker. Tom won. Tom always won at poker."

    The morning of the mission arrived. For the flight, Tibbets renamed the plane in honour of his mother. The Enola Gay flew only one mission. As they neared the target the mission remained secret, even for the crew.

    "They kept telling us we were going to do something and destroy an entire city," he says, shaking a knowing finger.

    "But if you don't know by then what was going on, you were stupid. And if you talked about it, you were even more stupid."

    As flight navigator in the days before sat-nav, Mr Van Kirk's job was to guide the plane to Hiroshima by following rivers, towns and landmarks.

    The cabin was quiet the whole way there. Unusually for friends so accustomed to jokes and pranks, there was no extraneous talk, no frivolity, only talk that involved the task at hand.

    "Then Tom said, 'I have it. I can't make it any better than that. I've got it down the line.'" he recalls.

    And the 9,400-lb bomb, named Little Boy, dropped from the plane.

    The plane turned hard to the right to escape the blast they weren't sure would even come. But Little Boy detonated 1,800ft above Hiroshima at 8.15am.

    "For 43 seconds, nothing happened," he pauses.

    Shock wave
    "And then there was an orange light so bright from the back of the plane that I think you didn't have on goggles, you'd probably be blind."

    The concussion rocked the plane like anti-aircraft fire. A second shock wave followed.

    "It's like when a rock hits a still pool of water," he says. "That's the best way I can describe it."

    After the shock waves subsided, Tibbets turned the plane around to survey. Contrary to reports, Mr Van Kirk flatly denies they circled the target. They just took a look before heading back, because everyone wanted a report, he says.

    "General Rose wanted to know, the scientists wanted to know," he says.

    "Hell, Truman wanted to know."

    Radio operator **** Nelson, the youngest of the crew at 19, sent word back to command: "Results Excellent."

    Bob Lewis, the co-pilot, kept a log of the flight, and is remembered for saying the infamous words, "My God, what have we done?"

    Mr Van Kirk chuckles.

    Yes, Bob did keep a log, he remembers.

    Sea of rubble
    "But I'm not going to tell you what Bob's first thing was." He pauses. "Let's just say it was - more descriptive."

    Even as he sits surrounded by mementos, Mr Van Kirk says neither he nor his friends let that day define their lives.

    "We never talked about it," he says.

    "We'd talk about playing golf or kids or just go visit each other."

    Every year around this time the calls start coming in, he says - requests to speak at high schools, events, public appearances.

    "My life now is hectic," he says. "And on the 6th it'll get even crazier. But I won't answer the calls that day. Not that day."

    For him, it's a day to remember his friends. Tibbets, whom he visited on his deathbed. Ferebee, whom Mr Van Kirk called every day after he fell sick. A sad smile passes over his face.

    Ferebee "told me he was going to die and asked me 'will you say nice things about me?'" he recalls with a chuckle. "I said, 'well, I will if I can think of anything.' We were just friends for life."

    A picture in the book stops him.

    "This was always the most poignant to me," he says, looking at a photo of a solitary man standing amidst a sea of rubble.

    "After the war, we went to Nagasaki before the occupation forces arrived," he says.

    "And this Japanese is returning through his home, which no longer exists. Can you imagine? Coming back to your home and finding this?"

    His hands spread open over the page. Then he slowly taps the photograph.

    "Coming home to nothing."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8894077.stm
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    An apology fatally devalued by the passage of 65 years

    Robert Fisk reports on the day America and Britain united with Japan to remember victims of the world’s first atomic bomb

    At last we’ve apologised for Hiroshima – well, sort of. We’ve recognised the suffering our atom bombs caused –well, kind of. President Obama was showing off his anti-nuclear credentials in the killing grounds of Hiroshima, but this was not to be confused with saying sorry.

    The presence of John Roos, the US ambassador to Japan, and the British deputy ambassador, David Fitton, at the site of the world's first atomic bombing was an odd appearance.

    We are looking at the survivors' ceremony and recognising their suffering – how very Blairite of us – and even the British embassy's words were of Blairite insincerity. "This is the right move at the right time," it said. But the right 'move' for what? After all, we are really not apologising for the 220,000 dead of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hell, didn't we win the Second World War?What it really comes down to is this. If you apologise for slaughtering civilians – or, at the minimum, causing their deaths – you have to do it quickly and for humanitarian reasons. Wait too long and do it for political reasons, and it will lose its effect. Germany was quick to start admitting responsibility for the Jewish Holocaust and now calls itself Israel's best friend in Europe. Turkey has never apologised for committing the Armenian Holocaust in 1915. But if it ever does, will anyone except the Armenians care?

    On the surface, it's all very simple. Most of us seem to believe the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a war crime. I certainly do. The Japanese were already talking of surrender. That Caesar of British historians, AJP Taylor, quoted a senior US official. "The bomb simply had to be used – so much money had been expended on it. Had it failed, how would we have explained the huge expenditure? Think of the public outcry there would have been ... The relief to everyone concerned when the bomb was finished and dropped was enormous."

    Taking his cue from the idea that Hiroshima and Nagasaki spared the Allies a bloody invasion of mainland Japan – a thesis which now appears to be completely untrue – Lord Louis Mountbatten remarked that "if the bomb kills Japanese and saves casualties on our side I am naturally not going to favour the killing of our people unnecessarily ... I am responsible for trying to kill as many Japanese as I can. War is crazy ... But it would be even more crazy if we were to have more casualties on our side to save the Japanese."

    This, of course, carefully avoids the fact that Japanese soldiers – brutal and sadistic though they were – were largely murdering soldiers, while Mountbatten's men were slaughtering mostly Japanese civilians. And when will the Japanese apologise for Pearl Harbour?

    Much more seriously – since most of the victims were civilians and it was a war crime of almost Holocaust-scale magnitude, so terrible that even a latter-day historian of the bloodbath committed suicide – why hasn't Japan apologised for the murder and rape of perhaps a million Chinese in the attack on Nanking, then the capital of nationalist China, before "our" Second World War broke out? Why should "we" apologise before the Japs do?

    When I visited the Japanese war criminals' Shinto shrine in Tokyo – the darker the crimes of those honoured, I noticed, the fewer were captions to their portraits provided in English – there was even a restored steam locomotive in the shrine, the engine that hauled the first train along the Burma railway. It was carrying the ashes of Japanese soldiers who had died in battle. But building that railway line was Royal Marine Jim Feather. He had been rescued from HMS Repulse when it was sunk by Japanese aircraft in December 1941 but was subsequently taken prisoner when Singapore fell. Mistreated and sick, he was forced to work on the railway. He was six feet tall but in his last days his mates could lift him on their shoulders like a child, like a feather I suppose. He died sometime in 1942. Jim was the son of my Dad's sister Freda. So don't the Fisk family deserve an apology, too?

    But what good would it do? Tony Blair could, in 1997, "recognise" the suffering of the Irish famine victims, he could say that the British Government did not look after their "own" Irish citizens. No apologies, mind you. Even though the famine had taken place almost 150 years earlier. Then the Brits waited almost 30 years to say sorry for the massacre by British paratroopers of 14 Irishmen on Bloody Sunday. Had they told the truth at the time – that they were shooting innocent civilians – Northern Ireland's civil war would have been far less bloody and men and women and children would be alive today who are, in fact, long dead. But no, we had to lie at the time and thus we helped the IRA's "recruiting sergeant".

    But then there's the other argument about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Our Axis enemies had bombed Pearl Harbour and Coventry and Belgrade and killed the Jews of Europe and murdered our POWs in Asia and – this is a bit of a hypocritical one – if the Germans and the Japanese had the atom bomb, would they have hesitated to use it on "us"? Besides, didn't we kill more Germans in Cologne by fire-bombing than in Hiroshima by nuclear bombing? Do we have to apologise for Cologne, too? And the RAF's mass carnage in Hamburg? And Dresden? Well, we did sort of apologise for the fire-bombing of the medieval city in February 1945 – the new cross on top of the restored cathedral was actually made by the son of one of the Lancaster pilots who bombed Dresden – but so long after the event that thousands of modern-day neo-Nazis were gathering at the mass graves to prove that the RAF were the war criminals.

    Even now, we have no intention of apologising to the Iraqis for our illegal 2003 invasion. Ed Miliband announced only a few days ago in typical anthropological claptrap that it was "time to move on"; and we shall not mention Blair's arrogant performance in front of the Chilcot inquiry.

    Yet it's intriguing to go back to what people said about Hiroshima at the time. Today, we might share these words. "This outrage against humanity ... is not war, not even murder. It is pure nihilism." And we might be appalled by a newspaper that found it possible to legitimise the use of the atom bomb because it was impossible to judge the morality of the bombing by the size of the bomb that was used. So for the paper, the slaughter was "entirely legitimate". But the first quotation comes from the venomous Imperial Japanese radio station in occupied Singapore. The second comes from a 1945 edition of what was then called the Manchester Guardian. And we might do well to note how the poet and novelist Vita Sackville-West reacted to Hiroshima. Her husband, Harold Nicolson, wrote in his diary that "Vita is thrilled by the atomic bomb. She thinks ... that it means a whole new era."

    Well, yes, I suppose it did. But ever since the American journalist John Hersey revealed the terrible suffering of the people of Hiroshima – unlike Wikileaks, he didn't suck the stuff out of computers, he set off there, on his own, to find out the truth – the name of the city has become a symbol of the guilt of humanity. And rightly so.

    But it raises another question. When do our war "crimes" have an expiry date. Blair gave his half-hearted apology to the Irish a century and a half after the Brits exported Ireland's food instead of using it to save Irish men and women who were found dead in ditches after trying to eat stinging nettles. The Americans and the Australians have said sorry to their native peoples. But what about Cromwell and Drogheda? Or the Thirty Years' War, or the Hundred Years' War? Or the sack of Rome – a Goth war crime (poor Mrs Merkel)? – or the Roman destruction of Carthage? Or the death of Jesus – I guess Rome's imperial history means Berlusconi has to apologise, though an awful lot of Catholics have spent centuries living in their anti-semitic world by blaming the Jews. Poor Benjamin Netanyahu!

    All in all, then, the apology business is a pretty sticky wicket. And yesterday's theatre was played to boost the image of an increasingly self-regarding president, not out of any real concern for suffering – by which I mean physical pain – or humanitarian sorrow. A step in the right direction, you may say. Sure. But if you want to to believe in it, alas, it all came far too late.
     
  7. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Japanese war criminals' Shinto shrine in Tokyo – the darker the crimes of those honoured, I noticed, the fewer were captions to their portraits provided in English

    +++++++++
    who should apologize to whom?
     
  8. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yeah I understand your feelings. The world knows what the Japs did to you in Nanjing.I believe the Japanese are making a hue & cry over this issue.Unlike Germany they have never apologised for their crimes.The Americans should have nuked a few more cities but then they only needed revenge for Pearl harbour & did not really bother about Japanese war crimes.
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Many Scientist were worried about using the atomic bomb, in theory it could start a nuclear reaction that would never stop,setting the whole world ablaze. Many also question the use of the first atomic weapon in Asia rather than Europe where there was 2 front war.
     

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