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This world is one big game of "Go"-- Black against White, Light against Darkness --and we all have a choice to make: Do we war FOR the Light?

...or against it?

August 6, 1945 -- 8:15 a.m.

"Let all the souls here rest in peace as we will never repeat this mistake."

--Apology etched into the granite cenotaph in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

PERSONAL NOTE: I ask you... What need have the Japanese people to apologize for Hiroshima? Or Nagasaki? Why is it Americans today rarely demonstrate this level of humility?

This [event] should teach us the grave import of the truth, born of tragedy and suffering, that "the only role for nuclear weapons is to be abolished."

Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor
The City of Hiroshima
August 6, 2008

"...more than 300 thousand souls of A-bomb victims..."

We still do not have an accurate count of human casualties inflicted by the atomic bomb, but it is estimated that approximately 350,000 soldiers and civilians were in Hiroshima at the time of the bombing. After the bombing, radioactive substances fell to earth and remained on the ground for some time. Thousands of people who came into Hiroshima to help with relief activities or look for family members were exposed to this residual radiation. Like those who were directly exposed, many fell ill and some even died. By the time the acute effects were dying down at the end of December 1945, approximately 140,000 people (±10,000) are estimated to have died as a result of the bombing of Hiroshima.

The phrase "more than 300 thousand souls of A-bomb victims" refers to all survivors of the Hiroshima bombing known to have died thus far. To clarify the human damage done by the A-bombing of Hiroshima, a Survey of the A-Bomb Survivor Movement has been conducted regularly since 1979. In 1998, this survey confirmed that 273,212 had died by that year. A total of 30,017 names were added to the register of A-bomb victims between 1999 and 2004. Thus, the total number of A-bomb victims is now estimated to have exceeded 300,000.

To This Date...

The U.S. has yet to issue an official apology for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But that doesn't mean the U.S., as a nation, shouldn't issue an apology. While the U.S., seemingly, cannot issue an official apology, there is nothing to keep a sitting U.S. president from offering an unofficial personal apology. There is nothing at all keeping individual Americans from doing the same.

Before anyone decides to accuse me of wanting blood and death on the one hand-- in the here and now --while decrying blood and death on the other, sixty-three years ago, let me point you to the preamble at the beginning of the next post, In Memoriam - Part I

As much as I recognize the necessity of war, I find it nonetheless to be among the worst of human proclivities...

Atomic weapons. Seriously, what good has come of them? Deterrence? Okay... but don't you think the world is less safe with this genie now irrevocably out of the bottle? What of Iran and her quest for the A-bomb?

The U.S. has the utterly unique and infamous distinction of being the only nation to ever have used atomic weapons on another nation. Japan has been the only nation in history to have ever tasted of the suffering borne upon-- to quote myself --atomic winds. It wasn't enough for the U.S. to drop one bomb. One would undoubtedly have ended the war with Japan... the simple threat of a second would have, IMHO, done the trick. But the U.S. wasn't content with dropping just one. It's as though the powers that be looked at the film footage, and said, "Good God! Would you look at that!!! ...Let's do it again!"

Yes, the war needed to end. Yes, Japan started it all by attacking Pearl Harbor; a day interestingly referred to as 'a date which will live in infamy.' Nevermind the fact that Pearl Harbor suffered 2,300 to 2,900 casualties, depending on which source you use, while the Hiroshima bomb alone, in the initial blast, killed approximately 80,000 men, women, and children.

Every death is regrettable. Every shot fired, a failure for humanity. We cheapen ourselves by the use of weapons against our neighbors, and we are lessened by the loss of each life we take.

No I don't like war at all. But neither do I like the idea of men, burdened by an oppressive and insane ideology, killing 241 marines... and getting away with it. Neither do I like the idea that this same ideology mutilates and murders women for sexual impurity, whether they're guilty or not (guilt being a non-issue as far as I'm concerned...genital mutilation and stoning are barbaric). I hate the idea that these people, warped by evil, find the idea of co-existence with other cultures is anathema to them... that they would rather fly jet liners filled with passengers into skyscrapers filled with workers... not soldiers... and if a certain faction within this country had its way, this murderous ideology would get away with that too.

This war did not end with Afghanistan-- Islam knows no physical border... has no tangible homeland. This war will not end with Iraq. This war, in fact, has only just begun, and few seem to realize it. While we fight like a pack of dogs over a few bones of contention, what's to stop these marauders from sneaking past and hitting us again? We're not paying attention. We haven't learned anything from the past. Not from Chamberlain, not from Hitler, not from Pearl Harbor, not from Hiroshima OR Nagasaki, not from Korea, not Vietnam, not Beirut, not Mogadishu. Israel, it would seem, has learned lessons we have not... Specifically, that War is indeed hell. And that one life lost is one too many.

So... If I choose to stand with Hiroshima and decry the use and proliferation of atomic weapons, it's because I've gotten a big eye-full of what's going on in the world... and I'm surprised as hell that you haven't.

What follows, then, are two of my own tokens of apology....

In Memoriam -- Part I

In Memoriam -- Part II

posted by Eric @ 8:14 AM,


On August 6, 2008 at 9:59 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

I ask you... What need have the Japanese people to apologize for Hiroshima? Or Nagasaki?

Possibly for not standing against the ambitions of their emporer. Would they not have enjoyed some of the spoils had Japan been victorious? In this country, some on the left believe the Cindy Sheehans are patriots for dissension. How much dissension was there in pre-Hiroshima Japan?

We should NOT apologize for doing what seemed to be the right thing at the time. (Don't be telling me there were those opposed to dropping the bomb--it doesn't matter and their opposition doesn't make them right in any way, shape or form.)

You should not characterize the second bombing as something like, "Wow! Dat blowed up good! Let's do it again!" That bombing had a purpose as well, one that included sending a message to Russia that we had more, and were willing to use them. It mattered then.

On August 6, 2008 at 10:55 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

Dude. Russia was our ally at that time.

On August 7, 2008 at 2:20 PM, Blogger Edwin Drood said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

On August 7, 2008 at 2:22 PM, Blogger Edwin Drood said...

It’s important to remember that we were a only weeks away from losing that war. Money was running out and it was going to be impossible to fuel our ships and feed our troops. japans strategy was to outlast us.

If they would have won, what do you think their terms of surrender would have been and how different would the world be today?

The bombing of Japan was Japan's fault. They should have surrendered when they lost the ability to defend themselves. Instead decided to sacrifice civilians knowing they has enough money to continue. Their miscalculation was the size of the sacrifice.

Many people think that WWII was in the bag. That the possibility of our defeat never existed. That was not true, we were broke and running out of troops. Our only alternative to using the A bomb would have been surrender and vow allegiance to our new Emperor.

Our apology would have to be: "We are sorry for using the A-bomb, instead we should have just surrendered"

On August 8, 2008 at 4:11 AM, Anonymous BenT - the Unbeliever said...

Edwin do you have any facts to support this claim? Quote from military commanders? Interviews with Pres. Truman? That's a pretty wild assertion otherwise.

On August 8, 2008 at 11:52 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

"Dude. Russia was our ally at that time."

Duder, Russian alliance was tenuous. Truman thought he could get through to Stalin but never succeeded. That is, after two bombings he got through fairly well. There were those who wanted to continue into Russia after the fall of Berlin. Some foresaw problems letting Stalin get a pass.


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