Eric Talmadge wrote:
> Outside the nearby A-Bomb Dome, one of the few buildings left standing
> after the blast, peace activists held a "die-in" -- falling to the
> ground to dramatize the toll from the United States bombing that
> turned life to death for more than 140,000 and forever changed the
> face of war.
I was wondering why the firebombing of Tokyo -- that burned to death
100,000 people -- doesn't get the same attention as Hiroshima? Lots of
German and Japanese cities were fire bombed and many thousands of
civilians were killed by napalm and related incendiaries. Indeed,
during the war US research labs continually sought better burning
materials that would stick harder and burn hotter to Japanese
buildings. Analysts worked to develop the most efficient ratio between
explosives and fire -- how much explosives to use to properly blow
something apart, and then fire to burn it all up; all in a way to
maximize destruction. Nobody talks about this stuff.
I point all this out because "the bomb" must be taken in context with
the rest of the WW II, not in isolation. We also must look at the
causes of WW II. That's a lot harder.
It's easy to denounce war. It's something completely different to
prevent. On Sept 11, many people worldwide cheered when the World
Trade Center was destroyed and thousands of people were killed. That
kind of cheering seems rather warlike to me.
It's easy for someone to say in hindsight "I would not have dropped
the bomb." But it's a lot harder to rethink decisions made by the
Allied countries in the 1930s in response to Axis powers aggression.
The Axis powers thought they had a legitimate right to do what they
did. Germany felt it was unfairly screwed at the end of WW I and was
only making things right. Japan felt it was unfairly shut out of
world commerce by actions of western powers.
At the time, it sure seemed that Chamberlain was doing the right thing
making concessions to Germany and avoiding war at that moment. That's
a decision people need to rethink carefully.
> In central London, more than 200 anti-nuclear activists and others
> gathered at Tavistock Square, where a cherry tree was planted in 1967
> in memory of the victims of the Hiroshima bombing.
Do they remember the victims of the London blitz? Do they remember
the victims of the 'rape of Nanking'? The Bataan death march?
TELECOM Digest Editor's Note Note was responded to by Gene S. Berkowitz:
>> Do the Atomic Scientists still keep setting that clock periodically
>> on its journey to midnight? What is that clock setting now? PAT]
> The clock is now set at 7 minutes to Midnight.
It has been 60 years since nuclear weapons were used. They were used
only once. However, conventional weapons and new weapons (like
hijacked airplanes) have been used many times.
The "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" is an interesting magazine; it
has a lot of good history and international political affairs
However, I don't agree with their general theme.
As I understood it, the Bulletin was established by some scientists
from the Manhattan Project who were opposed to using the bomb they
created against Japan. They intended it for use against Germany, but
they objected for use in Japan. In my opinion, those who objected at
the time did not understand the situation as well as the political
leaders who had to make the actual decision. The scientists had been
busy in their laboratories and didn't realize the horrors and
casualties Allied soldiers suffered in the war in the Pacific. The
scientists knew firsthand how evil Germany was. But Japan's military
government was just as bad and had to be completely removed from
power. Their actions at the time as well as subsequent history shows
clearly that military government was not about to step away despite a
string of defeats.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: A group of World War Two veterans in
a counter-demonstration over the weekend at Arlington Cemetery carried
banners which stated 'had there been no Pearl Harbor there would
have been no Hiroshima.' PAT]