8/9/7 Nagasaki, Hiroshima, WW2 & "War on Terror"

On Aug. 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, that instantly killed an estimated 66,000 people in the first use of a nuclear weapon in warfare.

On Aug. 9, 1945, the United States exploded a nuclear device over Nagasaki, Japan, instantly killing an estimated 39,000 people. The explosion came three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Result Called Good
Foe Asserts Hiroshima Toll Is 'Uncountable' -- Assails 'Atrocity'

Digest Commentary at the bottom of the page discusses why and how WW2 was an imperialist war for global hegemony - contrary to all the "great patriotic" "anti-fascist" mythology -- the pretext to rally support then as is the "war against terror" is designed to do .today.

Atom Bomb Loosed on Nagasaki
2d Big Aerial Blow Japanese Port Is Target in Devastating New Midday Assault

Guam, Thursday, Aug. 9 -- Gen. Carl A. Spaatz announced today that a second atomic bomb had been dropped, this time on the city of Nagasaki, and that crew members reported "good results."
The second use of the new and terrifying secret weapon which wiped out more than 60 percent of the city of Hiroshima and, according to the Japanese radio, killed nearly every resident of that town, occurred at noon today, Japanese time. The target today was an important industrial and shipping area with a population of about 258,000. The great bomb, which harnesses the power of the universe to destroy the enemy by concussion, blast and fire, was dropped on the second enemy city about seven hours after the Japanese had received a political "roundhouse punch" in the form of a declaration of war by the Soviet Union.

Vital Transshipment Point
Guam, Thursday, Aug. 9 (AP) -- Nagasaki is vitally important as a port for transshipment of military supplies and the embarkation of troops in support of Japan's operations in China, Formosa, Southeast Asia, and the Southwest Pacific. It was highly important as a major shipbuilding and repair center for both naval and merchantmen.The city also included industrial suburbs of Inase and Akunoura on the western side of the harbor, and Urakami. The combined area is nearly double Hiroshima's.
Nagasaki, although only two-thirds as large as Hiroshima in population, is considered more important industrially. With a population now estimated at 258,000, its twelve square miles are jam-packed with the eave-to-eave buildings that won it the name of "sea of roofs. General Spaatz's communique reporting the bombing did not say whether one or more than one "mighty atom" was dropped.

Hiroshima a 'City of Dead'
The Tokyo radio yesterday described Hiroshima as a city of ruins and dead "too numerous to be counted," and put forth the claim that the use of the atomic bomb was a violation of international law.
The broadcast, made in French and directed to Europe, came several hours after Tokyo had directed a report to the Western Hemisphere for consumption in America asserting that "practically all living things, human and animal, were literally seared to death" Monday, when the single bomb was dropped on the southern Honshu city. The two broadcasts, recorded by the Federal Communications Commission, stressed the terrible effect of the bomb on life and property. European listeners were told that "as a consequence of the use of the new bomb against the town of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, most of the town has been completely destroyed and there are numerous dead and wounded among the population."
The United States Strategic Air Forces reported yesterday that 60 per cent of the city had been destroyed."The destructive power of these bomb is indescribable," the broadcast continued, "and the cruel sight resulting from the attack is so impressive that one cannot distinguish between men and women killed by the fire. The corpses are too numerous to be counted."The destructive power of this new bombs spreads over a large area. People who were outdoors at the time of the explosion were burned alive by high temperature while those who were indoors were crushed by falling buildings."...

A Propaganda Front
Voice broadcasts and wireless transmissions aimed at North America and Europe during the day apparently were trying to establish a propaganda point that the bombings should be stopped.
For example, a Tokyo English language broadcast to North America, accusing American leaders of fomenting an "atrocity campaign" in order "to create the impression that the Japanese are cruel people," as preparation for intensive Allied bombing of Japan, took up the subject of atomic bombing, and described it as "useless cruelty" that "may have given the United States war leaders guilty consciences."
"They may be afraid that their illegal and useless and needless bombing may eventually bring protest from the American people unless some means of hardening them can be provided," the broadcast continued.
The broadcast to the United States went on to ask: "How will the United States war leaders justify their degradation, not only in the eyes of the other peoples but also in the eyes of the American people? How will these righteous-thinking American people feel about the way their war leaders are perpetuating this crime against man and God?"
"Will they condone the whole thing on the ground that everything is fair in love and war or will they rise in anger and denounce this blot on the honor and tradition and prestige of the American people?"
The broadcast said that "authorized quarters in Tokyo made the following statement on Aug. 8 with regard to the United States disregard for humanity: "International law lays down the principle that belligerent nations are not entitled to unlimited choice in the means by which to destroy their opponents. "This is made clear by Article 22 of The Hague Convention. Consequently, any attack by such means against open towns and defenseless citizens are unforgivable actions. The United States ought to remember that at the beginning of the fighting in China, it protested to Japan on numerous occasions in the name of humanity against smaller raids carried out by Japan."
[Article 22 of The Hague Convention of 1907 Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land states: "The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited."]...The description of the havoc followed the line offered earlier in the broadcast to the United States, the "disastrous ruin" that struck the city, crushed houses and buildings, and "all of the dead and injured were burned beyond recognition," said the broadcast.

*Soviet Declares War on Japan: Russia Aids Allies: Joins Pacific Struggle Seeks Early Peace: Molotoff Reveals Move Three Months After Victory in Europe Red Army Strikes: Foes Reports First Blow by Soviet Forces on Asian Frontier: Key Points Bombed: Action Believed Aimed to Free Vladivostok Area of Threat

*Truman Reveals Move of Moscow: Announces War Declaration Soon After Russian Action -- Capital Is Started

*Truman to Report to People Tonight on Big 3 and War: Half-Hour Speech by Radio to Cover a Wide Range of Problems Facing the World: He Signs Peace Charter: And Thus Makes This Country the First to Complete All Ratification Requirements

*Allies Cut Austria Into Four Zones With Vienna Under Joint Control
385 B-29's Smash 4 Targets in Japan: Tokyo Arsenal and Aircraft Plant Are Seared -- Fukuyama and Yawata Cities Ripped

*4 Powers Call Aggression Crime in Accord Covering War Trials

(excerpt) Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and today's nuclear apologists:
...By 25th October 1944, Japan was negotiating a peace in China. By 30 Janauary 1945, the State Department received an OSS message that Japan was seeking peace mediations through the Vatican. As of April 29, 1945, the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) explained in a report entitled 'Unconditional Surrender of Japan', that increasing "numbers of informed Japanese, both military and civilian, already realize the inevitability of absolute defeat." William Donovan, director of the OSS, sent a memo the President on 31 May, stating that Japan was ready to cease hostilities if it could keep its "home islands". A 12 July message, intercepted just before Potsdam, showed that the Japanese emperor himself had decided to intervene to attempt to end the war. In his private journal, Truman described it as the "telegram from [the] Jap Emperor asking for peace." By 17 July, an intercepted cable showed Foreign Minister Togo express the surrender terms thus: "If today, when we are still maintaining our strength, the Anglo-Americans were to have regard to Japan's honour and existence, they could save humanity by bringing the war to an end." However, "if they insist on unconditional surrender, the Japanese are unanimous in their resolve to wage a thorough-going war." Despite being fully aware of this, the US continued to insist on unconditional surrender, with assurances for the future of the Emperor or any of the leadership cut out of the declaration at Potsdam by Truman and Byrnes against the advise of practically the entire remainder of the Anglo-American elite: in fact the uncompromising declaration by the US at Potsdam threatened the most stern reprisals against war criminals, and it was reasonably assumed that the Emperor would not be safe from such threats. As was understood and predicted by the American leadership, this resulted in a chilly silence from the Japanese.

With the US fully apprised of Japan's weakened condition, its 'peace feelers' and the moves by important civilian leaders going right up to the Emperor to seek surrender, the question is left as to why the US decided to bomb two cities very closely together, without warning. After all, the Russian Option, as it was understood by America's military and civilian leadership, would certainly do the trick. When Truman obtained a promise from Stalin that he would enter the war, he explained the consequences to his wife Bess: "we'll end the war a year sooner now, and think of the kids who won't be killed!" That is the question that Sherwin focuses on, and as he shows, the documentary record proves that as soon as the bomb was proven to work - as it was at the Alamagordo base in New Mexico on 16th July 1945 - the US military and civilian leadership was convinced that it no longer needed Russia. In fact, the bomb itself was a good diplomatic weapon against Russia. As Secretary of State-designate Byrnes explained, "our possessing and demonstrating the bomb would make Russia more manageable in Europe". At this time, the US had been experiencing some difficulty persuading Russia to accept its terms, particularly an independent Poland. By 28th July, Byrnes, according to the diary of Navy secretary James Forrestal was "most anxious to get the Japanese affair over with before the Russians got in." Sherwin broadly accepts that the main motive of Secretary of War Stimson in using the bomb was to end the war early, not to intimidate Russia: his account has altered only slightly over the last thirty years or so, with assessments becoming a touch more conservative on the "balance of evidence" (previously, he had suggested that there wasn't really a balance of evidence available as to Stimson's true motives). However, he does not accept that it was the only motive or that the bomb was necessary: in fact he repeatedly finds US leaders making the effect of the bomb on Russia a central consideration. As soon as it was understood that a bomb could be developed quickly, and what its impact would be, the civilian leadership including those who envisaged some form of postwar cooperation understood the bomb as a vital diplomatic lever. So, Stimson, by 14 May 1942, was already recording that the USSR "can't get along without our help and industries, and we have coming into action a weapon which will be unique". Sherwin shows that although elements in the civilian leadership favoured international control of atomic energy (Stimson did up until July 1945), Roosevelt had been opposed to the whole idea and pursued a contrary strategy - which is why he had effectively rebuffed Niels Bohr's pleas that negotiations be opened with the Soviet Union with the aim of avoiding an arms race after the war: Roosevelt and Churchill both wanted what Bohr did not. As soon as a successful test was made, Walter Brown, Byrnes' press secretary, records the Secretary of State saying that he was hoping that the bomb would press Japan to surrender and ensure that Russia would not "get in so much on the kill". He describes the minutes of the Interim Committee which recommended the bombing without warning (all the important documents are included in a lengthy appendix), showing that the leadership was intent on assuring not only a profound impact on the Japanese government, but also a salutary effect on relations with the USSR. Even if intimidating Japan was the chief motive, it was certainly not the only one, and nor can it be understood separately from the refusal to consider the other options, including the Russian one. In fact, the decision to use the bomb a way of avoiding the Russian option, and limiting its claims on a postwar set-up in the Far East. [...]

The Bombing of Nagasaki August 9, 1945: The Untold Story
By Gary G. Kohls
62 years ago, on August 9th, 1945, the second of the only two atomic bombs (a plutonium bomb) ever used as instruments of aggressive war (against essentially defenseless civilian populations) was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, by an all-Christian bomb crew. The well-trained American soldiers were only "doing their job," and they did it efficiently.
It had been only 3 days since the first bomb, a uranium bomb, had decimated Hiroshima on August 6, with chaos and confusion in Tokyo, where the fascist military government and the Emperor had been searching for months for a way to an honorable end of the war which had exhausted the Japanese to virtually moribund status. (The only obstacle to surrender had been the Truman administration’s insistence on unconditional surrender, which meant that the Emperor Hirohito, whom the Japanese regarded as a deity, would be removed from his figurehead position in Japan – an intolerable demand for the Japanese.)

The Russian army was advancing across Manchuria with the stated aim of entering the war against Japan on August 8, so there was extra incentive to end the war quickly: the US military command did not want to divide any spoils or share power after Japan sued for peace....

At 11:02 am, Nagasaki Christianity was boiled, evaporated and carbonized in a scorching, radioactive fireball. The persecuted, vibrant, faithful, surviving center of Japanese Christianity had become ground zero.
And what the Japanese Imperial government could not do in over 200 years of persecution, American Christians did in 9 seconds. The entire worshipping community of Nagasaki was wiped out.

What can we do to prevent the next round of these atrocities, all of which have been perpetrated by professed Christians: the My Lai Massacre, Auschwitz and the other Nazi death camps, Dresden, El Mozote, Rwanda, Jonestown, the black church bombings, the execution of innocent death row inmates, the sanctions against Iraq (that killed 500,000 children during the 1990s), the military annihilation of Fallujah and much of the rest of Iraq and Afghanistan, the torturing of innocents at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay plus the many other international war crimes (albeit un-indicted to date) perpetrated by the current "Christian" administration of the United States. And what is to be done to prevent the next Nagasaki?

A large portion of the responsibility for the prevention of military atrocities like Nagasaki lies within the organized Christian churches and whether or not they soon start teaching and living what the radical nonviolent Jesus taught and lived.The next Nagasaki can be prevented if the churches finally heed Jesus’ call to nonviolence and refuse their government’s call for the bodies and souls of their sons and daughters.

Gary Kohls, MD [send him mail], an associate of Every Church a Peace Church, is a practicing physician in Duluth, MN.

WW2, like all imperialist wars, was conducted under false pretenses: called the 'great anti-fascist war' to rally public support for U.S. war to eliminate rivals: the U.S.got 'allies', especially the Soviets, to do most of the dirty war work so it could mop up, become top world capitalist dog globally over its 'friends' and major enemy, the revolutionary socialist Soviet Union whose influence and support in other countries threatened U.S. geostrategic interests. The U.S. collaborated with the German capitalist nazis before, during and after the war towards this end. WW2 was a major step toward the U.S. historical 'manifest destiny' of global dominance.

Stalin, and following his lead the entire international communist movement, made the monumental error of "freezing" the class struggle to form a united front with the "good" imperialists against the "bad" imperialists" in order to "save socialism" -- which he wrongly viewed as being synonymous with one country, the SU -- to hell with revolutionary internationalism and other countries -- even where there were serious revolutionary movements. WW2 was a major step toward U.S. global dominance. Stalin & co.'s betrayal of the international revolutionary movement played a critical role in creating favorable conditions for the U.S. by misleading and repressing revolutionary anti-imperialist and communist movements for socialism worldwide.

Beside Stalin's narrow nationalist view that the socialist state's primary job in any country was to defend itself, not support revolution worldwide, he also erroneously believed that classes disappeared and class struggle ended with socialism -- meaning turmoil in the S.U. must be due to U.S. agents and trotskyite counter-revolutionaries -- a view that justified widespread state suppression and which aborted rather than led the continuing class struggle to uproot capitalism's deeply embedded roots and build socialism .

Mao studied history carefully, particularly the soviet experience. Based on the nature of socialism, where contradictions intensify not disappear, he learned that top communist party leaders suppress mass struggle to reverse revolutionary gains and secure their position as a new ruling class, Mao opposed the Soviet errors. His theoretical critique of the Soviet experience laid the basis for political leadership in the Cultural Revolution -- reviving Marxism Leninism from the counter-revolutionary swamp it had become, honing it again into a powerful political weapon of working and oppressed peoples everywhere -- despite the defeat decades later with the reversal of China to capitalism in the 70's -- just as Mao and other Chinese revolutionaries predicted. Even some Sino/Soviet state department specialists [including Chalmers Johnson] explained the Maoists' Cultural Revolution was so relentlessly reviled and attacked by capitalism because revolutionary internationalism is intolerable for the survival of capitalist imperialism and it could not be allowed to spread. Think of how things might be different today had Stalin and the S.U. had led and supported revolutionary internationalism instead of joining and helping the enemy.

There's a loud ugly echo of the "lesser of the evils" line in the U.S. with the repulsive coalition of liberal -imperialist democrats and the class and race privileged liberal left. This "anti-war" opportunism opposes the Iraq war for the way it's been "incompetently" handled -- not because it is racist imperialist genocide, but because it has failed in its imperial mission, too many of "our troops", obedient gunfodder-killers-rapists are getting what any invading-occupying force deserves by the heroic national resistance.

It's not mysterious: imperialism is "globalized" capitalism (see earlier digests). But uniting these left reactionaries is the pretext that capitalism, imperialism and fascism are distinct, unrelated beasts, not the same capitalist system in different eras and modes: thus capitalism is good; imperialism is a matter of bad politicians bad policies requiring regime change -- not god forbid system change because capitalism is their friend, it just needs refining; fascism is the 'extremism' inherent in the other, the bad imperialists which 'lesser-of-the-evil or good capitalists can fix. Such BS obviously depends on an ignorant, racist public with no knowledge of history easily convinced every few years that it all began with the current decider and will end when his administration does.

Capitalist crises have historically been temporarily 'resolved' via imperialist war to restructure capital and the geopolitical map on a world scale. When these crises -- born of the nature of capital as a social relation -- necessitate a switch from a generally liberal mode to fascist mode of capitalism -- it is still the same political economic system. Fascism has been and is used against oppressed nations and nationalities -- the ruling class intensifies oppression against those it knows will become a leading revolutionary edge. Katrina and its aftermaths is the latest, most visible terror in the history of american genocide and slavery. Here again the left criticized the "incompetence" -- not the crime.

It is a deadend, a deadly trap: supporting the "lesser-evil" democrats is supporting a predatory, criminal system. It spits in the face reality, of history and humanity past, present and future: regardless of politician-pimps performances, the bipartisan capitalist ruling class by virtue of its class interests and values supports the goals of american capitalist survival and world supremacy. The people worldwide by virtue of our -- and the planet's -- opposing interests and values must act accordingly.