Saturday, May 3, 2008

So Cruel A Crime As This

Hopefully, America will always be ashamed, if only in our collective hearts, of having the distinction of being the only country to use an atom bomb against another country. 

                 

In 1937 while Japan and China were once again fighting, it was unavoidable for Japan to have to deal with the Pacific sooner or later.  They believed the USA was a sleepy, lazy, neutral, even cowardly mass of people who'd never enter another's war.  After all, our closest ally, Britain, was fighting facism all alone on her island soil and no matter how Churchill pushed and proded, FDR was staying out of it.  We sent money, food, clothing, munitions, even initiated embargoes, but sent no soldiers to Europe until 1942 when we became fully engaged.

When Japan came slicing through Pearl Harbor in 1941 to better defeat their Indochinese enemy, they awoke a sleeping giant and this country immediately set out into the Paciific isles on our way to Tokyo.  How did we end up fighting Hitler, many ask.  Well, if a country that you support is attacked, you're expected to aid your friend in its battle.  Germany was allied with Japan, so when Japan struck us, we declared war not just on Japan but essentially, her allies as well.  That meant Germany.  This is pretty basic history, though I leave out alot.

So we're fighting Hitler, we're fighting Hirohito.  When Russian beat back the Germans and the European war was basically over, we still had Japan to deal with.  It was 1944-1945.  Not many know that all the while we were experimenting with hydrogen atoms in "The Manhattan Project" and trying to perfect the first atomic bomb, Japan was doing the exact same thing.  Japanese scientists were also hard at work on atomic secrets, we just figured it out sooner.  If you're a boomer, you'll recognize the name Dr. Robert Oppenheimer as the "father of the A-bomb" a sobriquet he despised.  In fact, this great genius later in his life petitioned hard for nuclear weapons never to be assembled, never to be deployed.  He was jailed for a communist.  Anyway, as the war dragged on, he watched the first nuclear blast and whispered a quote from an ancient sanskrit text:

"NOW I AM BECOME DEATH, THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS."

Dr. Oppenheimer did not trust his genius, did not care for his invention, and knew we'd use it.  Herein lies the terrible crime we're still suffering for:

That atom bomb, called "Little Boy" was dropped on civilians.  Not soldiers, not military outposts, not munitions factories, but the Japanese civilians made mostly at the time of old people, women and babies.  The rest were at war.  We wanted it all to stop, and quickly.  After Truman announced what he'd authorized, well...who can forget the sight of those aerial photos taken of Hiroshima?  Nothing was left standing.  People were incinerated where they stood.  They were civilians.  Then we did it again.

At Nakasaki we repeated the carnage of boiling humans in an instant.  Those who were further out in the perimeter suffered all their lives, as did so many Americans.  The fateful decision to "drop the bomb" certainly brought the war in the Pacific to a halt, but will history ever explain the decision to bomb civilians?  Isn't that one of the first acts considered to be a crime during warfare? 

I ask you.    

15 comments:

ksquester said...

You pose interesting questions.  Civilians are always affected during all wars.  Every country or religeon going to war has done this.  I remember singing ONWARD Christain Soldiers, marching off to WAR..............as if God sanctioned it! Just read this week about Bush's approval (lack of) rating and thought of Harry Truman..............his was lower.  The LUCKY ones were the people who were "fried" on the spot.  They never knew what happened.    Anne

sybilsybil45 said...

sad sad sad....human life is held in such low esteem...but only of course if it is not our own...we know we are very important don't we..to hell with other who may just be disturbing our peace.  Forgive us all.  Love one another...is it so hard.. Sybil xx

pamal3 said...

Hey my starlady. I don't like the Idea of there still being nuclear bombs hidden away somewhere. If only people could settle their differences In another way. It Is so sad. Love Pam xx

valphish said...

May the world never see another one dropped, ever.  Wow, hard to read.  Thanks, my Cateri.  Love, your Maire xox
http://journals.aol.com/valphish/ThereisaSeason

coelha said...

Scary..  I pray we never see it happen again.  We do live in a scary world.  Julie

laineygthatsme said...

My late aunt once told me "that before you can hurt one must learn to heal". Wise words from her so although it was a great crime to obliterate such a people it was wise in the long term that it secured a peace which still lasts today. Hopefully, Dr O's words were not said in haste, and that is held the world together without the resort of using such a wicked destroyer again.
As a student I am learning just to do that, but I must correct a mistake that the USA did not declare war on Germany and Italy until they did so on the 11th of December '41. That was three days later than the president did to Japan, so he had no choice but to reiterate it back.

Only a thought that the Axis had to stand together and blame was apportioned incorrectly on the USA for starting the war.  How many lives did it cost in comparison to how many lives it saved? Japan had no thoughts about civilians when it attacked Pearl Harbour without warning and without a war being declared. So two shames were shared one at the start and the other at the end.

rdautumnsage said...

Whenever I read something like this, I can't help but remember the quote "an eye for an eye will make the world go blind"..War is the ultimate ugliness from any staging forum. Life is meant to be lived, not destroyed. (Hugs) Indigo

attitudeslc said...

I grew up in catholic school.  I had a priest who used to teach us.  He went to Japan about 10 years or so after the bombing.  He had a lot of input on Japan.  He loved the country.

Often kids would ask him all sorts of questions concerning this.  He agreed that it was a horrible tradgedy.  He did say however that from a "carnage" stand point it was the only decisson that could have been made.  He said that 10x the amont of people would have died if they had not dropped the bomb. (that was just what he said)  True or not?  I don't know.  It is a very sad event in human history and I am certain the angels cried that day.

It scares me to death.  I can't imagine reading news reports of it.  I pray and pray and pray for PEACE!

~Rosemary

ally123130585918 said...

That was such a terrible time in our History ~ I hope it is never repeated ~ Ally x

ma24179 said...

It's sad but we have to do whatever it take to protect our freedom. -Missy http://journals.aol.com/ma24179/MISSYZSTUFF

geminirising12 said...

In my never to be humble opinion, better them than us!!  I, as an American, am not ashamed.  Remember - they were working on a similar bomb too - and guess who it was meant for???  If they had perfected theirs before we did ours, they would have used it on us first - woman, children, civilians and all.  Japan attacked us first and never gave a thought to all the beautiful Americans that lost their lives that day.  They just invaded Pearl Harbor full force without giving it a thought.  Now, I grant you, they may not have used an atomic bomb, but their bullets and bombs mutilated and killed our people just the same.
I am proud of our country; we did what we had to do to save future lives.  The longer the war continued, the more lives would be lost on both sides.  It simply had to end and, for our country's sake and theirs, that is exactly what we did - bring an ugly and bitter battle to an abrupt halt!  We all lost lives that day, but we saved more in the long run.  I still say, BETTER THEM THAN US!!!!!
G.

luddie343 said...

Appreciate your views G, but I think you missed the point.  

sunnyside46 said...

what a haunting quote
Marti

geminirising12 said...

To Luddie - your response #12 is duly noted.  Would it just be possible that you missed MY point??  Smiling. G.

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