Hiroshima - The Real Reason For The Atom Bomb
History For Peace Activists: In Their Own Words: The First Shots Of World War Three: Hiroshima And Nagasaki - Us Atom Bomb Diplomacy - An Atomic Crime.
Published on Aug 16, 2005
The material for this article is taken from three of my books: "1917 And All That: The Untaught History Syllabus. In their Own Words - A Political History Of The Cold War 1917-1983." which has also been partly serialised in British and foreign journals, and which arose out of an unpublished (and at that time unfinished) Ph.D. thesis; and "A Radical Book Of Enlightenment For The Common Man." which is a compilation of over 1,700 radical political quotes in subject and historical categories; and "Understanding The Hidden Nature Of Capitalism. - Or Marx For Beginners." including Marx's full exposure of the capitalist economic system. A fourth, non political, book is a comprehensive computer guide for writers and authors.
And yes, it is extremely biased. But when did idealistic academic or journalistic notions of being 'balanced' or 'unbiased' ever equate with veracity or reality?
I challenge those who preach a so-called 'balanced' view to come up with a negation of what is being said.
I am happy for this article to be reproduced and distributed in full provided that authorship is acknowledged, or as quotations provided that the full authorship of each quote is stated; and that the work is used for the purpose for which it is obviously intended - to inform and educate those interested in the modern history of wars, peace, anti-racism, poverty, imperialism, global trade and exploitation and the world debt crisis; in other words, humanity in this incredibly rich and abundant world.
The First Shots Of World War Three: Hiroshima And Nagasaki - Us Atom Bomb Diplomacy - An Atomic Crime.
HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI: US ATOM BOMB DIPLOMACY - AN ATOMIC CRIME. "The use of the atomic bomb cost us dearly; we are now branded with the mark of the beast."
(New York Times military observer.)
On August 6 and 9 1945 the US dropped nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; targets which had no military significance whatever.
"I cannot certify that this bomb brought us victory, but it is certain that it hastened the end of the war. We know that in this way we saved the lives of several thousand American and allied soldiers who would certainly have perished if we had not used the bomb."
(US President Truman, Oct 3 1945.)
Were the 247,000 innocent human beings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki really burned in order to save the lives of several thousand American and allied soldiers?
Not if you consider the words of US Major General C. Chennault:
"...the entry of the Soviet Union into the war (against Japan) was the decisive factor that hastened the end of the war. Even if we had not used the bomb the result would have been just the same."
(New York Times Aug 15 1945.)
Or Roosevelt, who had realised as early as 1943 that:
"With Russia as an ally in the war against Japan, the war can be terminated in less time and at less expense in life and resources than if the reverse were the case."
(Roosevelt, in his Quebec Conference document "Russia's Position.")
Or US Secretary of State Stettinius:
"Without Russia it might cost the United States a million casualties to conquer Japan."
(US Secretary of State Stettinius )
Or American critics Norman Cousins and Thomas Finletter:
"Why did we drop the bomb? Or why didn't we try it out under the auspices of the allied powers, to show its tremendous effectiveness, and on that basis, send an ultimatum to Japan, and throw the responsibility on to the Japanese themselves? Whatever the answer to that question, if the aim of the atomic bomb lay in the fact that we had to beat Japan before the Soviet Union could take part in the war (with Japan), no experiment could take place."
(Saturday Review, June 15 1946.)
Or General Groves, military director of the Manhattan project for the manufacture of the first atomic bomb:
"There was never, from about two weeks from the time I took charge, any illusions on my part, but that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was carried out on that basis. I didn't go along with attitude of the whole country that Russia was our gallant ally. I always had suspicions and the project was conducted on that basis."
(General Groves, director of the Manhattan project.)
Or Professor Joseph Rotblatt:
"In March 1944 I experienced a disagreeable shock. In a casual conversation, General Leslie Groves, the head of the Manhattan Project, said, "You realise, of course, that the real purpose of making the bomb is to subdue our chief enemy, the Russians!" Until then I thought that our work was to prevent a Nazi victory."
(Professor Joseph Rotblatt, The Times July 17 1985.)
Or US Secretary of State Byrnes:
"...it wasn't necessary to use the bomb against the cities of Japan in order to win the war but our possession and demonstration of the bomb would make the Russians more manageable in Europe."
(US Secretary of State James Byrnes.)
Or British professor P.M.S Blackett:
"We conclude that the dropping of the atomic bomb was not so much the last military act of the Second World War, as the first act of the cold diplomatic war with the Russians."
(Prof. P. Blackett "The Military and Political Consequences of Atomic Energy.".)
Or even Churchill:
"It would be a mistake to suppose that the fate of Japan was settled by the atomic bomb. Her defeat was certain before the bomb fell."
(Winston Churchill "The Second World War.)
Churchill was one of those in on the beginning of the atomic bomb plans. And at the time he helped to propagate the myth:
"It is to this atomic bomb more than to any other factor that we may ascribe the sudden and speedy ending of the war against Japan."
(Winston Churchill, House of Commons, Aug 17 1945.)
Or US Secretary for War Henry Stimson, who wrote in his diary that the atomic bomb was: "to persuade Russia to play ball" and:
"The necessity of bringing Russian orgn. into the fold of Christian civilisation... The possible use of S1 [the code name for the atom bomb B.M.] to accomplish this."
(From US Secretary for War Henry Stimson's notes after talks with President Roosevelt.)
"Russian entry will have a profound military effect in that almost certainly it will materially shorten the war and thus save American lives,"
(US Secretary for War Henry Stimson.)
Or Eisenhower; when told by US Secretary for War Henry Stimson that nuclear weapons were to be used on Japan:
"I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary... Japan was at that very moment seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of face."
(Dwight D. Eisenhower.)
"It wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."
The Allied powers had agreed at Yalta that the Soviet Union would enter the war against Japan on land in Manchuria three months after the Germans were defeated in Europe. This was to give the USSR time to move the Red Army half way around the world. The German surrender was on May 8 1945, so the date for the Soviet attack was to be August 8 1945, which they kept exactly to the day. Churchill called this:
"...another example of the fidelity and punctuality with which Marshal Stalin and his valiant armies always kept their military engagements."
(Winston Churchill, House of Commons.)
But the US wanted Japan to capitulate to US occupying forces rather than Soviet. There was no time to test the atomic bomb elsewhere, even though Kure, a military target, was only 20 miles away, but was already damaged by conventional bombing and therefore would not be suitable for an "experiment." So Hiroshima, an undamaged target full of innocent civilian guinea pigs, was chosen for the "experiment" on August 6 1945.
"It seems clear that, even without the atom bomb attacks, air supremacy over japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion... Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the survey's opinion that certainly prior to December 31, 1945 Japan would have surrendered even if the atom bomb had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."
(US Strategic Bombing Survey 4, The Summary Report on the Pacific War.)
"There was not enough time between 16 July when we knew at New Mexico that the bomb would work, and 8 August, the Russian deadline date, for us to have set up the very complicated machinery of a test atomic bombing involving time-consuming problems of area preparations, etc... No, any test would have been impossible if the purpose was to knock Japan out before Russia came in - or at least before Russia could make anything other than a token of participation prior to a Japanese collapse."
(Thomas K. Finletter, Chairman of US Air Policy Committee.)
"The Americans had no bombs to waste. Apart from the static apparatus... There were just two bearing the names "The Thin Man" and "The Fat Man"."
(US historian W. Manchester, in "The Glory and the Dream.")
No bombs to waste; the "Fat Man" and the "Thin Man" had to be tested on live people and the Soviets had to be kept in their place.
Japan was already effectively defeated and had already offered to surrender. The Japanese had asked the Soviet Union to mediate in surrender terms and peace negotiations as early as March 1945.
It had been decided to use the atom bomb on Japan as early as the beginning of July 1945; and Japan's offer of surrender on July 22 1945 was therefore rejected.
"...the decision to use the atomic weapon against Japan was taken at the beginning of July, 1945. The first atomic bomb was dropped on August 6 and the offer of peace made by Japan on July 22 was not accepted till August 10."
(Attlee, in News Chronicle, Dec 5 1946.)
The US were again informed on July 28 at Potsdam, before the bomb was used, that Japan was prepared to surrender:
Stalin:"I want to inform you that we, the Russian delegation, have received a new proposal from Japan... [Japan's note on mediation was then read out in English B.M.] ... Japan is offering to cooperate with us. We intend to reply to them in the same spirit as last time."
Truman:"We do not object."
(At Potsdam Conference, July 28 1945)
The Japanese also helped propagate the myth that the bomb forced them to surrender by omitting to announce their surrender offers to the Soviets:
"Already the governing classes, headed by the Emperor, are desperately trying to 'save their face' by ascribing defeat to the atomic bomb, conveniently forgetting their request to Russia to mediate with the Allies before the atomic bomb was used...
The assertion that the new American bombs brought the Japanese war to an end is a myth. As we know, weeks before the appearance of the atom bombs, the Emperor Hirohito had already asked Stalin to mediate; thus openly admitting defeat. In reality Japan had been brought down by the interruption of her sea communications by Anglo-American sea power and th edanger of a Soviet thrust across manchuria cutting off the Japanese armies in Asia from home."
(The Times Aug 16 1945.)
"The entry into the war of the Soviet Union this morning puts us in an utterly hopeless situation and makes further continuation of the war impossible."
(Japanese Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki, Aug 9 1945.)
Why the rush to use the bomb?:
"We wanted to get through the Japanese phase of the war before the Russians came in."
(US Secretary of State James Byrnes.)
Churchill knew about the US atom bomb plans. But they were kept secret from the USSR. When it was decided eventually to tell Stalin Churchill showed nothing but deceitfulness and contempt for a loyal ally:
"Still, he had been a magnificent ally in the war against Hitler, and we both [and Truman] felt that he must be informed of the great New Fact which now dominated the scene, but not with any particulars."
(Winston Churchill "The Second World War.")
"I am in entire agreement with the President that the secrets of the atomic bomb shall, so far as is possible, not be imparted to any other country in the world. So far as we know there are at least three and perhaps four years before the concrete progress made in the United States can be overtaken."
ET(Winston Churchill, Aug 16 1945.)
The last thing the US wanted was for Japan to capitulate to the USSR. The US also did not want the Japanese people to have the opportunity to opt for socialism:
"Anxious as we were to have Russia in the war against Japan, the experience at Potsdam now made me determined that I would not allow the Russians any part in the control of Japan... force is the only thing that the Russians understand."
(US President Truman, in his diary, July 1945.)
"It is quite clear that the US do not at the present time desire Russian participation in the war against Japan."
(Churchill, to Eden.)
"[It is] now no longer necessary for the Russians to come into the Japanese war; the new explosive alone was sufficient to settle the matter. Furthermore, we now had something in our hands which would redress the balance with the Russians... [Churchill could now say to the USSR B.M.:] If you insist on doing this or that, well... [the "well" and a pause meant an atom bomb B.M.] And then where are the Russians!"
(Churchill's Chief of Staff in the war Field Marshal Lord Alan Brooke, talking about Churchill, in his war diaries.)
"We should not need the Russians. The end of the Japanese war no longer depended on the pouring in of their armies... We had no need to ask favours of them... I minuted to Mr. Eden: 'It is quite clear that the United States do not at the present time desire Russian participation in the war against Japan'."
(Winston Churchill, in "The Second World War.")
This fear of Japan becoming socialist is even more apparent when you consider that Japan's and Germany's war debts and reparations were not only waived but millions of dollars of US capital as "Marshall Aid" was pumped into these countries, as well as Britain and the rest of Western Europe. This also helped to prevent the possibility that these nations might have "gone communist".
"If the bomb was dropped in a desperate hurry on August 6, it must have been because Truman was determined to drop it before the Russians had entered the war... But that was not all: the bomb, as is so clearly suggested by Truman, Byrnes, Stimson and others, was dropped very largely in order to impress Russia with America's great might. Ending the war in Japan was incidental (the end of this war was clearly in sight anyway), but stopping the Russians in Asia and checking them in Eastern Europe was fundamental."
(British historian Alexander Werth "Russia At War.")
"The bomb might well put us in a position to dictate our own terms at the end of the war."
(US Secretary of State James Byrnes.)
The human cost of the US trying to obtain a political position where it could dictate its own terms was right from the start played down and hidden from view by the US; while subjecting the human and physical remnants and survivors of the bomb to tests to assess the effects of nuclear bombing. Medical tests were conducted by the US not for the benefit of the Japanese victims, but purely for US military experiments. Let no one be fooled by attempts to play down the effects of nuclear bombing, such as radiation effects, which last for generations.
"I am an atomic bomb survivor (Hibakusha) from Hiroshima.
On August 6, 1945, forty-two years ago, an A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima by the USA. The bomb, containing only 1 Kilogram of uranium but equal in power to 13,000 tons of TNT, fell on Hiroshima with a bomb blast faster than sound and with heat rays exceeding 2,000 degrees centigrade on the ground within a radius of 600 meters. In an instant it blew down buildings, houses and people in Hiroshima, destroying everything...
On the ground, numberless people had fallen, groaning or crying for water, without anyone to help them. The neighbourhood was so full of agonising cries, it was hell on earth.
That same day, some 9,000 12-year-old schoolboys were also engaged in work in the city, under the national mobilisation law. In the instant of the A-bomb explosion, most of them were charred to death. Those who narrowly escaped being killed were left naked, their clothes burnt off. With their blistering skin peeling, they tottered about in the sea of fire, and plunged into the river. When they looked up from the water, they had already lost their sight. Embracing each other by the shoulder, red and stripped of skin, they were washed away toward the sea, crying "Mama, help!" The bodies washed toward the sea on the seven rivers running through the city, turning the river surface dark, have never been recovered.
Even if the cry, "Mama, help!" had reached their mothers, who could have helped them in that "hell"? The hell, in which you could not save even your own children, that is A-bombing.
People who survived the bombing, and those who entered the city to search for relatives or help victims were struck down by radiation and died after losing their hair and bleeding.
Three days later, on August 9, another A-bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The two A-bombs completely destroyed the two cities, massacring the people without discrimination...
A-bombings allow us neither to live nor die as human beings. A-bombs are... basically intended for total destruction... which we human beings must never allow to exist.
After the end of World War II, the US occupational forces and the Japanese government tried to conceal the real condition of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the public by suppressing all reports on the damage of these two cities caused by the A-bombs. This caused delay in relief work for victims and prevented the effects of nuclear war from being known to the world as well as formation of international opinion for the banning of nuclear weapons...
We do not want anyone to ever again go through the pain of nuclear war which we were made to suffer. "Never make hibakusha again" - this is our hibakusha's heart-felt desire. This is our wish to which we are determined to devote our lives. For that purpose, we must prevent nuclear war and eliminate nuclear weapons entirely...
Japan formerly invaded our neighbouring Asian countries and did them serious harm...
Japanese women have been widening the range of their movements for the protection of peace and life, with the slogans:
"Mothers who give birth to life also wish to nurture and protect life" and "Let us join hands so as to make no more Hibakusha."
(Sakao Ito, NIHON HIDANKYO Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organisations, in Women of the Whole World, journal of the Women's International Democratic Federation.)
Japanese women's horrific tales of the bombing have made 12 volumes collected by the women's peace committee of the Buddhist organisation Soka Gakkai. One of the stories is of Mayumi Yoshida; the long extract shows many aspects of life and what conditions and government attitudes in the West are likely to be after a nuclear bombing:
"I have written this for the sake of my older sister, Yuriko, who has suffered a fate more cruel than death. I have written in the hope that no other children like Yuriko are born into this world.
Yuriko is one of twenty-two cases of severe microcephaly caused in foetuses whose mothers were exposed at close range to radiation from the atomic bomb. She limps because both pelvic joints are dislocated. She has a speech disorder. Her body is the size of a middle-school pupil, though she is thirty-six. Her mental abilities are arrested at the level of a two-year-old... She is incapable of taking a bath, going to the toilet, or doing anything else unassisted.
Yuriko smiles when she is happy and pouts when she is displeased...
Television movies are her greatest joy...
Why has she been condemned to such a condition? Life is given equally to all. Who was it that twisted and deformed my sister's life this way?
On the day of the bombing, Mother was happily anticipating Yuriko's birth. But, then, in a flash of fiendish light, the bomb invaded even the sanctity of the womb and led a mother, an unborn daughter, a whole family down a long path of suffering...
Mother... had her baby boy, Masaaki, strapped to her back... she was temporary blinded by a sudden flash of light... the buildings and the fifty workers who had been there just seconds earlier had vanished. Mother saw an immense fire... Before long a drizzle of black rain began falling...
Mother took Masaaki down from her back, only to find that virtually countless slivers of glass were buried in his bloody head...
Mother fell ill a few weeks later...
No one knew of atomic-radiation sickness... On August 29 Masaaki died, but his name is not listed among the atomic bomb victims since the cause of death was reported as gastric obstruction...
The child growing in her womb was some consolation for Masaaki's death.
It was five or six years before her death that Mother began complaining of pains... This was the beginning of her struggle with the monster known as atomic-radiation sickness...
One day, when Yuriko was sitting next to her watching television, Mother stretched out her thin arm and took her by the hand. Laying it on her side, she said, "Yuriko, it hurts here. Rub my side for a little while, won't you?" There were tears in her eyes.
"Is it very bad Mother - " I started to speak to her but stopped midway, realising that the tears were caused not by physical pain but by love and worry for a child that would be left behind...
[Yuriko B.M.] was born... apparently a perfectly healthy baby
Yuriko's first and second birthdays passed. My parents' third daughter was born, and still Yuriko neither spoke nor walked... But when her younger sister was already prattling and toddling about, Yuriko still showed no signs of development...
They went on hoping that one day she would speak and walk normally...
Worried about what would happen to Yuriko after their deaths, Mother and Father once sent a letter to the United States government by way of the American commander of the Iwakuni Air Force Installation, hoping to make arrangements to ensure Yuriko's livelihood. The Japanese government had passed a nominal law related to medical treatment for atom-bomb victims but showed no inclination to aid them financially. This is why Mother and Father decided to apply to the nation responsible for the bombing. Their request was shelved without action...
In June 1968 Yuriko was at last officially recognised as an atomic-bomb victim.
In the hope that it would help the drive to outlaw nuclear weapons, each August 6 Mother and Father took Yuriko to the site of bombing and passed out leaflets... Some of the people to whom I handed the leaflets looked annoyed and immediately threw the leaflets away...
In the middle of December, Mother had grown weaker and could no longer see out of her left eye.
About three days before her death, the attacks of excruciating pain abated, and she grew so tranquil that we were unable to tell the exact time of her death...
Before the end she frequently said that she had gone on living because of Yuriko. But at last her determination and strength were exhausted. I shall never forget watching Yuriko, who did not understand what death meant, sitting beside Mother and murmuring, "Momma sleep, Momma sleep."
On January 4 of the next year, Father received a letter saying that, though Yuriko had been recognised as an atom-bomb victim, Mother was not: she had not been sufficiently examined. The letter was dated December 25, 1978, the day before her death... This letter symbolises the heartlessness of government policy in dealing with atom-bomb victims.
Now, sitting alone with Father, Yuriko points to Mother's photograph and says over and over again, "Momma dead, Momma dead." Like a clock stopped forever at 8.15, the moment the bomb fell... She and all others like her show how the misery of that abysmal moment persists into the future. All the millions of words spoken and written in the name of peace are necessary, but people should come to see my sister and hear her murmur, "Momma dead, Momma dead.""
(From "People Should Come to see my Sister." Mayumi Yoshida. Soka Gakkai Buddhist organisation, Japan.)
Victims of the US atomic crime; not only were the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 'liberated' from the choice of opting for socialism or capitalism by being burnt alive; but more importantly: they were the expendable guinea pigs in the first military acts of the Cold War.
British school and college history syllabus teaching and books do not contain any of this information.
All the material and information I have presented here is readily available to historians, writers, journalists, teachers, educators and syllabus publishers. Although I have spent many hundreds of hours gathering it all together, I did not have to look very far to find any of it.
When as a trainee history lecturer, it was suggested I take the class on a trip to the Tower of London and then set them an essay on what life was like for a soldier in King Charles' Army centuries ago. Very useful knowledge that! A sociology of the past perhaps? But certainly not history in its most important sense; unless history is to mean anything old or 'interesting' that you can do in evening classes, like antiques, flower arranging or basket weaving. When instead I taught real history, learning from the past in order to change the future, the collective life-experience of humanity, I was got rid of. The head of the history department complained that the students had remarked that I made them think; which the head of history had probably never done in a lifetime of teaching. I ended up washing and cleaning and emptying human surgical waste in a hospital.
Unless teachers learn to be brave and intellectually honest (difficult when they have a mortgage and bills to pay), future historical, social and economic education and popular 'knowledge' will also not refer to the US or British history and continuing complicity in global plunder, exploitation, domination and control, wars of aggrandisement and acquisition, causing the deaths and devastation of the homes and lands of millions of people - the thousands of children under the age of two who will die tonight through simple lack of food, clean water, medicine and education - the untold millions of unnecessary deaths among the overwhelming majority of humanity on this incredibly rich and abundant and ultimately sustainable earth.
From Brian Mitchell. Evolution.
Responses and criticisms welcomed. Reply to my personal e-mail if you prefer. My replies to criticisms will be posted.
"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; None but ourselves can free our minds." (Bob Marley, Redemption song.)
"The most remarkable thing about the world is that you can understand it." (Einstein.)
"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set I go into the other room and read a book." (Groucho Marx.)
"To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as night the day, that thou canst not be false to any man." (Shakespeare. Hamlet.)
"And if we were all capable of unity to make our blows stronger and infallible and so increase the effectiveness of all kinds of support given to the struggling people - how great and close would the future be." (Che Guevara.)