As we mourn together on this 76th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it’s time to revisit the Great Myth of the “Good War.”
David Swanson of World Beyond War offers lots of historical evidence in this article. He says bluntly:
That there was cause to use nuclear weapons is a myth. That there could again be cause to use nuclear weapons is a myth. That we can survive significant further use of nuclear weapons is a myth. That there is cause to produce nuclear weapons even though you’ll never use them is too stupid even to be a myth. And that we can forever survive possessing and proliferating nuclear weapons without someone intentionally or accidentally using them is pure insanity.
Pat Hynes of Traprock Peace Center reminds us:
Hundreds of thousands of Japanese people [were] crushed, vaporized, burned beyond recognition, poisoned by radiation — from the atomic bombs the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
The bombs’ hideous intent and impact constituted a crime against humanity, yet…the propaganda of their supposed necessity to end the war and save American lives was broadcast by our government and received by most Americans as truth.
Many top generals and admirals, more informed about Japan’s readiness to surrender than the American public, spoke forthrightly against their government’s use of the atomic bombs on both military and moral grounds, during and after the war.
In a 1950 memo, Admiral William Leahy, White House chief of staff and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the war, wrote, “the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.” Moreover, “in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. ”