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Against Forgetting: Ground Zero Nagasaki

Against Forgetting: Ground Zero Nagasaki

Susan Southard

Landing at Nagasaki Airport last November, I joined a line of Japanese men, women, and children waiting to disembark from our plane. Most were likely returning home on this holiday weekend or arriving to visit family and friends. I wondered how many of them remembered or thought about the nuclear annihilation of this city 73 years ago -- within, that is, their own lifetimes or those of their parents or grandparents.


As a boy I read all I could from the World Book Encyclopedia on Little Boy (the uranium bomb detonated over Hiroshima) and Fat Man (plutonium/Nagasaki). Through Boy Scouts I toured a launch complex at Whiteman AFB in Missouri where I saw the underground pod in which the keys had to be simultaneous turned under appropriate code clearance to launch the missiles. On deck, I viewed a Minuteman II missile through the open silo doors and contemplated the power of what I saw. I have never been the same nor will I be. Peace. And I really mean it. Peace. Always. Peace.


The claim made by the USA, that this was done to save lives is an absolute lie. The USA had no desire to save lives and targetting civilians as they waged total war was POLICY and not out of necessity. This was made very evident in the firebombing of Tokyo prior to the use of Nuclear weapons. Most of the residential areas of Tokyo were wood frame constructed houses. Most of the Industrial areas had buildings made with concrete. Fire Bombing was seen as desirable for the inordinate impact it would have on residential areas. In these bombings the US Military also targetted routes they knew residents and firefighters would use to escape or access the areas.

As to the 2 million lives lost in the Islands invaded because “The Japaneses were fanatics” another absolute lie. The USSR lost more people taking Berlin then they lost destroying the dug in and prepared entirety of the Japanese army im Manchuria.

The USSR had 1.5 million troops facing around 800000 and lost 12000 KIA and 24000 wounded against The Japanese.

Again, the real fanatics were the Americans as they claimed they would keep Nuking CITIES until the Japanese surrendered unconditionally.

Just as it important to never forget the days the USA used nuclear weapons against Cities for the war crimes and mass murder that they were, it important not to forget how the US Propoganda machine went to work to whitewash these events ,a practice they use to this very day.


Revenge for Pearl Harbor, and suicide killing by plane by the Japanese is reason enough for me.
It’s one war we didn’t start, but found a profound to finish.

Yes, and like you point out in your excellent post, that lie still persists over 70 years later! The fact that Truman was never tried for war crimes for murdering thousands of innocent Japanese, men, women, and children is proof that what he did to me… was an unconscionable and egregious miscarriage of justice.

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So I take it if Iraqis wanted revenge for the invasion of their Country you have no issues with them nuking New York City? Collective punishment is defined as a war crime.


The Japanese made three surrender offers prior to those bombs dropping. Seriously.

The Russians destroyed a 800000 man army in Manchuria losing 12000 doing so. Seriously. They also invaded part of the home islands of Japan with minimal life lost. Seriously.


Just so people understand the basics of Chomsky’s argument that the dropping of either bomb was not required - it is fairly simple:

  1. The Japanese had an irrational and religious attachment to their emperor and couldn’t bear the thought of him being executed. So unconditional surrender didn’t work for them at the close of the war with Germany but conditional surrender with no more terms than we granted anyway (we didn’t execute the emperor) would have worked (in combination with point 2).

  2. The Japanese did not relish the thought of fighting against the USSR and the US, both of which could now put full time efforts against them. We however we already trying to act in ways to reduce USSR power and didn’t want to make an alliance with them against the Japanese. Had we been willing to, and given point 1, many historians (those I trust anyway) think Japan would have accepted conditional surrender.

For those that think the USSR is so bad we couldn’t have possibly aligned with them, there is the Tulsi Gabbard argument of pragmatism and there is the fact that without their effort in WWII against the Germans, it isn’t even clear the Allies could have every prevailed without them. Henry Wallace wanted to give USSR aid in recognition of that fact. Truman was callous to both peoples and used to say before we entered the war (in the Senate I think) that if the USSR was winning, we should support Germany and if Germany was winning we should support the USSR. Not a model of integrity by any means. We’d have been better off with Henry Wallace as president for sure.

@gandolf - are you willing to answer my simple question about Vietnam from another post? Do you think Vietnam would have been better off if we had won that war and if so, do you think we had any legal right to intervene militarily?

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That is the problem! Soooo many Americans do not know how much they have been brainwashed by American propaganda and their government’s lies that they mistake patriotism for fascism, not unlike the good Germans in Nazi Germany. Example: despite over 2,000 Architects and building engineers with impeccable credentials,who claim what happened on 9/11 was mathematically impossible, the majority of the American sheeple still believe their governments 9/11 fairy tale.

Iraq has EVERY right to kick our ass. Suicide car bomb to a good nuking.

Well said. If there is such a thing as an unsheeple, you are it!

This true of virtually every country on the globe. Using your arguement , given the role of the USA in forcing the Country to accept trade with the USA by using the threat of force, Japan had “every right to attack America”.

This eye for an eye stuff is primitive bullshit.

Thanks. But it looks like I don’t qualify based on your terms because I do buy the standard story of 9-11. I think like Bob Graham that there is Saudi complicity and our government is hiding that from us for corrupt reasons, but I don’t buy stories of pre-planted explosives.

Yes. The offer the Japanese made to MacArthur after the Philippines fell was to agree to all US demands with the proviso that the Emperor would not be charged with War Crimes. Truman rejected this outright insisting the surrender be unconditional. Iwo Jima happened AFTER this.

US Admirals also indicated Japan simply posed no further threat as they had no sources of oil and fuel for their war machine as all of this came from foreign sources. One reason why the Yamato went on its suicide run was because the Japanese did not have enough bunker fuel for anything but a one way mission.

One reason the Japanese troops collapsed so quickly against the Russians in Manchuria is they had no air cover , no fuel , no mobility and nothing to deal with Russian armor.

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You are certainly entitled to your opinion, thanks.

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An eye for an eye while not an enjoyable response, except for the J. Bolton crowd, discourages war mongers and imperialists to keep hands off.
Without occasional eye for an eye tactics the world would likely consist of a very few countries instead of nearly two hundred.
That is if you consider the eye for an eye tactic as a logical one for retaliation.
The choice of rolling over and shouting, “Thank you sir, may I have another?”, is unacceptable.

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Please discuss in the context of the Vietnam war - are we (the US, Canada had nothing to do with it) not the imperialist in that case? Do you now support that decision to go to war? (I don’t care what you thought back then).

I am a Vietnam vet and TODAY I understand a few things I didn’t back then. We were technically under a treaty, but that shouldn’t mean much considering our track record. Since France was being imperialistic and we continued the war when they left, that makes us imperialistic by default I suppose.
I don’t think a reasonable person could argue that a retaliation event would have been unrighteous by either the country or individuals. I say that, in particular, because our actions over there were arguably war crimes.
Anyone we have attacked or gone to war with by choice, and without due cause, should be comfortable morally to return fire in a way that suits them. If we are going start war willy-nilly we should expect retribution. Eye for an eye.

Agreed. Thanks for your answer.

I’m satisfied with the explanation that a fire started after the twin towers started disintegrating (e.g. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZvoNoRnPAI). I haven’t spent much time looking into it though - we have video and eyewitnesses to know a plane hit one of the towers (I forget about the first event - I don’t think there is video though I assume somebody saw it). I really don’t need to spend a lot of my time on building 7 theories. The idea that the government needed 7 to come down because just hitting the main towers wasn’t enough defies logic.