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Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Gratuitous Mass Murder


Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Gratuitous Mass Murder

Stephen Lendman

The atomic age began on August 6, 1945 in real time – after its July 16 pre-dawn open-air birth in successful Alamogordo, NM testing.

At the time, perhaps prophetically General Thomas Farrell said “(w)e were reaching into the unknown, and we did not know what might come of it.”

Called by some “the father of the atomic bomb,” Robert Oppenheimer quoted from the Bhagavad Gita saying: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

August 6 marks the 70th anniversary of one of history’s great crimes, followed three days later by incinerating Nagasaki.


Big lies! Still after some 70 years shows me unfortunately, that the propaganda of the Fourth Reich is still alive and well.

Sure, the Japanese military were guilty of the most evil atrocities, but that fact did not justify the murders of over 200,000 innocent civilians, many who were just children. The most egregious atrocity of all; especially since it was totally unnecessary!


Here is the loophole that people who commandeer war wiggle through; "1945 Nuremberg Principles forbid “crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity,” including “inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war,” – notably indiscriminate killing and “wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.” Read, “or devastation not justified by military necessity.” That loophole must be closed. War must be outlawed as a means of settling differences between countries. There is a building standing in NYC desperately in need of remodeling; there are war criminals who must be brought to trial as a reminder to those who follow. Simply put the energy expended by wars between nations is no longer affordable. Nations in order to survive must come together in joined hands to meet the one challenge that left unattended much longer will destroy us all, human caused climate disruption.


Please excuse my language, but ‘what the hell?’ Japan was already prepared to surrender, and the US knew this, and dropped the bombs anyway? How many, what percent of Americans know this? I never did. I’m 63 years old, was born into the immediate-post-war era, my parents and our whole family received an excellent education, liberal-leaning, non-military.

I am entirely inclined to believe what you are stating here, and thank you very much for bringing this up.


It’s easy to make these comments 70 years after the war and we are no longer fighting a world war (we are fighting numerous little wars). If Japan had not attacked us and Germany had not declared war on us, we would not have dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we probably would not have even developed the bombs in the first place. The Japanese leadership were not ready to surrender unconditionally, they wanted to surrender on their own terms. The Japanese did not easily surrender at Okinawa, they fought fanatically to the death and even civilians committed suicide rather than be taken prisoner.
Wikipedia: Okinawa was the bloodiest battle of the Pacific War.[43][44][45] The most complete tally of deaths during the Battle are at the Cornerstone of Peace monument at the Okinawa Prefecture Peace Park identifies the names of each individual who died at Okinawa due to World War II. As of 2010, the monument lists 240,931 names, including 149,193 Okinawan civilians, 77,166 Imperial Japanese soldiers, 14,009 U.S. soldiers

The Japanese leadership were responsible for those bombs being dropped on those 2 cities. They could have surrendered unconditionally and the bombs would not have been dropped. The Chinese and the Koreans were not sad to see those bombs dropped; one Korean woman said that she wished that the US had dropped more A-bombs on Japan. We were at war, a far flung world war fighting two fanatical, merciless militaristic enemies. Thousands of Americans had died in the Pacific theater and we’re not supposed to use the weapon that can end the war with a minimum loss of US life? The Japanese leadership should have done the apologizing, not just the US. Have the Japanese apologized for the massacres and atrocities they committed all over Asia? Rape of Nanking? I wish we would ban all nuclear weapons, dismantle them and phase out nuclear power while we are at it. The US should apologize for many things, the list is long, but both the Japanese and the US should issue a joint apology for the dropping of the A-bombs because the Japanese do share in the guilt for starting the war and for not surrendering in a timely fashion.


First bomb was dropped on Aug 06, the second one on Aug 09, it took another week for Japan’s leadership to agree to the terms of surrender, and Japan’s military leaders had to be dragged into it kicking and screaming. Well, the ones that did not commit suicide first.

If Japan was ready they would have surrendered after the first bomb, or after all the firebombings of Tokyo and other countless cities or maybe even earlier when Russia decided to invade them, if that was such a big factor like US haters seem to claim. None of that happened.


Excuse me, but the US did not start WWII. Japan had the option not to attack the US and bring it into WWII. The Japanese were ready to surrender?! Really. So why was there a battle of Okinawa just a few months before the bombs were dropped? The 82-day-long battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945. The Japanese certainly did not act like they wanted to surrender. The apologists imply that invading mainland Japan would have been a piece of cake and the Japanese would have easily surrendered like they did in Okinawa (sarcasm alert). Utter nonsense. The deaths and casualties would have been high on all sides as there were in Okinawa.


Nuclear bombs have about as much to do with nuclear energy production as petroleum bombs have to do with petroleum energy production. And petroleum bombs incinerated a lot more Japanese cities and civilians than did the two atomic bombs. Do you wish we would ban the use of petroleum fuels?


And what would have been wrong with allowing then to surrender of their rather minor terms - including retaining the emperor, which they did anyway? The nuclear bombings were ultimately a racist act - both against the Japanese, and by proxy, the Soviet Union - which the USA had regarded as its REAL enemy throughout the war. had the Japanese they been white Europeans, we would have never used them


So apparently you are on the side of the psychopaths who did these heinous acts, regardless of the facts that are stated in this article.


And over 70 years later, humans have learned nothing after these atrocities. The same lies are being spewed to justify illegal invasions and illegal occupations (called the global war on terror). Hideous weaponry is being used (depleted uranium, white phosphorous), poisoning civilian populations and condemning those human beings to a life of cancers and birth defects.
And people shrug their shoulders now, just as they did then, justifying their life somehow more important than another, based on where you are born evidently.
Homosapiens will not evolve as a species until they learn to live in peace and stop the wanton destruction of others, who mostly just want to live in peace as well.
Another excellent article, thank you.


“America “was determined to drop those bombs,” said Zinn.”

Is that a fair description of the issue? Wouldn’t it be fairer to say that those within the military industrial establishment supported by those who’d devoted their careers to building these weapons of mass destruction, added to those who were aware of the deception allotted to the public (in never conveying to citizens Japan’s readiness to surrender) but wanted to show Russia (and the rest of the world) what U.S military might meant were the ones who made this determination? What this relative handful of well-connected pro-war (martial) souls elected to do is not now a full rendering of America–as portrait of its varied amalgamation of citizens–nor was it ever.

In fact, this sort of framing grants a pass to those who are enamored with war and macho might… as if no countervailing vision or set of priorities exist at all!


Blaming the victims of weapons of mass destruction, demanding an apology of them… you wouldn’t perchance happen to work as a police officer who takes pride in demanding likewise of Black kids beaten to a pulp if not gunned down for the crime of walking???


You probably make similar excuses for the Vietnam quagmire… another soldier boy agreeing to push on through the big muddy cause the big fool tells him to do so.


MILLIONS of people work for peace. THEY have learned. Who and what have not learned are those who commit their lives to military careers, designing, selling, and trafficking weapons, and then using false flags and trauma based mind control to convince a percentage of persons (mostly white males of Conservative backgrounds and others who think God = guns) that the senseless mass murder of others will actually solve problems.

These indictments of ALL citizens pretend that all citizens have power, voice, agency, and legal standing within their nation’s planning stages of war. And that ALL agree with the policies of destruction… as friggin if.

This is no different than blaming the Black kids for police brutality.


I don’t take anyone’s side, i just look at facts, and here some: neither Japan’s emperor nor military issued a surrender statement on Feb 24, or on Aug 6, or Aug 9 (double whammy there Russia invades plus Nagasaki gets bombed). The surrender statement was broadcast on Aug 15th a week later.

So i don’t know, you tell me if Japan was so eager to surrender why didn’t they do this earlier.


The Vietnamese war was wrong, horrific and should have never happened; we should apologize for that war without a doubt. It was a war built on lies and deception, the Vietnamese had done nothing to us. Muhammad Ali summed it up quite well and had the guts to stand against the war. LBJ did so many great things but his legacy remains forever despoiled by involving us in an unnecessary war of choice.


How the hell am I blaming the victims? I am blaming the Japanese leadership who obviously did not give a damn about the suffering of its own people. I am blaming the Japanese militarists and imperialists who left a bloody trail all over Asia and the Pacific islands.


The US carpet bombed the hell out of Germany and even fire bombed many German cities. We ended up killing many innocent French, Italians, Belgiums, Dutch and Danes, etc., in order to dislodge the Germans from those conquered countries. Germany did surrender unconditionally. We probably would have used the A bomb on Germany if it had refused to surrender. We did everything else to them that we had also done to the Japanese.


And what would have been wrong for the Japanese to have surrendered unconditionally as the Germans did? Yes, we were racist against the Japanese at that time but that does not excuse them for their many war crimes against the Chinese, Koreans and other peoples of Asia and the Pacific islands. Are you saying that we were soft on the Germans? We carpet bombed and fire bombed German cities on an almost assembly line basis. We probably would have used the A bomb on Germany if it had not surrendered but it would have been complicated by the fact that the radioactive fallout would have fallen on allies.