The White House announced this week that President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, the site of the world’s first atomic-bomb attack. He will be the first sitting president to go there, and only the second president ever, after former President Jimmy Carter visited in 1984. Obama’s pilgrimage to Hiroshima, where 140,000 people were killed and another 100,000 seriously injured on Aug. 6, 1945, will not be accompanied by a formal apology.
Obama should have GE Jeff accompany him to look for the corium from the Fukushima (GE Mark I design) reactors.
Obama is going to Hiroshima while planning to spend $1 trillion on new nuclear weapons over thirty years. Think how much renewable energy that trillion of nuclear industry corporate welfare might have bought instead.
Obama's legacy gestures just fill me with disgust.
Just asking: why wasn't Tokyo chosen instead of Hiroshima? And why was the second atom bomb dropped on Nagasaki? And if one believes the governments raison D' etre that the atom bomb ended the second world war and saved American lives; seems to me, like the terrible perdition and the deaths of some 100,000 Japanese people in Hiroshima would have been more than enough to end the second world war!
Tokyo had been destroyed by napalm fire bombing. If I remember correctly, Hiroshima was a dual purpose target-civilian and military casualties were expected. The Japanese 2nd Army was stationed there and was vaporized while doing calisthenics. I can't remember about Nagasaki for sure but I don't think it had any real military value.
One must remember that part of the project, not the only one but a significant part, was to intimidate the Soviet Union, something that is not talked about by our (USA!, USA!) historians.
UnclePo wrote (to Shantiananda):
'...One must remember that part of the project, not the only one but a significant part, was to intimidate the Soviet Union,...'
I believe that that was the ONLY reason.
Since those two devastating bombings in 1945, on Aug. 6 in Hiroshima and Aug. 9 in Nagasaki, there have thankfully been no more military attacks with nuclear weapons.
This is actually not true. The Chinese conducted a nuclear "test" that just happened to be above some Russian troops during a border skirmish some time in the 1960's.
You're not kidding, UnclePo. He's one of the biggest phonies around. That being said, it's an awful lot of expect of American leaders, including Obama, to listen to the stories of survivors of the horrific Hiroshima nuclear attacks, and hopefully learn a lesson from the people who experienced this horrific attack first hand, and close up.
The primary target for the second bomb was the city of Kokura, but it was heavily overcast at the time. The secondary was Nagasaki and its cloud cover broke.
VJ Day plus 60
15 August, 1945 and the world went wild!
The insanity that had begun in 1939 was over.
Imperial Japan had surrendered, its one wish granted.
Few knew it had been trying to surrender for months,
Asking only to keep its Emperor, but no one would listen.
Except a small group who wondered why.
We had a lesson to teach, to Japan and the world at large.
16 July, 1945, in the American desert, Trinity was detonated.
Far more powerful than expected, the superweapon worked!
Horrified, many scientists said, “It must never be used.”
The war department said, “Just what we need.”
Intelligence said, “They’re trying to surrender.”
“Bomb an offshore deserted island,” the scientists said.
“Maybe it won’t go off,” the military said, “we’d look foolish.”
“Destroying a city without warning is barbaric,” said the diplomats.
“They really want to surrender,” said intelligence.
“We’ll call the city a military target,” said Truman,
“The Russians will get a big surprise.”
6 August 1945, an elderly gardener looked up from his spade
Admiring the silver plane flying far above.
His shadow remains etched in the concrete wall behind him.
Schoolchildren, housewives, tradesmen
Blown to rags of flesh or vaporized, the lucky ones.
Thousands of others doomed to slow death and disease.
“They keep asking for someone to take their surrender,” said intelligence,
“Can’t we at least talk to them?”
“They have to be taught a lesson and the world must see our power,”
Said the military,” Besides, we have to test the second bomb.”
And so the wheels were set in motion for the second demonstration
Of Hell on earth.
9 August 1945, above the city of Kokura, the Gods of Chance roll the dice.
A hundred thousand or more go about their business,
Unsuspecting of the doom flying above the thick cloud cover.
In Nagasaki, the people enjoyed the sunshine as the cloud cover broke.
“Secondary target is clear,” and their world suddenly ended in fire and shock
And radiation sleeting through their bodies.
“Now let them surrender,” said the military, “The test is completed.”
Two cities vaporized, two hundred thousand dead,
Survivors to suffer, some for days, some for decades,
And the nuclear arms race begun.
“By golly, we sure showed them!”
“We’ll let them keep their Emperor.”
15 August, 1945 and the world went wild!
The end of the war and of war itself!
There was dancing in the streets and love in the parks,
The blackouts ended in the streets and the homes.
Japan and Germany licked their wounds,
In Washington and the Kremlin, midnight oil was burning.
15 August 2005, nations have risen and fallen;
War and genocide again ravage the world.
Treaties made by thoughtful men have been discarded
In the name of profit and greed; nuclear horror again hovers
Over a world exhausted by war, famine and disease.
Only the aging survivors remember the bloody lesson, taught so long ago.
15 August 2005