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On President Obama’s Hiroshima Visit


On President Obama’s Hiroshima Visit

Robert Dodge

President Obama will be the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima since the bombing 71 years ago in 1945.

Japan seeks not an apology or reparation but an awareness and intimate connection to the common humanity we all share and that is at once threatened by the continued existence of nuclear weapons.

Any nation that continues to keep these weapons is not more secure or powerful but rather a bully ready to threaten others and indeed themselves.

"In Hiroshima, we don’t need another speech. We need a new nuclear weapons policy."


Hiroshima is one more example of how Obama's administration has been characterized by a ton of platitudes for every pound of action.

It is also a distraction from the main purpose of Obama's week in Asia, promoting his Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).


What choice? Unfortunately, "we the people" don't have a choice on nuclear disarmament and never have, not with two major parties that obediently serve the MIC and have since the dawn of the nuclear age. That's not likely to change anytime, soon.

As for Obama, add the New START treaty to a long list of other programs he has abandoned. The master of duplicity continues his hypocritical ways by piously laying a wreath on the Hiroshima memorial, even as he pushes to upgrade this country's nuclear arsenal.


What about the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which the US is party and a driving force of its creation? The whole damn government is complicit in the "updating" of our nuclear armaments and is actively engaged in breaking the law.

There are two huge threats to our existence operating at all times. Catastrophic climate change is the slow-motion annihilation of people and life, while nuclear devastation--on purpose or by accident--is just a split second away.


I guess that is why Obama authorized a program to build lots more of these weapons under the guise of "moderization".

Face it. Obama is a hypocritical war criminal, just like his predecessors.
(Whoops. That comment will probably put me on his "Kill List" if I am not there already.)


Spending a trillion dollars on upgrading our nuclear arsenal is not only wasteful, it's mad, and a flagrant repudiation of the principles on which the Nobel Academy honors its Peace Prize recipients.


Great Tom Lehrer clip lobo4justice.

I liked the line about Alabama getting the bomb.
It reminded me about the actual request by the New Hampshire National Guard a few years back that they be equipped with tactical nuclear weapons "just in case" they needed them.
You never know when those Democratic Socialists from Vermont might invade...


I like to think along abstract lines. Musing on such things as what would Alien intelligent life think of the priorities of Western world powers these days, America, in particular?

And if there is an ongoing human history, what will historians say about the blindness on the part of today's leaders... again, a misguided fate led by America.

However, on this idea of "WE" have a choice, I'd say it's about as accurate as asserting that the Hibakusha have a choice. They've only been fighting for nuclear disarmament with their own brutalized lives to stand witness... for 7 decades.

So long as leaders equate power with weapons of mass destruction, there's little hope that WE--The People--can take these horrors out of their cold, clasped hands.

When an American President can stand by as thousands of children residing in a city with lead-laced waters face long-term brain disorders and instead direct money towards MORE nuclear weapons, then something is profoundly wrong with "this picture."

Of course, the same can be said for the OBSCENE sums that are directed towards the Military Industrial Complex, wars that can never be won (nor should they be fought in the first place), and the ugliest of entities: weapons' designing war profiteering corporations.

The monies that SHOULD go towards investments in the new generation's education, greening the nation's infrastructure, and building a safer, sustainable tomorrow for all sentient souls instead is cannibalized by the vultures who pass themselves off as public servants.

And all of this comports with this idea that Mars, not a loving god, rules. The identification with guns (IRA), Hollywood's celebration of firepower (so many movies that use guns and weapons as props), the idolatry of soldiers and "heroes" who show unabashed aggression, and the lockstep pro-war mass media ALL push this agenda as do those political operatives who LIE about the need for war, and use FEAR tactics to convince some of the electorate that the cases FIXED FOR war are in fact, valid. They are not.

NONE of these twisted priorities that court death can be remotely defined as intelligent or suggestive of the sort of leadership that respects Life and therefore delivers so-called National Security. To the contrary, their M.A.D. actions guarantee more and greater conflicts.

All this is more inane than a sane person can imagine... but it grows yet more inane given the growing threat posed by climate changes. THAT is where investments should be made. Instead, the imbeciles who salute the War God steal from the hungry and homeless in order to build up a cache of weapons that already could burn the entire planet (and all life upon it) to a crisp MANY times over.

And still they demand more!


Careful there... you're starting to sound like me! (I agree, needless to say.)


I think there's a 3rd: Financial impoverishment and the misery it breeds.


Just watched "Democracy Now" and there's a very poignant interview with a survivor of the blasts... hearing her tell what she saw is gruesome and sickening.

Juan Gonzalez asked her what she thought of Obama's speech and she said "Of course it was disappointing." Another guest tried to explain away Obama's duplicitous stance by stating that he's a contradictory President.

Obama's speech spoke about some day in the future when there would be no need for armaments; but the passive voice he utilized when discussing bombs was the substance of "The Twilight Zone" in that he was 100% disassociated from his OWN choice to invest yet another $1 trillion in THESE instruments of death, in this case, a more advanced generation.

In other words, the words were 100% hollow.

Anyone with an intact heart and soul would not wax lyrical about weapons reduction in some abstract future time. As purported leader of the premier nation of the so-called Free World, he might set an example in a genuine "Fairwell To Arms" by announcing that he had changed his mind, and the $1 trillion earmarked for a new nuclear arsenal would instead be diverted to programs of diplomacy, Green technology, and making reparations for nations directly harmed by the MIC.


The world leader in B.S. just keeps on with his deadly lies/ flowery words; while he and his lackeys add to imperialist amerikas nuke stockpile! What colossal hypocrisy!


I feel about nuclear disarmament much as I feel about campaign finance reform: In and of themselves, they are both inadequate. Campaign reform because money is power and until we divest the rich of their riches, it will always fail. As the great jurist Louis Brandeis said:

"We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."

Albert Einstein understood that it is necessary not just to eliminate nuclear weapons, but to eliminate war itself. And to do that there has to be an international organization to keep the peace.


Last time I was in Japan. I made it a priority to visit Hiroshima Peace Park and the museum. I wish more Americans would also take the time to visit either Peace Park when they visit Japan.
For me it was a overwhelming feeling. To hear the stories and witness the childrens drawings of the living hell the U.S. created when they dropped not one but two Atomic bombs that wiped
out hundreds of thousands of mainly innocent men, women and children. Who had absolutely nothing to do with the War. They were just trying to live there lives just like the rest of us. Many of the people that survived the initial blast. Died soon after because of radiation poisoning. The children's drawings shown many people walking in the streets with there eye balls drooping out of there sockets. And the skin was coming off there arms and hands like melted wax. The U.S. military made a film of the two Cities right after the blast. However most Americans will never get to see it. Because it's banned in the United States. They don't want you to see the horror the United States inflicted on Japan. Don't think we Americans could suffer the same fate has the Japanese? Think again, under O'Bomber he has been pushing us closer and closer to a Nuclear war with both Russia and China. O'Bomber is playing with fire when he messes with a country like Russia. Which has nukes that can take out the whole state of Texas with one ICBM. Please check out the linked Professor Cohen interview.


The atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have dominated WW2 history, but, as a single attack, the bombing of Tokyo was more destructive.

The Operation Meetinghouse air raid of 9–10 March 1945 was later estimated to be the single most destructive bombing raid in history, dropping 1,665 tons of bombs on Tokyo. The bombs were mostly the 500-pound (230 kg) E-46 cluster bomb which released 38 napalm-carrying M-69 incendiary bomblets. Approximately 15.8 square miles of the city was destroyed and some 100,000 people are estimated to have died. A million were maimed and another million were made homeless. The Great Tokyo Air Raid should not be blotted out of people’s memory as it was a cruel wartime act that testifies to the great suffering the Pacific War brought to Japanese civilians.

American commander, Curtis LeMay, adopted a policy of indiscriminate “low-altitude” bombings against Japan’s urban areas. LeMay thought that since most buildings in Japan, even in urban areas, were made of “wood and paper,” using incendiary bombs would be effective. The US military had waited for a clear and windy night to inflict maximum damage. He justified the indiscriminate bombing by noting that many households in Japan’s cities were producing small parts that were used in armaments and should, therefore, be regarded as weapons factories. It is considered the single most deadly bombing raid in history. Curtis leMay said the US military "scorched and boiled and baked to death more people in Tokyo on that night ... than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined".

Masahiko Yamabe, chief researcher at the Tokyo Air Raid and War Damages Resource Center explained that “Most of the victims were ordinary citizens. Most were not involved in war industry at all – they were just regular people going about their lives.”

Survivor, Haruyo Nihei, said American claims that the bombings targeted factories were false. "There were no big military factories in the areas they bombed on March 9. They did it as punishment," Nihei said. "I believe they should be held accountable for war crimes too."

The firebombing of Tokyo was designed to terrorise and bomb the Japanese into surrender. It was also seen as payback for the Pearl Harbour attacks and the mistreatment of Allied prisoners of war. Curtis LeMay acknowledged that if he had been on the losing side, he would be charged with war crimes.



Some very astute historians also say the bombs were used to show the Russians what the U.S military was capable of... and demonstrate the latest tool in the ultimate killing machine's arsenal.


Indeed, you are not wrong.

These facts determines more my own view - That two bombs were dropped – without warning – on specifically targeted and crowded locations which had been spared aerial bombardment; the fact that each bomb had different technology (one uranium-explosion; one plutonium-implosion), each with different yields, dropped at different heights but both resulting in prolonged and deadly after-effects of which little was understood, suggests to me the primary motives might have been the almost unmentionable one of “scientific” experimentation.

The Target Committee, 27 April 1945:
“To enable us to assess accurately the effects of the bomb, the targets should not have been previously damaged by air raids…the first target be of such size that the damage would be confined within it, so that we could more definitely determine the power of the bomb…”

Time to re-watch Peter Sellers in Dr, Strangelove


I think it is too late to reverse climate change. I really don't see how that could possibly be achieved with the very fast growing human population. But to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons could be easily solved: just eliminate/destroy them world wide. How about the US setting an example? But of course that is not going to happen.


Please keep in mind that most of our homes in the US are made of wood and paper, too. Nice comment though.