Sunday, August 07, 2005

From Hiroshima to Iraq

From Hiroshima to Iraq

It's hard to swallow the incredulity of the assumption that we really "saved lives" by dropping an atomic bomb which killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians and irradiated an entire population for generations. It is true nuclear destruction may have saved some American lives in the war itself, inevitably in exchange for Japanese lives, of course.
The act certainly demonstrated the awesome destructive power of the American military complex.

But it also admittedly unleashed a weapon which threatens the extinction of the entire human race several times over. I fail to see how spawning an international nuclear arms race, which continues today with threats of nuclear war with North Korea, Iran, China, Russia and various rogue groups with "suitcase nukes" has saved ANY lives.

Rather, the continued development of advanced nuclear weapons by the U.S. and its foray into nukes in space and depleted-uranium ammunition serves only to increase the efficacy of killing and raise the odds of global annihilation. If the testing of nuclear weapons in the U.S. both before and after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as later known tests abroad, were factored into the equation, I'm sure it would be evident we have not “saved” any lives and have in fact cost many.

Ultimately, the use of two Atomic Bombs against the Japanese rendered only destruction and death, as that is the only purpose of such weaponry.

Nuclear weapons are not designed to save people, but kill them.
Guns are similar. I support the right to gun ownership, but it must be acknowledged guns are not a “defensive” weapon. While a valid self defense argument can be made for carrying a gun, it is by nature an offensive weapon. Certainly the deer hunter is not carrying his rifle in defense of the deer; he carries it to shoot him down. If you shoot a burglar in your house, your motivation may be self defense, but the effect and intent of the gun is to kill or disable the intruder - an offensive response.

Some would say such is the way of the world. That an aggressive stance, and the readiness to follow through, are a necessity against the threat of assailants. And they would be partially right. But in adhering blindly to this policy, and especially to the Bush Doctrine of Pre-emptive warfare, we throw away common sense and widely-accepted moral adages.

Believing my neighbor is a murderer, or some sort of lesser criminal who poses a real or perceived threat to me, what would happen if I crossed the street and shot him in the head 7 times?
If you guessed I’d be hauled off to jail and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, you deserve 50 silver dollars and a good football-style smack on the ass. But of course, events on the national and international stage are exempt from the rules of the common people.

On these stages, where the figureheads spout arrogant and flamboyant rhetoric of freedom and democracy, two wrongs do make a right, and people ripped apart by misplaced laser-guided missile airstrikes are just collateral damage in the mission of spreading freedom to the surviving members of their families.

Hypocrisy is apparently irrelevant on the international stage. Threatening nations to stop developing nuclear power, let alone nuclear weapons, while we continue to use and develop both, at best sends a severely mixed message.

This story from a popular advice column serves as a good example. If it wasn’t an intentional attempt, it’s a beautiful coincidence:

As to the inevitable questions regarding this author’s patriotism:
Soldiers follow orders, and many do so with good intentions. I respect the ideals for which many Americans sign up to serve. I have friends and family who have served and are serving in the American military. I think those for and against the Iraq war, across the political divide, can all agree we want our soldiers home soon and safe.

I would never make a good soldier for the likes of our current military. I am prone to question orders, and could only follow them if I truly believed in the cause.
I believe in freedom, and perhaps my definition of freedom differs from others. My freedom does not include constant camera surveillance, comprehensive communication monitoring, warrantless searches, guilt based on dissemination of blurry video camera images. . . and all sorts of other violations of the Constitution which are acceptable these days.

Here’s a link to the constitution. Read it carefully. If you’re sharp, you could learn a lot.

If we are to fight a war in Iraq, one that Donald Rumsfeld advertises could last 12 years, let the Congress declare war, and be held responsible for its actions.
Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war, but the body of supposed representatives has refused to do so since the Korean War.

“The Congress shall have Power To: . . .
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;”

The resolution giving Bush unilateral power to invade a supposed threatening country is not enough to justify pre-emptive invasion.
We can no longer let the Congress get away with calling our Wars “police actions.”
We must make accountable those elected to make the decisions of War, the Congress and the President.

The fact is the mission of war, even if launched ostensibly to save lives, is ultimately about killing the designated enemy, whoever that might be.

From Hiroshima to Iraq, America claims honor and righteousness in its actions. If we are to reclaim honor (righteousness was lost long ago), we could start by rendering responsibility for the actions of our nation's agencies and agendas on those leaders who make decisions which affect us all.


"A-bomb mushroom cloud over Hiroshima, August 6th, 1945, about one hour after the bombing. Photo taken from a U.S. airplane over the Seto Inland Sea about 80 kilometers from the hypocenter. U.S. Army photo courtesy of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation."


At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Daryl Aretz said...

Our Constitution was designed to put an end to the two party system that divided Britain and place the power of the governament (indirectly) into the hands of the people. The people would choose electorates, who would then decide on our President. No one I know (including myself) has ever been asked to vote for an elector, or even knows who these people are. It is said that every person's vote counts, but that's malarkey. And as far as our 'President', he was not elected. Having a figurehead opponent who is obviously aligned with you (although in a different party) that quits is not the way to win. The people of this nation are pacified by their abliity to break little laws (how can ANYONE justify speeding in this age of cruise control?) and by their ability to have 'free speech' such as The Daily Show. They allow the ones 'in charge' to break the bigger laws so the little freedoms don't get taken away. (Heads up: THEY ALREADY HAVE!)
The biggest problem is that the people who choose to vote like things just the way they are, with their SUV's, unnecessarily large houses, and the ever spreading government control. Henry Rollins calls them 'bovines with briefcases'. They are justified because someone told them it is their job to multiply and conquer.
The ones who don't vote realize the way things have become and that no one is interested in hearing a dissenting opinion execpt others who realize the same thing. They also realize that there IS NO WAY TO CHANGE THIS SYSTEM, because those without the money to spend, don't matter.
Rich white men have ruined this world (just read any history book to prove it) and will continue to do so until they have destroyed it.
But as far as needing to stop nuclear war, it's too late. Stop pretending and just blow it to hell already. People all over the world are tired of waiting. I have been living with the threat of nuclear war for 30 years. GET IT OVER WITH. And let the ones who survive (because there will be survivors) use their money and SUV's to rebuild the world so they can do it all over again. Just let the rest of us out of our jail first.

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