Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Nagasaki: 72 years and we're no wiser

August 9 passes quietly, for the 72nd time since 1945.  

The UN adopted a treating banning nuclear weapons on July 7 of this year, 2017, but most Americans (including our presidnet) don't know this.

Professor Masao Tomonaga was a two-year-old 1.7 miles from the point where the five-ton plutonium bomb exploded above Nagasaki.  His mother unearthed herself and him from the rubble of their collapsed home.

Today he travels speaking as an expert on the long-term effects of radiation on the human body and working to ban nuclear weapons.

He explains that the infrared heat rays "instantly carbonized human and animal flesh and vaporized the internal organs of those directly beneath the bomb."

Thank you to Susan Southard for her op-ed piece "Nuclear terror, still a threat after 72 years" in today's Los Angeles Times.  She is also the author of a prize-winning book, Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War.

The rationale used in 1945 and since is "It saved American lives."

Perhaps it did--but it took away Japanese lives.

How can we justify killing 50-80,000 people in Nagasaki and 90-120,000 people in Hiroshima to save an equal or greater number of American lives?

We also killed about 120,000 people by conventional bombing in Tokyo in March, 1945, according to Zachary Keck writing for The Diplomat website.

He accepts the argument that "millions" of lives were saved, both Japanese and American, by use of the atomic bomb--partly by demonstrating the horror of nuclear war and preventing the use of atomic bombs during the Cold War and up to now.

For statistics, see:

For an argument that the US was right to use the bombs, see:

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