Mushroom Cloud Over Hiroshima

By: Bill the Butcher

6th August 2010, if we’re inclined not to forget it, was the sixty-fifth anniversary of the atom-bombing of Hiroshima.

Making absolutely no attempt to be even-handed on this point, I shall ignore, for the purposes of this article, Japanese crimes in China and elsewhere, and just point out that this bombing was not only a war crime, designed purely as a terrorising measure, but had absolutely nothing to do with its stated objective, namely, Japan’s surrender.

To recapitulate:

Japan, at that time, had no functional navy left, and not even a functional merchant navy; it had to literally take to sailing ships to smuggle a modicum of food and raw materials to the home islands. Japan’s aviation had been sacrificed in pointless kamikaze attacks, most of its army trapped fighting in China, the Philippines and South-East Asia. Japan’s cities were burned out shells; the repeated massed B29 raids had gutted the heart of virtually every major Japanese city, and reduced the Japanese people to the brink of starvation [1]. And with the Soviet Union’s declaration of war on Japan obviously imminent – Stalin had signed an agreement with Roosevelt and Churchill at Yalta in February promising to attack Japan 100 days after the end of the European war – the last remaining sources of raw materials and food, Korea and Manchuria, would soon be lost.

Japan was finished, and was all ready to sue for peace; the only condition it made was that the position of the Emperor should be protected. The Japanese government under Kantaro Suzuki that took office in April 1945 did so with the one single objective of ending the war. All this was known to the Western Allies, since the Japanese codes had long since been broken. [1]

And still Hiroshima, and three days later, Nagasaki, were A-bombed.

What did these bombs achieve, besides the deaths of approximately 220,000 civilians, in their stated objective of ending the war? Nothing, zero, doodly-squat. Japan surrendered, but on exactly the same terms the Allies could have got without the A-Bombing, meaning, that the Emperor remained on the Chrysanthemum Throne and didn’t even have to answer for his role in starting the war.

These are the terms the Japanese offered as early as 20 January 1945, and repeated through the USSR in July [1]:

* Complete surrender of all Japanese forces and arms, at home, on island possessions, and in occupied countries.
* Occupation of Japan and its possessions by Allied troops under American direction.
* Japanese relinquishment of all territory seized during the war, as well as Manchuria, Korea and Taiwan.
* Regulation of Japanese industry to halt production of any weapons and other tools of war.
* Release of all prisoners of war and internees.
* Surrender of designated war criminals.

These are the exact same terms that the Americans accepted at the official Japanese surrender in September 1945.

So, what was the point? What but a warning to the USSR to behave and keep to its ordained place in the scheme of things, not to get “too big for its boots”, as it were?

Even if one accepts the fiction that the bombing of Hiroshima was necessary to end the war without massive loss of (more valuable) American lives, it’s almost impossible to try to justify the bombing of Nagasaki. Even if one claims that Hiroshima had to be atomised to scare the Japanese into submission, something that could have been done by atom-bombing an isolated military base [1], destroying Nagasaki was pure overkill, if one believes that it was meant to force the Japanese to surrender. However, it does make sense in a completely different context: if, that is, it was meant as a warning to the USSR that the US had more than one bomb and was ready to use them.

Incidentally, Nagasaki was bombed somewhat by accident; the actual target was Kokura, but because clouds obscured the aiming point, “Bock’s Car” (the B29 involved) flew to the alternate target, Nagasaki.[8]

Also, there is another reason why the Bomb was used on Nagasaki: because spending the money to develop it demanded that it be utilised. It was a plutonium implosion device of the kind tested in Alamagordo, New Mexico, in July 1945, much more sophisticated and powerful than the gun-type uranium bomb dropped on Hiroshima, which required no testing.

At 8:16 on the morning of August 6, 1945, the world got a glimpse of its own mortality. At that moment, the city of Hiroshima was obliterated by a fireball that sent waves of searing heat, then a deafening concussion, across the landscape. Three days later, a second bomb hit Nagasaki. … [President Dwight D.] Eisenhower said in 1963 “It wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”

… Besides the Manhattan Project’s internal momentum was an external motive. Its leaders had to justify the $2 billion ($26 billion in today’s dollars) expense to Congress and the public… Byrnes…warned Roosevelt that political scandal would follow if it [the atomic bomb] was not used. … “How would you get Congress to appropriate money for atomic energy research [after the war] if you do not show results for the money which has been spent already?” …the U.S. had produced two types of bombs–one using uranium, the other plutonium. Whenever anyone suggested that the moment the bomb was dropped the war would be over, [bureaucrat] Groves countered, “Not until we drop two bombs on Japan.” As [historian] Goldberg explains… “One bomb justified Oak Ridge, the second justified Hanford.” Hiroshima was hit with the uranium bomb, nicknamed “Little Boy”; the plutonium bomb, “Fat Man,” was used against Nagasaki.”

From Why We Dropped The Bomb By William Lanouette, CIVILIZATION, The Magazine of the Library of Congress, January/February 1995


Scientists at Los Alamos were also intrigued as to which type of bomb was the better – a uranium or plutonium based bomb. ‘Little Boy’ showed its effectiveness at Hiroshima but another bombing mission was needed to see what damage a (plutonium – this site mistakenly writes “uranium”) bomb could do. [8]

We probably should allude to the revenge factor, too; since the attack on Pearl Harbour was played up as a Day of Infamy, instead of what it really was, a desperate (and predictable) move by a Japan pushed to the wall, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were called retaliation for the attack. This was silly if one thinks of it, because “revenge” had been taken over and over and over by then on Japan’s civilians, its old men and women and children, by bombs and starvation. But this was easy because the Japanese weren’t thought to be human beings in the same way as the Germans, for instance; contemporary US propaganda always showed them as bespectacled, buck-toothed monkeys and rats.

And it’s hardly secret that Japanese soldiers’ body parts were often taken by Americans as war trophies. [7]

The racist component to the anti-Japanese war shows through clearly when you remember the US interned Americans of Japanese origin (Nisei) in camps, but not Americans of German origin, a move that would have sent Dwight Eisenhower and Kurt Vonnegut, among others, behind barbed wire.

In contrast to Eisenhower’s frank though belated admission in 1963 [1]…

During his [Stimson’s] recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of “face.”

…Harry Truman, who actually ordered the bombing, had this to say [1]:

“The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.”

As the same website points out,

This was a preposterous statement. In fact, almost all of the victims were civilians, and the United States Strategic Bombing Survey (issued in 1946) stated in its official report: “Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen as targets because of their concentration of activities and population.”

It’s not as though the use of nuclear weapons was supposed to be restricted to this one occasion. General Douglas MacArthur, US proconsul for Occupied Japan, later had plans to drop no less than up to fifty atom bombs over China in order to stave off defeat in North Korea. He

… explained he would drop between 30 and 50 atomic bombs- strung across the neck of Manchuria, and spread behind us, from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea-a belt of radioactive cobalt-for at least 60 years there would be no land invasion of Korea from the North. The Russians, he claimed, would be intimidated by this and do nothing. He continued to seek authority to deploy the bomb. [2]

See how the killing of hundreds of thousands of Asians implicitly to warn off the Russians was followed by the planned killing of perhaps millions of Asians, and the deliberate contamination of Asian land, again, and now explicitly, in order to warn off the Russians?

There was a racist component to this as well. The American “End the War offensive” of 1950, which was meant to “get the boys home by Christmas”, was launched by the US when it knew that the Chinese had crossed the Yalu river into North Korea; yet it advanced, with the soldiers being told “Don’t let a bunch of Chinese laundrymen stop you.” (vide Enter the Dragon: China’s Undeclared War Against the US in Korea, 1950-51 by Russell Spurr). The same author mentions massacres of Korean civilians and notes that the war introduced a new pejorative term meant to dehumanise Asians: gook.

Korean farmers were literally used as target practice by US marines sighting their rifles (vide Philip Caputo, A Rumor Of War). And as late as the early sixties, British historian David Rees could feel able to get away with saying (in Korea: The Limited War)

The conquest of the civilised world by millions of expendable Asians had turned out to be a futile dream.

Obviously, then, the use of nuclear weapons against Asiatic Untermenschen was easy to contemplate, especially since they had already been used. Once you use the Ultimate Weapon, it becomes easier to use it again.

So it won’t be surprising to note that, just three years later, in 1954, when the French were facing defeat at Vietnamese hands at Dien Bien Phu, the United States’…

Secretary of State John Foster Dulles reportedly offered France nuclear weapons to use on the … [3]

…Viet Minh troops armed with carbines and a few artillery pieces. Again, Asians, being at the receiving end, were thought fair game.

Would MacArthur, or for that matter the US administration of the time, have contemplated the use of nuclear weapons in order to terminate a conflict between say Greece and Turkey, or to help France to crush an independence movement in Brittany? I somehow don’t think so!

Yes, there is quite unmistakably a racial component in the planned or threatened use of nuclear weaponry by the only nation to ever use the Bomb, and by its satraps.

And now, with an invasion (or at least bombing) of Iran apparently imminent [4], there’s talk of use of nuclear bombs by the US and/or its satrap “Israel”. If Iran could actually have threatened retaliation with nuclear weaponry, I doubt that there would have been any talk of a bombing, let alone nuking – take a look at North Korea, whose minuscule arsenal, although of questionable reliability, has kept it safe from attack. But “Israel”, being a white (pseudo-) nation in a (barbarian) Asian sea, deserves any and all latitude in “self-defence” as long as the targets are Asians.

I read [5] that Obama is contemplating a “revisit” of the decision to bomb Hiroshima, since he wants to eliminate nuclear weapons. But his extreme propensity to speak the unadulterated, unvarnished truth, and his record of utterly untainted honesty make me reluctant to trust him for the correct time.

To return to Hiroshima, where 140,000 expendable Asians were slaughtered to warn Stalin off Western Europe, here’s what a survivor had to say:

There were red burned and bloated dead bodies piled up high, the corpses with the guts and the eyes popped out, over-capacitated trains burned black and crisp, people buried alive under buildings and dead, lines of ghost-looking people with burned frizzled hair and burned skin hanging, etc… It was not a scene of human life but a miserable hell. I never forget the mortification I had not being able to give water to those crowds of barely living survivors who were not able to save their own children or parents. [6]

Think of that next time you hear the words “mushroom cloud”.