Throw Away Your Telescreen!

the truth is always subversive

Barefoot Gen – Hiroshima Bombing

Posted by Dave on April 4, 2008

“Hiroshima and Nagasaki, surely among the most unspeakable crimes in history.” Noam Chomsky

The Hiroshima bombing came at a time when the Japanese were negotiating peace with the USA. The United States however wanted to test its new weapon: demonstrating its power to the world, especially to the Soviets. When Gore Vidal was asked if he thought the Atomic Bombing was the end of the Second World War or the beginning of the cold war, he chose the later.

I visited Hiroshima in 2004 and entered the “peace park” museum without giving it much thought (put in quotes because I think the American post war Government had a propaganda campaign promoting “peace” in Japan – worried that people might want revenge). Perhaps I was a little ignorant because I was in for a gut wrenching, stomach churning experience.

One of the exhibits that I remember vividly was something quite odd. I was looking at it in its glass case and couldn’t quite focus on what it was. Rather unusual, so I looked at the little plaque beside it – which had a story. It said that there was a young girl – 8 years old I think – that had been caught in the bomb blast. Her first instinct was to run home even although she was covered in burns. When she made it to her mothers arms much of her skin had peeled off and there she died. I can’t imagine how the little girl or her mother felt, I can only guess. But to help convey the full horror to her partner – the woman collected the little girls fingers, that had melted off, to keep and show him when he returned. Reading the story I was quite moved. Hesitantly I looked back and could see that indeed they were fingers with recognisable nails – on top of everything else I’d seen I almost threw up. Leaving the museum also hit me hard, walking onto a busy street I realised it was people just like these that suffered so terribly.

The following film is based on the work of a manga artist in Japan, Keiji Nakazawa, a 6 year old survivor of the bombing. I think the film, made in the 80’s reflects the true horror of the atomic bombings and the true horror of war. All through a childs eyes and loosely based on Nakazawa’s own experiences. An interview with Keiji can be seen here (15 mins into the show).

If they showed you the truth – you wouldn’t allow anymore wars

From the Fanonite.



4 Responses to “Barefoot Gen – Hiroshima Bombing”

  1. section9 said

    Dude, my father didn’t have to invade Japan and participate in Operation CORONET. He’s alive today because of Paul Tibbets and the 509th Composite Group. With all due respect, your history is both one-sided and wrong. However, the violence wrought by the weapon is, if anything, understated.

    The war came to an end sooner rather than later, thanks to the atomic bomb. The notion that the Japanese were willing to surrender is a fantasy belied by internal Japanese texts, the minutes of the Suzuki Cabinet, and the actions of their own government. The bomb was not dropped on Japan because they were double-parking, or making bad sushi. They were engaged in a violent campaign of imperial conquest and subjugation all over Asia, and the time had come to end the war. That it ended without the need for invasion was a good thing, catastrophic as the bombs’ use turned out to be.

  2. Dave, The Void On Fire said

    I’m happy your father is alive, Section9, but a lot of Japanese civilians aren’t.
    Japan was indeed fighting an imperialist war, and by 1945 it had already more or less lost. Without the bomb, however, it’s loss would have been to both the US and the USSR, and the latter would have had far more influence in the Far East than was actually the case. The main purpose of the bomb was to preempt and intimidate the USSR.

  3. Lorraine Paul said

    My father fought in New Guinea during WWII. That war was brought about by the Western Powers allowing Germany to re-arm. This was because Hitler was a rabid anti-communist and Western Europe and the US were convinced that he would invade the USSR. This would then lead to uber-capitalism throughout those countries living under the Socialist banner. (Much as it unfortunately is today.)

    Japan was challenging the US and the UK for supremacy in the Pacific. They had to be taught a lesson. Therefore, the US and the UK proclaimed restrictions on Japanese sovereignity and Japanese access to oil.

    This left Japan no choice but to retaliate, at which point they were easily beaten by the Pacific allies.

    My father didn’t die in the war, but his life was forever changed, and not for the better, by his horrific experiences during the war. He was fodder for the imperial ambitions of the United States. And we can see the realisation of those earlier ambitions in the world today.

    A ruthless leadership determined to shape the world to suit its own agenda!

  4. Lee Baker said

    Many people say that the first casualty of war is the truth. It is a war crime to kill and injure non-combatants. Nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki was war crimes. An American historian named Gar Alperovitz wrote a book that has documents that show that the U.S. knew Japan wanted to surrender. Over the years, these documents have been released. The U.S. had these documents before the A-bombs were dropped. The U.S. had some documents from 1944, and many documents from 1945 that say that Japan was willing to surrender. Some people say that if the U.S. did not use the A-bombs, the Soviet Union would have occupied Japan. As John Denson wrote, the truth is that if the U.S had accepted Japan’s surrender before dropping the A-bombs, then the Soviet Union would not have declared war on Japan and the Soviet Union would not been able to obtain power in China and Korea between August 8th and August 14th 1945. Many experts say that the U.S. used the atomic bombs because: the U.S. wanted to show the Soviet Union that the U.S. was the most powerful country in the world; the U.S. had spent a lot of money on the atomic bombs; and some people in the U.S. who wanted to use the atomic bombs wanted to experiment with atomic bombs by dropping them on cities-a uranium bomb on the non-hilly city of Hiroshima and a plutonium bomb on the non-hilly city of Kokura but Kokura was covered by clouds so the plutonium bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Gar Alperovitz wrote that almost all of President Truman’s advisors had told him to accept Japan’s surrender before August 1945. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuked in August 1945. It is not true that without the A-bombs a land invasion of Japan by the U.S. was needed for Japan to surrender. President Truman lied that without using the A-bombs, a land invasion of Japan by the U.S. was needed in order for Japan to surrender. It is tragic that Bush lied that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and thus caused a war. Some U.S. occupiers of Iraq have policies that divide Iraqis because they are concerned that if Iraqis are united, the U.S. will not be able to obtain cheap or free oil from Iraq. Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Shias and Sunnis in Iraq had never had a civil war, and they had intermarried. When Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, says that he hopes with time there will be regime change in Israel, his speeches are MISTRANSLATED into that he wants Israel wiped off the map. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, is the one in charge of the military and foreign relations, and he says that Iran is NOT making a nuclear weapon and he also says that countries should NOT have nuclear weapons. A cult and terrorist group named MEK (Mujahiddeen El Khalque)has created FALSE evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. Hopefully Iran will not get attacked. People need to realize that the first casualty of war is the truth!!!!!

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