What you need to know:
- First, extremists in the US military and political establishment sought to avenge Japan’s shocking, humiliating and devastating attack on an American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941.
- Second, the US military wanted to test a new weapon in a real theatre of war and they had two choices in this regard, either Germany or Japan. They chose Japan because Japanese are not Whites, in a nutshell racism.
August 6 marked the 75th anniversary of a tragic event which, in my opinion, is comparable to the slave trade, Belgian King Leopold’s despicable massacres of Congolese and plunder of DR Congo and the holocaust. These outrageous atrocities are among the worst crimes committed by evil men against humanity.
On August 6, 1945, a US military aircraft named Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima; another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, both killed almost 200,000 people. It was the first and only time that nuclear weapons have been used by any country in warfare. The USA has never apologised for that heinous crime against humanity.
The decision to drop two nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was taken by US president Harry Truman who, I believe, will answer to God on final judgment day.
A golden opportunity to atone for, and apologise publicly to the Japanese people for the indefensible crime committed by Truman was missed when president Barack Obama visited Hiroshima on May 27, 2016. Obama showed deep remorse, spoke about the “silent cry” of Hiroshima and the suffering caused by the atomic bomb, but did not apologise on behalf of the government and people of USA, as he should have done.
During my official visit to Japan in March 1999, a trip to Hiroshima was on the itinerary. I studied the history of World War II in Senior 5 (1965) at Busoga College Mwiri. Our History teacher, Mr R.L. Jones, often taught with passion. His rendition of the tragedy prepared me mentally for my visit to Hiroshima, but what I witnessed was worse than what we were taught.
At the end of my visit to Hiroshima, I was emotionally drained and could not believe that human beings made by God in His own image could deliberately and wantonly commit such abomination and outrage which Americans committed in Japan in summer of 1945!
Why Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
A lot has been written by American historians to justify the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima which killed 140,000 people on August 6, 1945, when the war had already ended in Europe and was nearly over in Asia. The Japanese were not innocent bystanders. Japan’s army committed terrible atrocities in many Asian countries, such as, China, Korea and Philippines.
First, extremists in the US military and political establishment sought to avenge Japan’s shocking, humiliating and devastating attack on an American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941.
Second, the US military wanted to test a new weapon in a real theatre of war and they had two choices in this regard, either Germany or Japan. They chose Japan because Japanese are not Whites, in a nutshell racism.
Third, the official reason given was that the bomb was dropped to expedite the end of World War II which happened when Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, but the war was almost over anyway and there was absolutely no justification to use this deadly weapon of mass destruction.
Fourth, USA wanted to teach Germany, Japan, Italy and other warmongers a lesson they would never forget!
On April 4, 1967, Rev Martin Luther King delivered a powerful speech titled “Beyond Vietnam” at New York’s Riverside Drive Church. He lamented that, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defence than on programmes of social uplift is approaching spiritual death!”
One important lesson learnt from the tragedy of Hiroshima is that humankind must urgently achieve the goal of nuclear disarmament.
Mr Acemah is a political scientist and retired career diplomat.