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Pickle Me This

July 25, 2005

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

We went to Hiroshima for the first time just over a year ago, and these were my thoughts at the time. “We’ve been talking about Hiroshima, because we’re going on Thursday and I am also reading The Ash Garden by Dennis Bock which is about the legacy of the atom bomb. I realise that this is another of those controversial issues in which if you have a decided opinion you believe in 100%, then you are most likely ignorant. The fact of Japan’s brutality in wartime is clear, and indeed the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended WW2. And perhaps the sacrifice was worth the war’s end, and ended all of the other kinds of ongoing attacking and bombings. So that is that. But if you find any way to really completely excuse this act, beyond tired justifications, than I do not claim to understand your soul. Because when you see what this war did to people’s bodies, minds, homes and lives. When you see the complete and utter destruction, and the pain and suffering- there is no excuse and there never can be. Nothing anyone’s nation ever did justifies such infliction upon its citizens. But maybe it had to happen? We’ll never know otherwise. Having an opinion on this issue is not what’s important. What’s important is that in Hiroshima, we see the ugly heart of war and we know that nothing is worth that sort of fighting for. It should be an example to leaders that every other foreign policy besides war must be exercised. That you can’t attack on a whim, because this is what you end up with. That you are never going to convince a mother that her dead baby’s life was worth the cost of “freedom”. It’s hard to win dead hearts and minds. Through of the example of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we have been blessed with the most straightforward message- the writing is on the wall but no one is reading it. The act of war is a warcrime.”

The 60th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are nearing. The Guardian has published quite a few features about these events, particularly this and this. Today a lot of people are seeking justification for another war, and these articles demonstrate the danger of that.

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