What Dollars Have to Do With Reason for US’ Japan Atomic Bombing 72 Years Ago

An atomic cloud billows above Hiroshima city following the explosion of the first atomic bomb to be used in warfare in Hiroshima, in this handout photo taken by the US Army on August 6, 1945, and distributed by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

Sunday marks the 72nd anniversary of the first nuclear weapon ever used in warfare in human history, when an atomic bomb, codenamed “Little Boy”, was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Three days later, a second atomic bomb landed in Nagasaki, Japan.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Tommy Yang — An 85-year-old survivor in the subsequent atomic bombing of Nagasaki spoke to Sputnik about his experience in the US atomic bombing of Japan.

Terumi Tanaka was on the second floor of a wooden house in Nagasaki, Japan, when bright white light all of a sudden surrounded him on August 9, 1945. Only a 13-year-old boy at the time, he tried to run downstairs as fast as he could, but was knocked unconscious by the following blast.When Tanaka regained conscious, he was under the cover of a large glass door, which miraculously did not break and saved his life. Tanaka’s house was about 3.2 kilometers [2 miles] from the epicenter of the atomic bomb, codenamed “Fat Man,” dropped on Nagasaki by the US Air Force.

Tanaka’s family members, including two of his aunts who lived closer to the epicenter, were not as lucky as him. On the third day after the bombing, he walked past hundreds of corpses and seriously injured survivors, who were left unattended, trying to find out whether his relatives were safe.

Tanaka eventually found out that five of his family members were killed in the devastating nuclear attack. He had to cremate his aunt’s body in a field.

“I will not stop thinking about this tragic and disastrous scene until I die. Nuclear weapons are not just weapons. It’s a devil’s tool. It cannot coexist with the mankind,” Tanaka, who now co-chairs the Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), told Sputnik.

Controversial Decision

In an effort to force the Japanese wartime government to accept an unconditional surrender, the US president at the time, Henry Truman, made a controversial decision to use the newly developed atomic bombs, from the Manhattan Project, against targets in Japan.The Truman administration argued that the use of nuclear weapon was necessary, because Japan’s warrior code that inspired its military invasion in Asia considers surrender dishonorable. During the World War II, defeated Japanese leaders preferred to take their own lives in the painful samurai ritual of seppuku, suicide by disembowelment. A land invasion of Japan could have cost the lives of as many as 100,000 US soldiers.

Japanese Emperor Hirohito announced the nation’s surrender in a recorded radio address on August 15, 1945, six days after the second atomic bomb was dropped in Nagasaki.

Some US historians argued that the decision to deploy nuclear weapons also served the purpose of preventing a possible Russian invasion of Japan and ensuring US influence in the Asia-Pacific after the war. The Soviet Union launched its invasion of Japanese puppet state of Manchuria on the same day as the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.However, Jeremy Kuzmarov, an assistant professor of American History at the University of Tulsa, told Sputnik that he believes the United States may have deliberately prolonged the war.

“That’s because there was such huge investment, in terms of taxpayer dollars, into the Manhattan Project. They feared that taxpayers had to see some return for their dollars. They needed to demonstrate the strength of US military power to show that money has been well spent and to show the world who is boss,” he said.

Kuzmarov added that there was heavy censorship initially after the attacks from US authorities, seeking to convince the public that Hiroshima was a military base.

“That was the original propaganda. Of course, that’s not true. Huge number of civilians were affected both short and long term. That makes it a heinous act,” he said.

Official figures estimate up to 140,000 civilians were killed in Hiroshima, with another 80,000 killed in Nagasaki. Many victims did not die on the first day of the attack, as a large number of them died from effects of burn and radiation sickness. Numerous survivors also suffered a wide range of sickness, as a result of exposure to radiation.Former US president Barack Obama became the first sitting US leader to visit Hiroshima in May 2016. But he did not apologize for the decision to drop the atomic bomb.

“Why do we come to this place, to Hiroshima? We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in a not-so-distant past. We come to mourn the dead,” Obama said in a speech at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park.

Challenging Nuclear Disarmament

Almost 72 years after the catastrophic nuclear bombing, many big nations in the world, especially those who have already developed nuclear weapons, are far from ready to give up their nuclear arsenal.

The United Nations General Assembly passed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear arms, on July 7 this year. But 69 of the 193 nations in the UN did not vote, including all the countries that have already obtained nuclear weapons.Five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and Russia, have all successfully detonated nuclear weapons and did not vote on the new treaty. Those countries are part of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, signed in 1968.

As North Korea started to actively pursue its nuclear arms program in recent years, neighboring countries including South Korea and Japan also began to explore the possibility of obtaining nuclear weapons.

“As a result of regional geopolitics, North Korea felt it needed to develop nuclear weapons to protect its national security. That has triggered discussions in countries like South Korea and Japan on whether they should also acquire nuclear weapons. In regions where the geopolitical tension stays high, nations started to pay more and more attention to nuclear arms,” Zhao Tong, a fellow in Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing, told Sputnik.

Zhao pointed out that as tension continued to rise between the United States and other nuclear states such as Russia and China, a growing sentiment emerged to call on the US government to abolish progress toward nuclear disarmament during the Obama administration.

“There have been demands to develop strategic nuclear warheads with a smaller payload and improved accuracy, which could be easily deployed and cause less collateral damage in the battlefield,” he said.

Despite initial success in advocating global nuclear disarmament in the early years of his presidency, including signing the New START Treaty with Russia, Obama was forced to settle on the US Nuclear Modernization Program with a total cost exceeding $1 trillion in the next 30 years.

The Chinese expert explained that nuclear weapons remain an important asset of deterrence because of the massive destruction it can cause compared to conventional weapons.The US Air Force dropped a conventional bomb, dubbed as “the Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB), in an airstrike in April against Daesh targets in Afghanistan. The explosive yield of the MOAB was equivalent to about 11 tonnes of TNT, while the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had explosive yields that equal to about 20,000 tons of TNT.

“In terms of power, the MOAB is still on a different level compared to nuclear bombs. It remains a fraction of the destructive power of nuclear weapons, even compared to the early models used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” Zhao said.

Tanaka, the nuclear bombing survivor in Nagasaki, expressed serious concerns about the future of nuclear weapons.

“I often think that the mankind will be destroyed,” he said.

The Japanese nuclear disarmament advocate believes that many still do not understand the cruelty of nuclear weapons, which makes it more important for people, especially politicians, to listen to the experience of atomic bomb victims and visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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11 Responses to "What Dollars Have to Do With Reason for US’ Japan Atomic Bombing 72 Years Ago"

  1. Chris Paul  August 8, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    The single issue of dud torpedoes definitely extended the war and that was not fixed for a long time – late 1944 for aerial torps.Why? At Midway the Torp planes took big hits for no results and the USN were lucky with their dive bomber strike. Throughout the war,good torps would have sunk all the Marus, as well as warships and subs to isolate the Island Garrisons, including Japan itself. End of Pacific war.

    Two other issues now need to be discussed arising from post the Peace of Westphalia Treaties (1648) and Subsequent International Law. I have only seen some Professors from Singapore flag this problem.These issues are National Sovereignty and Balance of Power.The so-called Western Post Reformation “Age of Enlightenment” reached Hubris with events at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the World fully descended into Barbarism, fueled by British Empirical Thought and British Deism. That and Bolshevist Communism – really two sides of the same coin and a fabricated “Balance of Power”. Mechanistic World View. Monkey can, monkey do. “There is no basis for Morality in ‘rational’ thought. Dog eat dog.Since 1990 the Sole Superpower, Trans Atlantic Deism, has chosen to disregard existing Norms of International law.This has created a very unstable situation.

  2. mb.  August 8, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Many things told about WW seem to be untrue. What about this one ?

  3. wjabbe  August 8, 2017 at 10:55 am

    If you read books about the Manhattan Project, they describe an almost carnival atmosphere. Imagine a carnival atmosphere among physicists, mathematicians, chemists and engineers brought together to design and construct and test weapons of mass human and animal and plant and even earth destruction. Feynman is described as joking around, opening safes and being a funny man. Pauling was asked to join but finally refused because Oppenheimer targeted his wife. Then, when it was nearly over after the big first test, all of them were surprised that no one asked their opinions when Truman gave the order. All these highly intelligent people did not even think or understand that some fool would actually use such a weapon against the world and it happened in short order. If and when it happens again, and it most certainly will, the U.S. will not be immune from the horrible unspeakable consequences. While fool man deserves his plight, the innocent animals and plants do not. And what about outlaw rogue state Israel who thinks it is above all common laws and rules? No one is safe from the next nuclear bomb attack on the world.

  4. Alex__B  August 8, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Here’s how Douglas Reed characterized the work of H. Truman as a president: “No comparable series of acts ever fell to the lot of a once-bankrupt haberdasher precipitated into the office of a “premier-dictator”. And here’s what 33-d degree mason, H. Truman, appearing in 1948 at a meeting at the lodge Beach Grove No. 694, said: “My work as a statesman is built on masonic principles. I believe that these leadership principles must be spread all over the world, and on these principles one must build the entire civilization.” In the same speech Truman further stated that “it was more important to him to be masonic grand master than president of the United States, because a grand master disperses masonic blessing all over the world”. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are clear examples of such blessing.

  5. Poppadop  August 8, 2017 at 10:27 am

    “‘Nuclear weapons are not just weapons. It’s a devil’s tool.'”

    How apt: Dropping a devil’s tool on Nagasaki, the heart of Christianity in Japan…

    “The Truman administration argued that the use of nuclear weapon was necessary, because Japan’s warrior code that inspired its military invasion in Asia considers surrender dishonorable.”

    Except “Chicago Tribune” journalist Walter Trohan reported that the Japanese were trying to surrender for almost a year before the nukes were dropped. General Douglas MacArthur confirmed this. World War 2 wasn’t any less built on lies than USA Incorporated’s recent wars.

  6. David Odell  August 8, 2017 at 9:32 am

    The 36 views of Mt Fuji by Hokusai, is a pictorial representation of the 36 decans. Of the half dozen or so sets of the 36 that I have examined, it is the only one that follows the precise order of the first 36 chapters of Genesis which is a literary set of the decans. In chapter 14 is the five armies, and the date of the surrender. Aug 12 – 22. The correlation is precise in that the last four listed at the end vary from culture to culture in specific order , but all have the same four. The thing is, Don’t Feed The Bears.
    Napoleon, Shwartzkopf, McCrystal and many other Bears born during Aug. Hokusai’s symbol for this, is the family on the balcony, all looking toward the castle in the distance, being pointed out by a government rep., The Hindu image shows a bow that has released it’s arrow. The I-Ching # 34 is the correlate, and specifically states, “advance will lead to evil,..most certainly” and is the strongest language in all of the hexagrams. This year, be careful, as Trumps time line needs calming during this period.
    I cannot stress this enough. Don’t do it. Put the football away.

  7. nawlins  August 8, 2017 at 7:11 am

    By the time of Hiroshima, hundreds of thousands of civilians had already been incinerated at such places as Dresden. Hap Arnold had been dropping tons of incendiaries on japanese cities. The allied powers had already decided to go after civilian populations as legitimate targets. By this time all the major figures were in too deep to turn back. They were all war criminals who would surely be hanged if they lost. So win at any cost. Everything else was just window dressing. The wanted to impress Stalin how badass they were, didn’t work.

  8. Trakkath  August 8, 2017 at 6:31 am

    I ve anywhere read and heared that it had to do with “the japanese dienied the access to their hoarded gold” and so they were bombed and something about Jesuits

    • Chris Paul  August 8, 2017 at 7:49 pm

      I’ve read about the Philippine Gold. Ask Cardinal Pell about some of that. Surely the Jesuits would not bomb Catholics – what exactly did you read and where?

    • Trakkath  August 8, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      Oh, no the Jesuits would never do that. Go dream on

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