I was a little boy on August 6, 1945, when President Harry
Truman decided to drop the first nuclear weapon ever on the ill-fated
The weapon in fact was nicknamed �Little Boy,� a cruel
irony. More so was the dropping three days later of the �Fat Man� nuclear bomb
over Nagasaki, which unlike Hiroshima had no military installations. To make
matters worse, on my seventh birthday, September 17, 1945, Hiroshima was hit by
the Makurazaki Typhoon (Ida), which added 3,000 deaths and injuries to the
first two disasters, the dark magic of three�s.
Wikipedia tells us
that the �United States Department of Energy estimates that, at Hiroshima, the
death toll from the immediate blast was roughly 70,000, with additional deaths
occurring in the time soon after the explosion and in the decades that follow.
The figures for Nagasaki are slightly less. Other estimates vary widely, and
are as low as 74,000 for Nagasaki. In both cities, the overwhelming majority of
the deaths were civilians. The role
of the bombings in Japan�s surrender, as well as the effects and justification
of them, has been subject to much debate.�
Nevertheless, �on August 15, 1945 Japan announced its
surrender to the Allied Powers, signing the Instrument of Surrender on
September 2 which official ended World War II.� And so, the Atomic Age was
born. And in my 68th year it continues, thanks in large part to the US
continuing to bait Russia by rimming its country and satellites with nuclear
missiles. And in turn, Vladimir Putin, no pussycat, has lined up his missiles
for action, preemptive or retaliatory. And now we understand that Japan was not
the only intended victim for the first two strikes. The object was to strike
fear in the heart of our Communist ally, soon to be Cold War enemy, Russia.
One war ends, another begins. And as I wrote in An America I
remember, �When August 6 and August 9, 1945 came, the first atomic
bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and the second on Nagasaki. And the war was
immediately over it seemed. People streamed out of the bungalows and bars of
New Dorp (a Staten Island beachfront community we summered in) and embraced
each other. Grownups picked me up and whirled me around in the air, laughing.
Even the door of that house with the Gold Star (signifying a lost soldier) window
opened, and a lovely but sad looking young woman came out and planted a kiss on
the top of my head.
�My god, what a thing to throw us into such joy. Yes, the
war was over. There were block parties in Brooklyn for homecoming local heroes.
People dancing, eating, drinking in the streets, enjoying community. And always
dummies of Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini hanging from light poles.�
And always the hope of lasting peace, the bad guys hanged in
effigy, even as wheels were turning at the Office of Strategic Services to
ferry out more German scientists to America, as the Russians were doing in the
Kremlin, to engage in this new mortal combat. And so this time of year, for all
the beauty of summer it brings, also brings nostalgia for the lost, an
inevitable sadness for the circle of war and death and the nuclear winter we
face. Along with it, comes a completely new angst, generated by the so-called
"War on Terror," the latest in the manufacture of destruction.
I think of an article by the brilliant Walter Burien called Terrorist caused Deaths v. �Reality. In
it, Burien has gone to the trouble to compare numbers of deaths based on
various databases from terrorist fatalities. Here are comparisons to four other
categories quoted verbatim . . .
1. More fatalities occur
"each day" from auto accidents then occur from terrorism for the
"whole year." (1.2 million deaths per year Worldwide)
2. More fatalities occur
worldwide each year from animal attacks than occur from terrorism. (Stats for US Only 1882 deaths - 79/90)
3. More fatalities occur each
year from falling down stairs (falling down) than occur from terrorism. (Just for the Netherlands 1700 deaths in 1999)
4. More fatalities occur
"each day" from medical malpractice than occur from terrorism for the
"whole year." (US
stats Only - 120,000 deaths worldwide 1.4 million)
The above four points bring
me to ask these questions of you.
Is it safer to:
1. Walk through the woods?
2. Take a drive on the
3. Run down the stairs in a hurry?
4. Live life without fear of
5. Visit the hospital for
Interesting, isn't it? But
then they are spending over a trillion dollars and molding policy based on
promoted terrorism, or as known by another phrase that more closely
describes what they are truly doing; the incremental staging of forced
population control and management. They better make it interesting on the
nightly news because the numbers just don�t add up to justify the expense and
further deaths marketed through the use of the front-line promoted
term of terrorism. Not even close!
What Walter has broken down
for us is the latest War Marketing Concept (Terrorism). It has come from the
Military Industrial Complex, the same that General of the Army and then President
of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about. That is, first,
keeping standing armies; second, the danger of the defense industry getting in
bed with the military and the politicians to form an unholy m�lange. This is
exactly what we have today. It is largely the reason we find America at war on
two fronts, slipping on both, and still rattling sabers at Iran, while
financially underwriting the military efforts of Israel to control the Middle
East. In short, war begetting war.
And just as in WW II, as
Pearl Harbor was used as the inciting incident to pull a recalcitrant America
into war, we had the nefarious 9/11, an inside
job, to pull a recalcitrant America into a war against Islam. All as
propounded in the Project for the New American Century�s (PNAC) position paper.
It literally quoted former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski in his
book the Grand Chessboard: American
Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives. Brzezinski stated that gaining
control of Central Asia�s vast oil reserves would require a kind of �inciting
incident� to stir America to war.
He explained that �the
pursuit of power was not a goal that commands popular passion, except in
conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public�s sense of domestic
well being.� And so, �the external projection of American power� had to be
bolstered as it was in World War II, �largely because of the shock effect of
the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.� And there was the marketing scheme for
the "War on Terror," the beginning of the march of the neocon
intellectual Mouseketeers to world domination. War begetting war, right Mickey?
Even you know that.
And so, 62 years after the
birth of the Atomic Age, we find ourselves not signers to any non-nuclear
proliferation treaty. In fact, we have become non-signers to any such pact as
Junior assumed the presidency. Japan is arming itself again after the same
number of years. Uranium depleted weaponry (a form of nuclear arms) has been
introduced by the US in the Gulf War, used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo with
desultory effects to military and citizen populations. DU attacks the immune
system and breaks it down, the way it blasts through tank armor, busts bunkers,
and levels cities. War begets war in the name of protecting us from terror via
the use of terror-producing weapons. On and on the ship of death sails.
One wonders truly what we
learned between 1945 and now, given the tragedies of Korea (33,686 American deaths),
Vietnam (58,202 American deaths), the Gulf War (148 American deaths, 100,000
Iraq soldiers killed) The war in Iraq (3,800 American deaths so far) plus the
millions of deaths of citizens, innocent people, bystanders of the mayhem, in
the past 62 years. I would say that some of us, the Ruling Class in particular,
haven�t learned a goddamn thing. Because the killing machine rolls on bigger,
better, and sucking up more trillions of dollars needed for life�s purposes
than ever. No "War on Terror" or any other war justifies that. No
PNAC think tank idiot has a really intelligent thought on war and the peace
necessary to survive.
And if I take that little boy
once me by the hand as a man and try to explain it to him, walk with him down
one of those sunny, half-paved lanes of New Dorp (now thoroughly urbanized
thanks to the Verrazano Bridge coupling Staten Island to New York City); if I
try to tell him this is �just the way it is,� I can�t buy that myself. Nor will
I offer some organic �death wish,� some atavistic drive to dominate, some
geopolitical expediency, or any other crap. It�s just our upper crust Elites,
who rule above and beyond, who don�t give a damn about others, mostly those
poorer than themselves and what happens to them. It is greed and indifference,
pure and simple, by people who should but don�t know better.
And no matter how many of
their heads you chop off, how many walls you line them up against, how many
gulags you ship them to, they have a way like hungry weeds of growing back to
choke the grass, the vast fields of men, women and children, humanity. But
perhaps it is time once again to scythe the fields of these vipers, to rip them
up by the roots. If time and history can�t teach them to stop killing, let�s
round up the killing-meisters as the remnants of the Third Reich once were. And
before they can be shipped off via the Vatican ratline by the CIA and others to
distance places, let�s put them out of their misery and ours. There is nothing
to fear but fear itself. In fact, the boy in me can still hear those staticky
words rumbling through a radio one icy Sunday morning in December 1941, in the
winter of our discontent that brought us somehow to the August of the Atomic
Jerry Mazza is a freelance
writer living in New York. Reach him at email@example.com.