Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Bombing of Hiroshima – an unwarranted American atrocity

Ham’s conclusion to his very well documented and stringently argued book is that for 70 years the world has accepted an American myth – that the atomic bombs ended the war by shocking Japan into surrender. In fact it was ‘a planned massacre of innocent civilians – an unwarranted, American atrocity’.

Hiroshima: A stain on human history , HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI BY PAUL HAM (Bantam Press £25) By PETER LEWISPUBLISHED, 26 July 2012 This controversial book delivers a double-whammy in the way of shocks. First, it argues that the Atomic Bombing of two Japanese cities in August, 1945, was militarily unnecessary and politically unjustified.

Second, by interviewing many survivors while he was living in the two cities, Paul Ham, an Australian journalist and expert on the Pacific war, gives an eye-witness picture that leaves Dante’s Inferno looking pale.

Let me start with the inferno, so that we realise just what we are considering. Tomiko Nakamura was a schoolgirl of 13 at Shintaku High School in Hiroshima when the Bomb exploded, killing almost all her 300 schoolmates in the playground. Although over a mile from the blast, the flash, she remembers, ‘felt like the sun had fallen out of the sky and landed right in front of us’.


She regained consciousness in darkness. The mushroom cloud had turned dirty brown and cut off the sun. Flashes like ‘sunrises’ were coming from it in all directions. She examined her scalp covered in glass splinters. ‘My skin rolled off my legs like stockings’. Her shirt and trousers had been burnt onto her flesh. ‘I felt very sick and sat down but the flames were coming closer’. She started to walk over the rubble. ‘Voices beneath the timbers cried “Help! Help! It’s so hot!” I just kept walking’.
She reached a bridge where people with black or red faces were jumping into the river. ‘I couldn’t tell men from women. Some were holding their insides in their hands, staring at them. Everywhere dehydrated people were crying for water but when they drank some they died. A girl screamed: ‘The faster I die the better!’ as she jumped into the river.
Tomiko found it impossible to walk without treading on bodies. People
held their hands out in front with the skin hanging from their
fingertips like gloves inside out. A military truck took her to a
village where she found five school friends lying on sheets. The
friend beside her started talking gibberish, then went quiet. Her body
was added to the pile in the middle of the assembly hall…..
What makes it more appalling is that these are all the experiences of
children. More than 60 years later they were the only survivors for
Paul Ham to talk to. Their bravery in trying to help each other in
such conditions leaves one speechless.
So why did it happen? We are given a comprehensive account of the
building of the Bomb, the disputes among the scientists – all of whom
wanted to prove it worked but not necessarily on a city full of human
beings. Why not a public test on a desert island in front of UN
witnesses and cameras? This alternative was swept aside……
Ham’s conclusion to his very well documented and stringently argued book is that for 70 years the world has accepted an American myth – that the atomic bombs ended the war by shocking Japan into surrender. In fact it was ‘a planned massacre of innocent civilians – an unwarranted, American atrocity’.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-2179391/Hiroshima-A-stain-human-history-HIROSHIMA-NAGASAKI-BY-PAUL-HAM.html#ixzz22LIgzzkk

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August 1, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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