Mayor Says, 'Thanks for Putting Us On the Map'
by Tim Swanson
by Tim Swanson
Of the nearly
3,000 victims of the 9/11 attacks, more than 10% were foreign nationals.
Two dozen Canadians
with the collapse of the World Trade Center towers in what is the
worst terrorist attack on citizens of that country.
twenty-four Japanese, twenty-eight South Koreans and sixty-seven
citizens of the UK were among more
than 300 foreign nationals from dozens of countries killed that
And the seventh
anniversary is less than a month away.
Half a world
This past week,
a somber anniversary took place, the 63rd anniversary
of the vaporization of tens of thousands of people living in two
been untold volumes of literature and research written debating
both sides of this issue. Yet, one important detail that is often
overlooked: of the roughly 250,000 deaths promulgated by Little
Boy and Fat Man, more than 15% of the victims of the slaughter were
residents of other countries.
Truman authorized the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima, he became
responsible for the deaths of:
- More than10,000
- Over 2000
- At least
a dozen American POWs
of Australian, Dutch, and British POWs
of Chinese laborers (from Manchuria) and students from Southeast
later, when Harry Truman authorized the nuclear destruction of Nagasaki,
he became responsible for the deaths of:
- At least
10,000 Korean laborers (another 10,000 hibakusha were harmed
- More than
a dozen American, British, and Dutch POWs
After the radioactive
dust cloud settled, between 35,00050,000 non-Japanese people
shadows on pavement and their only crime was being in the wrong
place at the wrong time.
In fact, the
Japanese-Americans (as many as 3200) had all been denied re-entry
at the start of the war. And no, these werenít spies and military
officers Ė just as none of the 100,000 Japanese-Americans incarcerated
from the West Coast had ever posed as a credible threat to US military
with divisions, right?
was home to a major military base or naval shipyard. Neither had
been on the strategic bombing list used by the Allies (e.g., 67
other cities). As a matter of fact, neither had been bombed
at all as they had essentially been put on a "do not touch
list" by General Curtis LeMay who wanted to see what the full
brunt of the bombs could do to modern cities.
the original motivation behind building the bomb in the first place
was to beat the German effort and presumably unleash its energy
on Dresden II & III and not Japan. In fact, even by the
end of the war, Japan had neither the resources nor scientific community
to construct such a device.
had been a kink in the original Allied plan: because Germany was
defeated back in May, LeMay still had a couple of bombs that needed
to be tested on something. After all, it would be a waste
not to use them after so much effort was put into making them. Thus
the home islands of Honshu and Kyushu ended up playing the unwitting
host to two gruesome experiments.
It was necessary
for surrender, right? Wrong. Japan had been suing for peace throughout
the entire summer. In July of 1945, the US was actively
intercepting communiqués between Japanís Foreign Minister
Togo and Japanís Ambassador to Moscow, N. Sato. These messages clearly
noted that Japan wanted to surrender and were actively requesting
audiences and frameworks.
no matter what side of the political aisle you sit on, there is
at least one other alternative Truman could have employed to illustrate
the destructive power of the bombs without annihilating population
centers. He could have detonated the bombs on an uninhabited island,
allowing Japanese POWs, the Russians or even the neutral Swiss to
see the effects. Or maybe LeMay was right when he said
later, "The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the
war at all."
that never came
their decimation, both cities were quarantined and a strict media
blackout was enforced. Even war-time correspondents, such as George
Weller were prevented from going in (he covered the aftermath but
his reports were
suppressed until his death in 2002). And of the more than 350,000
US troops that occupied Japan after its surrender, roughly 40,000
US soldiers occupied Hiroshima and another 27,000 occupied Nagasaki.
than 33,000 US soldiers are still stationed throughout the Japanese
isles. Tokyo Bay plays permanent host to a US aircraft carrier.
Okinawa is home to more than 15,000 Marines. And the curses of LeMay
and Truman continue
to vex the Japanese people: in the past fifty years more than 1000
Japanese civilians have been killed due to the actions of the occupying
military (from negligent driving to violent rape).
But letís ignore
these accusations of occupation and focus on the issue du jour:
if Truman cannot be called a terrorist for indiscriminately killing
people, than neither can Osama bin Laden.
Donít buy it?
Well, each year Ė like clockwork Ė the respective mayors of Hiroshima
and Nagasaki speak
against nuclear proliferation and scrutinize those who threaten
to ever use the devices. Itís an odd situation because in retrospect,
Tadatoshi Akiba and Tomihisa Taue should be thanking Truman who
was willing to sacrifice 250,000 to purportedly save a million.
Killing for peace Ė for the greater good.
while you remember the victims of 9/11, also remember to mourn the
victims of 8/6 and 8/9.
Swanson [send him mail]
is a graduate of Texas A&M University. He currently lives in
South Korea and protested the Iraqi invasion on February 16, 2003
in Dallas. Visit his blog.
© 2008 LewRockwell.com