Thank you for inviting me to this important meeting—it is a great honor for me to be here on the anniversary of a time when our countries were bitter enemies—even before most of us were
In the time of the rise of the 3rd Reich in Europe, the people of my country were in an isolationist mood and not too excited about getting into another bloody and costly war in Europe.
When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, that problem was solved for the war machine in our countries—I am certain, talking to elders in my country, that Japan was not even on the radar screen of ordinary Americans who were just struggling to make ends meet during the time of the first Great Depression—the US is in the 2nd now, with real unemployment at close to 20% and home foreclosures and evictions still at a record rate in some communities. The economy still hasn’t bottomed out in the US, and I am afraid we are all in store for worse times ahead.
Anyway, at the time of the War between the States in the US—there were almost no civilian casualties, but soon after, the US embarked on a period of great foreign expansion and began actually targeting civilians, most notably in the Philippines in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.
We all know about the fire-bombings of Tokyo by the US and about the A- bombs dropped on first Hiroshima and then Nagasaki, but as profoundly horrible as those events were—they weren’t the first time, or, unfortunately the last time atrocities were committed during war.
A US sociologist, who studies why so-called normal people would commit crimes against humanity in war, named, Robert J. Lifton, has stated that, “war is an atrocity producing event—it will always produce atrocities.” War takes ordinary people and turns them into soldiers and people that commit unspeakable horrors—most of whom never would even hurt a dog, let alone fellow human beings.
On April 04, 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a famous speech at the Riverside Church in New York City where he linked the wars against people of color at home against the wars against people of color abroad—he stated then that the three greatest challenges facing humanity were: “Racism, militarism, and poverty.” Dr. King then went to organize a poor people’s campaign against the wars in a Socialist campaign for president of the US—exactly one year later, he was assassinated.
On April 04, 2004, my son was killed in the racist war for imperial profit in Iraq—and we, as a global family still fight against racism, poverty and militarism.
Racism was what allowed the crime against humanity here in Nagasaki 66 years ago—and racism allows the wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen that my country is currently waging—in the US we say that Barack Obama has the record for a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate for bombing the most countries—it’s ironic, but it’s true.
Racism is what allows the police in the US (and other places) to kill young black men for very stupid reasons and get off with the crime with barely a hand slap.
Yes, 66 years ago our countries were bitter enemies, but now the Capitalist class has united in a disastrous friendship to impoverish, or kill, we here in the working class. The disaster at Fukushima and the British Petroleum disaster in the US are proof that the Capitalists don’t care about human, animal, or plant life on this planet—all they care about is profit.
In the US, when a tragedy strikes, we right away organize a “telethon” to help the victims—well that is a load of crap, because, first of all, BP and TEPCO should be held fully responsible and accountable for their disasters, and secondly, it’s also wrong because it’s easy for most people to donate 5-10 dollars to a cause, but the real work comes with revolution.
One of my heroes, Eugene V. Debs a Socialist and antiwar activist said that “The most heroic word in all languages is revolution.”
I had a dream last night that Fidel Castro served me vanilla ice cream and we had a wonderful chat about revolution.
Many people have said that revolution is not a dinner party—or a bowl of vanilla ice cream—it’s hard work, but we workers in all countries much reach our arms across borders and oceans and work together to end nuclear power and war. I cannot call myself an “anti-war” activist if I don’t recognize that the dots of poverty, neo-liberalism, environmentalism, and anti-nuclear power must be connected; we can’t separate one cause from the other.
I am proud to be here and proud to be in solidarity with you all—but we need to turn globalization around against the vile against the neo-liberal murdering bastards and have a global worker’s revolution where we meet at the barricades and never back down and never give up!
Thank you, very much!