In a major essay to mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, John Pilger describes reporting from five ‘ground zeros’ for nuclear weapons – from Hiroshima to Bikini, Nevada to Polynesia and Australia. He warns that unless we take action now, China is next.
When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open.
David Swanson gave this keynote address to a gathering of peace activists at the annual Ground Zero Hiroshima/Nagasaki Weekend marking the 74th Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombing. The Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo WA was established in 1977, just as the Bangor Trident Submarine Base was being built, and sits on land directly adjacent to the base. The actual keynote title was: “The Myths, the Silence, and the Propaganda That Keep Nuclear Weapons in Existence.”
Remarks at Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration at Peace Garden at Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Minn., Aug. 6, 2017
Thank you for inviting me to speak here. I’m grateful and honored, but it is not an easy task. I’ve spoken on television and to large crowds and to important big shots, but here you are asking me to speak to hundreds of thousands of ghosts and billions of ghosts in waiting. To think about this subject wisely we must keep all of them in mind, as well as those who tried to prevent Hiroshima and Nagasaki, those who survived, those who reported, those who forced themselves to remember over and over in order to educate others.
Obama’s high-profile trip to Hiroshima was accompanied by a media storm that gave endless justifications for the US use of the atomic bomb on Japanese civilians. The myths are widely accepted in society, and underpin the notion of American exceptionalism.
Consider this a friendly reminder to President Obama on his way to Hiroshima.
No matter how many years one writes books, does interviews, publishes columns, and speaks at events, it remains virtually impossible to make it out the door of an event in the United States at which you’ve advocated abolishing war without somebody hitting you with the what-about-the-good-war question.
On Aug. 6 and 9, millions of people will mark the 70th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in those cities and at events around the world. Some will celebrate the recent deal in which Iran committed not to pursue nuclear weapons and to comply with the Non-Proliferation Treaty with requirements not imposed on any other nation.
On this day in 1945 the United States demonstrated that it was as morally bankrupt as the Nazi machine it had recently vanquished and the Soviet regime with which it was allied. Over Hiroshima, and three days later over Nagasaki, it exploded an atomic device that was the most efficient weapon of genocide in human history. The blast killed tens of thousands of men, women and children. It was an act of mass annihilation that was strategically and militarily indefensible. The Japanese had been on the verge of surrender. Hiroshima and Nagasaki had no military significance. It was a war crime for which no one was ever tried. The explosions, which marked the culmination of three centuries of physics, signaled the ascendancy of the technician and scientist as our most potent agents of death.
This will be a short piece, since I am getting ready to go to the anti-nuke/peace rally here in Hiroshima in a few hours (it’s the 6th here), but I will give my impressions of that when I get back to my hotel.
Last night, I dreamed about my grandmother (Mamaw). I haven’t dreamed of her for years. I dreamed she came home to my house and I was going to get to take care of her. Continue reading →
Send our voice to the world from Hiroshima on August 6!
Stop War and Nuclear Armaments!
Abolish All Nuclear Plants, Now!
“STOP ALL NUCLEAR PLANTS IMMEDIATELY!” A gigantic wave of angry movement is spreading all over the world, demanding the stoppage and abolition of all nuclear plants, with young people at the front line. Continue reading →