Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On the morning of August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atom bomb that exploded above the Japanese city of Hiroshima killing about 140,000 people in the initial blast, in total more than 237,000. Three days after the Hiroshima bombing, the United States dropped another atomic bomb on the southern Japanese city of Nagasaki killing 8,500 people and eventually resulting in the deaths of more than 70,000 people due to exposure to radiation and injuries.
The dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. was aimed at threatening the world’s people, especially the people of the Soviet Union, who were instrumental in defeating the Nazi aggressors at the cost of 10 million lives and many millions more wounded. It was the Soviet Union that had emerged after the Second World War as the leading force for liberation, emancipation and peace for all nations and peoples. The dropping of the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki served notice that the United States would commit any crime in order to establish its hegemony over Europe and Asia and defeat communism.
The Canadian government was directly involved in facilitating the production of the atomic bomb, among other things by providing enriched uranium. Canadian ministers knew in advance the bomb would be used on the Japanese people.
August 6 and August 9 have now become days to commemorate those who were killed in these horrendous acts of terrorism by the U.S. and to express the collective determination of the peoples of Canada and the world to never again permit such crimes against humanity. This call today takes greater urgency in a world where U.S. imperialism gives itself the right to launch “pre-emptive nuclear strikes” against any nation or people as it has threatened to do against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran, countries which are waging a determined struggle for their right to be.
Today, seventy-two years after the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the threat of a nuclear holocaust that would annihilate all of humanity remains a reality. The U.S. imperialists under President Donald Trump continue to be the leader by far in producing, selling and stockpiling nuclear weapons capable of wiping out the entire planet many times over. Trump does not take a principled stand against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and is certainly not going to start with the U.S. giving up its massive nuclear arsenal. The U.S. imperialists need the largest nuclear weapons stockpile in order to enforce their Nazi logic of “might makes right” and to threaten any country that takes a stand in defence of its own independence and sovereignty such as the DPRK, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Cuba, and others.
At the same time the allies and clients of U.S. imperialism, such as Israel, are also encouraged to produce nuclear weapons in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and other international laws in order to threaten aggression on neighbouring states in the name of “self-defence” and the “war on terror.” There is no possibility of peace in the world when U.S. imperialism and its allies such as Israel and Canada can impose these double standards with impunity in violation of international laws and conventions that humanity has brought forward.
In the face of these brutal double standards, countries such as the DPRK see themselves forced into building and testing nuclear weapons as a “deterrent” against the constant nuclear blackmail of the U.S., adding to humanity’s collective anxiety about nuclear proliferation and the real danger of a nuclear world war breaking out that would annihilate the whole of humanity. It is the U.S. and its allies who have to be held responsible for creating the very dangerous situation in the world that forces small countries like the DPRK to arm themselves with nuclear weapons in the interests of self-preservation.
The crimes committed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki will not go away by threatening the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and other countries for allegedly posing the “nuclear threat.” It is unacceptable that those who used nuclear weapons in the past on an already defeated foe in order to blackmail the entire world’s people today threaten the use of nuclear pre-emptive strikes under the pretext of acting in the interests of “peace” and “human security.”
Hiroshima Day and Nagasaki Day highlight precisely that it is the U.S. imperialists who have used nuclear weapons against the people of Japan and are openly threatening to do so against the people of Korea and Iran today. They are portraying those who defend themselves against U.S. aggression as the ones who are destabilizing international relations and creating conflicts and wars.
Today the U.S. imperialists and their allies in Canada and around the world want to divide the world between “democratic” and “civilized nations” and “Islamic dictatorships,” “failed states” and others that are “uncivilized” in order to justify their drive to dominate all of humanity with the aim of plundering the world’s human and natural resources. The current occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S. and their allies show that their main aim is to humiliate and defeat all those who affirm their right to be. Under the presidency of Donald Trump, the U.S. continues to build military bases and move troops around the world to threaten their main rivals such as Russia and China as well as any country that affirms it right to independence and self-determination. The peoples of the world have direct experience with U.S. imperialism and its allies since the Second World War and before. The peoples of the world cannot be suppressed through force.
Humanity’s fight to rid the world of nuclear weapons and defeat the U.S. imperialist “new world order” requires stepping up the struggle to uphold the sovereignty and independence of all nations big and small, and the elimination of the threat or use of force to settle conflicts. It also necessitates that the Canadian working class and people put in place an anti-war government that rejects the use of force as a means of settling conflicts between nations and peoples, withdraws from all aggressive military blocs and treaties such as NATO and NORAD and demands that all nuclear states dismantle their respective nuclear arsenals, beginning with the United States.
On this occasion, TML pays its deepest respects to the Japanese victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to all peoples the world over who have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of imperialist dictate. The imperialist system led by the U.S. is criminal and must be ended by the political unity of all the fighting peoples of the world if peace is to prevail.
(First published in TML in 2009; edited and updated, Courtesy Facebook post by Dougal MacDonald)