Never Again! All Out to Make Canada a Zone for Peace
|75 Years: Canada, Nuclear Weapons and the UN Ban Treaty
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
On the very sad anniversaries of the U.S. nuclear attacks against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on August 6 and 9, 1945 respectively, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) expresses its deepest respects to the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their families.
To this day, the U.S. claims that its actions on the morning of August 6, 1945, when it dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima and on August 9 when it dropped another one on Nagasaki, were righteous, moral and proper, as if anything could justify committing such crimes against humanity. The bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima was made of uranium and killed about 140,000 people in the initial blast and ultimately more than 237,000 in total. The bomb it dropped on Nagasaki was made of plutonium and killed 85,000 people in the initial blast and eventually resulted in the deaths of more than 70,000 additional people due to exposure to radiation and injuries. Thousands suffered their entire lives, as have the generations that followed, from the crimes committed on those days.
Prior to this, on March 9, 1945, 334 B-29 bombers firebombed Tokyo with napalm in an operation called Meetinghouse. They killed more than 100,000 people that day and many more were injured.
These were unprecedented war crimes which had nothing to do with the fight against Japanese militarism. Japan was suffering defeats everywhere and its surrender was imminent. But irrespective of that, such war crimes and mass murder are impermissible no matter the excuse.
This mass murder of civilian populations in Tokyo and then Hiroshima and Nagasaki served as a threat to the peoples of the world, especially the Soviet Union, that the U.S. had the monopoly on the use of force. Following the Korean War in 1950, the U.S. engaged the world in “nuclear politics” to blackmail the peoples into doing what the U.S. wanted.
The U.S. considered the use of nuclear weapons to settle the Korean War and wipe out China, but instead declared their use “unthinkable” and “taboo.” In this way, the U.S. claimed such weapons were nonetheless necessary to act as a deterrent and that this was the main factor for peace in the world.
The slogan was raised to “Ban the Bomb,” while crucial work to establish the conditions required to preserve the peace was abandoned. Post-war demands for denazification and to develop a peace economy were lost within the clamour to “Ban the Bomb!”
The Soviet Union developed nuclear weapons initially to hold the U.S. in check. However, by the 1960s, instead of the peoples’ cause for peace being made the centre of the foreign policy of the big powers, an arms race replaced the striving of the peoples of the world for peace. Expenditures on weapons soared. All five members of the UN Security Council also developed nuclear weapons and gave the green light for some of their allies to do the same.
The U.S. imperialists never accepted anything less than a nuclear advantage over all other countries, fuelling the nuclear arms race and, along with other big powers, subjecting the world’s peoples to nuclear blackmail.
The nuclear politics of the imperialist powers, especially those of the U.S. and British imperialists, were fuelled by their Cold War anti-communism and wars of aggression and coups d’état against the Greek, Iranian, Guatemalan, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian and other peoples of the world. This politics underscores the depths of depravity and criminality to which the U.S. is willing to sink to establish its domination and to which Canada both directly and through NATO has adhered ever since World War II.
The U.S. failure to render account for its criminal actions against the people of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and its reckless drive for domination under the pretext that it is the “indispensable nation” means that the threat they pose still looms large. The U.S. imperialists’ feigned concern for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation has always been tempered by the determination to retain strategic advantage and first-strike capacity in nuclear weapons over all other countries. The same is the case today. Every so often declarations are made about reducing nuclear stockpiles or leaving nuclear treaties but all of it is based on cynical calculations designed to contain the peoples’ striving for peace, freedom and democracy under the sway of their nuclear politics.
Canadians’ repudiation of nuclear weapons is such that in 1984 the U.S. had to remove its nuclear weapons from Canadian soil. Reports indicate that between 1963 and 1972 there were between 250 and 450 nuclear warheads on Canadian bases. Some 108 Genie missiles armed with 1.5 kiloton W25 warheads were present from 1963 to 1984 and Canada played a key role in the U.S. nuclear weapons program from its beginning, including in the weapons used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The U.S. expansion of its anti-ballistic missile (ABM) systems marked a dramatic escalation of the nuclear arms race as the aim of such systems is to neutralize nuclear and conventional missiles launched by other countries and maintain an advantage in any possible scenario, including where the U.S. exercises NATO’s first-strike policy. Moreover, the weapons of war have become so sophisticated that in a few years they have rendered practically obsolete the ABM defence systems inside the U.S., in the Pacific, aboard naval craft in the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean, and in eastern Europe and even the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in south Korea.
A serious concern for Canadians remains the intentions of subsequent governments for Canada to contribute to the U.S. war preparations under the hoax of dealing with “changing technologies and threats.”
Subsequent governments betray the call of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Never Again! by continuing to collaborate with the U.S., including by allowing testing of nuclear weapons delivery systems and permitting vessels and aircraft carrying nuclear weapons inside Canadian territory.
On the occasion of this solemn anniversary, CPC(M-L) calls on Canadians to stand against the U.S. imperialist war preparations and Canada’s integration into the U.S. imperialist war economy and its appeasement of U.S. aggression and wars.
CPC(M-L) calls on Canadians to militantly oppose Canada’s participation in NATO and U.S. criminal sanctions’ regimes.
Repudiation of the crimes at Hiroshima and Nagasaki contributes to the profound sentiment of Canadians to Make Canada a Zone for Peace. Let us make the slogan Hiroshima and Nagasaki Never Again! a reality by uniting in action to build the organizations required to establish an anti-war government that makes Canada a Zone for Peace!