In Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Atom Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of People’s Struggle
6 August 2005
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) joins the Japanese people and all other peace-loving peoples in commemorating the 60th anniversary of the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We condemn these barbaric and terrorist acts of mass murder against civilian populations and the continuing policy of the US to use nuclear weapons as well as nuclear blackmail in carrying out imperialist plunder, wars of aggression and military intervention against the world’s peoples.
On August 6, 1945, a single bomb dropped from an American plane exploded 600 meters above Hiroshima, c reating a huge fireball that incinerated the city and massacring more than a hundred thousand innocent civilians. Another bomb was detonated over Nagasaki three days later causing similar devastation and massacring tens of thousands of civilians. The immediate death toll in the two atom bombings came to nearly two hundred thousand. Tens of thousands more died later, after suffering excruciating pain due to the effects of radiation.
Without doubt, these atom bombings are among the most dastardly war crimes and crimes against humanity ever committed in history. These atrocities are all the more condemnable as they were absolutely unnecessary in terms of winning the war. The war in Europe had ended and Japan was already defeated and was negotiating surrender. The US and its apologists have given such cynical rationalizations as that the atom bombings were meant to preempt the Soviet invasion of Japan and to save American and Japanese lives.
Clearly, by these bombings the US meant to demonstrate its absolute military superiority over all other countries-allies and enemies alike–in the whole world — and to establish itself as the preeminent and unrivalled postwar superpower. The bombings were also a “live experiment” to measure the actual devastating power of the atomic bomb, with the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki chosen as guinea pigs. They were special targets because supposedly they had been unscathed by previous allied bombings.
The US meant to intimidate and blackmail the whole world into submission to its wishes. But by producing its own atomic bombs, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) frustrated the US design and ended US monopoly of these weapons of mass destruction. A nuclear stalemate ensued and deterred the US from further using its atom bombs. Later, Britain, France and China were able to produce their own atomic weapons.
The US has produced some 70,000 nuclear warheads since 1945. It engaged the USSR in a strategic arms race even as it waged in nonnuclear wars of aggression and military intervention worldwide to expand and consolidate global hegemony. However, under the intimidating shadow of the US nuclear umbrella, hundreds of millions of people came under the oppression and exploitation of the US and local reactionaries. Tens of millions were killed in US wars of aggression and intervention in Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and elsewhere. Millions of people were also massacred in Indonesia and other countries under puppet regimes of terror directed by the US.
The US forces invaded Iraq in 2003 under the pretext of destroying mythical weapons of mass destruction allegedly possessed by the Saddam regime. But it is the US, which has the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, biological, chemical and nuclear. The US has nuclear weapons with no less than 10,600 nuclear warheads intact, 8,000 of which are considered active or operational and 3,000 ready to deploy from its “Enduring Stockpile”.
The US has also used 320 tons of depleted uranium artillery in the 1990 Gulf war. This has accounted for the eventual illness and death of tens of thousands of US troops after the war. Depleted uranium has also been used in the US wars of aggression against Yugoslavia. It is still being used in the renewed US aggression and occupation of Iraq despite the deadly effects and numerous health risks to soldiers and civilians.
US imperialism has long been the top World Merchant of Death. It amassed immense profits from selling armaments to both sides in the two world wars of the 20th century before joining the fray and collecting further spoils. Since 1990, the US has exported USD 152B worth of weapons in the form of sales and assistance. In 2001, it exported war material to no less than 170 nations and has earned USD 13.1B in that year alone, under the aegis of the “war on terror”.
The ILPS joins the world’s peoples in resolutely and militantly condemning and opposing the US imperialists’ continuing use of nuclear blackmail as the US escalates its wars of aggression and military intervention. Despite widespread global opposition and in contravention of international norms, treaties and laws, the US is going ahead with plans to build an anti-ballistic missile defense system and produce tactical nuclear weapons. The US Senate last July allocated USD 100M for research and production of a tactical nuclear weapon, the first of its kind, for use against underground bunkers. Plans for this “bunker buster” will be pursued despite thorough studies showing the immense danger and harm to the civilian population as a result of the radioactive fallout.
The US has no qualms in building the capacity to inflict barbarities more horrible and catastrophic than Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even now it is feverishly pushing on with plans to secure military control over outer space and develop space-based and space-launched weapons systems. These include projects such as “Global Strike” with a space vehicle that could strike in 45 minutes from halfway around the world, carrying precision-guided weapons with the capability to destroy command centers or missile bases “anywhere in the world”, and “Rods From God” which aims to hurl cylinders of tungsten, titanium or uranium from the edge of space to destroy targets on the ground, striking at speeds of about 7,200 miles an hour with the force of a small nuclear weapon.
Furthermore, the US has unilaterally rejected the Biological Weapons and Toxins Convention treaty and its protocols in 2001 on the grounds that inspections of facilities would jeopardize US national security. Since then, it has engaged in developing small weapons delivery devices for biological and chemical weapons as well as biodefense research activities. The Pentagon now considers bioweapons work acceptable as long as “non-lethal” is appended to its activities.
The US, which is the only country that has used nuclear weapons in war, has not minced any words about conducting preemptive strikes at “dedicated proliferators”, which supposedly threaten US interests. The US threatens Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) with aggression, unless they give up any plan or project to produce their own nuclear weapons in self-defense. Since the end of the US war of aggression in Korea, the DPRK has continuously faced US economic blockade, military encirclement and nuclear threats. The US has shown that it is more aggressive and reckless towards countries that have no nuclear weapons while it is more cautious and more diffident toward those that have such weapons.
In at least two regions in the world today, the US and its allies are conspicuously using nuclear blackmail in order to get the political and economic results that they want. In the Middle East, the US and its European and Zionist allies are constantly threatening the Arab and other peoples with the use of nuclear weapons . In East Asia, the US and Japan refer to the US nuclear umbrella under the US-Japan security treaty and the security guidelines as the ultimate weapon against those opposed to US imperialist hegemony and against the demands of China and DPRK for the return of Taiwan to its motherland and for the reunification of Korea, respectively.
But far more powerful than any weapon of mass destruction are the peoples rising up against imperialism and its puppets. The ILPS calls on all the world’s peoples to intensify their struggle against US imperialism and its barbaric and terrorist policy of producing, maintaining, using and threatening to use nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and to expose and oppose the “war on terror” as nothing but a pretext for expanding and consolidating US hegemony. ###