Hiroshima: Remembering The Forgotten Lessons


These carefully crafted lines set the tone of one of the world’s worst disasters inflicted by mankind on their kin. Indeed, the Japanese were repaid many fold; losing more than 200,000 innocent souls, with thousands suffering from radiation effects later on.


The 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima is being commemorated in Japan, as renewed pledges are being made to eliminate nuclear arsenals.

Enola Gay, an American B-29 bomber dropped ‘Little Boy’, an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, which killed up to 166,000 people. Three days later, the United States Air Force was ordered to drop ‘Fat Man’ on Nagasaki, resulting in additional tens of thousands of deaths, prompting Japan to surrender in World War II.

This episode is being recalled as one of the most horrible atrocities ever committed by mankind, in which innocent civilians were bombed with impunity. Radiation exposure as a result of atmospheric contamination resulted in widespread deaths and genetic diseases in the coming decades.

Regarding the nuclear bombing as a tactical and moral imperative, a majority of Americans contend that the atomic bombardment was necessary to save thousands of their countrymen’s lives. Mr. Clifton Truman, the grandson of President Henry Truman who sanctioned the nuclear strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has publicly stated, ‘… he (President Truman) made that decision to end the war quickly.’ Narratives like Japan had ‘no inclination to surrender in war’ are woven up to conjure a humanistic image of the baldeagle, but different views are espoused in hushed tones by those well versed in U.S. diplomatic dealings.

Fortunately for peace activists, the critiques based on United States war dealings are replete with ‘Big Lies’. Like his predecessor President Truman destroyed Japan, Mr. George Bush invaded Iraq in 2003, on the pretense of stopping the usage of weapons of mass destruction by Iraqi forces. Post invasion, these claims were discredited as there was not an iota of evidence which could have been presented as a proof.

But unfortunately, this anniversary, which marks the uranium based atomic bomb strikes on Japan, will again be subjected to lies; – the repeated argumentum ad nauseam by corporate media, behemoth war mongers and political historians of U.S. academia. They will validate the actions undertaken by the White House in 1945 by proclaiming that ‘no nuclear strike’ policy would have resulted in ‘subsequent disaster’ for the United States of America.

However, the diplomatic archives of the United States, Japan and the USSR, uncovered by independent historians, swatted aside the ruses that were being put forth since long.

On August 3, 1945, Walter Brown, an aide of US Secretary of State James F. Byrnes noted in his diary that “President (Truman), Joint Chiefs Chairman Leahy, JFB (Byrnes) agreed Japan looking for peace.” It is reported that Admiral William Leahy felt disillusioned about the use of atomic bomb on innocent civilians, later writing, “[T]he use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender…. [I]n being the first to use it, we…adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”

Sixteen hours after the bomb was dropped, the White House press secretary Eben Ayers started reading the press statement:

Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese Army base. That bomb had more power than 20,000 tons of TNT. …The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold….It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe……

These carefully crafted lines set the tone of one of the world’s worst disasters inflicted by mankind on their kin. Indeed, the Japanese were repaid many fold; losing more than 200,000 innocent souls, with thousands suffering from radiation effects later on.

Justifications for ‘greater good’ will be meted out by the US officials in the  years to come, but the truth is that the atomic bombing of Japan was meant to build an image of the United States’ military might upon the Russians. Leo Szilard, the scientist overlooking Manhattan Project – a research and development project that produced the first atomic bombs, wrote, “[Byrnes] was concerned about Russia’s postwar behavior. Russian troops had moved into Hungary and Rumania, and Byrnes thought it would be very difficult to persuade Russia to withdraw her troops from these countries, that Russia might be more manageable if impressed by American military might, and that a demonstration of the bomb might impress Russia.”

Yesterday, in Hiroshima, the Atomic Bomb Dome was a sight of unusual flurry. In a show of deference, the visitors are paying homage to the lost souls in the atomic bomb attack of August 6, 1945. At a cenotaph (monument) erected in the honour of the dead; aging survivors, relatives, government officials, and foreign delegates stood for a moment of silence at 8:15 am – the exact moment when Enola Gay dropped its payload. This ‘minute of silence’ is an annual exercise in oddity; one which should bow down the heads of the U.S. administration in shame.

Talha Ibrahim - is a certified conflict analyst of United States Institute of Peace.

Discussion3 Comments

  1. I think it is very easy to look back over 60 years ago and say that better decisions could have been made at that time…when a president was trying to end a war he did not start, if the USA had not used the bomb…and the war lasted another year or more?…how would he justify the deaths of all the allied troops that could have been avoided?..a very difficult decision…and as a result .nuclear weapons have never been used again and hopefully will never be used by anyone who possesses them…

    • your own army men say that the bombing was unnecessary…want proof?

      here you go:


      and actually the US provoked japan into starting the war through economic warfare. pearl harbour could have also been avoided b/c the US had already deciphered japanese transmissions. don’t believe me? then go look it up yourself. i bet they don’t teach u this at school do they? The US is at fault for starting the war and for not using nuclear weapons as a last resort.

      • @321 Your fantasies continue…you still believe 9/11 was an inside job…and 26/11 was India attacking itself to make Pakistan look bad…your clueless references to obscure web sites that dish out more conspiracy theories indicate that you yourself are unstable and could probably become a suicide bomber with the right incentive…the uneducated enemy within…

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