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Friday, August 6, 2010

TRANSFIGURATION OF AMERICAN SOCIETY

Aftermath of Hiroshima A-Bomb
August 6, 2010 is the 65th Anniversary of America’s immolation of Hiroshima in the first of our two field atomic bomb tests with live human subjects. As the Japanese had regarded everyone else as lesser forms of life in their treatment of our civilians and our soldiers when captured, we had determined early in the war that loss of Japanese civilian lives was a side-benefit of our bombings. Our national propaganda machine convinced us that the Japanese were subhuman also.  

American society was transfigured by the duplicitous myth we had created to account for our disregard for human life. Once wary of foreign entanglements, we now charged headlong into battle with all the national will we could rouse.

We were in all-out war on several fronts, and every bomb dropped saved the lives of countless soldiers who would have had to fight tooth and nail - and many die horribly on the battlefield - for a few to reach the same target. The bigger the bomb, the more American lives saved. The Tokyo Fire Raids of 1945 were a precursor to the August main events. The more Japanese permanently stopped from opposing our victory, the more American soldiers saved in the inevitable invasion and occupation. Killed, to be exact. “Collateral Damage” in today’s kinder, gentler parlance. We claimed a million American lives were saved by bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but we are fuzzy on how many Japanese died (according to the US DOE 200,000+ died in Hiroshima and 140,000+ in Nagasaki, including radiation-induced illnesses in years following).

Out of the blue, USA TODAY reports A first: U.S., nuclear powers join Hiroshima memorial

While many Americans have decried the mass destruction of human life in warfare over the years, our national policy has been to politely ignore the annual memorial in Hiroshima. Little by little, the terrible facts of the August 1945 A-Bombings have permeated much of our culture. Nobody but a nincompoop is foolish enough to believe that a nuclear war is winnable or that mass atomic destruction of other humans for our purported benefit is justifiable.

We've engaged in dispassionate conventional bombardment of umpteen thousands (maybe millions) of civilians worldwide since WWII without a second thought. Our participation in the aerial carnage of WWII had jaded us. Remote annihilation of innocents created a national cognitive dissonance that has persisted to this day. 

We always maintained a justification for the loss of civilian lives: the preservation of American or Allied lives. Consider the Inevitable Accidents of the US-NATO war in the Balkans as a recently forgotten example of our glossing over the true cost of war (so Democrats don't wax self-righteous). Civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan testify from the graves of our current attitude towards non-Americans: we are more than willing to lay down the lives of others for our country.  

Honorable warriors tire of bloodshed and seek to live in peace after their time of service. Most Vietnam-era vets I know (who have survived to the present) are now devoted to making their part of the world a better place. They are good examples for our national policy-makers to emulate. Having seen war face-to-face, they no longer seek solutions to life's problems through violence. 

Does America's participation in the Hiroshima Memorial this year indicate that our nation has matured and can consider a new path now? Making Peace the first option for solving international disagreements will help transfigure America to be truly the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.  


Unless the nincompoop faction manages to hold onto control of our government.


The tree of liberty must be refreshed 
from time to time 
with the dedicated lives of patriots, 
the remembrance of innocent martyrs, 
and the eradication of tyrants. 

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