Today is Hiroshima Day
Today we commemorate the "just" bombing of civilians because - hey - it was for the greater good, you know? (Well, greater good for the Allies at any rate. But if you wanted to see an Imperial Japan stretching over the whole of Southern Asia, it was a bit of a pisser really.)
Sixty years ago this morning thousands of people were obliterated in less than a second. By the end of 1945 140,000 were dead out of a population of 350,000 - and thousands more died of radiation sickness over the following years. The official figure now stands at 242,437. From one bomb. Makes the Iraq death toll look like nothing. And in three days time we'll remember Nagasaki, nuked basically for the hell of it, as Japan was already in negotiations for surrender.
These days, of course, the Japanese would probably be called quislings and be accused of giving in to terror. But hey, that's probably moral equivalence or something, right? Because - you know - killing loads of innocent civilians to achieve your own political ends and defeat an ideology to which you are opposed, that's NOTHING like what our terrorist chums are doing, is it?
Hardly an original thought, and likely to piss off a few people to boot, but I'm genuinely finding it very, very hard to see the difference. Can someone explain why it's not simply because we did it to someone else and we won that Hirosima and Nagasaki are OK? If it's a means to an end and to prevent greater loss of life through invasion, wouldn't the same be said of the London terror attacks by an Islamic government if the Caliphate is established here, and of 9/11 if they managed to take over America? Wouldn't they then be able to point to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and say "hey - we managed to do it with far less loss of life"?
How many deaths does it take before it becomes unacceptable?
Either way, you'd have thought the US could have spared SOMEONE to go to the ceremony.
Wikipedia has a good page on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.