Confronting a Very Dark Chapter

This week marks the 70th anniversary of a very dark chapter of human history, the U.S. incineration of tens of thousands of Japanese civilians by dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a war crime that has been rationalized in popular U.S. history, writes Gary G. Kohls.

By Gary G. Kohls

August 6, 2015, is the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, a civilian city that had minimal military value despite the claims of President Harry Truman when he announced the event to the American people.

An estimated 80,000 innocent civilians plus 20,000 weaponless young Japanese conscripts died instantly in the Hiroshima bombing raid. Hundreds of thousands more suffered slow deaths and disabilities from agonizing burns, radiation sickness, leukemia, anemia, thrombocytopenia and untreatable infections. Another shameful reality was the fact that 12 American Navy pilot POWs, their existence well known to the U.S. command prior to the bombing, were instantly incinerated in the Hiroshima jail on that fateful day.

The mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.

The mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.

The Japanese survivors and their progeny suffered a fate similar to the survivors and progeny of America’s “Atomic Soldiers,” who were exposed in the line of duty to the hundreds of nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s or to the depleted uranium that the U.S. military has used in the two Gulf Wars. These groups were afflicted with horrible radiation-induced illnesses, congenital anomalies, genetic mutations, immune deficiencies, cancers and premature deaths.

The whole truth about the Hiroshima slaughter — the first of only two cases of nuclear bombs being dropped in wartime, with the second coming only three days later at Nagasaki — has been heavily censored and mythologized ever since. In 1945, war-weary Americans accepted the propaganda that the bombings were necessary to shorten the war and prevent what U.S. officials claimed could be the loss of a million U.S. soldiers during a November 1945 invasion of Japan.

On Aug. 9, 1945, the U.S. military dropped the second atomic bomb on the equally defenseless city of Nagasaki, which no longer had any…

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