#1037: 1980, Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark, Enola Gay

by Ray_North on August 6, 2015

70 years ago today, the Americans dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima.

In doing so they killed between 90,000 and 166,000 people. That’s men, women and children.

I’ve been listening to those who justify that act on various news and radio programmes today. It ended the war, they tell us, it saved lives, they say. It has helped to seventy years of peace, it is suggested.

I’m sorry. I don’t buy this. Any of it. When America bombed the Japanese, they were pretty much beaten. Sure, the Japanese leaders were guilty of a suicidal intransigence, but, surely, the Americans could have worked out a way of ending the war without the need for such a massacre. Of course, by August 1945, the likes of Truman, McArthur, Oppenheimer and others were already thinking of the next war, and the need to rattle their sabres in the direction of Russia. It amazes me, the way people talk of the cold war as though it was a good thing, a positive thing – bollocks, the repercussions of the cold war and the way in which the protagonists desperately clambered to maintain power in every region they could, can still be felt throughout the world.

So, I’m sorry, I don’t buy this nonsense that we should somehow celebrate mankind’s decision to unleash such terror on his fellow man, I don’t buy this bullshit that America can be triumphant – they should hang their heads in shame.

As OMD said, ‘Enola Gay, should have stayed at home yesterday.’

Absolutely right.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan Stasi August 6, 2015 at 9:28 pm

Firstly I think the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki could easily be considered a war crime.Had the Nazis dropped an atomic bomb on London and Germany had still lost the war the people involved organizing the bombing would have been tried at Nuremberg.
Secondly the bombing in my opinion was an American show of strength a case of saying to the USSR look what we’ve got don’t mess with us.

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Mike Killingworth August 7, 2015 at 8:32 am

First, I don’t know how beaten the Japanese were in 1945, I’ve read that they could have gone on fighting in the Pacific for as many as five years more.

Second, why was the A-bombing of those cities worse than the firestorms at Dresden and elsewhere? If mass killing is always wrong, it’s always wrong – the technology is immaterial.

Third (and last) the bombings did save lives – can we be sure that Kennedy and Khrushchev would have blinked in the Cuba crisis of ’62, if they hadn’t had the example of Hiroshima and Nagasaki before them?

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Ray_North August 7, 2015 at 9:44 am

You may be right in your first point – though I would argue that killing indiscriminately to save the lives of soldiers isn’t a compelling one.
I don’t disagree with you on 2 – and I wouldn’t celebrate the bombing of Dresden any more than I would the bombing of Hiroshima or indeed Allepo or Bagdhad or Chechnya.
And although I take what you say about the Cuban missile crisis – the ultimate conclusion of your argument is that the ‘superpowers’ should arm themselves to the back teeth and every now and again bomb the bejesus out of various innocents.
(Always good to hear from you mate)

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