For the 30th year, the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee will remember the atomic bombings of Japan on August 6 & 9, 1945, which killed more than 250,000 people. The HIROSHIMA COMMEMORATION started at 5:30 PM on August 6, 2014 at 33rd & N. Charles Streets. Participants demonstrated against Johns Hopkins University’s weapons contracts, including research on killer drones, commemorated the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and remembered the nuclear energy disaster at Fukushima, Japan.
In the Bufano Sculpture Garden on John Hopkins University Homewood campus, we heard Mr. Toshiyuki Mimaki, Hiroshima Hibakusha, survivor of the atomic bomb, and Ms. Fumie Kakita, Nagasaki second-generation Hibakusha, poignantly share the awful aftermath suffered by the victims of the atomic bomb. Dennis Nelson, a downwinder from St. George, Utah, shared how radioactive fallout from the nuclear bomb testing at the Nevada Test Site devastated his family, as he and every member of family suffered from cancer. The evening ended with dinner and conversation at Niwana Restaurant.
The NAGASAKI COMMEMORATION takes place on Saturday, August 9 at Homewood Friends Meeting, 3107 N. Charles Street. It begins at 5 PM with a potluck dinner. At 6:30 PM the Baltimore Labor Chorus will entertain. Meher Hans, a high school student, and Tim Whitehouse, executive director of the Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, will speak. Finally, participants will share through verse, poetry or song why s/he is moved to dissent against nuclear weapons and power and killer drone strikes.
Dennis Kucinich. (photo: Kucinich.gov)
The Atomic Bomb, Then and Now
By Dennis J. Kucinich, Reader Supported News
07 August 14
Sixty-nine years ago, the United States dropped the first atomic bombs on Japan -- Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 -- killing over a quarter of a million people.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower and other government leaders said at the time that the atomic bomb was not necessary militarily and that Japan was already facing certain defeat by the US and the Soviet Union.
Despite these warnings, the bombs were used and were wrongfully credited with ending the war. The atomic bomb ushered in an age of warfare that gave nations the ability to annihilate other nations and to commit environmental suicide, as Jonathan Schell related in his masterpiece The Fate of the Earth.
The ability to split the atom also legitimatized a nuclear industry which poisons our land and our water as shown in the new documentary film Hot Water, produced by Liz Rogers and Elizabeth Kucinich, which will be released late 2014.
Two years ago, Congress brought forward a proposal to create a new national park to honor those who developed the bomb. I opposed the bill because I felt the effects of the bomb were nothing to celebrate or glorify and was instrumental in the proposal's defeat in the House in 2012. A transcript of the debate in the house can be found here. In the 2014 Congress, this bill (S. 507 by Senator Cantwell) passed the House, but is unlikely to pass the Senate.
Our problem isn't simply our nuclear past, but is our present addiction to nuclear weapons which threaten humanity's future. Professor Francis A. Boyle observed that in 2013 the Obama administration changed the United States nuclear posture. The United States has historically positioned its nuclear arsenal for the purposes of "deterrence," yet under President Obama's administration they are for brandishing. "In today's security environment" the United States now reserves the right to use nuclear weapons against any country (first strike policy).
Lest anyone forget that nuclear is a big business, the United States is the leader in the global nuclear energy market. Nuclear energy technology is one of our biggest exports and is promoted as a boon to the environment, forget Fukushima. Forget that dozens of nuclear reactors in the US are operating way past their original licensing permits and that the aging reactor vessels are in late stages of embrittlement.
Forget that nuclear utilities are pleading with Wall Street to give them a break. We have come full circle, back to Nagasaki and Hiroshima, where the United States struck first with nuclear weapons. The most recent nuclear posture, the White House claimed, is necessary to eventually get rid of nuclear weapons! Read Professor Boyle's analysis and the White House document.
During this time of commemoration of man's inhumanity, visited upon the people of Japan three generations ago, let us resolve that we shall demand leaders who will resist the impulse to solve political and security problems through weapons of mass destruction.
Such leaders already exist in an organization known as the Parliamentarians for Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament, or PNND. Additionally, The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation promotes citizen action for nuclear abolition.
We must work together to support all efforts to get rid of nuclear weapons, not through appeals to violence but through the instinct to celebrate life. Let us find a path to love so that we can dismantle the destructive forces within our own hearts, which paralyze any sense of compassion necessary for the survival of all life on this planet. Let us build technologies for sustainability, and peace.
© 2014 Reader Supported News
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs