- Philip Fernandez -
This year marks the 67th anniversary of one of the greastest atrocities of WWII -- the dropping of the atomic bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by one of the victor nations, the United States of America. With this criminal act, the United States declared for the whole world to understand that it planned to take over Japan and convert the Soviet Union and communism, which bore the brunt of the anti-fascist war, into its main enemy.
On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped the atomic bomb that exploded above the Japanese city of Hiroshima killing about 140,000 people in the initial blast and more than 237,000 as a result of injuries and radiation.
Three days later, on August 9, the U.S. imperialists dropped another atomic bomb on the southern Japanese city of Nagasaki, killing 8,500 people and eventually resulting in the deaths of more than 70,000 people due to exposure to radiation and other injuries.
|Ruins of the Mitsubishi steel mill in Nagasaki, August 1945.|
The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki's civilian populations by the U.S. was an act of mass terror aimed at threatening the world's people -- especially the people of the Soviet Union, who were instrumental in defeating the Nazi aggressors at the cost of over a million lives and many more millions wounded. It was the Soviet Union that had emerged after the Second World War as the leading force for liberation, emancipation and peace for all nations and peoples.
The dropping of the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki served notice that the United States would commit any crime in order to establish its dictate over the entire world and to defeat communism. Just as the Harper government is today working directly with the U.S. imperialists in carrying out its war crimes internationally -- whether it be in Afghanistan, Syria or Libya -- at that time, the Canadian government was directly involved in facilitating the production of the atomic bomb, including by providing enriched uranium. Canadian Ministers knew in advance that the bomb would be used on the Japanese people.
August 6 and August 9 have now become days to commemorate those who were killed in these horrendous acts of terrorism by the U.S. and to express the collective determination of the peoples of Canada and the world to never again permit such crimes against humanity.
|Devastation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Left: the Prefectural Commercial Exhibition Hall, known today as the "A-Bomb Dome," the ruins of which have been left standing as a reminder to the world of this brutal act;|
|Funairi Grammar School.|
Far from Obama taking a principled stand against the proliferation of nuclear weapons by issuing a presidential order to dismantle the massive U.S. nuclear arsenal, such an arsenal is needed by U.S. imperialism to enforce its Nazi logic of "might makes right" and to threaten any country that takes a stand in defence of its own independence and sovereignty like Iran, the DPRK, Cuba, Venezuela, and others.
At the same time, the allies and clients of U.S. Imperialism, like Israel, are also encouraged to produce nuclear weapons in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and other international laws in order to threaten aggression on neighbouring states like Syria and Iran, in the name of "self-defence" and the "war on terror."
|Japanese peace activists rally to preserve the anti-war Article 9 of their country's Constitution, which reactionary forces wish to repeal.|
There is no possibility for peace in the world so long as the United States and other big powers claim a monopoly on nuclear weapons and together with the likes of countries such as Israel and Canada they impose double standards with impunity and in violation of international laws and conventions that humanity has brought forward. In the face of these brutal double standards and hypocrisy, countries such as the DPRK and Iran which seek to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes are subjected to sanctions and constant nuclear blackmail of the U.S., and the strategy of building nuclear deterrents is used by the imperialist powers to fuel humanity's collective anxiety about nuclear proliferation. The real danger of a nuclear world war breaking out that would annihilate the entire world lies squarely with the big imperialist powers, not with the peoples fighting for their emancipation or countries which seek to affirm their sovereignty.
The crimes committed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki will not go away by the U.S., Canada and their NATO allies threatening other countries for allegedly posing a "nuclear threat." Furthermore, it is unacceptable that those who used nuclear weapons in the past, on an already defeated foe in order to blackmail the entire world's people, today threaten the use of nuclear pre-emptive strikes under the pretext of acting in the interests of "peace" and "human security."
Today the U.S. imperialists and their allies in Canada and around the world divide the world between "democratic" and "civilized nations" that respect "human rights" on the one hand, and "dictatorships" that are "uncivilized" and violate "human rights" on the other. This is done to justify attacks on these countries and to affect "regime change" in order to dominate and plunder their human and natural resources; as witnessed in the case of Libya. The ongoing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S. and their allies, the regime change imposed on Libya, the clandestine and illegal involvement of the U.S., Canada, Britain and others imperialist powers in the current civil war in Syria show that their main aim is to humiliate and defeat all those who affirm their right to be. Under the presidency of Barack Obama, the U.S. continues to build military bases around the world to threaten their main rivals like Russia and China as well as any country that affirms its right to independence and self-determination.
Humanity's fight to rid the world of nuclear weapons and defeat the U.S. imperialist dictate requires stepping up the struggle to uphold the sovereignty and independence of all nations, and the elimination of the threat or use of force to settle conflicts. It also necessitates that the Canadian working class and people organize for an anti-war government that rejects the use of force as a means of settling conflicts between nations and peoples, and withdraws from all aggressive military blocs and treaties such as NATO and NORAD.
On the occasion of the 67th anniversary of the nuclear bombings, all peace- and justice-loving Canadians pay their deepest respects to the Japanese victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to all peoples the world over who have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of imperialist dictate. The criminal Anglo-American imperialist system can and will be ended by the political unity of all the fighting people of the world to establish a new world based on peace, justice, and dignity for all nations and people.