Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Yesterday was Hiroshima Day. I was planning to post a blog in memory of the occasion, but didn’t get the time. In the morning, I noticed this photograph of a ‘die-in’ protest by anti-nuke activists in front of the Atomic Dome. And as I was editing this particular page of our newspaper, I decided to carry it for yesterday’s edition. It gave me a sort of satisfaction of having done my bit to commemorate the outrage.
I am reproducing some lines from an article by John Berger in the Guardian:
A few days before the bombing of Hiroshima, Vice Admiral Radford boasted that "Japan will eventually be a nation without cities - a nomadic people". The bomb, exploding above a hospital in the centre of the city, killed 100,000 people instantly, 95% of them civilians. Another 100,000 died slowly from burns and effects of radiation.
"Sixteen hours ago," President Truman announced, "an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese army base." One month later the first uncensored report - by the intrepid Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett - described the cataclysmic suffering he encountered after visiting a makeshift hospital in the city.
General Groves, who was the military director of the Manhattan Project for planning and manufacturing the bomb, hastily reassured congressmen that radiation caused no "undue suffering" and that "in fact, they say it is a very pleasant way to die". In 1946 the US strategic bombing survey came to the conclusion that "Japan would have surrendered even if atomic bombs had not been dropped".

Anyway, today I was reading this brilliant article on Salon about how one’s life will always have it share of crises no matter what you do. It’s message: Don’t wallow in self-pity, just get on with life because there are countless others who are in the same soup.

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