Today is the 60th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Nagasaki.
80,000 people died, 74,000 of them almost immediately.
Today,I heard an interview on the CBC with one of the pilots.
They asked him if he felt any grief, in retrospect.
He said, no.
He said that the Japanese had been really mean to the American troops.
He didn’t seem to think there was anything that was extra fucked up about killing thousands of civilians, including all the children that would have been killed.
He said he had gone back to Hiroshima and Nagasaki a few years after the war.
Apparently, Nagasaki was not the original target. Kokoru was, but the Americans couldn’t fly there because there was a typhoon.
Having gone through 8 rounds of chemotherapy, I find it hard to understand how seemingly normal people could drop that bomb and kill and poison so many people.
See, I had cancer, and people hopped on board and helped me.
Because cancer is awful and people feel compelled to help.
But somehow, it’s okay to drop an atomic bomb on a bunch of unsuspecting civilians and have them die totally awful deaths.
It’s okay to kill those people with a ton of deadly poison (that will stay in the atmosphere and kill lots and lots and lots of people over the years) because, well, apparently because it was important to end the war.
(And besides, they weren’t that pink colour that we so admire in each other, so they must have brought it on themselves.
And hey, don’t get me wrong. I think bringing WW2 to an end would have been a pretty big priority.
But apparently, ol’ President Truman had a bit more on his mind than just “ending the war”.
Apparently it was important to get an unconditional surrender from the Japanese and send a message to the Soviets and the Japanese and the rest of the world that the Americans were the big old bad ass super-power of the world and they weren’t afraid to pull out the big guns to prove their point.
So, happy anniversary.
Let’s all pause to think about how far we have come.