An unforgivable crime of imperialism against humanity
On August 6 and August 9, 1945, US Air Force planes dropped two atom bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. This was the first and only time in history that weapons of such deadly capacity had been used to deliberately kill and wreak total destruction on such a large number of men, women and children.
More than 140,000 people were killed in the first blasts, while a total of more than 3 lakh people died over subsequent days due to the horrible wounds inflicted on them and the effects of deadly radiation. Two flourishing cities were laid waste at one stroke, leaving only flattened or empty shells of buildings. The people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki continued to suffer the terrible effects over many decades. The horror of the destruction wrought by these nuclear weapons can never be forgotten.
While people in Japan and all over the world commemorate August 6 and August 9 by dedicating themselves to the cause of world peace, it is important to remember that the perpetrator of this crime against humanity was US imperialism.
The US imperialists justified the dropping of the bombs by saying that it was necessary to force Japan to surrender at the end of World War II and thereby avoid more loss of life. In actual fact, in August 1945, the War was already drawing to a close and Japan’s defeat was imminent. Japan’s main allies, Nazi Germany and Italy, had already been defeated. The relentless struggles waged by the peoples of China, Vietnam, Korea, Burma, Malaya, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Laos and Cambodia had inflicted crushing blows on the Japanese occupiers. More than 1 million soldiers of the Soviet Red Army had entered Manchuria to help liberate it from the Japanese occupation. Japan had already suffered tremendously from sustained bombing of most of its cities. The dropping of the atom bombs did not change the course of the war.
One of the main reasons that US imperialism wanted to force a quick surrender by Japan was to ensure that Japan did not surrender to the Soviet Union, whose forces were already in Manchuria, just across the Sea of Japan. This was even though the Soviet Union was still an ally of the US in the War. Already by this time, the US was maneuvering to see how to emerge in the dominant position and how to undercut the power and prestige of the socialist Soviet Union at the end of the War. As the only power with nuclear capability at this time, the US used the dropping of nuclear weapons to threaten the socialist Soviet Union, and all the peoples of the world who were waging a heroic struggle against imperialism and colonialism. The lives of lakhs of innocent people were snuffed out at one go for the self-serving interests of this imperialist power.
Thus the significance of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not that it brought an end to World War II, but that it announced the arrival on the world stage of a new superpower, US imperialism, which was prepared to use the most deadly weapons known to mankind in pursuit of its goal of world domination. The US built up its nuclear arsenal, comprising tens of thousands of warheads and the even more potent hydrogen bomb, targeted at hundreds of cities and towns of the Soviet Union, China, Korea, Vietnam and the countries of Peoples Democracies of Europe.
In the decades since the end of World War II, US imperialism has proved again and again that it will not hesitate to use weapons capable of mass destruction and to lay waste to countries, in order to pursue its goal of global domination. Right at the end of the War, the US intervened in Greece to crush the revolutionary struggle of the Greek people. It formed aggressive military alliances like NATO, SEATO and CENTO to threaten the Soviet Union and the countries of people’s democracy in Europe, revolutionary China, as well as the liberation struggles of the peoples. It launched the Korean War in 1950, leading to the loss of thousands of lives and the permanent division of Korea. After the Vietnamese fighters led by the communists liberated their country from French colonialism, US imperialism sent its forces to support its puppet regime in the southern part of Vietnam. In this long drawn out war which was extended to the neighbouring countries of Cambodia and Laos as well, the US tested more and newer deadly weapons, including chemical weapons such as the notorious Agent Orange. It backed repressive regimes that killed tens of thousands of democratic and progressive people in other countries like Indonesia and the Philippines.
When the Soviet Union was transformed from a socialist country to a social imperialist country, colluding and contending with the US for world domination, these two superpowers used their nuclear arsenal to threaten and blackmail other countries. Even after the end of the Cold War, these deadly weapons continue to be stockpiled and kept in a permanent state of readiness, threatening the whole of mankind. Besides nuclear weapons, US imperialism has taken the lead in developing many other sinister forms of weaponry capable of inflicting even worse damage on people and on the environment, including chemical and biological weapons.
In the new millennium, US imperialism has carried on with its bloody record to establish its domination over the whole world. Any country seen as an obstacle to its ambitions has been labelled ‘terrorist’ or a ‘rogue state’ and has been attacked mercilessly. In the last two decades the US has in this way laid waste to whole countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, killing tens of thousands of people and setting back the progress of once flourishing countries by many decades. In fact, the superpower that pioneered the use of weapons of mass destruction and continues to develop and deploy them, first fabricated the lie that Iraq’s leader Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, and then used this lie in order to attack and invade that country!
Therefore today, when we commemorate the suffering undergone by the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 76 years ago, we can never forget who was responsible for it. We must clearly understand that in the modern era, it is imperialism headed by US imperialism that is the root cause of the wars and mass destruction that have destroyed millions of lives and that continue to threaten the peace and security of the peoples.