What have we learned?

TW: war crimes, Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, Iraq war

Yesterday was the sixty-eighth anniversary of the US military’s detonation of the nuclear weapon “Little Boy” over the Japanese city of Hiroshima and this Friday will be the same for the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki with “Fat Man”. Together, those two attacks, which are the only uses of nuclear weapons in the history of human conflict, are variously estimated to have potentially killed as many as 246,000 people, which approaches the estimates for the total population of Nagasaki prior to the bombing.


(White doves were released at the memorial in Hiroshima, Japan, this year, from here.)

This November will mark the eighth anniversary of the US military unintentionally admitting to illegally using White phosphorus as a napalm-like incendiary during the Iraq War (specifically the siege of Fallujah). Sixty years and a few months separate those incidents, but the chilling modus operandi of the US military in Iraq suggests that virtually nothing was learned from our actions in Japan.

I think this week should serve as a time of meditation on that distressing fact.

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One thought on “What have we learned?

  1. Vividhunter says:

    Nuclear weapons are terrible, and I hope will eventually be banned along with nuclear power. It’s just too dangerous and terrifying when things go wrong.

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