How to Stop a War?

Source: The Guardian

So what is the best way to end a war?

Pretty simple. Obliterate your enemy. Wipe every trace of life from their cities.

But is it really so?

Unfortunately, the people, who fight wars under the impression that they are saving humanity, forget that the people that they are fighting, who are not very dissimilar to themselves, have mostly absolutely no concern about what happens to the people that are fighting on their side. Or there would hardly ever be wars in the first place.

They are so blinded by the lustful glory of feasting on the spoils of war that they lose all connection with the pains and pleasures of flesh and bone that belonged to another soul. They are so absorbed in their greed for power and control that they have absolutely no regard for anyone outside their league. This is what they call the good life. Indeed.

You can talk about it incessantly, untiringly and repetitively like a record machine and yet that would have no effect. Your words will only fall on deaf ears.

It is often said that Hiroshima, Nagasaki and even Dresden were necessary. That they were used to hasten the end of the war.

That the Japanese were a very evil and wicked people during the Second World War.

If they were evil people and if it was necessary to subject them to one of the most horrifying military weapon experiments of all time, then wouldn’t those carrying it out would become evil and wicked themselves?

And wouldn’t they deserve the very same or even worse treatment themselves?

These are indeed tough questions to ask but all they do is to help us arrive to a simple conclusion. The following were the precise reasons for attacking Hiroshima, Nagasaki and even Dresden.

The Dead of Dresden – Source: whale.to

  1. These were perfectly justifiable acts of war.
  2.  In wars, you destroy and annihilate your enemy, without regard to human life on the other side, without attaching any emotions and sensitivity to the victims.
  3. To test the effects and consequences of a new monster weapon created by science to help empower man and to make him feel good about how much control he has over destroying the world, in other words, harnessing the power of the atom.
  4. To help establish that the attacking power is the strongest in the world and must not be challenged again.

All these reasons make perfectly good sense and will be appreciated and accepted by almost anyone, even the suffering parties. However, the problem begins when the attacking powers start to associate these atrocious and senselessly barbaric acts with moral righteousness and start preaching why carrying out these attacks were necessary for humanity.

That is complete nonsense. Just like no wars are necessary, so are no such atrocious acts of war.

Furthermore, you just don’t stop an already dying war by completely squeezing all humanity out of your cause and squeezing all life out of your enemy. You can even accomplish the feat with diplomacy and going to the extent of making substantial and reasonable threats to your enemy. The facts and the politics of the time stand in their own right, but the ostentatious vanity and the needless cruelty of these events are simply too obvious to be ignored and appreciated.

Source: Boston.com/US National Archives

My sympathy with those who do.

But then again, war crimes have always been justified with moral reasons that make good sense to the people of that age, and still are. It will all happen again.

I would prefer and appreciate if you would at least drop the hypocrisy of moral righteousness.

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Imagine Revenge For This

Hiroshima After the Bombing - Source: Boston.com

As discussed in the previous post, revenge is almost a common “instinctive behavior” among humans and whenever they are attacked by their enemies, unless their minds are polluted and adulterated by the ideas of non-violence, they consider it important to avenge the disgrace and the damage, which perhaps is a sign of an intelligent species. 66 years ago, this day, in the final days of World War II, the United States military dropped a “Little Boy” over the Japanese port city of Hiroshima, and three days later, a “Fat Man” on Nagasaki. The war had almost ended, but soon after this miraculous incident, the declaration of surrender was issued by the Japanese. A great victory.

Perhaps this particular attack was revenge for Pearl Harbor, another atrocious act of war, but the question that many ask is whether this really was justifiable as a revenge. It’s actually even absurd to consider that for a second, let alone making a comparison. The loss of lives in any case is equal, without considering the death toll from both the events. However, the magnitude of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was overwhelmingly horrific to say the least.

Whatever may be the reasons for bombing the two Japanese cities, since it has been one of the greatest mysteries baffling people around the world for more than half a century, the extent of pain and damage caused by it is terrifyingly evident. Though it can be said with confidence that the people responsible for the act would have a clear idea, as to some “it saved countless lives”. Possibly. What a sacrifice, but it looked more like a shameless display of power than anything else. The rest of the world and probably the future Japanese generations have been saved the trouble of really knowing much about it in detail due to the limited information resources and telecommunications at the time.

Should such an incident occur in our times, you would instantly witness a live commentary on the social media from an observable distance from which telecommunication systems could operate even if the mainstream news channels choose to overlook the detailed coverage of the event. However, the generation surviving the nuclear attack and those who witnessed the most terrible sight of their lives in the bombing, did actually decide to document the aftermath as much as they could, which can now be found in the respective memorials and museums in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which any visitor to these cities can conveniently skip when it comes to sightseeing, if anyone chooses those destinations at all for recreation.

From such overwhelming evidence, it is not hard to see what even a very relatively weak nuclear warhead could do to the planet, let alone the thought of its damage on human flesh and bone, and on most of all, nerves.  Imagine a storm-like shockwave hitting you faster than the speed of sound where you are sitting right now, with debris collapsing around you under the pressure of something like 5.0 psi, or lesser, or higher, and if you survive the impact, imagine the scorching heat from the explosion that could burn out your flesh and set your nerves on fire.

Photo: Alfred Eisenstaedt

Even if someone is good or lucky enough to survive the impact and the sound and heat from the explosion, they could hardly escape the poisoning of radiation, which can prove to be even more sickening and torturous as you discover its terrible effects with the passage of time, once you realize what in the world really has happened.  It is indeed even a horrific thing to imagine, and even more terrifying is the thought of retaliation for such an action anywhere in the world. If you are living in one of the trouble(-making/expecting)  countries of the world, then the probability of finding yourself in such a situation significantly increases.

It was the same fear that engulfed the world, particularly two nations, during the Cold War era. If you recall all those underground shelters that everyone would want to have. Still ironically, this period saw the greatest number of nuclear explosions on the surface and the atmosphere of the planet than any other period and let us hope that those years maintain that record to their name. With several nations possessing and actively using the nuclear technology, a lot of people believe that rejecting such fears may be a touch too optimistic.

However, apart from strategic conflicts of the modern world, the real question was to consider how outrageously audacious the decision of bombing not one, but two cities, mostly filled with innocent women and children who had little part to play in the war except for their relation to the men of the country and for playing their unavoidable part in its society and economy.

It is indeed a shame for humanity and global powers that the persons responsible for this act have never even been considered to be prosecuted by a tribunal of war crimes. Not that it would do any good, but just saying this because somehow the people around the world are a bit too keen on finding justice, whatever that means.

But then again, war crimes are only committed by the enemy.

To some, the Japanese at the time “made the US to drop the bomb” on these two cities to subdue them, but the point is that the ones who suffered were innocent people who had nothing to do with any policy making whatsoever, as in all wars actually, and no discrimination or error of judgement should be made in questioning those who were responsible, if anyone ever feels the need to do that.

But if you ever have to picture the horrors and pain of what Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks would have been like, just imagine revenge for this.

Consider what would become of the world if we start taking an eye for an eye for this.

Right now, the Japanese are apparently among the most peaceful, thoughtful, disciplined and civilized people in the world.

But after all, they are humans.

The Advance to a New Low

65 years ago, on August 6, 1945, the United States took the human race to a new low by making the first nuclear strike on a human population center. It would be fair to say that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a Holocaust end to a Holocaust war.

There is no doubt that it was an event to feel sad about, but for all the years to come, nuclear weapons became a symbol of power, glory, patriotic superiority and pride, unfortunately.

If you think I am exaggerating, then revisit all the clips of nuclear tests and you will find out how they were filmed, showcased and presented in front of the people as remarkable feats and were encouraged to be considered as a symbol of national pride. No nuclear power was an exception to this case.

The following clip from the US archives as can be seen on YouTube of the Hiroshima and the Nagasaki bombs.

Apart from that, the following clip of the same event clearly signifies the triumphant tone of the narrator.

The Aftermath of Hiroshima – This clearly shows why this act was nothing to be proud of.

Although no one is proud of Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks anymore, but we are still holding the nuclear weapons dear, aren’t we?

To illustrate a few more examples of how nuclear tests are associated with nationalism and pride, since the possession of this killer device automatically qualifies you to become one of the powers of the world, a term which sits ironically on India, Pakistan and North Korea, the following are the footages taken from the YouTube of some of the nuclear tests conducted by some of the world’s declared nuclear power.

United States

Trailer of a Movie Based on the Trinity Bomb Test, the first ever nuclear test carried out on July 16, 1945 in Almogordo, New Mexico.

The Actual Footage

President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s speech on the occasion of the test of the first ever Hydrogen bomb, merged with the test in the official footage and of course presented in the dramatic, patriotic way, which was the need of the hour in the Cold War era.

Russia’s Tsar Bomba, the most powerful nuclear bomb ever tested

The Chinese Hydrogen Bomb Test footage with a lot of dramatic effects

The footage of the French Tahiti Test merged with the patriotic  speech of Charles de Gaulle from the documentary “Blowing Up Paradise”.

India’s Smiling Buddha test carried out in Rajasthan in 1974 – How ironical could they get? The following clip has been taken from a custom-made tribute of a YouTube user.

And finally, Pakistan’s 1998 Nuclear Test with the chants of “Allah-o-Akbar”, which I’m sure would have sent tremors down the spines of the infidels.

Given the impact of these tests on the environment and the planet, it is clear that carrying out these tests are totally unnecessary. But unfortunately, the leaders of the world consider the need to display their power much more important than the need to protect the environment of the earth. No wonder why we have so many failed summits for the environment like the 2009 UN Climate Change Summit held in Copenhagen, Denmark .

I know that the climate change summit has little to do with nuclear tests directly, but I have referred to the Copenhagen summit just to illustrate the commitment of the leaders of the world to the protection of the environment.

It is a shame that nuclear scientists all over the world are hailed as heroes, such as Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan in Pakistan and Dr. Abdul Kalam in India. In fact, Dr. Kalam was even elected as the President of the country from July 20002 to 2007. Of course, they had offered great service to their respective countries, but committed great crimes to the humanity.

Finally, see for yourself how human beings have “advanced” to a new low, and what better could elaborate that but the words of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the architect of the nuclear bomb himself, who quoted from the Bhagavad-Gita, when he was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the explosion:

“Now I am become death. The destroyer of the Worlds….”

The truth is that the nuclear weapons technology is like an opened Pandora’s Box, which cannot be undone or reversed. Even if all the nations of the world agree to destroy all the nuclear warheads in the world, there always will be an uncertainty and a lack of confidence among them, knowing that anyone could build more bombs at any time.

Since humans are so proud of their intelligence and for being a so-called “superior species”, maybe some day they will finally figure out that these weapons are not only a danger for their own existence, but even if they do not use them in wars, their testing could cause significant damage to the environment.

Maybe some day we will stop advancing further low and stop for a minute to realize that any more nuclear tests will be disastrous to everything important to us, even pride and power.