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.

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.