I do wish I could feel more relaxed about our ongoing nuclear madness. But something in me just won’t let up. Confronting this ever-fissioning terror has been an aspect of my life purpose ever since I “woke up” during the radio announcement of Hiroshima when I was two years and eight months old. The adults around me cheered. It meant my father would return from the war. I alone, froze in terror, seeing the whole world blow up in my lifetime.
So, when I come across headlines like this, frankly, I tend to go off-kilter.
Near St. Louis, in Florida, and in New York. Oops! Matt Agorist forgot one. See —
Workers at the Hanford nuclear waste site in Oregon say that the public is being deceived about a “catastrophic” leak at the most contaminated nuclear site in our nation. According to a recent article over at CommonDreams.org, one of the 28 underground tanks is seeping radioactive material left over from plutonium production. Earlier this month, alarms at the facility began sounding and workers discovered more than eight inches of toxic waste between the inner and outer walls of a storage tank. Although the Department of Energy maintains that there is no threat to public safety, Mike Geffre, the worker who discovered the leak, said, “this is catastrophic.” The Columbia Riverkeepers, an Oregon-based environmental group, said the leak is “another reminder of the cost of nuclear waste, and the unexpected outcomes of handling radioactive materials.” The storage tanks were never designed to hold this waste for decades, but the very nature of nuclear material makes it difficult to move and store in another location.
Besides leaky nuclear plants and old storage facilities, there’s NATO’s deliberate positioning of more and more nukes to surround “aggressor” Russia.
By transforming Europe into the front line of a nuclear conflict, and, with the help of the European governments themselves, [Washington] is sabotaging EU-Russian economic relations in order to permanently link the EU to the USA via the intermediary of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). By the same token, it is forcing its European allies to increase their military expenditure to the advantage of the US war industry, whose exports have increased by 60% over the last five years, becoming the strongest sector in US exports.
Who said that war doesn’t pay?
Let’s now segue to this fantasy speech David Swanson dreamed up for Obama in Hiroshima:
Thank you. Thank you for welcoming me to this hallowed ground, given meaning like the fields of Gettysburg by those who died here, far more than any speech can pretend to add.
Those deaths, here and in Nagasaki, those hundreds of thousands of lives taken in a pair of fiery nuclear infernos, were the entire point. After 70 years of lying about this, let me be clear, the purpose of dropping the bombs was dropping the bombs. The more deaths the better. The bigger the explosion, the bigger the destruction, the bigger the news story, the bolder the opening of the Cold War the better.
Harry Truman spoke in the U.S. Senate on June 23, 1941: “If we see that Germany is winning,” he said, “we ought to help Russia, and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible.” This is how the U.S. president who destroyed Hiroshima thought about the value of European life. Perhaps I needn’t remind you of the value Americans placed on Japanese lives during the war.
A U.S. Army poll in 1943 found that roughly half of all GIs believed it would be necessary to kill every Japanese person on earth. William Halsey, who commanded the United States’ naval forces in the South Pacific during World War II, thought of his mission as “Kill Japs, kill Japs, kill more Japs,” and had vowed that when the war was over, the Japanese language would be spoken only in hell.
Who are we as a nation? What have we become? And since when? Probably since way back to the beginning, when we deliberately genocided the American Indian. This nation’s origins are marinated in the blood of The Other.