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This Week in History:
August 4 - 11, 1945
On the Anniversary of Hiroshima —
The First Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction

by Nancy Spannaus

August 2010

Atomic explosion over Nagasaki, Japan, August 9, 1945

In the midst of the hue and cry being raised today about "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, North Korea, and Iran, it is sobering to reflect upon the fact that the only nation to have unleashed real weapons of mass destruction upon the world—i.e., a nuclear bomb—has been the United States. That event occurred on Aug. 6, 1945, when U.S. planes dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan (and again a few days later, when the U.S. bombed Nagasaki).

In contrast to biological and chemical weapons, the detonation of a nuclear bomb kills en masse. Sixty-six thousand people were killed in Hiroshima, and 39,000 three days later in Nagasaki. Much of the death resulted from the firestorms caused by the explosions of the bombs.

What must be understood, is that the dropping of these bombs was no more necessary than the war against Iraq. Yes, Japan was a major military power which was warring against the United States, but at the point that the decision was made to drop the bomb, the Japanese Emperor was already negotiating, through Vatican channels, on the same terms of surrender that were accepted after the bombings.

No, this bombing was not undertaken for military purposes, but in the interest of asserting the One World Government plan which none other than that "pacifist" Bertrand Russell advocated. Russell, in the immediate postwar years, advocated a preventive war against the Soviet Union, implicitly a nuclear war. Of course, the Soviets could evade this, Russell said in an interview with BBC in 1959, if they submitted to his plan for a One World Government which would have a monopoly on serious armed force.

In a September 1946 report in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Russell said: "It is entirely clear that there is only one way in which great wars can be permanently prevented, and that is the establishment of an international government with a monopoly of serious armed force.... An international government, if it is to be able to preserve peace, must have the only atomic bombs, the only plant for producing them, the only air force, the only battleships, and generally whatever is necessary to make it irresistible."

If that sounds to you like the conception of the American imperialist Chickenhawks today, that is not far off. What Russell was not able to accomplish in the immediate postwar period, they are close to accomplishing today.

Despite the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Russell did not succeed in his One World Government objective. This was due in no small part to the role played by General Dwight David Eisenhower, who was President from 1953 to January 1961. Eisenhower had opposed the use of the nuclear bombs in Japan, and was forced to veto proposals to use them in other places in Asia at least four times, during his tenure as President.

Another leading figure who opposed the use of these weapons of mass destruction on Japan was General Douglas MacArthur, who was never consulted. Like the military men today who decry the Chickenhawks' doctrine of perpetual no-exit war, MacArthur believed that the purpose of war was to prepare for the peace. And not, like Russell, the peace of the grave.

With this anniversary of the horror of the use of nuclear weapons, let us ensure that Russell's nightmare scenario is buried forever.


This article was originally published in the EIR Online’s Electronic Intelligence Weekly as part of an ongoing series on history, with a special emphasis on American history. We are reprinting these articles now to assist our readers in understanding of the American System of Economy.

Related pages:

This Week in American History (main page)

Image of the American Patriot

Education, Science and Poetry

The Four Powers Alliance