Historical Event and Myth: Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombing
The World War II brought about the most destructive human war in history. It was during this period that the western nations were embracing advancement in technology and when nations were able to manufacture arms that were more advanced. These nations turned against themselves led by Adolf Hitler of Germany. WWII involved Germany, Japan, Great Britain, and Italy. Shortly after Adolf Hitler committed suicide, Germany unconditionally surrendered on May 7, 1945. For the Japanese nation, surrender was not part of the plan and it went on invading other nations, especially the United States. It was at this point that the U.S. decided to reiterate. With the consent of United Kingdom, the president ordered for the bombing of Japan to end the war. The bomb was detonated on 6 August 1945 in Hiroshima wiping at least 90 percent of the city and killing 80,000 people and another one on 9 August 1945 to Nagasaki killing an estimated number of 40,000 people. This paper will examine a myth that has refused to die with regards to the nuclear bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki as espoused by Wilson (2013).
‘Patriotic’ Political Myth
Every year, in the month of August, the media and many politicians at the national level proceed to go public and celebrate the “patriotic” political myth. They believe that the dropping of the two atomic bombs on Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945 was a military necessity causing Japan to surrender, and thereby saving the lives of millions of American soldiers, who did not have to invade Japan. This myth is false history, which, of course, is wrong as it makes Americans feel better about killing hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians, who were mostly women and children and saving American lives to accomplish the ending of the war. The ‘Patriotic’ Political Myth should die already because now that we live in the nuclear age and there are enough nuclear weapons spread around the world. There is a need to face the fact that America is the only country to have used this awful weapon and that it was unnecessary to have done so as stated by Kramer (2009). Bombing civilians is a moral and legal crime.
What is right about this myth is that Americans can use it to recognize the truth and feel disgusted over a government that wages war on the lives of human beings. The citizens can use the event as a moral lesson, which would help rebel and end the authority of a government that would turn against human lives for selfish reasons, such as America’s selfish pursuit to become the most powerful military force in the world. Americans should use this event as a way to commemorate the bombings and put into consideration what a nuclear bomb can do and advocate for peace at all times.
The media and political standings influence highly on people’s beliefs and this is the main reason why this myth refuses to die. The media has gone ahead to glorify the horrific bombing and political leaders at an international level have gone public to justify the heinous act and explain how leaders often make hard choices during times of conflict. The world should realize that wars in the future may well become nuclear, and therefore, all wars must be avoided at all cost. Leaders and the media should take into consideration the effects that the civilians of Japan suffered such as casualties and long-term effects such as radiation exposure, which increases cancer risks to the survivors. The effects of nuclear warfare are often passed down to the unborn as stated by Roesch (1987). Leaders and the media should be prudent and their political ambitions should not impair their judgments towards other human beings.
Kramer, R. C. (2009). Resisting the bombing of civilians: Challenges from a public criminology of state crime. Social Justice, 36(3 (117), 78-97.
Roesch, W. C. (1987). US-Japan joint reassessment of atomic bomb radiation dosimetry in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. DS86. Dosimetry System 1986. Vol. 1.Wilson, W. (2013). Five myths about nuclear weapons. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
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