The Unforgettable Fire - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-07-2002, 10:38 AM   #1
Refugee
 
rafmed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: On the moon's belly button
Posts: 1,255
Local Time: 03:14 PM
The Unforgettable Fire

The first atomic bomb burst in the sky over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and raised the curtain on the tragedy of mankind's entrance into the Nuclear Age. It gave warning that the human race may destroy itself through war. It confronted us with the dilemma we are forced to resolve: "Which shall it be, War or Peace?"
For everyone on the face of the earth now compelled to live in the Nuclear Age, the experience of Hiroshima becomes both a waring and a foundation on which to build peace. We of this city deeply feel its awesome and historic meaning.

The knowledge and wisdom of all men must be gathered and employed to build eternal peace. The tremendous effort which men now expend on war shall be rechanneled into planning for and building a mutually supportive communit





From the Hiroshima Peace Museum
__________________

rafmed is offline  
Old 08-07-2002, 07:20 PM   #2
Refugee
 
Anthony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,538
Local Time: 08:14 PM
Thank you. That was very much appreciated and noted. That was most kind.

Ant.
__________________

__________________
Razors pain you; Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful; Nooses give;
Gas smells awful; You might as well live.

Dorothy Parker, 'Resumé'
Anthony is offline  
Old 08-07-2002, 09:31 PM   #3
Banned
 
LOVE MUSCLE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: my lovenest / in bed with Larry, Bono, Larry, :heart: Adam, Larry, Edge, *swoon* kisses and THUD !!!
Posts: 986
Local Time: 03:14 PM
Beautiful thoughts Rafmed, I wish it were attainable in this life on Earth.
LOVE MUSCLE is offline  
Old 08-07-2002, 09:34 PM   #4
Banned
 
pinkfloyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: SILVER LINE
Posts: 901
Local Time: 03:14 PM
227 thousands of innocent human lives , if this is not a war-crime , then what is ???????////
pinkfloyd is offline  
Old 08-07-2002, 10:39 PM   #5
Refugee
 
rafmed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: On the moon's belly button
Posts: 1,255
Local Time: 03:14 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by LOVE MUSCLE
Beautiful thoughts Rafmed, I wish it were attainable in this life on Earth.
We can only but hope, and do what is in our hands.
rafmed is offline  
Old 08-07-2002, 11:16 PM   #6
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Lilly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: back and to the left
Posts: 8,523
Local Time: 02:14 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by LOVE MUSCLE
I wish it were attainable in this life on Earth.
something that i think can never be said enough:

it starts with the children



honestly, if you have children in your lives, be they your own, neices, nephews, cousins, whatever, let them know how much you love them and how important it is to love one another.


Lilly is offline  
Old 08-08-2002, 12:02 AM   #7
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
speedracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 7,604
Local Time: 04:14 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by pinkfloyd
227 thousands of innocent human lives , if this is not a war-crime , then what is ???????////
Um, how about trying to conquer the entire Far East?

Nobody is particularly happy about the way the war ended, but was there an alternative? Historians argue about it to this day.
speedracer is offline  
Old 08-08-2002, 12:18 AM   #8
ONE
love, blood, life
 
adamswildhoney's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Somewhere in NorCal
Posts: 10,333
Local Time: 12:14 PM
Such a terrible thing to happen!
adamswildhoney is offline  
Old 08-08-2002, 02:56 AM   #9
Jesus Online
 
Angela Harlem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: a glass castle
Posts: 30,163
Local Time: 07:14 AM
Thanks for posting that Rafmed.
Angela Harlem is offline  
Old 08-08-2002, 07:16 AM   #10
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: full of sound and fury
Posts: 3,386
Local Time: 09:14 AM
Is the irony not staring you in the face?

foray
foray is offline  
Old 08-08-2002, 07:44 AM   #11
Refugee
 
follower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Porto Alegre/Brasil
Posts: 2,302
Local Time: 05:14 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly


something that i think can never be said enough:

it starts with the children



honestly, if you have children in your lives, be they your own, neices, nephews, cousins, whatever, let them know how much you love them and how important it is to love one another.


Wise words Lilly...wise words.

Thanks for posting that rafmed.
follower is offline  
Old 08-08-2002, 10:44 AM   #12
Refugee
 
rafmed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: On the moon's belly button
Posts: 1,255
Local Time: 03:14 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by pinkfloyd
227 thousands of innocent human lives , if this is not a war-crime , then what is ???????////
Quote:
Originally posted by speeracer
Um, how about trying to conquer the entire Far East?

Nobody is particularly happy about the way the war ended, but was there an alternative? Historians argue about it to this day.
What hurts in my opinion is that the victims were human beings, like you and me. And the ones to blame were also human beings, like you and me.

We are capable of it, and we are our own victims.
rafmed is offline  
Old 08-08-2002, 11:13 AM   #13
Blue Crack Addict
 
Moonlit_Angel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: In a dimension known as the Twilight Zone...do de doo doo, do de doo doo...
Posts: 20,566
Local Time: 02:14 PM
Yep...

Quote:
Originally posted by rafmed
What hurts in my opinion is that the victims were human beings, like you and me. And the ones to blame were also human beings, like you and me.

We are capable of it, and we are our own victims.
Exactly. Well said.

I remember learning about Hiroshima and reading some literature dealing with that day. My god, what a horrible, tragic event.

I will never understand how anyone could actually feel that solving any problems with violence is a good thing.

It's nice to see other people in this thread who want peace, too. That makes me feel better.

Angela
Moonlit_Angel is offline  
Old 08-08-2002, 12:38 PM   #14
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
speedracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 7,604
Local Time: 04:14 PM
Re: Yep...

Quote:
Originally posted by Moonlit_Angel


Exactly. Well said.

I remember learning about Hiroshima and reading some literature dealing with that day. My god, what a horrible, tragic event.

I will never understand how anyone could actually feel that solving any problems with violence is a good thing.

It's nice to see other people in this thread who want peace, too. That makes me feel better.

Angela
All I'm asking is for people who opposed the bombing to get beyond the visceral impression that the bombings left and consider whether or not the world would have been better off had the US chosen an alternative. Could the US have scared Japan into surrender by dropping the bomb on an uninhabited island? Could the US have relaxed its demands for an unconditional surrender? Could the US have continued using conventional forces without creating a bloodbath?

It's easy to oppose authority (or agree with it). It's harder to make carefully considered opinions about this kind of stuff.
speedracer is offline  
Old 08-08-2002, 01:05 PM   #15
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
sulawesigirl4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Virginia
Posts: 7,416
Local Time: 03:14 PM
Normal there is always more than meets the eye

Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer
All I'm asking is for people who opposed the bombing to get beyond the visceral impression that the bombings left and consider whether or not the world would have been better off had the US chosen an alternative. Could the US have scared Japan into surrender by dropping the bomb on an uninhabited island? Could the US have relaxed its demands for an unconditional surrender? Could the US have continued using conventional forces without creating a bloodbath?

It's easy to oppose authority (or agree with it). It's harder to make carefully considered opinions about this kind of stuff.
you make a very good point, speedracer. I wonder how many of you are aware of the inhuman atrocities committed by the Japanese army as they occupied South East Asia. As one who has stood at the foot of mass graves of Indonesians who were massacred for no reason other than that they existed (the Japanese occupiers rounded up whole villages, forced them to dig huge pits and then methodically beheaded or shot them, thousands at a time), although I am sympathetic towards the Japanese citizens who were harmed in the bombing, I have to say that ending this horrific regime as quickly as possible was a worthwhile goal.

My personal experience is of course, only with Indonesia, but as I'm very well aware, the worst of the atrocities happened in China. Approximately 20 million people were brutally tortured, raped, and murdered...a slaughter that is definitely equal in scope and chilling cruelty to that of the Jewish holocaust. One of the worst examples of this was the Nanking massacre

Like everything in history, there are two sides to every story. Violence is not a desirable answer but I wonder if we are not too quick to jump on the "nuclear" bandwagon and ignore the events that brought the leaders of the time to that decision. In any case, knee-jerk reactions and opinions usually fail to encompass the depth, complexity and seriousness of all that happened.
sulawesigirl4 is offline  
Old 08-08-2002, 01:41 PM   #16
Blue Crack Addict
 
joyfulgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 16,652
Local Time: 02:14 PM
because I am a pacifist...

Published in the August 2000 issue of The Progressive

The Bombs Of August by Howard Zinn

Near the end of the novel The English Patient there is a passage in which Kip, the Sikh defuser of mines, begins to speak bitterly to the burned, near-death patient about British and American imperialism: "You and then the Americans converted us. . . . You had wars like cricket. How did you fool us into this? Here, listen to what you people have done." He puts earphones on the blackened head. The radio is telling about the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Kip goes on: "All those speeches of civilization from kings and queens and presidents . . . such voices of abstract order . . . American, French, I don't care. When you start bombing the brown races of the world, you're an Englishman. You had King Leopold of Belgium, and now you have fucking Harry Truman of the USA."

You probably don't remember those lines in the movie made from The English Patient. That's because they were not there.

Hardly a surprise. The bombing of Hiroshima remains sacred to the American Establishment and to a very large part of the population in this country. I learned that when, in 1995, I was invited to speak at the Chautauqua Institute in New York state. I chose Hiroshima as my subject, it being the fiftieth anniversary of the dropping of the bomb. There were 2,000 people in that huge amphitheater and as I explained why Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unforgivable atrocities, perpetrated on a Japan ready to surrender, the audience was silent. Well, not quite. A number of people shouted angrily at me from their seats.

Understandable. To question Hiroshima is to explode a precious myth which we all grow up with in this country--that America is different from the other imperial powers of the world, that other nations may commit unspeakable acts, but not ours.

Further, to see it as a wanton act of gargantuan cruelty rather than as an unavoidable necessity ("to end the war, to save lives") would be to raise disturbing questions about the essential goodness of the "good war."

I recall that in junior high school, a teacher asked our class: "What is the difference between a totalitarian state and a democratic state?" The correct answer: "A totalitarian state, unlike ours, believes in using any means to achieve its end."

That was at the start of World War II, when the Fascist states were bombing civilian populations in Ethiopia, in Spain, in Coventry, and in Rotterdam. President Roosevelt called that "inhuman barbarism." That was before the United States and England began to bomb civilian populations in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Dresden, and then in Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki.

Any means to an end--the totalitarian philosophy. And one shared by all nations that make war.

What means could be more horrible than the burning, mutilation, blinding, irradiation of hundreds of thousands of Japanese men, women, children? And yet it is absolutely essential for our political leaders to defend the bombing because if Americans can be induced to accept that, then they can accept any war, any means, so long as the warmakers can supply a reason. And there are always plausible reasons delivered from on high as from Moses on the Mount.

Thus, the three million dead in Korea can be justified by North Korean aggression, the millions dead in Southeast Asia by the threat of Communism, the invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965 to protect American citizens, the support of death squad governments in Central America to stop Communism, the invasion of Grenada to save American medical students, the invasion of Panama to stop the drug trade, the Gulf War to liberate Kuwait, the Yugoslav bombing to stop ethnic cleansing.

There is endless room for more wars, with endless supplies of reasons.

That is why the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is important, because if citizens can question that, if they can declare nuclear weapons an unacceptable means, even if it ends a war a month or two earlier, they may be led to a larger question--the means (involving forty million dead) used to defeat Fascism.

And if they begin to question the moral purity of "the good war," indeed, the very best of wars, then they may get into a questioning mood that will not stop until war itself is unacceptable, whatever reasons are advanced.

So we must now, fifty-five years later, with those bombings still so sacred that a mildly critical Smithsonian exhibit could not be tolerated, insist on questioning those deadly missions of the sixth and ninth of August, 1945.

The principal justification for obliterating Hiroshima and Nagasaki is that it "saved lives" because otherwise a planned U.S. invasion of Japan would have been necessary, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands. Truman at one point used the figure "a half million lives," and Churchill "a million lives," but these were figures pulled out of the air to calm troubled consciences; even official projections for the number of casualties in an invasion did not go beyond 46,000.

In fact, the bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not forestall an invasion of Japan because no invasion was necessary. The Japanese were on the verge of surrender, and American military leaders knew that. General Eisenhower, briefed by Secretary of War Henry Stimson on the imminent use of the bomb, told him that "Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary."

After the bombing, Admiral William D. Leary, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the atomic bomb "a barbarous weapon," also noting that: "The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender."

The Japanese had begun to move to end the war after the U.S. victory on Okinawa, in May of 1945, in the bloodiest battle of the Pacific War. After the middle of June, six members of the Japanese Supreme War Council authorized Foreign Minister Togo to approach the Soviet Union, which was not at war with Japan, to mediate an end to the war "if possible by September."

Togo sent Ambassador Sato to Moscow to feel out the possibility of a negotiated surrender. On July 13, four days before Truman, Churchill, and Stalin met in Potsdam to prepare for the end of the war (Germany had surrendered two months earlier), Togo sent a telegram to Sato: "Unconditional surrender is the only obstacle to peace. It is his Majesty's heart's desire to see the swift termination of the war."

The United States knew about that telegram because it had broken the Japanese code early in the war. American officials knew also that the Japanese resistance to unconditional surrender was because they had one condition enormously important to them: the retention of the Emperor as symbolic leader. Former Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew and others who knew something about Japanese society had suggested that allowing Japan to keep its Emperor would save countless lives by bringing an early end to the war.

Yet Truman would not relent, and the Potsdam conference agreed to insist on "unconditional surrender." This ensured that the bombs would fall on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It seems that the United States government was determined to drop those bombs.

But why? Gar Alperovitz, whose research on that question is unmatched (The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, Knopf, 1995), concluded, based on the papers of Truman, his chief adviser James Byrnes, and others, that the bomb was seen as a diplomatic weapon against the Soviet Union. Byrnes advised Truman that the bomb "could let us dictate the terms of ending the war." The British scientist P.M.S. Blackett, one of Churchill's advisers, wrote after the war that dropping the atomic bomb was "the first major operation of the cold diplomatic war with Russia."

There is also evidence that domestic politics played an important role in the decision. In his recent book, Freedom From Fear: The United States, 1929-1945 (Oxford, 1999), David Kennedy quotes Secretary of State Cordell Hull advising Byrnes, before the Potsdam conference, that "terrible political repercussions would follow in the U.S." if the unconditional surrender principle would be abandoned. The President would be "crucified" if he did that, Byrnes said. Kennedy reports that "Byrnes accordingly repudiated the suggestions of Leahy, McCloy, Grew, and Stimson," all of whom were willing to relax the "unconditional surrender" demand just enough to permit the Japanese their face-saving requirement for ending the war.

Can we believe that our political leaders would consign hundreds of thousands of people to death or lifelong suffering because of "political repercussions" at home?

The idea is horrifying, yet we can see in history a pattern of Presidential behavior that placed personal ambition high above human life. The tapes of John F. Kennedy reveal him weighing withdrawal from Vietnam against the upcoming election. Transcripts of Lyndon Johnson's White House conversations show him agonizing over Vietnam ("I don't think it's worth fighting for. . . .") but deciding that he could not withdraw because: "They'd impeach a President--wouldn't they?"

Did millions die in Southeast Asia because American Presidents wanted to stay in office?

Just before the Gulf War, President Bush's aide John Sununu was reported "telling people that a short successful war would be pure political gold for the President and would guarantee his reelection." And is not the Clinton-Gore support for the "Star Wars" anti-missile program (against all scientific evidence or common sense) prompted by their desire to be seen by the voters as tough guys?

Of course, political ambition was not the only reason for Hiroshima, Vietnam, and the other horrors of our time. There was tin, rubber, oil, corporate profit, imperial arrogance. There was a cluster of factors, none of them, despite the claims of our leaders, having to do with human rights, human life.

The wars go on, even when they are over. Every day, British and U.S. warplanes bomb Iraq, and children die. Every day, children die in Iraq because of the U.S.-sponsored embargo. Every day, boys and girls in Afghanistan step on land mines and are killed or mutilated. The Russia of "the free market" brutalizes Chechnya, as the Russia of "socialism" sent an army into Afghanistan. In Africa, more wars.

The mine defuser in The English Patient was properly bitter about Western imperialism. But the problem is larger than even that 500-year assault on colored peoples of the world. It is a problem of the corruption of human intelligence, enabling our leaders to create plausible reasons for monstrous acts, and to exhort citizens to accept those reasons, and train soldiers to follow orders. So long as that continues, we will need to refute those reasons, resist those exhortations.
joyfulgirl is offline  
Old 08-08-2002, 02:34 PM   #17
Refugee
 
rafmed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: On the moon's belly button
Posts: 1,255
Local Time: 03:14 PM
I understand that some feel the need to justify the actions taken 57 years ago, my intention with this thread is not to look for someone to blame, simply to point at the human nature, that we all humans regardless of our nationality or ideology feel deeply sorrow for the victims of this bombs, but also to be aware that we are capable of doing it again.
rafmed is offline  
Old 08-08-2002, 02:39 PM   #18
Blue Crack Addict
 
joyfulgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 16,652
Local Time: 02:14 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by rafmed
I understand that some feel the need to justify the actions taken 57 years ago, my intention with this thread is not to look for someone to blame, simply to point at the human nature, that we all humans regardless of our nationality or ideology feel deeply sorrow for the victims of this bombs, but also to be aware that we are capable of doing it again.
I agree with you. And I honestly didn't post that article to start a debate, but just to offer another point of view by someone I respect.
joyfulgirl is offline  
Old 08-08-2002, 03:16 PM   #19
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
speedracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 7,604
Local Time: 04:14 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by rafmed
I understand that some feel the need to justify the actions taken 57 years ago, my intention with this thread is not to look for someone to blame, simply to point at the human nature, that we all humans regardless of our nationality or ideology feel deeply sorrow for the victims of this bombs, but also to be aware that we are capable of doing it again.
This is what I suspected, but when pinkfloyd called the bombings war crimes, I had to post my opposing view.

I have no problem with stopping this debate here and now and restoring this thread to its original purpose.
speedracer is offline  
Old 08-08-2002, 04:44 PM   #20
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Tempe, Az USA
Posts: 12,856
Local Time: 01:14 PM
ok.
Im getting sad here reading about Gods children getting snuffed out.

So-
On the bright side-
Im glad that Japan and the USA are now fine fast friends -50 years later
I love Sapparro Beer
Japan makes fine fast sexy cars

thank u
db9

__________________

diamond is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com
×