Category Archives: Hiroshima

Bulletin For The Comfortable Class: Mass Murder Was Americana Before Trump Was Born!

The U.S. air war in Japan was one of the most ruthless and barbaric killings of non-combatants in all history.

— General Bonner Fellers, MacArthur’s Intelligence Chief, from Cultures Of War: Pearl Harbour/Hiroshima/9-11/Iraq by John W. Dower, 2011, pp. 195-96.

The recent anniversary of the mass murder that took place in Hiroshima, followed three days later by another mass murder in Nagasaki, would have dominated the consciousness of a nation in remorse for past horrors committed under the degenerate belief of justifiable homicide as long as its warfare. As the comment above helps make clear, these particular acts of dreadful violence were only unique in that one bomb was used for each city, instead of the thousands used to set fire to entire cities in Japan and Germany and immediately burn tens of thousands of their inhabitants to death. American ingenuity made it possible for an early and perverse form of one-stop-shopping as entire populations were slaughtered and cremated in one action, without need of camps, chambers, ovens or any other real or legendary forms of brutality.

But hardly a moment was wasted on those past horrors given that America suffered tragedies occupying national consciousness due to what we’re told are Trump inspired outbursts of racist-sexist- madness, as usual having nothing to do with the political economics of blood profit capital but all about evil individuals and special categories of “identity groups” different from all other members of the human race. Somehow, this fanatic fundamentalism still works to keep us shopping, killing and destroying the environment in pursuit of ever greater personal fortunes for some, appalling poverty for far more, and majorities sinking into unpayable debt and facing planetary doom if radical transformation of the prevailing political economics are not performed for humanity’s sake and not just the pleasure of a minority identity group we worship: the rich.

With most of the nation under the control of mass media even more powerful than it was in the days of World War II, corporate mind management has us in a state of mourning over tragedies which cost the lives of 30 innocent Americans over a period of three days. Said to be murders committed by the mentally ill or fascists inspired by the evil Trump, or both, the villains have some foaming at the mouth under around the clock bombardments of stories of the innocents, mourning by thousands and worst of all cries for vengeance against alleged fascism and/or white supremacy in a national racist mental ward counting deaths by identity group other than the human race and not noticing that most of the recent American victims were of the racist designated “white” group.

To put tragic deaths in perspective, while these poor souls were being murdered in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton, some 200 other Americans, equally innocent of anything other than possible driving errors, died in the raging road wars of our overwhelmingly private profit transit system. It kills an average of 100 of us every single day and little if anything beyond a small notice appears in local newspapers with hardly anything said about the national insanity of such suffering inflicted on innocent people no more guilty of wrong than any of the poor souls murdered by affordable gun owning citizens in a nation with more than half a million humans who cannot afford the market force to enable them to find a place to live. That damned Trump! Oh wait…maybe it’s Putin? Or perhaps Oprah, Dracula or Joe Biden?

Those who think this nation was a Garden of Eden until the dreadful Trump became president need to learn their country’s history and not just that of one or another identity group somehow experiencing history in a vacuum of suffering or wealth while tens of millions of other people simply amount to works of fiction at best and matters of intense disrespect and outright bigotry, at worst. What is going on now isn’t even slightly new and blamed on one or another set of villains it displays a pattern in operation for generations and getting worse by the minute.

Trump is as much an aspect of our system as diversity, war, sex, jazz, TV, shopping, deceit, slander, pets, propaganda and love. All that is good and bad is hidden by some calling every American social disease since our founding as something of his creation. The continued divisions of Americans into racial categories in defiance of all science let alone common sense continues the work of individualism and racism that make us such a unique historic nation able to call itself a democracy while controlled by billionaires while millions of our children live in poverty, hundreds of thousands of our families live on the street and we spend trillions on war and billions on our pet animals. Is this a great country or what? Or at least it was until the vile Trump arrived, according to some who’ve been mentally murdered by the assault on consciousness conducted for generations but never quite as vile and all encompassing as at present, with the empire sinking faster and the danger to humanity growing at an even greater speed.

The American mass murders of the second world war in Japan and Europe were closely followed by mass butchery that killed millions in southeast Asia and our savage behavior towards humanity, under command and ownership of our royal 1%, has slaughtered more in the Middle East over the last twenty years than we have sacrificed to profit making transit on our highways. This, while an upper class has expanded slightly, including what racism identifies as “people of color”, and some other groups previously trashed and treated as less worthy of life than what passed for “normal” have become acceptable members of the market hordes consuming more trash with less money. Meanwhile, our poverty and prison populations explode in this material land of over consumption for a minority that would make the originator of the term “conspicuous consumption”, Veblen, apologize for mincing his words in critique of capital.

We are told by legend and there is some material foundation for belief that in biblical times every few years there was a forgiveness of debt and it may have been easier for civilization, or what it was called then at a time long before the savage circus we call a democracy, to clearly see and react to a reality that could not go on without radical change. Of course, those poor souls didn’t have what we now are taught to call “social” media, which makes us so much smarter than those poor fools of the past that we can carry the burden of trillions in debt, the continued slaughter of human beings all over the planet including our own domicile, and rage against the latest white house pinhead in the fashion of the clients and crew of the Titanic screeching about the lousy captain as they were about to drown on a sinking ship that, like everything else then and since, would never have existed without the motive of private profit, and the public good be damned.

We may be able to elect a new CEO of Capital Inc in 2020, if we don’t destroy even more than our electoral façade and sink in our own sea of political, social and environmental excrement before being able to vote. But if we simply choose another chairperson for the system of private capital and do not demand and execute a social revolution that puts all humanity before any single un-chosen figurehead, we will face far more than personal need for therapy visits or social prayers for divine intervention. All of us or none of us was the call much earlier in our history and it has never had more meaning than at present. In closing, the words of a truly great American sadly unknown to many of us:

Democracy can become truly a rule of the people only when it is extended to the economic life of the people.

— Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, The Trial of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, the American Civil Liberties Union, January 1, 1968

Long After Hiroshima

http://davidswanson.org/long-after-hiroshima/

How do we honor victims? We can remember them and appreciate who they were. But there were too many of them, and too many unknown to us. So, we can remember a sample of them, examples of them. And we can honor the living survivors, get to know and appreciate them while they are still alive.

We can remember the horrific way in which those killed were victimized, in hopes of manipulating ourselves into doing something serious about it. We can remember those who were instantly vaporized, but also those half-burnt, partially melted, those eaten out from the inside by maggots, those who died slowly in excruciating pain and in the presence of their screaming children, those who died from drinking water they knew would kill them but who were driven to it by thirst.

And then, when we are ready to take action, when we have built up a righteous anger, what is it we should do? We should not, of course, commit some new atrocity under the banner of cosmic balance. Nuking Washington D.C. or spray painting Harry Truman’s grave would not honor anyone in any way. Instead of resorting to magical means of undoing the mass killing, we have to face up to the fact that we cannot in any way whatsoever undo it. We cannot bring back those slaughtered in Japan 74 years ago. We cannot bring back any of the millions murdered in that war or any of the millions murdered in any of the wars since.

But here’s the good news. There are many things that are commonly thought of as just as impossible or more so than bringing back the dead which we most certainly can do. And they are things that I believe honor the victims in the most profound way imaginable.

The key to understanding this is that, apart from feedback loops set in motion by environmental destruction, anything — absolutely anything — created by humans can be uncreated by humans, can be replaced by something radically different by humans.

After the bombings that did not end the war, after the Soviet invasion, after the war finally did end, a system of victors’ justice was established in which war was for the first time prosecuted as a crime, but only if you’d lost it. An international system of government was created which, this time around, the United States joined, but it was a system that made the biggest war makers and weapons dealers more equal than everybody else. The veto power at the UN Security Council is not an immutable genetic or physical or mystical inheritance. It’s words on a computer screen. The International Criminal Court does not have to prosecute only Africans in the way in which an apple that detaches from a tree has to move downward, but rather in the way in which the U.S. House of Representatives had to oppose ending the Korean War until this past month when it started supporting ending the Korean War.

The same body, which I usually refer to as the House of Misrepresentatives, also this past month passed a requirement that every foreign U.S. base be justified as benefitting U.S. security. If that were to be followed through on, the U.S. would not become able to undo the injustice inflicted on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but it would be compelled to cease inflicting injustice on Okinawa.

Seventy-three countries have signed and 23 ratified a new treaty banning nuclear weapons. Every country on earth except the United States has signed and ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Most countries on earth, unlike the United States, are party to the Paris Climate Agreement, and the Convention on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights optional protocols, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention Against Torture optional protocol, and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, and the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, and the International Convention Against the Recruitment, Use, Financing, and Training of Mercenaries, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, and the Principles of International Cooperation in the Detection, Arrest, Extradition, and Punishment of Persons Guilty of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, and the Convention on Cluster Munitions, and the Land Mines Convention.

The notion that the U.S. government, misrepresenting 4% of humanity, cannot do what most of humanity’s governments do because of a nonexistent imaginary monster called “human nature” is the purest example I know — of George Orwell’s description of propaganda. He said that propaganda gives an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

Nuclear weapons are not our masters. We are their masters. We can dismantle them like duelling grounds and segregated water fountains and electric chairs and statues of Confederate generals if we choose to. But it will be difficult to do so without dismantling the institution of war. A nation like North Korea does not appear eager to give up its nukes while under threat of attack, even if that attack would use non-nuclear weapons. Yet, again, there’s good news. The institution of war can be dismantled too. And, for those who’ve been tragically misinformed that nothing new can happen, it’s worth noting that most humans who have ever lived have had nothing to do with war, and most human societies have had nothing to do with war. Those who do participate in war, even from the comfort of a joystick in a trailer in Nevada, usually suffer for it horribly. They are not driven to it by their inherent inevitable core whatchamawhootchie; they are driven to it by deprivation of a good education and prospects for a good nonviolent life.

Some countries spend $0 per year on war. The United States spends $1.25 trillion. No other country is closer to the United States than it is to $0. All other countries combined are closer to $0 than to the U.S. level of spending. We can and we must convert from militarism to environmental protection. The benefits will be economic, social, moral, environmental, and beyond our capacity to fully imagine. We can shift from hostility to generosity. One percent of the U.S. military budget could give the world clean drinking water. Three percent could end starvation worldwide. Start trying to imagine what 8% or 12% could do.

It is well documented that 95% of all suicide terrorist attacks are conducted to encourage foreign occupiers to leave the terrorist’s home country. In fact, I’m not aware of a foreign terrorist threat, attempt, or action against the United States, in which a motivation was stated, where that motivation was anything other than opposition to U.S. military imperialism. Meanwhile precisely 0% of terrorist attacks, suicide or otherwise, have been motivated by resentment of the generous giving of food, water, medicine, schools, or clean energy.

Government secrecy and suspicion and surveillance are not inevitable, and not defensible without first accepting the baseless assumptions of a culture gone mad for war. Actual democracy is possible. Governance by public vote or by representatives who have not been bought and paid for is possible. Completely altering our ridiculous beliefs in the inevitability of certain institutions is possible. Not only is it possible, but it constitutes the major events in human history. The notion that we cannot make such changes is a lie. The claim that we are powerless is a vicious lie.

Peace activist Lawrence Wittner once asked former officials from Ronald Reagan’s Administration about the Nuclear Freeze movement, and they usually claimed they’d paid no attention to it. Then one of them, Robert McFarlane spilled the beans, recounting a “massive administration campaign to counter and discredit the freeze.” When Wittner then interviewed Ed Meese, Meese claimed to know nothing, until Wittner told him what McFarlane had said. And, Wittner says, “a sheepish grin now spread across this former government official’s face, and I knew that I had caught him.” When you’re tempted to internalize the absurd notion that they aren’t paying attention to us, remember that all government is always on the verge of a sheepish grin.

We can scale back war, nuclear and otherwise, together with racism, together with extreme materialism, together with environmental destruction, together with exceptionalism, together with blind subservience to authority, together with irresponsibility toward future generations. We can create a culture of peace, a structural society of peace, a cooperative world of mutual respect and love. Whether we will do so or not is a question to be answered not by predictions but by our actions.

At World BEYOND War we are working on peace education, on mobilizing action, on divesting funds from the war machine, on closing foreign military bases — and domestic bases too. We are eager to work in partnership with anyone and everyone to advance these goals. When Joe Hill asked us to not mourn his death but to organize for the change he had worked for, he gave us advice so powerful that when we follow it, it becomes harder to think of Joe Hill as a victim. We’re almost forced to think of him as an ally. Perhaps if we imagine the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki asking us to not mourn but organize we can after all achieve the impossible, we can undo their victimization and honor them as our brothers and sisters in struggle.

Perhaps we can imagine Shelley speaking to the nuclear victims, saying Rise like Lions after slumber In unvanquishable number, Shake your chains to earth like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you – Ye are many – they are few.

The End of Irony: an Irony Opener

Given all the hysterical saber-rattling over Iran recently, one wonders if old Uncle Sam’s simply having another spastic episode with his Pent’agonal cane?  Mixed into the usual cacophony of paranoid ramblings, one hears ominous mumblings linking Iran, al-Quaeda, and the Nine-One-One…

Never Forget!—to re-package and re-purpose 9/11, as that original franchise continues to spawn spin-offs, recycling moth-balled characters like the angry war muppet John Bolton, and the Grinch-esque Elliot Abrams, to hawk the latest possible installments in the series.  As the most recent “pilot” in Venezuela continues to “bomb”, so to speak, one further wonders if the Iranian saber-rattle is not a kind of death-rattle, instead?  Is Uncle Sam OK?  Did he spring one leak too many, or accidentally “Stuxnet” himself?  Probably not, given the ongoing lethality of his War Machine, and the fiat money press that keeps old Uncle Sam’s cane a tap-tap-tapping.

However, before the “shock and awe” of the 9/11 event, things looked significantly different.  Afghanistan was remote and irrelevant; Iraq had become an occasional blip on a “no-fly zone” radar screen; while Libya and Syria, like Yemen and Somalia, were rarely to be seen.  But 9/11 changed everything.  Suddenly, the Death Star was in business again—and the Empire struck back.  Indeed, all bets were off by the time that Saddam Hussein’s statue fell, and that son-of-a-Skull-and-Bones Bush landed on an aircraft carrier (the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, coincidentally) to show pony an uncertain “Mission Accomplished”.  That “accomplishment” bleeds on into the present day.  By the shores of Tripoli, or Guantanamo Bay, all roads to Kabul, Baghdad, Damascus, and Tehran lead, inexorably, back to the fateful 9/11.

You know what they say:  if you’ve seen the South Tower strike once, then you’ve probably seen it a thousand times.  By day’s end, the “Mission Impossible” that 9/11 certainly was had become a cliche, like the soon-to-be minted “War on Terror” that the new brand image was used to sell.  Most major media opinion-shapers quickly fell in line with the new ad campaign, and its unequivocal claim that “9/11=War on Terror”.

One of the more peculiar fellers-in-line at that time was PBS and Time magazine essayist Roger Rosenblatt.  Fresh off the catastrophe, Herr Rosenblatt penned an essay entitled “The Age of Irony Comes to an End”, published in the September 24, 2001 issue of Time.

In this piece, Rosenblatt radically personalizes 9/11.  According to our credulous essayist, an “oh-so-cool” tribe of “believe-in-nothing” ironists—a tribe that had made Rosenblatt feel like a “slobbering bumpkin” for as long as the Trade Towers had stood—got fed their unfree lunch by the overwhelming “reality” of the 9/11 attacks.  The intellectuals, the hipsters, the “wise guys quoting Marx”:  all of these nefarious ironist-types were finally exposed for the shady frauds that Rosenblatt had always felt them to be.  Indeed, from Mr Rosenblatt’s 9/11-vindicated perch, you would have thought that those jumbo jets had slammed into the Irony—I mean, Ivory—Towers, instead…

However, beyond Roger Rosenblatt’s personal vendetta against irony and ironists, his odd coupling of irony and 9/11 provides an ironic key for opening an uncanny door into the American Psyche and its “War on Terror” thing.  Specifically, take the term “ground zero”, the signature metaphor to arise from the wreck of the World Trade Center Towers.

The first mention of “ground zero” in relation to the 9/11 event occurred at 11:55 a.m. (EST), by a Fox News affiliated correspondent.  The use of this label quickly spread to other major media outlets, and has persisted to this day.  The term itself, “ground zero”, originally refers to the blast points, or hypocenters, of the nuclear bomb detonations over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, 1945.

Now, taking their cues from today’s cultural obsession with “Terrorism”, future historians will likely view these twin atomic bombings as terrorist attacks of the first—and worst—order of magnitude.  The reason is obvious.  Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain the two “greatest” single event mass murders in the history of the human species.  Moreover, it was entirely well-known to the small cabal of U.S. policymakers who authorized the atomic strikes that the effect would be an indiscriminate massacre of civilians, Japanese and Korean alike.

In the case of Hiroshima, it is also worth noting another telling, mordant irony.  Of the 70 to 80,000 thousand human beings who were more or less vaporized by the initial blast, 12 of those were American POWs holed up at the Chugoku Prison HQ, a little over a stone’s throw from the original Ground Zero.  The United States Government kept this particular fact a secret for over 30 years, not even notifying the families of the POWs of their fates—as if such an admission would have tarnished the image of the first atomic bombing as just, legitimate, or necessary. Perhaps our Leaders then were just a tribe of “believe-in-nothing” ironists?  Maybe they still are?

In a very real sense, the atomic bomb blasts over Hiroshima and Nagasaki initiated a new age of terror.  On the booster side, Uncle Sam emerged as an unparalleled superpower, wielding his loud mushroom cloud, in case there were any doubts.  The Soviet Union, of course, became a viable sidekick for several decades, until History got bored and kicked the “Rooskies” aside.  On the flip side, our use of “The Bomb” created an indelible image of our own potential annihilation, and this image accounts for the resonance of the “ground zero” metaphor in relation to the 9/11 attacks.  It is as if, in the back of the American Psyche, there is this fear that some nefarious “They” could do unto us what we once did unto Them.

Hiroshima remains the American template for the ultimate terrorist attack; 9/11, ironically or not, echoed this template.

In the early run-up to Iraq-Attack-Two, back in September of 2002, Condoleeza Rice, then National Security Adviser, made this point precisely (if unwittingly) when she said, concerning the dubiously re-discovered possibility of Saddam Hussein possessing the dreaded WMD:  “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud”.

Aye, aye, Condi: Indeed we don’t!

Will Organized Human Life Survive?

Professor Noam Chomsky’s lecture at St. Olaf College on 4 May 2018. This lecture continued with lots of questions and answers, and is available on Youtube, in case anyone wants to continue the transcription. It’s a very detailed but depressing summary of where he thinks we are with respect to the threat of nuclear war and the collapse of the environment. What 20-year-old students thought of this monotone and pessimistic soon-to-be 90-year-old professor talking about “two minutes to midnight” I have no idea! How much doom and gloom can a young person absorb and still want to continue with life and struggle?
Transcribed by Felton Davis, c/o Catholic Worker

*****

Quite a number of interesting and important topics were raised by the students who invited me here, and I wish that there were time to talk about all of them. I hope you will feel free to bring them up in discussion, but I thought what I would try to do rather than trying to review those briefly is to focus on just one question, the most important question that’s ever been asked in human history, a question that should be uppermost in everyone’s mind. It’s been hanging over our heads like a “sword of Damocles” for many years, becoming more urgent every year, and it has now reached the point where the question will be answered in this generation.

It’s your challenge to answer it, it can’t be delayed. The question is whether organized human life will indeed survive, and not in the distant future. The question was raised clearly to everyone with eyes open on August 6, 1945. I was then roughly your age. I happened to be at a summer camp, where I was a counselor. In the morning an announcement came over the loudspeaker saying that the United States had obliterated the city of Hiroshima with a single bomb, the atom bomb. People listened, a few expressions of relief, and then everyone went on to their next activity: a baseball game, swimming, whatever it might be.

I was horrified, both by the news, and also by the casual reaction. I was so utterly horrified that I just took off and went off into the woods for a couple of hours to think about it. It was perfectly obvious if you thought about it for a second, not only about the horror of the event, but that humans in their glory had achieved the capacity to destroy everything. Not quite at that time, but it was clear that once the technology was established it would only develop further and escalate and reach the point of becoming what Dan Ellsberg in his recent book — central reading incidentally — calls “the doomsday machine,” an automatic system set up so that everything becomes annihilated, and as he points out, we have indeed constructed such a machine and we’re living with it.

Coming forward until today, leading specialists in these topics echo much the same double concern, but now in more stark and urgent terms than 1945. One of the leading nuclear specialists, former defense secretary William Perry, has been touring the country recently, with the message that he is, as he puts it, doubly terrified, terrified by the severe and mounting threat of nuclear war, and even more so by the lack of concern about the possible termination of organized human life.

And he’s not alone. Among others, General Lee Butler — formerly head of the US Strategic Command, which controls nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons policy — he recently reflected with deep remorse on his many years of service, in implementing plans for what is sometimes called “omnicide,” a crime far surpassing genocide, the crime of wiping out every living organism. He writes that “We have so far survived the nuclear age by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion.”

And he adds a haunting question, “By what authority do succeeding generations of leaders in the nuclear weapons states usurp the power to dictate the odds of continued life on our planet? And most urgently, why does such breathtaking audacity persist at a moment when we should stand trembling in the face of our folly, and united in our commitment to abolish its most deadly manifestations?”

And again, Ellsberg in his most recent book — and I urge that you read it, if you haven’t already — describes the record that he reviews, mostly from inside the government at the highest planning level for many years, he describes it as a chronicle of human madness, and that’s accurate enough. Repeatedly, we have come very close, ominously close, to terminal disaster. The record should really be studied carefully, it’s shocking. Sometimes it is due to the reckless acts of leaders, sometimes our leaders, very often through sheer accident. I’ll give you a couple of examples, there are actually hundreds, literally.

Take one in 1960, when it was discovered that the Russians might soon have missiles, the first early warning system was set up to detect a missile attack. The first day it went into operation it provided to high leaders the information that the Russians had launched a missile attack, with 99.9 percent certainty. Fortunately, people did not react the way they were instructed to react, and it turned out that there had been some miscalculations, and the radar had hit the Moon and bounced back, when it wasn’t expected to bounce back. That’s one case.

A couple of years later, in 1962, during what’s been called rightly the most dangerous moment in history — the Cuban Missile Crisis — the background is worth studying. I won’t have time to go into it, but it is reckless acts of leaders, including our own leaders. At the peak moment of threat of the Cuban Missile Crisis — which came extremely close to terminal disaster — at that moment there were Russian submarines outside the quarantine area that [President] Kennedy had established, and they were under attack by US destroyers that were dropping depth bombs on them. The conditions in the submarines were such that the crew could not really survive much longer, [because] they were not designed for service in the Caribbean , they were designed for the far north. The US did not know it at the time, but they had missiles with nuclear warheads, and the crew at some point decided, “Look, since they’re dropping bombs on us…” — they had no contact with anyone else, and thought there must be a nuclear war — “we might as well send off the ultimate weapon.” That would have been the end. There would have been a retaliation, and then we’re finished. To send off the missiles required the agreement of three submarine commanders. Two agreed, and one refused — Vasili Arkhipov — one of the reasons why we’re still here.

Many other cases. In 1979, the national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was literally on the phone ready to call President Carter, saying that there was definite information of a massive Russian missile attack, when he got a call saying there was an error. So he didn’t call him.

A year later, [President] Ronald Reagan came into office, and one of his first acts was to start a program to probe Russian defenses. The objective was to determine what kind of defenses the Russians had against our attack, if we had one. The official wording was “to practice command and staff procedures with particular emphasis on the transition from conventional to non-conventional operations, use of nuclear weapons.” The idea was to simulate air and naval attacks on Russia , with all of this made as public as possible to the Russians, because they wanted to see how they would react, including simulated nuclear attacks.

At the time it was thought that the Russians would probably figure out that it was simulated and would not react. Now that the Russian archives came out, it turns out that they took it pretty seriously, just as we would certainly have done. In fact one of the leading US intelligence analyses that recently appeared concludes from the record — it’s title is “The War Scare Was For Real” — that they took it extremely seriously. Right in the midst of this — the Russian detection systems which were far more primitive than ours — they did detect an ongoing US missile attack. The protocol is for the human being who receives it — his name happened to be [Stanislav] Petrov — he’s supposed to take that information and send it up to the Russian high command, and then they decide whether to release a totally destructive missile attack on us. He just decided not to do it. He decided it was probably wasn’t serious — another reason why we’re alive. You can add him to the roll of honor.

This goes on time after time. There have been literally hundreds of cases that came very close. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, as you probably know, established what they call “the doomsday clock” shortly after the atomic bombing. What they do is that every year a group of physicists, nuclear specialists, political and strategic analysts, get together and try to assess the state of the world and threats to the world, and set the minute hand of the doomsday clock a certain number of minutes before midnight. “Midnight” means say goodbye, we’re finished. The first setting, in 1947, was seven minutes to midnight. It reached the most frightening setting, just two minutes to midnight, in 1953, when what was easy to anticipate in 1945, had happened. First the United States, and then the Soviet Union, carried out tests of hydrogen bombs, vastly more destructive than atom bombs. In fact, an atom bomb is just used as a trigger to set it off, with huge destructive capacity.

That meant that human intelligence had reached the point where we could easily destroy all life, no problem. And the minute hand reached two minutes then. Since then it has oscillated, but in recent years it’s been approaching midnight again. In January 2017, right after President Trump’s inauguration, the minute hand was advanced to two-and-a-half minutes to midnight. Last January [2018], after a year of Trump in office, it was advanced another half minute, to two minutes to midnight. That’s a sign that we have now matched the closest point to terminal disaster in the nuclear age, ominously close. That was January. A couple months later, President Trump’s nuclear posture review was released, and raises the dangers further. I presume that if the clock were set now, it might be moved another half minute to midnight.

I will return to current crises, which are very real, how they are being handled, and what we might do about them, to avoid disaster. But first something else. Since 1945, we have been somehow surviving the nuclear age, actually miraculously, and we can’t count on miracles going on forever. What we didn’t know in 1945 was that humans were entering into another epoch, a new one, which is no less ominous. It’s what geologists call the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch in which human activity is destroying the environment.

There have been debates among scientists about when to date the onset of the Anthropocene [epoch]. But last year the World Geological Society determined that a proper time to set it is right after World War II, the same time as the nuclear age. The reason is because of the sharp escalation at that point in human activities which were significantly damaging and will soon destroy the environment for organized life. We might add that the Anthropocene carries with it automatically a third major epoch which is called “the sixth extinction.” If you look through millions of year of history there have been periods in which some event caused a mass extinction of animal life. The last one was [65 million] years ago, when an asteroid hit the Earth, and destroyed about 75 percent of animal life, ending the age of the dinosaurs, and actually opened the way for small mammals to survive. They ultimately became us, and we are determined to become another asteroid, intent on destroying all or most animal life on Earth, and we’re well advanced in that process.

So there are three major epochs that we’ve been living with: the nuclear age, the Anthropocene, and the sixth extinction, all accelerating. So let’s just ask how dangerous is the Anthropocene? I’ll give you a couple of illustrations from some of the leading scientific journals, and recent articles, starting with Nature, a British journal, the leading scientific article. The title of the article is “Global Warming’s Worst Case Projections Look Increasingly Likely.”

[Reading from the article]: “A new study based on satellite observations finds that temperatures could rise nearly five degrees centigrade by the end of this century. The odds that temperatures could increase more than four degrees by 2010, in the current scenario, increased from 62 percent to 93 percent.”

In other words, pretty near certain. If you go back to the Paris negotiations of December 2015, the hope was in the international negotiations that the temperature rise could be kept to 1.5 degrees centigrade rise, and they considered that maybe 2 percent would be tolerable. Instead we’re heading to 4 or 5 percent, with very high confidence.

Here’s one from a recent World Meteorological Organization: “Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surged at a record-breaking speed in 2016” — the last figures they have — “to the highest level in 800,000 years. The abrupt changes in atmosphere witnessed in the past 70 years” — the Anthropocene — “are without precedent in the geological record. Globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached over [410?] parts per million, up from just 400 parts per million in 2015,” which has been considered the upper tolerable limit, so we’re now beyond it.

“The concentrations of CO2 are now 150 percent above the pre-industrial level. Rapidly increasing atmospheric levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases have the potential to initiate unprecedented changes in climate systems, leading to severe ecological and economic destruction.”

The last time the Earth experience a comparable concentration of CO2 was somewhere around 3 to 5 million years ago. At that point the temperature was 2 to 3 degrees centigrade above now, and the sea level was 30 to 60 feet higher than it is now. That’s what we’re moving to in the near future. In fact we’re going beyond because the prediction is 4 to 5 degrees centigrade. Well, I’ll leave the effects to your imagination.

Here’s a final example, from Science, one of the leading American science journals: “Even slightly warmer temperatures, less than anticipated, in coming years, can start melting permafrost, which in turn threatens to trigger the release of huge amounts of greenhouse gases trapped in ice. There’s twice as much carbon in permafrost as in the atmosphere. This will release huge amounts of methane which is actually far more lethal than CO2, although of shorter persistence. And that accelerates other processes that are already underway, like the rapid melting of polar ice. Polar ice, as it melts, reduces the reflective surface for the Sun’s rays, and creates more absorbent surfaces than dark seas. So that accelerates warming, and could lead to a non-linear process in which everything blows up. It’s leading among other things to the breaking up and melting of huge Antarctic ice caps. One of them, West Antarctica , contains enough ice to raise sea level more than 10 feet.

Pretty easy to continue… In brief the prospects are extremely serious, in fact they’re really awesome, which raises an obvious question: what are we going about it, how are we reacting? Well, the world is actually taking some steps, inadequate, but at least something, there’s a commitment. And states and localities in the United States are also taking steps, which is quite important. But what is of prime importance, of course, is the federal government, the most powerful institution in human history.

So what is it doing? It’s withdrawing from the international efforts, but beyond that, it’s committed to increasing the use of the most destructive fossil fuels. So our federal government, for which we are responsible, is dramatically leading our race to destruction, while we sit and watch. That’s pretty astounding. That ought to be the screaming headline in every day’s newspaper, ought to be the main topic you study in every class. There’s never been anything like it. And it is astounding, as is the lack of attention, another doubly terrifying phenomenon. We should be asking, among other things, what this tells us about our society, and about our culture, what we are immersed in. And remember, all of this is imminent, we’re approaching this rapidly, this century, your task is to do something about it, and we’re ignoring it. We’re racing towards it, and we’re ignoring it.

Meanwhile our chief competitor in destroying the planet, the Saudi Arabian dictatorship, has just announced plans to spend 7 billion dollars this year, for 7 new solar plants, and a big wind farm. That’s part of an effort on its part to move from oil, which destroys everything, to solar, renewable energy. This is Saudi Arabia. And that highlights how lonely we are in our race to destruction. Even the extreme reactionary dictatorship of Saudi Arabia, which lives on oil, refuses to join us in our unique insanity, which is dedicated to destroying organized human life.

And it’s not just the current administration. The entire Republican Party leadership agrees. If you go back to the 2016 primaries, every single candidate denied that what was happening is happening, with the exception of those who were called “sensible moderates.” Jeb Bush, who said it’s all kind of uncertain, but we don’t have to do anything about it, because we’re producing more natural gas, thanks to fracking, in other words making it worse. The other sensible moderate, an adult in the womb as he was called, was John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio, he’s the one person who agreed that anthropogenic global warming is taking place, but he added, “We’re going to burn coal in Ohio , and we’re not going to apologize for it.” On ethical grounds, that’s the worst of all, when you think about it.

Well, what about the media? They totally ignored this spectacle. Every crazy thing you can imagine was discussed extensively in the massive coverage of the primaries, but not the fact that the entire leadership of the party was saying, “Let’s quickly destroy ourselves.” Nothing — go back and check. Almost no comment about it. The denialism of the leadership is having an effect on public opinion.

So Republican voters have been climate change skeptics for a long time, way beyond anything in the world, but it’s gotten far more extreme since Trump took office. And the numbers are pretty shocking. So by now, half of Republican voters deny that global warming is taking place at all. And only 30 percent think humans may be contributing to global warming. I don’t think you can find anything like that among any significant part of the population, anywhere in the world. And it should tell us something. One thing it should tell us is that there’s a lot to do for those who hope that maybe organized human life will survive. We’re not talking about a remote future. Just think about the numbers I gave you before. We’re talking about something imminent.

Well let’s put [climate crisis] aside for a moment and go back to the growing threat of nuclear war. Are these ominous developments inexorable? So should we just throw up our hands in despair, and say okay, we’re finished, have a nice time, good-bye? That’s not at all true. There are very plausible answers in every single case that exists: diplomatic options are always open, and there are straightforward general principles that can be quite effective.

One principle is quite simple: obey the law. Not a particularly radical idea. Almost unheard of, but it could have some consequences. So what is the law? Well there is something called the US Constitution which people are supposed to honor and revere. The Constitution has parts, Article Six for example. Article Six of the Constitution says that valid treaties are the supreme law of the land, and every elected official is required to observe them.

What’s the most important treaty of the modern period? Unquestionably it’s the United Nations Charter. Article One of the Charter requires us to keep to peaceful means to resolve international tensions and disputes, and to refrain from the threat or use of force in international affairs. And I stress “threat” because that is violated all the time by every president and every high political leader. Every time you hear the phrase “all options are open,” that’s violating the supreme law of the land, if anyone cares.

Let’s take a couple of examples. Let’s take Iran, an important example. A good deal of the talk about the possibility that Iran may be violating the joint comprehensive agreement — the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], the “Iran deal” — there’s absolutely no evidence for that. US intelligence says they’re observing it, the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] that carries out repeated inspections says they’re observing it completely.

There’s a lot of discussion about it, but there’s no talk about something else: is the US violating the agreement? Try to check to see if anybody’s talked about that. The answer to that is pretty simple: the US is radically violating the agreement and has been all along. The agreement states that all participants — meaning us — are not permitted to impede in any way Iran’s re-integration into the global economy, particularly the global financial system, which we pretty much control, since everything works through New York. We are not permitted to interfere in any way with the normalization — I’m quoting it — the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran. We’re doing that all the time, and in fact are proud of it. All violations of the agreement. But it’s ignored on a principle that’s kind of interesting, the prevailing tacit assumption that the United States just stands above the law, including its own laws. So we don’t have to observe our laws, or any other laws, because we’re just unique, we do what we like.

See if you can find an exception to that in the discourse on this topic. Well, in a couple of days as you know President Trump will probably withdraw from the treaty, possibly. That’s a gift to the hard-liners in Iran , it tells them that maybe they should return to nuclear programs. That’s an opening for the new national security advisor John Bolton, or Binyamin Netanyahu, both of whom have called for bombing Iran right away, even while they fully respect the terms of the agreement that we’ve already violated quite publicly, there’s no secret about it. And the consequences could be horrendous. But there happens to be a way of blocking those consequences, namely, by the very simple device of respecting our own law, in fact the supreme law of the land. Again, see if you can find the suggestion to that effect.

Are there peaceful options? Pretty obviously, in this case, we could join the rest of the world, and permit the agreement to continue to function. Or better, we might turn to improvement of the agreement. That’s one thing that Trump has vociferously demanded. And there’s good ways to do that. One obvious proposal for improving the agreement, which is ignored entirely, is to move towards establishing a nuclear weapons free zone in the region. There are such agreements in various parts of the world, in Latin America, for example, and it’s a step towards mitigating the threat of disaster.

So what about a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East? If that were established, it would end any conceivable Iranian threat that you could imagine. So is there a problem of establishing it? Actually there is one problem, but it’s not the one that comes to mind. There’s certainly no problem convincing Iran because they have been calling for this for years, vociferously. Certainly not any problem with the Arab world, they’re the ones who initiated the proposal 25 years ago. And the rest of the world agrees as well. There’s one exception: the United States refuses to allow this, and it comes up every couple of years in the annual review meetings of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, countries in which it’s continually brought up, and continually vetoed by the United States , most recently by President Obama in 2015.

And the reasons are perfectly clear to everyone. The US will not permit Israeli nuclear weapons even to be examined by the International Agency [IAEA], let alone be dismantled. So therefore we can’t proceed with this very simple way of eliminating any nuclear threat from Iran or anyone else in the region.

And also not discussed is that the United States and Britain have a special obligation, a unique obligation to pursue a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East. The reason is United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 — you can look it up on the internet — which was initiated by the US. This was the resolution that was initiated when the US and Britain, back in 1991, a resolution which called on Iraq to terminate any nuclear weapons programs. The US and Britain relied on this resolution in 2003 when they were trying to concoct some pretext for their planned invasion of Iraq. So they appealed to this resolution and said, we think Iraq is violating it, which in fact they weren’t, and they knew they weren’t.

But if you read that resolution and go to Article Fourteen, it commits the signers to work for a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East. So the US and Britain are uniquely committed to working for this by the Security Council resolution that they initiated. Again, check to see if it ever discussed.

So in short, US willingness to observe US law could bring this crisis to a very quick end, and could even move on to a better solution. For example, if we were willing to observe Security Council resolutions that we ourselves have instituted to end the illegal threats of force by every recent president and other high officials, and to end our constant violations of the Iran nuclear agreement.

So there’s an easy answer to this crisis, really simple: obey the law. Okay? That would end the crisis. Again, I would advise you to search to see how often this is discussed, and what that implies about our educational system, our culture, our media, our universities, and so on.

Well, let’s turn to the other major threat, North Korea. There has been a proposal on the table for some years about how to reduce the threat in northeast Asia. It’s called a double-freeze. It was initiated by China, supported by North Korea, supported by Russia, general support throughout the world. The idea is that North Korea should freeze its weapons and nuclear programs, and in return the United States should call off the threatening military maneuvers that the US constantly carries out on North Korea’s border, including flights on the border by our most advanced nuclear-capable bombers, warning of the threat of total obliteration of North Korea, constantly happening.

It’s no joke for the North Koreans — they have a little memory that we may want to forget, but at the end of the Korean War when it was more or less settled, US bombing was so intensive that there was nothing left to bomb, literally. So the Air Force General MacArthur started destroying dams, major dams, and if you read the Air Force history they exult about this. It happens to be a crime for which people were hanged at Nuremberg, but again, we’re above the law. But the North Koreans can remember, and when these advanced nuclear-capable bombers are flying they evoke some memory.

So double-freeze is one possibility. Double-freeze could easily open the way to further negotiations, and at this point, the record becomes important, and you can find it, in the scholarly record, not in the press, but in the scholarly record. There have been successes in negotiations. The major one was in 2005. The Bush administration was pressured by international pressure to return to negotiations, and the negotiations were extremely successful. North Korea agreed — I’m quoting the final document — agreed to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing weapons programs, and to allow international inspections. In return for that the US agreed to establish a consortium that would provide North Korea with a light-water reactor for medical use. The US would also issue a non-aggression pledge and an agreement that the two sides would respect each others’ sovereignty, exist peacefully together, and take steps to normalize relations.

Instantly, the Bush administration renewed the threat of force, froze North Korean funds that were in foreign banks, and disbanded the consortium that was to provide North Korea with a light-water reactor. The leading US Korea scholar, Bruce Cummings, writes that the sanctions were specifically designed to destroy the September pledges, and to head off an accommodation between Washington and Pyongyang. That was 2005, and I’ve been searching the press for some time to see if these facts could even be reported, breaking the constant refrain that North Korea has broken all agreements and so can’t be trusted. We can’t review it now, but I urge you to try, you’ll learn a lot.

That path could be pursued again, but as we know, there are even better options, and it’s worth taking a close look at them. On April 27 [2018], North and South Korea signed a remarkable historic document — the Panmunjeom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity, Unification of the Korean Peninsula — and it’s worth reading carefully. I urge you to do that. Not the commentary, the actual words. In this declaration, the two Koreas “affirm the principle of determining the destiny of the Korean nation on their own accord.” On their own accord. Continuing, “to completely cease all hostile acts against each other in every domain, to actively cooperate to establish a permanent and solid peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, to carry out disarmament on a phased level manner, to achieve the common goal of realizing through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, to strengthen the positive momentum towards continuous advancement of inter-Korean relations, as well as peace, prosperity and unification of the Korean Peninsula.” And they further agreed “to actively seek the support and cooperation of the international community,” which means the United States, “for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

It’s important to read those words, their import is very clear. What they’re saying is, the US should back off and allow the two Koreas to achieve peace, disarmament, unification and complete denuclearization on their own, “on their own accord,” in the words of the declaration. So we, the United States, should accept the call for support and cooperation in this endeavor by the two parts of the Korean nation to determine their destiny “on their own accord.” To put it more simply, the declaration is a polite letter saying, “Dear Mr. Trump, declare victory if you want to prance around in public, but please go away and let us move towards peace, disarmament, and unification without disrupting the process.”

That plea could hardly be more clear, and the general interpretation here is quite revealing. The general interpretation is that this complicates Washington ‘s strategy. As the New York Times explains, “Mr. Trump will find it hard to threaten military action against a country that is extending an olive branch.” Okay? That’s the liberal side. It’s entirely true that threatening military action, which happens to be a criminal act, us hard when the target is extending an olive branch, so we have some problems.

Well, case after case — and I won’t go through other cases — we find that there are peaceful diplomatic options. We can’t ever be certain that they will work, but they should always be prioritized, in accordance with our international obligations, in fact, in accord with the supreme law of the land. Is this hopeless? No, far from it, we have plenty of evidence for that.

So let’s go back to that very important date in modern history, November 8, [2016]. Huge coverage of that date, and several events happened that are significant. The least significant of those was the one that gets most of the coverage, the election of Donald Trump. It’s a little bit unusual, but not that far out of the norm, that a billionaire with a huge amount of campaign spending and huge media support wins the presidency. That’s kind of within the norm. But something really surprising did happen, the Sanders campaign broke with nearly all of American political history. For well over a century, American elections have been mainly bought, literally. You can predict the outcome of an election with almost complete certainty by just looking at campaign funding — there’s extensive, detailed, academic study of this, both for president and congress. What happened in November 2016 was different. For the first time, a candidate came very close to winning the nomination, and would have won the nomination, probably, if the Democratic Party managers hadn’t manipulated affairs to keep him out and he did it without any campaign funding from any of the major sources. No corporate funding, no wealth, no media support — he was either ignored, or denigrated in the media. That’s a real breakthrough. What’s more he ended up by becoming by far the most popular political candidate in the country. Take a look at the polls. You can see it on Fox News in fact, well above any other figure in popularity.

In a democratic society the most popular political figure in the country just carried off a remarkable break in well over a century of political history, you’d hear him once in a while. Okay, I urge to you to take a look and make your own decisions. That’s a more important event that took place on November 8, 2016 .

There’s another one that doesn’t get covered, but should. At that time the world was carrying out the successor negotiations to the Paris negotiations on climate change of December 2015, aimed at a verifiable treaty to do something about this ominous threat. They couldn’t reach a treaty, for one reason, the Republican Party would not permit it. So they couldn’t have a treaty, it was a voluntary agreement. The following year, 2016, they were meeting again to try to put some teeth into the treaty. On November 8th, the day of the American elections, the World Meteorological Organization — this was taking place in Marrakesh, Morocco — where the World Meteorological Organization released a study on the very dire state of the climate, the kind of thing that I gave a couple of samples of before. Then the election results came in, and the meeting basically stopped. The question before the international world is: can the world survive when the most powerful county in history is taken over by a political party that not only denies that what is happening is happening, but is committed to accelerate the race to destruction?

And they kind of hoped that maybe China would save the world from disaster. Just think about that for a moment: maybe China will save the world from the disaster that the Republican Party is bringing to the world. I’ll let you think about that. But the fact is that there are plenty of things that can be done, and the success of the Sanders campaign and particularly in the aftermath, lots of things are going on that fed from it that could make a difference. But it doesn’t happen on its own — it takes serious engagement.

Well, to go back to the beginning, your generation — that’s you — is facing the most awesome question that has ever arisen in human history. The question is: will organized human life survive? And we’re talking about the near future, can’t escape it. There are plenty of opportunities, but like it or not, it’s up to you to determine the fate of the human species. It’s an awesome responsibility, one that cannot be evaded. Thanks.

The Satanic Nature of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Ahab is forever Ahab, man.  This whole act’s immutably decreed.  ‘Twas rehearsed by thee and me billion years before this ocean rolled.  Fool!  I am the Fates’ lieutenant; I act under orders.

— Herman Melville, Moby Dick

The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint…But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice.

— C. S. Lewis, author’s preface, 1962, The Screwtape Letters

American history can only accurately be described as the story of demonic possession, however you choose to understand that phrase.  Maybe radical “evil” will suffice.  But right from the start the American colonizers were involved in massive killing because they considered themselves divinely blessed and guided, a chosen people whose mission would come to be called “manifest destiny.”  Nothing stood in the way of this divine calling, which involved the need to enslave and kill millions and millions of innocent people that continues down to today.  “Others” have always been expendable since they have stood in the way of the imperial march ordained by the American god. This includes all the wars waged based on lies and false flag operations. It is not a secret, although most Americans, if they are aware of it, prefer to see it as a series of aberrations carried out by “bad apples.”  Or something from the past.

Our best writers and prophets have told us the truth: Thoreau, Twain, William James, MLK, Fr. Daniel Berrigan, et al.: we are a nation of killers of the innocent.  We are conscienceless.  We are brutal.  We are in the grip of evil forces.

The English writer D. H. Lawrence said it perfectly in 1923, “The American soul is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer.  It has never yet melted.”  It still hasn’t.

This August 6, 1945 file photo shows the destruction from the explosion of an atomic bomb in Hiroshima Japan AP-Photo-File

 

August 10, 1945: Arrow marks the spot where the atomic bomb hit in Nagasaki. Photo by AP

When on August 6 and 9, 1945 the United States killed 200-300 thousand innocent Japanese civilians with atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they did so intentionally.  It was an act of sinister state terrorism, unprecedented by the nature of the weapons but not by the slaughter. The American terror bombings of Japanese cities that preceded the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – led by the infamous Major General Curtis LeMay – were also intentionally aimed at Japanese civilians and killed hundreds of thousands of them.

Is there an American artist’s painting of Tokyo destroyed by the firebombing to go next to Picasso’s Guernica, where estimates of the dead range between 800 and 1,600?  In Tokyo alone more than 100,000 Japanese civilians were burnt to death by cluster bombs of napalm.  All this killing was intentional. I repeat: Intentional.  Is that not radical evil?  Demonic?  Only five Japanese cities were spared such bombing.

The atomic bombings were an intentional holocaust, not to end the war, as the historical record amply demonstrates, but to send a message to the Soviet Union that we could do to them what we did to the residents of Japan.  President Truman made certain that the Japanese willingness to surrender in May 1945 was made unacceptable because he and his Secretary-of-State James Byrnes  wanted to use the atomic bombs – “as quickly as possible to ‘show results’” in Byrnes’ words – to send a message to the Soviet Union.  So “the Good War” was ended in the Pacific with the “good guys” killing hundreds of thousands Japanese civilians to make a point to the “bad guys,” who have been demonized ever since.  Russia phobia is nothing new.

Satan always wears the other’s face.

Many Baby Boomers like to say they grew up with the bomb.  They are lucky. They grew up.  They got to be scared.  They got to hide under their desks and wax nostalgic about it.  Do you remember dog tags?  Those 1950s and 1960s?  The scary movies?

The children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki who died under our bombs on August 6 and 9, 1945 didn’t get to grow up.  They couldn’t hide.  They just went under. To be accurate: we put them under. Or they were left to smolder for decades in pain and then die.  But that it was necessary to save American lives is the lie. It’s always about American lives, as if the owners of the country actually cared about them.  But to tender hearts and innocent minds, it’s a magic incantation.  Poor us!

Fat Man, Little Boy – how the words echo down the years to the now fat Americans who grew up in the 1950s and who think like little boys and girls about their country’s demonic nature.  Innocence – it is wonderful!  We are different now. “We are great because we are good,” that’s what Hillary Clinton told us.  The Libyans can attest to that.  We are exceptional, special.  The next election will prove we can defeat Mr. Pumpkin Head and restore America to its “core values.”

Perhaps you think I am cynical.  But understanding true evil is not child’s play.  It seems beyond the grasp of most Americans who need their illusions.  Evil is real.  There is simply no way to understand the savage nature of American history without seeing its demonic nature.  How else can we redeem ourselves at this late date, possessed as we are by delusions of our own God-blessed goodness?

But average Americans play at innocence.  They excite themselves at the thought that with the next election the nation will be “restored” to the right course.  Of course, there never was a right course, unless might makes right, which has always been the way of America’s rulers.  Today Trump is viewed by so many as an aberration.  He is far from it.  He’s straight out of a Twain short story.  He’s Vaudeville. He’s Melville’s confidence man.  He’s us. Did it ever occur to those who are fixated on him that if those who own and run the country wanted him gone, he’d be gone in an instant?  He can tweet and tweet idiotically, endlessly send out messages that he will contradict the next day, but as long as he protects the super-rich, accepts Israel’s control of him, and allows the CIA-military-industrial complex to do its world-wide killing and looting of the treasury, he will be allowed to entertain and excite the public – to get them worked up in a lather in pseudo-debates.  And to make this more entertaining, he will be opposed by the “sane” Democratic opposition, whose intentions are as benign as an assassin’s smile.

Look back as far as you can to past U.S. presidents, the figureheads who “act under orders” (whose orders?), as did Ahab in his lust to kill the “evil” great white whale, and what do you see?  You see servile killers in the grip of a sinister power.  You see hyenas with polished faces. You see pasteboard masks.  On the one occasion when one of these presidents dared to follow his conscience and rejected the devil’s pact that is the presidency’s killer-in-chief role, he – JFK – had his brains blown out in public view.  An evil empire thrives on shedding blood, and it enforces its will through demonic messages.  Resist and there will be blood on the streets, blood on the tracks, blood in your face.

Despite this, President Kennedy’s witness, his turn from cold warrior to an apostle of peace, remains to inspire a ray of hope in these dark days. As recounted by James Douglass in his masterful JFK and the Unspeakable, Kennedy agreed to a meeting in May 1962 with a group of Quakers who had been demonstrating outside the While House for total disarmament.  They urged him to move in that direction.  Kennedy was sympathetic to their position.  He said he wished it were easy to do so from the top down, but that he was being pressured by the Pentagon and others to never do that, although he had given a speech urging “a peace race” together with the Soviet Union. He told the Quakers it would have to come from below.  According to the Quakers, JFK listened intently to their points, and before they left said with a smile, “You believe in redemption, don’t you?”  Soon Kennedy was shaken to his core by the Cuban missile crisis when the world teetered on the brink of extinction and his insane military and “intelligence” advisers urged him to wage a nuclear war.  Not long after, he took a sharp top-down turn toward peace despite their fierce opposition, a turn so dramatic over the next year that it led to his martyrdom.  And he knew it would.  He knew it would.

So hope is not all lost.  There are great souls like JFK to inspire us. Their examples flash here and there. But to even begin to hope to change the future, a confrontation with our demonic past (and present) is first necessary, a descent into the dark truth that is terrifying in its implications.  False innocence must be abandoned.  Carl Jung, in “On the Psychology of the Unconscious,” addressed this with the words:

It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses – and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster; and each individual is only one tiny cell in the monster’s body, so that for better or worse he must accompany it on its bloody rampages and even assist it to the utmost. Having a dark suspicion of these grim possibilities, man turns a blind eye to the shadow-side of human nature. Blindly he strives against the salutary dogma of original sin, which is yet so prodigiously true. Yes, he even hesitates to admit the conflict of which he is so painfully aware.

How can one describe men who would intentionally slaughter so many innocent people?  American history is rife with such examples up to the present day.  Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, etc. – the list is very long.  Savage wars carried out by men and women who own and run the country, and who try to buy the souls of regular people to join them in their pact with the devil, to acquiesce to their ongoing wicked deeds.  Such monstrous evil was never more evident than on August 6 and 9, 1945.

Unless we enter into deep contemplation of the evil that was released into the world with those bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we are lost in a living hell without escape.  And we will pay.  Nemesis always demands retribution.  We have gradually been accepting rule by those for whom the killing of innocents is child’s play, and we have been masquerading as innocent and good children for whom the truth is too much to bear.  “Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one,” Screwtape the devil tells his nephew, Wormwood, a devil in training, “the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”  That’s the road we’ve been traveling.

The projection of evil onto others works only so long.  We must reclaim our shadows and withdraw our projections.  Only the fate of the world depends on it.

Sharat G. Lin Offers U.S. Apology for Hiroshima Atomic Bomb

Sharat G. Lin, in addressing the International Anti-war Anti-nuke Rally in Hiroshima held on August 5, 2018, offered a resolute apology for the U.S. government’s dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. He called it a “monstrous war crime” that must never be allowed to happen again. He called for universal nuclear disarmament that must focus first on the U.S.A. and Russia.

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome 5, Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima

On the 73rd anniversary of the infamous U.S. dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, there are many memorials, rallies, and marches taking place in Hiroshima, both official and those organized by grassroots peace and justice activists. Sharat G. Lin, representing the San José Peace and Justice Center, addressed the International Anti-war Anti-nuke Rally at the East Ward Cultural Center in Hiroshima held on August 5, 2018.

In calling the U.S. dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki “monstrous war crimes,” he offered an apology from the people of the United States to the people of Japan for “the most concentrated instantaneous mass killing in human history.” He called for universal nuclear disarmament starting with the U.S.A. and Russia, which have by far the largest nuclear weapons arsenals, rather than focusing exclusively on North Korea and Iran, of which neither have started any wars in the last century.

The full text of his speech follows:

It is truly an honour to be able to speak to you today at this International Anti-War Anti-Nuclear Rally here in Hiroshima! I come from the San José Peace and Justice Center in California which was founded 61 years ago precisely to challenge the growing threat of nuclear weapons and nuclear war.

Tomorrow is the 73rd Anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima by the U.S.A. Sadly, today we still face the threat of nuclear annihilation from irresponsible powers.

It is absolutely not true that the atomic bomb was necessary to hasten Japan’s surrender and “save American and Japanese lives,” as we are so often told. Not only was this the first use of the atomic bomb on a living city, but it was the most concentrated instantaneous mass killing in human history. This was a monstrous war crime, only to be followed by a second monstrous war crime on Nagasaki only 3 days later. We now know that Emperor Hirohito, despite his militarism and war crimes, was reluctantly prepared to surrender well before the atomic bombings on the condition of preserving the institution of the Emperor. His offer was communicated to Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin to be conveyed to U.S. President Harry Truman in June 1945. The infamous decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in spite of Emperor Hirohito’s offer served only to assert U.S. military pre-eminence, to test the bomb on a civilian population, and to nip in the bud Soviet entry into the war against Japan in an attempt to deny the Soviet Union any role in negotiating the post-war order in East Asia.

So today, I am going to declare what no U.S. president has been willing to declare. I am going to say something that the present government of Japan also does not want to hear for fear that this will give a boost to peace and anti-war activism in Japan. On behalf of the vast majority of the American people who want to see a world without nuclear weapons, I hereby apologize for the United States dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and I again apologize for the United States dropping the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. The U.S.A. remains the only country to ever use nuclear weapons in a first strike on human populations. This is an apology from the people of the United States to the people of Japan. I may not have the legal authority to make this apology, but I have the moral authority to make this apology, for moral authority stands above legal authority. We bypass our callous governments to say that all nuclear weapons must be dismantled, not just those in North Korea, and not just those that we are trying to prevent in Iran, but all nuclear weapons starting with the strategic nuclear arsenals of the U.S.A. and Russia, and then those of China, Britain, France, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea.

Speaking of North Korea – the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) – I recently visited North Korea to find out what the country is really like. To my surprise, it is much more different from what our governments and media tell us than I had ever expected. Despite what we are relentlessly told about “starvation and deprivation” in North Korea, there has not been a famine since the Arduous March famine of 1994-1998. There is no homelessness since state-owned housing is provided to all free of rent! While the state is undeniably authoritarian, the incarceration rate is half that of the U.S.A. and half of the police in North Korea do not even carry guns. So why is North Korea being so demonized and targeted with relentless sanctions, non-recognition, attempts at regime change, and provocative military exercises? In contrast, nuclear powers and proliferators like Pakistan and Israel receive unparalleled support and military aid. Both have refused to rule out first use of tactical nuclear weapons. Now the Korean people, starting with South Korean President Moon Jae-In and the Winter Olympics, have made a new beginning where they have stood united as one people against militarism and for cooperation and peace. We stand here today in full support for the Korean people’s right to self-determination, reunification, and peace through negotiation between the two Koreas!

No to war! No to all nuclear weapons (not just some nuclear weapons)! No more Hiroshima! No more Nagasaki! No more Fukushima! No to depacifying the Constitution! No to U.S. bases in Japan! No war on North Korea! No war on Iran! Yes for peace, equality, inclusion, the environment, and social justice!

• Sharat G. Lin is a research fellow and past president of the San José Peace and Justice Center. He teaches and writes on global political economy, migrant labor, war and peace, public health, environment, and arts in social activism.

The Myth of Canada’s “Benevolent” Foreign Policy

A house built on an imaginary foundation may be a “dream home” but it can never be lived in. The same holds true in politics.

One need not mythologize Canadian foreign policy history to oppose the Trudeau government’s egregious position on nuclear arms. In fact, ‘benevolent Canada’ dogma weakens the critical consciousness needed to reject the policies of our foreign policy establishment.

In “Canada abandons proud history as ‘nuclear nag’ when most needed” prominent leftist author Linda McQuaig writes:

There have been impressive moments in our history when Canada, under previous Liberal governments, asserted itself as a feisty middle power by supporting, even occasionally leading, the push to get nuclear disarmament onto the global agenda.

Nonsense! If one were to rank the world’s 200 countries in order of their contribution to the nuclear arms race Canada would fall just behind the nine nuclear armed states.

Uranium from Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories was used in the only two nuclear bombs ever dropped on a human population. In Northern approaches: Canada and the search for peace James Eayrs notes, “the maiming of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a byproduct of Canadian uranium.”

Canada spent millions of dollars (tens of millions in today’s money) to help research the bombs’ development. Immediately after successfully developing the technology, the US submitted its proposal to drop the bomb on Japan to the tri-state World War II Combined Policy Committee meeting, which included powerful Canadian minister C.D. Howe and a British official. Though there is no record of his comments at the July 4, 1945 meeting, apparently Howe supported the US proposal. Reflecting the racism in Canadian governing circles, in his (uncensored) diary King wrote:

It is fortunate that the use of the bomb should have been upon the Japanese rather than upon the white races of Europe.

Only a few years after the first one was built Ottawa allowed the US to station nuclear weapons in Canada. According to John Clearwater in Canadian Nuclear Weapons: The Untold Story of Canada’s Cold War Arsenal, the first “nuclear weapons came to Canada as early as September 1950, when the USAF [US Air Force] temporarily stationed eleven ‘Fat Man’- style atomic bombs at Goose Bay Newfoundland.”

Canadian territory has also been used to test US nuclear weapons. Beginning in 1952 Ottawa agreed to let the US Strategic Air Command use Canadian air space for training flights of nuclear-armed aircraft. At the same time, reports Ron Finch in Exporting Danger: a history of the Canadian nuclear energy export programme, the US Atomic Energy Commission conducted military tests in Canada to circumvent oversight by American “watchdog committees.” As part of the agreement Ottawa committed to prevent any investigation into the military aspects of nuclear research in Canada.

Canadian Forces also carried nukes on foreign-stationed aircraft. At the height of Canadian nuclear deployments in the late 1960s the government had between 250 and 450 atomic bombs at its disposal in Europe. Based in Germany, the CF-104 Starfighter, for instance, operated without a gun and carried nothing but a thermal nuclear weapon.

During the past 70 years Canada has often been the world’s largest producer of uranium. According to Finch, by 1959 Canada had sold $1.5 billion worth of uranium to the US bomb program (uranium was then Canada’s fourth biggest export). Ottawa has sold at least 29 nuclear reactors to foreign countries, which have often been financed with aid dollars. In the 1950s, for instance, Atomic Energy Canada Limited received large sums of money through the Colombo Aid Plan to help India set up a nuclear reactor.

Canada provided the reactor (called Cyrus) that India used to develop the bomb. Canada proceeded with its nuclear commitment to India despite signals from New Delhi that it was going to detonate a nuclear device. In The Politics of CANDU Exports Duane Bratt writes, “the Indians chose to use Cyrus for their supply of plutonium and not one of their other reactors, because Cyrus was not governed by any nuclear safeguards.”

On the diplomatic front, Ottawa has long supported its allies’ nuclear weapons. In August 1948 Canada voted against a UN call to ban nuclear weapons and in December 1954 voted to allow NATO forces to accept tactical nuclear weapons through the alliance’s policy called MC 48, The Most Effective Pattern of NATO Military Strength for the Next Few Years. According to Canada and UN Peacekeeping: Cold War by Other Means, 1945-1970, external minister Lester Pearson “was integral to the process by which MC 48 was accepted by NATO.”

In his 2006 book Just Dummies“: Cruise Missile Testing in Canada Clearwater writes, “the record clearly shows that Canada refuses to support any resolution that specifies immediate action on a comprehensive approach to ridding the world of nuclear weapons.” Since then the Harper/Trudeau regimes’ have not changed direction. The Harper government opposed a variety of initiatives to curtail nuclear weapons and, as McQuaig points out, the Trudeau government recently boycotted a UN effort to sign a treaty, supported by two thirds of 192 member states, to rid the world of nuclear weapons and prohibit the creation of new ones.

But, it’s not only nuclear policy. The Trudeau government’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia, attacks on Venezuela’s elected government, support for Rwanda’s brutal dictatorship, empowerment of international investors, indifference to mining companies abuses, military deployment on Russia’s border, support for Israel’s illegal occupation etc. reflect this country’s longstanding corporate-military-Western centric foreign policy. While Harper’s foreign policy was disastrous on many fronts, it was a previous Liberal government that instigated violence in Afghanistan and the most flagrant Canadian crime of this century by planning, executing and consolidating the overthrow of democracy in Haiti.

Leftists need to stop seeking to ingratiate themselves with the liberal end of the foreign policy establishment by exaggerating rare historical moments when Ottawa apparently did right. Power relations — not morality — determine international policy and the ‘benevolent Canada’ myth obscures the corporate and geostrategic interests that overwhelmingly drive policy. Progressive writers should focus on developing the critical consciousness needed to reign in the foreign policy establishment.

Only the truth will set us free to make this country a force for good in the world.

From a Sunday to a Monday in August, the Sixth Day

The genesis of the world, the myth of creation speaks of seven days.1 Six days of divine labour whereon the seventh the lord of the universe rested. No one, not even the angelic general staff of the combined heavenly hosts, could fathom what led the Creator to engage in this feat.2 But tradition has established that man — here the gendered reference is intended — as being created in the image of the Creator — aka “God” — should also rest on the seventh day. Depending on the sect into which one was born and bred, this may be called Saturday or Sunday (in English).

In any event this Sunday in 2017, the day of rest, is the 6th of August. So in anticipation of these hours of restfulness– perhaps I will drive to the beach — I wondered what other things had happened on 6th August, it was certainly not always a Sunday given the way calendars work. My research produced the following results, by no means all-inclusive:

In 1777, a band of white terrorists in Britain’s North American colony of New York was suppressed in what was later called the Battle of Oriskany. These terrorists called themselves an army and claimed the right to overthrow the duly constituted government of the territories they inhabited. These terrorists were eventually able to obtain assistance from governments hostile to Great Britain, allowing them to impose their rule on the rest of the population, a vast number (in some parts the majority) of whom were held by them as slaves.

In 1813, Simón Bolivar, considered to be the great liberator of the South America from Spanish rule, a close friend of Haitian independence, and the inspiration of the popular Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, took Caracas from the Spanish and proclaimed the Second Venezuelan Republic.

In 1824, Bolivar and de Sucre defeat the Spanish forces at Junín in central Peru.

In 1825, Bolivar becomes President of the independent state of Bolivia.

In 1901, the US regime robs the Kiowa tribe of indigenous Americans of their land — which had been reduced to a reservation — so that whites could found the state of Oklahoma and continue their campaign of genocide against the indigenous into the 20th century.

In 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war against Russia and Serbia declared war against Germany.

And in 1945, the United States of America became the first (and to date only) country in the world to commit mass murder with atomic bombs: proudly obliterating the Japanese (non-white) city of Hiroshima and murdering thereby up to 200,000 people instantaneously. (Since all traces of life were vaporised in the immediate range of the blast it is impossible to say how many people actually died then. Deaths due to radiation poisoning since are not counted here.) The US regime would annihilate the population of a second city, Nagasaki, shortly thereafter, on August 9th.

Hiroshima after the US atomic bombing (August 6, 1945)

The atomic murder technology, developed by a corps of scientists and soldiers, several of whom were immigrant fascists from Europe, predating the recruitment for the US missile delivery program3, satisfied a principal, unstated policy objective of the emerging global empire. This policy was later formally articulated in a series of US National Security Council documents promulgated secretly between 1947 and the second campaign of mass murder by the regime in June 1950.4 Namely, how does a tiny minority of rich white folks, ruling a continent of immigrants, Latin Americans and ex-slaves keep control over more than 60% of the world’s resources — without having to rely on poorly educated, badly trained and equipped soldiers of questionable reliability.

Nagasaki after US bombing (August 9, 1945)

If there should be any doubt as to the underlying facts, it should be recalled that US military forces were scarcely able to defeat an exhausted German Wehrmacht as late as 1944.5 Had the Soviet Union not destroyed most of the Nazi fighting capacity in Eastern Europe, it is very doubtful that the famous “D-Day” would have been more than a disaster.

US Forces were defeated in Korea but only after their non-stop aerial bombardment had levelled everything north of the 38th parallel and killed at least 3 million Koreans by the time of the ceasefire in July 1953.

US Forces were defeated in Vietnam but also only after aerial bombing, Phoenix assassinations, and other terror measures killed some 3 million Vietnamese.

If one is to believe that US Forces are deployed to fight a war in Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the unannounced combat theatres, then there is no indication to date that “mission accomplished” means more than public manipulation of the executive genitals by the serving POTUS.6

Pubescent Sexual Fantasy: G W Bush, “Mission Accomplished”.

Hence the standing policy of the US regime since 1945, since that 6th of August when the Enola Gay — an aircraft so beloved that it has a special exhibition space in the country’s premier historical museum — dropped its lethal load, has been to prepare for the great hordes of non-whites at the gates, with fast, fantastic fatality.

This 6th of August is Sunday, a day of rest. But in 1945, 6th of August was a Monday– the first working day for the harvesters of death watching with cocktails from their plantation houses on the Potomac and the Hudson…

  1. Genesis, the first book of that grand forgery and “America’s favourite theatrical prop” (George Carlin), called the Bible
  2. Mark Twain explains the “Creation” in a more sober manner in his Letters to the Earth (1909).
  3. Numerous programmes were managed by the OSS/CIA to save Nazis for various projects in the post-war system being constructed by the US, among other things to counter the unexpected survival of the Soviet Union as an independent country. Project Paperclip is the most well known. The US missile programme was headed by Werner von Braun, who had been rescued from his slave-labour driven missile factories in Northern Germany to help the US build rockets capable of firing atomic warheads on the Soviet Union. But there were already fascists like the Hungarian Edward Teller in the US managing the atomic bomb project before 1945.
  4. Generally known as the Korean War: the US first invaded Korea in 1945 after the Japanese surrender, ostensibly to organise the withdrawal of Japanese forces and in fact because the US regime feared that the Soviet Union would otherwise prevent the US from maintaining a foothold on the Asian mainland. The second invasion of the Korean peninsula was launched by the US under colour of authorisation by the newly founded and US-dominated United Nations organization. The war this triggered has not ended. Two years of vicious attacks – mainly on the Northern half of the peninsula, but also counter-insurgency terror against the Korea population in the southern half—waged by the US regime were interrupted by a ceasefire agreed in 1953. Since then the US has threatened the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea with a huge contingent of conventional forces and atomic weapons stationed in the US puppet state Republic of Korea, south of the 38th parallel. To this date much of the white population in Europe and the US believe the US regime’s fairy-tale about Korea and amplify the regime’s violent hostility to the PDRK, unaware or indifferent to the extent which US policy is aimed at destroying the country and any form of Korean independence.
  5. The so-called Battle of the Bulge (in German the Ardennen Schlacht) was fought from 16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945. A thoroughly exhausted Wehrmacht launched an assault that cost US Forces at least 100,000 casualties, some 19,000 dead– more than any other operation during the war. A critical examination of US military capacity even today would undoubtedly show that the only — often marginal — advantage the US regime has is continental isolation of its industrial capacity and unmatched ability to waste materiel and ammunition. Hence it has been necessary to conceal, ignore or trivialise the fact that the Soviet Union actually defeated the Axis in WWII. MacArthur and the rest of the Pacific high command were only interested in conquering territory and recovering colonies like the Philippines. As soon as possible the US regime actively integrated the military cadre of both Japan and Germany, especially to train what would become the regime’s equivalent of the Waffen SS — US Army Special Forces and its Gestapo equivalent- the Phoenix Program (now part of the regime’s Homeland Security apparatus).
  6. The news cycle is designed to cultivate amnesia. These days virtually everyone is obsessed with the current POTUS–  so permit a minor recollection. Mr G W Bush celebrated what was sold as the success in the US invasion of Iraq by stepping out of a US Navy fighter aircraft aboard an aircraft carrier, wrapped in a flight suit, and clutching his gonads proclaiming, “mission accomplished”. This was probably one of the most public demonstrations of what George Carlin aptly called the “bigger dick” foreign policy.

Moral Injury of War: The Invisible Wound of Empire

With the failure of the Democratic establishment, the crisis of liberal democracy is now seized by a new rise of power. The US empire with Trump as commander-in-chief has renewed its vow toward colonial domination. With nationalism and militarism in full swing, Trump’s America aims to radically alter the future of this country. His campaign slogan “make America great again” was a kind of historical revisionism, ignoring the deep oppression and inequality that runs beneath this nation’s history. From mass murder in the Middle East and the chaos of Libya to the destruction of Syria, along with conflicts with Russia and now tension with North Korea, the appetite of warmongering American expansionism never seems to end.

A similar trend is happening with US ally, Japan. As North Korea’s repeated missile tests threaten stability in the Pacific region, there is increasing pressure toward remilitarization. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aggressively pushes to revise the country’s pacifist constitution established in post-WWII world that called for the complete renunciation of war. Such move appears to be a politically driven ambition to bring the nation back to the pre-war imperial Japan. The ultra right-wing engages in a reinterpretation of the past in efforts to make Japan “beautiful” again. They aim to erase the country’s wartime atrocities in neighboring countries in Asia, by replacing the conquest of the past with a narrative of heroism, through denial and minimization of the Nanking Massacre and issues of comfort women.

History repeats itself. What is this drive that tries to reenact abuses of the past? What grips our collective psyche, making it difficult to resist this return of imperialism? A novel titled Hooper’s War (2017) that portrays WWII in Japan provides a framework through which to understand this irrational force that regresses society and averts the path toward peace. The author, Peter Van Buren, a 24-year veteran of the US State Department, lived in Japan for 10 years and spent time in Iraq embedded with a US combat unit. His cross-cultural tale of the nation that suffered the horrific tragedy of the world’s first usage of a nuclear arsenal offers rare insights.

Hidden Scars of War

British investigative journalist Robert Fisk once said, “War is a total failure of the human spirit.” If Fisk, a veteran war correspondent, exposed the cruelty of modern warfare to our face, then Van Buren, the former diplomat, with his lucid writing let the destruction of our spirit unravel in slow motion.

The story is set in an alternate WWII with the American invasion, through a fictional firebombing of Kyoto that Van Buren created, based on eyewitness accounts of the August 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Sometimes, a metaphorical reality is more effective to reveal the truth of human affairs. In the intersection of historical facts and non-fiction, history is reawakened. We are able to see the wound of war that has been buried deep in the oblivion of our memory.

Clinical psychiatrist, Jonathan Shay identified this war’s invisible scar manifested in combat veterans’ prolonged suffering. Calling it “moral injury”, he defined it as “betrayal of what is right by someone who holds legitimate authority in a high stake situation”. Shay describes how, when individuals are inflicted with this injury, their character begins to change, such that one’s social and moral horizon shrinks and they lose capacity to care for others.

While PTSD is fear-based and develops after the experience of a terrifying event, moral injury accompanies a pervasive sense of toxic shame, grief and intense guilt. Unlike a physical injury that is visible, a moral injury remains invisible, making the suffering of the wounded hidden.

Making of the Emperor’s Soldier

Moral injury is a ritual of war, a process of initiating a young man into a warrior. The invasion begins inside the hearts and minds of combatants. War kindles the fire of human spirit – faith, honor and loyalty, only to ensnare mortals into a vacuous moral desert, saturated with lust for dominion and conquest.

In his allegorical retelling of WWII Japan, Van Buren (2017) illustrates this process graphically with a sensitive touch. The story unfolds through reflections of both American lieutenant Nathaniel Hooper and young Japanese sergeant Eichi Nakagawa on their experiences before, during and after the invasion. In that period of Japanese imperialism, Japanese became the emperor’s soldiers. Sergeant Nakagawa depicts the lessons from Major Yamada at the training where young men are indoctrinated with the tradition and duty to fulfill obligation to the emperor. Major Yamada told Nakagawa, “You have a mouth but you cannot say what you wish. And you have a brain but you cannot think as you wish”.

In order for men to fight, first they have to cut their ties to the heart that knows what is right, that which stands in the way of their transgression. Those who were called to the battleground have to leave their bodies, being estranged from the living force inside that breathes and remembers our inherent obligation to one another. Out of this source of legitimacy now placed in the Emperor’s Imperial Army, honor and pride is generated. Each time a soldier takes up their sword, this feeling of greatness grows, filling up their emptied soul.

Suicide of the Soul

In his retirement home in Hawaii, Hooper recalled the essence of war not as men dying, but of killing. He says:

War isn’t a place that makes men better. Flawed men turn bad, then bad men turn evil. So the darkest secret of my war wasn’t the visceral knowledge that people can be filthy and horrible. It was the visceral knowledge that I could be filthy and horrible.

The loss of one’s moral compass that war inflicts on soldiers leads them to not just die in honor, but murder their own soul. War turns love for one’s country into hatred toward those who have been made into the “enemies”, and eventually this flare of hatred burns oneself. Nakagawa told the man who used to be a soldier, “Maybe, old man, maybe. I hate the Americans, but I now also hate something of what we have become. And I will die because of it. I even look forward to it”.

The invisible scar of moral injury is like an unspoken oath. The pain that could not be felt in our betrayal of our own humanity binds every emperor’s army, commanding man’s spirit into the hands of an imperial state, to fulfill its insatiable hunger for power. Major Yamada urged the young sergeant to listen carefully:

You can kill as many Americans as you like and it will not make a difference to this war. But you, you cannot live if you forgo obligation, and you cannot die well if you forego obligation. This is thus not about your life, Nakagawa, but about your damn soul.

The horror of war haunts those who stepped into it long after they have left the combat zone. This military code of conduct that binds the soul is never broken. Hooper said, “People say, ‘whatever you have to tell yourself,’ but they forget you can’t lie to yourself alone at night. Imagine what it’s like to be my age and scared of the dark”. No amount of myth-making through symbols of flags and patriotism and medals of honor can cover up the deep wounds, the guilt and shame that remind veterans of the living hell that they helped to create.

Bringing Troops Home

The explosion of the “Little Boy” uranium bomb on August 5, 1945, was said to end the Pacific War. The spread of fireballs and poisons of “black rain” created hell on Earth that no life can withstand. The pictures of atomic victims that were kept from the American public are now available to be seen. These horrific images of those who were killed in this dreadful nuclear fire make war’s brutality naked to the eyes. Yet, until a soul that was taken into a battleground is returned, there is nobody that can fully witness the event and degree of this human destruction.

Intermingling spirits across shores — friction of ancestors who fought for the land of the rising sun and also the land of the free and the home of the brave — turned the Earth into a wretched ghost town. Bombs bursting in air blew out both Hinomaru (the sun-mark flag) and the star-spangled banner.

“O, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed, at the twilight’s last gleaming?” Cries of deceased innocents; thirsty and hungry souls get stuck in the rib cages of men in uniform, as they sing their national anthem. Former lieutenant Hooper laments over memories that follow him to the present:

“Well-meaning people would say, ‘open the wound, let it out’. The problem was those wounds had never closed in the first place. Other people get it a little better, knowing it’s not about overcoming as much as coping. They tell us, ‘You’ve got to fight as hard at home to beat this as you did over there to get home’, except we’re not sure what we’re fighting for.”

In the ashes and ruins of Hiroshima, both Japanese and Americans have left their souls behind. We have buried the truth — this unbearable pain that radiates beneath the skin of our soldiers, the children and women, being transmitted over generations. Souls vacated from bodies in the waving shock of atomic bombs also now hover over Vietnam and are lost in Iraq and Afghanistan, just wanting to get back home.

Retrieval of Moral Courage

Invisible wounds of war call for our witness. Every time we shield memories of our own aggression upon our fellow man through historical revisionism, denial and deflection, we forsake the young whom our society sacrificed in its self-righteous suicide. Only through courage to claim this invisible wound as our own can we break the chains of command that keep us all in murderous arms of empire and resuscitate the heart, letting its light of conscience show us our way back home.

Hooper’s War is a story of this courage. It invites readers to retrieve vanished memories of human events. In multiple perspectives depicted in this novel, we are able to see the truth of war, not by a view defined by nationality, neither Japanese nor American, but simply as a human. In the breath of words that unite these souls from different shores, Van Buren asserts his own voice, bearing witness to this tragedy of Hiroshima in his soul. He asks, “Was there a path that bypassed both the atomic bombings and a land invasion?” There was such alternative. He tells us, “To end the war, neither the use of nuclear weapons nor a land invasion of the Japanese mainland, was, at least, a possibility”.

Moral injury happens when we give up our own power to outer authority. Whether it is a king, president, an emperor or prime minister; when we try to find change from outside, through control and use of force, we were kept in a narrow band, within the selected reality of the few. We give in to military might that is often offered as the only option.

The honest account of the past can transform the flash of light of the atomic bomb that once blinded us, into a force that could enlighten the world. For the first time, we are able to see the real enemy, the monster unleashed by wars that continue to devour our hearts, shedding the blood of future generations to come. Only then are we able to lift our gaze and see the alternative path that has always been there. We can free ourselves from the tyrannical past that tries to repeat itself. In this crack opened in history, we find our creative power, to which we can surrender the sword forever, making war an option that we no longer need to take.

Author’s note: I am a native of Japan, living in the US. I wrote this piece while I visited the city of Hiroshima for the first time. I thank Peter Van Buren for his courage and compassion that allowed me to see war’s invisible moral injury. His new book Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan is a must read for anyone who wishes to understand the real consequence of war and reclaim our hearts that can heal the past and create a peaceful future.

Reference:1

• First published at anti war.com.

  1. Van Buren, P. (2017). Hooper’s war: A novel of WWII Japan. Luminis Books.

Bouncing Back Against the Corruption of Science in Capitalist Society

Continuing from the first part of this series, one critique that is missed in the talk about the March on Science is the fact that science has often failed the proletariat, used in their oppression, and as a form of destruction. Of course, this may be too much to expect of a bourgeois progressive and liberal crowd in Washington and across the world who are myopically focused on Trump but not on the bigger picture. This perception is reinforced by Neil deGrasse Tyson’s relatively recent iteration of Cosmos in 2014, titled Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a documentary series intended to spread scientific knowledge to a broader audience, which was predictably endorsed by the US’s previous intellectual war criminal president, Barack Obama. The documentary series not only supported the “Great Man” theory of science, downplaying the proletarian aspect, but like the original Cosmos series in 1980, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, presented by Carl Sagan, it supports the idea of science as a venue of discovery, but fits easily with the bourgeois conceptions of science, not with the idea that science can be tied to social change or be used by the capitalist class to enforce their will. The latter aspect calls for an overview of some of the times that science has been used to commit horrible crimes.

The corruption of science for malevolent ends

In August 1945, the United States committed a grave war crime on the world stage. On August 6 and 9th, two cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were obliterated off the face of the Earth by two hideous weapons of war, atomic bombs, which exploded over the cities. With a flash, hundreds of thousands were dead, cities consisting only of ruins, with survivors seeing more death than they thought they would ever see in their lifetimes and thousands of maimed individuals inching toward available hospitals, while Japanese doctors didn’t know what radiation was or how to treat it.1

Infamously, after dropping the bomb on Hiroshima, Marvin Green, the pilot of the Enola Gay, wrote in his log, “My God, what have we done?,” with the bomb dropping immortalized in a 1980 antiwar song of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) titled “Enola Gay.” Scientists such as Robert Oppenheimer in the US had fathered a “monster” originally to beat the Nazis, although it turned out that their nuclear program was not very developed. In what was a very masculine endeavor, the scientists thought that building the bomb showed that mankind could do anything, that it was a new era in history, a culmination of past discovery, with the “Soviet foe” quickly replacing the German one by the end of the war, creating a “living thing” as they called it, which would kill thousands.2

The dropping of the bomb was to be expected. Without going into the valid argument that the bomb dropping was trying to counter possible Soviet occupation of Japan in a postwar environment, the racist feelings were widespread among Allied POWs in Japan after numerous brutalities by the Japanese perpetrated upon them.3

Geoffrey C. Ward even admits, in a coffee table book that accompanies Ken Burns’s film on World War II, that the atomic bombing was preceded by thousands of other deaths. While the book has photographs of the devastation and affects on human life by the atomic bombs, they basically defend the use of them even as they admit that from 1944 to 1945, US aircraft bombed with napalm and burned over 60 “Japanese cities, killing at least 300,000 Japanese civilians, injuring 1.3 million, and leaving 8 million more without homes.”4 Even the war criminal of the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara, admitted in Errol Morris’s partially whitewashing documentary, The Fog of War, said him and General Curtis LeMay “were behaving as war criminals” although he would not say the same about his actions in Vietnam or destructive actions when he headed the World Bank.

Beyond the use of science on the battlefield, either to drop napalm, atomic bombs, use poison gas, or the like, it has been used against the masses. In Medical Apartheid, Harriet A. Washington, a Black female author, writes about the years of medical abuse the Black masses in the United States have suffered from medical experimentation on the plantation fields, during the Civil War, within the horrid Tuskegee Study, as part of eugenic control over their reproduction, and bioterrorism aimed at Black people.5

For his part, foreign policy critic William Blum writes in a similar vein, with multiple chapters on his book, Rogue State, focusing on use of chemical and biological weapons by the murderous US empire. There are many other books that focus on the dangers science can pose if exploited for horrible ends, from Helen Caldicott’s The New Nuclear Danger about nuclear weapons to Seth Schulman’s Threat at Home, focusing on contamination of environments across the US by the US military. Even Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein falls into the books that warn of the dangers of science and the “mad scientist” caricature.

The Black Panther Party (BPP), a revolutionary socialist group distorted by Deray McKesson for his own personal gain as a black bourgeois figure serving White power, among others, recognized that science could be destructive. In their weekly newsletter, The Black Panther, they focused on many diseases. Starting in March 1971, they began focusing on sickle cell anemia. This hereditary disease, originating in West and Central Africa, was (and is) in the blood of the Black masses. The US government was doing nothing to help eradicate this “genocide,” as they argued, with no testing at the time. So, the BPP set up free health clinics to test individuals, screening 100,000 people, reportedly, by August 1972, Bobby Seale and Dr. Bert Small at the forefront, despite phony groups conspiring with the racist police.6

They clearly had no trust in the medical establishment to move forward on these fronts, so they took action on their own accord, whereas nowadays too many would go through the “established channels” to gain quick fixes. The BPP not only recognized the diseases facing the Black community, whether it was lead paint or something else, coming out of the “degrading, dehumanizing conditions” that Black people lived in, but they had people’s community survival programs ranging from a research foundation on sickle cell anemia (with free testing and attempts to fight the disease) tied to the free medical clinic, a free dental program, and a range of other services to help the Black community.7  By 1972, the BPP’s platform had changed from its first platform to be more inclusive and cut across ethnic lines in solidarity with other oppressed peoples in the United States. This platform included a plank saying that:

We believe that the government must provide, free of charge, for the people, health facilities which will not only treat our illnesses, most of which have come about as a result of our oppression, but will also develop preventative medical programs to guarantee our future survival. We believe that the mass health education and research programs must be developed to give all Black and oppressed people access to advanced scientific and medical information, so we may provide ourselves with proper medical attention and care.8

The BPP were not the only ones who recognized this. While they challenged the American Medical Association, pointing out their racism and elitism, there was the Boston Women’s Health Collective, which published a huge book, Our Bodies Ourselves: A Book By And For Women, numbering 751 pages in the 1992 edition, expanded from the first edition in 1984.9 [9]

Can science bounce back?

With science helping capitalist class bend to horrible ends, it can still be used for positive human development. There has been a detailed analysis of humans and non-human animals and assertions that science and socialism easily intersect. This is not beyond the realm of belief, but are justified assertions.

Karl Marx himself was deeply interested in science, using it to argue that there is a rift between capitalist society and nature, with intense study of science by himself and his colleague Friedrich Engels to inform their socioeconomic theories. Furthermore, Marx used the concept of humans changing their internal nature as “societies interact with their external environment” so he could understand “the plight of workers at the dawn of industrial capitalism,” which has also been used to talk about the social relations of space travel, among other topics. The interest of Marx in science is unquestionable. The study of natural sciences influenced his theorizing, even in the idea of social relations of production, a concept extrapolated from Marx’s writings, with him not using those exact words, and even influencing the idea that humans need to study historical events and transformations to “discover our human nature.”10

Many of the doctrines of Marx and Engels are called scientific (i.e. scientific socialism). Within Marx’s early works in the 1840s, he argues that science can only be universal when it is “no longer an individual affair but becomes a social one,” that science (along with religion) as part of human’s theoretical existence should be an object of criticism as much the reality of human existence.11 That’s not all. He goes on to say that once Jews and Christians see their religions as “nothing more than different stages in the development of the human spirit” they will no longer be in religious opposition but in a “purely critical and scientific…human relationship” with science serving as “their unity”!12 This strikes at the heart of those who say that science and religion can’t mix. Marx adds to this, saying, in his theorizing about species-being, that humans, like non-human animals, live from “inorganic nature” but since humans are more universal they live in more inorganic nature than non-human animals.

He also says that philosophy is alien to natural science, which had transformed human life, with industry serving as the “real historical relationship to nature” as history becomes part of natural history and nature becomes part of man. Furthermore, he says that with “science of man” subsuming natural science, creating one science, with humans as the immediate object of natural science, he adds that humans and non-human animals have some common characteristics, noting that Hegel perceives science, even non-philosophical science like natural science and political science, as absolute.13 His most obvious indication he is inspired by science is when he writes the preface to his A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy in 1859:

In studying such [economic and social] transformations it always necessary to distinguish between the material transformation of economic conditions of production, which can be determined with the provision of natural science, and the legal, political, religious, artistic, or philosophic – in short the ideological forms in which men become conscious of conflict and fight it out..Mankind thus inevitably sets itself only such tasks as it is able to solve, since closer examination will always show that the problem itself arise only when the material conditions for ts solution are already present or at least in the course of formation.14

While reading Marx can sometimes be fraught with difficulty, there is no doubt that scientific discipline informed and influenced his works, for which we should all be grateful. Hence, the ideas within this discipline can and should influence those working for a better, alternative world beyond the machinations of the brutal capitalist system which uses science to oppress others rather than for the benefit of the masses.

There is strong evidence that science can be on the side of social justice and social change. Worried atomic scientists, especially physicists, protested atomic warfare, with groups forming, such as the Federation of Atomic Scientists (later the Federation of American Scientists), leading the struggle for “civilian control of atomic energy” and against war as a whole, from 1945 until 1960.15 As Lawrence S. Wittner argued in his article where he painted the DPRK and US as “erratic” and “reckless,” although the US imperialists are really the reckless, erratic ones, in the 1980s, organizations in the West and across the world “were able to engage millions of people in protest against the nuclear recklessness of the U.S. and Soviet governments―protest that played a key role in curbing the nuclear arms race and preventing nuclear war,” whereas this dynamic is not the case today.

Hope on the horizon

With new studies saying that “artificially sweetened soft drink consumption [is]…associated with a higher risk of stroke and dementia,” basically showing that the soft drink industry is poisoning us as science writers like Michael Moss (Sugar, Salt, and Fat) have noted, and more than “1 in 4 deaths of children under 5 years of age are attributable to unhealthy environments” as announced by the World Health Organization, clearly, science is still important in society as a whole. But the type of science is important. There is no need for science like that portrayed in the HBO version of Rebecca Skloot’s book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The story of Henreitta Lacks, a young Black woman in Baltimore, is, in short, that she thought that Johns Hopkins Hospital, a major institution in the city, was treating her for cancer in her body, but they actually stole her cells, later called HeLa, without her written or oral permission (i.e. informed consent), just like their snatchings of Black people off the streets of Baltimore for many years as part of their experiments. As years passed on, the HeLa cells were used in all sorts of scientific breakthroughs, such as Salk’s polio vaccine and AIDs drugs, with millions of the cells in people’s blood, with the family not getting a dime.

Any sort of senseless exploitation of that type, including but not limited to sterilization of Puerto Rican and other “socially inadequate” women starting in the 1930s, showing that reproductive rights haven’t been honored by the medical establishment, with the horrendous practice ending by the 1970s. Even today, those in oppressed minorities suffer from science which dehumanizes them and makes them subject to experiments. Any sort of corporate-funded or military-funded science should be rejected as fraudulent and worthless.16 There have been gains, but there are still bridges to cross and rivers to fjord.

Science that accumulates knowledge, and engages in related practices to benefit the masses, should be encouraged. Recently, it was discovered that the brain fills in gaps in hearing without you realizing it, and that maybe we can grow potatoes on Mars, just like Matt Damon in The Martian, influencing the possibility of Elon Musk’s colony of wealthy capitalists, if it even succeeds at all without mass death or starvation, or even a socialist colony as those on the SpaceCommunism subreddit envision. There have also been studies showing that you actually don’t need eight glasses of water a day, with the amount of water for each person depending on the physical makeup of someone’s fluids and body as a whole, that surgeons in China transplanted an ear from a patient’s arm to their head, one of the 500 regenerated ears they create each year, and the health crisis caused by the obesity “epidemic” in the United States.

All of these scientific successes may seem individualized, but it relates to social change. It helps us recognize how knowledge comes into being, that it comes into one’s head based on their social conditions, the distribution of water fairly and justly, not under the control of the capitalist class but rather the public, with water use a right, not a privilege for every person on the planet. As for the transplant of ears, this can help people in the future gain back their hearing if they are injured in a workplace accident, become temporarily deaf, or something like that. On the obesity “epidemic,” it is clear that having healthy, full diets, is important for all societies, while in socialist societies it may be easier to ban fast food restaurants (and junk food industries) outright, not allowing them to poison the masses with their garbage, and create alternatives that are available to all, not just bourgeois individuals.

In advanced capitalist societies such diets may be harder to promote without adequate organization. In the United States, junk food is easily accessible with the predominance of food deserts in many poorer areas, making the eating of such food easily habitual. As Morgan Spurlock demonstrated years ago in Supersize Me, it is an addiction which is hard to kick. If you are barely scraping by and have little knowledge of cooking healthy meals rather than meat-heavy, dairy-dependent, sweetened ones that are promoted by the Federal government, working in tandem with the sugar, fast-food, dairy, meat, and other big food industries, it is hard to resist the mainstream desires. Vegetarianism and veganism, which go against this trend, sometimes connected with pushes for animal rights, serve as an alternative, and is gaining steam among young people within the global core. However, those in the semi-periphery and periphery do not always have much of a choice when it comes to food options, as food (along with plastics and other Western consumer goods) is dumped on their countries by Western capitalists without their consent, and taken from their country to feed those in the core, a vicious cycle of exploitation of the highest degree.

It is clear that science is important but we must reject bourgeois science in all its manifestations, the forms of which oppressed people of the world know all too well, some of which are mentioned in this article, others which are not.17

As the Workers World Party (WWP) put it recently:

[With the Trump administration,] the needs of socially responsible scientists and the needs of the masses of workers and oppressed are in sync. Our enemy is the same. Scientists belong with the struggle against capitalism that is openly taking root today, especially among the young and the most oppressed who see no future under this system.

Adding to the words of the WWP, there should be a promotion and support of science which benefits the masses, a proletarian science, which need not come from high-flying scientific institutes or ivory towers, but from people, themselves. There need not be another science march for this to be the case, but rather we should recognize that science has and always will be political. It will be used by certain groups for partisan ends and others to buttress their exploitative agendas, so we should cut through this, supporting and engaging in science that assists in making another world possible, whether that is in general social change or building genuine revolutionary organizations that stand for an overthrow of the capitalist system.

• Read Part One here

  1. John Hershey, Hiroshima (New York: Random House, 1985, reprint), 2, 5, 15, 24, 26, 46,60-61, 72, 145-146; George Weller, First Into Nagasaki: The Censored Eyewitness Dispatches on Post-Atomic Japan and Its Prisoners of War (ed. Anthony Weller, New York: Crown Publishers, 2006), 25, 27, 37-39, 43, 133.
  2. Brian Easlea, Fathering the Unthinkable: Masculinity, Scientists and the Nuclear Arms Race (London: Pluto Press, 1983), 83-84, 86, 88, 91, 93, 99, 111.
  3. Weller, 28, 35, 41, 50-54, 60-61, 73-76, 78-83; Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States: 1492 – Present (Fifth Edition, New York, HarperPerennial, 2003), 422-424. As bourgeois scholars Robert Jay Lifton and Richard Falk note in Indefensible Weapon: The Political and Psychological Case Against Nuclearism, Stalin was told about a “powerful weapon” about to be used on the Japanese by Truman, but was not told in full detail what the atomic bombs entailed, for which he undoubtedly would have opposed it.
  4. Geoffrey C. Ward, The War: An Intimate History 1941-1945 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), 409, 412-418.
  5. Other than Tuskegee’s Truths edited by Susan Reverby, the Black Panther Party made a broad and correct declaration about the study after it was revealed. They argued that thanks to rape and plunder as part of European imperialism, the disease spread across the world, but noted that 600 poor Black men were tested upon, 400 of which had syphilis, 200 of which were treated, 200 of which were not, with 500 of those men dying as a result, quoting a large part of the transcript of a taped interview, showing them that the only solution, apart from legal battles, is to “guarantee our futures, our very survival with people’s health care, people’s control of technology, control by Black and Poor people of all the institutions in our communities”. (“Germ Warfare Declared Against Blacks!,” The Black Panther, August 5, 1972, p. 2, 5-6).
  6. “Sickle Cell Anemia: From Despair to Hope,” The Black Panther Intercommunal News Service, April 1, 1972, pages C and G; “Phoney Sickle Cell Group Conspires with Police in Panther Arrests!,” The Black Panther, August 19, 1972, p. 3, 9, 10; “The Sickle Cell “Game”: Phoney Foundations Try to Sabotage Black Panther’s Party Sickle Cell Program,” The Black Panther, May 17, 1972, p. 10-13; “Black Genocide: Sickle Cell Anemia,” The Black Panther, April 10, 1971, p. 10-11; “The Black Panther Party is Giving Free Sickle Cell Anemia Tests in These Areas,” The Black Panther, June 12, 1971, p. 16; “Free Sickle Cell Anemia Tests,” The Black Panther, July 19, 1971, p. 17; “Twenty-five doctors have not helped sickle cell victim,” The Black Panther, August 14, 1971, p. 4; “So, he has sickle cell anemia,” The Black Panther, September 25, 1971, p. 13.
  7. New York State Chapter of the Black Panther Party, “Silent Epidemic,” The Black Panther, October 13, 1971, p. 8; “The People’s Community Survival Programs,” The Black Panther, October 9, 1971, p. 9; “A Program for Survival,” The Black Panther Intercommunal News Service, November 23, 1972, page D; Black Panther Party, “You can help destroy one of the attempts to commit Black genocide-fight sickle cell anemia!,” The Black Panther, May 1, 1971, p. 12. Reprinted in May 15, 22, and 29 newsletters; Elizabeth Short, “Letter from Sickle Cell Victim’s Mother,” The Black Panther, May 15, 1971, p. 9. Reprinted in May 15 and 22 newsletters; Black Panther Party, “People’s Fight Against Sickle Cell Anemia Begins,” The Black Panther, May 11, 1971, p. 10; Black Panther Party, “Fight Sickle Cell Anemia,” The Black Panther, June 5, 1971, p. 7. Reprinted in June 12 and 20 newsletter; “America’s Racist Negligence in Sickle Cell Research Exposed by its Victims,” The Black Panther, June 19, 1971, p. 2; “Fight Sickle Cell Anemia,” The Black Panther, August 12, 1971, p. 6. Reprinted in August 21, September 18, and September 25 newsletters.
  8. “The Black Panther Party Program March 29, 1972 platform,” The Black Panther Intercommunal News Service, May 13, 1972, page B.
  9. “Protest the American Medical Association,” The Black Panther, June 17, 1972, p. 8, 15, 17.
  10. Lucio Colletti, “Introduction” within Karl Marx, Early Writings (New York: Vintage Books, 1975), 10, 56; Richard Schmitt, Introduction to Marx and Engels: A Critical Reconstruction (Boulder: Westview Press, 1987), 26-28, 40-41, 47, 57-58, 89, 166-167.
  11. Karl Marx, Early Writings (New York: Vintage Books, 1975), 128, 207,
  12. Ibid, 213. Comes from “On the Jewish Question” published in 1843.
  13. Ibid, 213, 327-328, 354-356, 360, 381, 386, 394.
  14. Ibid, 426.
  15. Lawrence Wittner, Rebels Against War: The American Peace Movement, 1941-1960 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969), 144-150, 165-166, 188-189, 221, 241, 251.
  16. Some could say that the science of Marion King Hubbert, a Shell geoscientist, was useful in proposing the idea of “peak oil” with the “Hubbert’s Peak” in 1956, but this is highly debated, as some deny that such a phenomenon exists, while others embrace it.
  17. For instance, I did not cover the relation of science to the non-binary, often called LGBTQ+, community. Michael Bronski writes about this in A Queer History of the United States, noting that after the “Enlightenment” in Europe, some tried to use “science” to “prove” biological inequality, with science later embraced in the place of theology while science was liberating for some homosexuals and lesbians in the early 20th century, but not for others (see pages 26, 56, 78-79, 95-99, 105, 114-116, 123, 150, 160).