Saturday, August 10, 2013


AIR WAR, HIROSHIMA-NAGASAKI REMEMBRANCE 2013 NEWSLETTER.  68th Anniversary.   August 11 (August 6 and 9, 1945), 2013.  Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.

My blog:
War Department/Peace Department

For a knowledge-based peace, justice, and ecology movement and an informed citizenry as the foundation for change.



Contents 2010 Newsletter
3 Nuclear Weapons Abolition Organizations
    Peace Action, NAPF, WAND
Zinn, The Bomb
Mayors for Peace
Dick, Appeal to President Obama
Dick, Reading Names
Karen Takemoto’s Statement
2 Letters Preparing for 2010 Remembrance
   Dick, Joe Neal

Contents of 2011 Newsletter
News Release for August Remembrance of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Victims of Air War Everywhere
Film: Grave of the Fireflies
Why we Remember the Destruction of Kobe
Film:  White Light, Black Rain
Why We Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Cindy Sheehan: A Day of Infamy
Top 10 Songs Against Nuclear War
National Park?
New Books:
    Atomic Tragedy: Henry L. Stimson….
    Rizzuto, Hiroshima in the Morning
Film: Hiroshima

Contents of 2012 Part I (July 1, 2012)
Dick Bennett, Continuing Remembrances
A-Bomb Survivors’ Stories
History:  Bombings and Cover-up
Mitchell, Bombings Covered Up
Book of Hiroshima Photos
Goodman, Nagasaki
Goodman, Censorship
Mitchell, Why Nagasaki?
Aug. 6, 2011 Arrestees
H-N Peace Studies
Buddhist Call for Nuclear Abolition
Videos of N-H

Contents of 2012 Part II
News Release for August 5, 2012
OMNI’S Program August 5
Chomsky, Nuclear Bomb and Cuban Nuclear Crisis
Commemorating Hiroshima and Nagasaki 2012 USA and World
Dallas Peace Center etc.
Worth, Imperial Competition in the Pacific Leading to WWII
Hibakusha Memory in Art
Gerson, Ethics of Atomic War
Wittner, Nuclear Disarmament Movement

Contents of 2013
Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance, Fayetteville, AR 2013
Dick, Naming the Victims
Reflection of the War:  Unconstitutional US: Internment Camps
New Museum in McGehee, Arkansas, Japanese-American Internment Camps
Hirabayashi’s Journal
Erickson and Zinn, Voices for a Nuclear Free Future: the burning of children in vast numbers"
World War II in the Pacific
Arima, The Way to Pearl Harbor: Colonial Conflict Over Resources
Why the Bombs Were Used
Frank, Downfall, US: End the War
Hasagawa, Racing the Enemy:  US to Warn Russia (Japan seeing to evade Russian invasion)
Dick, End of Wars:  Contrition, Apology, and Forgiveness

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:  

REMEMBRANCE OF HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI, AUGUST 11, 2013, Over 40 Years of Witnessing.
This year at Walker Park, S. College, Outdoor Pavilion south of Senior Center, 6:30 PM Potluck, Program 7PM.
MC:  Kelly Mulhollan
Music by Kelly and Warren Dietzel
Poetry by Gerry Sloan, Leah Gould, and Vela
Commentary by Lioneld Jordan, Fernando Garcia, Dick Bennett, and Gladys Tiffany
Contact Gladys 935-4422

Joseph Gerson, With Hiroshima Eyes:  “This book is dedicated to the hibakusha of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and particularly to Junko Kayashige, Mitsuo Kojima, Shoji Sawada, Sumiteru Taniguchi, Senji Yamaguchi, and to the memory of Chieko Watanabe--friends, models of courage and vision” (vii).
Many more names may be found in the collection of paintings and drawings by hibakusha—Unforgettable Fire:  Goro Ki yo yoshi, Tsutomu Ojiri, Kiyoshi Inoue, Sumaka Yamada, Yoshiaki Tamaru, Koi Nakamachi, Takchiko Sakai, Setsuko Yamamoto, Torako Hironaka, Kanichi Ito, Hatsuji Takeuchi, Yoshiko Michitsuji, Magoichi Jitsukuni, Masao Yamamura, Kishie Masukawa, Tomoe Harada, Yoshimi Ikeda, Ayako Uesugi (drawn from the first 35 pp. of the book).

Dick Bennett
     Of all of the developments of modern war, technological, quick mass destruction is the most literally, totally dehumanizing.   The ability of the modern military and its militarized government to cover up genocidal crimes by killing so many witnesses almost instantly, paralyzing by stunning public morality,  combined with government censorship of the killings, and the tenuousness of the perpetrating public’s memory and tendency to forget and accept swift massacre, define the first two nuclear city annihilations and their aftermath for most in the United States.   Dehumanization has always enabled wars and slaughters, but modern weapons of mass annihilation occur in such short periods of enormous ferocity that traditional moral norms seem incapable of coping, and the bombings seem acceptable to the majority people of the perpetrator who seek safety, at least enough to prevent protest.   A protracted campaign, as with the allied incineration of German cities during WWII, or in the slaughter of Vietnamese peasants over a period of ten years, made it difficult to hide atrocities, such as My Lai, though we are still learning from new books like Kill Anything That Moves by Nick Turse the typicality of My Lai.  Of course, whether brief or lengthy, preparation for acceptance of slaughter is necessary.   During WWII in the Pacific, US propaganda had transformed the Japanese population (including children, mothers) into “monkeys” and other animals (see John Dower’s War Without Mercy).   The US public was inured to the carnage of each nuclear bomb that happened so swiftly.  But even with that preparation, General MacArthur and the U.S. occupation forces felt it necessary to suppress the images, the detailed reports of the bombing, and the NAMES of the victims.  The tens of thousands of instant deaths and more tens of thousands wounded were allowed no public NAMES OR FACES, for fear the public might disapprove.   Our militarized government practices such censorship still today:  few newspapers have given the names of US soldiers killed and wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq, and none have listed the Afghans and Iraqis.  All civilian victims—Japanese, Germans, Koreans, Vietnamese, Afghans, Iraqis-- were successfully erased, at least for awhile.   Meanwhile, US war leaders have successfully maintained their Myth of US Nuclear Righteousness, and the danger of planetary nuclear destruction continues.
       Therefore it becomes the responsibility of a movement labeling itself “PEACE and JUSTICE” TO REMEMBER THE VICTIMS BY THEIR NAMES.   And from the beginning we have called our annual event the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Remembrance, for the people living in these cities on August 6 and 9, 1945.    - -Dick

WWII Japanese American Internment Museum
100 South Railroad
McGehee, AR
Dir. Susan Gallion, 870-501-8002
Mayor of McGehee:  Jack May, 870-222-4325

Erin K. Cain, “Rohwer.”  University of Arkansas Research Frontiers (Fall 2004).
About UA Art Professor John Newman’s research of the community surrounding the internment camps.  He ‘hopes to create artwork that reflects the lifestyle in Rohwer during that time period.”  Some of this work was exhibited Sept. 18, 2004, in the Ann Kitrell Art Gallery.  --Dick

Gordon Hirabayashi, James Hirabayashi, and Lane Ryo Hirabayashi. Univ. of Washington, $29.95 (232p
“What good are principles if we suspend them each time there is a crisis?” asks Hirabayashi, at an appeal hearing over 40 years after his imprisonment for opposing the relocation of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Assembled from interviews, articles, and Hirabayashi’s journal entries, the author’s family provides insight into how the accidental civil rights pioneer felt throughout his prison sentences. The strong faith afforded to him by his family’s upbringing and Quaker allegiance guided Hirabayashi to conscientiously object to the war effort, but his strong desire to be treated as a full citizen of the United States and his belief in constitutional equality shaped his resolve to object to discrimination. At one point, Hirabayashi refuses bail on the grounds that being forced to live in an internment camp would be at odds with his identity as an American citizen, and he later hitchhikes 1,600 miles to serve on a road camp outside of military grounds. The reliance on his journal make Hirabayashi’s odyssey through the judiciary system difficult to follow. In addition, particular trial details are summarized by third-party reports, while the lives of his parents, wife, and children are glossed over. However, in portraying Hirabayashi’s fight for his own American dream, the book successfully reminds us of the struggles needed to secure our freedoms today. (Apr.)

"Memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki--Messages from Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors)" is a website that makes available to the public first-hand accounts written by hibakusha. By sharing these messages from them, we hope to help propel the growing global movement toward the abolition of nuclear weapons. To that end, The Asahi Shimbun, a leading Japanese newspaper, has established this website. We hope people from all over the world will visit the website.  read more »

DICK’S 5-Minute TALK AUG. 11, 2013
[Numerous scholarly studies support the following arguments.  Joseph Gerson in With Hiroshima Eyes, Chapter 2, "The Atomic Bombings and Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Playing the Master Card," summarizes these studies up to thearly 1990s (the book was published 1995.  I urge everyone to read this chapter for its forceful case that the bombings were not necessary.  Perhaps you will then be drawn to read his sources, which are fully identified    --Dick]
Why Atomic Bombs Were Dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
A.         Official US Explanation August 1945
B.         Questions and Alternatives

      A note on summaries and this summary:   I assume you all know my argument, but I hope a condensation will be useful to us in standing firm against the unimaginable callousness,  carnage, and cruelty of August 6 and 9, 1945, and for the banning of all nuclear weapons. 
      Let us ask two questions.  What arguments did US leaders use to incinerate two Japanese civilian cities?  And in retrospect what were the real motives and what the alternatives?  
      It is the summer of 1945.   The war in Europe was over and troops were being moved to the Pacific war for the invasion of Japan.  A battle for the mainland might kill a million US soldiers, Truman believed.    For these and other reasons, Pres. Truman and his advisors decided to use the newly tested atomic bomb on Japanese cities.  To save US lives, they believed, the new, successfully tested bomb, the result of the secret “Manhattan Project,” seemed almost God-sent.

       Truman took full responsibility, but the bomb had gained a life of its own. 
     The desire for revenge was intense after four years of a colonial, racist war without mercy on both sides.  A few days after the bombing of Nagasaki, Truman wrote:  “When you have to deal with a beast, you have to treat him as a beast.”
           The intense desire to prevent the killing of more US soldiers, the sense of inevitability of the bomb’s use, and the dehumanizing racism against the Japanese vermin had erased humanitarian consideration for the Japanese civilians living in the cities, and perhaps made Truman as much a pawn as a leader in the decision.

      But we have only begun to peel back the layers of motives for the bombings and complications regarding their necessity. 
     For Truman and his advisors, the atomic bomb was the master card that would trump the Soviets then and in the future.  Anti-communism and opposition to Soviet expansion reinforced planning to use the nascent atomic weapons.  Some historians believe the Truman Administration’s intention to intimidate the Soviets to be the “confirming rationale” for the decision to drop the bomb.
    However, other events were happening that might have delayed or even stopped the bombings:
     The March 10 firebombing of Tokyo had killed an est. 100,000 Japanese, and was repeated two weeks later. Germany surrendered May 8, and Japan’s rulers were now faced with the combined allied force.    Her major cities were in ruins, and millions of her people were homeless and starving. The Soviet Union promised to declare war by August 8.
        By the spring or early summer of 1945, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff had reported to Truman    “the Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.” 
     Peace feelers were communicated throughout Europe and to Truman.  Japan’s minister in Switzerland and its ambassador in Portugal sought to arrange a cessation of hostilities.
    Japan’s Supreme War Council meetings following Germany’s surrender May 8 led the Emperor to order  the council to “immediately work out specific measures to end the war and implement them quickly.” (p. 43, Gerson WHE). 
         The invasion of Kyushu was planned for November and for Honshu early 1946.   This left months to negotiate the details of Japan’s surrender, including the possibility of a demonstration bombing of an uninhabited atoll to impress Japan’s rulers. But Truman and his advisors  chose to bomb quickly.

Conclusion summary to the question:  Why were the bombs dropped?
      The US Strategic Bombing Survey had predicted that the Japanese would surrender by the end of the year whether or not the atomic bombs were dropped, whether Russia entered the war or not, and even whether invasion was planned or contemplated.
     But for all of the above reasons—the desire for a quick ending of the war, the momentum of the bomb’s development, hostility to the Soviet Union—the bombs were dropped.
     The sorrowful irony is that the terms of surrender offered by the Japanese government “were nearly identical to those later formulated and accepted after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” (Gerson 45) 

To this day, people in Japan ask how many died to save the emperor system, and their leaders have personally apologized to the leaders and people of all nations that participated in the war.   In the United States our leaders have yet to ask why so many innocent Japanese were killed and made to suffer for limited strategic advantage and to send “a signal” to the Soviet Union.”   (Gerson 50)    But a widening number of people of the United States are asking the question, and we can believe it is the result of the peace movement’s asking the question for almost 70 years, and we can this critical thinking will lead eventually to the elimination of nuclear weapons.   

Again:  See Joseph Gerson’s summary up to the early 1990s in With Hiroshima Eyes, chapter 2, “The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Playing the Master Card”

Dick Bennett, August 11, 2013

laura Lynch, “the burning of children in vast numbers"
good morning Dick
Late last night I received this combined quote from historian Howard Zinn and a sociologist, Kai Erickson, from an anti-nuclear activist ally in Calif. I thought you might find some use for it at the commemorative tomorrow.
david d  [For US citizenS of my generation (I was 13 years old in 1945) Erickson and Zinn were among the best voices against the nuclear bombings and for a nuclear free future.  –Dick]
Laura Lynch posted in C.A.N. Coalition Against Nukes
Laura Lynch
9:14pm Aug 9

Lynch] On the morning of August 9, 1945, 68 years ago, the second four and a half ton atomic bomb containing a few pounds of Hanford plutonium nicknamed "FAT MAN" was carried to Japan in the U.S. B-29 "Box Car" and dropped on Nagasaki.

[Zinn] "If the word "terrorism" has a useful meaning (and I believe it does, because it marks off an act as intolerable, since it involves the indiscriminate use of violence against human beings for some political purpose), then it applies exactly to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"The sociologist Kai Erikson, reviewing the report by the Japanese team of scientists, wrote: The attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not "combat" in any of the ways that word is normally used. Nor were they primarily attempts to destroy military targets, for the two cities had been chosen not despite but because they had a high density of civilian housing. Whether the intended audience was Russian or Japanese or a combination of both, then the attacks were to be a show, a display, a demonstration. The question is: What kind of mood does a fundamentally decent people have to be in, what kind of moral arrangements must it make, before it is willing to annihilate as many as a quarter of a million human beings for the sake of making a point.

"Let's leave aside the phrase "a fundamentally decent people," which raises troubling questions: Are Americans more deserving of that description than others? Are not all atrocities committed by "fundamentally decent people" who have been maneuvered into situations that derange the common sense of morality of ALL human beings?

"Rather, let's examine the question properly raised by Kai Erikson, a question enormously important precisely because it does not permit us to dismiss horrors as acts inevitably committed by horrible people. It forces us to ask: what "kind of mood," what "moral arrangement" would cause "us" in whatever society we live, with whatever "fundamental decency" we possess, to either perpetrate (as bombardiers, or atomic scientists, or political leaders), or to just "accept" (as obedient citizens), the burning of children in vast numbers." — Howard Zinn, Voices for a Nuclear-Free

Critical Mass: Voices for a Nuclear Free Future [Paperback]

The Dalai Lama , Daniel Ellsberg , Greg Ruggiero , Stuart Sahulka
  • Paperback: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Open Media & Campaign for Peace & Democracy (1996)

ICE Case Studies 
Number 118, December, 2003
The Way to Pearl Harbor: US vs Japan
Yuichi Arima
I. Case Background 
II. Environment Aspect 
III. Conflict Aspect 
IV. Env. - Conflict Overlap 
V. Related Information




Click to open expanded view

Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire [Paperback]

Richard B. Frank 

Book Description from Amazon

 May 1, 2001
In a riveting narrative that includes information from newly declassified documents, acclaimed historian Richard B. Frank gives a scrupulously detailed explanation of the critical months leading up to the dropping of the atomic bomb. Frank explains how American leaders learned in the summer of 1945 that their alternate strategy to end the war by invasion had been shattered by the massive Japanese buildup on Kyushu, and that intercepted diplomatic documents also revealed the dismal prospects of negotiation. Here also, for the first time, is a comprehensive account of how Japan's leaders were willing to risk complete annihilation to preserve the nation's existing order. Frank's comprehensive account demolishes long-standing myths with the stark realities of this great historical controversy.


1.                              Japan's Plan . Victory in the Pacific . WGBH American Experience ...
There was no word for "surrender" in the Japanese dictionary. ... Richard B. Frank, author of Downfall: the End of the Imperial Japanese Empire, ... have passed on stories of their own World War II experiences that you would like to share.

2.                              Historians: Soviet offensive, key to Japan's WWII surrender - Fox News
Aug 14, 2010 - Historians: Soviet offensive, key to Japan's WWII surrender, was ...American historian Richard B. Frank has argued that as terrible as the ...

3.                              Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire by Richard B ...
 Rating: 4.1 - 204 votes
Patrick said: Downfall by Richard B. Frank is considered the definitive book on the end... the definitive book on the end of the Pacific War with Japan in World War II. ...surrender, even with the caveat of the preservation of the Japanese throne, ...


Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan [Print][Paperback]

Publication Date: September 30, 2006 
With startling revelations, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa rewrites the standard history of the end of World War II in the Pacific. By fully integrating the three key actors in the story--the United States, the Soviet Union, and Japan--Hasegawa for the first time puts the last months of the war into international perspective.
From April 1945, when Stalin broke the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact and Harry Truman assumed the presidency, to the final Soviet military actions against Japan, Hasegawa brings to light the real reasons Japan surrendered. From Washington to Moscow to Tokyo and back again, he shows us a high-stakes diplomatic game as Truman and Stalin sought to outmaneuver each other in forcing Japan's surrender; as Stalin dangled mediation offers to Japan while secretly preparing to fight in the Pacific; as Tokyo peace advocates desperately tried to stave off a war party determined to mount a last-ditch defense; and as the Americans struggled to balance their competing interests of ending the war with Japan and preventing the Soviets from expanding into the Pacific.
Authoritative and engrossing, Racing the Enemy puts the final days of World War II into a whole new light.


1.                              Tsuyoshi Hasegawa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In his 2005 book, Racing the Enemy, Hasegawa puts forward the view that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not the main decisive factor in ...

2.                              Racing The Enemy: Stalin, Truman, And The ... - Google Books › History  Asia  Japan
Review: Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan. User Review - Amik - Goodreads. IN THIS BOOK, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa writes about the ...

3.                               [PDF]

Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Racing the Enemy - H-Net
H-Diplo Roundtable- Racing the Enemy Roundtable, Gordin on Hasegawa ... The publication of Tsuyoshi Hasegawa's Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and ...

4.                              Racing the Enemy - Boston University
Racing the Enemy: A Critical Look. Michael Kort. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa's Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan (Harvard University press ...

Giving and Asking Forgiveness: Japan and US
by Dick Bennett, December 22, 2012
      Following WWII, with the assistance of Frank Buchman’s Moral Re-armament Movement, Japanese leaders began to apologize to the nations and peoples it had harmed by its invasions, displacements, occupations, exploitations, and killings.   In 1950 Japanese emissaries visited European countries and the US for reconciliation.  One of the delegates spoke to the US Senate and House and expressed “our sincere regret that Japan has broken an almost century-old friendship.”  He received a standing ovation.
     In 1955 the Japanese government sent a representative to the Philippines to ask forgiveness for Japanese atrocities during the war.  In 1957 a similar apology was given to the Korean government.  In the same year, the pursuit of reconciliation intensified when the Prime Minister of Japan personally visited seven Southeast Asian nations to express his sorrow at the war, apologize, and ask forgiveness.   The Washington Evening Star commented that surely Premier Kishi had performed “one of the most unusual missions ever undertaken by a statesman of his rank.”  Solving the problems and breaking the chain of hate caused by Japanese colonial expansion were at last sincerely begun.   And finally, in 1978 Japan began to accept refugees from the conquered countries. 
     In 1950 the Japanese delegation to the US included the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The New York Times commented in an editorial, “’If they, too, felt that they ha d something to forgive they had achieved a miracle.’”   The Saturday Evening Post said:  “’The idea of a nation admitting it could be mistaken about anything has a refreshing impact. . . .Perhaps even Americans could think up a few past occasions of which it could be safely admitted, ‘We certainly fouled things up that time.’”  Forty five years later in 1995 on the fiftieth anniversary ceremonies marking the atomic bombings, the mayor of Hiroshima  apologized for the “unbearable suffering that Japanese colonial domination and war inflicted on so many people.’”  And the mayor of Nagasaki spoke in similar terms at a ceremony in his city, adding this significant point:  “’Without reflection and apology on Japan’s own past, our calls for the abolition of nuclear weapons will not be heard by the people of the world.’”
      Unfortunately, these apologies for their nation’s atrociousness failed to inspire the United States with similar considerateness for other countries or to impede US development of ever more destructive nuclear weapons.   The Japanese apologized for Pearl Harbor, even though it was the inevitable, atrocious response to US colonial policy.   As Roland Worth, Jr., explains:  “. . .the United States knowingly and intentionally imposed economic strangulation upon Japan” (preceding the bombing of Pearl Harbor), “aware that the Japanese economy was being wrecked to a degree that would have been intolerable if this nation had been on the receiving end.   The US embraced a severe embargo “knowing  full well its probable result.  Hence. . .the Pacific war was caused by the United States launching a policy of economic destruction against the Japanese nation” (218).
     As the Saturday Evening Post suggested, the US had also “fouled things up” in the past.   It was a colonial competitor with Japan in the Pacific and East Asian rim; its embargo drove Japan to the violence of Pearl Harbor.  It too should apologize for the “war without mercy,” as John Dower epitomizes WWII in the Pacific, in which so many died needlessly.  Pearl Harbor offers “an abiding lesson. . .that has been little noticed,” Worth writes.  “Never inflict upon another major military power a policy which would cause you yourself to go to war. . . .And don’t be surprised that if they do decide to retaliate, that they seek out a time and a place that inflicts the maximum harm and humiliation upon your cause” (219).
       But the war was not the only “foul-up,” to repeat the euphemism for horrific violence.   The atomic bombs led quickly to the US development of hydrogen bombs.   The US forcibly removed citizens of the Marshall Islands from their homes in order to test over sixty hydrogen bombs.  Today testing continues in myriad ways.   In what The New York Times described as a moral miracle, mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki apologized for their country’s atrocities in war, desiring to abolish nuclear weapons, the only rational policy, while the US to this day has offered no apologies for the embargo or for the nuclear destruction of two civilian cities, while it continues to develop more nuclear weapons. 
      Without reflection and apology by US leaders for their extreme embargo prior to Pearl Harbor and for their nuclear bombings and continued preparation for nuclear holocaust, their talk about peace and nuclear weapons control will not be trusted by the people of the world.

See earlier newsletters on “Pearl Harbor Day”/Colonial Pacific World War II.
--Dower, John.  War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War.  Pantheon, 1986. 
--Michael Henderson.  The Forgiveness Factor: Stories of Hope in a World of Conflict.   Grosvenor, 1996.  Chapter 4, “Japan: Struggle for the Soul of a Nation.”
--Roland Worth, Jr.   No Choice But War: The United States Embargo Against Japan and the Eruption of War in the Pacific.  McFarland, 1995.


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