On the 69th Anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

July 29, 2014

69 years ago, in willful rejection of “lesser” means and at a time when Japan was already a defeated power, the U.S. government chose to drop an atom bomb on the city of Hiroshima. The date was August 6th. Three days later, the U.S. dropped a second atom bomb on Nagasaki. Conservative estimates place the immediate death toll at 225,000. The damage to future generations is largely unaccounted for.

Today, amid wide-scale propaganda glorifying U.S. “deterrent power” and the Obama administration's widely advertised “responsibility to protect” doctrine, it is important to reflect that already at that time, the Truman administration was combining military aggression with political deception. The administration claimed that it dropped the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki out of military “necessity” and the “desire to save lives.” Yet even at that time it was a well known fact not only that Japan was already a defeated power, but also that days before the bombs were dropped, the U.S. high command expected Japan's surrender.

The historical record shows that the decision to use nuclear weapons came from the aggressive drive of U.S. imperialism to assert itself as a superpower. Even Secretary of War Stimpson admitted in his memoirs that by bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the U.S. wanted to emerge from WWII with “the atom bomb ostentatiously on our hip.”

In other words, the Democratic administration of Harry S. Truman was determined to demonstrate U.S. military might to the whole world.

And indeed, for the last 69 years, U.S. imperialism has relied on its vast nuclear arsenal and its military power to extend and protect the world-wide empire of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class.

Even before launching the so-called “war against terrorism”, U.S. imperialism carried out a non-stop counter-revolutionary assault against the peoples of the whole world in the name of “containing communism.”

U.S. imperialism set up military bases and aggressive alliances on every continent and filled the oceans and skies with weapons of mass destruction.

Every aggressive tactic was used not only to subvert socialism in the Soviet Union and elsewhere, but also to wage war against the national liberation movements.

In opposition to the demands of the peoples of the whole world who were fighting for a world of peace and friendship based on the accepted principles of sovereign equality amongst nations, non-intervention and non-interference in the internal and international affairs of other countries, as well as the freedom of international trade and navigation, the U.S. government launched savage imperialist wars against the Korean people in the 1950s and against the Vietnamese people in the 60's and 70's.

Over these 69 years, U.S. imperialism has waged hundreds of counter-revolutionary wars and military interventions – in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Cuba, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, the Philippines, the Congo, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Haiti, Libya, etc. etc. etc., and used the Pentagon war machine to prop up the most reactionary and fascist regimes in South Africa, Israel, Cuba, Chile, Iran, Indonesia, Haiti, Colombia, Nicaragua, the Philippines and elsewhere.

Time and again, U.S. imperialism threatened to use its nuclear weapons against the peoples – in Korea in the 1950s, in Lebanon in 1958, during the Cuban missile crisis, against Vietnam in the 1970s, in Iran, and many other times.

When the Soviet Union emerged as a rival imperialist power, the U.S. and Soviet superpowers together brandished their nuclear arsenals as a means of dividing the world into spheres of influence and intimidating and threatening the peoples.

Today, at a time when the U.S. government is carrying out “the most sweeping realignment and modernization of the nation's massive system of laboratories and factories for nuclear bombs since the end of the Cold War” (LA Times 4/6/06) it is important to reflect that the end of the cold war did not usher in the era of world peace and prosperity promised by U.S. imperialism and the other Western powers.

In fact, just 10 short years later the U.S. government declared its so-called “war against international terrorism.” Within slightly more than two years, the U.S. had invaded and occupied both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Shortly after the launch of the “war on terrorism” the U.S.-backed Israeli aggressors stepped up their war against the Palestinian people and began preparing war against Syria and Iran. So too, U.S. military “advisers” were sent to direct counter-insurgency wars in Colombia and the Philippines and the U.S. stepped up its threats and pressure against the People's Democratic Republic of Korea. U.S imperialism officially adopted the doctrine of “preventive war” including even the use of nuclear first-strikes against nonnuclear countries and proclaimed that every country must accept U.S. dictates or “be treated as a terrorist.” In short, the U.S. laid out a whole new blueprint for world domination through force of arms.

Today, as U.S. imperialism is engaged in hot shooting wars across the globe it is important to reflect that U.S. imperialism remains the number one roadblock to peace in the modern world. U.S imperialism is an aggressive, military superpower.

Today, the U.S. is trying to impose its dictate on the peoples of the world under the slogan that “might makes right.”

Today, the peoples on every continent are threatened by U.S. nuclear weapons and the U.S. has established a network of at least 500 military bases in other countries.

Today, U.S. imperialism and the other big imperialist powers are openly claiming that they have the right to trample on the sovereignty of countries, that only the Big Powers can decide which countries will enjoy independence and which will not, and that the peoples must accept the economic and social system dictated by the imperialist system.

As a result, grave dangers are facing the peoples.

In this era, the people are subjected to two kinds of war: 1) wars waged by imperialism against the liberation movements of the peoples; and 2) inter-capitalist, inter-imperialist wars fought to see which robber and exploiter will control the most economic territory and empire. In both cases, the aims of imperialism are utterly reactionary and it is the working class and people – in the U.S. and throughout the world – who pay the price.

The American people must never forget the lessons of history. The American people, like the people of every country, aspire to a world of peace and friendship amongst the peoples, based on the sovereign equality of every nation. To help create such a world, let us step up our struggles, targeting the monopoly capitalist class and the imperialist system as the source of war and militarism.