Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'll be taking an 'unpaid leave of absence' from my job at the Global Network from December 15-March 15, 2020 in order to help my friend Lisa Savage on her campaign for the US Senate in Maine. She's running as a Maine Green Independent Party member and needs to gather 2,000 petition signatures of registered Greens during that period. I'll be back to GN after March 15.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

NEVER AGAIN

Today marks the 63rd year that the Japanese people have asked the world to remember the day that the U.S. military dropped the first atomic bomb.

Each year the Japanese, and people from all over the world, journey to Hiroshima. On the trains they come from all over their nation, folding paper cranes and forming long flowing wreaths of them that they place all over the city. They make their way to the Hiroshima bomb museum where mothers tell the stories of the atrocity to their young children. While there in 1985 I saw this very scene and I was reduced to tears.

The atomic age is a story about civilian suffering at the hands of the military. Modern warfare largely kills innocent people. Women, old people, and children who are not dressed in uniforms nor carrying weapons are the ones who are killed today in war. How can any military profess honor in battle and victory when we know that virtually all high-technology weapons are indeed weapons of mass destruction?

How can any country, especially the U.S. government, claim that its nuclear weapons are good and necessary while maintaining that other countries are evil for possessing the same?

Historian Gar Alperovitz's research on the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki shows that Japan had already lost the war by August, 1945. Alperovitz quotes Navy Admiral William Leahy, the senior military officer in the U.S. as well as chief of staff to President Harry Truman, as saying, "It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons...My own feeling is that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages."

The use of the atomic and hydrogen bombs signaled the start of the Cold War. The bombs were dropped as a military experiment and to show the Soviet Union that our post World War II foreign policy would be centered around the bomb. The nuclear arms race had begun and it continues, fully apace, to this day.

We must always remember the August 6th and 9th "barbaric" attacks by the U.S. on the Japanese people and we must vow to resist our military nuclear policy to ensure these ungodly weapons are never used again.

There can be no security in nuclear weapons or war of any kind. War today must be abolished or it will certainly abolish us. Each of us, just like in the time of slavery, have a moral obligation to the current and future generations that nuclear weapons be outlawed.

We have a moral obligation to abolish war and instead use the vast global resources wasted on killing to give life and ensure that all the people of the world can live in peace. There can be no more important task for any of us - especially those of us who have brought children into this world.

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