Saturday, August 06, 2005

Remembering Hiroshima, 60 Years Later

Sixty years ago today, at 8:15 AM, the Enola Gay dropped the world's first atomic bomb used in military action, leveling the city of Hiroshima, Japan. Approximately 140,000 people died due to the bomb and its aftermath.

It is a moment that will forever be remembered, and people around the world are doing just that. But the question remains-have we learned anything from this incident?

Sadly, I would say we have learned very little. Nuclear proliferation continues. True-we did sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970. This has generally been effective in preventing new nuclear states. Yet it didn't prevent Pakistan from testing a nuclear weapon. And Washington recently sold India sensitive nuclear technology.

Disturbingly, the recently-appointed U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, has belittled arms-control agreements in the past. He accused the Clinton administration of
"...fascination with arms control agreements as a substitute for real nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
(John Bolton, "A Legacy of Betrayal," Washington Times , May 12, 1999.)

He also helped the U.S. withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. And this is the man who is going to bring world peace? These are sad times we are living in. Not only have we forgotten Hiroshima, but we are well on our way to making the same mistakes again. The Department of Defense is now investigating new nuclear weapons that have the ability to strike underground. These so-called "bunker busters" are an insult to the victims of Hiroshima. The U.S. should be ashamed.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

U.S. Deaths in Iraq Pass 1800 - Can 2,000 Be Far Off?

Update:I cross-posted part of this story and added some additional commentary in a diary entry on Daily Kos.

According to the Defense Department, the number of U.S. combat dead in Iraq has passed, 1800, now totaling 1802. The milestone of 1800 was passed after 14 U.S. Marines were killed early today.

Interestingly, there have now been 1658 combat deaths since official combat operations were declared over on May 1, 2003. That's compared to 139 deaths during the "official" war. For those of you doing the math, that's more than 11 times as many casualties "after the war" than "during the war." Interesting.

The U.S. public is getting increasingly fed up with this deceptive, wasteful war. It's only a matter of time before we pass 2,000 U.S. war dead. The billions of dollars keep on piling up. Already, even the Bush administration is finally starting to call for U.S. troops to pull out. It's about time, I say. Let's give the Iraqi government TRUE SOVEREIGNTY and close the 14 permanent bases in Iraq.