Soob

Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Unwitting Martyrs of Hiroshima...



...and human kind's savior.

62 years ago today the bomb bay doors on a US B-29 Super Fortress named Enola Gay opened. The 8900 pound clumsy looking thing that fell from her belly would be both a beginning of the end of Japan's empire (the climax to come a scant three days later) and harbinger of a new, frightening age. An age where war took on a new horrible perspective beyond the savage tradition of blood and conquest. Never before had mankind possessed the means to annihilate on such a massive and self destructive scale.

62 years later and the debate still rages. Were Truman’s actions a terrific means to minimize loss of life and slam shut some four years of bloody warfare? Or was the worlds first nuclear attack an act of gross negligence, a simple massacre of tens of thousands of innocents in the name of expediency?

What’s lost in this debate is the powerful global precedence that Hiroshima set, the immortal vision it burned into any civilization’s collective minds. The societal impact of what would become Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD.) In essence, for the first time in history the propensity for conflict rose above the asymmetrical and reached an equilibrium. For the first time each side of the dominant geopolitical coin had an equal opportunity to completely obliterate the other.

As nuclear technology grew from a 12 kiloton Little Boy that, in a flash, leveled 4 square miles of Hiroshima to the 50 megaton Tsar Bomba that was, thankfully, detonated via test in the Arctic, an odd thing happened. The Cold War; which could just as well be remembered as the Cold Peace. A time in which two super powers, each hellbent on the others demise, somehow defied history and did not go to war. Is it fantasy to imagine each belligerent carried deep within their minds eye the visage of Hiroshima on August 6th 1945?

In a time of when martyrdom has eclipsed the selfless ideology of Christ and taken on a new and violent aspect is it untoward to imagine that the 80,000 who, in an instant, were incinerated are martyrs for human kind? Were not their horrifying and preternaturally quick deaths a lasting lesson that staved off an apocalypse for some fifty years? Were those that entailed flesh to dust on August 6th not unwitting martyrs who died so that mankind might not, in spectacular fashion, destroy himself?

I think they were.

Not a good day today. And yet, perhaps, one of the best in modern history.

16 comments:

Ymarsakar said...

Those seeking world domination of one sort or another, such as the Soviets, had to face the spectre of annihilation not as an ideology (rhetoric) but as historical evidence. They knew that to contest the United States of America in a hot war would require the completion of a war to the knife, in which the political class that started the war will be the first ones targeted. The threat of their personal annihilation concentrated their minds wonderfully.

Stalin may not have cared about who else might have died, but he knew his own life was on the line should he push the United States too hard, for he had already seen the results of another nation that had contested the US. He had seen more than one nation lose out in a war to the US. He learned the lesson quite well.

The entire world knew one thing for certain, that it was the United States that first used nuclear devices on military and civilian targets. They knew in their bones that nobody would be safe in a hot war.

Thus just as the Cold War resulted from the circumstances of WWII -- wherein pacts were made with the Soviets against the Germans after the Germans violated the semi-alliance with the Ruskies -- the same thing occurs with the Islamic Jihad in relation to the Cold War. WWI's end and causes leading to WWII, which helped produce the Cold War, and in turn the Cold War helped produce the Islamic Jihad. Not just because of Afghanistan but because of Vietnam as well.

The Islamic Jihad and all the others learned a valuable lesson. They learned that even superpowers could be humbled, even though both America's Vietnam and the Soviet's Afghanistan were caused mostly by the support of the other superpower against the other superpower. But that didn't stop anyone, just as it doesn't stop Canadians from boasting that they were the one that burned down the White House in the War of 1812 (it was actually the Presidential Mansion and it was done by British raiders from a British Admiral).

Because of MAD, people learned that you could conduct asymmetrical warfare and proxy warfare as the Soviets did to the Americans and as the Americans did to the Soviets in the Cold War, that was nontheless producing wars around the globe, and avoid nuclear annihilation. They learned and integrated this as a lesson in life. Just as Arafat learned a lesson on how to deal with Israelis when huge and numerous Arab armies failed in a conventional war.

The Cold War was a war fought by others for the Soviets and the Americans. Creating the cultural mythology amongst un-educated folks that Soviet tanks and American bombs are due to cowardice and fear. Which was true, you know. People that have been so afraid of war and being defeated, continued to act that way even after the Soviet threat was over and done with.

This is why history is cyclical. One event causing a cessation of hostilities inevitably cause the opposite swing of the pendulum for there is no such thing as a human race free of war.

One generation may learn a lesson such as the WWII generation, and produce a generation that is exactly opposite of their values because of the WWII's generation's desire to prevent their children from seeing conflict or death. From one extreme to another, that is the cycle.

In the end, the Islamic Jihad have forgotten the lesson that Stalin and his associates knew at heart even as they tried to undermine, subvert, and destroy America from the inside out. Each generation must be reminded of the realities of their times, otherwise mistakes will be made.

subadei said...

An excellent and insightful comment ymarsakar and I thank you for it.

I'm not so sure we're seeing the pendulum swinging the other way popularly (assuming Vietnam was the apogee for apologists and opposed the opposite apogee for patriots during WWII) these days. What I see, using your analogy (in terms of popular vision,) is the pendulum breaking convention and swinging not left or right but suddenly back or forth as apathy (again in terms of general society) seems to rule.

Yes there are the few that march around bearing anti-war signs here and there and there the few that show up and counter that march but generally the populace has become so sociologically insulated and introverted that the term "cause," either left or right, has become archaic.

I think history is less a cycle and more an undulating thing.

Ymarsakar said...

Cycles can undulate as well, if you mean go up and down, happy and sad. Since cycles can also be seen as waves, waves with a wavelength, with a frequency, and with an amplitude.

The disillusioned disbelief inherent in Western civilization, leading to Leftist Socialist utopian causes such as the Church of Ryback (Global Warming, Global Climate Change, Eco-terrorism). results from two notable nodes, in my belief. Nihilism, which is the belief that we are at war because humanity keeps bringing up beliefs and causes to fight and die for, and the psychological devastation inflicted upon the American people by the international media in collusion with the Islamic Jihad, using Iraq and Tet as examples.

By winning the war in Iraq, this will elevate people's psychological health and improve their defenses against nihilism and psychological warfare attacks, because people will now have something they can be proud to believe in.

Ymarsakar said...

While it is inevitable that the pendulum will swing the other way, due to gravity and such, it doesn't have to happen now or even in the next 50 years. Stasis can be produced, by nihilism if nothing else, and by the Islamic Jihad if all else fails.

Whether it swings or not is based upon the heartbeat of humanity. Should we abandon our hopes and dreams, our heart will stop, for a time. Long enough for some of us to die, or most of us.

It will swing back when we deserve to have it back.

http://www.usome.com said...

An excellent and insightful comment ymarsakar and I thank you for it.

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