News Release

Hiroshima Trip Myths: A-bomb Ended War; Obama’s Against Nuclear Weapons

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 9.33.24 AMThe White House claims that President Obama’s trip to Hiroshima “highlights his continued commitment to pursuing the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

The New York Times refers to the bombing as a “decision that many historians even today believe, on balance, saved lives.” See Gar Alperovitz’s “Obama’s Hiroshima Visit Is a Reminder that Atomic Bombs Weren’t What Won the War.”

JAMES BRADLEY, james at jamesbradley.com
Bradley is author of the bestsellers Flyboys and Flags of Our Fathers and a son of one of the men who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima.

He said today: “There are two great myths we’re seeing play out: One is that use of atomic bombs ended World War II. It’s not true — we killed far more people dropping napalm on Tokyo and other Japanese cities than we killed with the nuclear attacks. I’ve lived in Japan for years, my favorite teacher’s husband died of Hiroshima disease. Even Japanese people are not aware of how many people were killed in Tokyo since we were defacto dictators of Japan for eight years after the war and controlled the media there.

“The other great myth we’re seeing play out is that of Obama as some kind of peaceful guy who’s trying to get rid of nuclear weapons. He’s the biggest nuclear warrior there is. He’s committed us to a ruinous course of spending a trillion dollars on more nuclear weapons. Somehow, people live in this fantasy that because he gives vague news conferences and speeches and feel-good photo-ops that somehow that’s attached to actual policy. It isn’t.”

KAI BIRD,  kaibird at mac.com
Bird won the Pulitzer Prize for American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, which he co-authored. He said today: “I think the important theme here is that historians now realize that there is no simple narrative to explain or justify [President Harry] Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb — but that everyone agrees that nuclear weapons should never be used again — and that many of us have concluded that this means they must be outlawed, banned and entirely dismantled. And finally, perhaps it is sobering to remember that Oppenheimer said just three months after Hiroshima that this weapon had been used on an ‘essentially already defeated enemy.'” See his piece “The Myths of Hiroshima.”

Sr. MEGAN RICE, [in D.C.]  mrice12 at gmail.com
Rice, an 86-year-old nun, is one of the Transform Now Plowshares, a group of three activists who were convicted of allegedly intending to harm national security by entering into a nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, Tenn. in 2012. The activists — who poured blood and painted “The Fruit of Justice is Peace” — spent two years in prison before their sentences were finally overturned last year. Rice was featured on the recent IPA news release “‘Nuclear Security Summit’ — Hypocrisy, Profiteering, Spectacle,” in which she said: “The reality is that the rewards of the nuclear weapons industrial complex are so vast, unaccountable and surely at this stage, ‘a dark hole’ — how can anyone account for close to $10 trillion dollars in 70 years, let alone the next three decades for $1 trillion plus more? The ultimate in profiteering.”

Her uncle — Walter G. Hooke — was a Marine who drove around Nagasaki for five months after the bomb was dropped there. He became a pacifist atomic vet.