Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Some Quotes About August 6th

I do not know how to describe that light. I wondered if a fire had been set in my eyes. I don't remember which came first - the flash of light or the sound of an explosion that roared down to my belly. Anyhow, the next moment I was knocked down flat on the ground. Immediately things started falling down around my head and shoulders. I couldn't see anything; it seemed pitch dark. I managed to crawl out of the debris.

Soon I noticed that the air smelled terrible. Then I was shocked by the feeling that the skin of my face had come off. Then, the hands and arms too. Starting from the elbow to my fingertips, all the skin of my right hand came off and hung down grotesquely. The skin of my left hand, all my five fingers, also came off. What happened to the sky that had been such a clear blue one only a moment ago? It was now dark, like dusk. I ran like mad toward to bridge, jumping over the piles of debris.

What I saw under the bridge was shocking. Hundreds of people were squirming in the stream. I could not tell if they were men or women. They looked all alike. Their faces were swollen and grey, their hair was standing up. Holding their hands high, groaning people were rushing to the river. I felt the same urge because the pain was all over my body which had been exposed to a heat ray strong enough to burn my pants to pieces. I was about to jump into the river only to remember that I could not swim.
          —Futaba Kitayama, who was 1.7 kilometers from the center of the explosion, and 33 years old at the time

Her mother trapped under their collapsed house, a young girl was sobbing violently. She yelled to her neighbors, "Save my mother." Three men could not have budged that beam. Flames were moving in quickly. There was no way to save her. I joined my hands in prayer. "Please forgive me," I said, and left.
          —Akira Onogi, "A-bomb victims' drawings," Hiroshima Speaks Out!

He managed to leave the hospital after 3 years and 7 months.
          —"Photographs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki," Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs

President Truman and his closest advisor, Secretary of State James Byrnes, quite plainly used [the bomb] primarily to prevent the Soviets from sharing in the occupation of Japan. And they used it on Aug. 6 even though they had agreed among themselves as they returned home from the Potsdam Conference on Aug. 3 that the Japanese were looking for peace.
          —"The Myths of Hiroshima," The Los Angeles Times (emphasis added)

[A] Gallup Poll of 1,010 [American] adults released this week . . . showed that 57 per cent approved of the use of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while 38 per cent said they disapproved. Gallup said the new poll numbers changed only slightly from 1995, when 59 per cent said they approved and 38 per cent voiced disapproval.
          —"60 Years On, Americans Support Bombing,"
The American majority polled by Gallup is obviously the same American majority that eagerly supported Bush's invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and that still doesn't appear at all ready to admit that there was or is anything wrong with blowing up the entire nation of Afghanistan for the sake of trying to get some Al Qaeda members along with the civilians, although denying that Iraq was and is a mistake seems to be getting rather harder for them these days, only because - shock! - Americans are dying instead of only Iraqis.

I see that a different new public opinion poll has just found that a minuscule, hair-thin majority of Americans are just now, for the very first time, no longer finding their skulls quite thick enough to prevent them from becoming dimly aware that - SHOCK! - President Bush isn't an entirely honest person. Um. If they're only just now noticing that, I have to conclude that this is entirely the wrong lesson for them to be learning. What they really need to be learning is that they themselves have about the same amount of honesty left in their own bodies as the amount of life left nowadays in the dry, cold skeletons of the people who died instantly on August 6, 1945. Because, uh, if it's taken you this long to figure out that President Bush isn't honest . . . well, there just isn't enough sheer stupidity in the whole world to explain away that level of delusion without some willful self-deception involved.

And by the way? President Truman wasn't honest either. Maybe in another 60 years, a minuscule, hair-thin majority of Americans will get around to becoming dimly aware of that, too.
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