War and Peace in Times of Hypocrisy

Date:

nuclear threat to world peace

On the anniversary of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki atomic attacks, it may serve the world a great deal to grapple with not only the nuclear war threat that continues to loom large despite campaigns but also the reality of the deceitful political jargon, born post the attacks, that continues to package wars in glamorized packages called ‘Peace’

ANURADHA BHASIN JAMWAL

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is 69 years since the first and only twin atomic attacks at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bombing that left an estimated 2 lakh people dead and impacted not only the millions injured but even the generations that followed continues to inspire dread of a nuclear war. Despite this fear, countries have continued to build up nuclear arsenal in the name of defense and deterrence. Exactly, the same argument was used in justification of dropping the bombs to keep in circulation the theory that the atomic bomb was a reaction to Japan’s oppressive Pearl Harbor atrocities.

That the atomic attacks led to end of the World War II allows the perpetrators of the only known nuclear attack in the world to slip into a mode colored subtly in celebratory nuances. The flavor of subtleness is kneaded in with the embellishments of a slew of historic lies that allow the USA to froth over its pretentious victimhood or its magnanimity, propelled by the notion that US president Harry S. Truman had this difficult choice of detonating the bombs, otherwise he’d have risked the lives of millions of Americans. And, thus the bomb, which Truman himself described as “the most terrible thing ever discovered but it can be made the most useful” has been projected as an Instrument of Peace as it turned out to be the quickest and cheapest way to end the war.

True, six days after the attacks, Japan surrendered, marking the end of World War II. But historians have documented that in the wake of increased offensive by USA since 1944, Japan cornered by the US strategy of bombing civilians was already readying for surrender and truce; it was only a matter of timing. Historians have also detailed that the earlier U.S. firebombing campaign of Japan, which began in 1944, killed an estimated 315,922 Japanese, a greater number than the estimated deaths attributed to the atomic bombings of the two Japanese cities.

The firebombing of Tokyo alone resulted in roughly 100,000 Japanese killed. Some have also argued that what was central to Truman’s decision of pressing the nuclear button was his obsessive engagement and confrontation with the Soviet Union, which by 1944 had managed control over vast swathes of Europe and remained a formidable challenge. But this is part of history that hardly ever penetrates the elitist western discourse, even though similar findings were concluded by United States Strategic Bombing Survey a year after the bombings.

Interestingly, few years after the bombings, the man who gave the orders for pressing the button after Truman’s go ahead, George Marshall, was conferred the Nobel Peace Prize for his economic reconstruction program in Europe, without a check on his previous history or that the economic reconstruction was less inspired by benevolence and more out of US designs to check the influence of Communism in Europe.

The ethical question in pressing the button is significant for the death and destruction that the atomic bombings wreaked, and important to recall to save the world from any future strikes especially in times when nuclear arsenal build up, despite massive campaigns, remains central to determining the might of the states who possess it.

Equally significant are the political streaks of the discourse offset after the atomic attacks in pursuit of their ugly defense, marking the beginning of time when systemic lies along with hypocrisy and not quantum of violence determine what constitutes war and peace. Mightier the powerful, whiter their lies and greater the hypocrisy.

War and peace become interchangeable like Siamese twins, as if they were never any different, so magically, by molding public thinking and creating perceptions that are carefully and crafted through systemic lies and manufactured consent. When war on Afghanistan is called war of infinite justice, when aggression in Vietnam is also conflict resolution, attack on Iraq a war for democracy or when Israel’s atrocities Gaza are said to be a retaliation, it is the same principle at play – of pedaling lies and shaping global perceptions. Worse, this disease has spread like contagion across the globe, thrusting up ruthless states and armed non state actors to justify their violence in the name of peace.

Needless, to point out the hypocrisy of the superior powers that continue to both condemn the ‘non state actors’ and supply them with weaponry for economic gains. On the anniversary of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki atomic attacks, it may serve the world a great deal to grapple with not only the nuclear war threat that continues to loom large despite campaigns but also the reality of the deceitful political jargon, born post the attacks, that continues to package wars in glamorized packages called ‘Peace’. Our fight should not begin and end with the nuclear arsenal; it should also challenge the web of lies employed to justify their build up or possible attacks; and go beyond to challenge the brazen manner in which arms continue to be manufactured, circulated and proliferated.

_________________________________

All opinions and views expressed in columns and blogs and comments by readers are those of individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Caravan

 

theclarionindia
theclarionindiahttps://clarionindia.net
Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

Share post:

Popular

More like this
Related

Congress’ Danish Ali, Gogoi Demolish Assam CM’s Claim on Surge in Muslim Population

Assam will become a Muslim-majority state by 2041 and...

‘Conspiracy to Kill Him in Jail’: AAP Accuses BJP of Messing with Kejriwal’s Health

Addressing a press conference, Sanjay Singh said that Kejriwal's...

Reflects the Hatred for Indian Muslims, Owaisi on Kanwar Yatra Order

NEW DELHI - Amid the row over the Uttar...