by Henry Lowendorf, Greater New Haven Peace Council
Why is it important to commemorate the sudden slaughter of 200,000 mostly civilians in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, actions taken 78 years ago? Why do the U.S. government and corporate media generally ignore or downplay the consequences of decisions made three-quarters of a century ago?
Today, a brutal war is devastating Ukraine in central and eastern Europe, where four participating states, the U.S., Britain, France, and Russia, hold nuclear weapons arsenals on high alert, ready to throw into the fray.
Their leaders have the ability to incinerate every city around the planet and wave civilization goodbye.
At 90 seconds to midnight, the probability of nuclear cataclysm represented by the Atomic Clock is now set at its closest since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. This threat is not what the U.S. government or its corporate media megaphones want to advertise.
Consequences of the current war in Europe, in addition to wanton death and destruction, include seismic changes in the supply of energy and food, which will have an impact on much of the world.
Citizens of poor and wealthy countries impacted by someone else’s war are unable to afford fuel and food. Giant economies are in recession as industries shut down.
The only winners in this war are the Merchants of Death—Lockheed and Raytheon, among others—and the U.S. fossil fuel industry.
We have been told that only one state caused this war. The vigils on August 6 and 9 remind us, however, that ultimately we must engineer its end, not through a Pyrrhic victory, but by demanding diplomacy and negotiations as all wars end.
The anniversary vigils on August 6 and 9 offered a variety of short presentations–history, the political moment, poetry, peace songs. New Haven Mayor Elicker spoke against the giant nuclear budget. Atomic soldier Hank Bolden, on whom the U.S. military tested the effects of nuclear radiation, told us that he was sworn to secrecy until the 1990s, unable to explain even to his family his many cancers and other illnesses associated with radiation poisoning.