World Focus – July 25th, 2010 – Blase talks about Howard Zinn’s posthumous book, “The Bomb”
BB – Hello, this is Blase Bonpane with World Focus coming to you from KPFK – Los Angeles. We’re podcast and available 24/7 on kpfk.org where we are heard internationally. I’m proud today to have Howard Zinn as a guest. Howard Zinn is the dean of American historians and passed away in January of this year, but in accord with the ancient Latin phrase scripta manet translated as “Things that are written will remain”, we now have his posthumous book, “The Bomb”. This book contains Howard’s last confession regarding his role as a bombardier in World War II and more than that, Howard’s new book helps us to once and for all, put away the myth that the atom bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved lives. The atom bomb attacks of August 6th and August 9th of 1945 saved no lives. On the contrary, these atom bombs unnecessarily massacred hundreds of thousands of innocent people, were the first strike of the cold war and the beginning of a permanent war policy in the United States. Even from the great beyond, Howard continues the revolutionary act of telling the truth in the face of iniquity lying to itself.
I’m going to read some of the thoughts from Howard Zinn’s book, “The Bomb” which is forthcoming from City Lights Publishers. Zinn is more important than ever because according to his close friend, Noam Chomsky, we are on the verge of a similar atrocity in Iran and that’s why reflecting on Hiroshima and Nagasaki can be of some help to us.
We also have to reflect on the fact that the peace flotilla to Gaza will remain as one of the greatest acts of non-violent civil disobedience in world history, and that is why the war-mongers are so upset by it that they’ve created a new McCarthyism that is attempting to denounce these dedicated pacifists as terrorists. And this is a predictable result of the methodology of the war system which is based on deception. War is a lie attempting to say it can create justice.
Since the end of WWII we have had a system of endless war and a permanent war economy. The amount wasted on war would have solved world destitution, bringing education and health care as an international human right for the human race. And now Congressman Brad Sherman is calling for the arrest of all American citizens aboard the humanitarian aid flotilla to Gaza and to have them prosecuted under anti-terrorism laws. This is what the British Empire was trying to do to the followers of Mahatma Gandhi. This kind of hypocrisy will not stand. World history will remember the peace flotilla as far more important than the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. The pathological liars that started the war in Iraq will be remembered as traitors together with those who are doing everything in their power to now begin the murder of the children of Iran. We’re living in a truth emergency. The management of news undermines the freedom of information. Propaganda surrounds us, but the truth crushed to earth will rise again.
OK, we’re going to pick up the book which I guess, has not been released yet, but we’re going to reflect on Hiroshima, Nagasaki and what war-mongers are about to do if they have their way. This is Zinn:
“The bomb dropped on Hiroshima August 6th, 1945 turned into powder and ash in a few moments the flesh and bones of 140,000 men, women and children. Three days later a second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki killed perhaps 70,000 instantly. In the next five years, another 130,000 inhabitants of those two cities died of radiation poisoning. No one will ever know the exact figures but these come from the most exhaustive report available – “Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the Physical, Medical, and Social Effects of the Atomic Bombing” put together by a team of 34 Japanese scientists and physicians, then translated and published in this country in 1981. Those statistics do not include countless other people who were left alive but maimed, poisoned, disfigured and blinded.
We live in a time where our minds have been so battered by the statistics of death and suffering that figures in the millions leave us numb and nothing but the personal testimonies of individuals even if they can only be faintly represented tell us the reality and are capable of shaking us out of this numbness….”