Chapter 3 of Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States: The A Bomb

By Jim Carey

On May 27 of this year, President Obama spoke these words: “We come to Hiroshima so that we might think of people we love. The first smile from our children in the morning. The gentle touch from a spouse over the kitchen table. The comforting embrace of a parent. We can think of those things and know that those same precious moments took place here, 71 years ago.

Occupy SMA Meeting and Film
Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States¾Chapter 3
Mon, Jun 13, 1pm
Quinta Loreto Hotel
Loreto 15
No charge

Those who died, they are like us. Ordinary people understand this, I think. They do not want more war. They would rather that the wonders of science be focused on improving life and not eliminating it. When the choices made by nations, when the choices made by leaders, reflect this simple wisdom, then the lesson of Hiroshima is done.”

This series is a reexamination of some of the underreported and darkest parts of modern American history, using little known documents and newly uncovered archival material, looking beyond official versions of events to the deeper causes and implications and exploring how events from the past still have resonant themes for the present day.

In A​merican Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, h​istorian and journalist Kai Bird lays out the facts that “70 years later, the historical consensus, looking at the documents and all the evidence from both sides, has really shifted enormously. And we now understand that the decision to use the bomb on Hiroshima was a redundant thing. It was not necessary. What really persuaded the Japanese emperor and the military generals around him to surrender was the entry into the war of the Soviet Union. They feared the Bolsheviks, who had killed their own emperor, invading the Japanese home islands. And that’s really—that was the tipping point…. Six of the seven five-star generals opposed the use of these weapons. The Japanese were ready to surrender as early as May of ’45, and the only stipulation they demanded was the retention of the emperor. That supposedly was the one reason we did not accept surrender—and yet in the end, we did anyway. So the bomb was redundant and, ultimately, unnecessary. And by using it, we legitimized the use of nuclear weapons.”

As of 2016, globally there are still more than enough nuclear weapons to render the planet uninhabitable. We know that 16,000 nuclear weapons are stored at sites in 14 countries, and many are ready for immediate use. Modernization of these weapons continues to occur, with the Obama administration committing us to one trillion dollars over the next 30 years. Join the discussion. Our events are free.

 

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