By Bruce A. Dixon
Source: Black Agenda Report
This week marks the anniversary of two monstrous war crimes, the nuking of two undefended Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945. The fake history I learned as a child in the 50s and 60s was that the bombings saved the lives of a million Japanese and Americans who would have perished in a land invasion of Japan. That was a lie. The US anticipated turning its World War 2 ally the Soviet Union into its postwar enemy, and hoped to scare the scare the Soviets with the terrible carnage its new nuclear weapons would inflict.
The hundreds of thousands murdered at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the opening acts of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, the beginning of a US nuclear armed crime wave which has lasted over 70 years and included each and every US president from Harry Truman to Donald Trump. This isn’t hype and it’s not exaggeration. When you rob someone and tell your victim you’ve got a gun, you’re charged with armed robbery whether or not you pull or use the weapon.
By that standard, the US has been a rogue nation on a nuclear armed crime spree now in its eighth decade. A few years ago the American Friends Service Committee compiled a partial list of the times US presidents have openly threatened humanity with nuclear destruction. You can find it by googling “American Friends Service Committee” and “nuclear blackmail.” Here are a few of the dozens of incidents it lists.
In 1946 and 1948 President Harry Truman threatened the Soviets over Iran and Berlin, respectively, and the Chinese in 1950 and 51.
President Eisenhower also threatened the Chinese over Korea in 1953, and again in 1956 over Quemoy and Matsu. He offered the French nukes to use against the Vietnamese at Dienbienphu in 1954.
President Kennedy threatened a nuclear strike at the Soviets over Berlin, and sent nuclear armed missiles to Turkey on the Russian border in 1961. Though these were later wisely withdrawn after the nuclear standoff of the Cuban missile crisis, the US has consistently based its nukes on its fleets and bases in the Pacific, in Europe and Asia, and for decades in South Korea.
Presidents Johnson and Nixon menaced North Korea, Vietnam and the Soviet Union with air and seaborne nukes, and President Gerald Ford ordered nuclear armed bombers from Guam to loiter for an extended time off the coast of North Korea. Jimmy Carter issued the Carter Doctrine, reaffirmed by Ronald Reagan which committed the US to a nuclear response if its vital interests in the Middle East were every threatened. Ronald Reagan terrified the world, though he did briefly consider a lasting arms treaty with the USSR.
Bush 1, Bush 2 and Bill Clinton all menaced North Korea and Iraq, and Obama declared “all options on the table” against Iran.
The AFSC list does not include vital US assistance in developing nuclear weapons technology given to apartheid South Africa which later relinquished its nukes, and apartheid Israel, which currently has missiles aimed at every Arab capital within a thousand miles, and at Iran.
So while Donald Trump’s “fire and destruction” bombast IS criminal and detestable, it’s not new. It’s merely the latest installment in a long running crime wave by the planet’s number one nuclear armed felon, the United States of America.
U-S-A. Let’s make it great again.