Seventy years ago, the United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing an estimated 70,000 people in the highest death toll from a single weapon. Just a few days later, another 40,000 civilians would die in the U.S. bombing of Nagasaki, Japan.
The anniversary comes just as Japan is divided over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to pass unpopular legislation to expand the country’s military role internationally, a year after his Cabinet’s decision to loosen Japan’s war-renouncing constitution by adopting a new interpretation of it.
American University professor Peter Kuznick spoke with CCTV America’s Anand Naidoo on the Heat on Thursday and shared some of his thoughts about the dropping of the atomic bomb and the push for re-militarization in Japan.
Kuznick co-authored with Oliver Stone the 10 part Showtime documentary film series and book “The Untold History of the United States” and offers an uncommon view of the atomic bomb and Japan:
1. “The atomic bomb was either militarily unnecessary or morally reprehensible.”
2. “The real target of the bomb was the Soviet Union.”
3. “The Japanese were initially welcomed as liberators [in Asia] because they were taking over from Western colonialists… but they were so cruel and oppressive in those countries that they were widely hated.”
4. “Initially we imposed a very democratic radical reform on Japan… Japan would ban the use of warfare and offensive military forces. Now we’re supporting Abe in remilitarizing Japan… so we’ve had a complete reversal.”
5. “[Obama] marched against nuclear weapons in Central Park as a Columbia student in 1982… Obama is now calling for the revitalization of America’s nuclear capabilities.”
6. “Killing innocent women and children is a war crime, threatening all of humanity with extinction… goes far far worse.”