The VigilanceVoice

August 6, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 328

Terrorists Attack Japan--Kill 400,000!

Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

       GROUND ZERO, New York City, August 6--The pilot of the plane revs the engines, climbing to 30,800 feet.  It is the final bombing run.  The target is in sight.  The twelve crew members tense, readying themselves to make history.  At seventeen seconds past 8:15a.m., Enola Gay's bomb bay doors open and release a 10-foot, six-inch, 9,700 pound bomb nicknamed "Little Boy."  It falls to 1,800 where a barometric pressure trigger ignites it, instantly killing 70,000 men, women and children, and injuring an equal amount.  Over the next five years, the death toll from Little Boy reaches 200,000 as people die from its aftereffects.

 Bombing of Nagasaki

     Ironically, the code name for the operation was Special Bombing Mission 13--an unlucky day for the Japanese at Hiroshima 57 years ago, August 6, 1945.   Three days later, another B-29 releases a 10,800-pound, 10-foot 8-inch bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" in honor of Winston Churchill, on the city of Nagasaki.   Immediately, 40,000 are killed and 60,000 injured.   By 1950, the death toll in Nagasaki rises to 140,000 as radiation poisoning takes its toll on the exposed.
       Most Americans would not consider the dropping of the A-bombs as an act of Terrorism, but rather an Act of War.   The result was the surrender of the Japanese on August 15, 1945.   A land invasion of Japan, ready to be launched if the bombs didn't work, is estimated to have cost up to 1,000,000 American lives, and vastly more Japanese lives.   In the great moral argument about the dropping of the bomb, those who envisioned the bloodshed of an invasion, called the bombing an "Act of Vigilance."   Ultimately, it saved lives at the expense of many.  But to the Japanese civilians caught in the holocaust, it was an Act of Terrorism.
        In parallel, the Terrorist bombings at the World Trade Center and Pentagon may have had the same polarizing effect.   Americans consider the attack one of Terrorism, while many in the Middle East consider it an attack of Vigilance--a signal to the West that if it launches assaults on the Middle East, more Nine Elevens will occur.
       No longer is America exempt from what the Japanese know is possible--that its innocent civilians can become the targets of destruction from lands across the sea
        There is an argument that suggests the Nine Eleven attack that killed 3,000 has saved lives, just as the A-bomb ultimately may have saved millions of lives.   The counter-attacks launched on al Queda post September 11, may have thwarted further attempts to wreak death and destruction on America.    No one can calculate how many lives might have been saved by the sacrifice of the thousands who died on the second Tuesday of September, 2001.  No one knows how many more attacks were planned, and how those attacks may have been stalled, stopped or destroyed by America's retaliation.
      But the War on Terrorism, according to the Japanese, should not offer a carte blanche for America to escalate it.


  The Japanese are the first to stand up and shout to the world their fear that America may be launching a new Terrorism--the use of nuclear weapons against Iraq.  They fear that in retaliation to America's assault,  Saddam Hussein may launch devastating nuclear and s biochemical war, ultimately affecting everyone.
        In a ceremony today at Hiroshima, 45,000 gathered at Peace Memorial Park to remember the 57th anniversary of America's use of nuclear weapons.  The mayor of the city, Tadatoshi Akiba, warned President Bush not to instigate a war that would result in possible nuclear devastation.  He had a global audience.

         He said that the US Government was not the world's peacekeeper and that it did not have the right to determine how countries governed themselves. "The US Government has not been given the right to impose a 'Pax Americana' and to decide the fate of the world" he added.  "In this environment, only the weak become victims, many of them women, children and the elderly."  Japanese Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, was also present at the ceremony,

Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima

       Few understand the horror of nuclear weapons as do the Japanese.  They are the only nation on earth to ever be attacked by them.   The mayor urged President Bush to visit Nagasaki and Hiroshima to see the effects of nuclear destruction before he made any "rash decisions."
        Despite pleas from other nations, U.S. policy is targeting Iraq under the belief that if it doesn't stop Saddam Hussein's building of "weapons of destruction,"  they will prove a greater threat in the future.    The decision is not unlike that which herniated President Truman when he chose to use the A-bomb over a land assault to end World War II. Truman's choice was the number of casualties, not the fact there would be caualties.
        Japan's Voice is anti-nuclear.   Its citizens know the victimization of the innocent if nuclear or biochemical warfare is used.    It has nearly 400,000 Sentinels of Vigilance--all those who died from the two bombings--helping make their Voices be heard around the world.
       America has 3,000 of them--the innocent who died on September 11.  The Japanese Voices outnumber ours more than 100 to 1.

       I hear the Voices of the 400,000 Sentinels of Nuclear Vigilance in Japan.
        I hear their screams.
        I can see mothers kneeling over the charred remains of their children, wailing mournfully, just as I  see Vietnamese mothers sobbing over their children, flashbacks from my days in Vietnam when the innocent and the guilty became one, and bullets killed with anonymous indiscrimination, just as nuclear bombs do.
       I also see the mounting threat of a Hitlarian personality in the Middle East, gathering about him all the most horrible of weapons to strike Fear, Intimidation and Complacency into the world.    My guts tell me that a twist of fate, a moment of twisted anger, a first-strike attitude, might trigger off a holocaust in the Middle East, one that might ripple through Terrorist networks to major cities where "dirty bombs" are released as Saddam elects to "go out in a blaze of glory."
      I have seen men trapped.   Like any beast, they charge.   Instead of trying to survive, they elect to take as many as possible with them when they die.  They rampage blindly, shooting, screaming, spilling as much blood as possible so that their own will be less than those they take with them.    The insanity of such madness is virtually unstoppable once it begins.   The single person seeking to die permutates his self, becoming tenfold as he ignores death in his final act of killing.

      This is my greatest fear:  trapping a madman; suffering the results of his counter-attack.  Such people become rabid, and try to destroy everything in their way.
       I don't think Saddam Hussein is so mad, however, that he isn't smart.   I believe he had put in place a system of blackmail, cells within our country and others who may support us, ready to launch deadly biochemical or nuclear devices as well as conventional bombs, to be used to stave off any attempt to eliminate him.    His insurance policy for life is that if he is attacked or killed, his fervent followers will release their "doomsday" bombs, taking out as many as possible--and, as the Mayor of Hiroshima said, the innocent women, children and elderly.
      Warriors can never afford to see faces when they kill--only bodies.    They dehumanize their victims so they don't haunt them later in life.    That's why moral considerations are defunct in battle.    It's why in Vietnam I was authorized in a "free fire zone" to kill anything that moved, and taught not to see anything but body in my sights, never a face, never a child, never a woman, never an elderly person.  Just bodies, cold, soon-to-be-lifeless bodies.     To humanize the target meant to hesitate, and to hesitate meant the enemy had the advantage.    

A cataract from an Hiroshima radiation victim

      Such is the dilemma of trying to conduct a "moral war."  There is no such thing.   This is an oxymoron at best, faddic communions to try and appease the public who becomes horrified at the idea of innocents being killed.
       But the Mayor of Hiroshima lacked one vital fact in his speech.   He didn't offer an alternative.  He didn't suggest a solution to the Terrorism, and the mounting threat of Iraq as the next Berlin where Adolph Hussein was mustering his V-rocket and designing jet planes, and beginning work on an atomic bomb--with the clear intent of conquering all--Deutschland Uber Alles, Iraq Uber Alles.

        I would have loved to hear Japan invoke the Pledge Of Vigilance as a solution.   While it may not be the immediate one, it certainly is for the long range of human evolution.   We often forget that the 1939 Time Magazine once heralded Adolph Hitler as its Man of the Century, and the next year it spotlighted Joseph Stalin for Man of the Year.  And, we must not forget that not that long ago Saddam Hussein was once America's biggest ally against Iran.   The faces of our friends can become our enemies, and, if not careful, we can become the beast we hunt.
       The protection for us all is Vigilance...focused on the Children, and their Children's Children's Children.
       I wish if Hussein and Bush were to visit Hiroshima, they might see past the destruction to the impact it has on the future.  But since are both are warriors, I know what they will see.  Nothing.

      I know.  Back when I was one, that's all I saw.  Nothing.   But today, through the Pledge of Vigilance, I do see something--the Children.   And when one sees them, and makes their faces come to life, the swords of war break themselves.

Go Aug. 5--Greeks Kill Terrorism--Maybe!

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