On this day we remember when a nuclear bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki in Japan on the 9th August 1945, completely obliterating the city, killing over 200,000 women, men, and children.
It is incomprehensible that some still believe this was a 'necessary evil' to win the war. We now know that military seniors such as US Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, briefed General Dwight Eisenhower on their imminent use, saying Japan was "already defeated" and that "dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary."
"My God! What have we done?" - Robert Lewis, co-pilot of the first plane to drop the atomic bomb
I always wondered why such a horrific weapon was used. In the laws of war, which had been widely respected since their creation, it states that a country must not attack an unarmed, unsuspecting group of civilians. So why did the U.S. choose to wipe out an entire city? It may have been because these weapons were relatively new and the U.S. did not understand their ability to incinerate entire cities and leave a lasting impact on generations to come.
The more important question for me now is; knowing the full effects and impact of nuclear weapons, how horrific they are, what it does to the atmosphere, how it has led to disfigured babies being born to this day, why we and other nations still produce them.
I once had a discussion with a former colleague on how some 'developed countries' have never had a female president and I pointed out that Liberia in West Africa has had a female president for a while. He responded that out of the 'civilised countries' there were not many that had followed suit.
In view of 'civilised countries' amassing nuclear weapons, I would like to put forward the notion that countries like the U.S., UK and other nuclear weapon states are not civilised. If they wish to continue manufacturing these weapons of mass destruction they negate the very principles and universal freedoms that they claim to defend. No country or person can be truly free nor safe when these weapons are still being produced. The fact that these weapons have to be transported to and from Faslane in Scotland should be enough to have everyone calling their local MP concerned about the risk accidents.
My point is, we should learn from mistakes of the past, especially when they are still affecting people today, our world has no use for weapons which have such an immense capacity to destroy every living being in range. We have survived and thrived for decades without using nuclear weapons and our leaders in the UK keep telling us that trident is just a 'deterrent'. Why not let a strong army and navy be a deterrent? Why waste billions on a weapon we never intend to use?
This Nagasaki day, let's contact our local MP's and hold them to task on this issue, ask them to sign the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons, this will place heavy sanctions on new production of them - therefore harming North Korea.
Banning nuclear weapons will make the world a safer place for all.