70 years ago, on August 6th, 1945, 140,000 people got killed following the first use of an atomic bomb as a weapon in Hiroshima, immediately or in the next few months. Three days later, caused by the second atomic bombing in Nagasaki, 70,000 people died. Roughly. Because nobody counts the mass. Quite a few are not even mourned, when nobody has survived, who would do. The death of such crowds in one spot of the earth is not only anonymous, it also makes the previous life anonymous. Such a weapon kills not only the individual human life, it also destroys its value.
Only the mass gets a number.
„Evil and inhuman“ the mayor of Hiroshima called the atomic bomb. Evil, a rarely used fundamental ethical judgment – here it is appropriate. A simple, clear and true word.
It remains unaware of what caused even more victims among the Japanese civilian population: conventional weapons, used in carpet bombing. The bombing of Tokyo on 9th March, 1945 was a terrorist attack. Callously calculated on as extensive destruction as possible and the highest possible number of victims among the civilian population. The weaponry napalm was used; target were the neighborhoods with the most wooden houses, because they burn best. From the objective it makes no difference whether one commits mass murder of civilians by detonating bombs, phosphorus, napalm, barrel bombs or atomic bombs: the goal is always the destruction of all life within the ambit.
It is generally unacceptable that many fixate on nuclear bombs and nuclear disarmament, when it comes to the subject of peace; and they completely overlook the fact that since the 200,000 victims of the two atomic bombs millions of civilians were killed through ordinary conventional weapons. Even the simple Kalashnikov has considerably killed more people than nuclear weapons.
By comparison, nuclear weapons are a Western luxury problem. And the phrase „Peace with Weapons“ is revealed as what it is: an illusion.
The pragmatist, to whom human lives mean more than pious wishful thinking, will focus on conventional weapons. On the enforcement of what is laid down in the “ Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977″ (https://www.icrc.org/ihl/INTRO/470), which indeed involves the use of nuclear weapons. Certainly, a number of countries, some important countries, have not signed this Additional Protocol (see annex in link). But doesn’t lose that importance if the signatory states agree that this Protocol shall be applied and act accordingly against a State which violates it, whether that State signed or not?
In any armed conflict, the right of the Parties to the conflict to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited.
(Article 35, basic rules)
Of course, the implementation of this Protocol sets an advance: the respect for the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the respect of its judgments. Even ICC is not acknowledged by each State. But: would it not be a big step forward, if one could move the signatory states to treat convicted war criminals indeed as outlaws? This could of course ask for sacrifices from us. Mainly such of an economic nature. But should it not be worth , if mass murder would be at least more difficult because of unpleasant consequences for the killers?
These mass murders were always pointless and will always be. Neither Hamburg nor Dresden, neither Tokyo nor Hiroshima and Nagasaki led to the surrender (and also Hitler’s alleged “wonder weapon” would not have pressed the Allies to a peace settlement). Hitler killed himself when the Russians stood in front of Berlin and Japan capitulated when the Russians entered the war. Neither the German nor the Japanese governance were impressed through mass murder of civilians. Especially criminal leaderships do not care about; they are only glad of the great opportunities for propaganda purposes.
What remains is senseless murder, vanity of States and their generals paid with the blood of tens of thousands: why do we destroy entire neighborhoods along with their whole populations, included dog, cat and mouse? Because we can.