5 Aug 2015

Atomic Parabellum

Despite its cheerful-sounding name, Enola Gay was never going to be a jolly affair. Little Boy and Fat Man neither. Yet in the same breath, Japan had made it clear that they wanted to surrender. America heard it, then pressed the button that dropped the bomb on the city of Hiroshima on 6th August 1945, wiping out 70,000 civilians in one fell swoop. Then as if this wasn't lethal enough and pointless enough in its nihilism, it went on to drop another bomb, three days later, on Nagasaki. And that is the way WWII ended. In an atomic blast.

Aerial view of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima

To say that there are winners and losers in a war is an aberration, because the concept of war itself is anathema to what humanity stands for. War is a failing, a failure. Man's propensity for creation and destruction combine into what I refer to as The Human Paradox.

The Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic disasters were yet another crime against humanity, although American propaganda chose to shun this. It was at the same time the latest exemplification of human capability in destruction of others. And by destructing others we destruct self. Those scientists who had worked on the atom, with civilisation advancement in mind, never thought for one second that their discoveries would be turned around and channelled towards life extermination. The acute realisation, echoed by Albert Einstein, is that technological progress both serves and unserves humanity: -

'I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.' - Albert Einstein

By blasting Japan, the US showed how far they were prepared to stand as contenders for world domination. The message was sent out loud and clear to the USSR and other nations that would stand in their way. Atomic was the ultimate all-powerful weapon of mass destruction.

The nuclear blasts signed off the end of WWII and the start of another war, insidious and sinister, the Cold War. It unleashed a new era, of shameless consumerism in the atomic age, the trademark of the (not that) 'Fabulous Fifties'. One step closer to the New World Order as we know it today.

The Enola Gay crew

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