The World On Edge—Remembering August 6, 1945
August 6, 1945, goes down in history when the detonation of a very dangerously powerful explosive reportedly changed the world and re-wrote its history.
It is not in dispute what that explosion succeeded in doing what was none other than cutting down to size the rogue regimes that existed at the time which were bent on annihilating great civilizations by a few ambitious men who wanted to bestride the world like a colossus.
Countries that took the lead at the period under sad review were Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Japan under Emperor Hirohito after a tripartite pact was signed on September 27, 1940.
At this time, Japan had become a military power to reckon with in the whole of Asia pacific with only China as its rival in the region which it, however, subdued and emerged as the undisputed military power and leader in the whole of Pacific and Oceania.
History tells us that as Japanese politics lurched to the right, fascism too seemed a ''kindred spirit'' while Germany and Japan spoke of shattering and remoulding the international order. Be that as it may, the Japanese leaders,history recorded , were motivated by a deeper conviction that Emperor Hirohito was to be the nucleus of a new regional cosmology.
The sad event that took place on that day , an event precipitated by the evil pact left a scene of horror, sorrow, tears and blood which lingers to this day.
On August 6, 1945, a B-29 American-built jet bomber named 'Enola Gay' took off from an island somewhere in the Pacific and flew over the Japanese city of Hiroshima on a sortie and dropped twenty thousand tons of TNT nicknamed ''Little Boy'' whose explosive force incinerated all life's forms.
The sky was darkened for hours resulting from the nuclear explosion which reportedly destroyed every building within 2.5 km radius and shattered windows 16 km away. What hitherto stood as houses and humans in the city disappeared into red-hot dust so much so that one of the men that piloted the 'Enola Gay' was quoted as saying, Oh my God, what have we done?'' No fewer than 70,000 inhabitants of Hiroshima were killed instantly by the explosive force of the bomb while over 200,000 were killed later by the resultant nuclear radiation.
Today, the world is again gambling with lives as a number of misdirected and misguided Homo Sapiens have resolved to cause disaffection among peaceful civilizations under the guise of religion. Recently, there have been terror-linked attacks all over the world. Many countries in Africa have fallen a prey to terror attacks. These same attacks have also happened in Europe, the Middle East, and many parts of the world resulting in the death of many people.
In Nigeria, for instance, no fewer than 20,000 people have been killed by the dreaded Nigerian terrorist group, Boko haram. The Islamist sect says it is fighting the Nigerian government in a bid to actualize a sovereign Islamic state in a country that is nearly equally divided between Christianity and Isam.
Boko Haram, an affiliate of Boko Haram and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have exported their reign of terror abroad by launching attacks on neighboring countries, particularly Cameroun and the Niger Republic where scores of towns and villages have also been sacked and many people killed.
In the Middle East, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has almost acquired territories where they hold sway and from there launch attack for territorial expansion by unleashing fury via a Jihadist insurgency. Many people have fallen victim to their reign of terror and murdered in cold-blood.
Like Boko Haram, they often carry out terror-linked attacks beyond their domain considering the recent attacks on countries in western Europe. The ISIS has claimed responsibilities for many attacks that took place in France, Belgium, and Germany while other countries like the Italy and USA are being targetted.
Now the question is; into what dangers would these Jihadists plunge the world? Who are their sponsors? Just as one cannot make bricks without straws so also the self-styled Jihadists cannot plan and execute attacks without money and weapons. Hence, it has become absolutely necessary to identify their sponsors and source of weapons.
This brings the rogue regimes into focus. Many countries have been reasonably suspected in this regard particularly in the Middle East which supply arms to Jihadists to unleash terror. Such countries can not extricate themselves from the dastardly acts when eventually caught redhanded.
After the September 11 attacks in the USA, the masterminds' abode was traced to Iraq and America under George W. Bush Jnr went ahead and prosecuted a war in Iraq and that country still utterly suffers the effects of devastation to this day.
On the first day of the heavy artillery blitz on Baghdad, the then President Saddam Hussein urged the Arab world to join forces with him in the war against imperialist forces on the armed invasion of his country but fortunately or unfortunately his call was rebuffed thus a situation dangerously close to another World War was averted at the period under sad review.
A dangerous scenario is gradually unfolding capable of precipitating a global crisis that may trigger off another August 6 if adequate precaution is not taken.
The Hiroshima and Nagasaki disasters , I think , would be a child's play if the countries that fund the Jihadists be eventually identified and caught red-handed. The Islamic Republic of Iran has been fingered on many occasions as a sponsor of terrorism because of its shady activities with Hamas and others in a bid to annihilate Israel.
Iran has often boasted that on the eventual acquisition of nuclear weapons Israel would be its first target and Israel on its part is also nuclear-armed , hence I wonder what the final showdown between the two countries would be like in the event of a full-blown nuke war which Iran has consistently threatened.
The bomb used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has since been developed to be 100 times more powerful by the ones used on the above-named cities and with the ever-growing threat of another attack on the US by ISIS with the possibility of rogue regimes tacitly backing the Jihadists the possibility of another August 6, 1945 is not ruled out if we need reminding.
It would be recalled as the war raged during World War 2, attacks were carried out by the USA on two fronts with undiminished intensity, Germany here in western Europe and Japan in the Orient. However, three days after Hiroshima was destroyed, on August 9, another American plane dropped an atomic bomb named “Fat Man” on Nagasaki, causing the immediate death of another 40,000 people. Japan laid down arms on 15 August, thus ending World War II.
Seventy-one years after, Hiroshima and Nagasaki still suffer the terrible effects of the bomb via nuclear radiation that sometimes causes deformities in the body parts in the region.
Although the then President of the USA, Truman, under whose regime the bomb was dropped was criticised for his decision just three days before the Hiroshima bombing, he admitted that Japan was seeking the way of peace. While some of Truman’s political advisers did not think the bombing was necessary, they failed to convince their commander-in-chief.
Some experts have since speculated that Truman wanted to show the power of America to the then USSR, and he wanted the atomic bomb to be the launch of the Cold War.
Hence, it is about time the Jihadist who operate under whatever guise sheathed their swords because, in the event of a Republican-controlled government in the USA, it is definitely not going to be business as usual under the sun in the past eight calendar years.
Iyoha John Darlington, a Turin-based scholar, social activist and public commentator on national and global issues writes from Turin, Italy.