Sunday, August 06, 2006


I have been busy lately with the deadlines of submissions next Friday so I was unable to update much. Also the football world has been loaded with alot of rumours of transfers which were claimed, then denied, then claimed and then denied again - a vicious cycle. Well, football fans are very much used to these kind of drama around this period of time before the season starts. I was almost dying when I read the news of the possible transfer of Reyes to Real Madrid, another actor player I hated to the maximum. Luckily, it was confirmed to be untrue.

Anyway, I just watched the documentary of Hiroshima Episode 1 and Episode 2 in Discovery channel to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the first ever atomic bombing of this planet. It just gave me some thoughts of us as humans who go to war because of different ideologies, political stances, economic gains, skin colours, religious beliefs, pride and greed. Looking at the never ending wars related to Israel, related to Tamil Tigers, related to United States and close allies United Kingdom and Australia, borders between Pakistan and India, borders between South Korea and North Korea, the religious struggles in Thailand and the Philippines, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran issues just give me the very clear indication that peace on earth will never happen in my lifetime.

The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and later Nagasaki did ended the second World War but it is also the beginning of the start of atomic warhead collection by many of the world superpowers. Countries around the world just keep on collecting more and more of this weapon of deadly destruction just to defend themselves. Therefore, it is a race to out-collect each other, if you have alot, I have to have more than you - a vicious cycle.

The Little Boy was dropped on 6th August 1945 at 8:15am on the city of Hiroshima, which was surrounded by mountains, giving it a more focused explosion. The famous plane, Ebola Gay named after the mother of Colonel Tibbet who piloted it was responsible for the bomb drop. Little Boy exploded 600 meters above the city with a blast equivalent of 13 kilotons of TNT and instantly killing 70,000-80,000 people. The radius of destruction was about 1.6km, with the resulting fires across 11.4 square km. 90% of Hiroshima buildings were either damaged or completely destroyed.

Three days later, Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki, a port town, not as a priority but second choice after Kokura at 11:01am and 43 seconds later it exploded 469 meters above the ground with an explosion converted 1.176kg of fuel to energy with an equivalent blast yield of 21 kilotons of TNT. The bomb was not dropped because of cloud covers which prevented a clear visual attack required by orders. According to estimations, 70,000 out of 240,000 were killed instantly and up to 60,000 were injured. The radius of total destruction was about 1.6km, followed by fires across the northern portion of the city to 3.2km south of the bomb. The total number of deaths amounted to as many as 80,000 including those who died from radiation poisoning in the following months.

So is the atomic bomb necessary for the surrender of the Japanese? Sources indicated that the Japanese were in the process of declaring defeat while others said their honour and pride will not make it possible for them to accept the terms and conditions. Others mentioned that United States wanted to show her military might to the Soviet Union. Is it a war crime then? To the perspectives of the victim countries, it was necessary. To the American allies, it is also the case.

Others condemn it as a war crime and crime against humanity. Even Albert Einsten and Leo Szilard are opposing. They were both the ones responsible for the first bomb research in 1939. They argued that if the Germans had dropped the atomic bombs on cities instead of the United States, the definition of the dropping of the atomic bombs on cities will be as a war crime and they will sentence the Germans who were guilty of the crime to death at Nuremberg and hanged them. International law found in the Hague Regulations on Land Warfare of 1907 and the Hague Draft Rules of Air Warfare of 1922-1023 had made the atomic bomb dropping on cities illegal.

Laws are useless as demonstrated by the invasion of Iraq by the United States. Sometimes as I look through the records of the amount of wars in human history, I just cannot believe that you actually have laws of 'how to play fair in a warfare'. It is just plain dreaming. I mean if a country is preparing to go to war, it will want to win the war at any costs and therefore, fairness will be the biggest obstacle to succeed. You always want an advantage over your enemies. That's pure human common sense. If the biggest superpowers of the world are the biggest bullies too, there is nothing you can do about it.


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