Since the first use of a nuclear weapon in Hiroshima 71 years ago on Aug. 6, 1945, the story of where the uranium for the bomb came from and the covert operation the U.S. employed to secure it has been little known.
Many of those who still defend President Truman's decision on Hiroshima consider the bombing of Nagasaki three days later completely avoidable, even a crime of war.
How the "Hiroshima narrative" has been handed down to generations of Americans -- and overwhelmingly endorsed by officials and the media, even if many historians disagree -- matters greatly.
Last month, as part of Ralph Nader's four-day conference in Washington, DC, Breaking Through Power, my friend Raed Jarrar
“I have been able to build relationships with the survivors, not just listen to their stories," says Ari Beser.
After the bombs, American soldiers provided food that kept his family alive. This act of kindness inspired the boy to learn
"Amongst those nations like my own that own nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them," he said.
As it seeks to modernize its nuclear arsenal, the United States faces a big choice, one which Barack Obama should ponder before his upcoming Hiroshima speech. Should we spend a trillion dollars to replace each of our thousands of nuclear warheads with a more sophisticated substitute attached to a more lethal delivery system?
With no treaty in effect, nations could resume testing nukes at any time. This would cause a major arms race. The risk of nuclear terrorism or accidental launch make nuclear disarmament a very crucial goal for all nations. Japan wants to work with the United States on ending nuclear testing and building a world with no nukes.
What really happened in the days leading up to the decision to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki may never be known. Enough is known, however, to underscore a critical lesson for the future: Human beings in general, and political leaders in particular, are all too commonly prone to making decisions that put near-term political concerns above truly fundamental humanitarian concerns.
The scale of risk is quite different from home to planet, but the frame of mind is identical. A safer home is an armed home. A safer world is an armed world. Neither assertion is true. In both cases, tragic collateral damage is inevitable - a question of when, not if.
From broken eyeglasses to remnants of dresses to parts of false teeth.
It's time to fully compensate the victims of Agent Orange and fund a total cleanup of the areas in Vietnam that remain contaminated by the toxic chemical. We must hold our leaders accountable for their crimes in Japan and Vietnam, and ensure that such atrocities never happen again.