| The sky is ash and the ground is frantic. Children are burning, captive to their starched school uniforms. The war is over, but the sky is ripped, the blue cheese moon rotten, and bodies become shadows, loitering in eternity. It is August 6th 1945 and a B-52 is just finishing up a social visit to Hiroshima, having left its notorious calling card. From the rubble of 70,000 corpses, the melting survivors and the horrified onlookers rose up the cry, "Never again."
Fifty eight years and more than 200 military operations later, as the United States has solidified its position as global arbitrator and divine dispenser of justice, it is important to remember the capability of war to wreak havoc on our fellow travelers. We live in a fragile, turbulent world which has the potential to destroy itself with one temper tantrum, and the push of a button. Over the past few months as the crisis in the Middle East has moved to the forefront of the nation's conscience, attacks on pacifists and critics of war have been increasingly condoned, and the Japanese are heartsick. Japan is a peaceful country, one that has yet to fully reconcile itself with its brief period of belligerence, and the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are so ingrained in the nation's psyche that merely mentioning the name of cities has the force of a physical blow as people recall once again the mass suffering. But this empathy is not limited to Japanese citizens. In September 2001, the Japanese were extremely sympathetic towards America and later, to the oppressed people of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Since the dramatic end to fighting in the Pacific Theater during the Second World War, the United States has continued to involve itself in international politics. Following the attacks of September 11th, President Bush reviewed the nuclear arsenal and even considered using nuclear bombs in Afghanistan. The United States now frequently resorts to mobilizing its army abroad in the name of protecting democracy, the ideology on which the seeds of the nation were sowed; that which has created a militant diplomacy. Nuclear technology and weapons have proliferated across the globe and the world is engaged in perpetual violence. Sadly, as the U.S. war machine cranks up again, the consensus is that the United States and the world have not learned from the almost two million casualties of Fat Man and Little Boy.
Before my grandfather and your grandfather, who might have fought against each other in the Philippines or Iwojima die, and the heartrending voices of the hibakusha (survivors) fade, let us remember. Let us remember to remember even as any semblance of non-proliferation is gradually slipping away, as we destroy life for future generation by letting our government play the part of the murderous scorned lover in some daytime soap opera. And let Japan's entreaty be heard, "Never again."
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"The blue cheese moon rotten" aclam
| May 12th, 2003
Is such a great phrase. You really do have a way with words. Look forward to reading more of your work!
Never again Claire Baker
| May 14th, 2003
That was really great.
Sometimes it is scary to look at what's been done in the past, and think that it could happen again. After all the phrase "Never again" hasn't always kept its promise in the past. I definately agree with what you say here, and wish that we will see this phrase be truthfully on the issue of war someday soon.
Never Again Brendon
| Nov 21st, 2003
A dream that sadly I believe we cannot fulfill. No matter how much we remember the past, a day will come when those with power deem it time to unleash the horror once again in the name of thier beliefs.
| Mar 4th, 2004
You are a really good writer - keep it up...
I'd be curious to see your opinions on the following discussion thread about the concept of revenge, justice, etc.:
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