O que é este blog?

Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org. Para a maior parte de meus textos, ver minha página na plataforma Academia.edu, link: https://itamaraty.academia.edu/PauloRobertodeAlmeida;

Meu Twitter: https://twitter.com/PauloAlmeida53

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paulobooks

Mostrando postagens com marcador Hiroshima. Mostrar todas as postagens
Mostrando postagens com marcador Hiroshima. Mostrar todas as postagens

sexta-feira, 14 de fevereiro de 2020

Hiroshima, 75 anos: reflexões sobre o papel da arma atômica - G. John Ikenberry (Princeton)

Um debate sobre o significado do primeiro, e quase único – ocorreu outro, pouco depois, sobre Nagasaki – bombardeio atômico no contexto do cenário internacional, da época e depois.

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/age-hiroshima-nuclear-revolution-75th-anniversary-atomic-bombings?emci=1dfdf53c-494f-ea11-a94c-00155d039e74&emdi=2490c82a-514f-ea11-a94c-00155d039e74&ceid=36813

The Age of Hiroshima: The Nuclear Revolution on the 75th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings 


Video & key quotes

“There is a diffuse effort to blend the history and Hiroshima’s legacy into social movements, and to leverage, and remind, and have all of that feed into our politics and diplomacy,” observes G. John Ikenberry, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University.

On August 6, 1945, in the waning days of World War II, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The city’s destruction stands as a powerful symbol of nuclear annihilation, but it has also shaped how we think about war and peace, the past and the present, and science and ethics. The Age of Hiroshima, published by Princeton University Press in January 2020, traces these complex legacies, exploring how the meanings of Hiroshima have reverberated across the decades and around the world.
Age of Hiroshima editors Michael Gordin and John G. Ikenberry, as well as contributor Alex Wellerstein, will discuss how the bombing of Hiroshima gave rise to new conceptions of our world and its precarious interconnectedness, and how we continue to live in its dangerous shadow today. Toshihiro Higuchi and Jessica Mathews, in commenting on the volume, will offer their own perspectives on Hiroshima as an historical event and a cultural phenomenon.

Selected Quotes

Michael Gordin, Wilson Center Fellow and Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, Princeton University
“The biggest absence…is we still have no really good idea why we haven’t had nuclear war since. We have a lot of theories about why that’s the case, but we have an n of 2 in terms of use of nuclear weapons in war to kill people. They have been used in other ways; testing, placement for deployment, there’s all sorts of ways you can use a nuclear bomb without setting it off.”
“So once you have the sense that there’s a threshold, I think it actually restructures how you think about the conventional, and makes the conventional permissible – as long as you’re not going above that.”
G. John Ikenberry, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University
“We try to use Hiroshima as a site for turning its history into a kind of platform for debate, for education, for activism, for bringing people together each year, with reports that people who are elsewhere during the year. Thinking about how to control nuclear weapons, how to bring back the momentum that has kind of all gone away for arms control and disarmament.”
“There is a diffuse effort to blend the history and Hiroshima’s legacy into social movements, and to leverage, and remind, and have all of that feed into our politics and diplomacy.”
“I learned of the exquisitely complex way in which Japan thinks about Hiroshima, and the broader role of the war as both aggressor and victim.”
“Hiroshima had this kind of lightning affect – illuminating a landscape of international politics”
“The social milieu, the political milieu in which governments operate is so important. And that’s why in some sense, it’s so frightening today. Because remember the 80s? Remember when Reagan was deploying new missiles of intermediate missiles in Europe? There were millions of people in the streets in Europe and the United States.”
Alex Wellerstein, Stevens Institute of Technology
“The historians I know, the practicing people who work on this actively today, most of them think the revisionist narrative is wrong…. And they also think the orthodox narrative is wrong. And the reality is some very much more complicated thing.”
“Deterrence is in people’s minds. And it’s not a lot of people’s minds. For most of the world today, you’re talking about a dozen minds in the world, who are in charge of making…. Because we’ve centralized nuclear weapons unlike a lot of things our government does, nuclear arms are centralized. Basically, one person in the American system. It’s three people in the Russian system … You’re talking about a very small number of people, and if they have the idea that using the weapon is a terrible idea, then it’s enacted in the world. And if they don’t have the idea than we are in a dangerous, dangerous place. “
 “I will say I think that there’s a lot of factors. And instead of saying, ‘we can’t know,’ I would say it seems incredibly contingent. Which is really just a very intellectual way of saying, ‘well, it depends on what happens that day.’ And that’s not reassuring.”
Toshihiro Higuchi, Assistant Professor, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
“I think of how fruitful it is to really bring together many different scholars… We have, you know, Japanese historians, literary scholars, and then political scientists, and the history of science, and the sociologists of science.”
“I think it’s about, really, if we can think about ourselves as an independent thinking citizen, as opposed to identifying ourselves completely with the state or nation.”
“I think it’s important to make them curious, so that they start asking questions, and they start exploring themselves.”

SPEAKERS


quinta-feira, 6 de agosto de 2015

Bomba Atomica: 70 anos de Hiroshima - This Day in History (NYTimes)

Antes que me perguntem, e nem que não me perguntem, aviso: não tenho nenhum julgamento moralista sobre esse ato de guerra, e afirmo: a bomba POUPOU vidas, dos dois lados.
Se os nazistas tivessem chegado na frente, não deveria haver dúvidas quanto a isso: teriam, sim, lançado bombas atômicas contra a União Soviética e talvez até em alguma frente ocidental (França, Inglaterra?, não sei).
Se os soviéticos tivessem conquistado o domínio da bomba, teriam igualmente usado o artefato contra a Alemanha, e disso não deve restar dúvidas.
Estavam certos os americanos, o presidente Truman em especial, ao autorizar seu lançamento contra o Japão, em agosto de1945?
Sim, pois se não o tivessem feito, o custo em vidas humanas teria sido infinitamente maior, o triplo do lado americano, nos meses finais da guerra, que se prolongaria por seis meses mais, pelo menos, e dez vezes mais em termos de vidas de japoneses, que não se renderiam em nenhuma hipótese, até a derrocada final, como ocorreu na frente europeia, aliás.
A bomba poupou vidas, e por isso ela foi, de certa forma, moral, a despeito de suas consequências terríveis para o Japão.
Mas, por isso mesmo, NUNCA MAIS voltou a ser usada.
Se isso não tivesse ocorrido no final da guerra do Pacífico, poderia ter sido num outro conflito, o da Coreia, por exemplo. Como se sabe, ao terem as tropas da Coreia do Norte, pesadamente auxiliadas por forças "voluntárias" chinesas -- soldados enviados por Mao Tsé-tung aos milhares -- empurrado novamente as forças da Coreia do Sul e dos EUA para o sul da península, o general Mac Arthur, "heroi do Pacífico" (depois de ter perdido as Filipinas para os japoneses em 1942), pretendia jogar uma, ou mais bombas atômicas, não contra a Coreia do Norte, mas contra a própria  China. Foi demitido na mesma hora por Truman (e recebido como heroi de volta aos EUA).
Ou poderia ter havido uma confrontação nuclear entre os EUA e a URSS no decorrer dos anos 1950. Não houve e isso se deveu a Hiroshima.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida


On This Day: August 6

Updated August 6, 2014, 5:33 am
On Aug. 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, that instantly killed an estimated 66,000 people in the first use of a nuclear weapon in warfare.


First Atomic Bomb Dropped on Japan; Missile Is Equal to 20,000 Tons of TNT; Truman Warns Foe of a 'Rain of Ruin'



NEW AGE USHERED
Day of Atomic Energy Hailed by President, Revealing Weapon
HIROSHIMA IS TARGET
'Impenetrable' Cloud of Dust Hides City After Single Bomb Strikes
By SIDNEY SHALETT
Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES
RELATED HEADLINES Report by Britain: 'By God's Mercy' We Beat Nazis to Bomb, Churchill Says: Roosevelt Aid Cited: Raiders Wrecked Norse Laboratory in Race for Key to Victory
Steel Tower 'Vaporized' in Trial of Mighty Bomb: Scientists Awe-Struck as Blinding Flash Lighted New Mexico Desert and Great Cloud Bore 40,000 Feet Into Sky
Trains Canceled in Stricken Area: Traffic Around Hiroshima Is Disrupted -- Japanese Still Sift Havoc by Split Atoms
Atom Bombs Made in 3 Hidden 'Cities': Secrecy on Weapon So Great That Not Even Workers Knew of Their Product
Reich Exile Emerges as Heroine in Denial to Nazis of Atom's Secret
OTHER HEADLINES Hiram W. Johnson, Republican Dean in the Senate, Dies: Isolationist Helped Prevent U.S. Entry Into League -- Opposed World Charter: California Ex-Governor Ran for Vice President With Theodore Roosevelt in '12 -- In Washington Since '17
Jet Plane Explosion Kills Major Bong, Top U.S. Ace: Flier Who Downed 40 Japanese Craft, Sent Home to Be 'Safe,' Was Flying New 'Shooting Star' as a Test Pilot
Kyushu City Razed: Kenney's Planes Blast Tarumizu in Reord Blow From Okinawa, Rocket Site Is Seen, 125 B-29's Hit Japan's Toyokawa Naval Arsenal in Demolition Strike
Morris Is Accused of 'Taking a Walk': Fusion Official 'Sad to Part Company' -- McGoldrick Sees Only Tammany Aided
Chinese Win More of 'Invasion Coast': Smash Into Port 121 Miles Southwest of Canton -- Big Area Open for Landing
Turks Talk War if Russia Presses; Prefer Vain Battle to Surrender
Washington, Aug. 6 -- The White House and War Department announced today that an atomic bomb, possessing more power than 20,000 tons of TNT, a destructive force equal to the load of 2,000 B-29's and more than 2,000 times the blast power of what previously was the world's most devastating bomb, had been dropped on Japan.
The announcement, first given to the world in utmost solemnity by President Truman, made it plain that one of the scientific landmarks of the century had been passed, and that the "age of atomic energy," which can be a tremendous force for the advancement of civilization as well as for destruction, was at hand.
At 10:45 o'clock this morning, a statement by the President was issued at the White House that sixteen hours earlier- about the time that citizens on the Eastern seaboard were sitting down to their Sunday suppers- an American plane had dropped the single atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, an important army center.
Japanese Solemnly Warned
What happened at Hiroshima is not yet known. The War Department said it "as yet was unable to make an accurate report" because "an impenetrable cloud of dust and smoke" masked the target area from reconnaissance planes. The Secretary of War will release the story "as soon as accurate details of the results of the bombing become available."
But in a statement vividly describing the results of the first test of the atomic bomb in New Mexico, the War-Department told how an immense steel tower had been "vaporized" by the tremendous explosion, how a 40,000-foot cloud rushed into the sky, and two observers were knocked down at a point 10,000 yards away. And President Truman solemnly warned:
"It was to spare the Japanese people from utter destruction that the ultimatum of July 26, was issued at Potsdam. Their leaders promptly rejected that ultimatum. If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the like of which has never been seen on this earth."
Most Closely Guarded Secret
The President referred to the joint statement issued by the heads of the American, British and Chinese Governments in which terms of surrender were outlined to the Japanese and warning given that rejection would mean complete destruction of Japan's power to make war.
[The atomic bomb weighs about 400 pounds and is capable of utterly destroying a town, a representative of the British Ministry of Aircraft Production said in London, the United Press reported.]
What is this terrible new weapon, which the War Department also calls the "Cosmic Bomb"? It is the harnessing of the energy of the atom, which is the basic power of the universe. As President Truman said, "The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East."
"Atomic fission" - in other words, the scientists' long-held dream of splitting the atom- is the secret of the atomic bomb. Uranium, a rare, heavy metallic element, which is radioactive and akin to radium, is the source essential to its production. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, in a statement closely following that of the President, promised that "steps have been taken, to assure us of adequate supplies of this mineral."
The imagination-sweeping experiment in harnessing the power of the atom has been the most closely guarded secret of the war. America to date has spent nearly $2,000,000,000 in advancing its research. Since 1939, American, British and Canadian scientists have worked on it. The experiments have been conducted in the United States, both for reasons of achieving concentrated efficiency and for security; the consequences of having the material fall into the hands of the enemy, in case Great Britain should have been successfully invaded, were too awful for the Allies to risk.
All along, it has been a race with the enemy. Ironically enough, Germany started the experiments, but we finished them. Germany made the mistake of expelling, because she was a "non-Aryan," a woman scientist who held one of the keys to the mystery, and she made her knowledge available to those who brought it to the United States. Germany never quite mastered the riddle, and the United States, Secretary Stimson declared, is "convinced that Japan will not be in a position to use an atomic bomb in this war."
A Sobering Awareness of Power
Not the slightest spirit of braggadocio is discernible either in the wording of the official announcements or in the mien of the officials who gave out the news. There was an element of elation in the realization that we had perfected this devastating weapon for employment against an enemy who started the war and has told us she would rather be destroyed than surrender, but it was grim elation. There was sobering awareness of the tremendous responsibility involved.
Secretary Stimson said that this new weapon "should prove a tremendous aid in the shortening of the war against Japan," and there were other responsible officials who privately thought that this was an extreme understatement, and that Japan might find herself unable to stay in the war under the coming rain of atom bombs.
It was obvious that officials at the highest levels made the important decision to release news of the atomic bomb because of the psychological effect it may have in forcing Japan to surrender. However, there are some officials who feel privately it might have been well to keep this completely secret. Their opinion can be summed up in the comment by one spokesman: "Why bother with psychological warfare against an enemy that laready is beaten and hasnt't sense enough to quit and save herself from utter doom?"
The first news came from President Truman's office. Newsmen were summoned and the historic statement from the Chief Executive,who still is on the high seas, was given to them.
"That bomb," Mr. Truman said, "had more power than 20,000 tons of TNT. It had more than 2,000 times the blast power of the British 'Grand Slam,' which is the largest bomb (22,000 pounds) ever yet used in the history of warfare."
Explosive Charge Is Small
No details were given on the plane that carried the bomb. Nor was it stated whether the bomb was large or small. The President, however, said the explosive charge was "exceedingly small." It is known that tremendous force is packed into tiny quantities of the element that constitutes these bombs. Scientists, looking to the peacetime uses of atomic power, envisage submarines, ocean liners and planes traveling around the world on a few pounds of the element. Yet, for various reasons, the bomb used against Japan could have been extremely large.
Hiroshima, first city on earth to be the target of the "Cosmic Bomb," is a city of 318,000, which is- or was- a major quartermaster depot and port of embarkation for the Japanese. In addition to large military supply depots, it manufactured ordinance, mainly large guns and tanks, and machine tools, and aircraft-ordinance parts.
President Truman grimly told the Japanese that "the end is not yet."
"In their present form these bombs are now in production," he said, "and even more powerful forms are in development."
He sketched the story of how the late President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill agreed that it was wise to concentrate research in America, and how great secret cities sprang up in this country, where, at one time, 125,000 men and women labored to harness the atom. Even today more than 65,000 workers are employed.
"What has been done," he said, "is the greatest achievement of organized science in history.
"We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive and enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy Japan's power to make war."
The President emphasized that the atomic discoveries were so important, both for the war and for the peace, that he would recommend to Congress that it consider promptly establishing "an appropriate commission to control the production and use of atomic power within the United States."
"I shall give further consideration and make further recommendations to the Congress as to how atomic power can become a powerful and forceful influence toward the maintenance of world peace," he said.
Secretary Stimson called the atomic bomb "the culmination of years of herculean effort on the part of science and industry, working in cooperation with the military authorities." He promised that "improvements will be forthcoming shortly which will increase by several fold the present effectiveness."
"But more important for the long-range implications of this new weapn," he said, "is the possiblity that another scale of magnitude will be developed after considerable research and development. The scientists are confident that over a period of many years atomic bombs may well be developed which will be very much more powerful than the atomic bombs now at hand."
Investigation Started in 1939
It was late in 1939 that President Roosevelt appointed a commission to investigate use of atomic energy for military purposes. Until then only small-scale researach with Navy funds had taken place. The program went into high gear.
By the end of 1941 the project was put under direction of a group of eminent American scientists in the Office of Scientific Research and Development, under Dr. Vanever Bush, who reported directly to Mr. Roosevelt. The President also appointed a General Policy Group, consisting of former Vice President Henry A. Wallace, Secretary Stimson, Gen. George C. Marshall, Dr. James B. Conant, president of Harvard, and Dr. Bush. In June 1942, this group recommended vast expansion of the work transfer of the major part of the program to the War Department.
Maj. Gen. Leslie R. Groves, a native of Albany, N. Y., and a 48-year-old graduate of the 1918 class at West Point, was appointed by Mr. Stimson to take complete executive chargeof the program. General Groves, an engineer, holding the permanent Army rank of lieutenant colonel, received the highest praise from the War Department for the way he "fitted together the multifarious pieces of the vast, country-wide jigsaw," and, at the same time, organized the virtually air-tight security system that kept the project a secret.
A military policy committee also was appointed, consisting of Dr. Bush, chairman; Dr. Conant, Lieut. Gen. Wilhelm D. Styer and Rear Admiral William R. Purnell.
In December, 1942, the decision was made to proceed with construction of large-scale plants. Two are situated at the Clinton Engineer Works in Tennessee and a third at the Hanaford Engineer Works in the State of Washington.
These plants were amazing phenomena in themselves. They grew into large, self-sustaining cities, employing thousands upon thousands of workers. Yet, so close was the secrecy that not only were the citizens of the area kept in darkness about the nature of the project, but the workers themselves had only the sketchiest ideas- if any- as to what they were doing. This was accomplished Mr. Stimson said, by "compartmentalizing" the work so "that no one has been given more information than was absolutely necessary to his particular job."
The Tennessee reservation consists of 59,000 acres, eighteen miles west of Knoxville, it is known as Oak Ridge and has become a modern small city of 78,000, fifth largest in Tennessee.
In the State of Washington the Government has 430,000 acres in an isolated area, fifteen miles northwest of Pasco. The settlement there, which now has a population of 17,000, consisting of plant operators and their immediate families, is known as Richmond.
A special laboratory also has been set up near Santa Fe, N. M., under direction of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer of the University of California, Dr. Oppenheimer also supervised the first test of the atomic bomb on July 16, 1945. This took place in a remote section of the New Mexico desert lands, with a group of eminent scientists gathered, frankly fearful to witness the results of the invention, which might turn out to be either the salvation or the Frankenstein's monster of the world.
Mr. Stimson also gave full credit to the many industrial corporations and educational institutions which worked witht he War Department in bringing this titanic undertaking to fruition.
In August, 1943, a combined policy committee was appointed, consisting of Secretary Stimson, Drs. Bush and Conant for the United States; the late Field Marshall Sir John Dill (now replaced by Field Marshal Sir Henry Maitland Wilson) and Col. J. J. Llewellin (since replaced by Sir Ronald Campbell), for the United Kingdom, and C. D. Howe for Canada.
"Atomic fission holds great promise for sweeping developements by which our civilization may be enriched when peace comes, but the overriding necessities of war have precluded the full exploration of peacetime applications of this new knowledge," Mr. Stimson said. "However, it appears inevitable that many useful contributions to the well-being of mankind will ultimately flow from these discoveries when the world situation makes it posssible for science and industry to concentrate on these aspects."
Although warning that many economic factors willhave to be considered "before we can say to wha t extent atomic energy will supplement coal; oil and water as fundamental sources of power," Mr. Stimson acknowledged that "we are at the threshold of a new industrial art which will take many years and much expenditures of money to develop."
The Secretary of War disclosed that he had appointed an interim committee to study post-war control and development of atomic energy. Mr. Stimson is serving as chairman, and other members include James F. Byrnes, Secretary of State; Ralph A. Bard, former Under-Secretary of the Navy; William L. Clayton, Assistant Secreatry of State; Dr. Bush, Dr. Conant, Dr. Carl T. Compton, chief of the Office of Field Service in OSRD and president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and George L. Harrison, special consultant to the Secretary of War and president of the New York Life Insurance Company. Mr. Harrison is alternate chairman of the committee.
The committee also has the assistance of an advisory group of some of the country's leading physicists including Dr. Oppenheimer, Dr. E. O. Lawrence, Dr. A. H. Compton and Dr. Enrico Fermi.
The War Department gave this supplementary background on the development of the atomic bomb.
"The series of discoveries which led to developemnt of the atomic bomb started at the turn of the century when radioactivity became known to science. Prior to 1939 the scientific work in this field was world-wide, but more particularly so in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Denmark. One of Denmark's great scientists, Dr. Neils Bohr, a Nobel Prize winner, was whisked from the grasp of the Nazis in his occupied homeland and later assisted in developing the atomic bomb.
"It is known that Germany worked desperately to solve the problem of controlling atomic energy."

sábado, 6 de agosto de 2011

Hiroshima: a promessa, a ilusao e a realidade...

O apelo do primeiro-ministro do Japão não tem nenhum sentido econômico, nem sentido estratégico, nem corresponde a qualquer gesto que venha a ser feito no terreno das possibilidades históricas concretas.
Não haverá renúncia à energia nuclear, até que um equivalente funcional -- talvez fusão nuclear -- seja descoberto, na medida em que o mundo não pode dispensar uma fonte de energia já testada como esta (a menos que o mundo tenha outras fontes abundantes de energia renovável, ou fósseis não poluentes). O Japão, como a Alemanha, pode até dispensar o seu uso, mas precisará importar energia fóssil (petróleo, gás), ou energia nuclear da vizinha China (que constrói reatores às dezenas), como a Alemanha vai ser obrigada a fazer, ou seja, importar energia nuclear da vizinha França ou de outros países da região.
Quanto à abolição das armas nucleares, apenas os ingênuos acreditam ser isso possível. Pode até ser que, num futuro muito distante, a comunidade internacional se ponha de acordo, efetivamente, sobre um tratado de não-uso de armas nucleares, mas não acredito ser possível um banimento e desaparecimento da arma nuclear. O mundo terá de evoluir muito para que isto seja teoricamente possível.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

Hiroshima hears PM's nuke-free call
Agencies, Aug 7, 2011
A man stands in a river helping people releasing paper lanterns to remember victims of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima 66 years ago yesterday.

PRIME Minister Naoto Kan yesterday took his campaign against nuclear energy in Japan to Hiroshima, which 66 years ago became the world's first victim of an atomic bomb.

It marks a change of tack in a country that has until now carefully avoided linking its fast growing, and now discredited, nuclear power industry to its trauma as the only country to have been attacked with atomic bombs.

Kan, speaking at an anniversary ceremony for victims of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, repeated that the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years at Fukushima after a March earthquake convinced him Japan should end its dependence on nuclear power.

The damage from the earthquake and subsequent tsunami at the Fukushima nuclear plant, which the authorities are still trying to bring under control, has led to widespread calls for an end to reliance on nuclear power in the quake-prone country.

"I will deeply reflect on nuclear power's 'myth of safety,' investigate thoroughly the causes of the accident and fundamental measures to secure safety, as well as reduce the dependence on nuclear power plants and aim for a society that does not depend on nuclear power plants," Kan said.

Kazumi Matsui, Hiroshima's mayor and the son of an atomic bomb survivor, also pressed Tokyo to act after the Fukushima crisis traumatised the public. "The Japanese government should sincerely accept this reality and review its energy policy quickly," he said.

Questioned policy

It was the first time in decades that any Hiroshima mayor had questioned Japan's policy of developing nuclear energy during the annual ceremony, in which tens of thousands observed a minute of silence as the peace bell tolled.

Matsui said it was heartbreaking to see the devastation left by the March 11 quake and tsunami on the northeast coast and how it resembled what was left of Hiroshima after the bombing.

A US warplane dropped the atomic bomb on the western city on August 6, 1945 in the closing days of the Second World War. The death toll by the end of the year was estimated at about 140,000, out of the total 350,000 who lived there at the time.

A second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9. Japan surrendered six days later.

Prior to the Fukushima crisis, nuclear energy accounted for nearly a third of Japan's energy supply. But since the March 11 quake and tsunami triggered radiation leaks at Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima plant 240km (150 miles) northeast of Tokyo, public sentiment has shifted.

"We hadn't thought so deeply about it until now. But I think it (nuclear plant) is not so different from the atomic bomb," said Michiko Kato, a 73-year-old survivor who lost her sister to the bomb.

Unpopular Kan, who has said he will resign without clarifying when, has seized the shift in the public mood and is calling for an overhaul of Japan's energy policy. About 70 percent of voters back his vision, a recent poll showed.

But it remains unclear what will happen to his vision after he resigns.

Um triste aniversario em 6 de Agosto: Hiroshima

Mas, contrariamente ao que muita gente crê, Hiroshima, por mais cínico e cruel que possa parecer, "poupou" vidas, ao abreviar o final da guerra.
A continuidade da guerra, em bases convencionais, e a invasão do Japão, ilha por ilha, contra soldados e até uma população que não pretendiam render-se sem ordem ou permissão do imperador, teriam custado, provavelmente, duas vezes mais vidas do que o alcançado com Hiroshima e Nagasaki, inclusive mais vidas americanas...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

On This Day: August 6
The New York Times


On Aug. 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, that instantly killed an estimated 66,000 people in the first use of a nuclear weapon in warfare.

First Atomic Bomb Dropped on Japan; Missile Is Equal to 20,000 Tons of TNT; Truman Warns Foe of a 'Rain of Ruin'
NEW AGE USHERED
Day of Atomic Energy Hailed by President, Revealing Weapon
HIROSHIMA IS TARGET
'Impenetrable' Cloud of Dust Hides City After Single Bomb Strikes
By SIDNEY SHALETT
Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES

Washington, Aug. 6 -- The White House and War Department announced today that an atomic bomb, possessing more power than 20,000 tons of TNT, a destructive force equal to the load of 2,000 B-29's and more than 2,000 times the blast power of what previously was the world's most devastating bomb, had been dropped on Japan.

The announcement, first given to the world in utmost solemnity by President Truman, made it plain that one of the scientific landmarks of the century had been passed, and that the "age of atomic energy," which can be a tremendous force for the advancement of civilization as well as for destruction, was at hand.

At 10:45 o'clock this morning, a statement by the President was issued at the White House that sixteen hours earlier- about the time that citizens on the Eastern seaboard were sitting down to their Sunday suppers- an American plane had dropped the single atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, an important army center.

Japanese Solemnly Warned
What happened at Hiroshima is not yet known. The War Department said it "as yet was unable to make an accurate report" because "an impenetrable cloud of dust and smoke" masked the target area from reconnaissance planes. The Secretary of War will release the story "as soon as accurate details of the results of the bombing become available."

But in a statement vividly describing the results of the first test of the atomic bomb in New Mexico, the War-Department told how an immense steel tower had been "vaporized" by the tremendous explosion, how a 40,000-foot cloud rushed into the sky, and two observers were knocked down at a point 10,000 yards away. And President Truman solemnly warned:

"It was to spare the Japanese people from utter destruction that the ultimatum of July 26, was issued at Potsdam. Their leaders promptly rejected that ultimatum. If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the like of which has never been seen on this earth."

Most Closely Guarded Secret
The President referred to the joint statement issued by the heads of the American, British and Chinese Governments in which terms of surrender were outlined to the Japanese and warning given that rejection would mean complete destruction of Japan's power to make war.

[The atomic bomb weighs about 400 pounds and is capable of utterly destroying a town, a representative of the British Ministry of Aircraft Production said in London, the United Press reported.]

What is this terrible new weapon, which the War Department also calls the "Cosmic Bomb"? It is the harnessing of the energy of the atom, which is the basic power of the universe. As President Truman said, "The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East."

"Atomic fission" - in other words, the scientists' long-held dream of splitting the atom- is the secret of the atomic bomb. Uranium, a rare, heavy metallic element, which is radioactive and akin to radium, is the source essential to its production. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, in a statement closely following that of the President, promised that "steps have been taken, to assure us of adequate supplies of this mineral."

The imagination-sweeping experiment in harnessing the power of the atom has been the most closely guarded secret of the war. America to date has spent nearly $2,000,000,000 in advancing its research. Since 1939, American, British and Canadian scientists have worked on it. The experiments have been conducted in the United States, both for reasons of achieving concentrated efficiency and for security; the consequences of having the material fall into the hands of the enemy, in case Great Britain should have been successfully invaded, were too awful for the Allies to risk.

All along, it has been a race with the enemy. Ironically enough, Germany started the experiments, but we finished them. Germany made the mistake of expelling, because she was a "non-Aryan," a woman scientist who held one of the keys to the mystery, and she made her knowledge available to those who brought it to the United States. Germany never quite mastered the riddle, and the United States, Secretary Stimson declared, is "convinced that Japan will not be in a position to use an atomic bomb in this war."

A Sobering Awareness of Power
Not the slightest spirit of braggadocio is discernible either in the wording of the official announcements or in the mien of the officials who gave out the news. There was an element of elation in the realization that we had perfected this devastating weapon for employment against an enemy who started the war and has told us she would rather be destroyed than surrender, but it was grim elation. There was sobering awareness of the tremendous responsibility involved.

Secretary Stimson said that this new weapon "should prove a tremendous aid in the shortening of the war against Japan," and there were other responsible officials who privately thought that this was an extreme understatement, and that Japan might find herself unable to stay in the war under the coming rain of atom bombs.

It was obvious that officials at the highest levels made the important decision to release news of the atomic bomb because of the psychological effect it may have in forcing Japan to surrender. However, there are some officials who feel privately it might have been well to keep this completely secret. Their opinion can be summed up in the comment by one spokesman: "Why bother with psychological warfare against an enemy that laready is beaten and hasnt't sense enough to quit and save herself from utter doom?"

The first news came from President Truman's office. Newsmen were summoned and the historic statement from the Chief Executive,who still is on the high seas, was given to them.

"That bomb," Mr. Truman said, "had more power than 20,000 tons of TNT. It had more than 2,000 times the blast power of the British 'Grand Slam,' which is the largest bomb (22,000 pounds) ever yet used in the history of warfare."

Explosive Charge Is Small
No details were given on the plane that carried the bomb. Nor was it stated whether the bomb was large or small. The President, however, said the explosive charge was "exceedingly small." It is known that tremendous force is packed into tiny quantities of the element that constitutes these bombs. Scientists, looking to the peacetime uses of atomic power, envisage submarines, ocean liners and planes traveling around the world on a few pounds of the element. Yet, for various reasons, the bomb used against Japan could have been extremely large.

Hiroshima, first city on earth to be the target of the "Cosmic Bomb," is a city of 318,000, which is- or was- a major quartermaster depot and port of embarkation for the Japanese. In addition to large military supply depots, it manufactured ordinance, mainly large guns and tanks, and machine tools, and aircraft-ordinance parts.

President Truman grimly told the Japanese that "the end is not yet."
"In their present form these bombs are now in production," he said, "and even more powerful forms are in development."

He sketched the story of how the late President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill agreed that it was wise to concentrate research in America, and how great secret cities sprang up in this country, where, at one time, 125,000 men and women labored to harness the atom. Even today more than 65,000 workers are employed.

"What has been done," he said, "is the greatest achievement of organized science in history.

"We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive and enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy Japan's power to make war."

The President emphasized that the atomic discoveries were so important, both for the war and for the peace, that he would recommend to Congress that it consider promptly establishing "an appropriate commission to control the production and use of atomic power within the United States."

"I shall give further consideration and make further recommendations to the Congress as to how atomic power can become a powerful and forceful influence toward the maintenance of world peace," he said.

Secretary Stimson called the atomic bomb "the culmination of years of herculean effort on the part of science and industry, working in cooperation with the military authorities." He promised that "improvements will be forthcoming shortly which will increase by several fold the present effectiveness."

"But more important for the long-range implications of this new weapn," he said, "is the possiblity that another scale of magnitude will be developed after considerable research and development. The scientists are confident that over a period of many years atomic bombs may well be developed which will be very much more powerful than the atomic bombs now at hand."

Investigation Started in 1939
It was late in 1939 that President Roosevelt appointed a commission to investigate use of atomic energy for military purposes. Until then only small-scale research with Navy funds had taken place. The program went into high gear.

By the end of 1941 the project was put under direction of a group of eminent American scientists in the Office of Scientific Research and Development, under Dr. Vanever Bush, who reported directly to Mr. Roosevelt. The President also appointed a General Policy Group, consisting of former Vice President Henry A. Wallace, Secretary Stimson, Gen. George C. Marshall, Dr. James B. Conant, president of Harvard, and Dr. Bush. In June 1942, this group recommended vast expansion of the work transfer of the major part of the program to the War Department.

Maj. Gen. Leslie R. Groves, a native of Albany, N. Y., and a 48-year-old graduate of the 1918 class at West Point, was appointed by Mr. Stimson to take complete executive chargeof the program. General Groves, an engineer, holding the permanent Army rank of lieutenant colonel, received the highest praise from the War Department for the way he "fitted together the multifarious pieces of the vast, country-wide jigsaw," and, at the same time, organized the virtually air-tight security system that kept the project a secret.

A military policy committee also was appointed, consisting of Dr. Bush, chairman; Dr. Conant, Lieut. Gen. Wilhelm D. Styer and Rear Admiral William R. Purnell.

In December, 1942, the decision was made to proceed with construction of large-scale plants. Two are situated at the Clinton Engineer Works in Tennessee and a third at the Hanaford Engineer Works in the State of Washington.

These plants were amazing phenomena in themselves. They grew into large, self-sustaining cities, employing thousands upon thousands of workers. Yet, so close was the secrecy that not only were the citizens of the area kept in darkness about the nature of the project, but the workers themselves had only the sketchiest ideas- if any- as to what they were doing. This was accomplished Mr. Stimson said, by "compartmentalizing" the work so "that no one has been given more information than was absolutely necessary to his particular job."

The Tennessee reservation consists of 59,000 acres, eighteen miles west of Knoxville, it is known as Oak Ridge and has become a modern small city of 78,000, fifth largest in Tennessee.

In the State of Washington the Government has 430,000 acres in an isolated area, fifteen miles northwest of Pasco. The settlement there, which now has a population of 17,000, consisting of plant operators and their immediate families, is known as Richmond.

A special laboratory also has been set up near Santa Fe, N. M., under direction of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer of the University of California, Dr. Oppenheimer also supervised the first test of the atomic bomb on July 16, 1945. This took place in a remote section of the New Mexico desert lands, with a group of eminent scientists gathered, frankly fearful to witness the results of the invention, which might turn out to be either the salvation or the Frankenstein's monster of the world.

Mr. Stimson also gave full credit to the many industrial corporations and educational institutions which worked witht he War Department in bringing this titanic undertaking to fruition.

In August, 1943, a combined policy committee was appointed, consisting of Secretary Stimson, Drs. Bush and Conant for the United States; the late Field Marshall Sir John Dill (now replaced by Field Marshal Sir Henry Maitland Wilson) and Col. J. J. Llewellin (since replaced by Sir Ronald Campbell), for the United Kingdom, and C. D. Howe for Canada.

"Atomic fission holds great promise for sweeping developements by which our civilization may be enriched when peace comes, but the overriding necessities of war have precluded the full exploration of peacetime applications of this new knowledge," Mr. Stimson said. "However, it appears inevitable that many useful contributions to the well-being of mankind will ultimately flow from these discoveries when the world situation makes it posssible for science and industry to concentrate on these aspects."

Although warning that many economic factors willhave to be considered "before we can say to wha t extent atomic energy will supplement coal; oil and water as fundamental sources of power," Mr. Stimson acknowledged that "we are at the threshold of a new industrial art which will take many years and much expenditures of money to develop."

The Secretary of War disclosed that he had appointed an interim committee to study post-war control and development of atomic energy. Mr. Stimson is serving as chairman, and other members include James F. Byrnes, Secretary of State; Ralph A. Bard, former Under-Secretary of the Navy; William L. Clayton, Assistant Secreatry of State; Dr. Bush, Dr. Conant, Dr. Carl T. Compton, chief of the Office of Field Service in OSRD and president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and George L. Harrison, special consultant to the Secretary of War and president of the New York Life Insurance Company. Mr. Harrison is alternate chairman of the committee.

The committee also has the assistance of an advisory group of some of the country's leading physicists including Dr. Oppenheimer, Dr. E. O. Lawrence, Dr. A. H. Compton and Dr. Enrico Fermi.

The War Department gave this supplementary background on the development of the atomic bomb.

"The series of discoveries which led to developemnt of the atomic bomb started at the turn of the century when radioactivity became known to science. Prior to 1939 the scientific work in this field was world-wide, but more particularly so in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Denmark. One of Denmark's great scientists, Dr. Neils Bohr, a Nobel Prize winner, was whisked from the grasp of the Nazis in his occupied homeland and later assisted in developing the atomic bomb.

"It is known that Germany worked desperately to solve the problem of controlling atomic energy."

RELATED HEADLINES
Report by Britain: 'By God's Mercy' We Beat Nazis to Bomb, Churchill Says: Roosevelt Aid Cited: Raiders Wrecked Norse Laboratory in Race for Key to Victory

Steel Tower 'Vaporized' in Trial of Mighty Bomb: Scientists Awe-Struck as Blinding Flash Lighted New Mexico Desert and Great Cloud Bore 40,000 Feet Into Sky

Trains Canceled in Stricken Area: Traffic Around Hiroshima Is Disrupted -- Japanese Still Sift Havoc by Split Atoms

Atom Bombs Made in 3 Hidden 'Cities': Secrecy on Weapon So Great That Not Even Workers Knew of Their Product

Reich Exile Emerges as Heroine in Denial to Nazis of Atom's Secret

OTHER HEADLINES
Hiram W. Johnson, Republican Dean in the Senate, Dies: Isolationist Helped Prevent U.S. Entry Into League -- Opposed World Charter: California Ex-Governor Ran for Vice President With Theodore Roosevelt in '12 -- In Washington Since '17

Jet Plane Explosion Kills Major Bong, Top U.S. Ace: Flier Who Downed 40 Japanese Craft, Sent Home to Be 'Safe,' Was Flying New 'Shooting Star' as a Test Pilot

Kyushu City Razed: Kenney's Planes Blast Tarumizu in Reord Blow From Okinawa, Rocket Site Is Seen, 125 B-29's Hit Japan's Toyokawa Naval Arsenal in Demolition Strike

Morris Is Accused of 'Taking a Walk': Fusion Official 'Sad to Part Company' -- McGoldrick Sees Only Tammany Aided

Chinese Win More of 'Invasion Coast': Smash Into Port 121 Miles Southwest of Canton -- Big Area Open for Landing

Turks Talk War if Russia Presses; Prefer Vain Battle to Surrender

segunda-feira, 9 de agosto de 2010

A segunda bomba atomica sobre o Japao: e se elas nao existissem?


Almas sensíveis em todo mundo mundo falam com horror das duas bombas atômicas despejadas sobre o Japão dia 6 e dia 9 de agosto de 1945 (vejam o primeiro post que eu coloquei no dia 6 de agosto sobre a bomba lançada em Hiroshima).
Almas menos sensíveis preferem condenar os EUA por esse gesto horroroso, um crime de guerra, ou um crime contra a humanidade, dizem essas pessoas, expressando indignação quanto ao ato em si, sem pensar nas alternativas.

Estou, neste mesmo momento, lendo um dos capítulos do livro More What If? (London: Pan Books, 2003), coordenado pelo historiador militar Robert Cowley (que já tinha editado um primeiro What If?, alguns anos antes). Como o nome indica, se trata de história virtual.
Esse capítulo, assinado por Richard B. Frank, "No Bomb: No End" (p. 366-381) confirma o que já se sabia por "especulações" de outros historiadores e especialistas em guerras.
Se a bomba não existisse, ou se os EUA tivessem decidido não lançar as bombas sobre o Japão e tivessem continuado, nesse caso, com a guerra por meios convencionais, o número de vítimas, japonesas e americanas, seria incomensuravelmente maior, muitas vezes maior.
Calcula-se que entre 100 e 200 mil vítimas resultaram das duas bombas atômicas, sobre Hiroshima e Nagasaki. Pois bem, os bombardeios com bombas incendiárias sobre Tóquio e outras cidades japonesas -- assim como os bombardeios sobre cidades alemãs, antes -- fizeram e fariam um número de vítimas bem mais amplo.
A conquista progressiva das ilhas japonesas custaria provavelmente meio milhão de mortos, entre japoneses e americanos, soldados e civis, provavelmente durante seis meses ou mais.
Richard Frank acha que a guerra inclusive poderia continuar por 2 ou 5 anos mais, sendo imprevisivel o seu final ou o número definitivo de mortos, a partir do momento em que as bombas foram lançadas.
Cabe recordar que o Japão recebeu um ultimatum logo depois de Potsdam, e que os militaristas japoneses se recusaram a aceitar a rendição. Quando, depois da bomba sobre Hiroshima, o Imperador sinalizou sua vontade de aceitar a rendição, ele quase foi assassinado pelos militaristas extremados. Mesmo depois da segunda bomba, os ultras recusavam a rendição, o que sinaliza como seria terrível um cenário de combates convencionais (com milhares de pilotos kamikazes prontos para se sacrificar pelo Japão e pelo imperador).
Ou seja, não querendo ser ou parecer cínico, a bomba atômica, ao fim e ao cabo, salvou vidas, japonesas e americanas.
Leiam a matéria do New York Times sobre a segunda bomba.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

On Aug. 9, 1945, the United States exploded a nuclear device over Nagasaki, Japan, instantly killing an estimated 39,000 people. The explosion came three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. (Go to article.)

Atom Bomb Loosed on Nagasaki
By W. H. LAWRENCE
Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES
August 9, 1945

2d Big Aerial Blow Japanese Port Is Target in Devastating New Midday Assault Result Called Good Foe Asserts Hiroshima Toll Is 'Uncountable' -- Assails 'Atrocity'

Guam, Thursday, Aug. 9 -- Gen. Carl A. Spaatz announced today that a second atomic bomb had been dropped, this time on the city of Nagasaki, and that crew members reported "good results."

The second use of the new and terrifying secret weapon which wiped out more than 60 percent of the city of Hiroshima and, according to the Japanese radio, killed nearly every resident of that town, occurred at noon today, Japanese time. The target today was an important industrial and shipping area with a population of about 258,000.

The great bomb, which harnesses the power of the universe to destroy the enemy by concussion, blast and fire, was dropped on the second enemy city about seven hours after the Japanese had received a political "roundhouse punch" in the form of a declaration of war by the Soviet Union.

Vital Transshipment Point
Guam, Thursday, Aug. 9 (AP) -- Nagasaki is vitally important as a port for transshipment of military supplies and the embarkation of troops in support of Japan's operations in China, Formosa, Southeast Asia, and the Southwest Pacific. It was highly important as a major shipbuilding and repair center for both naval and merchantmen.

The city also included industrial suburbs of Inase and Akunoura on the western side of the harbor, and Urakami. The combined area is nearly double Hiroshima's.

Nagasaki, although only two-thirds as large as Hiroshima in population, is considered more important industrially. With a population now estimated at 258,000, its twelve square miles are jam-packed with the eave-to-eave buildings that won it the name of "sea of roofs."

General Spaatz's communique reporting the bombing did not say whether one or more than one "mighty atom" was dropped.

Hiroshima a 'City of Dead'
The Tokyo radio yesterday described Hiroshima as a city of ruins and dead "too numerous to be counted," and put forth the claim that the use of the atomic bomb was a violation of international law.

The broadcast, made in French and directed to Europe, came several hours after Tokyo had directed a report to the Western Hemisphere for consumption in America asserting that "practically all living things, human and animal, were literally seared to death" Monday, when the single bomb was dropped on the southern Honshu city.

The two broadcasts, recorded by the Federal Communications Commission, stressed the terrible effect of the bomb on life and property.

European listeners were told that "as a consequence of the use of the new bomb against the town of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, most of the town has been completely destroyed and there are numerous dead and wounded among the population."

The United States Strategic Air Forces reported yesterday that 60 per cent of the city had been destroyed.]

"The destructive power of these bomb is indescribable," the broadcast continued, "and the cruel sight resulting from the attack is so impressive that one cannot distinguish between men and women killed by the fire. The corpses are too numerous to be counted.

"The destructive power of this new bombs spreads over a large area. People who were outdoors at the time of the explosion were burned alive by high temperature while those who were indoors were crushed by falling buildings."

Authorities still were "unable to obtain a definite check-up on the extent of the casualties" and "authorities were having their hands full in giving every available relief possible under the circumstances," the broadcast continued.

In the destruction of property even emergency medical facilities were burned out, Tokyo said, and relief squads were rushed into the area from all surrounding districts.

The Tokyo radio also reported that the Asahi Shimbun had made "a strong editorial appeal" to the people of Japan to remain calm in facing the use of the new type of bomb and renew pledges to continue to fight.

[A special meeting of the Japanese Cabinet was called at the residence of Premier Kantaro Suzuki to hear a preliminary report on the damage, The United Press said.]

A Propaganda Front
Voice broadcasts and wireless transmissions aimed at North America and Europe during the day apparently were trying to establish a propaganda point that the bombings should be stopped.

For example, a Tokyo English language broadcast to North America, accusing American leaders of fomenting an "atrocity campaign" in order "to create the impression that the Japanese are cruel people," as preparation for intensive Allied bombing of Japan, took up the subject of atomic bombing, and described it as "useless cruelty" that "may have given the United States war leaders guilty consciences."

"They may be afraid that their illegal and useless and needless bombing may eventually bring protest from the American people unless some means of hardening them can be provided," the broadcast continued.

The broadcast to the United States went on to ask: "How will the United States war leaders justify their degradation, not only in the eyes of the other peoples but also in the eyes of the American people? How will these righteous-thinking American people feel about the way their war leaders are perpetuating this crime against man and God?"

"Will they condone the whole thing on the ground that everything is fair in love and war or will they rise in anger and denounce this blot on the honor and tradition and prestige of the American people?"

The broadcast said that "authorized quarters in Tokyo made the following statement on Aug. 8 with regard to the United States disregard for humanity:

"International law lays down the principle that belligerent nations are not entitled to unlimited choice in the means by which to destroy their opponents.

"This is made clear by Article 22 of The Hague Convention. Consequently, any attack by such means against open towns and defenseless citizens are unforgivable actions. The United States ought to remember that at the beginning of the fighting in China, it protested to Japan on numerous occasions in the name of humanity against smaller raids carried out by Japan."

[Article 22 of The Hague Convention of 1907 Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land states: "The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited."]

The Tokyo announcer used the French phrase "villes demilitarises," or "open towns," although Hiroshima was known to be a quartermaster depot and a garrison town of considerable military importance.

The description of the havoc followed the line offered earlier in the broadcast to the United States, the "disastrous ruin" that struck the city, crushed houses and buildings, and "all of the dead and injured were burned beyond recognition," said the broadcast.

OTHER HEADLINES
Soviet Declares War on Japan: Russia Aids Allies: Joins Pacific Struggle After Spurning Foe's Mediation Flea: Seeks Early Peace: Molotoff Reveals Move Three Months After Victory in Europe
Attacks Manchuria, Tokyo Says: Red Army Strikes: Foes Reports First Blow by Soviet Forces on Asian Frontier: Key Points Bombed: Action Believed Aimed to Free Vladivostok Area of Threat
Truman to Report to People Tonight on Big 3 and War: Half-Hour Speech by Radio to Cover a Wide Range of Problems Facing the World: He Signs Peace Charter: And Thus Makes This Country the First to Complete All Ratification Requirements
Foreigners Asked to Stay Home
Tammany Ousts Last of Rebels: County Committee Ratifies Executive Group's Action -- Meeting Picketed
Allies Cut Austria Into Four Zones With Vienna Under Joint Control
385 B-29's Smash 4 Targets in Japan: Tokyo Arsenal and Aircraft Plant Are Seared -- Fukuyama and Yawata Cities Ripped
U.S. Third Fleet Attacking Targets in Northern Honshu
Truman Reveals Move of Moscow: Announces War Declaration Soon After Russian Action -- Capital Is Started
Tokyo 'Flashes' News 3 Hours After Event
4 Powers Call Aggression Crime in Accord Covering War Trials

sexta-feira, 6 de agosto de 2010

Hiroshima: a 65 anos da bomba atomica, memoria japonesa é seletiva

A bomba atomica sobre Hiroshima causou 66 mil mortes imediatas e algumas outras milhares depois.
Os japoneses parecem ter uma memória seletiva sobre a guerra. Eles esquecem o sofrimento causado para os povos que eles dominaram, desde antes da II Guerra Mundial Mundial.
Eles esquecem de mencionar, por exemplo, os massacres perpetrados em Nanjing, na invasão da China, entre dezembro de 1937 e fevereiro de 1938, quando eles devem ter trucidado, de maneira bestial, mais de 120 mil chineses, violando mulheres, esquartejando grávidas, cortando bebês ao meio, decapitando homens, simplesmente fuzilando, queimando vivos milhares de chineses.
Eles deveriam introduzir uma data de arrependimento pelos massacres cometidos nos países asiáticos invadidos...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

First Atomic Bomb Dropped on Japan; Missile Is Equal to 20,000 Tons of TNT; Truman Warns Foe of a 'Rain of Ruin'
By SIDNEY SHALETT
Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES, August 6, 1945

NEW AGE USHERED Day of Atomic Energy Hailed by President, Revealing Weapon HIROSHIMA IS TARGET 'Impenetrable' Cloud of Dust Hides City After Single Bomb Strikes

Washington, Aug. 6 -- The White House and War Department announced today that an atomic bomb, possessing more power than 20,000 tons of TNT, a destructive force equal to the load of 2,000 B-29's and more than 2,000 times the blast power of what previously was the world's most devastating bomb, had been dropped on Japan.

The announcement, first given to the world in utmost solemnity by President Truman, made it plain that one of the scientific landmarks of the century had been passed, and that the "age of atomic energy," which can be a tremendous force for the advancement of civilization as well as for destruction, was at hand.

At 10:45 o'clock this morning, a statement by the President was issued at the White House that sixteen hours earlier- about the time that citizens on the Eastern seaboard were sitting down to their Sunday suppers- an American plane had dropped the single atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, an important army center.

Japanese Solemnly Warned
What happened at Hiroshima is not yet known. The War Department said it "as yet was unable to make an accurate report" because "an impenetrable cloud of dust and smoke" masked the target area from reconnaissance planes. The Secretary of War will release the story "as soon as accurate details of the results of the bombing become available."

But in a statement vividly describing the results of the first test of the atomic bomb in New Mexico, the War-Department told how an immense steel tower had been "vaporized" by the tremendous explosion, how a 40,000-foot cloud rushed into the sky, and two observers were knocked down at a point 10,000 yards away. And President Truman solemnly warned:

"It was to spare the Japanese people from utter destruction that the ultimatum of July 26, was issued at Potsdam. Their leaders promptly rejected that ultimatum. If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the like of which has never been seen on this earth."

Most Closely Guarded Secret
The President referred to the joint statement issued by the heads of the American, British and Chinese Governments in which terms of surrender were outlined to the Japanese and warning given that rejection would mean complete destruction of Japan's power to make war.

[The atomic bomb weighs about 400 pounds and is capable of utterly destroying a town, a representative of the British Ministry of Aircraft Production said in London, the United Press reported.]

What is this terrible new weapon, which the War Department also calls the "Cosmic Bomb"? It is the harnessing of the energy of the atom, which is the basic power of the universe. As President Truman said, "The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East."

"Atomic fission" - in other words, the scientists' long-held dream of splitting the atom- is the secret of the atomic bomb. Uranium, a rare, heavy metallic element, which is radioactive and akin to radium, is the source essential to its production. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, in a statement closely following that of the President, promised that "steps have been taken, to assure us of adequate supplies of this mineral."

The imagination-sweeping experiment in harnessing the power of the atom has been the most closely guarded secret of the war. America to date has spent nearly $2,000,000,000 in advancing its research. Since 1939, American, British and Canadian scientists have worked on it. The experiments have been conducted in the United States, both for reasons of achieving concentrated efficiency and for security; the consequences of having the material fall into the hands of the enemy, in case Great Britain should have been successfully invaded, were too awful for the Allies to risk.

All along, it has been a race with the enemy. Ironically enough, Germany started the experiments, but we finished them. Germany made the mistake of expelling, because she was a "non-Aryan," a woman scientist who held one of the keys to the mystery, and she made her knowledge available to those who brought it to the United States. Germany never quite mastered the riddle, and the United States, Secretary Stimson declared, is "convinced that Japan will not be in a position to use an atomic bomb in this war."

A Sobering Awareness of Power
Not the slightest spirit of braggadocio is discernible either in the wording of the official announcements or in the mien of the officials who gave out the news. There was an element of elation in the realization that we had perfected this devastating weapon for employment against an enemy who started the war and has told us she would rather be destroyed than surrender, but it was grim elation. There was sobering awareness of the tremendous responsibility involved.

Secretary Stimson said that this new weapon "should prove a tremendous aid in the shortening of the war against Japan," and there were other responsible officials who privately thought that this was an extreme understatement, and that Japan might find herself unable to stay in the war under the coming rain of atom bombs.

It was obvious that officials at the highest levels made the important decision to release news of the atomic bomb because of the psychological effect it may have in forcing Japan to surrender. However, there are some officials who feel privately it might have been well to keep this completely secret. Their opinion can be summed up in the comment by one spokesman: "Why bother with psychological warfare against an enemy that already is beaten and hasn't sense enough to quit and save herself from utter doom?"

The first news came from President Truman's office. Newsmen were summoned and the historic statement from the Chief Executive,who still is on the high seas, was given to them.

"That bomb," Mr. Truman said, "had more power than 20,000 tons of TNT. It had more than 2,000 times the blast power of the British 'Grand Slam,' which is the largest bomb (22,000 pounds) ever yet used in the history of warfare."

Explosive Charge Is Small
No details were given on the plane that carried the bomb. Nor was it stated whether the bomb was large or small. The President, however, said the explosive charge was "exceedingly small." It is known that tremendous force is packed into tiny quantities of the element that constitutes these bombs. Scientists, looking to the peacetime uses of atomic power, envisage submarines, ocean liners and planes traveling around the world on a few pounds of the element. Yet, for various reasons, the bomb used against Japan could have been extremely large.

Hiroshima, first city on earth to be the target of the "Cosmic Bomb," is a city of 318,000, which is- or was- a major quartermaster depot and port of embarkation for the Japanese. In addition to large military supply depots, it manufactured ordinance, mainly large guns and tanks, and machine tools, and aircraft-ordinance parts.

President Truman grimly told the Japanese that "the end is not yet."

"In their present form these bombs are now in production," he said, "and even more powerful forms are in development."

He sketched the story of how the late President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill agreed that it was wise to concentrate research in America, and how great secret cities sprang up in this country, where, at one time, 125,000 men and women labored to harness the atom. Even today more than 65,000 workers are employed.

"What has been done," he said, "is the greatest achievement of organized science in history.

"We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive and enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy Japan's power to make war."

The President emphasized that the atomic discoveries were so important, both for the war and for the peace, that he would recommend to Congress that it consider promptly establishing "an appropriate commission to control the production and use of atomic power within the United States."

"I shall give further consideration and make further recommendations to the Congress as to how atomic power can become a powerful and forceful influence toward the maintenance of world peace," he said.

Secretary Stimson called the atomic bomb "the culmination of years of herculean effort on the part of science and industry, working in cooperation with the military authorities." He promised that "improvements will be forthcoming shortly which will increase by several fold the present effectiveness."

"But more important for the long-range implications of this new weapon," he said, "is the possibility that another scale of magnitude will be developed after considerable research and development. The scientists are confident that over a period of many years atomic bombs may well be developed which will be very much more powerful than the atomic bombs now at hand."

Investigation Started in 1939
It was late in 1939 that President Roosevelt appointed a commission to investigate use of atomic energy for military purposes. Until then only small-scale research with Navy funds had taken place. The program went into high gear.

By the end of 1941 the project was put under direction of a group of eminent American scientists in the Office of Scientific Research and Development, under Dr. Vanever Bush, who reported directly to Mr. Roosevelt. The President also appointed a General Policy Group, consisting of former Vice President Henry A. Wallace, Secretary Stimson, Gen. George C. Marshall, Dr. James B. Conant, president of Harvard, and Dr. Bush. In June 1942, this group recommended vast expansion of the work transfer of the major part of the program to the War Department.

Maj. Gen. Leslie R. Groves, a native of Albany, N. Y., and a 48-year-old graduate of the 1918 class at West Point, was appointed by Mr. Stimson to take complete executive charge of the program. General Groves, an engineer, holding the permanent Army rank of lieutenant colonel, received the highest praise from the War Department for the way he "fitted together the multifarious pieces of the vast, country-wide jigsaw," and, at the same time, organized the virtually air-tight security system that kept the project a secret.

A military policy committee also was appointed, consisting of Dr. Bush, chairman; Dr. Conant, Lieut. Gen. Wilhelm D. Styer and Rear Admiral William R. Purnell.

In December, 1942, the decision was made to proceed with construction of large-scale plants. Two are situated at the Clinton Engineer Works in Tennessee and a third at the Hanaford Engineer Works in the State of Washington.

These plants were amazing phenomena in themselves. They grew into large, self-sustaining cities, employing thousands upon thousands of workers. Yet, so close was the secrecy that not only were the citizens of the area kept in darkness about the nature of the project, but the workers themselves had only the sketchiest ideas- if any- as to what they were doing. This was accomplished Mr. Stimson said, by "compartmentalizing" the work so "that no one has been given more information than was absolutely necessary to his particular job."

The Tennessee reservation consists of 59,000 acres, eighteen miles west of Knoxville, it is known as Oak Ridge and has become a modern small city of 78,000, fifth largest in Tennessee.

In the State of Washington the Government has 430,000 acres in an isolated area, fifteen miles northwest of Pasco. The settlement there, which now has a population of 17,000, consisting of plant operators and their immediate families, is known as Richmond.

A special laboratory also has been set up near Santa Fe, N. M., under direction of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer of the University of California, Dr. Oppenheimer also supervised the first test of the atomic bomb on July 16, 1945. This took place in a remote section of the New Mexico desert lands, with a group of eminent scientists gathered, frankly fearful to witness the results of the invention, which might turn out to be either the salvation or the Frankenstein's monster of the world.

Mr. Stimson also gave full credit to the many industrial corporations and educational institutions which worked with the War Department in bringing this titanic undertaking to fruition.

In August, 1943, a combined policy committee was appointed, consisting of Secretary Stimson, Drs. Bush and Conant for the United States; the late Field Marshall Sir John Dill (now replaced by Field Marshal Sir Henry Maitland Wilson) and Col. J. J. Llewellin (since replaced by Sir Ronald Campbell), for the United Kingdom, and C. D. Howe for Canada.

"Atomic fission holds great promise for sweeping developments by which our civilization may be enriched when peace comes, but the overriding necessities of war have precluded the full exploration of peacetime applications of this new knowledge," Mr. Stimson said. "However, it appears inevitable that many useful contributions to the well-being of mankind will ultimately flow from these discoveries when the world situation makes it possible for science and industry to concentrate on these aspects."

Although warning that many economic factors will have to be considered "before we can say to what extent atomic energy will supplement coal; oil and water as fundamental sources of power," Mr. Stimson acknowledged that "we are at the threshold of a new industrial art which will take many years and much expenditures of money to develop."

The Secretary of War disclosed that he had appointed an interim committee to study post-war control and development of atomic energy. Mr. Stimson is serving as chairman, and other members include James F. Byrnes, Secretary of State; Ralph A. Bard, former Under-Secretary of the Navy; William L. Clayton, Assistant Secretary of State; Dr. Bush, Dr. Conant, Dr. Carl T. Compton, chief of the Office of Field Service in OSRD and president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and George L. Harrison, special consultant to the Secretary of War and president of the New York Life Insurance Company. Mr. Harrison is alternate chairman of the committee.

The committee also has the assistance of an advisory group of some of the country's leading physicists including Dr. Oppenheimer, Dr. E. O. Lawrence, Dr. A. H. Compton and Dr. Enrico Fermi.

The War Department gave this supplementary background on the development of the atomic bomb.

"The series of discoveries which led to development of the atomic bomb started at the turn of the century when radioactivity became known to science. Prior to 1939 the scientific work in this field was world-wide, but more particularly so in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Denmark. One of Denmark's great scientists, Dr. Neils Bohr, a Nobel Prize winner, was whisked from the grasp of the Nazis in his occupied homeland and later assisted in developing the atomic bomb.

"It is known that Germany worked desperately to solve the problem of controlling atomic energy."

RELATED HEADLINES
Report by Britain: 'By God's Mercy' We Beat Nazis to Bomb, Churchill Says: Roosevelt Aid Cited: Raiders Wrecked Norse Laboratory in Race for Key to Victory
Steel Tower 'Vaporized' in Trial of Mighty Bomb: Scientists Awe-Struck as Blinding Flash Lighted New Mexico Desert and Great Cloud Bore 40,000 Feet Into Sky
Trains Canceled in Stricken Area: Traffic Around Hiroshima Is Disrupted -- Japanese Still Sift Havoc by Split Atoms
Atom Bombs Made in 3 Hidden 'Cities': Secrecy on Weapon So Great That Not Even Workers Knew of Their Product
Reich Exile Emerges as Heroine in Denial to Nazis of Atom's Secret

OTHER HEADLINES
Hiram W. Johnson, Republican Dean in the Senate, Dies: Isolationist Helped Prevent U.S. Entry Into League -- Opposed World Charter: California Ex-Governor Ran for Vice President With Theodore Roosevelt in '12 -- In Washington Since '17
Jet Plane Explosion Kills Major Bong, Top U.S. Ace: Flier Who Downed 40 Japanese Craft, Sent Home to Be 'Safe,' Was Flying New 'Shooting Star' as a Test Pilot
Kyushu City Razed: Kenney's Planes Blast Tarumizu in Reord Blow From Okinawa, Rocket Site Is Seen, 125 B-29's Hit Japan's Toyokawa Naval Arsenal in Demolition Strike
Morris Is Accused of 'Taking a Walk': Fusion Official 'Sad to Part Company' -- McGoldrick Sees Only Tammany Aided
Chinese Win More of 'Invasion Coast': Smash Into Port 121 Miles Southwest of Canton -- Big Area Open for Landing
Turks Talk War if Russia Presses; Prefer Vain Battle to Surrender