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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Nagasaki: Atomic Bomb Redux

You may be surprised to learn that on August 9, 1945, the day of the Nagasaki bombing--only the second use of the atomic bomb--the NYT did not make it the lead story of the day.   That honor went to a report on the Soviets' entry into the war against Japan.  Well, that was a big deal, too.  In fact, many historians believe that this entry (long demanded by the U.S.) would have ended the war quickly--without the need for the U.S. to use either A-bomb. 

As in the case of the Hiroshima bombing, most in the U.S. media, taking directions from the White House and military, would refer to Nagasaki as a "naval base," not a large city.  In fact,  hardly any Japanese military personnel would die in the Nagasaki blast.  When they heard the news about Nagasaki, scientists at Los Alamos who helped create the device--and felt conflicted about he Hiroshima bombing--used the words "nausea" and "sickening" to describe their reaction to the fully unnecesary war crime that was Nagasaki.

On this same day, August 9, the NYT dismissed claims now emerging from Japan of shocking and strange after-effects of the bomb  (that is, radiation disease) as simply "propaganda points" aimed at preventing the use of any more new super-weapons.

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