On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, followed three days later by an attack on Nagasaki. Tens of thousands perished within seconds. For some who died, the only evidence they existed was a radiation shadow found on a concrete wall. The stated justification for this horrific crime was the need to hasten the end of World War II. But not only was Japan already attempting to surrender, it made the final decision to do so because the Soviet Union declared war—Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not need to be bombed.

The United States is still the only nation to use an atomic weapon against human beings. Yet it reserves a self-declared right to determine which nations can and cannot develop the same capability. The international community has spoken out in opposition to that arrogant position by demanding the “denuclearization” of all nations that possess these inhumane weapons of mass destruction. After 72 years of agitation in favor and opposition from all nations that possess nuclear weapons, the United Nations General Assembly voted last July to adopt a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) supports this treaty, and calls on all peace and anti-war activists to publicize the existence of this treaty, as well as demand the United States join with the sentiments of the world and eliminate its nuclear arsenal.

Peace loving people around the world must be united in working for a nuclear-free world. Even Ronald Reagan declared after he and Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to significantly reduce their arsenals, “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Yet presidents Obama and Trump have and are proposing to spend over $1 trillion on nuclear weapons “upgrades.”

The right to life is the ultimate human right with war being the ultimate violator of that right. Yet, contemporary policymakers in the Obama and Bush administrations, who had made the Dr. Strangelove character seem rational, had quietly engaged in discussions about the tactical feasibility of limited nuclear war, as if a nuclear war could possibly be contained. The need for peace, for a world free from the nuclear threat, has never been clearer. The somber anniversary of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are an opportunity to remind the world of the horror of nuclear war and to make sure opposition to war includes its most psychopathic expression—nuclear war! 

Photo credit: Reuters/U.S. Army