Sunday, 8 August 2010

Hiroshima: Never again.

Two days ago was the 65th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, this was the first anniversary where the US sent a delegate, a good move. I still think one thing is missing though, an apology from America.

There will be people who say that no apology is needed, the countries were at war and if either side had a way to end that war quicker then they would have taken it. I don't buy this as a reason not to apologise. What happened that day, and not long after in Nagasaki, was nothing short of horrific. I don't think you can ever excuse the killing of 140,000 innocent civilians, and its a sad state of affairs if we can ever look at that and say it was a necessary evil.

I hope the US being at this event marks the start of a more serious programme of nuclear disarmament by the world. We aren't living in the cold war any more, their is no reason why anyone needs the kind of nuclear stockpiles currently held by America and Russia. I hope Obama can make some serious in-roads because nothing will happen without America's input.

And whilst we're on the subject, it's worth talking about our own nuclear weapons. There's currently a big debate raging around whether or not to renew our Trident nuclear submarines at a massive cost to the taxpayer. I personally hinge on the side of looking for a more cost effective defence, perhaps going into a joint agreement with France. But whilst I can understand the other viewpoint, what I think is horrendous is that the replacement of Trident is being declared 'off the table' at the strategic defence review. How can you review the countries defences without being allowed to look at the single costliest part of it?

There can be no other reason for this than it is considered a bad political move to look 'soft' on defence. I think its time to move past this and look at the facts, not what the Daily Mail might think about it.

We should be aiming for a world where we don't just 'hope' another Hiroshima can't happen, but where we actively stop even the slightest possibility that it might. Man has always invested heavily in new and better methods of killing. Now is the time to stop.

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