Rebecca and I are still in Springfield with my father who’s just had surgery, and we’re staying a little longer to help with things. Yesterday marked the 64th anniversary of the dawn of nuclear warfare upon this planet. Four years ago, in 2005, I penned a talk for the International Forum for Literature and Culture annual assembly, where Rebecca and I met. It was the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima nuclear attack; after a solemn moment of silence, I presented the following and wanted to share it with you all today. ~Byron
Six Decades Since Angry Mushroom
Six decades since angry mushroom.
As we sit here today in 2005 — sixty years have passed since the arrival of nuclear warfare upon the doorstep of humanity.
The US Air Forces B-29 Bomber “Enola Gay” dropped an atom fission bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6th, 1945 killing 80,000 civilians outright.
(After the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A… )
The fact that on August 6th and 9th in 1945 nuclear warfare was a reality showed humanity entering a new era – a new era in which within our mortal hands we had the power to destroy all human life, as well as the capability to eradicate all human poverty.
With this understanding of the breadth of humanity’s technological abilities – on one hand building the tools for life and on the other, igniting the means of destruction – we have a clue as to where to park this angry mushroom.
All inhabitants of the planet Earth have a stake in her future – and as the architects of that future, we must ask where our civilization is heading and what we’re choosing to amplify.
War or peace?
Fear or love?
After the arrival of angry mushroom, there was a symbolic shift, at least an attempt at one. Although discounted officially as being a substantive change, on October 26, 1945 — three months after ordering the first volley of nuclear weapons to be used in conflict — President Truman implemented a slight change in the Presidential Seal of the United States: the Eagles head was turned from facing the talon of war and now faces the talon of peace. It’s unfortunate that this change has not been put into practice – yet.
Looking towards the olive branch of life and turning away from the destructive weapons (arrows) of the past.
Sixty years ago that mushroom cloud billowed in a burst of anger – but what also burst was the illusion of security that the construction of dangerous things brings; and the miracle of the twentieth century has been that no more of these candlesticks of death of have been lit up in anger.
For the first time in the history of war making, we’ve made it a point to hold back our heaviest spear. It’s an evolution of sorts.
Humanity’s technological prowess has forced a half-step towards ascension – and it is now time to complete that step.
There have been many cases when nuclear weapons were requested by generals in the field, in the Korean War Gen. Douglas McArthur wanted to put a wall of 20-30 tactical nuclear explosions in between US forces and Chinese ones. But he was not allowed to nor supplied with the nukes. Castro had urged a nuclear strike during the height of the Cuban missile crisis – but it didn’t happen.
The clock of destiny was ticking out, and each time history’s bell tolled some transcendent and elevated wisdom supplanted what normally has occurred with mankind and warfare.
After World War II, using the method of atomic warfare seemed contrary to our basic instincts for survival.
There was a disconnect with the way things used to be – or perhaps, a new sense of communal empathy?
Maybe an inkling of the latter — this reality of nuclear restraint gives me hope.
It is a half-step towards the elimination of all warfare.
But this is a glass is half-full kind of interpretation, a cynical one would say that nuclear restraint is an attempt by those in charge to save their own skin and to protect their own loved ones.
If this is the case, then the battle for the spread of peace resides in whom our leaders deem worthy to protect.
The motivations that keep commanders that control nuclear arsenals from ever using these most massively destructive weapons, is in their perception of some sort of Pandora’s Box run-amok scenario where the quality of life for their immediate family members would be forever degraded and descendant into the fiery future following any “limited exchange”.
Completing this half-step towards ascension – this half-step towards the elimination of warfare — will involve an extension of who our leaders hold to their hearts. If big hearted enough to reach out and include all of humanity, then any kind of conflict resolution through an expression of bullets and bombs would be anathema and put away.
Of course this blending of survival instinct into the holding back of total war does not yet apply to conventional warfare — as non-nuclear warfare is still an acceptable thing to ask the people to participate in, to pay for – and to die for.
It may not be okay to ruin your own family, but its okay to send poor folks over to Iraq toting M-16 assault rifles and to tell them they’re serving to protect national security. Even though this policy works to undermine that security.
Tell them they’re bringing democracy to the Middle East, and that they’re helping Iraqis – that’s a good story, but there are lots of suffering people in other parts of the world not receiving our help due to the absence of oil in their ground.
Follow the money trail and the no-bid contracts to get to the truth driving policy.
The military is being used as sacrificial pawns to protect oil and deals for big business, not to defend the constitution like their sworn oath to serve says to.
And then tens of thousands of casualties follow those high crimes.
Shame on the deceivers in office.
It’s time to put deception into remission – to eviscerate the propagandists with a hot brand of dignity and truth.
With an extended perspective on whose lives are valid to defend – all lives are valid to defend – the hope lies in the dismissal of the concept of “just war”. You may argue with your family, but you would not rain down a descendant maelstrom of explosive death on your family.
What is more true than the common ground stood upon by the family of humanity? One planet, one people, one garden.
There’s something wrong with men who play war like a game, who manipulate profits for personal gain, and when these two qualities come together the republic of our democracy is destroyed.
There is a window of opportunity to reframe these dated arguments for eternal war footing – a window of opportunity to break the reign of the economic hitmen whom today call the shots and irresponsibly attempt to author another century of conflict.
The time has come for a new set of screenwriters to be ushered onto the world’s stage.
Let’s begin to shine these war profiteers in suspicious light for all to see. Together the people can remove the benefits a select few entertain from limited wars – together, we must take away the profits garnered from controlled chaos.
I feel that this new era of increased communicative conductivity all around the world today will allow for the perception of who our dear family is to expand exponentially and to take hold and eradicate the policies of fear and blossom an expression of loving and spiritual guidance for the benefit of all.
And with the new found brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity, we can park this angry mushroom forever in our history books along with warfare — both as retired aspects of an evolving civilization.
Yours in Peace,