Thursday, 6 August 2009

Hiroshima's legacy

More than 60 years after the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima -- it continues to shape thinking on nuclear policy.ShotlistStory
August 6, 1945, 8:15 AM. The US drops the first atom bomb, striking Hiroshima. The attack lead to the deaths of tens of thousands, and leveled the city. Koji Kobayashi, was nine years old at the time -- he was in school when the bomb struck.

Hiroshima survivor Koji Kobayashi, saying:

"I fainted because of the broken school house, but my mother could be in time to dig me out of broken school house with help of neighbors."

Three days later another bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

The US entered World War II after Japan struck Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Japan surrendered on August 15 -- less than a week after Nagasaki.

Mark Clodfelter of the National War College:

Mark Clodfelter of the National War College, saying:

"It was viewed as payback, retribution for what the Japanese had done and I don't think many Americans regretted what we were doing, particularly if what we did ended the war sooner and saved American lives."

Even today polls show most Americans think it was the right thing to do -- according to a Quinnipiac University poll.

At the time the US was the sole nuclear power.

Now some 64 years later, the US and Russia have restarted talks on reducing their arsenals. Obama said even if full elimination does not happen in his lifetime -- it is the right pursuit.

Joe Cirincione of the Ploughshares Fund.

Joe Cirincione of the Ploughshares Fund, saying:

"In the last few years we've seen a remarkable shift in international opinion both in the publics and among the security elite, what these nuclear weapons are now seen as not an instrument of safety and security, but a liability,

Cirincione thinks the biggest barrier to eliminating these weapons is cynicism that it could ever happen.

Hiroshima survivor Koji Kobayashi, saying:

"Let's be smart enough for us human being, stay alive."

The 73-year-old Kobayashi marked the 64th anniversary of the bombings at a service in New York.

Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.