The Gimmick Of Mass Destruction

Nagasaki Prayer
Two women pray at what had been a cemetery in Nagasaki, 1945. Photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt

“When the [Nagasaki] bomb went off, a flier on another mission 250 miles away saw a huge ball of fiery yellow erupt.
Others, nearer at hand, saw a big mushroom of dust and smoke billow darkly up to 20,000 feet,
and then the same detached floating head as at Hiroshima.  Twelve hours later Nagasaki was a mass of flame,
palled by acrid smoke, its pyre still visible to pilots 200 miles away.  The bombers reported that black smoke had
shot up like a tremendous, ugly waterspout. With grim satisfaction, [physicists] declared
that the ‘improved’ second atomic bomb had already made the first one obsolete.”

From the article “War’s Ending” in LIFE, 8/20/1945

 

Joe Kieyoomia was a young Navajo soldier from New Mexico.  In April of 1942, he was captured by the Japanese when the Allied forces surrendered the Philippines.   Thus began several months of beatings at the hands of his captors, who had mistakenly, or intentionally assumed he was a Japanese-American, and therefore a “traitor” as well as an enemy.  He was also one of 75,000 prisoners that would endure the beheadings, bayonet stabbings, rapes, disembowelments, rifle-butt-beatings, throat-cuttings, casual shootings, and lack of food or water on the sixty mile march through the jungles of Bataan— the Bataan Death March.

 

Since his captors believed he was a Navajo Indian, when he arrived at camp O’Donnell, Joe was questioned, then tortured for information about the “Navajo Code,” that had baffled the Japanese.  Although he could understand bits and pieces of the sophisticated code the Navajo Code Talkers were using, he told the Japanese the truth— the coded messages sounded like nonsense to him.

Joe was put on a prisoner transport ship headed for Japan.  These prisoner transports were unmarked, and thus were frequently targeted by Allied submarines and aircraft.  They were also called “hell-ships,” because prisoners were forced into cargo holds like cordwood— with very little ventilation, no food or water, no sanitation— for a journey that would last seven weeks, if you survived it.  Many of the men died en route from asphyxia, starvation, and dysentery.  Some men lost their minds;  others just became delirious and unresponsive to their environment.

Joe Kieyoomia survived the hell-ship trip, and was eventually imprisoned in a P.O.W. camp in the Japanese coastal city of Nagasaki.  There, his interrogations were conducted with a renewed intensity.  He was stripped naked and made to stand for hours in deep snow until he talked.

Joe did not talk.

He was ordered to return to his cell;  but when he didn’t immediately move, he was shoved by a guard; which caused the skin of the soles of his feet to tear.  Joe’s feet had been frozen to the ground.

gimmick | ˈɡimik |
noun
a trick or device intended to attract attention,
publicity, or business.

At 11:01 A.M. On the morning of August 9th, 1945, the nuclear projectile named “Fat Man,” containing a mere 14.1 pounds of plutonium-239, was dropped from high above Nagasaki valley. Forty-three seconds later it exploded, at 1,540 feet above the ground;  almost exactly halfway between the Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works to the south, and the Mitsubishi-Urakami Ordnance Works to the north.  Best estimates of immediate deaths range from 40,000 to 75,000 people.  But Joe Kieyoomia was not numbered among those casualties. He survived that day, because he was inadvertently protected by the thick walls of his prison cell.

 The men in the squadron that delivered the two nuclear projectiles that exploded over the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, did not refer to them as “atomic bombs” or “atom bombs.”  They called them “The Gimmick.”  The name had developed along with the bombs themselves, reflective of the overall mission of the devices:  to bring about the swiftest possible conclusion to a world-wide war.  “The Gimmick” did just that.  Within a week, the Japanese surrendered, in the hope they would be saving what remained of their nation and their people, from obliteration.

Reflect on the fact that over 25,000 nuclear weapons, many times more powerful than the two gimmicks of mass destruction dropped on Japan, still exist around the world.  At this very moment, more than 2,200 are on alert, ready for use in a few minutes or hours.  The United States and Russia maintain more than ninety-six percent of the world’s total.

 

During the first third of the twentieth century
Urantians killed more human beings than were killed during
the whole of the Christian dispensation up to that time.
. . .And this is only the beginning of the dire harvest of materialism
and secularism;  still more terrible destruction is yet to come.

The Urantia Book, writing in1935-36, published in 1955

 

Nagasaki TempleNagasaki, August, 1945

During the first third of the twentieth century
Urantians killed more human beings than were killed during
the whole of the Christian dispensation up to that time.
…And this is only the beginning of the dire harvest of materialism
and secularism;  still more terrible destruction is yet to come.

—The Urantia Book, 1935-36

 

5 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Gimmick Of Mass Destruction -- Topsy.com

  2. A very fitting tribute to the horrendous events of the 6th & 9th of August, 1945. It never ceases to amaze me how, after the acts of 9/11, Americans had the temerity to ask others the question: why does the world hate us so much? It isn’t that the world hates America, it’s that America has made itself the police of the world, taking on a Mantle of tremendous and frightening power that was first manifest in 1945 at the ‘end’ of the Second World War.

    Of course nobody wanted to see more Americans die in a war of attrition against the Japanese in a war fought on the Japanese homeland, but how do we know all of the estimates were actually accurate? Had they considered the effects of conventional bombing against the military centers? Had they considered a naval blockade the would have starved the island over a period of time? History demands that the first act of state sanctioned terror be fully and forensically accounted for: that the reasons for the use of the ‘gimmick’ be not for expedience as the target was considered sub-human (and preferred to the German target as originally designated). History demands the truth and it is not getting it – yet.

    Peter – @crazycomposer on Twitter

    1. Avatar Michael Hart

      Welcome to USojo, Peter, you’ve put your finger on the very thing that justifies international law in the hands of the government of all mankind. No one nation has the moral authority to appoint themselves world sheriff; we must remember that if one man craves freedom— liberty— all other men long for the same freedom. Nation will rise against nation— just as long as the world’s political sovereignty is divided up and unjustly held by one nation or a group of nations.

      Global wars will go on until the government of mankind is created. Only global sovereignty will prevent global wars and ensure world peace— nothing else can.

      We live in a just— and merciful— universe, and the truth of history will come, whether we hear it in this world or must wait for it in the next.

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