The Enola Gay, the US bomber, dropped the Little Boy, the first nuclear device of enriched uranium, which initially killed hundreds of thousands of human beings. That four-ton bomb exploded with a force comparable to nearly thirteen thousand tons of explosives. Rubble reigned! Consequences have reached right down to the present day, more than half a century after such horrible crime.
Three days later, on August 9, this time in the port city of Nagasaki, also in Japan, it was the plutonium Fat Man the one responsible for causing a similar disaster. Once more, the material catastrophe and its deadly consequences took possession of another defenseless population.
Sixty five years of those moving events have elapsed, a period in which the world has lived under the latent danger of another outcome of larger proportions. At present, the destructive capacity of the new bombs, more sophisticated and more powerful than those, could perfectly destroy life on the planet 10 or 15 times.
The so-called Cold War, the so much historically suggested East-West conflict that kept human existence in suspense, at the expense of the first apparent threat of attack or of the equally probable – and possible! – human error, ended more than 20 years ago. However, threats of a new nuclear war are today greater than in those days.
Positions of strength, imperatives to stockpile and control the world’s energy reserves, and geopolitical control, put the world on the brink of a cataclysm of tragic and predictable consequences. The victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki never imagined the magnitude of the misfortune that fell upon them or its long aftereffects. What is different today is that the world does know what would happen if such disastrous events were repeated. More than half a century after the United States dropped the atomic bombs on Japanese soil, the event quickly became a news item; today, it’s history. Another difference: If something similar happened, it would hardly be a news item, and it wouldn’t go down in history.
A new nuclear conflict would be the end of life on the planet, the gloomy end of species, beginning with human beings. Then, no-one will survive to tell what happened, and there won’t be more atomic bombs to drop, or war threats. The world we know today would cease to exist; the silence of not-to- be would prevail; the space-time coordinates would be extinguished. There would be no more poverty or wealth; no dreams would exist, because there wouldn’t be anyone to have them.
Would reasoning accept such global suicide? However, tensions with Iran and the North Korean Peninsula, if the omens of the conflict consummate, could lead us, unfortunately, to a global catastrophe -and everything because of ambition.
As Fidel pointed out in his reflection of August 3, while referring to a book by Brazilian theologian Frei Betto: “Today, all forms of life on the planet are threatened, including humans (two thirds of the world population survive below the poverty line.) Earth itself is. Avoiding the occurrence of the Apocalypse requires questioning the myths of modernity, such as market, development, and uni-national state, all based on instrumental reason.” (1)
A few days earlier, on July 30, in his message to youngsters, Fidel expressed: “… I’ve often wondered: Why do our children and teenagers have to die? Why do our youngsters have to die? Why do intelligences where so many virtues could be sowed and cultivated have to disappear? Why do their parents have to die in fratricidal wars?” (2)
The danger of the Apocalypse continues to be latent; threats are there, around the corner, and, apparently, except denouncing it to the world, very little can be done. If it takes place, it would be the last Hiroshima and Nagasaki, without news items or history to be told. No healthy mind can wish such fate for himself, for his children or grandchildren, or for their peers, however distant they may live from each other of even if they don’t know each other.
This 65th anniversary of the two holocausts in Japan should serve to recall, especially those who can trigger it, that the next war would be “the end of the end.”
Going back to Fidel, with the wishes to live and the right to life all living creatures have… “We prefer to cling on to hope…” (3)
(1) Reflections by Fidel, August 3, 2010 “A Challenge to the US President.”
(2) Castro Ruz, Fidel, “Message to Youngsters”, Havana, July 30, 2010.