Star date: 10th August 2010


On the anniversary of Nagasaki yesterday, Salford CND and supporters met at the rain-drenched cenotaph in Swinton to remember the devastating, world- changing, dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 65 years ago. But where was the Mayor of Salford? asks Suzi Hoffmann.

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 With colourful peace flags and umbrellas, Salford CND and supporters met in Swinton to read poems and sing songs in memory of the wipe-out of the two cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were obliterated in 1945.

By 1950 over 340,000 people had died and generations of children were poisoned by radiation.  People forget that Japan had already surrendered, but the US wanted to use the bombs to show its strength and dominate the post –war world. So the bombing was completely unnecessary to end the war. 

Today, tens of thousands of nuclear weapons still threaten our survival. Britain has 225 nuclear warheads, each one with 8 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb. 
One local resident expressed her fears for the child soldiers in other countries and referred to 'our own child soldiers – the young people we are sending to Afghanistan'. 

Sheila Simpson raised the issue of Mordechai Vanunu. The ex nuclear technician who spoke out against Israel's weapons of mass destruction has been imprisoned yet again.  He has already spent 18 years in prison, most of those in solitary confinement. In 2007 Amnesty International called for the immediate release of this 'prisoner of conscience'.  The Israeli state has taken no notice. 

One of those who gathered in Swinton, Basil Landau, was disappointed that
the Mayor had not turned up. He said:  "At the peace gardens in Manchester
today is an anti-nuclear meeting like ours, but the Mayor of Manchester turned
up at that one" 

The Mayors for Peace international movement was launched in 2003 in
Nagasaki and Councillor John Merry enthused about it at Salford's council meeting
on April 21st 2004 when he said:

"The Council is happy to support and associate itself with the aspirations and
principles of Mayors for Peace, for Peace in the World and Nuclear

One of the most moving poems about Hiroshima is by James Kirkup, written
when he visited the Hiroshima Museum in 1960: maybe it could be read at the
start of the next Salford Council meeting…

From No More Hiroshimas 1960

"The other relics:
The ones that made me weep;
The bits of burnt clothing,
The stopped watches, the torn shirts, the stained and tattered vests and
drawers, the ripped kiminos and charred boots,
The white blouse polka-dotted with atomic rain, indelible
The cotton summer pants the blasted boys crawled home in, to bleed
And slowly die,
Remember only these. These are the only memorials we need.

Words and photos by Suzi Hoffman










Nachtschlepper wrote
at 21:33:30 on 18 August 2010
I'm just pointing out that you seem to get confused. Buy a dictionary, look up a few words before you use them. It's quite simple really.
Richard Carvath wrote
at 15:13:36 on 17 August 2010
My guess is that you're familiar with the concept of something being lawful even though it shouldn't be? Slavery and the slave trade? Any number of acts that the Nazis permitted by law?
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 06:24:11 on 17 August 2010
Mr Carvath, please get at least one fact right. Murder by definition is unlawful killing, as abortion is legal then any emotive use of language is incorrect. I personally don't give a chuff what you think, I just wish you could get something right.
Richard Carvath wrote
at 18:45:57 on 16 August 2010
Let's cut the crap shall we? I'm saying murdering unborn babies is wrong and should not be legally available in a civilised society (as was the case in Britain just 43 years ago) and you're saying you're totally cool with it. I've not ranted here once, I've insulted no one and I haven't mentioned Jesus once either. You're calling me the bigot/fanatic but that is simply not borne out by the content on this thread. Far from me being a danger to society, I'm not the guy condoning murder on the NHS! The annual British abortion death toll is the equivalent of the City of Salford population being wiped out every year; I oppose this - but I'm the danger to society? I don't think so!
Mike Skeffington wrote
at 16:07:44 on 16 August 2010
Mr Carvath, I find your propensity to make sweeping statements and then try to justify them using your own misguided logic quite astonishing. Your rantings about the sanctity of life and your personal right to judge the actions and opinions of others shows a serious flaw in your character and serves to highlight the dangers to a free society from fanatics like yourself. Of course life in inportant, but freedom is equaly important. I would seriously fear for a society run by intransigent, quasi-religious people pontificating their 'holier than thou' personal opinions. I welcome all comments, but please refrain from telling me my stance on this matter, it is 'Pro Choice'.
Ian Spence wrote
at 16:07:24 on 16 August 2010
Richard Carvaths nonsense is exactly the kind of preachy, self satisfied hog wash that makes Christianity and most other religions look like they belong back in the 13th century. Perhaps in a ideal world thats where you'd have been born Mr Carvath?
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 21:28:25 on 15 August 2010
If there was any doubt about the Japanese looking to end the war I refer you to an article in the Chicago Tribune dated 19th August 1945. The article, the details of which were later confirmed by MacArthur himself, claimed that MacArthur had sent President Roosevelt a memorandum, dated 20th January 1945, with details of Japanese conditions for surrender. The conditions were identical to those finally agreed at the end of the war. Given that the US government knew the Japanese were ready to surrender then why were negotiations not opened immediately?
Richard Carvath wrote
at 21:28:21 on 15 August 2010
Skeff....... (1) To refer to an abortionist as a murderer is absolutely spot on. It is accurate and it is the truth. An abortionist deliberately acts so as to kill an innocent human being with the premeditated intention of killing that person: that is a rock solid definition of murder. Abortion is currently legal but that does not alter the fact that morally it remains an act of murder. (2) You talk about people's right to hold and express as opinion - that's fine. But what about the right to life? You do presumably understand [if, sadly, not accept the pro life consequences] the logic of why the right to life of everybody is the greatest and most important human right of all, you do presumably understand why the right to life itself trumps the right to an opinion? (3) Let me spell out the logic of the 'pro choice' myth in black and white. 'Pro choice' is not a neutral stance - it is really a pro abortion stance. The default norm in this matter of human life is for pregnancies to lead to births - that's the normal, natural thing and no choice needs to be made: you get pregnant, in a few months you give birth - simple. Now, 'Pro choicers' aren't concerned about the 'choice' to keep the baby because that isn't really a choice at all, it's simply what's inevitably going to happen if nothing is done to kill the unborn baby. What 'pro choicers' are very concerned about though is the availability of abortion - if you talk to 'pro choicers' about removing the legal availability of abortion they'll be instantly wetting their pants with rage, and why... because what they're really bothered about is abortion. 'Pro choice' has long been recognised as the euphemism of choice (pardon the pun) of those in favour of abortion. 'Pro choice' is synonymous with Pro Abortion. Furthermore, and logically, the fact that 'pro choicers' are not neutral but really pro-abortion is evidenced by their violent antagonism towards Pro Lifers who oppose abortion; again, it is clear that 'pro choicers' are not neutral but are actively in favour of abortion and specifically opposed to any lack of availability of abortion. In a sane and civilised society, nobody has the 'right' to choose to murder somebody else - what kind of a 'right' or a choice is that?....it's sick, perverse, evil. (4) I'm Pro Life, I'm not a 'Vitalist' [look it up if you're interested to know the difference]
Mike Skeffington wrote
at 07:09:19 on 15 August 2010
Nachtschlepper, B. There are many sources on this subject all coming from different angles. The Japanese were asked to surrender, they chose to ignore these requests publicly, yet they made overtures secretly for peace. They persisted in waging war in the Pacific with the intention, not of winning the war, but of taking as many allied lives as possible. I don't want to repeat what I have already written in my last posting, but the Japanese were not the victims in that terrible conflict, nor were the Germans. The Japanese had been a belligerent nation for decades before WW2 especially in China. The bombings of Dresden were terrible indeed, but so were the London blitz and the bombings of other cities in England, all civilian targets. The treatment of POWs by the allies was according to the Geneva Convention in the vast majority of cases. They were fed, clothed and accommodated, not worked to death, starved and shot en masse. The bottom line is that the Japanese could have surrendered unconditionally and saved thousands of lives.
Mike Skeffington wrote
at 07:08:54 on 15 August 2010
It comes as no surprise to me that Richard Carvath applauds my stance on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, but condemns my opinion on abortion. Open debate is a vital part of a free society, but Mr Carvath, your use of language in describing Hope (Salford Royal) Hospital staff as 'murders' is shameful and below contempt. To echo EM3s sentiments the hospital staff are highly trained and dedicated people and neither you nor I Mr Carvath can know how their job affects them on a personal level. Your efforts in trawling through the freedom of information material to gather support for your argument is commendable, however, your self praise when hailing yourself as 'the good guy' I found nauseating. My stance on this matter will always be pro choice, that means that I believe the individual should have the right to decide what happens in their life. Abortion is carried out for many reasons and the philosophy of 'life at any cost' is more often than not, spouted by those who have not faced such a dilemma. To describe unborn fetuses as 'citizens of Salford' is, quite frankly absurd. Your unwillingness to recognise that there are different outlooks on every subject and that people have the right to their opinions and their way of life without being subjected to venomous insults. I do not say you are wrong in your opinion I simply say that I disagree. Your use of insulting language and your presumption that because I am not anti abortion I must be pro abortion has convinced me further that you are indeed a bigot, reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition.
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 17:03:10 on 14 August 2010
Sorry Mike you are totally wrong. The Japanese government were the ones making overtures to the Russians. The Americans were aware of this through MAGIC & SIGINT intercepts. Japan was beaten, the Americans held air supremacy & the Japenses Navy had ceased to exist. Though an assault on Japan would have lead to huge casualties there was no real need to make such an assault. Given that any landings on the Japanese homeland would have had to wait until November 1945 at the eariest it is nigh on impossible that any such landings would have been taken place because the Japanese would have surrendered in any case, had the A Bombs been used or not. I know this might sound like a stuck record, but the Japanese had one condition, to keep their emperor. Which at the end of the war they did. This was a condition that the Americans knew of as I have aleady said. If they knew of the Japanese willingness to surrender & the conditions of that surrender, conditions to which the allies acceded then why use the bombs? Unless it was as a show of power. As for the brutality shown in World War II, firestoms in Dresden, massacres by allied troops are things that took place. War is by it's nature a brutal business and to try to justify the use of such an horrific weapon by saying that the Japanese were particularly brutal is hardly worthy.
Mike Skeff wrote
at 10:57:26 on 14 August 2010
Nachtschlepper's point that Japan wanted to surrender is highly contentious and is 'not' a fact. Let's take a wider view: The war in Europe had ended, Germany having surrendered, yet Japan persisted in waging war in the Pacific with suicide bombers, inflicting heavy losses on the Americans. It is true that some secret sources in Japan made tentative overtures to the Russians, who they thought were friendly neutrals in the Pacific war, with vague offerings to return conquered territory in exchange for peace. However, anyone found making such offers were arrested and killed by the Japanese military, making it impossible to pursue peace. Moreover, some sources show that the Russians suppressed these 'feelers' as they secretly wanted to join the war in the Pacific. The essential point here is that the Japanese leaders, both military and political, would not surrender openly and were indeed willing to sacrifice the entire nation, along with tens of thousands of allied troops who had wives and children at home. One fact is true and that is the Japanese were asked to surrender or suffer the consequences, unfortunately they chose the latter. So who should take responsibility for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? In my opinion it is the Japanese leadership, who were also responsible, along with the officers in the front line, for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of allied troops and civilians. I'm not waving any national flags here, I'm simply voicing my opinion that Japan was merciless and brutal throughout the war and intransigent at the end. And please don't think I'm anti Japanese, I'm not, but I won't hide behind political correctness either.
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 22:49:21 on 12 August 2010
The facts are that the Japanese were willing to surrender & the Americans knew it. The only stumbling block being that the Japanese wanted to retain their emperor & the allies insisted on unconditional surrender. That the eventual surrender was conditional & that the emperor remained even after the atomic bombs were dropped does, I would suggest, strengthen the argument that the bombs were being used more to impress the Soviets than to hasten the wars end. Gen Eisenhower himself doubted the use of the bombs, as were many other high ranking US officers. The debate will continue long into the future, but I for one believe that the US used the dropping of the two bombs as a warning to the Soviets not to step out of line in Europe.
Richard Carvath wrote
at 22:49:09 on 12 August 2010
Well done to Skeffy for agreeing with me about the wartime bombing of Japan. The follwing line from Skeff sums it up neatly: "Hiroshima and Nagasaki were indeed terrible events, but to suggest they were needless military and political posturing is wrong." Skeffy is right about Japan but wrong about abortion. A few points....... (1) The only reason Salford Royal's abortion stats see the light of day is because I go digging for them with Freedom of Information Act requests; (2) I'm Pro Life, I'm the guy opposed to murdering the unborn citizens of Salford - that makes me the good guy, not a bigot; (3) Skeffy you are not neutral on the issue of abortion - if you are 'pro choice' then in truth what that really means is that you are pro abortion; (4) Em3 I wouldn't describe any of the staff doing abortions as "fantastic" - I would describe abortionists as "murderers" as that's what they are; (5) I do not demean British war deaths, I simply make the point that their number is far outstripped by abortions; (6) We are talking about an abortion holocaust - about 6 million Jews were murdered in the wartime death camps, over 7 million human beings have been aborted in the UK alone since 1967; (7) I am not "ill informed" about abortion - on the contrary I have written extensively and spoken on the subject; (8) Skeffy was grateful for the allied wartime effort enabling him to write his comment here - he should also be grateful that he wasn't aborted.
Mike Skeffington wrote
at 16:33:58 on 12 August 2010
I have followed the debate about Salford CND and the memorial service to the Japanese civilian dead in the allied nuclear attacks of 1945 with interest. Firstly, Nachtschlepper's statement that Japan was ready to, or had already, surrendered is quite untrue. The Japanese (especially the military) considered emperor Hirohito to be 'divine' as indeed he did himself and would undoubtedly fight to the last man, woman or child, like the Nazis. It seems paramount to me to remember that Japan launched a deadly and unprovoked attack on the US at Pearl Harbour, then went on to wage a savage, merciless war against military and civilians across Asia and the Pacific. Their murderous brutality against civilians and allied POWs, crimes they have only recently acknowledged, cannot be forgotten by their victims. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were indeed terrible events, but to suggest they were needless military and political posturing is wrong. The allies and the US did not want war, it was thrust upon them, but because of their sacrifice I am able to write this reply.
Mike Skeffingron wrote
at 16:33:15 on 12 August 2010
In reply to Richard Carvath's comments of, Wed Aug 11th, there seems to me something of a dichotomy here. On the one hand you condone the use of atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki yet on the other you condemn abortion, seemingly under any circumstances. Whilst I tend to agree with you on the former point I consider the rest to be blinkered, bigoted and ill informed. I've no doubt your easily accessible statistics are correct, but to use such material in support of what is after all a highly personal and emotional subject is a serious weakness in your approach. Every abortion is a sad event and should be 'judged' (although I loath to use that phrase) on it's particular circumstances. However, to band them all together and label them with the word 'Holocaust' is shameful and diminishes the memory of those poor souls with whom that word is more commonly associated i.e. concentration camp victims. What is equally insulting is the implicit suggestion that British losses in Afghanistan are inconsequential when compared with the number of abortions carried out for whatever reason. I am neither pro nor anti abortion, but what i do advocate is free and informed choice in the, here and now, without the condemnation of bigoted, self-righteous people, who may find it helpful to walk a mile in someone else's shoes and gain life experience.
Em 3 wrote
at 16:32:50 on 12 August 2010
what a weird leap from Hiroshima to accusing the fantastic staff at Salford hospital of genocide! If we are comparing tragic deaths - 2 women a week die at the hands of their partner or ex! Stop telling women what to do. Its their choice whether they give birth. back to the subject in question: 'No More Hiroshimas' - what a moving poem.
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 06:02:38 on 12 August 2010
Mr Carvath, I have a great idea for you; read a book now & then. The Japanese were already trying to use the Soviet Union as intermediary before Hiroshima. By the time the second bomb was dropped the Americans knew the Japanese were ready to surrender. The reason thye Americans used the bombs was not to defeat Japan, but to let the world & in particular the Soviets know how powerfull the weapon was.
Richard Carvath wrote
at 18:44:19 on 11 August 2010
Much of the content of this article is so much left-wing drivel. "Japan had already surrendered." ??? !!! The Japanese would've fought hand-to-hand to the last man had it not been for the use of nuclear bombs. Landing enough men in an invasion to fight the Japanese to the last man by conventional military means would've taken months and months and the death toll would've been much higher than that which was sustained by the bombing. The deployment of nuclear bombs undoubtedly shortened the war in the east by several months and fewer people died as a result. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Left-wing 'peace activists' eh... what are they like? Most of them, whilst opposing war, actively support abortion. Wake up people. Over 7,000,000 British people have lost their lives in the Great British Abortion Holocaust in just over 40 years since 1967. The big-time slaughter is right here on our doorstep in Salford - not on the faraway fields on Afghanistan. In the last year for which I have figures, 2008, there were 858 abortions in just that one year alone at Salford Royal (Hope) Hospital. Since the war in Afghanistan started in 2001 - a nine year period - the number of British military casualties currently stands at 327. They say 'charity begins at home'... Salford's 'peace activists' should prioritise the Gynaecology department at the local hospital if they are serious about true peace.
eileen fleming wrote
at 10:35:07 on 11 August 2010
Vanunu was released after 78 days in solitary on Aug. 8, 2010, but still denied the right to leave Israel. PLEASE sign the International Petition to FREE Vanunu @ WeAreWideAwake.org
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