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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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一つのトピックに絞ること

 
単なる自己弁護に過ぎないかもしれませんが、メディアの読み始めは関心のあるトピックに絞ってみていくのがいいかもしれませんね。たくさん読むことで関連性も見いだすことができます。今回はその報告です。



Nagaskiを出したSusan SouthardさんがLA Timesに寄稿していました。原爆の投下の是非だけでなく、原爆の後遺症をもっと知るべきだという主張です。

What U.S. citizens weren't told about the atomic bombing of Japan
By SUSAN SOUTHARD AUGUST 6, 2015, 5:00 AM

Seventy years ago, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan: Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945; Nagasaki on Aug. 9. With searing heat and annihilating force, the nuclear blasts tore through factories, shops and homes in both cities. Huge portions of Hiroshima and Nagasaki vanished. Weighing many factors — including the Soviet Union's entry into the war against Japan 11 hours before the Nagasaki bombing — Japan surrendered. By Aug. 15, World War II was over.
In the United States, the necessity of the bombings to end the war has been studied and argued for decades, but the acute and long-term effects of whole-body radiation exposure on the men, women and children beneath the mushroom clouds are little known and seldom mentioned. Without also accounting for this critical aspect of the bombings, discussions of the military, moral and existential issues surrounding Hiroshima and Nagasaki are incomplete. If we choose to take and defend actions that cause great harm to civilians during war, we must also scrutinize and wholly understand the impact of those actions.


原爆投下の後に原爆使用の非難が米国国内でもあったことをこのブログでも取り上げましたが、Southardさんも触れています。Henry L. Stimson以外にもKarl T. Comptonという物理学者が原爆投下の正当性を訴えた記事を書いていたんですね。

In 1946 and 1947, opposition to the bombings began appearing in U.S. media — including John Hersey's "Hiroshima," first published in the New Yorker, and a scathing essay by journalist Norman Cousins in the Saturday Review. U.S. government and military officials hurriedly strategized how to prevent what they considered "a distortion of history" that could damage postwar international relations and threaten U.S. nuclear development. Two articles by prominent government officials — the first by Karl T. Compton, a respected physicist who had helped develop the atomic bombs, and the second by former Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson — offered intelligent and persuasive "behind the scenes" perspectives on the U.S. decision to use the bombs. These powerful justifications effectively quelled civic dissent and directed focus away from the ongoing suffering of the people of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Southardさんの主張は日本の側が行ったひどいことを見逃す必要はないので、被爆の影響を正しく理解することが大事だという、日本人にはもっともな内容でした。

By the early 1950s, hibakusha cancer rates for adults and children soared, and many more hibakusha developed liver, endocrine, blood and skin diseases, and impairments of the central nervous system. Mortality rates remained high. Most commonly, survivors experienced violent dizzy spells and a profound depletion of energy. Fears about genetic effects of radiation exposure on their children haunted them for decades. Thirty years after the war, high rates of leukemia as well as stomach and colon cancer persisted. From the survivors' perspective, the atomic bomb had burned their bodies from the inside out.

As Japanese and U.S. scientists continue studying hibakusha, their children and grandchildren to try to comprehend the full impact of radiation exposure, can we come face to face with the terrorizing realities of nuclear weapons? We don't have to suppress our condemnation of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, mistreatment and killings of Allied POWs, and slaughter of civilians across Asia to do so. An expanded understanding of atomic bomb history that includes the human consequences of nuclear war will deepen our integrity as a nation and, one hopes, influence our nuclear weapons policies across the world.


これに対してWSJの書評は、本の内容を紹介するよりも原爆正当性の主張を繰り返すことに大きくスペースが割かれていました。それだけ特に保守派は拒否反応を示すデリケートなトピックであることでしょうか。

The Logical Outcome of Total War
Japan’s air defenses were weak and its provisions for civilian shelters grossly inadequate. Few houses even had basements to which their inhabitants could retreat.

By ALONZO L. HAMBY
July 31, 2015 5:18 p.m. ET

ちなみに同時に取り上げているTo Hell and Back: The Last Train from Hiroshimaという本は、数年前に出た本の改訂版といえるものです。広島と長崎で二重被爆にあった山口さんを取り上げ、タイタニックのキャメロン監督が映画化するとも言われていたものですが、ある人物の証言の信憑性が問題になったためリコールされていました。その問題を解決して再刊の運びとなったようです。

“To Hell and Back,” one may remember, appeared in an earlier form, in 2010, as “The Last Train From Hiroshima.” The publication of that book was suspended when the authenticity of one of Mr. Pellegrino’s sources—a man who claimed to have been on a plane accompanying the Enola Gay bomber on its Hiroshima mission—was called into question. That source and his assertions are gone from the new book. A foreword notes that he had indeed “tricked” the author, who later admitted his mistake.

この評者はどちらの本も原爆使用がやむを得なかった状況を考慮しないで描かれていると批判しています。

What is missing from both books is context. Neither author properly discusses the factors that went into the American decision to use the bomb. Nor do they venture an opinion on whether the bomb shortened the war. They focus on the ways the bomb affected civilians who had to cope with a catastrophe.

その後に続くのが、WSJが繰り返し論者を替えながら発表しているおなじみの内容です。

Were the bombs necessary to compel surrender? U.S. policy—laid down by Franklin Roosevelt, followed by Harry Truman and supported by most Americans—was uncompromising. The U.S. would accept only unconditional surrender, to be followed by military occupation.

In Japan, advocates of a last-ditch resistance could not promise victory but could guarantee heavy casualties for the invaders. The last battle of the war—Okinawa—made the point. Okinawa was a small island, and the U.S. possessed overwhelming ground, naval and air superiority. Even so, the battle raged from April 1 to June 21, 1945, with 92,000 Japanese troops fighting to the death and kamikaze planes inflicting significant damage on the offshore American fleet. U.S. casualties (killed and wounded) were approximately 45,000.

The experience made an impression in Washington. The Japanese home islands were next. Japan’s leaders made no secret of their plans to wage a dogged resistance that would mobilize the civilian population, right down to teenagers armed only with clubs and sticks; and the leaders clung to the fantasy of a negotiated peace brokered by the still-neutral Soviet Union. They rebuked their ambassador in Moscow for telling them that the Russians, who were moving troops to attack Japan in East Asia, would be of no help.
American military planners focused on the southernmost Japanese home island of Kyushu as a first target, to be followed by an invasion of the island of Honshu and a final campaign across the Tokyo plain in 1946. Meeting with his military chiefs in Washington on June 18, 1945, President Truman expressed his hope of “preventing an Okinawa from one end of Japan to the other.” A month later, the first atomic bomb was tested in the New Mexico desert. Hiroshima and Nagasaki quickly followed.

Critics of the atomic bombings often assert that Japan was “ready to surrender.” Clearly this was not the case. Japan could still muster formidable military resources. It is unlikely that resistance would have ever gotten down to teenagers armed with clubs and sticks but probable that an amphibious invasion of Kyushu would have exacted a price reminiscent of Okinawa. That possibility was unthinkable to most Americans.


最後の最後で、現代の核兵器は当時と比べて一層強力になっているので、核兵器の恐ろしさを知るにはいい本だろうと締めていますが、半分以上は原爆投下の必要性を述べていました(汗)

The nuclear weapons of today make the ones detonated in 1945 look like firecrackers, and more and more countries possess them or threaten to do so. The editors of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists picture a doomsday clock at three minutes to midnight. The virtue of these books is their reminder of just how horrible nuclear weapons are.


Nuke Mapで現在の核兵器が首都圏を丸ごと破壊できる威力があることを知って、The nuclear weapons of today make the ones detonated in 1945 look like firecrackers(今日の核兵器は1945年に投下されたものを線香花火のようにしてしまっている)という表現に妙に納得してしまいました。日本でも戦争の立場は二極化しやすですが、米国でも同じような状況なんですね。
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Yuta

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