Not another Hiroshima

“There were children screaming ‘It’s hot, it’s hot!’ and infants crying over the body of their mother who appeared to be already dead. I tried to pull myself together … but when I looked in the finder, the object was blurred by tears.” So said Mr. Matsushige, a Japanese news photographer in Hiroshima, Aug. 6, 1945.

The Japanese civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (bombed on Aug. 9) are the only people in the world to have been victims of an atomic bomb attack. And the United States of America is the only country in the world to have used this weapon of mass destruction. Approximately 300,000 people died as a result of those deadly August days.

The Japanese peace movement hosts an annual international peace conference with the survivors of those ghastly attacks. The movement works tirelessly for an end to nuclear weaponry because they know the catastrophe of nuclear war.

The Dr. Strangeloves at the White House and Pentagon are itching to develop and actually use “new and better” nukes. The Department of Energy is spending $6.5 billion on nuclear weapons this year, and Bush is requesting $6.8 billion more for next year and a total of $30 billion over the following four years. This does not include his beloved missile-defense program.

Marry this insatiable appetite for nuclear weapons with the Bush policies of using them in a first-strike, preemptive war and what do you have? Billions of dollars wasted, and possibly millions of people obliterated in a nuclear Armageddon.

On the lie that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons, the Bush administration took the U.S. to war. Nuclear-armed Israel just announced it has complete military plans for a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear power facility at Bushehr. This insane cycle is bringing humanity to a point of no return.

U.S. has to kick the nuclear habit and immediately end all development of new nuclear weapons. But the Bush group won’t do that. So the American people have to. First step: fire Bush on Nov. 2.

Unruly women

Continuing their twisted hatred of bold, independent women, the ultra-right has zeroed in on Teresa Heinz Kerry. They assail her for “unruly” hair, for wearing the same clothes “over and over” (horrors!), and especially for speaking her mind.

They are on her case because she told a reporter for the right-wing Pittsburgh Tribune to “shove it,” saying he distorted her remarks. (The ultra-right had no problem with Dick Cheney telling Sen. Patrick Leahy, “Go f—- yourself.”) The Tribune is owned by ultra-right millionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, who has long used the paper to smear moderate Republicans and Democrats, including Heinz Kerry.

Undeterred, Heinz Kerry told the Democratic convention, “My right to speak my mind, to have a voice, to be what some have called ‘opinionated,’ is a right I deeply and profoundly cherish.”

“My only hope,” she continued, “is that one day soon, women, who have all earned the right to have their opinions, instead of being labeled opinionated, will be called smart or well-informed, just as men are.”

Heinz Kerry is a billionaire, but sexism cuts across class lines. It is used to silence women, and to divide the all-people’s movement for democracy and social progress.

Heinz Kerry grew up in Mozambique under Portuguese colonialism and participated in anti-apartheid demonstrations in South Africa. She told the convention, “I learned something then, and I believe it still. There is a value in taking a stand, whether or not anybody may be noticing it, or whether or not it is a risky thing to do.”

We celebrate our country’s unruly women, like Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Sanger, Mother Jones, “rebel girl” Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, Dolores Huerta, and the countless unheralded women who have fought like hell for their rights, their dignity, their families, and a myriad of progressive causes. A feisty new generation of young women is continuing that “we can do it!” tradition.

We say to the Fox/Limbaugh women-haters, shove it! We need more unruly women.