The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) Philippines commemorates the 76th anniversary of the dropping of two nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
At the end of World War II, two superpowers emerged that would spend the next decades locked in ideological and economic conflict: the United States, bolstered by military production and the depletion of its imperial rivals’ resources, and the Soviet Union, which had lost 20,000,000 of its citizens in the bloody and brutal conflict but arose as the leading force on the Eurasian continent. As the Pacific War progressed, Japan’s economy and military forces were on the verge of collapsing, and the Japanese military command sought peace in order to avert total destruction. Japan’s defeat was inevitable, and a peace deal was the only way to end the three-year-long bombing of its cities, which had resulted in an estimated 900,000 deaths.
Following triumph in the west, the Soviet Union shifted its focus to the east, and the Americans were determined to prevent them from controlling territory and influence in the region. Supported by the British and the French, then US President Harry Truman authorized the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to prevent a Soviet invasion of Japanese land and to display the power of the US military. On August 6,1945, an atomic bomb was unleashed on Hiroshima, Japan; three days later, a second bomb exploded on Nagasaki, Japan, with an estimated cumulative death toll at 200,000 people. However, we must also consider the long-term consequences of radiation, which continue to afflict the residents of the two cities and will do so for centuries to come.
These bombs destroyed these towns to defeat the Japanese forces, threaten the Chinese revolutionaries, and set the ground for America’s imperial ambitions in Asia. It was a demonstration of the United States’s willingness to deploy nuclear weapons. The US was able to achieve its most urgent aim by ending the war in this manner: stopping Soviet expansion into East Asia. The US was keen to intervene in Japan and establish a foothold in the new administration, aiding in the development of the constitution that is still in force in Japan today. Japan would be an important capitalist counterbalance to both Soviet and, later, Chinese influence, which was waging its own revolution under the leadership of Mao Tse-tung.
As we condemn this act of terrorism perpetrated by the most powerful alliance of the West, we must keep in mind that the transmogrification of Hiroshima and Nagasaki into nuclear infernos was a calculated move which demonstrated the extent to which the capitalist class is ready to go in order to maintain its power. The Second World War was the result of the struggle between world powers to redivide the economic and territorial spheres of the world.
The Philippines also suffered in this tug of war of imperialist countries. Months before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Manila was destroyed by US colonizers and Japanese invaders. The finances for the post-war reconstruction of Manila were provided by US-backed global financial institutions, government debt which remains unpaid to this day.
Today, the contradictions between imperialist powers become ever sharper, as China and Russia challenge the US for economic and military hegemony. The crisis of monopoly capitalism has led to the lucrative weapons industry and this remains apparent as the US and China are currently scrambling to consolidate their military footholds across the world. The worsening crisis of imperialist countries in turn creates fertile conditions for intensifying liberation movements throughout the world.
The ILPS Philippines remembers the events of August 1945, the innocent men, women, and children who perished. We remember the heroism of revolutionaries who fought against imperialist powers during the Second World War. We call on the toiling masses of the world to advance the struggle for social liberation, defeat imperialism, and build a socialist future!
Down with imperialism!
Long live international solidarity!