Punish the Victors

Most people, when asked who they think is the most inhuman, barbaric, and bloodthirsty person to have ever walked this planet, would probably answer Adolf Hitler. It is obvious, for nobody else has ever been attributed for 11 million deaths. There probably will never be any adjective to truly describe just how ghastly what he did to the Jews was…

But was Former US President, Harry Truman, the person who authorized the Atomic bombing of Japan, any less guilty of crimes against humanity?

Throughout the course of history, only the losers in wars have been punished, with the victors shown as the saints of peace, or heroes that inspired stories of courage. Alexander was called Alexander The Great, despite the fact that in his conquest to be the ruler of the entire world, his army had taken the lives of several thousand people who were only defending their territory. Most Americans defend the bombings saying that it prevented a full scale invasion of Japan, and hence saved lives.

Saved lives? Over half a million Japanese citizens died thanks to the atomic bombings alone, either directly through the explosion or through the cancer and other such diseases contracted because of radiation. Majority of these people were just innocent folk living their normal lives, and had no personal involvement in the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The US wanted to force the Japanese into an unconditional surrender, and had planned the attacks to petrify the Japanese Emperor. They actually had seven, yes SEVEN, other atomic bombings planned and ready to be executed over the course of the next two and a half months.

Consider this: During the attacks on Pearl Harbor, an estimated 2,400 people died, which is roughly half a percent of the deaths related to the Atomic Bombings. Also, Americans claim that the Atomic Bombings ended the World War. However, Germany had already surrendered months before the bombings, and Japan was only trying to negotiate a way in which the Emperor could restore his position. All that the bombings achieved was starting the nuclear weapons race, which in turn started the Cold War.

What the World needs is an International Court of Justice where it doesn’t matter whether you are a Vladmir Putin or a Robert Mugabe. Crimes against humanity, by any person from any country, should be dealt on the same level. This court should have sufficient power to punish anyone who is found guilty, however influential he may be. Let me end by asking: why has George W. Bush not yet faced any cases of crimes against humanity for what all has been happening in Guantanamo Bay right under his nose, even when he has acknowledged, and even defended, the incidents?

Raveesh Bhalla

[Image Source:http://flickr.com/photos/eqqman/126227421/ ]