Bradbury Science Museum
- The Museum of Los Alamos National Laboratory
- Public Forum Wall
Below is the text found on the panels pictured above:
Library of Congress
“His Majesty the Emperor is greatly concerned over the daily increasing calamities and sacrifices faced by the citizens of the various belligerent countries in this present war, and it is His Majesty’s heart’s desire to see the swift termination of the war.
“In the Greater East Asia War, however, as long as America and England insist on unconditional surrender, our country has no alternative but to see it through in an all-out effort for the sake of survival and the honor of the homeland. The resulting enormous bloodshed of the citizens of the belligerent powers would indeed be contrary to His Majesty’s desires, and so it is His Majesty’s earnest hope that peace may be restored as speedily as possible for the welfare of mankind.
“The above imperial wishes are rooted not only in His Majesty’s benevolence toward his subjects but in his sincere desire for the happiness of mankind, and he intends to dispatch Prince Fuminaro Konoye as special envoy and his suite.”
Truman and his advisors were quite aware of the Japanese request for surrender from Emperor Hirohito on July 16th, 1945, at the Potsdam Conference where Truman, Churchill and Stalin had convened to divide up the spoils of the victorious war in Europe and to determine the fate of Japan.
July 16th, 1945, Trinity Day
This was code indicating that the secret new weapon tested at dawn at the Trinity Site in the White Sands of Alamogrdo, New Mexico had been a crowning success. With this new source of military might, the US immediately gained undeniable military supremacy of the world. Truman made few compromises at the Potsdam Conference. The unconditional surrender that Truman demanded of the Japanese stipulated that they surrender to the US their Emperor, the religious—not political—figurehead of their culture.
Truman knew the Japanese would never accept this demand. In fact, this stipulation compelled the Japanese to fight with greater venom to the bitter end. So between July 16th, Trinity Day, and August 14th, when the Japanese finally capitulated, the war raged on. Kamikaze pilots continued to deliver direct hits to the US Navy. American lives were lost—not saved—as the history books have told us. The Russians were poised to launch an all-out invasion of Japan. They declared war on Japan August 8th, and began the invasion on August 9th. Truman knew that a US invasion of Japan would not have been necessary to defeat this already defeated country.
So technically the two atomic bombs, Fat Man and Little Boy, did ultimately bring an end to the Second World War. But their real function was to demonstrate absolute US military supremacy—firstly to Stalin and the Soviets—and to the rest of the world. A few weeks after the Japanese surrendered, Truman reinstated Emperor Hirohito.
These two atomic bombs were the first two shots of the Cold War. The ensuing arms race between the United States and Russia severely depleted the resources of both countries, while placing enormous power and concentration of wealth into the hands of nuclear industrial contractors. A for-profit nuclear industrial contractor, Bechtel Corporation, with a sordid history of corporate profiteering and mismanagement, manages the Los Alamos National Laboratories.
Eight more Nuclear Weapons States have proliferated, flushing precious resources down the nuclear black hole, polluting the earth, the water, the air with the enduring scourge of nuclear contamination—creating nothing that will benefit their citizens or humankind.
Fifty years after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the behind-the-scenes story was de-classified. Based on these released documents, highly respected and credentialed historian, Gar Alperovitz, authored a comprehensive and definitive history of the motivations behind the use of these weapons, The Decision to use the Atomic Bomb.
Admiral William D. Leahy
"It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons."
“... in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages"
William D. Leahy, I Was There, pg. 441
General Douglas MacArthur
"MacArthur's views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed.
"When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted.
"What, I asked, would his advice have been?
"He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor."
Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power, pg. 65, 70-71
Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Japan was at the moment seeking some way to surrender with minimum loss of 'face'. It wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”
“We could make no more tragic mistake than merely to concentrate on military strength. For if we did only this, the future would hold nothing for the world but an Age of Terror.”
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist...”
“The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without.”
“To remain secure and prosperous themselves, wealthy nations must extend the kind of cooperation to the less fortunate members that will inspire hope, confidence and progress. A rich nation can for a time, without noticeable damage to itself, pursue a course of self- indulgence, making its single goal the material ease and comfort of its own citizens—thus repudiating its own spiritual and material stake in a peaceful and prosperous society of nations. But the enmities it will incur, the isolation into which it will descend, and the internal moral and physical softness that will be engendered, will, in the long term, bring it to disaster.”
“No people on Earth can be held, as a people, to be an enemy, for all
“When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. War settles nothing.”
“I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.”
If the very existence of nuclear weapons
The United States has been far-and-away the world leader in the development of weapons of mass destruction. The continued development of these weapons by our country holds the rest of the world in fear, has greatly increased enmity toward the US, has been the cause of nuclear proliferation and terrorism, and has shredded the fabric of global potentials for cooperative security for which the rest of the world yearns.