On the morning of 12 September, the engraved plaques in front of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Trees were uprooted and ripped from their concrete bases. Slogans were found scrawled in black felt pen: "God Bless America" and "USA Winners."
The trees in question, located on the Prairie de la Pallu, a grassy area near the river, are two gingko bilobas, planted in 2006 and 2008 on the occasion of the 2nd and 3rd Rallies for International Disarmament, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical, which had been organized by ACDN with the support, notably, of the City of Saintes. They commemorate the victims of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (6 and 9 August 1945).
Contrary to the myth designed to justify their use, those bombs are not what ended the Second World War. General Curtis LeMay, tasked with using them, judged them not useful, as did other US generals and leaders like General Eisenhower and James Forrestal, United States Secretary of the Navy, not to mention numerous scientists who had helped to develop them. In fact Japan was already beaten and wanted to surrender - the US government had certainly known this since 13 July 1945. But it was thought necessary to justify the heavy costs of developing these bombs... and to try them out for real: the target cities had been chosen in April 1945 and spared attacks since then, so that afterwards all the damage could be attributed to the two bombs, one a uranium bomb, the other a plutonium bomb.
The Hiroshima uranium bomb, with a power of 13,000 tonnes of TNT, caused about 250,000 deaths.
The 25 000 nuclear weapons today at the disposal of 9 Heads of State are much more powerful, and could destroy five or ten times the world’s population. Merely those commanded by President Sarkozy could kill a billion. Is all this reasonable, given that nuclear wars nearly happened by accident several times in the 20th century?
This explains why Saintes, by unanimous vote of its city councillors, joined the "Abolition 2000" network in June 2000 and the "Mayors for Peace" group in March 2008 - these are two international networks fighting for the complete banning and elimination of nuclear weapons.
For the same reason, US President Barack Obama is crusading for "a world without nuclear weapons". But the person(s) who vandalised the plaques in Saintes seem to not want to know! The "American Fever" that inspires them deserves neither divine nor human blessing. That "America" is not likeable.
To protest against this vandalism, ACDN calls on the people of Saintes to meet on site beside the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Trees on Wednesday 15 September at 6pm.
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