How I Learned to Stop Loving the Bomb and Signed on to the TPNW

22.01.2021 - Pressenza London

How I Learned to Stop Loving the Bomb and Signed on to the TPNW
Event in Sydney, Australia to mark Entry into Force of the TPNW (Image by Michelle Haywood)

By David Rothauser, film director and writer, known for Hibakusha, Our Life to Live (2010) and The Diary of Sacco and Vanzetti (2004). 

Growing up in America I loved the Atomic bomb. I was told by adults that the bomb loved me too and would save my life from marauding Mongolian warriors frothing at the mouth to ravish our fair land.

I volunteered my young body and soul to the military.  I was ready. I was gung-ho, that is until the last day – on the bayonet course. It was announced, “Gentlemen, you have completed basic training in the service of the United States Army. You are now professional killers.”

What?  A professional killer?  As a 19 year old recruit I had no clue that we were expected to go into combat as sacrificial lambs for corporate profiteers. Much later did I learn the truth about U.S. corporate acts of treason. Then little voices in the darkest recesses of my brain nudged me.

I paid a visit to the company chaplain.  “Father, why are we training to make war when the Bible says, “Thou Shalt not kill?” “My son, I can show you in the Bible where it says killing is condoned to protect God and country.” I liked the chaplain. He had a kindly voice. He told me I was built like Christ. I was ready to walk on air…yet something was missing…

I needed to find out what was going on behind the scenes.

I read John Hersey’s book, Hiroshima. Nuclear radiation!  Future generations would be poisoned by the “Black Rain” of nuclear fallout. Me too and my family. That put me right in the center of the next nuclear bomb attack.  The world was scared.  Seventeen agreements, proposals, moratoriums and treaties were filed to prohibit the development of nuclear weapons.

However “Nuclear Roulette” was not to be deterred:

From 1960 until 1995 nine Soviet or U.S. missile attacks were reported. All proved to be false or were mistakenly interpreted.

Are the power brokers crazy?  Surely they can stop this madness. Dr. Robert Jay Lifton, psychologist and Hiroshima-Nagasaki historian told me, “It’s not the people we call crazy, it’s the leaders, scientists and engineers who are clinically registered as normal, who we have to fear.”

The doors were open. I learned in rapid succession that 100’s of U.S. corporations had supplied military materiel and technology to the Nazi war machine, from the 1920’s to the end of WW II. Standard Oil (now Exxon-Mobil) sold secret aviation fuel to the German air force. IBM   provided technology to run the death camps efficiently and DuPont developed formula Zyklon B gas used in the gas chambers.

Allegedly charged with treason, none of the CEO’s, scientists or engineers was held accountable for crimes against humanity.

Their agenda was corporate profit, no allegiance to patriotism, morality or even their own children. They operated outside the law, but were protected by the law. They were American untouchables.

William Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Project in Washington, acknowledged that the only people capable of designing and building nuclear weapons are scientists and engineers.

What?  My own people sacrificed 85 million humans in WWII for the bottom line?!  I felt myself falling into the black hole of an abyss.  An insufferable evil compressed my lungs. What is this evil?

  • The first was the Nazi pre-meditated, mass slaughter of humanity.
  • The second was corporate and it was worse because it was the lynchpin, the source that enabled the Nazis to exist from inception to the final solution.
  • The third and worst of all was the U.S. Government who could have prevented the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany from ever happening, but chose to turn a blind eye to the tragedy that was unfolding before their eyes from day one.

Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Dr. Helen Caldicott, puts a human face on today’s executors of corporate murder:

“I’ve approached many people who work for these corporations and I say, ‘What about your children and their future, they’ll have no future, don’t you love them?’ and they say, ‘I’m making money.’

Fundamentally their conscience knows all the time what they’re doing…these are the people running the world and they should be called out for who they are.”

What prevents us from holding the mirror of accountability up to the faces of the power brokers and saying, “Look, there is no shame in being accountable.”

They might laugh at us, call us names and ultimately do nothing…but they can’t deny that they have seen our faces, looked into our eyes, heard the strength in our voices…

Today with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in hand what prevents us from:

  • Publicly holding accountable by names and faces individuals responsible for the design, manufacture and sales of weapons of mass destruction?
  • Meeting face-to-face with the CEO’s, the scientists, the engineers to have an adult discussion about nuclear abolition and divestment?

Ironically many of our children work in the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction. Let us embrace them. We are all members of the same family….imagination, creativity and a healthy sense of humor may yet lead the way to the peace and harmony we all crave.

Categories: Opinions, Peace and Disarmament
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