(1) I am now in Hiroshima, a city whose name will live long after NY, London and Paris are gone and forgotten. For it was the unhappy fate of Hiroshima to have been chosen for the eternal and frightful honor of being the first city on earth to receive the atomic bomb. (2) The end of the world began on August 6 1945, at 8:15 AM it happened, for a fraction of a second it was a blinding flash so bright that the very sun turned black, and a temperature and a power generated which goes beyond the meaning of those terms. The heat and the pressure in the heart of the hottest star of the universe is insignificant compared to the violence. A vast [cloud?] shot up into the sky, in a terrible pattern 50 thousand feet high. History held its breath. (3) In Hiroshima 15k people vanished from the face of the earth, 47k were dead, 60k more died within two months of the blast, and 100, were injured. Of the city's population of 220k people, only 6k escaped. (4) I am standing now on the spot where the atomic bomb exploded. I am standing on the famous shadow bridge, so called because the bridge left the shadow of a [???] on the [???] stones. Here in the center of the city two rivers meet. I am standing on the bridge, and above my head was the exploding point of the bomb. Before me stands a ruined [???] of a steel dome that was once the Exposition Building. This building, the largest in Hiroshima, was the target of the bomb, and it will never be repaired, they tell me, and will always be kept as it is, as a monument not to violence but to peace. (5) But as they say, home is where the heart is, and the heart is strong, and now people are coming back again to build small shacks and establish homes once more among the wreckage. The scars of the wreckage are being covered with vegetable gardens. To the left of me, I see a little patch of ground being cultivated by a man, where an office building once stood. To the right of me, an old fellow with a wicker basket on his head is picking grass from what was once a main street. In the distance I can see a group of Japanese boys playing baseball on a lot where once a big apartment house stood. (6) The people here seem happy, and [????] never forget what happened here, they all seem well fed, and no wonder because Hiroshima is on the shores of the famous inland Sea of Japan, which abounds with fish. I can see a fishing junk [????] now. The tide is out and over to my left are hundreds of women who have waded out to catch mussels and other shellfish on the mudflats. The [farm fields?] which were white and seared with fire, now they're turning green again with little terrace farms, and trees are growing once more.By number: (1) Who started the war? You seem to think we did. (2) History held its breath? Why didn't history hold its breath during the 40 years when Japan was robbing and raping and murdering half of Asia, killing and enslaving many millions? (3) Japan killed more than 250k in just one area of China, punishing the locals for refusing to turn over an American pilot who crashed there. (4) Monument to peace? How did the peace happen? It didn't happen because of Baruch. It happened because of the bomb, AND because Russia immediately showed the Japs that the bomb wasn't the end of the war. A fresh new war awaited them if they didn't surrender. (5) Nice to see that you respect Jap hearts. How about respecting the hearts and homes of the Chinese and Filipinos and Koreans who were slaughtered and enslaved by the Japs from 1905 to 1945? (6) If the atom bomb was such a history-ending unique phenomenon, how come Nature was returning in abundance, WHICH YOU OBSERVED AND DESCRIBED, just three years after the end of history? = = = = = The plain and simple fact is that war is always horrible. Atomic war is not exponentially worse than other kinds of war. Even in Japan, our attacks with non-atomic Thermite did vastly more damage than the atom bomb. But there was never an anti-Thermite or anti-fire movement. Why?
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.