IN a few days we will mark the anniversary of the greatest single-act war crime in history. Apart from a few conscientious people holding commemorative ceremonies, this will ignored by the media, political parties, and the general public.

This chronic denial has profound implications for us all. It is precisely and solely because we justify Hiroshima that we are prepared to repeat this atrocity, and worse. We have Trident because we justify Hiroshima.

Our moral nihilism is sustained by an utterly bogus historical narrative, in which we are always the innocent ones threatened by the Evil Other. History tells a very different story.

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Weeks before Hiroshima, in July 1945, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended that “with atomic weapons a nation must be ready to strike the first blow if needed”.

The resultant war plan (JIC 329/1) singled out for obliteration 20 Soviet cities. But the US only had two bombs, destined for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After these experiments proved so brilliantly successful, US production of nuclear weapons went into overdrive. Russia had no nuclear weapons then, and didn’t get one till 1949.

As agreed at Yalta, on August 8 the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, and invaded Manchuria. Marshal Vasilievsky inflicted a crushing defeat on Japan’s army, which had occupied north-east China and Korea, and routed them in days. South Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands were seized.

The Soviet Union was now poised to invade mainland Japan. Both America and Japan dreaded this, so a deal had to be done — and quickly. The US dropped the demand for unconditional surrender of the Emperor, and Japan agreed to surrender.

When Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki was asked on August 10 why Japan needed to surrender so quickly, he explained: “The Soviet Union will take not only Manchuria, Korea, Karafuto, but also Hokkaido. This would destroy the foundation of Japan. We must end the war when we can deal with the United States.”

Prof Joseph Rotblat was the last living survivor of the Manhattan Project and his verdict is highly authoritative. Speaking at the Pugwash Conference of December 1992, he demolished the myth that the atomic bombs had been developed “to shorten the war and save lives”. He quoted General Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project, who said in March 1944: “From two weeks after taking up the post, there was never any illusion on my part that the main purpose of the project was to subdue the Russians.” So much for all the pious talk about “deterrence”.

Brian Quail, Glasgow

ON the subject of equality, which often crops up in The National, there is only one instance where there is the possibility to be equal and that is when every one of us has equal opportunity. Thereafter, diversity begins on the grounds of natural talent, hard work, imagination and initiative.

As we are all different, the results are clearly going to be varied, thereby enabling each individual to make his/her own way in life. It is obvious therefore that. depending on the route taken, the rewards will also be different.

It is clear therefore that not everyone will have the same income or the same opportunity to acquire wealth. The question is not why don’t we all receive the same but what kind of fair and just society do we require to ensure that the disadvantaged and weak among us are taken care of by a socially responsible community. More attention should be paid to the philosophy of “We’re all Jock Tamson’s bairns” instead of internecine struggle between the classes, which is leading us nowhere.

Hugh H McLean, Newton Mearns

THE recently announced British Gas 12.5 per cent electricity price rise is entirely due to expensive government green energy policies, as wholesale electricity prices have actually reduced.

Existing onshore and offshore wind still receives Renewable Obligation subsidies under long-term contracts. New offshore wind, solar, wave, tidal, and biomass, all benefit from exorbitant feed-in tariffs or generous guaranteed minimum prices, under the new Contracts for Difference scheme.

Then there are carbon levies and massive grid investments to send an erratic supply of wind, tidal, and wave electricity from remote areas to where it is needed, plus of course the ever-increasing constraint payments, when wind-farmers are paid for not producing electricity.

Renewable energy is an unreliable and unfair concept that could be best described as subsidy farmers producing part-time electricity as a side-line, and consumers being taxed to pay for it regardless of financial status. And all for the benefit of wealthy landowners and developers, and foreign manufacturers.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinnesswood, Kinross

OVER the last few weeks we have been seeing an increased difference of opinion within the Indy movement. Most are on a small scale, many also though run the risk of creating real splits.

This is why it was refreshing to see the discussion with Ross Greer being held in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

The indy movement is made up of a wide base of folk working towards a common goal. We will always differ on individual issues – but please keep the common goal in mind when we differ. Various media outlets will always be on hand to pounce on perceived splits – we don’t need to give them that satisfaction.

Currently we are in a wee bit of a hiatus. Until we have a date for the next referendum there is a kind of phoney war going on. Let us not forget though that we are all working for the same thing – disagreements and debates are not only fine but also necessary. We need to make sure though that they are carried out under the backdrop of this common goal, otherwise we run the risk of playing into the hands of those who will pull out every stop to oppose us.

Colin Macpherson, Straubing, Germany

THE interesting new exhibition about Charles Edward Stewart at the National Museum of Scotland brought to mind one aspect of the 1745 Jacobite campaign that seems to have been erased from our history books.

Some years ago I was in a stately home on Deeside, looking at some objects the family had acquired over many years of military campaigning around the empire when I noticed a saltire with some words embroidered on it in red. On closer inspection it turned out to be a war trophy from 1745. The family had a long history of support for the Hanoverian cause and the flag had obviously been captured in some battle with the Jacobites – perhaps even at Culloden itself. But what interested me particularly was that the familiar white cross was surrounded by the words, in red: “King James. And No Union”.

This gave me an insight into the motives of some of the supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie. But also a sad realisation of how deluded they had been to risk their lives for a prince intent, not on ruling Scotland, but on using it as a springboard to conquer England.

But how typical of the Scots, so often deceived by false leaders whose motive is power in London and who in their hearts are indifferent at best to the real interests of Scotland. Will we never learn to grasp the simple solution to our problems?

Peter Craigie, Edinburgh

NOT content with sacrificing every other consideration, especially every genuine moral consideration, on the altar of “growth” (ie limitless, unrestrained Tory profits), Michael Fry is now trying (again) to make us think inequality can’t be effectively tackled.

Fry can’t understand that we live in a society, not a shop, and that its healthy economic mechanisms are much more fluid and circulatory. Of course everybody always having exactly the same amount of money is unworkable. Nobody is talking about that but him. But gaps in life standard can be a lot narrower.

Ian McQueen, Dumfries