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Welcome to the Hotel Hiroshima
Slate ^ | March 25, 2008 | Ron Rosenbaum

Posted on 03/27/2008 10:35:55 PM PDT by forkinsocket

Has the ground zero of the nuclear age become too "normal"?

Welcome to the Hotel Hiroshima. That's what my AmEx travel itinerary called it: "Hotel Hiroshima." I don't know whether this was the official name of the hotel I was booked in to. It may, more mundanely, have been shorthand for "Hotel in Hiroshima." Or it may have been the name before it was changed to what it calls itself now: "The Crowne Plaza Hiroshima," part of the global chain that has joined other American chains in this shiny rebuilt city.

There's a Hiroshima KFC, a Hiroshima Mickey D's (perfect place for a Happy Meal, right?), a Hiroshima Starbucks, and a Hiroshima FedEx-Kinko's.

There is a special kind of bleakness in the fluorescent hell of the all-night Hiroshima Kinko's, believe me. I spent a sleepless predawn hour there beginning to write this column.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Japan
KEYWORDS: hiroshima; nuclear
1 posted on 03/27/2008 10:35:56 PM PDT by forkinsocket
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To: forkinsocket

What are the cancer rates there?

2 posted on 03/27/2008 10:43:25 PM PDT by weegee (Famous moments in history: March 18th, 2008 “I have a bridge (to sell you)...” - Barack H. Obama)
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To: forkinsocket

I wonder if they rebuilt that ground zero faster than we are with the WTC site.. Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

3 posted on 03/27/2008 10:44:33 PM PDT by MartinStyles
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To: forkinsocket
Sheesh. What a stupid, amateurish, juvenile, fresh-off-the-boat, "Gee Whiz, I'm in JAPAN, guys"! newcomer happens upon the obvious and the ordinary; stuff which hundreds of thousands of foreigners before him already have seen and known for years, long before this moron showed up and thought he could write.
4 posted on 03/27/2008 10:45:42 PM PDT by AmericanInTokyo
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To: forkinsocket
With Iraq, the United States has created a new nation with only 4,000 deaths in five years.

Our enemies destroyed two building in 2001 with 3,000 deaths, and achieved nothing.

Not a bad record!

5 posted on 03/27/2008 10:48:01 PM PDT by Hunble
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To: forkinsocket

It reads as if he’s disappointed that there isn’t still a big smoking hole in the ground so he can revel in how evil amerikkka is.

6 posted on 03/27/2008 11:04:08 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY (Your parents will all receive phone calls instructing them to love you less now.)
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To: forkinsocket
Begins somewhat in cliche, but I'd recommend reading it to the end, because the author really does seem to get it. A fine article, and thanks for posting it.

Hiroshima is a city, not a shrine and certainly not a mausoleum. People live there, many of whom were deliberately denied the full history of WWII by a culture that still struggles between deserved shame for the war and deserved pride in the phoenix-like rise of Japan afterward. There has been an effort of late to remediate this convenient amnesia. The first time I visited the Peace Museum I was infuriated at the degree to which the war consisted of two bombs and some vague goings-on leading up to it. The last time I visited it, things had changed somewhat.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki did serve to inoculate the world against the incredible destructiveness of nuclear war. Like all inoculations, it fades with time, and it is disturbing to consider what it might take to remind the world now that these weapons are very serious business indeed. That only sounds trite to those who remember. To those who are capable of dismissing the Holocaust as a historical non-event, surely Hiroshima and Nagasaki must make little impression.

The problem with that lies not only in the principals. The U.S. and the Soviet Union did, after all, manage to conduct a world war without using these weapons. The damage has been done in Europe, where the amnesia concerning two destroyed cities half a world away has been hastened by the memories of the damage to their own. For this reason, perhaps, there is less of an impetus to stopping nuclear proliferation in Iran than there ought to be. It will not be a fatal error to either the U.S. or the remnants of the U.S.S.R., who have retained a retaliation capability. It might be for those who have none. And that is a lesson of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that no one seems to wish to talk about.

7 posted on 03/27/2008 11:08:50 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: forkinsocket

What did this guy expect?

Hiroshima was never abandoned. It was rebuilt after the war just like every other Japanese city.

I’ve never been there because I find the city’s constant harping on it’s atomic victimhood to be irritating and disingenuous as other cities suffered hugely as well.

The firebombing of East Tokyo left the Sumida and Koto Wards of the city as flat as a pancake for as far as the eye can see in almost any direction, and with a casualty rate the topped the atom bombings.

Nagasaki also suffered, but they are less strident about their losses and have refrained from turning the city into a huge tourist trap — which is what Hiroshima has done.

8 posted on 03/27/2008 11:12:13 PM PDT by Ronin (Bushed out!!! Another tragic victim of BDS.)
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To: weegee

Near ground zero, instant death, of course. A little farther out, death in days or weeks from radiation burns. Cancer rates high as you travel outward. Cancer rates decline, and then, as you get completely out of the area of radiation, cancer rates rise back to normal. In other words, some radiation is GOOD for you. Be glad if you live in a stone or brick house, or if you have radon in your basement—you’re being protected from cancer!

9 posted on 03/27/2008 11:13:02 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan
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To: forkinsocket
After reading this, I'm now inspired that some nuclear bunker busters could well dot Iran and Syria with the hope of a future Tehran Kinkos or Damascus Starbucks!
10 posted on 03/27/2008 11:15:42 PM PDT by endthematrix (He was shouting 'Allah!' but I didn't hear that. It just sounded like a lot of crap to me.)
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To: forkinsocket

When I visited Hiroshima a few years ago, I was actually surprised at how limited the damage area was. The bomb exploded above the ground and the shock wave and heat only destroyed buildings in a radius of a few hundred yards. Of course this was a very small bomb by subsequent standards, but I had internalized a much larger model of Hiroshima destruction.

11 posted on 03/27/2008 11:37:15 PM PDT by AZLiberty (Wipe the national hard drive and reinstall the Constitution.)
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To: Billthedrill
Hiroshima and Nagasaki did serve to inoculate the world against the incredible destructiveness of nuclear war.

You're right. I'm convinced that if not for Hiroshima and Nagasaki we would have gone toe to toe with the Russkies using nukes in the '50s or '60s.

12 posted on 03/27/2008 11:45:04 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (Bob Taft has soiled the family name for the next century.)
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To: Hunble


You also failed to say “3,000 INNOCENT deaths” on 9/11. And you’re further wrong by stating “...and acheived nothing.” Oh, YEH? I think the jihadists acheived something! They extended a recession we went into in March 2000 and it lasted nearly 5, long years, destroying American businesses and families (things that are never discussed, now) and it bankrupted the U.S. as Bush and Congress blew a trillion on the war and nation-building.

Acheived nothing, my a**!!

13 posted on 03/28/2008 2:24:38 AM PDT by levotb
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To: AZLiberty
only destroyed buildings in a radius of a few hundred yards.

Incorrect. Damage/blast radius was much greater than you describe.

In both cities the blast totally destroyed everything within a radius of 1 mile from the center of explosion, except for certain reinforced concrete frames as noted above. The atomic explosion almost completely destroyed Hiroshima's identity as a city. Over a fourth of the population was killed in one stroke and an additional fourth seriously injured, so that even if there had been no damage to structures and installations the normal city life would still have been completely shattered. Nearly everything was heavily damaged up to a radius of 3 miles from the blast, and beyond this distance damage, although comparatively light, extended for several more miles. Glass was broken up to 12 miles.

14 posted on 03/28/2008 3:44:52 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: forkinsocket

Is there a point to this story?

15 posted on 03/28/2008 3:54:04 AM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: forkinsocket


16 posted on 03/28/2008 3:58:50 AM PDT by RichInOC (...William Frank Buckley, Jr., November 24, 1925-February 27, 2008, R.I.P.)
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To: weegee
"What are the cancer rates there?"

Slightly lower than the rest of Japan.

17 posted on 03/28/2008 5:22:35 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Planting trees to offset carbon emissions is like drinking water to offset rising ocean levels)
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To: Ronin

I agree about Nagasaki. Another thing mitigating their self-pity party is the massacre of Christians roughly 400 years ago. A Japanese person there can’t walk up to an American visitor and start up the “you killed my people” nonsense without having to answer for his own country’s evils.

(That being said, it’s tragic that the bombing included, in addition the the thousands of lives and homes, the old Urakami Cathedral, one of the centers of CHristianity in Japan. They’ve rebuilt it, but I wish I could see the original.)

18 posted on 03/28/2008 6:01:07 AM PDT by Shigarian
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Fascinating link - thanks.

Reading through it, the LD50 for exposed troops seems to have been about 4000 feet in Nagazaki, for all three primary mechanisms (Blast, heat, flash).

IOW, Japanese building materials were a VERY signicicant factor.

Amazingly, they had the electricity back on to the surviving parts of the city the NEXT DAY.

That floors me - next time the power goes out for a few days, I am writing the power company to complain.

19 posted on 03/28/2008 7:20:29 AM PDT by patton (cuiquam in sua arte credendum)
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