Hiroshima Panels

CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO SEE EACH PANEL.

GHOST

FIRE

WATER

RAINBOW

BOYS AND GIRLS

ATOMIC DESERT

BAMBOO THICKET

RESCUE

YAIZU

PETITION

MOTHER AND CHILD

FLOATING LANTERNS

DEATH OF
AMERICAN PRISONERS
OF WAR

CROWS

NAGASAKI

Message from


IRI & TOSHI Maruki

Iri Maruki

(right)

1901-1995

Toshi Maruki

(left)

1912-2000

We lost our uncle to the Atomic Bomb and our two young nieces were killed ; our younger sister sufferd burns and our father died after six months ; many friends perished.

Iri left Tokyo for Hiroshima on the first train from Tokyo, three days after the Bomb was dropped. Toshi followed a few days later.

Two kilometers from the center of the explosion, the family house was still standing. But the roof and roof tiles were mostly gone, windows had been blown out, and even the pans, dishes, and chopsticks had been blasted out of their places in the kitchen.

In what was left of the burned structure, rescued bomb victims were gathered together and lay on the floor from wall to wall until it was full.

We carried the injured, cremated the dead, searched for food, and found scorched sheets of tin to patch the roof.

With the stench of death and the flies and the maggots all around us, we wandered about in the same manner as those who had experienced the Bomb.

In the biginning of September, back in Tokyo, we heard for certain that the war had ended. In Hiroshima,we hadn’t known.

It had never entered our minds–at that time, we couldn’t think beyond what we were seeing and doing.

Three years passed before we began to paint what we had seen. We began to paint our own nude bodies to bring back the images of that time, and others come to pose for us because we were painting the Atomic Bomb.

We thought about a 17-year-old girl having had a 17-year life span, and 3-year-old child having had a life of three years.

Nine hundreds sketches were merged together to create the first paintings.

We thought we ha painted a tremendous number of people, but there were 260,000 people who died in Hiroshima.

As we prayed for the blessing of the dead with a fervent hope that it never happen again, we realized that even if we sketched and painted all oflour lives, we couldn’t never paint them all.

One Atomic Bomb in one indtant caused the deaths of more people than we could ever portray.

Long-lasting radioactivity and radiation sickness are causing people to suffer and die even now. This was not a natural disaster.

As we painted, through our paintings,.these thought came to run through and through our mind.

Iri Maruki, Toshi Maruki

NAGASAKI NIGHTMARE

NAGASAKI NIGHTMARE

MARK VALLEN’S “ART FOR A CHANGE”

Art of the Hibakusha (Atom Bomb Survivors)

atom13

atom13

Atomic Dome

Atomic Dome

Blinded Girl

Blinded Girl

Charred Child

Charred Child

Floating Lanterns

Floating Lanterns

Gone Mad

Gone Mad

Hiroshima Bridge

Hiroshima Bridge

Hiroshima Horse

Hiroshima Horse

Melting Hand

Melting Hand

Mother on Fire

Mother on Fire

Nagasaki Blast

Nagasaki Blast

Nagasaki Pulverized

Nagasaki Pulverized

Radioactive Rubble

Radioactive Rubble

River filled with bodies

River filled with bodies

The last drink

The last drink

Women on Fire

Women on Fire



US troops target Haqqani in Afghanistan

US troops target Haqqani in Afghanistan

Daily Times Monitor

LAHORE: US troops in Afghanistan have started hunting down Al Qaeda leader Jalaluddin Haqqani’s terrorist network in eastern Afghanistan, as insurgent attacks on US Army outposts continue to cause US casualties, CBS News has reported.

The CIA once courted Haqqani, one of America’s most wanted men. Now, he’s accused of killing American soldiers. A local tribal leader, Haqqani allegedly operates from his safe haven in Pakistan. During their targeted missions, soldiers are after the bomb makers and their materials. So far, US forces have uncovered four weapons caches and detained around seven suspects. Even if some missions turn up with nothing, it’s still a show of force in the heart of Haqqani territory.

“You know when you are fighting Haqqani,” said Lt Col Rob Campbell, “Based on the size of the force and how committed they are and how close they’ll get up to you and fight you.”

As winter begins to take hold, the US military believes many Haqqani fighters in eastern Afghanistan will head to Pakistan for more training. As the traditional fighting season ends, however, US soldiers now have to start a different mission – convincing Haqqani’s tribesmen to turn their backs on their leader and put their weapons down.

UN announces closure of all offices across Pakistan

UN announces closure of all offices across Pakistan

LAHORE: The United Nations announced in a travel security advisory on Monday the closure of all of its offices across Pakistan for an indefinite period – following a suicide attack on the WFP office in Islamabad. The UN’s ‘extended security team’ met this afternoon to review the security situation, and decided to put all operational missions to Pakistan on hold. In-country mission travel has also been put on hold until further notice. Missions already in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi have been told to stay at their hotels. The UN’s Islamabad office – including IFC and WSP – and IFC office in Karachi have also been closed for October 5 and 6. staff report

Fears rise over militants in Punjab

Fears rise over militants in Punjab

Despite the ban, and repeated vows by governments to root out militancy, Jaish is thriving. — Photo by Reuters

BAHAWALPUR: Three burly gunmen stand menacingly at the gate of a mosque complex in the town of Bahawalpur as hundreds of men file in listen to a prayer for victory of Muslim fighters around the world.

This is Osman-o-Ali, the headquarters of Jaish-i-Mohammad, an al-Qaeda-linked militant group which has a long record of violence including an assassination attempt on former president Pervez Musharraf.

While Pakistan’s attention is focused on the Taliban and al-Qaeda threat on the Afghan border in the remote northwest, there are fears that the militants are quietly expanding their influence and winning recruits in the country’s heartland.

‘South Punjab is a fertile ground for extremists and militants,’ said security analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi.

The flourishing Jaish complex in Bahawalpur, in the south of Punjab province, illustrates the ambivalence that Pakistani authorities have long shown towards hardline Islamists.

Islamist factions were nurtured by the security agencies during the 1980s and 1990s when they sent their fighters into Afghanistan to take on Soviet occupiers and later into Indian-administered Kashmir region to battle security forces.

But Jaish was officially outlawed by Musharraf in early 2002 after it and another group, Lashkar-i-Taiba, were blamed for an attack on the Indian parliament which brought Pakistan and India to the brink of their fourth war.

Despite the ban, and repeated vows by governments to root out militancy, Jaish is thriving. It and an allied group are believed to have thousands of young cadres fighting western forces in Afghanistan and the Pakistani army in the northwest.

Plots hatched here on the dusty plains and shabby towns of southern Punjab can reach around the world.

Rashid Rauf, a British-born al-Qaeda operative and suspect in a 2006 plot to blow up transatlantic airliners, was a member of Jaish and was known to have lived in Bahawalpur with his wife.

‘Jihad hub’

Security analyst Ayesha Siddiqa says south Punjab has become ‘the hub of jihadism’ and the authorities are in denial.

The region is critical to planning, recruitment and logistical support for terrorist attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, she wrote recently in Newsline magazine.

Punjab provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah acknowledged the hardliners have many thousands of sympathisers but he dismisses talk of a threat to the state.

‘There is no challenge to the government,’ Sanaullah, who is also responsible for security, told Reuters in an interview in his office in the provincial capital of Lahore.

‘They can detonate bombs or carry out suicide attacks but they cannot establish their bases in Punjab,’ he said.

On the outskirts of Bahawalpur, the Jaish group has acquired a plot of land of about five acres (1.7 hectares) which some people fear could be a militant training camp.

The plot is surrounded by a brick wall but from a nearby road one can see cows and buffaloes feeding in stables.

A security official said authorities had turned a blind eye to the acquisition of the land by an outlawed group but said they would not be allowed to pursue militant activities.

‘Let me assure you they don’t have the guts to challenge the government,’ said the official, who declined to be identified.

Mohammad Riaz Chughtai, a cleric with links to Jaish leaders, said the group planned to build a madrassah on the land and no militant training was going on.

But youngsters are being recruited in Punjab and sent for training on the Afghan border. Police recently detained five teenagers on charges of receiving militant training in South Waziristan, the main stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban.

‘They wanted me to become a suicide bomber. They told me that jihad was obligatory,’ 16-year-old Mohammad Ibrahim told interrogators, according to a police transcript.

Sanaullah said there were tens of thousands of such people all over Pakistan, including many who previous governments trained for war in Afghanistan and then discarded.

‘We can’t kill all of them, arrest them or detain them for interrogation,’ Sanaullah said. ‘What we can do is that the one who is very active will be arrested and interrogated.’

Rizvi said government negligence and lingering sympathy for the militants in some quarters were to blame.

‘There is still sympathy for these militant groups,’ Rizvi said. ‘But they cannot establish a mini-state of their own as they did in the tribal areas.’

NWFP takes the brunt

[The closing paragraph says it all–the US must not be allowed to move forward in Afghanistan, or to leave, until it repairs the great breech that it has opened and compensates for the lives it has wrongfully taken in its geopolitical scheme to take control of the world.]

NWFP takes the brunt

By Nasser Yousaf

‘We all must know why we are in Afghanistan,’ US special envoy Richard Holbrooke recently enunciated in one of his many statements on the fast-changing state of the war on terror. But few are prepared to heed the clarion call as the clamour for the end of the mission in Afghanistan by the US and its allies is getting louder and louder.

So-called Afghanistan experts are out in large numbers with damning chronicles from the archives. The intention is none other than to force public opinion to scare western governments into abandoning Afghanistan and handing it over to resurgent mercenaries.

Leaving the job unfinished in this fashion would virtually amount to signing the death warrants of thousands of Afghans and others now employed and tasked to rebuild the war- and ignorance-battered country. That this disastrous aspect of the matter is being considered at length is quite well known. What, however, appears to weigh little in this argument that is heating up is the utter exclusion of the NWFP from the equation.

Situated along the porous Durand Line, the Frontier is the unfortunate victim of its own geography. It has suffered incalculable loss of life and property as well as sustained damage to its image, since the devastating events of December 1979 that prompted the mass exodus of the Afghans and their eventual settlement across the province. A predominant majority of the 3.7 million refugees took shelter in the Frontier, dealing a severe blow to its infrastructure, forests, agriculture and sowing the permanent seeds of unrest in its soil.

The most unwanted of those refugees were the seven leaders — and their stooges — who had formed an alliance of sorts and would roam about the length of the province in a pompous manner that was the bane of the local populace. Some of the streets and neighbourhoods in Peshawar still bear the eerie stigma of accommodating the palatial residences of those leaders sporting overflowing, pretentious beards.

While widows and orphans suffered in the unmitigated wretchedness of the camps, those leaders, some of them still holding high profiles, frolicked in dollar-induced riches from the CIA’s coffers and indulged themselves in polygamous games with abandon.

Surprisingly, while the white and green flags fluttering on the makeshift graves in the camps kept multiplying, lending a hideous look to the setting, the leaders never came to any harm. With wooden coffins standing prominently against their outer walls, death appeared to be the only commodity available in plenty in the camps.

The camps, particularly at Katcha Garhi on the outskirts of Peshawar and at Jalozai in Nowshera, recently came into focus again as hundreds of thousands of refugees from the conflict zones of the Frontier pitched their tents on the parched, grassless soil at the two sites.

Living in the Frontier, one is forced to believe in some measure of magic realism. It looks as if the camps continue to be the living quarters of those who succumbed to the Soviet war and the shenanigans of discredited Afghan leaders, their spirits refusing to vacate. This June when the Jalozai camp was full, a villager passing by the site turned his gaze on the milling crowds and remarked in exhaustion, ‘Oh God, is this place destined to be the permanent retreat of refugees?’

The expression of such intense emotions matters little to our homebred Afghan experts who can be observed spearheading the ‘pullout of Afghanistan’ campaign. The local media also seems to be taking a great interest in the campaign by picking up the juiciest bits from the statements of the now visibly demoralised US generals.

The latest proof of this was seen when a leaked report referred to the alarm raised by the commander of US and Nato forces, Stanley McChrystal, calling for reinforcements as he saw defeat staring the troops in the face. The sense of defeatism contained in McChrystal’s report sent shudders down the spines of those in the Frontier who have seen the worst face of the enemy battling the US-led forces.

The US might be an ignoble villain responsible for all the world’s woes but it is doing one thing right: keeping the Afghans from fleeing their country like they did during the Soviet occupation and subsequent Taliban rule. Those referring to present-day Afghanistan as an occupied country intentionally neglect this most crucial aspect of the ongoing hostilities and the great sufferings of the Pakhtuns.

Pulling out at this stage would amount to handing over Afghanistan to the Taliban, which would undoubtedly force another wave of migration of Afghans and their consequent settlement in the Frontier. This could be the worst imaginable nightmare for the Frontier as the province — teetering and crumbling — is seen grappling with the most decisive moments of its volatile history.

The Taliban, referred to by default as Pakhtun nationalists by their supporters, were created by the US for the fulfilment of its nefarious wishes. The US must now dismantle the structure it blundered into making on the soil of the Frontier even if takes it 100 years. This is the debt that the US must pay to the Pakhtun nation in general and the people of the Frontier in particular. The Taliban wish to deny the Pakhtuns the profits of progress. This must never be allowed. Otherwise the repercussions would be disastrous for the whole world.

The Population Myth

The Population Myth

People who claim that population growth is the big environmental issue are shifting the blame from the rich to the poor

By George Monbiot.

October 03, 2009 The Guardian” — 29th September 2009 — It’s no coincidence that most of those who are obsessed with population growth are post-reproductive wealthy white men: it’s about the only environmental issue for which they can’t be blamed. The brilliant earth systems scientist James Lovelock, for example, claimed last month that “those who fail to see that population growth and climate change are two sides of the same coin are either ignorant or hiding from the truth. These two huge environmental problems are inseparable and to discuss one while ignoring the other is irrational.”(1) But it’s Lovelock who is being ignorant and irrational.

A paper published yesterday in the journal Environment and Urbanization shows that the places where population has been growing fastest are those in which carbon dioxide has been growing most slowly, and vice versa. Between 1980 and 2005, for example, Sub-Saharan Africa produced 18.5% of the world’s population growth and just 2.4% of the growth in CO2. North America turned out 4% of the extra people, but 14% of the extra emissions. Sixty-three per cent of the world’s population growth happened in places with very low emissions(2).

Even this does not capture it. The paper points out that around one sixth of the world’s population is so poor that it produces no significant emissions at all. This is also the group whose growth rate is likely to be highest. Households in India earning less than 3,000 rupees a month use a fifth of the electricity per head and one seventh of the transport fuel of households earning Rs30,000 or more. Street sleepers use almost nothing. Those who live by processing waste (a large part of the urban underclass) often save more greenhouse gases than they produce.

Many of the emissions for which poorer countries are blamed should in fairness belong to us. Gas flaring by companies exporting oil from Nigeria, for example, has produced more greenhouse gases than all other sources in sub-Saharan Africa put together(3). Even deforestation in poor countries is driven mostly by commercial operations delivering timber, meat and animal feed to rich consumers. The rural poor do far less harm(4).

The paper’s author, David Satterthwaite of the International Institute for Environment and Development, points out that the old formula taught to all students of development – that total impact equals population times affluence times technology (I=PAT) – is wrong. Total impact should be measured as I=CAT: consumers times affluence times technology. Many of the world’s people use so little that they wouldn’t figure in this equation. They are the ones who have most children.

While there’s a weak correlation between global warming and population growth, there’s a strong correlation between global warming and wealth. I’ve been taking a look at a few superyachts, as I’ll need somewhere to entertain Labour ministers in the style to which they’re accustomed. First I went through the plans for Royal Falcon Fleet’s RFF135, but when I discovered that it burns only 750 litres of fuel per hour(5) I realised that it wasn’t going to impress Lord Mandelson. I might raise half an eyebrow in Brighton with the Overmarine Mangusta 105, which sucks up 850 l/hr(6). But the raft that’s really caught my eye is made by Wally Yachts in Monaco. The WallyPower 118 (which gives total wallies a sensation of power) consumes 3400 l/hr when travelling at 60 knots(7). That’s nearly one litre per second. Another way of putting it is 31 litres per kilometre(8).

Of course to make a real splash I’ll have to shell out on teak and mahogany fittings, carry a few jet skis and a mini-submarine, ferry my guests to the marina by private plane and helicopter, offer them bluefin tuna sushi and beluga caviar and drive the beast so fast that I mash up half the marine life of the Mediterranean. As the owner of one of these yachts I’ll do more damage to the biosphere in ten minutes than most Africans inflict in a lifetime. Now we’re burning, baby.

Someone I know who hangs out with the very rich tells me that in the banker belt of the lower Thames valley there are people who heat their outdoor swimming pools to bath temperature, all round the year. They like to lie in the pool on winter nights, looking up at the stars. The fuel costs them £3000 a month. One hundred thousand people living like these bankers would knacker our life support systems faster than 10 billion people living like the African peasantry. But at least the super wealthy have the good manners not to breed very much, so the rich old men who bang on about human reproduction leave them alone.

In May the Sunday Times carried an article headlined “Billionaire club in bid to curb overpopulation”. It revealed that “some of America’s leading billionaires have met secretly” to decide which good cause they should support. “A consensus emerged that they would back a strategy in which population growth would be tackled as a potentially disastrous environmental, social and industrial threat.”(9) The ultra-rich, in other words, have decided that it’s the very poor who are trashing the planet. You grope for a metaphor, but it’s impossible to satirise.

James Lovelock, like Sir David Attenborough and Jonathan Porritt, is a patron of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT). It is one of dozens of campaigns and charities whose sole purpose is to discourage people from breeding in the name of saving the biosphere. But I haven’t been able to find any campaign whose sole purpose is to address the impacts of the very rich.

The obsessives could argue that the people breeding rapidly today might one day become richer. But as the super wealthy grab an ever greater share and resources begin to run dry, this, for most of the very poor, is a diminishing prospect. There are strong social reasons for helping people to manage their reproduction, but weak environmental reasons, except among wealthier populations.

The Optimum Population Trust glosses over the fact that the world is going through demographic transition: population growth rates are slowing down almost everywhere and the number of people is likely, according to a paper in Nature, to peak this century(10), probably at around 10 billion(11). Most of the growth will take place among those who consume almost nothing.

But no one anticipates a consumption transition. People breed less as they become richer, but they don’t consume less; they consume more. As the habits of the super-rich show, there are no limits to human extravagance. Consumption can be expected to rise with economic growth until the biosphere hits the buffers. Anyone who understands this and still considers that population, not consumption, is the big issue is, in Lovelock’s words, “hiding from the truth”. It is the worst kind of paternalism, blaming the poor for the excesses of the rich.

So where are the movements protesting about the stinking rich destroying our living systems? Where is the direct action against superyachts and private jets? Where’s Class War when you need it?

It’s time we had the guts to name the problem. It’s not sex; it’s money. It’s not the poor; it’s the rich.

www.monbiot.com