“The destruction of Nagasaki was officially described as having achieved “good results”. These announcements and especially the words used: experiment, success, good results, to describe the unique and horrific carnage of nuclear war, were the first public examples of a new kind of propaganda. By using reassuring, even soothing language – language which allowed both the politicians and us to distance ourselves from the horror of nuclear war.”
John Pilger looks at world-wide propaganda surrounding the nuclear arms race.
John Pilger’s penetrating documentary which looks at world-wide propaganda surrounding the nuclear arms race. When the two American atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, they were code-named ‘Fat Man’ and ‘Little Boy’, and President Truman announced after the event: “The experiment has been an overwhelming success.” “These”, says Pilger, “were words used to describe the awful and horrific carnage of nuclear war. By using reassuring, even soothing language, this new kind of propaganda created acceptable images of war and the illusion that we could live securely with nuclear weapons”. Official ‘truths’ are examined in connection with the bombing of Hiroshima, the build up of arms by Russia and America, the siting of nuclear bases by the US in Britain and Europe, Ministry of Defence statements about the Cruise missile base at Greenham Common, and other US bases, the amount of government money spent on weapons, ‘Civil defence’ arrangements and a NATO ‘limited’ nuclear and chemical war exercise in West Germany, which Pilger describes as ‘a dry run for the unthinkable’. Many experts give their views, including Paul Warnke who thinks arms reduction is feasible — ‘All we need is the political will to go ahead with it’