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Hypocrisy of G7 Hiroshima summit ignores papal peace call

The US and its allies are still living under the wrong notion that its still the 'American Century'
US President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference following the G7 Leaders' Summit in Hiroshima on May 21. Biden’s refusal to offer an apology for the cold-blooded act done in August 1945, even while setting foot in Hiroshima, could be seen as a sharp warning that the US and its G7 allies will resort to nuclear weapons yet again to intimidate humanity

US President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference following the G7 Leaders' Summit in Hiroshima on May 21. Biden’s refusal to offer an apology for the cold-blooded act done in August 1945, even while setting foot in Hiroshima, could be seen as a sharp warning that the US and its G7 allies will resort to nuclear weapons yet again to intimidate humanity. (Photo: AFP)

Published: May 30, 2023 11:57 AM GMT
Updated: May 30, 2023 11:58 AM GMT

When the G7 summit kicked started in Japan, Pope Francis in a letter to the Bishop of Hiroshima reiterated the Holy See’s “firm conviction” against the use of nuclear weapons. He also appealed for peace based on equality and solidarity. But there was no pledge from the wealthy nations to never use nuclear weapons again.

Prior to their summit in Japan on May 19, the leaders of the G7 nations — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — laid wreaths at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima.

However, in a shameless display of hypocrisy, the major global powerhouses accelerated the plunge toward a global conflict and decided to kill two birds with one stone, if possible — rapidly escalating Nato tensions with Russia in Ukraine and US confrontation with China in East Asia, which could see the whole of humanity suffer a nuclear holocaust.

Like Barack Obama, the first US president to visit Hiroshima following the end of World War II, President Joe Biden succinctly made it clear in advance that no apology would be forthcoming from his administration for the cold-blooded horrendous act done in August 1945 that instantly killed 80,000 people in Hiroshima and another 40,000 people in Nagasaki.

The death toll from the calculated atrocity resulted in an unmatched scale of horror recorded in any previous military action. In the days following the bombing more and more men, women and children succumbed to burns, injuries and radiation sickness to take the figure to 300,000 in the immediate aftermath.

One of the survivors later wrote: “…Some were half-dead, writhing in their misery… They were no more than living corpses.”

Though the atomic bombings by the US were simply meant to intimidate Japan’s hapless people and the world at large, and above all, the erstwhile Soviet Union, no US government has so far offered even a token acknowledgment of the criminality in dropping nuclear bombs for the first time in history.

Biden’s refusal to offer an apology, even while setting foot on the soil of the Peace Memorial Park and on Ground Zero in Hiroshima, could be seen as a snub to anti-nuclear campaigners.

The way in which the Hiroshima G7 summit ignored the nuclear threat adds to Pope Francis’ concern that humanity should work together for peace “in light of the continuing threat of recourse to nuclear weapons.”

Pope Francis’ letter to Bishop Alexis-Mitsuru Shirahama of Hiroshima expressed the Catholic Church’s “firm conviction” against the use of nuclear weapons as it is a crime against humanity and undermines the future of “our common home.”

The pope further said he was praying that the summit would look towards achieving “a lasting peace and stability, and long-term sustainable security.”

However, the US and its G7 allies — after their military escapades over the past three decades in the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans, and Central Asia — are now focused on Eastern Europe and East Asia.

Weapons with more sophistication and destructive power are being moved into Ukraine in ever-greater quantities, which can turn the conflict into a direct war between Nato and Russia. The Ukraine war is becoming ghastlier and more vicious, with an increasing threat of Russians using nuclear weapons.

At the Hiroshima G7 meeting, leaders unveiled a strategy targeting China and its economic progress. "We are not decoupling or turning inwards. At the same time, we recognize that economic resilience requires de-risking and diversifying," they said in a joint statement.

China opposed the joint statement and expressed its displeasure with summit organizer Japan.

It was not without a reason that the G7 selected Asia, the fastest-growing and most dynamic region of the world, for its latest meet. Growth in Asia would improve by 4.6 percent while war and economic weakness will hit the rest of the world, according to a recent IMF report.

Powered by the BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — and the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) -- Asia, on the whole, is doing well, while the West is hit by rising interest rates, high inflation, an enormous military budget and an aging population.

In 2021, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Bangladesh took up shares in the New Development Bank or BRICS bank. Algeria, Argentina, Mexico and Nigeria have expressed interest in the bank. Nineteen nations, including the world’s largest Muslim nation of Indonesia, have expressed interest in joining the BRICS. It is a matter of time before the BRICS economies overtake the G7 countries.

The US and G7 allies are still living under the wrong notion that it's still the 'American Century' despite its failure to persuade four key nations, like China, Brazil, India, and South Africa, to see the Ukraine war as an “existential” struggle between democracy and an illiberal autocratic nation.

China and India are buying enormous quantities of Russian oil at a steeply discounted rate and are increasingly trading in their own national currencies to de-dollarize. The move found more takers after a series of actions: the US froze Russian assets worth a whopping US$300 billion after the Ukraine invasion; poverty-stricken Afghanistan’s $7 billion assets were frozen after the Taliban took over the Central Asian nation in August 2021, and the UK froze Venezuelan's gold assets worth $1billion with the Bank of England. All these served as a warning to many leading nations that plan to hold their assets either in gold or in dollars.

If the first use of nuclear weapons on Japan, driven by US imperialist ambitions, was devastating, the G7's reckless pursuit of war with Russia and China will result in greater tragedy because the nuclear weapons at their disposal are more powerful than the atomic bombs that crushed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The G7 needs to end its pampering of the American Century idea in the emerging de-dollarized multi-polar world if they even vaguely understand the need for peace for the betterment of humanity.

*The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official editorial position of UCA News.

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