Hiroshima and Nagasaki
At the time of finishing this article, we find ourselves on the 9th of August. This is the anniversary for the Nagasaki nuclear bombing, which, together with the Hiroshima attack on the 6th of August, comprise the only instances of a country waging nuclear warfare on another. Except that nuclear bombs weren’t used on the enemy, but on civilian populations. This heinous war crime is a monstrous accolade exclusive to the United States.
As a final note on Kojima’s possible feelings and thoughts about the US, the USSR, the Cold War and contemporary politics in general, I’d like to add something which I think is of certain relevance; Mr. Kojima, please don’t forget your country is the only country in the world to have been defiled by nuclear attacks, and that up to this day people suffer in Hiroshima and Nagasaki definitely not due to Soviet bombs, or from the bombs of any other nation for that matter. It is very shameful seeing such a beautiful country as Japan reduced to a lackey of the US, which is not even allowed to have its own regular armed force due to war victory conventions by the Allies. I hope, Mr. Kojima, that you never forget what the US did to your country, just as I will never forget what it did to mine. As much as I am against war-mongering, jingoistic flag-waving and radical ultranationalism, there are things that cannot be forgotten. I’m all for forgiveness, but never for forgetting. Some things can’t and shouldn’t be forgotten. Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors today suffer from unspeakable burns, wounds caused by the explosions and unimaginable psychological damage that will never heal.
In the US, after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and many subsequent nuclear tests, a strange popular culture of atomic patterned consumer items and fashion began to emerge. Showgirls in Las Vegas began to dress as “atomic pinups” in what is perhaps the most superficial, cynical and horrendous impact of the nuclear era in society. Sponsored by the government and fueled by popular anti-communism, society was pummeled to have positive views on atomic energy, while simultaneously told to fear it. However, nothing tops the cynicism of the following photo:
Thusly, I would like very much to express my feelings for the nation of Japan, which has been witness to perhaps the worst, most cynical and premeditated act of genocide in the history of mankind, and to express my solidarity not only with the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Che himself felt so drawn to, but with the Japanese people as a whole, who up to this day endure the foreign policies of the US, which thinks of the island as little more than a strategic base and a power that needs to be held down. Mr. Kojima has demonstrated with his videogames his views on nuclear war and nuclear weapons, and in Peace Walker he finally gave us a true taste of how he feels in his own flesh the attacks inflicted on his nation by this imperialistic and ruthless superpower, the only one to unleash the horrors of nuclear warfare on innocent civilian towns who weren’t even a threat. I think that Kojima should never forget this, and that fans of this smart and creative franchise should also see the difference between the Goebbelian Western propaganda that justifies these atrocities while attacking people like Che of supposedly supporting shameless nuclear warfare. That’s why I recommend fans to listen to Peace Walker’s briefing files so they may see by themselves where the difference lies. Since 1998, us Metal Gear fans have been in contact with the smartest side of gaming and have seen through a compelling and thrilling storyline the dangers of nuclear proliferation and the lies and deceit associated with justifying these terrible actions. But worst of all is discrediting the popular heroes of other nations by charging them with the crime you committed, which is what the US has succeeded at doing with Che Guevara by putting his words out of context and distorting them, as I explain in a previous article.
I don’t want to make this sound overtly officious, sycophantic or arrogant on my part, but given the extremely thin possibility that Hideo Kojima himself may come across this text at some point in his life, I hereby would like to express in this article to him the friendship and brotherhood of the Uruguayan peoples, who just like many other countries in the world, have benefited from the technological advances and works of fiction from the nation of Japan, and I would also like to thank him in the name of all his followers who grew up with his creations, so much that his characters already have become a part of our lives, the contents and wisdom of his narrative already a solid part of our philosophies, despite creative, ideological or political disagreements we might have with him.
So thank you, Mr. Kojima, and may The Phantom Pain be a consolidation of the maturity of the series, the emotional graduation of the generation I come from.