Destruction of Hiroshima. Credit: Flickr/aNto

In an act of callous pro-militarism, the city of Santa Fe, county of Los Alamos, and an educational tourism group entitled Los Recursos de Santa Fe have joined together to produce a full summer program entitled “Atomic Summer.” Its goal is to honor the Manhattan Project, which led to the development of a weapon that massacred nearly 250,000 people.

The pro-militarist forces worked quickly to establish an extensive program to celebrate this destructive achievement. It includes museum exhibitors, lectures, symposia, films, and the premiere of “Dr. Atomic” — an opera about Robert  J. Oppenheimer— the father of the atomic bomb. Here is imperialist propaganda at its worst.

Activists from the ANSWER Coalition, the Los Alamos Study Group and other organizations joined together to condemn the celebration of this horrific weapon of mass destruction. On July 13, protesters gathered outside the New Mexico History Museum to call for an end to all nuclear programs and the glorification of atomic weapon development. They loudly condemned this clearly pro-war celebration highlighting New Mexico’s role.

Several speakers decried such issues as the racist nature of the attacks, whether they were even necessary given Japan’s overtures of surrender, and how it all led to the development of far more destructive weaponry.

The most poignant critique came from Yasuo Nugent, a native of Hiroshima. She condemned “Atomic Summer” as a one-sided portrayal of history. As someone who lived among many of the survivors, she believes that their plight is being ignored.

The following evening, activists from ANSWER Coalition and Los Alamos Study Group returned to present these issues to people attending the “Dr. Atomic” opera and winning the support of several attendees.

One of the greatest tragedies of “Atomic Summer” is that it lacks any acknowledgement that nuclear weapons development in New Mexico has continued at an ever-increasing pace. Strongly supported by politicians of both major parties —particularly the Democrats who currently control New Mexico politics — more and more money is being spent on weapons with increasingly destructive power.

Instead of celebrating and supporting weapons of mass destruction, New Mexicans, their politicians, and the greater population should work to dismantle and end the further development of all nuclear weapons.