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The Porcupine's Quill: A Satire Column
by Arshad M. Khan
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the satire column
August 6, 2017
A GHOST STORY
News Item: The first atom bomb to be used as a weapon was dropped on Hiroshima,
72 years ago today.
Yes, I am a ghost today, though I'll tell you it was not an unusual sight that morning in
The time chosen was exactly when most people would be out in the open: children
going to school, adults on the way to jobs, the start of the work day.
The sound of a single airplane . Then an unbelievable flash as if the sun had
dropped from the sky.
One minute they were walking, the next they were ghosts. Yes, ghosts. Ghosts with
clothing and skin peeling off their bodies, hanging loose off the bare flesh, ghosts
dead to the world.
The lucky vaporized, the unlucky died slowly in intense pain, nothing to relieve it ... in
wartime in a city overwhelmed with the dead and dying.
Since when did the rules of war include bombing defenseless civilians?
The bomb made no distinctions. The young, the old, the children, the healthy or the
infirm. Factory or hospital, workplace or school. Perhaps it was an influence on
Gandhi. When asked about Western civilization, he replied that it would be a good
Nothing has changed. Yesterday it was Iraq, then Libya. Today it's Syria and Iraq
again. How many killed in Raqqa? Does anyone care?