PART IV: CIVILIAN POPULATION
Section 1: General Protection Against Effects of Hostilities
Chapter I: Basic Rule and Field of Application
Article 48: Basic Rule In order to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives.
and yet …
On 6 August 1945 the Nuclear Age began with a tragic bang, with the killing of over 100,000 people in Hiroshima, the vast majority women and children.
Hiroshima was a city at work. The streets were filled. Children had reported to schools; it was a time when direct exposure in the open was at its peak…then, at 8:14 AM a prolonged and brilliant flash. Accompanying the flash of light was an instantaneous flash of heat travelling with the speed of light…duration probably less than one-tenth of a second, and its intensity sufficient to cause nearby things to burst into flames as far as four thousand yards from the hypocenter, with temperatures exceeding 1800 degrees Celsius… then a shock wave.
One survivor told of how she was in school when the bomb hit. One minute she was sitting in her class room and the next thing she knew, she was flat on the ground, far from the people who had been in the classroom. Her clothes had been burned off all except for her underwear, only because it was white unlike the blue of the rest of her clothes. Her whole body was very severely burnt. Her hands swelled to twice the natural size.
Many other people were either incinerated or were “cooked” like a marshmallow that has burst into flames. They lived in agony until death finally found them.
Hiroshima was the first time this mass extermination device was used. The second time was on Nagasaki a few days later where the results were much the same. The future possibility of using a nuclear weapon with discrimination are reduced to vanishing point.