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  Nostalgia ain't what it used to be

Saturday, 20 January, 2018
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A Silver Lining (part one of two)

Date: 15 October, 2010

By: Chief

Imageerhaps. Then again perhaps not. After all the human species can be and tends to be incredibly thick headed. Face it when it comes to learning from history — by and large we humans would rather take a beating with a brick stick.

War

"War is not healthy for children and other living things" (Lorraine Schneider).

Geez, you would have thought that we would have figured that one out by now ... obviously not.

War is something we as a species really seem to excel at. Indeed, it maybe the only thing either on a small or global scale which we really excel at. The problem is simply war is a horror beyond description. Kinda like trying to describe the taste of salt. It cannot be done. Yet for thousands upon thousands of years the human race has spent an ungodly amount of:

attempting to find better and more efficient methods of exterminating our own race. Or to put it another way — can you spell E-X-T-I-N-C-T-I-O-N? Now — does that make any sense to you? It sure doesn't to me. But have no fear I am sure we shall continue to persevere and sooner or later we may just succeed in wiping our own species off the face of the Earth. Sucks to be us.

Atomic arms

I believe we have finally succeeded in creating the ultimate people getter-ridder-ofer. Nuclear weapons. The 'holy of holies' of self annihilation. They're even better than the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. We've tested these instant Armageddon weapons on a few hundred thousand unsuspecting lab rats — Japanese civilians. And by God the vile things worked just fine. I'm sure the lab rats were thrilled. 'Thank you so very much for participating in our experiment and have a nice day'.

The lab rats of Hiroshima were participants of the very first 'Armageddon here we come' employment of atomic arms (August 6th, 1945). What a unique way to serve our country. The results of that experiment were, to say the least — spectacular. Quoting Wikipedia:

"It created a blast equivalent to about 13 kilotons of TNT (54 TJ). The U-235 weapon was considered very inefficient, with only 1.38% of its material fissioning. The radius of total destruction was about one mile (1.6 km), with resulting fires across 4.4 square miles (11 km2). Americans estimated that 4.7 square miles (12 km2) of the city were destroyed. Japanese officials determined that 69% of Hiroshima's buildings were destroyed and another 6 - 7% damaged.

"70,000 - 80,000 people, or some 30% of the population of Hiroshima were killed immediately, and another 70,000 injured. Over 90% of the doctors and 93% of the nurses in Hiroshima were killed or injured - most had been in the downtown area which received the greatest damage."

Wow. A 13 kiloton yield with only 1.38% of the uranium fissioning. A full 98.62% of the frigging uranium did not fission. Yet "70,000 - 80,000 people, or some 30% of the population of Hiroshima" became instant fried lab rats and vaporized — faster than the blink of an eye.

If you care to look at this 'before' image and then this 'after' image — unless you are completely blind you shall discover that there is nothing left. Nothing. Not even rubble. Hiroshima is just flat out gone. Who says we aren't inventive when we put our heads together? Sheesh.

Then on August 9th, 1945, a mere three days after Hiroshima, the lab rats of Nagasaki received a rather rude party crasher when they were instantly incinerated (extra crispy) and vaporized by the second and last (as of the date of this story) atomic weapon to be unleashed against our own species. However, due to where the bomb detonated (quoting Wikipedia):

"The 'Fat Man' weapon, containing a core of 6.4 kg (14.1 lbs.) of plutonium-239, was dropped over the city's industrial valley. It exploded 43 seconds later at 469 meters (1,540 ft) above the ground exactly halfway between the Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works in the south and the Mitsubishi-Urakami Ordnance Works (Torpedo Works) in the north. This was nearly 3 kilometers (2 mi) northwest of the planned hypocenter; the blast was confined to the Urakami Valley and a major portion of the city was protected by the intervening hills. The resulting explosion had a blast yield equivalent to 21 kilotons of TNT (88 TJ). The explosion generated heat estimated at 3,900 degrees Celsius (4,200 K, 7,000 F) and winds that were estimated at 1005 km/h (624 mph).

"Casualty estimates for immediate deaths range from 40,000 to 75,000. Total deaths by the end of 1945 may have reached 80,000."

Hell's bells Maynard, a "major portion of the city was protected." And only 40,000 - 75,000 lab rats were vaporized. Is our federal government benevolent or what? Puh-lease, it's enough to make you heave.

It was close

Oh so very close. During the Korean war which was basically a war of swapping territory with the North Koreans and Chinese on a monthly basis. It also appeared to just about everyone that there was a zero chance of victory.

Hence on April 5th, 1951, not more than a month after we retook Seoul (it changed hands several times), our very own Joint Chiefs of Staff (quoting Wikipedia):

"[I]ssued orders for the retaliatory atomic bombing of Manchurian PRC military bases, if either their armies crossed into Korea or if PRC or KPA bombers attacked Korea from there. The President ordered the transfer of nine Mark 4 nuclear bombs 'to the Air Force's Ninth Bomb Group, the designated carrier of the weapons ... [and] signed an order to use them against Chinese and Korean targets', which he never transmitted."

Here is another barn burner for you to ponder (quoting Wikipedia):

"[S]etbacks prompted General MacArthur to consider using nuclear weapons against the Chinese or North Korean interiors, with the intention that the resulting radioactive fallout zones would interrupt the Chinese supply chains.

[. . .]

"[MacArthur] believed that whether or not to use nuclear weapons should be his own decision, not the President's."

Continue to part two.

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