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Thursday, 03 December, 2020

A Silver Lining (final part of two)

Date: 01 November, 2010

By: Chief

To read part one.

Imageelcome back. Picking up where we left off —

Now isn't that just frigging ducky? Let's just drop a few nukes on mainland China. What an illuminating idea. While the Chinese did not have the greatest army in the world — they had and still have the largest population of any country in the world. My suspicion is the Chinese, while they did not have "the bomb" at that point in time, would have reluctantly waited to use it against us at a later date. As the Chinese are just like elephants — they never forget. Oh joy.

Thankfully those weapons were never used. Though when the order was sent to MacArthur the weapons must have been close at hand.

After MacArthur's forced retirement in 1952 and after Eisenhower became president, Ike took Mac's advise of "threatening the use of nuclear weapons to end the war in Korea" (from Wikipedia). Lovely.

However, threatening North Korea with atomic annihilation in actuality has never stopped. Quoting news:

"From the 1950s Pentagon to today's Obama administration, the United States has repeatedly pondered, planned and threatened use of nuclear weapons against North Korea, according to declassified and other U.S. government documents released in this 60th-anniversary year of the Korean War.

[. . .]

"By the late 1950s, all the services shared in an 'era of relative atomic plenty', as an Air Force memo called it. The number of nuclear warheads in South Korea and nearby Okinawa _ in artillery shells, short-range missiles, gravity bombs and other weapons _ peaked at about 2,600 in 1967, civilian researchers would later determine."

I must admit the reliability and reasonableness of our civilian and military leadership cannot be accurately predicted. Sigh.

Praise the lard. . .

. . .And pass the "physics package." (Based on the WWII tune "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" by Frank Loesser).

It is way past the point of sanity for anyone and especially a president to be giving thanks to the lord for atomic arms and their use. But that is precisely what Harry Truman did on August 9th, 1945. Quoting President Truman via Wikipedia:

"I realize the tragic significance of the atomic bomb... It is an awful responsibility which has come to us... We thank God that it has come to us, instead of to our enemies; and we pray that He may guide us to use it in His ways and for His purposes."

Jesus H. Tap Dancing Christ! Of all the lunatical things to say. To regard nuclear weapons as a product of divine intervention is complete and utter nonsense. However, if a president insists on praying for guidance about species extermination (it does bring a whole new meaning to the phrase 'mass suicide') I much prefer Monty Python's prayer from the Book of Armaments, Chapter 2, verses 9-21 (quoting Wikipedia):

"...And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, 'O Lord, bless this Thy hand grenade that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy'."

It isn't nice — but you were laughing.

A possible saving grace

The middle of July 1945 was a very busy time indeed. On July 16th, 1945 the very first atomic weapon was detonated — to see if it would work at White Sands Proving Grounds, New Mexico. Trinity, an implosion design plutonium bomb, worked just fine.

Then, just 24 hours later, Leo Szilard, Chief Physicist and 69 other scientists within the Manhattan Project signed a petition which Leo had drafted and sent it up the chain of command to President Truman. The petition requested the President not to use the bomb — unless certain conditions were met. For reasons unknown — ha — Truman never got it. Quoting from the petition:

"The war has to be brought speedily to a successful conclusion and attacks by atomic bombs may very well be an effective method of warfare. We feel, however, that such attacks on Japan could not be justified, at least not unless the terms which will be imposed after the war on Japan were made public in detail and Japan were given an opportunity to surrender.

"If such public announcement gave assurance to the Japanese that they could look forward to a life devoted to peaceful pursuits in their homeland and if Japan still refused to surrender our nation might then, in certain circumstances, find itself forced to resort to the use of atomic bombs. Such a step, however, ought not to be made at any time without seriously considering the moral responsibilities which are involved."

Szilard was a brilliant man — with a good heart. However, he didn't stand a chance against Washington's power elite.

Now in 1947 Albert Einstein signed a fund raising letter for the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists. Contained within the letter was this about atomic arms:

"This basic power of the universe cannot be fitted into the outmoded concept of narrow nationalisms. For there is no secret and there is no defense; there is no possibility of control except through the aroused understanding and insistence of the peoples of the world."

No kidding.

If there actually is a silver lining or a saving grace to this abhorrent episode in human history it is the fact that more atomic weapons have not been used against our own kind. Truthfully I am astounded each day I wake up and realize we have not blown ourselves to Pluto.

Regrettably the lessons of war and atomic arms have not sunk in deep enough. We still have thousands of nuclear weapons of a wide variety of types. A smorgasbord of instant extinction. So do several other countries.

I am hoping that We the People of planet Earth, We the Earthlings, can come up with a viable method for eliminating these most horrible killing machines before they eliminate us. If we can do this then perhaps the lab rats of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not vaporized in vain.

Nuclear war is a game which no one can win.

"What if somebody gave a war and nobody came?" (Author unknown).

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