The choice between peace and mutually assured destruction
There it was—the article reminding us of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and who better to write it than Helen Caldicott, pediatrician, founder of the Physicians for Social Responsibility and Nobel Peace Prize winner. It’s been 75 years since the bombs were dropped, and the world is growing no closer to eliminating those weapons and agreeing to their abolition. One hundred twenty-thousand people were killed immediately and thousands and thousands more died of radiation.
Then came the response. Between 1945 and 1998, the United States conducted more than 1,000 nuclear tests and has built more than 70,000 atomic and hydrogen bombs. The Russian Federation built at least 55,000. Since then, arms control agreements have resulted in reducing these numbers to about 14,000 nuclear bombs in the possession of nine nations, with the U.S. and Russia leading the pack, each with more than 6,000 total weapons.
A nuclear “exchange” between the two would take a bit over one hour to complete.
A 20-megaton bomb would dig a hole three-quarters of a mile wide and 800 feet deep, converting all buildings and people into radioactive fallout. Within six miles in all directions every living thing would be vaporized. Twenty miles from the epicenter, huge fires would erupt as winds up to 500 miles per hour would suck people out of buildings and turn them into missiles traveling at 100 miles per hour. The fires would coalesce, incinerating much of the U.S. Possibly billions of people would die hideously from acute radiation sickness, vomiting and bleeding to death. As thick black radioactive smoke engulfed the atmosphere, the earth would eventually be plunged into another ice age.
Another incipient disaster is the warming of the planet. The International Energy Agency said recently that we have only six months left to avert the effects of global warming until it is too late. Actually the U.S. Department of Defense is a misnomer; it is the Department of War, Death and Suicide. Hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are spent by corporations to create and build the most hideous weapons ever known. Investments in these companies, no doubt, bring returns but at what cost!
THIS COUNTRY MUST BE ON FRIENDLY TERMS WITH ALL THE COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD. THE UNITED STATES NEEDS TO RISE TO ITS FULL MORAL AND SPIRITUAL HEIGHT AND LEAD THE WORLD TO SANITY AND SURVIVAL.