“Now not many people walked in the streets, but a great number sat on the pavement, vomited, waited for death, and died.”
I would not attempt to diminish the message conveyed here or in Hersey’s book, but I see only a difference in elapsed time between the destruction wrought by a nuclear bomb and what is also accomplished by conventional warfare. And in the interval of history since the first and only uses of the bomb and now, what we call “conventional warfare” has become ever more efficient in delivering wholesale death and destruction.
Yes, a sane species would clearly see the insanity of these monstrous weapons, but the real danger lies within a species that has not yet been able to eliminate the bloody repeated failure of warfare from its “go to” behavioral responses.
Many if not all who come here are probably aware of the massive conventional artillery emplacements aimed at Seoul, S. Korea. If that illegitimate asshole in the WH should trigger a shooting war with N Korea, there would be very little discernable difference between the artillery destruction wrought on Seoul. and that on Pyongong, if Her Trump nuked it.
The US remains the greatest threat to world peace.
I’ve been reading Pat Frank’s 1959 novel “Alas Babylon” Russian nuclear bombardment of the US. Complete retaliation is distantly mentioned, assumed the same results as recorded in the Florida small town setting; no one wins the war, it seems nearing the last page.
The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were horrible and destructive beyond belief. Hundreds of thousands were either killed quickly, or died over the years from its effects.
*I am a nuclear veteran who has seen and felt H-bombs, too close and personal. I survived my exposure, many of us guinea pigs of nuclear testing didn’t.
*There are few left with direct experience, but when I listen to today’s planners of war, they just look on nuclear weapons as a “bigger bang for the buck.”
*The two bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are like two firecrackers versus a couple of cases of TNT, when compared to modern bombs. The US has over four thousand of these monsters, enough to destroy the world many times over. China and Russia have similar bombs and delivery systems. Israel has around four hundred, with delivery systems. Five or six other countries have a few weapons and delivery systems.
*With the first detonation of a nuclear weapon, and possibly after just identifying the launch of one or more ICBMs, there will be a quick evaluation and a counterstrike, probably by several nations.
*There will be few left after the exchange, and they will die a slow, horrible death.
*Those not directly poisoned will find themselves freezing and starving in the nuclear winter that will follow. Then, with power gone and the generator fuel running out, the various nuclear power plants will “Fukushima,” as their cooling systems fail.
*Our libraries and schools will be “toast,” as well as research labs. Some of the government’s cute little bio-weapons labs will be breached and diseases such as the Spanish Influenza, GMOed Ebola and other horrors will be released to take their toll.
*Non-nuclear “conventional” warfare is ghastly enough that the human race should be doing everything in their power to end it. Nuclear war will end itself, and humanity as we know it, very quickly.
*What do we have to protect us from such a fate? A crazed, ignorant, cruel dictator who thinks a nuclear exchange would be “neat.” The military says they couldn’t stop a launch order from the President because they must follow his orders.
*My wife just called me in to catch the royal dotard responding to a test launch of an ICBM from N. Korea. As usual, he says he will “take care” of that launch, then segued into the usual rant about keeping everyone out of the country.
*Frankly, I think we are just getting plunged deeper into the feces that drains from the oval orifice of the dotard. I hope we can survive.
The question is not will we die, but how and why? A painless death surrounded by loved ones after enjoying a great life? Or a slow, lonely, painful, horrible death for all?
Who gets to decide that, ourselves or an oligarchy?
‘Direct Democracy is a safety valve’
Yes, resolving differences by slaughtering masses of men, women, and children is abhorrent, regardless of whether by nuclear or other weapons. Nuclear weapons, however, can massacre hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in less than a micro-second.
In these upside down times, what I find extremely disturbing is that engineers and academics - many of who are self described 'liberals - often make ‘humanitarian’ arguments to support their research and development on weapons and weapons systems.
For example, the argument that some have posed to me is that lethal autonomous weapons will ensure that fewer civilians will be killed because, they are not indiscriminate, not subject to human error or lapses in judgement, and will be programmed to kill specific individuals, or people identified as ‘combatants’.
Disturbingly, many politicians and historians, today, continue to argue that the US nuclear weapons attack on civilian targets in Japan was not a crime against humanity and actually ‘saved lives’. I have little doubt that many will justify the next US use of nuclear weapons.
Sounds similar to mid-60’s novel “Fail Safe” that was turned into a movie with Henry Fonda as the president. Although there was discussion of continuing first strike after accident could not be stopped, the ending was very unexpected…
Another very good book of the genre is On the Beach, by Nevil Shute.
Yes, Hashimoto san’s presentation is one everyone should watch. We’ve had our nuclear war, but instead of attacking an enemy, we’ve all just been shooting ourselves in the foot. We’ve been setting this stuff off in “safe” places. Ask the Marshall Islanders how “safe” that is. Ask the downwinders of the Nevada tests how safe it is. Ask the troops who were the guinea pigs for direct “combat” exposure in Nevada, and the cleanup crews in the Marshall’s, if you can find some still alive.
*I’m still here after being at the tests in 1956 in the Marshall Islands, though I went through some rocks and shoals that I thought would sink me for quite a few years after. Many, if not most, of my shipmates and friends who were there are gone, many from awful cancers and other diseases.
*The only difference between those testing “wars” and what is being contemplated now is that these bombs will be going off in population centers and every survivor will be a downwinder.
*Redwing was sixty-one years ago and I still get flashbacks.
*And the orange dotard thinks that a nuclear war would be “neat.”