Nikki on: Nuclear Weapons

June 14, 2010 sexyknees

I found this image on the internet and thought it appropriate for this blog. Hiroshima, 1945

Having had close relatives who died in the atomic bombings of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the following carries meaning:  I am completely in favor of the United States having and maintaining a significant nuclear stockpile.  Why?  For one very obvious reason:  if we don’t, others absolutely will.  Without a nuclear deterrent we will be at the mercy of powerhouses such as China, India, and Russia, not to mention rogue states such as North Korea and others whom are developing or have developed nuclear weapons.

What I absolutely oppose is the use of nuclear weapons on civilian targets.  The government of a country does not represent the desires of the entire population.  Take our country:  do we all agree on the health plan?  Of course not.  The same goes for the population of, lets say, Iran – not all Iranians think of us as being the “great Satan”.  In no situation do all the people of any nation completely support its government.  The killing of innocent people is never acceptable under any circumstance, anyway.  For that matter, I am not sure if I would even support the use of nuclear weapons on certain military targets.  Take, for instance, Romania in 1989 – the military turned against Ceausescu and his Securitate, paving the way for a free Romania.  The same could be said of the United States – would the Civil War ever been fought had we been of like mind?  Just because the government of a country orders an attack does not mean that all of its forces are in agreement with the decision.  Nothing is ever black and white.

I am also absolutely opposed to the testing of nuclear weapons due to environmental impact.  I hate the thought of the death of any creature…period.  Think of all the life which would be extinguished in the detonation of a nuclear warhead.  Think of the radioactive contamination which would last for decades at the test site.

Using nuclear weapons in response to a similar attack on the United States by terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda gets a little dicey since we would have to link the act to a sponsor state.  If a link can be established and there be no doubt about our intelligence, I have no problem with a reciprocal response against military targets of that state.  Proving a country’s involvement in nuclear terrorism, however, is something I would see as being very, very complicated.  Maybe get the guys on Law and Order together with Jack Bower of 24 and Jack Ryan of The Sum of All Fears?  They seem to do just great and proving innocence or guilt!

Well, that’s my two-cents worth on this issue.  Why do I bring this up?  Because the 65th anniversary of my relative’s deaths at the hands of the United States is coming up and I always ponder the price they paid for their country’s actions.  They didn’t support the Japanese government – in fact they spoke out against the war – but died for it nevertheless.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ky  |  June 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    wow, what a sobering blog, made even more sobering that your family was touched by the A-bomb. *gives her dear friend a hug* it’s good to reminded of the past so that we can learn from it. xxx ky

  • 2. Jim  |  October 17, 2010 at 5:22 am

    What a thought-provoking blog post!

    The use of the bombs against Japan was beyond tragic–those cities were non-military targets. They had been generally untouched by U.S. bombing during the war, which was one the reasons those two cities were chosen–they were virtually unscathed, so that the damage from an atomic weapon could be accurately measured. Nagasaki and Hiroshima had no military value–in fact, U.S. prisoners of war were killed in those bombings. The war was largely over at that point–the use was fueled by growing competition was the Soviet Union as well as racism–I just don’t see such weapons being used on a German city.

    Strategic weapons such as ICBMs have almost no value today except as a deterrent. If North Korea was ever actually able to launch a nuclear weapon against another country, they would virtually be wiped out. So, such an attack from such a country would likely be a hidden “dirty bomb” floated into a harbor for example. Its part of the reason was the billions spent on the “Star Wars” research was wasted. No small country with one or two missiles would ever attack (unless the government was suicidal) the U.S. with 1-2 nukes as they would be wiped out in response while inflicting little (relatively speaking) damage in return. A good example of this was Saddam Hussein. He had no nukes, but he wanted to keep the idea that he had nukes alive due to regional pressure from Iran and Israel. He never thought the U.S. would invade, a miscalculation on his part. But the point is that he was not suicidal–he knew he could not compete militarily with the U.S. was only interested in the regional balance of power. And no large country like a Russia or China would attack due to mutual assured destruction, as well as the economic consequences, given how intertwined the global economy is.

    Our wars seem to have shifted from massive conflicts (the world wars) to smaller-scale wars vs. non-state groups (terrorist groups), where strategic weapons are not useful because of the massive deaths to civilians. And as you said, Nikki, if a terror group used a nuke, proving that link to the sponsor country is difficult. Many of these governments have no control over parts of their own nations (Pakistan, Somalia). If Pakistan ever lost control of a nuclear weapons, then events could quickly spiral out of control. MacArthur wanted to use 30-50 small nukes against the Chinese when they entered the Korean War, luckily Truman vetoed that. Can you imagine what our world might have turned into if that had happened? My great fear is Israel. They have a large nuclear arsenal, which they won’t admit having and they are surrounded by enemies. Israel’s use of such a weapon against a perceived threat, especially in this time of “pre-emptive war” could have globally catastrophic consequences.

    I agree–the environmental damage caused by nuclear detonations would be massive, and in the long run, probably more damaging than the immediate effect of the weapons. And the World war II-era civilian scientists were right to worry that once that nuclear cat was out of the bag, that it would be impossible to control. And they were right. Controlling proliferation is so difficult. Look at Dr. Khan from Pakistan (the so-called father of Pakistani nuclear program)–he sold the nuclear recipe to North Korea. His punishment? House arrest for a few years. The U.S. government kept quiet (this was under Bush II) because we needed Pakistan in the fight against terror. Was this the right bargain?

    And I know this is several months too late, but my condolences to you on the anniversary of loss of your relatives. Have you ever traveled to wear your relatives lived?

    Thanks for the chance to offer an opinion, Nikki.

    • 3. sexyknees  |  October 20, 2010 at 3:57 am

      Thank you, Jim, for such a wonderfully thought-through response to my blog. I can say that I fully agree with your comment and appreciate the condolences for my relatives. Such a sad thing, you know? The only addition I will make to your statement is the inclusion of both India and Pakistan. With them I believe that it is not a matter of if more so than a matter of when there will be a regional exchange of nuclear weapons. I have visited Hiroshima and paid my respects to the people who lost their lives that fateful day in 1945. Just my opinion, but I think it would be helpful for everyone to spend time at places such as Hiroshima, Dachau, Verdun, Cambodia, Auschwitz, Wounded Knee, Normandy, etc., to have a greater understanding of human suffering and the absolute evil that things such as hatred and extremism can produce. Its time for us to change the way we think, I think!

  • 4. Jim  |  October 21, 2010 at 4:30 am

    I agree. I just spent some time at the San Creek Massacre site with members of the Cheyenne tribe. An incredibly moving experience.

    • 5. sexyknees  |  October 21, 2010 at 9:33 pm

      Thanks, Jim! I truly believe that people need to spend a little more time with real experiences instead of behind a monitor or TV screen. We as a people seem to get pretty wound-up about issues but rarely have I spoken with anyone whom had any field time…period. This is especially true in regard to politics. I encourage everyone to get out into the world and live beyond your comfort level. Learn about the plights of others. Speak with first-hand knowledge, for goodness sake! If I could do it I know you can, too. Oh, and this isn’t directed at you, Jim. I kinda jumped on my soap box for a bit and hope you don’t mind!

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