April 14, 2014

Nukes by the Numbers

Nukes by the Numbers


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  • Zeeshan Riaz

    A very interesting account on Nukes. Could you also add to let people know who has the history in using these nukes in the past so that people should be wary off the bad guys in the future. Story of Nukes would never get completed without discussing the US brutal and shambolic act of bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki with first ever Atomic bombs. I would strongly believe that one must not forget to discuss this blackest moment happened on planet earth while discussing Nukes.

    Best Regards

    Zeeshan Riaz
    University College London

    • Kunal Jasty

      Hello Zeeshan,

      You may enjoy the podcast with Eric Schlosser, author of “Command and Control.” It’s pretty much an account of the 10 worst nuclear bungles of all time. There’s enough here to keep you up at night:

    • Steve Fernandez

      The US use of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were horrendous crimes against humanity. To this day, it is seems like government doctrine to assert that the US had to use the bombs to save lives. Gar Alperovitz, Robert J. Lifton, Greg Mitchel, and Peter Jennings (Reporting: Hiroshima: Why the Bomb Was Dropped) show some of the brutal geo-political reasoning that went into these bombings.

      Not much is done in many US schools to inspire critical thinking on this. The Mass. history frameworks leave a lot up to teacher discretion. Deeper analysis is often sacrificed in the rush to cover curriculum and prepare for standardized tests.

      From the Mass History Frameworks
      * USII.16: Explain the reasons for the dropping of atom bombs on Japan and their short and long-term effects.

      • Potter

        Perhaps required reading should be John Hersey’s Hiroshima. The impact of that book never left me.

  • Potter

    A few thoughts: Without getting into whether we needed to drop the atomic bombs in order to stop the war, that we did is a fact. If there was any positive (and it hurts to think that that would have been any reason) it does give us all an idea of the destruction we are talking about- and at that, it’s less than the hydrogen bomb would be about 1000 times more powerful. I don’t think the destructiveness of an H bomb is commensurate- ie 1000 times more destructive- but I need to look that up.
    Sheldon Adelson is not worth of quoting… and maybe not even Duncan Hunter.
    Hillary Clinton’s remark (above) in 2008, expresses the MAD deterrent idea which is still very much in operation it seems. MAD seems to have worked. George W Bush, if I remember correctly (in 2002 quote above) was responding to what was felt the need to penetrate deep into the earth to get at what Saddam ostensibly was rumored to be building and hiding. Again, this was MAD (and madness) at work. What stats you cannot (ever) give is how many deaths have been prevented were it not for this deterrent.
    Please, I am being a devil’s advocate and maybe only in part. What has been unloosed into the world will forever be. If these cannot be eliminated (for symbolic, socio- psychological reasons as well as lack of cooperation) there has to be a bigger (the biggest by a long shot) monster to threaten. That’s been us.