Letters to the Editor

Letter: Nuclear threat

August 6, 2014


To the editor:

Aug. 6 and 10 will mark the 69th anniversary of the nuclear bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Fortunately these were the only instances of actual employment of nuclear weapons, but, ever since then, the world has been at risk of intentional detonations or accidents.

In this time of political instability and widespread disregard for the sanctity of human life, that risk is only intensified. Despite treaties limiting nuclear weapons, it is estimated that about 17,000 devices still exist. Exploding only a small fraction would be enough to wreak devastation on the entire world.

Physicians for Social Responsibility has used state of the art weather modeling to predict the effect of a purely regional nuclear war such as Pakistan and India. The detonation of 100 bombs the size of that used at Hiroshima, tiny by modern standards, would result in an immense cloud of soot which would block sunlight and lead to a decade of severely limited agricultural production worldwide. Widespread starvation and increased conflict would follow.  

Recently, the International Red Cross, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates have called for the abolishment of nuclear weapons. We all need to join that demand for making our world safer.  The Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice will sponsor a demonstration at 5:30 p.m. today at Ninth and Massachusetts. Learn more (Google Physicians for Social Responsibility). Contact your elected representatives. We must live more sanely.


Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

Yes, we can run for a while. But we can't hide from it!

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

Years ago, there was a great deal more fear about atomic warfare destroying the earth. There were "duck and cover" drills in schools in the 1950s, homes were built with bomb shelters, and it was a serious concern among the citizens of the United States. I have no idea how much it was on the minds of the citizens of other nations.

I remember wondering about Nikita Khrushchev's statement "We will bury you!"

I looked up at the trees out at the farm, and wondered where "they" would get all that dirt. It sure would take a lot of dirt to bury all those trees! "They" being the unknown and almost universally misunderstood "other." A lengthy treatise could be written to cover that subject, but that's already been done. Oh, for the naiveté of childhood.

But since then, we have become inured to the risk of nuclear devastation. People shrug their shoulders when the subject is mentioned, and think to themselves: "I can't do anything about it, so why worry?"

It appears to be almost a certainty that sooner or later, atomic warfare is going to be waged. The technology exists, and many nations have working examples. Some nations and/or groups have announced that they plan to use it as soon as they can, on the United States and Israel.

The United States and Israel are apparently the targets because they are democratic nations, have freedom of religion for all, equal rights for all, and equal rights for women too. Those are anathema to some. Or to their leaders. Universally, the populations of the nations that call for the destruction of the United States and Israel have populations which have only limited access to information. So they are misled about the facts. So, it is "common knowledge" among their populations that the United States and Israel must be destroyed.

Abolishment of nuclear weapons is not going to happen, in my opinion. Only the victor lays down his sword after a battle, and by that I mean that the advanced nations might abolish them, but there are many culturally backward nations or groups that are anxious to have them. And those are the ones that would not think twice before using them.

In my opinion, the only way to postpone a nuclear war is for everyone in the world to have access to unbiased information, and democratic forms of government would be helpful. Of course, the ability to read is imperative for that to be helpful. That's not common in many nations. As a benchmark, a person might consider how many books are written in or translated into a particular language. A bit of research into that topic is an eye opener. It sure was for me!

And, I said "postpone a nuclear war" because I think it's going to happen sooner or later. I hope it's limited, and quickly convinces everyone that the use of nuclear weapons again in the future is unthinkable, or totally destroys the nations or groups that have been calling for their use.

Brock Masters 3 years, 8 months ago

How do you rid the world of nukes? I mean seriously, do you trust Russia to really get rid of all of theirs?

Scott Burkhart 3 years, 8 months ago

The nations we should fear are the ones who care nothing of dying themselves.

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