The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

THE DIRTY BOMB

Today is the 67th anniversary of mankind’s entering the nuclear age.  We in America successfully tested the first nuclear weapon at the White Sands Proving Grounds site in New Mexico.

Twenty-four days later we took our invention from the testing stage to the reality stage by dropping the first nuclear bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan and three days later a second bomb fell on Nagasaki.

You may have read stories that these devices are not all that complicated to construct.  And now we worry less that nations than individuals may find motivation to develop them in the form of “dirty bombs” which would emit low levels of radiation over a wide area.

Take a look at some of the images from Hiroshima and Nagasaki that I have posted below.  If you are like me, the question that came to mind was, “Is there any such thing as a ‘clean’ bomb?”

Nagasaki 2

Burn victim

hiroshima 1945

Hiroshima victim 2

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Comments on: "THE DIRTY BOMB" (16)

  1. In a word, No, there is not. Not even a hand grenade. And yet.

    Dresden was worse than Hiroshima, as was the Tokyo firebombing, and without the atomic bombings, almost certainly the invasion would have gone on, with Soviet “help”. American projections were for 1 Million American casualties and no one expected the Japanese to survive as a nation.

    So, if we believe it was a just war, which I do, the decision to drop the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs was the correct decsion.

    In truth, the air force was already burning Japan down while the navy starved them.

    Sherman, who knew, said it best, “War is Hell”.

    • I do understand the rationale and can, perhaps even believe the justification that these horrible events actually saved lives.

      My question is more fundamental. Why do rational people engage in behavior that inevitably leads to something such as this?

      • OK, let’s try that one. I don’t believe rational people do.

        Those who percieve enough benefit in war to start one either are not rational or feel no responsibility to those they lead which is not rational either.

        Defending against such actions, whether as an individual or a nation-state is rational, although waiting until they become as powerful as Germany and Japan did instead of stopping them earlier may be questionable.

      • Since man’s arrival on planet Earth there has never been a time that somewhere, someone wasn’t at war with someone else. As I think about this, the Latin verb “to wage war” was one of the first ones we learned after “to be”, “to have” and “to love”. It is an important verb – otherwise we wouldn’t have learned to read Caesar.

        Interesting lessons that we learn from the ancients.

      • Very interesting and important too. You’re right on war also. I suspect Plato was right when he said, “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

      • Plato was definitely correct.

  2. Because beyond reason there is emotion?

  3. Combination of ideology and amorality, perhaps. Ideology in the sense that a person, or group of people, concludes that (s)he/they should impose their beliefs (for empire, for power, for religion, etc.) because their “truth” overrides all others. Amorality takes over from there, in that to impose those beliefs through war, with a probable significant loss of human life, assumes a basic lack of respect for human life itself – or at least those classes of human life that commonly become cannon fodder.

  4. If it had not been for those two bombs and the fear of what they would do to populations in Russia or the US there may have been less restraint in the so called cold war and perhaps a lot more human suffering than there was during that period. We are now living in a frightening period of earth’s history where misguided religious zelots are not frightened to blow themselves up with a significant population as evidenced in the destruction of the Twin Towers and these zealots have huge resources in hand and a willingness to sacrifice their lives in their evil intent.

    • You make an excellent point about the cold war – though I’m sure that was not the rationale behind dropping the two bombs in Japan.

      One could also argue that, given the devestation that they caused, they are ideally suited for maniacal people who want to inflict as much damage and cause as much fear as possible – and thus gave rise to the advent of terrorism.

  5. Clean bomb or dirty bomb, disregarding it’s death and destruction, is generally defined as a dirty bomb is when the fire ball touched the ground, causing much radioactive fall out from soil and ash being sucked high into the air resulting in a wide radio active fallout area. Where a so called clean bomb the fire ball never touches the ground and has limited residual radiation and fall out.

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