Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Global Peace Came With a Bang, Not a Whimper

No, I am not so naive to imagine that there is anything approximating world peace. Countries still find ways to fight and to kill each other's citizens.

But today, seventy-five years ago, with the detonation of Little Boy over the City of Hiroshima, direct armed conflict between major powers fell out of fashion. It became clear during both World Wars that wars were no longer confined to the battlefield, but between atomic weapons and intercontinental delivery systems, the conflict could reach anywhere.

And everywhere. Even a smallish nuclear war could do that.

Few rational leaders are eager to see their cities vaporized, much less see their people die of starvation.

The danger is that, as those who saw what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki fade from living witnesses into historical accounts, some fool will believe that the effects of nuclear weapons are overblown and use them. Because humans seem to be really bad at learning from history.

I suspect that we will see nuclear weapons used in war before this century is out. My good fortune is being of an age where I will be less likely to see it.


CenterPuke88 said...

I suspect it is more likely that either a crude atomic device is used by an independent, “disaffected” group or a smaller, “stolen” nuclear device is detonated by a state sponsored group. The most plausible locations would be the Middle East, Kashmir, North/South Korea or the Muslim areas of the Asian plains within China or Russia...and the fallout, so to speak, will be immense.

Stewart Dean said...

From a photographer friend in the late great photographic center of Rochester NY:

"I was very close to a Kodak retiree named Bill Fugimura who used to volunteer at Eastman House. Born in Seattle, his rather ran a filling station. He and his older brother were sent to other family members in Japan when things got ugly on the West Coast ca 1940. His brother was conscripted into the Japanese military and never came back to USA though he had survived the war. Bill was too young - high school age - and was sent to work at a ship building yard outside Hiroshima. On Sundays, the workers had the day off and often would go into Hiroshima to visit family or whatever. Bill had no family there and seldom went to town. The day of the bomb, he quotes a buddy as saying to him, "Look over there, the sun just blew up". After surrender, American occupying force productively put him to work as he was totally bilingual and hadn't served in military, and was American by birth. Sometime late 40s he was fast-tracked to return home, old enough for college. Studied optics at U Rochester, hired by Kodak, married, raised, family, etc. Collected Japanese cameras; helped out at GEH when big-wigs from Nikon visited Rochester to snoop around Kodak; certainly knew the culture. He and I once went to wonderful Japanese restaurant in NYC where we got treatment I never expect to match. I think it was driving back from that business outing, well past Syracuse, late at night, that he told me about witnessing Hiroshima. Bill didn't tell that story to many - most colleagues didn't know it. Wasn't even mentioned by family members at his memorial service. He was a pleasure to be with - someone I miss. For Kodak he worked on projection lenses.
At the time of the telling, Bill was recovering from a heart attack and eager to get back in the swing. His wife made me promise he wouldn't drive or lift anything, but I was happy to have company on a dog and pony presentation I was doing at NYPL. I needed too much computer gear to easily fly. By Binghamton, Bill did insist on getting behind the wheel, and helped me unload at NYPL, too. As told to me, Bill's response to his buddy pointing to the fire-ball was "No, the sun's over there." I remember getting goose bumps at the realization that I was in the presence of an eye-witness. He must have told me about eventually going into the destroyed and radioactive city, but I was too blown away to remember the rest. I remember Leni Riefenstahl visiting GEH which has prints of both Olympiad and Triumph of the Will. She was hoping for Kodak support for something (probably her Nuba project). I remember being a bit spooked shaking the hand that had shaken hands with Hitler."

Said friend is Jewish, non observant

Eck! said...

To me it was neither good nor bad, only eventual.

A matter of time, once we understood that the atom held
immense power it was going to be loosed.

The Germans had been working on it too but they decimated their
inteligencia with purges and were unable to organize their
industrial base as a coherent producer like we did.

It was LeMay that showed why it had to happen with the firebombing
of Tokyo. If Hamburg Germany and others hadn't shown the horrors
Toyko did. If the war had gone further conventionally Japan would
have suffered even worse. There is natterings of Japan was trying
to sue for peace before that but it was on their terms and it wasn't
being heard, unilateral end to it all was the only accepted answer.
Way to much suffering was continuing result.

So 200 tons of fire bombs was Toyko, the next would be 400 tons
and add conventional. As our presence in the Pacific grew it
was going to be like the other islands, bomb it till it smokes,
then invade. The bombs would be bigger and more planes carrying
them and the opposing air force was decimated. That would have
been worse all around.

Trinity let the genie out of the bottle, there was no stuffing
it back in.

We cannot consider it anything other than the marker suddenly
the world could no longer persist along the path it had. Fear
replaced the pragmatic view, there would be brinkmanship and
there was.


Ten Bears said...

Be quicker than suffocating in our own farts.

Dark Avenger said...

The Commandant came out, and announced the surrender to the assembled prisoners. “We had our day in the sun. Now you have yours.”

Chapei Civilian Relocation Camp, 08/13/1945.