Opinion: Woe to Hiroshima & Nagasaki - Why Bother Upgrading The Nuclear Arsenal?

By Michael Monasky | August 6, 2016 | A letter to:  Congressmember Ami Bera, Elk Grove, California | California Senator Bar...



By Michael Monasky | August 6, 2016 |

A letter to: 

Congressmember Ami Bera, Elk Grove, California |
California Senator Barbara Boxer |
California Senator Diane Feinstein |
President Barack Obama |

As things begin to age, it's interesting how we tend to think of replacing them: an old shirt, worn around the sleeves and the collar; a pair of jeans with tattered spots on the knees. We want our things to be useful and make our appearance neat; so our clothing gets laundered, pressed, and repaired as needed. Sometimes we replace items we can no longer fix.

This principle doesn't appear to apply to weapons. Oh, sure, I might want to replace or repair an old stock on a well-worn rifle, or the springs in a trigger mechanism. But when it comes down to nuclear weapons, well, that's a different story.

The advent of atomic weapons production startled modern man uneasily away from creating, then using, fissionable materials in conflict with other men (doesn't it seem that it's men who like to fight?) We should never lose our unsettled feelings towards these weapons. They aren't just dangerous; they're inhumane.

That very concept was raised about sixty years ago by physical chemist Linus Pauling. He proposed that all nuclear testing be stopped, since these fissionable materials play havoc with human health, our atmosphere, oceans, soil, and planetary life in general. Once detonated, the toxins from nuclear bombs reside in our environment for multiple tens of thousands of years.

Radioactive waste from deployment of nuclear weapons cause cancers like leukemias in our blood, and tumors in our digestive tracts. Seventy-one years ago today, one, small nuclear weapon at Hiroshima killed about one hundred thousand people instantly, and untold others later due to radioactive fallout. In three days the United States would drop another bomb on Nagasaki. It's because of the universal, indiscriminate damage done to the environment and people that these weapons should be banned; they are not selective. These devices don't just kill those people who might be deemed by others to be evil or deserving of punishment. Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass destruction, and for that reason alone are inherently evil themselves.

Alan Cranston, 24 years our senator from California, worked tirelessly to end the proliferation of nuclear weapons. In his earlier career as journalist, Cranston annotated Mein Kampf and sought to shed light on the terrible hatred expressed by Adolph Hitler to Jews, intellectuals, artists, gays, and mostly 'the other'.
            
Hitler's xenophobia is being resurrected as Donald Trump's current distaste for immigrants and just about anybody who falls under the shadow of hate cast by his inconstant, capricious opportunism and vacillating opinions. The reason why Trump is unfit to be president is because he suffers from a mental instability, characterized by his demonstrated and well-documented behaviors to cheat, lie, and steal with impunity. My fear is that he'd use nuclear weapons without thought or hesitation.

My ultimate concern is that nuclear weapons should not exist at all, that they were a mistake to have been developed, and that the existing inventory should be retired like an old shirt or worn out pair of shoes. CBS' 60 Minutes featured US missile silos in a May 2014 story, noting that codes are stored on decades-old, oversized floppy disks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJXtEYV16QQ


You have a choice: to proliferate nuclear weapons; or to let them fall out of use. If it's going to cost me and my fellow taxpayers over a trillion dollars for nuclear redux, then I choose to retire them. If people really want to fight and kill, let them do so with their bare hands. At least their mothers, wives, and sisters will be able to identify the dead; and only those who wish to fight will die from such truculent enterprise.





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3 comments

I on Elk Grove said...

STEP 1: SELECT YOUR TOPIC. ...
STEP 2: ADDRESS YOUR AUDIENCE'S NEEDS. ...
STEP 3: RESEARCH. ...
STEP 4: TIGHTEN YOUR DRAFT. ...
STEP 5: MAKE IT SPECIFIC. ...
STEP 6: READ, REVISE, REPEAT. ...
This article was written by Christina Katz.

Ace of Spades said...

We opened that can of "whoop ass" 71 years ago and it's not that easy to put the can away now.

Regardless of the reasons you cite for moving away from nuclear weapons, the other current and future nuclear powers of the world have their own agendas, and in case anyone hasn't noticed yet-the U.S. no longer exerts the same level of influence in the weaponization of the rest of the world.

Our non-nuclear allies who depend on the U.S. to defend them from any and all military threats may not sleep as well knowing we have "cut and run". Conversely, those hostile nations and sanctioned terror groups will likely declare national holidays and party in the streets upon hearing that the U.S. plans to scrap their cans of whoop ass!

The global realities dictate that we upgrade our nukes and push for greater cost sharing among our non-nuclear allies-invest in peace through deterrence. We should not get sucked into the political rhetoric about the so-called emotionally flawed politician who may become President and Commander in Chief. He is not so stupid as to single-handedly declare global Armeggedon, destroying even the possessions and family he treasures.

The technological safeguards and human links that control the nukes could, and should be modernized-no question. And finally, the type of nuke weapons that will protect us in the new millennium are probably not the massive "fat boys" that can destroy whole cities in one fell swoop. The next generation of nukes will likely be smaller, cheaper, and be more of a highly mobile, portable, and tactical nature.

As Neil Young proclaimed that "rust never sleeps", the allure of smashing atoms to become recognized will never sleep either. This is not the time for the U.S. to cheap-out.

I on Elk Grove said...

Michael Monasky, I wish you lived in a world without nukes. You'd be a good Nazi party member. Not leader since you don't possess leadership qualities, you're a follower who wants nothing but the best for the fuhrer. Please, crawl back into your little state worker, union, can't work anywhere else, chip on my shoulder, world. The world is tired of you Michael, please disappear.

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