( – promoted by buhdydharma )
Today is sixty five years since the bombing of Hiroshima.
In October 1939, just after the outbreak of World War II in Europe, the President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt received a letter from physicist Albert Einstein and his Hungarian colleague Leo Szilard, calling to his attention the prospect that a bomb of unprecedented power could be made by tapping the forces of nuclear fission. The two scientists, who had fled from Europe in order to escape Nazism, feared that Hitler-Germany was already working on the problem. Should the Germans be the first to develop the envisaged “atomic bomb,” Hitler would have a weapon at his disposal that would make it possible for him to destroy his enemies and rule the world.
To avoid this nightmare, Einstein and Szilard urged the government of the United States to join the race for the atomic bomb. Roosevelt agreed, and for the next four and half years a vast, utterly secret effort was launched in cooperation with the United Kingdom. Code-named “The Manhattan Project,” the effort eventually employed more than 200,000 workers and several thousands scientists and engineers, many of European background. Finally, on July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was tested in the midst of the Alamogordo desert in New Mexico. Its power astonished even the men and women who had constructed it. As he witnessed the spectacular explosion, Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist who had directed the scientific work on the bomb, remembered a line from the Vedic religious text Bhagavad-Gita: “I am become death, the shatterer of worlds.”
By the time of the Alamogordo test, Germany had already surrendered. This meant that the potential threat of a Nazi atomic bomb no longer existed. But the war in the Pacific was still raging, and the President of the United States Harry S. Truman decided to use the atomic bomb in order to force the Japanese leadership to surrender as quickly as possible. Thus, on August 6 an atomic bomb with an explosive yield equivalent to 12.5 kilotons of the explosives TNT (trinitrotoluene) was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, instantly killing some 70,000 of its inhabitants, with another 70,000 deaths registered by the end of 1945. Meanwhile, on August 9, a second bomb was used against the city of Nagasaki. This explosion had a higher yield (equivalent to 22 kilotons of TNT) but caused fewer instant deaths. However, many of the survivors suffered from heavy burns, radiation sickness, etc., and the death toll continued to rise. By the end of the year more than 70,000 of Nagasaki’s citizens had lost their lives. Five years later, as many as 340,000 people, or 54 percent of the original population, had died from the two explosions.
Some thoughts from Chris Hedges seem to fit here too: Celebrating Slaughter.
If you just type in “no nukes” to the google you’ll get about 378,000 bangs for your buck.
I gotta go cook something. Might have more to add later.
AFSC has this action item …
Please join our call to Congress to abolish nuclear weapons.
Today is the 65th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Since then, in the name of “national security,” we have spent trillions of dollars, contaminated our air, land, and water with radioactive waste, and stockpiled thousands of warheads. Yet we have become less secure as other nations follow in our footsteps.
Despite soaring rhetoric, in an attempt to win votes needed to ratify the New START Treaty, President Obama has submitted a budget that increases funding for nuclear weapons research and production programs. These programs are referred to as “modernization”, and would have the U.S. building a new generation of these terrible weapons in a time when we need to be moving toward disarmament and job creation.
Send our postcard to Congress now, calling on them to:
* Support the New START Treaty.
* Eliminate funding for “modernization” of our existing nuclear arsenal.
* Provide funds to clean up nuclear research and development sites.
* Support the abolition of all nuclear weapons.
The time has come to stop this deadly game. Send our postcard now.