Nuclear Forbearance / by kevin murray

Most of us are aware that the United States dropped not one but two atomic bombs on Japan in August of 1945.  The first atomic bomb that detonated was 15 kilotons and the second atomic bomb that hit Nagasaki was 21 kilotons in which the absolute destruction and devastation to these targets was overwhelmingly harsh, inhumane, lethal, and absolutely brutal.  Weapons such as these had never been seen or utilized since our world had come into existence, but incredibility, nearly 70 years later; no nuclear weapons have been detonated against other countries or peoples since then.  This is certainly a modern-day miracle of enormous importance to the entire world, especially considering that the USA since 1949 has not been the sole nuclear nation.  In fact, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea, are all known as nations that have conducted nuclear tests and that also have nuclear weapons.


That list of nuclear weapon carryingnations should be of frightening concern to everybody, especially considering that there are countries listed here that are not known as being particularly civil, safe, or the epitome of democratic values.  Yet, despite this threat, no country has used the nuclear option against another.  This is most definitely a cause to be celebrated and quite frankly to be appreciated as a sign that despite all the wars and troubles that we have in this world, we are civil enough to not bring forth the total annihilation of this good earth.


If we were, however, to turn back the clock of time, to be somewhat anachronistic, and to imagine somehow that the nuclear option had been available in Roman Empire times, or during the Crusades, or during our own Revolutionary war, or even perhaps in World War I, this weapon of mass destruction would probably have been used without compunction to annihilate the enemy (to our ultimate eternal damnation), because part of the psychology of war is always to demonize the opposition, to make them appear to be less human than you are, that your enemy therefore is heathen, unclean, ignorant, infidel, godless, or forsaken and it is thereby your noble duty to annihilate "them", as if they were best seen as vermin and nothing more.


Fortunately for us and for our planet, the world has become a smaller and more familiar place, in which most of us do recognize that our enemies, that other countries, and that other people are after all not so different from us, that, in fact, we are all part of the same God-given humanity and although we may have political differences, religious conflicts, and resource-driven disputes, we are in the end residents of the same planet which requires us all to have access to oxygen, water, food, and shelter.


In 1960, Russia successfully exploded a 50,000 kiloton nuclear bomb in a test, a bomb that had it been used against a population center would have been an incredible 3,333 times more powerful than the 15 kiloton bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.  We and other countries have the power to destroy the world as we know it, many times over, but have not, because one way or another each country possessing this awesome power knows it has a responsibility to be a good steward and gratefully, despite all of the annoying saber rattling, this remains true as of the present day.