Sunday, August 06, 2006

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Weapons of Mass Destruction

On this day in 1945, the B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb cutely named Little Boy on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, the B-29 Bockscar dropped Fat Man on the city of Nagasaki. The obliteration of those cities and the deaths of over 200,000 people — almost all civilians — made the United States the first country to use what we now call weapons of mass destruction, and we remain the only nation to deploy an atomic bomb against an enemy.

I chose today to mention this because it is an anniversary, but it isn't just today when we should think about it. We must think of it every time we consider weapons programs, arms limitation treaties, and disarmament. We must think of it every time we see a country working on such weapons, and we demand that they stop. And we must remember that we, too must disarm. Such weapons must not exist, and we, as — I'll repeat this — the only nation that's demonstrated that we will use them, must lead the way in destroying them.

Before, we could stand back and say that the world could trust us. We used them then, we could say, partly with a fervent desire to stop the war with Japan before countless more died, and partly out of ignorance of what would really happen when the bombs exploded. But we would never use them again. We know, now, how horrible they are. And besides, we're a peaceful people, acting only in defense. We have these weapons only as a deterrent, lest "they" send theirs toward us.

That was before; the world can no longer trust us. We're now the aggressor, having shown that we will invade another country to overthrow its government. We have single-minded leaders who think they are on a mission from God. We are bringing God's "gift of freedom" to the world... at the point of a missile. The world can no longer trust us, and that missile could well have a nuclear tip.

This attitude that we have them but you can't... fails, both from a practical and a moral perspective. We need to make sure that Hiroshima and Nagasaki can't happen again — not won't, but can't.

1 comment:

The Ridger said...

And don't forget - we've also got the president who won't "take a nuclear strike off the table".