Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day of Trinity, Day of Infamy

Today is Thursday, 16 July 2009.

Once upon a time, an evil (and quite possibly sociopathic) German named Hitler approved a research project for a weapon which he probably didn’t understand: an “atomic bomb”. Learning of certain German advances in nuclear physics, Albert Einstein sent a letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939, warning that the US should pursue its own atomic bomb programme.

It may be argued that the atomic/nuclear age began on 2 December 1942, when Chicago Pile-1 became the first nuclear reactor, achieving the first humanly-created, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. I prefer this date in 1945, and the success of the Trinity test, the first detonation of an atomic device.

Until 5.29:45 Mountain War Time on that date, atomic warfare was hypothetical. After that, it was inevitable: a weapon once created will be used. Within less than a month, the First Atomic War had been waged and concluded.

Since March 1970, under terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the United Kingdom, USSR/Russia, and USA/USE have been obligated to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear warheads to zero. China and France have been so obligated since March 1992 and August 1992 respectively. None of these nations have shown the slightest appetite to do so. The reductions made, or rather, promised (“Trust me”), by USA/USE and USSR/Russia have been cosmetic: each retains sufficient warheads to exterminate all sentient life on the planet.

Like the man said: signing treaties is sweet, but ignoring them is sweeter.

So long as the respective ruling elites judge possession of nuclear war capability to their advantage, and the people of the world fail to enforce otherwise, the possibility of nearly-instant genocide will continue to hang perpetually over our heads.

No one should have such power.


On this date in 1969, the Apollo 11 mission launched for the Moon.

For those keeping score, this Museum of the Bourgeois column is number 1,000.

My heartfelt thanks to all who have read and commented since the column’s origin on 4 April 2006. Special thanks to Hari Seldon, who created the blog infrastructure.


Anonymous Frequent Lurker said...

Happy 1000th, HH! We love you and MoB!

11:37 PM  
Blogger HH said...

Thank you.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Hari said...

May peace be upon you.

5:48 AM  
Blogger HH said...

And upon you.

9:01 AM  

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