DAVID L. BARBER: An era of great tension, and stupidity

You would think it would have been a matter of, “lesson learned.”

Apparently, it has not.

Many believe, me included, the nine nations that are known to have nuclear weapons should not be permitted to have them – the U.S. included.

Seventy years ago one such bomb was dropped by the U.S. on Hiroshima, Japan. It was estimated between 70,000 and 80,000 people were killed instantly, while just as many died from burns and radiation poisoning in the weeks and months that followed.

That one bomb caused total destruction for a one-mile radius, while its ensuing fires burned everything in a radius of four miles

A few days later, a second such bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, causing similar devastating results.

Though the two bombs did bring a horrific war to a sudden and unexpected end, you would think such miracle weapons also would have given us cause for “lesson learned, let’s not go down this path, ever again.”

Enter the Cold War, an era of great tension, and stupidity, which continues to this day.

In 1961, the Soviet Union tested a nuclear bomb – the largest ever built before, or since – called “Big Ivan.” The 26-foot long bomb was 1,400 times more powerful than both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, combined. This one bomb, alone, obliterated everything in a 22-mile radius.

Not so long ago, the U.S. had a stockpile of nuclear bombs – the “B53” – of which each was 560 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. A stockpile, like firewood!

They’ve since been dismantled. Or so we were told.

It is believed there are some 15,200 nuclear weapons in the world, today, ready for use at any given moment.

Russia has the most with 7,500, the U.S. is a close second with 7,200, and France is third with about 300.

China is believed to have about 250, the United Kingdom 215, India and Pakistan about 100 each, Israel 80, and North Korea, 10.

The majority of the world’s 15,200 nuclear weapons are more powerful than the one that was dropped on Hiroshima 70 years ago, with many of them being hundreds and hundreds of times more powerful.

And, who knows if there aren’t bigger bombs than “Big Ivan,” or the “B53?”

The two bombs dropped on Japan so long ago did bring that war to an end, and without a doubt, saved tens-of-thousands of lives. Yes, SAVED lives.

Most believed at the time, and still today, that Japan would not have surrendered, otherwise, and an American invasion of that nation’s chain of islands would have taken months to accomplish – if not years – and would have cost more than 1 million lives.

Still, those two bombs, “Fat Man” and “Little Boy,” did more than bring the most destructive and life-taking war to an end, they also gave us fair warning of our percolating nuclear global suicide.

David L. Barber is the retired editor of the Manistee News Advocate. He will be contributing columns weekly for the News Advocate. You can contact him at dlbarber1006@gmail.com.

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Posted by David L. Barber

David L. Barber is the retired editor of the Manistee News Advocate. He contributes columns weekly for the News Advocate. You can contact him at dlbarber1006@gmail.com.

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