FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Midtown Hiroshima?

Nicholas Kristov of the New York Times dropped in on a conference of experts and came away worried about a new Hiroshima.

Former Defense Secretary William Perry figured it was even money that a nuke would go off in this country during the next six years. Another bigtime player posted a standing bet at the same odds that it would happen somewhere in the world in the next ten years. Kristov put himself down for five bucks that it would not. He explained that if a bomb with the force of Hiroshima went off in midtown Manhattan, it would vaporize half a million people–including him–so he couldn’t lose.

Well, it’s anyone’s guess, but the odds seem to be getting worse.

The Bush Administration used that as a reason to go to war. This is ironic since we have more nukes than the rest of the world put together and are building more and planning to station them in outer space. Ours is the only nation that claims the right to use the bomb, the only one that has done it and the only one that has threatened, convincingly, to do it again.

The great physicists who invented the bomb came to regret it. They sponsored the project only because they were afraid Hitler would get his hands on it first. They begged Truman not to let the genie out of the bottle. He said he never lost any sleep over incinerating the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Many people did, but in this country, those who opposed the arms race were called traitors. One by one, other countries got into the atomic club. So the odds on a rogue hit keep getting worse.

It would not be hard to make them better. We could, for one, stop making bombs and begin cutting our stock down toward zero. With the money we save, we could buy out Russia, the Ukraine and North Korea–all of which have shown signs that they’re willing. We could revive our support for the world ban on nuclear weapons. Countries that rejected UN inspections would face sanctions.

There — that might not solve every problem but it would certainly improved the odds. First, though, we’d have to disarm the Bushies.

JOHN L. HESS is a former writer for the New York Times, a career he chronicles in his excellent new book My Times: a Memoir of Dissent. Hess is now a political commentator for WBAI.

 

More articles by:

JOHN L. HESS is a former writer for the New York Times, a career he chronicles in his excellent new book My Times: a Memoir of Dissent. Hess is now a political commentator for WBAI.

December 18, 2018
Charles Pierson
Where No Corn Has Grown Before: Better Living Through Climate Change?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Waters of American Democracy
Patrick Cockburn
Will Anger in Washington Over the Murder of Khashoggi End the War in Yemen?
George Ochenski
Trump is on the Ropes, But the Pillage of Natural Resources Continues
Farzana Versey
Tribals, Missionaries and Hindutva
Robert Hunziker
Is COP24 One More Big Bust?
David Macaray
The Truth About Nursing Homes
Nino Pagliccia
Have the Russian Military Aircrafts in Venezuela Breached the Door to “America’s Backyard”?
Paul Edwards
Make America Grate Again
David Rosnick
The Impact of OPEC on Climate Change
Binoy Kampmark
The Kosovo Blunder: Moving Towards a Standing Army
Andrew Stewart
Shine a Light for Immigration Rights in Providence
December 17, 2018
Susan Abulhawa
Marc Lamont Hill’s Detractors are the True Anti-Semites
Jake Palmer
Viktor Orban, Trump and the Populist Battle Over Public Space
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Fights Proposal to Keep It From Looting Medicare
David Rosen
December 17th: International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers
Binoy Kampmark
The Case that Dare Not Speak Its Name: the Conviction of Cardinal Pell
Dave Lindorff
Making Trump and Other Climate Criminals Pay
Bill Martin
Seeing Yellow
Julian Vigo
The World Google Controls and Surveillance Capitalism
ANIS SHIVANI
What is Neoliberalism?
James Haught
Evangelicals Vote, “Nones” Falter
Vacy Vlanza
The Australian Prime Minister’s Rapture for Jerusalem
Martin Billheimer
Late Year’s Hits for the Hanging Sock
Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail