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Re: Back in action!

On Sun, 17 May 1998, Kush Khatri wrote:

  But I do not think
> that anyone at that time saw the ferocity of this bomb until it was
> finally unleashed.    What is important are the lessons Americans
> learned from that experience. (your post almost implied that the
> Americans did not learn anything from that Japanese experience)

a) The first nuclear bomb was tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico on the 16th
of July, 1945. Its pictures are sufficient to display its enormous power.
I do not have access to the complete set of documents which recorded
incidents of that period (these are all publicly available, however, to
the best of my knowledge), but I have no reason to doubt that the American
President knew entirely of the power and magnitude of these bombs. Its
radiation consequenses might not have been known fully, but many, many
American scientists had warned against making the bomb, I believe. 

As mentiond in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "the decision actually to use
the bomb against Japan reflected the more immediate urge to end the war as
soon as possible and certainly before it became necessary to mount an
invasion of the mainland. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in
August 1945 was a means of shocking Japan into surrender." See: 

if you subscribe to this encyclopaedia.

Note the words, "means of shocking Japan." The word represents full
awareness of the enormous destructive power of these weapons. The word
also represents the desire to dominate, to over-power, to display strength
in a short and quick manner. Truman was a great person; and he may be
absolved of the crime of ordering the dropping of the two bombs, on
various grounds, but he was not a little baby, "unaware of the ferocity of
this bomb." Nobody is a baby at that level of power, and nobody can feign
ignorance of the consequences of taking this short-cut remedy.

b) I am not at all pointing fingers toward American Presidents: these
people were brought into the discussion because we implicitly feel that
these people are more 'reliable' than many others. I believe that the bomb
would be equally dangerous in the hands of virtually anybody, whether
American, Russian, British, French, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, North
Korean, etc., etc. Imagine for example, the nuclear weapon in the hands of
hawks in India or Pakistan! Danger everywhere! What I am saying is that
there is no fool-proof method to guarantee that the weapons will not be
actually used, until these weapons are completely destroyed.

Whatever be the lessons learnt by America (or others) from Japan, these
unfortunately do not show up in the number of bombs created after the WW
II. Human beings do not seem to learn much; they play games. Therefore the
Americans and Russians, both escalated the arms race to such high levels
that the world was in a position to be wiped out tens of times over, if
these weapons were ever used. No "lessons learnt" here, please note. 
America and Russia (and others) continued to believe that the only way to
combat nuclearization was to further nuclearize, to the point when the
exercise became completely ridiculous.

India had been pleading right through to all nations to NOT have these
weapons. Of course that fell on deaf ears. No lessons learnt here, by
anyone. No "sense" shown toward the most sensible nation, India which had
the technology and resources to create the bomb in the early 70s, but did
not create the bombs. Only scorn for being weak and "non-nuclear." 

The moment India declared itself nuclear, the expected happened. The world
is scurrying to bring down its arsenal from tens of thousands to a few
thousands. The world is finally beginning to listen to India. That is
exactly what must be expected in the real world. 

I believe that India should help force the number of weapons down to zero,
by ** continuously threatennig ** to build more and more weapons unless
the others bring down their numbers.  About the cost of these weapons, we
are talking of quite small numbers.  The much greater cost is in
maintaining their security and reliability.

I fully agree that nuclear weapons are a great pain. These should not have
been invented in the first place, and not used in the second.  But you and
I cannot turn back the clock. We can turn back the future. While nukes
hover over our heads, the lives of all of us are insecure. So if you like
( and I think it makes sense ) we can add to the "ideal" Manifesto:

"The weapons that India has developed should be completely - and
simultaneously - destroyed along with all other nuclear weapons in the
entire world." 

Nothing less than the complete elimination of all such weapons should be
acceptable to you or to me. Had the USA, USSR (now Russia)  and others
(China, for example, with six hundred of them)  listened to each man,
woman and child in the world through the other way (peaceful pleadings), I
would never be advocating the nuclear option at all. But this method is
actually very effective, and believe me, this action of India will help
boost the urge, globally, to eliminate all nukes in the world. 

If you can offer an alternative - and effective - method to bring nuclear
weapons down to zero, then we can discuss... 

Anyway, does the additional line, above, to the "ideal" Manifesto, help?