The United States is the only nation that dropped an atom bomb on a civilian population. Hiroshima Aug. 6 1945 – Nagasaki August 9, 1945. The Hiroshima bomb exploded at 8:16 a.m. and instantly killed 80,000 people. Tens of thousands more died later of radiation exposure. Innocent civilians – men, women, pregnant women, children getting ready for school, senior citizens, people with disabilities getting ready for their day — dead, wounded and traumatized.
We had our rationale. Unconditional surrender of Japan and the end of World War II. So, would another nation with nuclear weapons find a rationale to use them today?
Because of the Ukraine crisis, reporters are asking Biden if there is a possibility of nuclear war with Russia. Russia has 6,000 nuclear weapons and the U.S. has 5,500. There are land, air and sea-based options to launch them. If we engage in a nuclear exchange, billions of people will be made extinct. Those remaining alive may wish they were not. There are also options to use tactical nuclear warheads that are “low-yield” that are several times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Currently President Joe Biden has an open line with Vladimir Putin to reduce the possibility of engaging in a nuclear war by accident or miscalculation. Examples are the Cuban crisis -1962 and the malfunction of radar 1983. [Google: “Soviet captain that refused to launch. Cuban crisis and 1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident.]
So, what are our options? Ukraine and Russia need what is called an “off ramp” –a compromise that both sides can live with as we go forward. There are ongoing negotiations but these are not in the headlines.
Is peace worth fighting for? Join the peace actions here in the U.S. and in Russia and throughout the world and demand a negotiated peace settlement now!
NO WAR IN UKRAINE! – NO WAR IN RUSSIA! – NO NUCLEAR WAR! – NO WAR PERIOD!
Thomas Connolly lives in West Hartford.