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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/2/20

Rethinking Manhattan Project Spies and the Cold War, MAD - and 75 years of no nuclear war

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Nagasaki mayor pleads for end to nuclear threat on bomb anniversary During a ceremony on Wednesday to mark the 72nd anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki, the city's mayor Tomihisa Taue insisted that Japan join ...
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By Dave Lindorff

75 years ago before dawn on July 16, 1945, a cataclysmic explosion shook the New Mexico desert as scientists from the top-secret Manhattan Project tested their nightmarish creation: the first atom bomb, called "the Gadget."

This birth of the Nuclear Age, was quickly followed a few weeks later, first on August 6 by the dropping of a U-235 atom bomb on Hiroshima, a non-military city of 225,000, and then, three days after that on Aug. 9, by the dropping of a somewhat more powerful Plutonium atom bomb on Nagasaki, another non-military city of 195,000. The resulting slaughter of some 200,000 mostly civilian Japanese men, women and children naturally leads to talk of the horrors of those weapons and to discussions about whether they should have been used on Japan instead of being demonstrated on an uninhabited target.

What goes unmentioned, however, as we mark each important anniversary of these horrific events the initial Trinity test in Alamogordo, the "Little Boy" bombing of Hiroshima and the "Fat Man" plutonium bombing of Nagasaki is that, incredibly, in a world where nine nations possess a total of nearly 14,000 nuclear weapons, not one has been used in war to kill human beings since the bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

And that's not all. Over those same 75 years, despite seven and a half decades of intense hostility and rivalry, as well as some major proxy wars, between great powers like the US and USSR, and the US and China, no two superpower nations have gone to war against each other.

The reason for this phenomenal and almost incomprehensible absence of catastrophic conflict of the type so common throughout human history is the same in both cases: No country dares to risk the use a nuclear weapon because of the fear it could lead other nuclear nations use theirs, and no major power dares to go to war against another major power because it is obvious that any war between two such nations would very quickly go nuclear.

Things could have gone very differently, however, with the dawn of the nuclear age.

At the end of WWII, the US was the world's unchallenged superpower. It had emerged from war with its industrial base undamaged while Europe, the Soviet Union, Japan and much of China and were all smoking ruins, their dead numbering in the tens of millions. The US also had a monopoly on a new super weapon the atom bomb a weapon capable of vaporizing a city. And the this country had demonstrated that it had no moral compunction about using its terrible new weapon of mass destruction.

Some important scientists involved in the creation of the bomb urged the sharing of its construction secrets with America's ally in the war against the Axis powers, the Soviet Union.But military and civilian leaders in Washington balked at the idea of sharing the bombs' secrets. They had bigger plans for the new weapon"

For the rest of this article by 2019 'Izzy'Award-winning journalist Dave Lindorff in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Aware-winning online alternative news site, please go to:

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Dave Lindorff, winner of a 2019 "Izzy" Award for Outstanding Independent Journalism from the Park Center for Independent Media in Ithaca, is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper (more...)

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