Published by: AMERICAN CHRONICLE
August 6, 2007
August 6-9 marks the 62nd commemoration of the atomic bombs that laid waste the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In an instant some 100,000 human beings were killed, with tens of thousands more dying in the weeks and months that followed. People who were near the center of the blast simply disappeared, vaporized, leaving only a shadow on the ground where their bodies had blocked the intense heat from scorching the ground a lighter color.
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the development of the far more powerful hydrogen bomb initiated a nuclear threat to humanity that continues with us today. The danger grows ever more acute due to the proliferation of nuclear weapons states. At least eight nations have the bomb and the UN reports more than 30 nations have the capability to go nuclear.
There are 27,000 nuclear weapons stockpiled worldwide with nearly 95 percent belonging to the U.S. and Russia. This includes several thousand strategic nuclear warheads that are on a constant hair-trigger alert and ready for launch in a few minutes notice. A Rand think tank study concluded these weapons alone could destroy both countries in an hour. In light of the many documented close calls to nuclear war through accident or computer error, it is criminal, if not utter madness, to maintain nuclear warheads on a hair-trigger alert. Considering the daily threat these weapons pose to civilization, we need to question what kind of demented mentality insists on maintaining this policy.
Last year 44 of the world’s most brilliant minds, all Nobel Laureates, endorsed a resolution written by Friends of the Earth Australia and the Association of World Citizens, calling for these weapons to be rapidly removed from hair-trigger. Isn’t it time people decided to follow the wise rather than the fools with their militaristic policies, whether they are Heads of State or pretenders hiding in mountain caves?
It is both tragic and ominous that this statement by President Kennedy back in 1961 remains true today:
"Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us."
Today’s most renowned scientist, Stephen Hawking, recently stated:
"As scientists we understand the dangers of nuclear weapons and their devastating effects…as citizens of the world we have a duty to alert the public to the unnecessary risks that we live with every day, and to the perils we foresee if governments and societies do not take action to render nuclear weapons obsolete."
Remember that wonderful opening day of the year 2000 and the start of a new millennium? All around the world great demonstrations of hope and joy for a new era were held, but how quickly this optimism has faded due to continuing violence and war. And now it’s clear that without a dramatic change in the trend of events, it is only a question of time until an accidental missile launch, early warning system malfunction, or a nuclear strike in some regional conflict could escalate out of control to nuclear war. The outcome would be tens of millions of shadows on the ground and our cities reduced to radioactive wastelands.
The atomic bomb with the strange name of "Little Boy" ushered in the nuclear age when it created an instant hell on earth at Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Now, 62 years later, with the proliferation of nuclear weapons states and threats of producing new nuclear bombs, we must collectively pledge and demand the dark nuclear cloud hanging over humanity be eradicated through the rapid and total elimination of all nuclear weapons from the face of the earth. No politician in any country should be elected to a high office without making this pledge.
Association of World Citizens
Tel: 415 541 9610