PERSPECTIVE: Nuclear Waste of Lives and Resources; on August 6 1945, the Japanese City of Hiroshima Was Devastated by the First Nuclear Bomb and Three Days Later Nagasaki Suffered a Similar Fate. It May Have Heralded the End of the Second World War but Jenny Maxwell, Treasurer for the West Midlands Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Argues That Nuclear Weapons Have Not Made the World Safer

The Birmingham Post (England), August 5, 2005 | Go to article overview

PERSPECTIVE: Nuclear Waste of Lives and Resources; on August 6 1945, the Japanese City of Hiroshima Was Devastated by the First Nuclear Bomb and Three Days Later Nagasaki Suffered a Similar Fate. It May Have Heralded the End of the Second World War but Jenny Maxwell, Treasurer for the West Midlands Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Argues That Nuclear Weapons Have Not Made the World Safer


Byline: Jenny Maxwell

The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, on August 6 1945, at a time when Japan was already suing for peace, was a massive leap in the horrors which human beings can inflict upon each other.

Never before had so much damage been done to so many in so short a time. Never before had weapons continued to kill and maim for many years after their use.

It is only by sheer good luck that a full-scale nuclear attack has never been launched since. The nearest we have come to nuclear war was the Cuban crisis in 1963, but that is not the only time that nuclear weapons have nearly been released.

The good fortune does not extend to the populations living near the several nuclear test sites in the world - the Pacific Islands, used by the French; the US Nevada desert, used by both the US and the UK; Lop Nor in China and the Russian test site in Kazakhstan. The radiation from the many nuclear tests has caused cancers and terrible birth defects.

Nuclear weapons do not have to be used in war to have awful effects. Neither have they deterred war.

During the Cold War, the USA fought its 'war against Communism' by proxy, in far away places, most notably in Korea and Vietnam, and without nuclear weapons. France's nuclear weapons did not prevent bloodshed in Algeria, nor did UK weapons prevent the Falklands War. The logical conclusion of the argument that nuclear weapons prevent war is that every country in the world should have them, a horrifying prospect. Every increase in the world's nuclear arsenals makes accident or theft of nuclear materials more likely.

Far from keeping us safe, nuclear weapons are an ever-present threat to the populations of the countries where they are based. Our UK warheads are manufactured at Aldermaston, in Berkshire, and based at Faslane on the Clyde estuary. They are carried by road, often on the West Midlands motorways, and even through Spaghetti Junction. There have been several minor accidents to the warhead convoys, though, thankfully, not yet a serious incident.

We cannot let an event as terrible as Hiroshima happen again. Today's nuclear weapons are far more destructive than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and, three days later, Nagasaki.

Each UK Trident nuclear warhead is eight times more powerful than the bomb which destroyed Hiroshima. Each of the four Trident submarines can carry 16 missiles, and each missile can carry three warheads. We do not know how many are actually carried because this information is classified. The UK, Chinese and Israeli arsenals are believed to be roughly the same size, France has slightly more, while Russia and the US have several thousand each. India and Pakistan have fewer than 100 each. North Korea claims to have produced a nuclear weapon. The entire world population could be killed several times.

In July 1996, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that the use of nuclear weapons is subject to International Humanitarian Law, which forbids the use of weapons which do not discriminate between civilians and the military.

Would a nuclear weapon really be fired at a troop ship in the middle of the Pacific, so far from land that no radiation could reach the nearest inhabitants? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

PERSPECTIVE: Nuclear Waste of Lives and Resources; on August 6 1945, the Japanese City of Hiroshima Was Devastated by the First Nuclear Bomb and Three Days Later Nagasaki Suffered a Similar Fate. It May Have Heralded the End of the Second World War but Jenny Maxwell, Treasurer for the West Midlands Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Argues That Nuclear Weapons Have Not Made the World Safer
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.