Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I watched a show on PBS last night about the development of atomic weapons.  Having been born in 1950, I lived through the arms race with Russia.  It had a profound effect on me, on all of us who were growing up at that time.  We would sit, mesmerized like mice about to be swallowed up by a snake, watching the films of the mushroom clouds.  I can’t really blame Russia.  After all, we had them.  Not only had them but were crazy enough to use them.  The insanity of that time is still incomprehansible to me.  We grew up and lived in fear of total annihilation.  Not satisfied with the atomic bomb, they went on to develop the hydrogen bomb.  A bomb that when tested, vaporized the island where it was set off.  What madness reigned in the minds of those men that not only conceived, but built, a weapon so destructive that it vaporized the very earth and then went on to build 300 more?  What madness that allowed a handful of men in each country to bring this planet to the brink of total destruction through their irrational fear and hatred?  

1 comment:

  1. There is an excellent book called Dark Sun by Richard Rhodes. It is more of a documentary on the development of the H-Bomb. He covers more than just the technical side, it is more of a history book too. The reader is left to assess the facts of the time and make your own judgments. There was one individual, General Curtis Lemay, who, IMHO, was a certifiable nut case. He was the General in charge of the Air Force and SAC. He continually pushed to have Kennedy make a pre-emptive strike on Russia as well to have invaded Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis of the 60's. He routinely had our B-52's fly into Russian airspace just to see what they would do. At the time of the crisis we were at Defcon 1. We had over 3000 missiles spooled up and ready to launch on a single command from the President. Thank goodness Kennedy had the good sense to not pull the trigger.

    It was also revealed later that the Russians had 20 or so tactical canon fired nukes on Cuba. Had we invaded they probably would have used them as they did not require authorization from anyone to use them. The local command in charge had all the codes to arm them and use them. What a nightmare.

    Remember "Duck and Cover". What idiots we were. All I can think of now is Lewis Blacks comments on him thinking "We are under a nuclear frigging attack and you want me to put my head under wooden tinder desk??????!!!!!!!!"


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.