Australian news, and some related international items

Most Americans comfortable with the idea of nuclear bombing Iran!

Americans Are a Little Too Relaxed About Nukes, A majority say they’d be fine with dropping a nuclear weapon on an Iranian city. What?   Bloomberg ,By 

Faye Flam, August 31, 2017, North Korea’s advancing nuclear weapons program isn’t the only news to unnerve arms-control experts this summer. A new survey has revealed that Americans are surprisingly willing to make a first nuclear strike — and kill millions of civilians abroad.

The survey casts doubt on the power of what experts call the “nuclear taboo,” said Stanford University historian David Holloway, author of “Stalin and the Bomb.” The idea, or hope, behind the concept is that it’s not just luck that humans haven’t dropped any nuclear weapons for 70 years — that there’s a stigma that makes the use of nuclear weapons unthinkable.

But many Americans say it’s quite thinkable. The taboo may be eroding, or it may never have been the protective barrier people thought it was.

The survey’s designers sketched out a hypothetical conflict with Iran — a country without nuclear weapons. Around 60 percent of those polled said that if Iran provoked the U.S. with some non-nuclear aggression, they’d approve of blowing up 2 million Iranian civilians using nuclear weapons rather than sacrificing 20,000 American lives in a ground attack.

“That just means they haven’t thought about it,” said Brian Toon, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Colorado. They think nuclear weapons are just big bombs that blow up lots of people, he said, without considering the way a nuclear conflict -– even a “small” one involving some 10 percent of the U.S. arsenal — might poison millions of men, women and children. and change the climate enough to starve hundreds of millions.

Today, it’s not Iran but North Korea that’s the focus of concern — with its continued testing of nuclear missiles despite Trump’s threat of “fire and fury.” Serious people are starting to consider the possibility of nuclear conflict. While the North is unlikely to be capable of sending nuclear missiles all the way to the U.S., at least for now, there are plenty of ways casualties could escalate. “There are nuclear reactors all over North Korea,” Toon said. So you might have Fukushima-type contamination all over the country.

Perhaps if people more clearly understood the destruction of human life that would result, the taboo would regain its power. In the early years of the Cold War, the power of nuclear weapons apparently surprised Daniel Ellsberg, a RAND Corporation analyst on loan to the Pentagon for the purpose of nuclear war planning.

“One day in the spring of 1961, soon after my 30th birthday, I was shown how our world would end,” he wrote in 2009. Ellsberg, who is famous for leaking the Pentagon Papers in 1971, has spent recent decades examining the potential for nuclear catastrophe. His latest book, “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner,” will be released in December.

The end of the world was described in a highly classified document, Ellsberg recalled. While it didn’t necessarily spell extinction of the human race, it estimated a nuclear war would kill at least 600 million people — or as Ellsberg put it, “a hundred Holocausts.”……

September 1, 2017 - Posted by | General News

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: