Nuclear weapons are designed to kill people. Guns are made to achieve the same purpose. So are cannon. So are bayonets. So are tanks. So are grenades. So are poison gases.
Between 1939 and 1945, 60 million people were killed in the most sanguinary conflict the world has known so far.
Of those, only about 200,000 were killed by nuclear weapons.
On either side of that conflict, Russian and Chinese communists murdered 120 million, all with antediluvian weapons. Before they got going, another 17-20 million had been killed in the First World War – yet Rutherford hadn’t yet got around to splitting the atom.
Since those 200,000 were killed with atom bombs, millions more have been murdered by evil men – yet not one person died courtesy of Rutherford’s achievement.
Moreover, the killing rate has slowed down appreciably – this in spite of the Soviet Union’s aggressive designs. The Soviets embarked on an unprecedented military build-up culminating in the 1970s, when they had 50,000 tanks poised to pounce.
Western European armies were terribly outgunned in personnel strength and every weapon category. One would have thought that the Soviet juggernaut could easily have rolled all the way to the Atlantic – but it didn’t.
What prevented the Soviets from acting in character was NATO’s nuclear umbrella. The Soviets realised that any attempt at conquest would be thwarted by a cataclysmic response. So they thought better of it.
Military experts calculate that storming Japan’s islands one by one in 1945 would have cost between 1 and 1.5 million American lives, and many more Japanese ones. Yet the killing of those 200,000 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki obviated the need for any such action.
How many millions would have died had the Soviets not been kept in check by nuclear weapons? I don’t know. But many – you can count on that.
So yes, nuclear weapons can kill millions of people with lightning speed and brutal efficacy. But, as my simple calculations show, they can also save millions of lives. Whether they kill or save depends on who uses them, and for what purpose.
To paraphrase the NRA slogan, nuclear weapons don’t kill people. People kill people. Weapons are inanimate and therefore amoral. Like a handgun or a knife, nuclear weapons can serve a wicked purpose when in bad hands and a noble purpose when in good ones.
This is but a preface to a few words about the revolting speech delivered by President Obama at Hiroshima.
Barrack Hussein shares the subversive view held by the Left everywhere. He thinks that somehow nuclear weapons are immoral in se, regardless of who uses them and why.
The Left hold this view for precisely the same reason I hold the opposite one: I’m happy that the NATO nuclear umbrella protected (and continues to protect) Europe from Soviet aggression and, possibly, the world from another all-out war, and they are not.
If queried about this, Obama and other lefties will make bien pensant pacifist noises, most of them doubtless sincere in their revulsion at mass carnage. But the warm spot reserved in their hearts for the communist cause never quite goes cold. Most probably don’t think along those lines in so many words, but in their viscera they still see the USSR as a factor of progress.
The West, on the other hand, represents everything they detest – and true enough, much about it is detestable. The West is misguided, often wrong, frequently immoral, bent on its own destruction, overly materialistic, not sufficiently spiritual – well, you know the mantra as well as I do.
Yes, the West is all those things, but there’s one thing it isn’t: satanic. Yet this modifier fits assorted enemies of the West like a glove. Realising that in this world we’re not blessed with absolute good, we must strive to achieve the next best thing: prevent absolute evil.
I’m sorry to think in such primitive binary terms, but sometimes one has to, when choosing which side to support. Whatever the Left say about this, they lean towards the wrong side, and the wrong side has always exploited this leaning.
At the time when the Soviets were cranking out nuclear weapons like proverbial hotcakes, they masterminded and financed a global anti-nuke campaign aimed against the West. With the evil cunning of predatory beasts, they realised that the Western Left would play along – and they were right.
The Soviet Union is no more, though it has come back in a different, possibly more dangerous, guise. But it succeeded in corrupting much of the West into believing that nuclear weapons are inherently evil – even when used by good men to defend themselves. The USSR’s successors are continuing this effort, but only halfheartedly.
They know the Left side of the West can do the job all by itself, and Barack Hussein didn’t disappoint. “We must have the courage,” he said, “to escape the logic of fear and pursue the world without [nuclear weapons]”.
The courage, in other words, to submit meekly when Putin’s 15,000 tanks sweep across the Plains and overrun the 1,500 tanks NATO has at its disposal. This is ‘the logic of fear’ I’m not prepared to escape. And I’m terrified that the West’s great power is led by such a creature.