Friday, July 21, 2006

The Nuclear Bomb: Why We Should Be Willing To Use It

Is using a nuclear bomb justified in fighting the Muslim terrorists? Here are the reasons why I support using a nuclear bomb, if it is called for militarily. In considering whether we should use a nuclear bomb, we must examine the facts. Below I separate fact from fiction about "nukes" and why it is justifiable to use them:

**JUST A BIG BOMB. A nuclear bomb is just a big bomb, not some sort of doomsday device that will wipe out mankind. Nearly all deaths from a nuclear bomb are from its blast. Very few die from radiation. This proved true at Hiroshima and Nagasaki where the vast majority of deaths were due to the direct blast and secondary blast effects, such as fire. Relatively few deaths were due to radiation or radioactive fallout. Furthermore, the nuclear bombs used in World War II were not even the most deadly bombings that occurred during the war. More people died in one night of conventional carpet and firebombing in Tokyo and at Dresden than died in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki put together. The only unique thing about a nuclear bomb is how the blast is caused. Its cause is a fusion or fission nuclear chain reaction, instead of combustion, like a typical bomb. In its effects, a nuclear bomb is not that different than a very large conventional bomb. Using it will not pose excessive risks to anyone other than those targeted.

**SAVES AMERICAN LIVES AND WINS THE WAR. Using the nuclear bomb in World War II saved at least a million American soldiers’ lives. The best military experts of the day estimated that at least one million American soldiers would die if Japan had to be invaded and conquered by land. By defeating Japan without ever having to send a single American ashore, those soldiers’ lives were saved. Incidentally, given the likely level of resistance of the Japanese population (grandmothers and children were being trained to turn themselves into human bombs – sound familiar??), the same military authorities estimated that at least three million Japanese would have died in a land invasion by American forces. Not that it is a concern of ours in war, but those lives were saved as well.

In the current situation, using nuclear bombs would save American lives, just as it did in World War II. In simple terms, using just one or two bombs would scare the hell out of the Iranians, just like it scared the hell out of the Japanese. If that wasn’t enough, it would only take a handful of bombs to detroy whatever government, military or even civilian centers were necessary to cause Iran’s or any other country’s defeat. It is immoral to unnecessarily risk American soldiers’ lives through sporadic low-level engagements stretching over decades, which we are doing now.

**NON-PROLIFERATION. The argument that using a nuclear bomb causes its proliferation doesn’t hold water. No nuclear bombs have been used by anyone since the end of World War II, yet since then nuclear weapon technology has spread from only one country having it (the United States) to nearly a dozen countries having it, including many hostile to the United States such as Russia, China and North Korea. Ironically, by using a nuclear bomb in our defense, we would be telling the leaders of countries hostile to America not to threaten us with a nuclear bomb, or face the same fate. In all likelihood, fewer countries would develop a nuclear bomb, and those that did would be friendly to the U.S.

The bottom line is that the use of a nuclear bomb is not only morally permissible, but necessary. If such force is called for, to use anything less needlessly risks American lives, much as it would have in World War II if we had to do a land invasion of Japan. If using nuclear bombs would win the war against the Muslim terrorists (as I think it would), we should do it. Any president who pre-emptively renounces their use has failed in his responsibility as commander-in-chief.

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