Re: : Nuclear testing, the military and Humanty

Lief M. Hendrickson (hendrick@NOSC.MIL)
Wed, 19 Jul 1995 16:41:00 PDT

On July 19, 1995 Robert Levesque wrote a response to the giberish
posted by Chris Harris yesterday. In general, I go along with Robert.
However, he brings up the sentiment we are all supposed to have by the

> This exerpt is from Jacob Bronwski's (1908-1974): The Ascent of
>Man, pp. 234-235:

><< The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in Japan on 6 August 1945
>at 8.15 in the mornig. I had not been long back from from Hiroshima when I
>heard someonesay,in Szilard's presence, that it was a tradgedy of
>sceintists that their discoveries were used for destruction. Szilard
>replied , as he more than anyone had the rghit to reply, that it was not
>the tragedy of sceintists: "it is the tradedy of mankind."

I don't mean to pick on Robert L., but please note the tradegy would
have been much greater if the other side had developed the atomic bomb
first. It was bad enough with the V2 missiles which were so
destructive that, for a while, Churchill didn't even tell the English
people what was hitting them for fear of causing widespread panic.
Try and imagine what would have happened with more V2's and if they
had carried atomic bombs.

The real tradegy was the conditions preceeding the bomb- that
ultimately led to its use.

Robert L. goes on to ask us to "Remember the concentration camp and
crematorium at Auschwitz." The problem with this approach is there
seems to be too much energy denouncing conditions that have merely
become symbolic to many people today. We do so because we're supposed
to use words that conjure up images of evil and then take a stand
against them.

One person on this list was even elated when he found an artifact
of evil (an old Nazi book) that he was going to give to a museum
for the victims. Maybe this begets feelings of heroism- that by
this symbolic sign of sympathy he is somehow back in time
combating the evil forces while they were on their destructive

Well, it's easy to combat an evil force that had its main power
50 years ago. What about modern evil forces such as those in
Bosnia this very minute? Have we seen instances in other
societies where preoccupation with evil forces of the past causes
vulnerability to new evil under a slightly different hat?