What it really means to “nuke” human beings

May 3, 2008 | By | 6 Replies More

I’m tired of hearing Neocons cavalierly talking about “nuking” one or more Middle Eastern countries. These days, Neocons often talk about this “need” to use nuclear weapons to show people in the Middle East that “we” mean business. I have personally heard this sort of talk several times (when you mostly listen instead of talk, you’d be amazed at what Neocons tell you). Former U.S. presidential candidate Tom Tancredo talks like this, for example.  [If you want to get a flavor for the scariest segment of the crowd that takes lightly the idea of using nuclear weapons, Google the phrase “nuke Mecca Medina.”]

Here’s what I propose. The next time someone somberly (or cheerfully) suggests that the United States “nuke” a country in the Middle East, tell them to take a look at what it really means to use nuclear weapons on human beings. A site called Atomic Tragedy recently released these graphic photos of Hiroshima that had been donated to the Hoover Archives by a U.S. serviceman in 1998, with the provision that the photos shouldn’t be released until 2008. These horrific photos were taken by an unknown Japanese photographer.

Anyone inclined to use nuclear weapons should first be made to take a close look at what it means to use nuclear weapons by studying these photos and meditating carefully on the phrase “Love your enemy.” Yes, “Love your enemy,” that superb meditation on empathy. I don’t believe in the divinity of Jesus, but I do think that it’s time for Neocons to stop cherry-picking the Bible and to take their own Holy Book seriously.


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Category: American Culture, Good and Evil, Iraq, The Middle East, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (6)

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  1. Edgar Montrose says:

    Above-ground nuclear testing ended in the US in 1963. Even though such testing continued in some other countries until as late as 1980, it is unlikely that many of our lawmakers have ever seen the effects of nuclear detonation first-hand.

  2. Dan Klarmann says:

    Pictures of nuked bodies don't look much different than the pictures I've seen of piles of bodies from WWI or stereograms I've seen from the Spanish American war.

    Better descriptions of nuked bodies can be found. The depictions I've read by residents of Hiroshima who survived that day are much more striking. Or accounts written by those who were first in and trying to give aid to the dying.

    Where nuking differs from gas or firestorm bombing is mainly in flash and radiation. Remember those who were flash-roasted on one side, and had the misfortune not to be hit by the shock wave. Consider those who were shielded from the heat of the flash, but not the gamma burst, so they took days to die of fever and failing organs. Mourn for those who breathed radioactive dust, and died from unusual cancers between weeks and decades later. Consider the simple horror of those who were not actually killed by the bomb itself, but rather by the total lack of amenities it brought; no water, no food, no medicine, no communications, no transportation. A nuke instantly reverts a city to the stone age.

    Some books:

    Hibakusha: Survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    Hiroshima Diary: The Journal of a Japanese Physician, August 6-September 30, 1945

    Rain of Ruin: A Photographic History of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Hillary Clinton advocates "obliteration," according to this statement:

    Nobody seems to have noticed that Hillary Clinton has broken international law by threatening Iran with 'obliteration.'

    "I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran," Clinton said in an interview with ABC. "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."

    For the full article, see here.

  4. grumpypilgrim says:

    The rhetoric that files around Washington in response to terrorism just astonishes me. Whether it is crackpot neo-cons or others who are seeking to score political headlines (read: Hillary), the notion that terrorism can be fought using nuclear weapons is as nonsensical as the notion that it can be fought with aircraft carriers and battleships. Just consider the moronic expense that Bush has unleashed in response to a couple of dozen guys with box cutters and we can easily see the absurdity of their strategy. They're fighting mosquitos with a bazooka. Why? Apparently because they like the sound that bazookas make.

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    I'm tempted to think that these neocons do their "war" activities because they bore themselves.

  6. Ben says:

    Apparently the holocaust pictures were not verified, and have been taken down, i'm sorry i missed this post.

    I recently posted a story on netscape about the holocaust:


    (interesting comments section)

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