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Aug. 6, the anniversary of Hiroshima, should be a day of somber reflection, not only on the terrible events of that day in 1945, but also on what they revealed: that humans, in their dedicated quest to extend their capacities for destruction, had finally found a way to approach the ultimate limit. Since 1940, the United States has spent $5.8 trillion on nuclear weapons programs, more than on any single program except Social Security, according to a Brooking Institute study billed as the first comprehensive audit of the country's effort to build a nuclear arsenal.
If divided equally among all of today's Americans, the cost would be $22,000 per person.
The study notes that spending on the current nuclear arsenal has stood at about $35 billion annually, or roughly 15 percent of the total defense budget. Although new weapons are no longer being produced, the stockpile has the equivalent explosive force of about 120,000 Hiroshima bombs, according to Stephen I. Schwartz, chairman of the four-year project.
They think that such weapons will be useful against their enemies, but those who take up the sword themselves and live thereby shall die thereby. Even the manufacture and existence of such weapons brings only pain, death and suffering to those who are afflicted and sickened by the radiation. Nearly all of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims, not to mention all those who died in the Tokyo firestorm we started, were unarmed civilians--old men, women, children, babies. So whether one is a war criminal or a war hero depends on whether one is on the winning or the losing side. War itself is a crime against humanity just like Ernest Hemingway said.
Ted Rudow III, MA