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Remembering Hell

Remembering Hell by Joan Koster

What are you planning to do tomorrow? Get up? Eat breakfast? Go to work?

Sixty-four years ago on August 6th, 1945 the people living in the city of Hiroshima were getting ready for their day. At 8:15 AM the first atomic bomb was dropped, killing 140,000 people in a man-made hell of fire and radiation. This year tens of thousands will mark the anniversary of this low point in human history—the ultimate evil of war in which the innocent are slaughtered on altar of power. They will demand an end to nuclear war and nuclear energy because they fear it might happen again.

After the bombs dropped Albert Camus wrote: “Our technological civilization has just reached its greatest level of savagery. We will have to choose, in the more or less near future, between collective suicide and the intelligent use of our scientific conquests.”

So what do you think? Have we chosen intelligently? Could the bomb drop today? —while you eat your breakfast. –while you travel to work? –while you read this blog? Well...

  • We still have nuclear weapons. 10 countries admit to having atomic bombs
  • There are maybe about 24,000 bombs in existence (of course, accuracy depends on who is doing the counting and who's busy making them)

But it’s not just nuclear weapons any more. We have a lot of other weapons on which governments spend an enormous amount of money and which kill innocent people. Like drones that kill from afar and automatic weapons that kill inside movie theaters. And it's big business.

  • Global military expenditure was $1,630 billion in 2010. A 50% increase since 2000
  • The top arms companies had sales of $401 billion

All this just to kill someone we don’t agree with?

Is war inevitable?

Maybe Edward O. Wilson is right “Population can be controlled by predators, pathogens or wars.” (Social Conquest of Earth)

We seem to have chosen war.

Learn More...

In remberance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki read this book to your friends, family, and children. There is no one like Dr. Seuss to make the ignoble nature of war so apparent even a young child can see the foolishness of it.

The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss

Sources of statistics

"Anxieties of Influence" The New Internationalist December 2011 pp. 14-17

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