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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) and Joining the Nuclear Club

Watching the playground bullies in the Republican party attack our Presidents efforts to negotiate with Iran, just ups the stakes for our world's survival. The war-mongers deliberately distort the issues and the stakes. I think that is because they take the "Mad" part of Nukes more seriously than they understand the insanity of "mutually assured destruction".

Understanding the Insanity of Imperialist efforts at Arms control

In the 30's, the Germans pioneered Nuclear Science. Fortunately for the rest of the world (and unfortunately for the scientists) the leading German Physicists were mostly Jewish or socially liberal enough to be best buddies and friends with Jewish Scientists. This led the Germans to ignore or fail to appreciate the potential power of Nuclear Energy as a weapon. Even so the Germans pioneered refining Uranium, discovered Plutonium, and might have produced a bomb in time to use it against the Brits, French and Russians had it not been for the fact that:

a; the Nazis arrested or exiled most of their leading Physics geniuses. And
b; the remaining German Scientists seem to have either deliberately stalled the program, or took it down a wrong path.

Scientists like Heisenberg could have developed an atomic bomb, despite obstacles such as the destruction of their heavy water stocks and similar. And there was recently an article that claimed that they actually made more progress during the war than we previously thought, digging out research bunkers below a death Camp. This article explores Werner Heisenberg's role in the effort. If he Jewish colleagues hadn't been in exile it might have gone much further with a 5 year head start. Even so Nuclear fission was demonstrated by "the German Chemist Otto Hahn discovered nuclear fission in 1938." [John Amacher Article]

(quoting from this source for convenience): http://www.aip.org/history/heisenberg/p11.htm

After the war we got hold of Heisenberg. During the war the exiled German Scientists went to work for the United States. And some of them went to work for the Russians. We developed functional atom bombs in less than 6 years. Had the Germans not bungled their program they could have won World War II.

Proliferation and Russia

We had competition from Russia. Indeed many American Right wingers openly expressed that they'd have preferred an alliance with Germany and that we'd be fighting the Russians. Patton famously thought we should have been fighting the Russians, and the juggling after the war with Democratic or nationalist politicians exiled or thrown out windows to make room for Hand picked despots. Folks forget it was the Russians, with help from German Communists, who built the Iron curtain. And it was North Korea that tried to forcibly Unify Korea by invading the south, precipitating that hot little war called the "Korean War."

But what scared the pants off of everybody was the Atom bomb. We developed two different Fission bombs; one using a Plutonium core, the other using a U235 core. Soon after the War the Russians tested their own. We developed the even more awesomely horrible Fusion bombs. And for a time our governments sold the notion that the United States could enforce "world peace" with a monopoly of the Atom Bomb. It didn't work that way.

Soon after we did that the Russians had their own. These bombs unhinged the US Right Wing (and unhinged the communist movement too). It's probable that the Russian Scientists developed ABombs with stolen (or shared) scientific information. But it's even more probable that they simply built them on the same science that drove our programs, and that the exchange of information sped up the programs, but the Russians would have built a bomb anyway at some point. However, the USA Right Wing reacted very badly. The same anti-semitism that equated Jews with treachery in Germany, equated Jews with communism in the United States, and equated Physics scientists with espionage. A narrative of betrayal was developed that lasts to this day. And when the Russians, Chinese, Jews and French developed the Atomic Bomb, this fed that suspiciousness and fear. The Russians developed the Atom bomb to intimidate their enemies and deter the USA. The Chinese developed the Atom bomb to deter the Russians and the USA. Over time the Pakistanis, Indian's, and other nations have developed Atom bombs. All out of fear that their enemies would use them to intimidate them.

Attacking Nations that don't have bombs over nations that do have bombs.

The result is that once a country has the Atom bomb, there is little that can be done to stop them. Yes, the South Africans seem to have developed an Atom bomb and to have given it up. That took diplomacy, the end of Apartheid, and the realization that nuclear bombs were a waste of money. We invaded Iraq on the premise that they were about to break out into the Nuclear club, and that proved a lie. At the time we attacked Iraq we were also demonizing Iran and North Korea. We aren't even considering invading North Korea anymore. Because they have atomic bombs, and if we think 9/11 was bad, then imagine what would happen if we used nuclear bombs on North Korea! That is what MAD is all about. It's insane.

There are examples of where negotiations have ended nuclear programs: Libya, South Africa and a few other countries have all given up Arms. We've removed arms from Ukraine and other former Soviet Countries. All these have been relatively peaceful things with relatively good outcomes. Though, perhaps Russia wouldn't be attacking Ukraine if they still had their nukes?

But the Right Wing lets fear blind them to opportunity. And they've been crazy like this since the 40's. If Iran gets the Bomb it will be to prevent us from Invading them, not because they want to blow up Israel. Right Wing Nut Jobs are Nut jobs for a reason.

As long as people around the world are more worried about being attacked by each other than radiation poisoning from their own reactors, they are going to choose "breakout technology" or joining the Nuclear club. Attacking countries for wanting Nukes just reinforces the apprehension of other countries nearby that if ***they don't get the bomb some asshole US General is going to invade their country!*** Would we have let NATO attack Libya if Qaddafi had had Nukes pointed at London and Washington?

Further reading:
http://www.history.ucsb.edu/projects/holocaust/Research/Proseminar/johnamacher.htm
(quoting from this source for convenience): http://www.aip.org/history/heisenberg/p11.htm
Patton on the Russians
http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/robert-orlando/the-foresight-of-patton/

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