Reading Room

Wednesday, August 10, 2005  
"Recall Hiroshima, seek nuclear disarmament"

By: Marylia Kelley, Executive Director, Tri-Valley CAREs, Livermore
Published In: USA Today

Nuclear weapons are the ultimate weapons of terror and mass destruction. Their use by anyone, including the United States, would be unconscionable.

Contrary to what Al Neuharth may think, U.S. atomic bombs did not kill just a few hundred thousand Japanese men, women and children in 1945. More died and are still dying each year of the lingering effects of radiation ("Was Hiroshima hell or high-water mark?" Plain talk, The Forum, Friday).

Moreover, the atom bomb has become the mere trigger or first stage of modern U.S. nuclear weapons. All life on Earth as we know it hangs in the balance. The lesson to learn from the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is "never again." The challenge we face is to achieve global nuclear disarmament. The United States, the first country to develop nuclear weapons and the only one to have used them in war, must lead by example. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been chosen to develop a new U.S. nuclear weapon, the "Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator." The National Academy of Sciences has said this new bomb could kill a million or more. Other new and modified U.S. nuclear weapons are in the works.

Will we continue to spend our money and talent devising new "hells on earth," or will we own up to the devastation we wrought in 1945 and seek new paths to U.S. and global security before it is too late? I pray the latter.

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