Nuclear Armageddon: Purposeful scaremongering
IN early 1990s the Nuclear-power nations led by the United States of America effectively deployed its dominance of global communications to hoodwink the world that Iraq had the capacity to build and deliver the Nuclear bomb, in addition to that country’s accumulated weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Iraq was then likened to Hitler’s Germany; a totalitarian regime’s nuclear capability was tantamount to Nuclear Armageddon, the Iraqi regime had, therefore, to be taken out at all cost. Less than three years after, following monumental losses (human and material), it became evident that all the hype about Iraq’s purported WMD had been no more than purposeful scaremongering. The U.S.-led war against Iraq was a failure on all fronts; U.S. is still counting her losses, and those responsible for the disaster have yet to be made to account for their incompetence.
Before the misadventure in Iraq, U.S. has had a spasmodic war of wits with North Korea over the latter’s nuclear programmes. That war subsists. Mutantis mutandis the ongoing U.S.-led campaign against Iran’s nuclear programmes is tantamount to a rehearsal of the 1990s purposeful scaremongering about Iraq’s purported WMD. The scaremongering is deceitfully purposeful; the world will never see a Nuclear Armageddon, the history of nuclear bombs vividly confirms this.
As a co-author of an academic paper (The Feasibility of Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty – NPT) presented to an Australian institution in 2009, l had had to research the development of the nuclear bomb, and had concluded inter alia thus: Nuclear Armageddon is not a possibility.
I reproduce below excerpts from my 2009 submissions.
“When Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard wrote U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt at the outbreak of World War II in 1939, informing him of the prospects of the atomic bomb, the two European physicists had acted in awe of their perceived unprecedented destructive power of the would-be nuclear bomb, the possession of which would automatically confer super power status to a nation. The fleeing scientists had known that Adolf Hilter was already working furiously at the atomic bomb and they had dreaded the possible consequences of the Nazis’ first nuclear capability. That awe of the atomic bomb did not diminish with the detonation of the first nuclear bomb in July 1945, rather the destructive power of the nuclear bomb has continued to awe even scientists who have experimented with the atomic bomb for decades. Selfsame awe perhaps explains, in part, its virtual non-deployment in war since 1945.
Since the first nuclear bomb test the world has witnessed a total of 19 additional detonations of nuclear bombs; Hiroshima and Nagasaki being the only occasions when the atomic bomb had been deployed in war. Had the first and only national leader to deploy the nuclear bomb in war been better tutored about the new bomb, would he have given the order to drop the two bombs on Japanese cities as readily as he appeared to have done in August 1945?
In the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki catastrophes, many nations, including USA and USSR, strenuously called for a ban on nuclear weapons; it was the first time the nations of the world would speak with one voice in condemnation of man’s insatiable desire for the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.
Following growing concerns for the hazards of nuclear weapons an international agreement to prohibit the further spread of nuclear weapons without banning the utilisation of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes was reached in 1970. All members of the United Nations, except Israel, India and Pakistan have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Furthermore, the undertakings by the five Nuclear Weapons States not to use their nuclear weapons against Non-Nuclear Weapons States are said not to provide enough safeguards to Non-NWS from nuclear weapons attack. Only recently, statements credited to both the UK former Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon and former President Jacques Chirac of France respecting the possible deployment of nuclear weapons against so-called “rogue states” give credence to the suspicion that NWS are less – than-sincere about their commitment to totally dismantle their nuclear weapons programme, contrary to the second pillar of the NPT. Indeed, at the seventh NPT Review Conference of May 2005, the lack of serious nuclear disarmament by NWS was a major concern.
India was the first Non-NPT signatory to cross the nuclear threshold by exploding a nuclear device in an atmospheric test in 1974. In 1998 both India and Pakistan conducted several nuclear underground tests, inviting a storm of international protests and some short-lived economic and political sanctions. A host of other countries like Libya, Iran, Iraq, North Korea and South Africa are known to have also crossed or have made substantial progress to cross the nuclear threshold.
Much like General Pierre Gallois of France had argued in his seminal book The balance of Terror: Strategy for the Nuclear Age, “the mere possession of nuclear weapons is in itself sufficient deterrence as amply borne out by the protracted Cold War between USA and USSR. I fully subscribe to the belief that both the demonstrated catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons deployment and the environment threats of radioactive fall outs (isotopes) of nuclear explosions would continue to effectively dissuade Nuclear Weapons States from initiating the much dreaded Nuclear Armageddon.”
• Nkemdiche, An Engineering Consultant, wrote from Abuja.
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