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The atom bomb
Rizwan Asghar
Man through his heavenly endowed intelligence has made wonderful discoveries and reached the remotest corners
of this universe. But regretfully we have so far been unable to rise above the level of barbarism of the cave men,
who lived thousands of years ago, when it comes to the way we think.
Great powers have always used some ideology or excuses to pursue their selfish gains or expand influence in other
areas. Every time forced is used in the international realm it is accompanied by lofty rhetoric about the solemn
responsibility to protect the suffering populations, and other false justifications. The most despicable act of humanity
and brutality was undoubtedly dropping atomic bombs on two Japanese cities more than six decades ago.
August 6, 1945 is remembered as a black day in human history. At 9: 15 a.m. on that day, the United States dropped
the first atomic bomb, named ‘Little Boy’, over Hiroshima by a B-29 bomber, Enolay Gay aircraft which was
piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets of the USAF. Three days later on August 9, 1945 this horrible feat was repeated
by dropping another bomb, named ‘Fat Boy’ over Japan’s industrial town, Nagasaki, at 12 p.m.
According to an estimate almost 140,000 people were incinerated in Hiroshima and about 70,000 in Nagasaki in the
wake of these two atomic strikes. The anguish, sorrows and sufferings of the survivors lingered long after the
celebrations of victory had ended. The survivors of the bombings continued to suffer burns, infections, cancer and
radiation sickness which ultimately resulted in another 160,000 deaths.
Almost sixty-four years have passed since that horrific incident but memories still hold on strongly, especially in the
minds of the Japanese nation. The fact remains that the bombing of the two Japanese cities was not only unnecessary
but also immoral. Japan was already on the verge of defeat and the sane thinking on the part of the American highups could have prevented this tragedy. This event changed the whole world and introduced new elements in
international politics.
Today we are living in a world where the wrong decisions of one or two personalities will be enough to eradicate the
existence of the human species from this planet. Nuclear weapons have been produced in large numbers across the
board, and a witless leader may order their use in a state of panic. During the Korean war there came three moments
when President Kennedy pondered over the option of using nuclear weapons against China in order to gain victory.
Today only the United States and Russia have almost 23, 000 nuclear warheads. This staggering number constitutes
almost 95% of the total nuclear arsenal in the world. Although the two major rivals have signed many agreements in
the past of not using nuclear warheads in any situation but these agreements can’t ensure that they will not be used if
the need arises.
In the initials days after holding office, President Obama, on his tour to Europe, talked about his dream of a nuclear
free world. But he himself pointed out that this was a very difficult task and would take much time. Palpable
progress is possible only if his words are followed by concrete action.
Every nation has an interest in maintaining peaceful relations with other nations. Every country needs to play a role
in creating a world free of nuclear threat. All the nuclear powers need agree that now they must eliminate all choices
of using nuclear weapons in the future. This can only happen by making the world free of nuclear warheads. A
survivor of the atomic bombings in 1945 remarked, “This pain that we carry, let it end with us.”
Email: rizwanasghar7@yahoo. Com
Rizwan Asghar, “The atom bomb,” The News. 18-08-2011.
Keywords: Science and Technology, Atomic energy, Nuclear powers, Nuclear technology, Atom bombs, Nuclear
weapons, History, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, President Obama, Japan, America, United States, Europe, Tibbets, USAF