The pilot of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress flying above Hiroshima August 6,
1945 named the bomber he commanded after his mother,
Enola Gay Tibbets. Just as she delivered him into the world, Colonel Paul Tibbets
gave birth to the Atomic Age when he released a nearly five-ton atomic bomb
over Hiroshima at 8:15 that morning. Codenamed Little Boy, the bomb exploded
above the city with an energy of approximately
15 kilotons of TNT, incinerating or injuring more than one-hundred thousand
civilians in a city of a quarter million people. The pilot denied the immorality
of the atomic bombings until his death in 2007, dismissing
criticism as “hogwash.”
Sixteen hours after the atomic bombing, President Harry S. Truman made a public statement
to announce the result of having “spent two billion dollars on the greatest
scientific gamble in history – and won.”
“What has been done is the greatest achievement of organized science in history.
It was done under high pressure and without failure,” Truman said.
He accomplished detonating the first atomic bomb in war, and the second scorched
Nagasaki three days later, which is perhaps an even greater atrocity
for various reasons. But his deadly enterprise was not without failure, contrary
to Truman’s claim.
The proliferation and use of nuclear weapons is one of the greatest failures
of the State, but more precisely, in terms of dollars and lives, it is the costliest
threat to civilization that the State has ever produced.
The National Priorities Project calculates that in 2016, U.S. taxpayers will
pay $2.19 million
every hour for nuclear weapons and their maintenance. In July, Robert Scher,
the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans & Capabilities testified
that it will cost taxpayers somewhere between $350
and $450 billion to modernize the Department of Defense’s nuclear triad,
and incorporate the $400
billion F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter boondoggle into the mix to
replace older F-16s.
The fact that almost
everything was true in Stanley Kubrick’s unrivaled 1964 satirical black
comedy, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,
is a reality that should frighten every individual unprepared for and opposed
to a worldwide nuclear holocaust.
and their officials across the globe have nearly initiated scenarios not unlike
what was captured for entertainment purposes in Dr. Strangelove. Kubrick
became interested in the subject once he had reviewed a copious amount of material
covering nuclear weapons research, use, and its bureaucratic deficiencies, realizing
the folly and unintentional sardonic comedy of governments and complex weapons
systems triggering the extinction of humanity.
But the American tradition isn’t endless war and arms proliferation. Perhaps