This is an expanded video of the clip on the home page. It provides details about the incredible devastation created by the explosion.
(For Video Credits Click on the YouTube Link)
The post continues at Section II…
When I was born, three nations had nuclear weapons: The United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union. By the time I graduated from high school, that group of three had grown to only five, with the addition of France and the People’s Republic of China. Since that time only four more nations have been added to that list, India, Pakistan, North Korea and (despite on-going denials) Israel. Currently, through the NATO nuclear weapons sharing program, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey have U.S. nukes in their possession. None of these five countries however has the capability to build their own atomic weapons.
Building an atomic bomb is not easy. In fact, it’s beyond really hard. Most people think that is preferable. Very preferable. Except there are, of course, those who want one so bad, those meaning in this case, a country, they will go to any length to manufacture their own.
For years, we have worried about North Korea and its psychotic leadership. First, in what appears to be a case of intra-genocide by starvation of the entire nation (with the notable exception of those in power), to spare no expense to build their nuke, and second, now they have it, the fact they only need to toss it over the DMZ, and a substantial percentage of the South Korean population would be annihilated.
To date, the North has been contained, probably due to the North Korean autocrats needing to keep enough of the citizenry alive so as to provide the labor for their military and their personal extravagances. So, the only bargaining chip they have with the world is to not act on their saber-rattling rhetoric to procure enough essential supplies of food and fuel to maintain their horrific status quo. It also is relevant that another source of their restraint, to date, is having the Great Chinese Dragon on their northern border, which could annihilate the entire country with their nuclear arsenal should the Kim boys misstep.
Actually, the Chinese know they wouldn’t even have to use any of their nuclear weapons. Simply amassing a few million Red Army soldiers on the line between the two countries would send a message even the highly deluded Despot in Pyongyang would understand. Well, maybe.
Here’s my question: For how much longer will the United States be the only nation ever to use a nuclear weapon in an act of war continue?
The country that gives me that sick feeling in my stomach for wanting far too much to increase that exclusive atomic bomb attack in history to two is Iran. The name “Iran” is a linguistic shift of the ancient term Aryans which is a derivation from the Sanskrit meaning “noble.” In case you are wondering, these are the same historical Aryans that the Nazis co-opted as their delusional ideal for the perfect humans.
The distress I feel about this ever-moving situation itself is two-fold. In the first place, although I am not a social psychologist, I can, lay claim (and have the master’s degree in counseling psychology to prove it) to having studied psychology and counseling, cultural and developmental psychology, and even some political science, along with my background in religion and history.
As such, as a student of both human psychology and history, I have had a life-long fascination with the so-called Fertile Crescent. The Cradle of Civilization is indisputably one of the geographic areas on earth that helped spawn much of what we know in the present as Western Culture. Iran is integral to this history and has as one of its cultural ancestors, the Persians. Their culture, art, science and writing all reached the highest of levels at the height of their presence first as city states and later as a vast empire. Along with Sumeria, Babylon, Assyria, Akkadia, Judea, and numerous others, these empires all rose and fell several times over the centuries, but with each new reemergence, unleashed a new flowering of their cultures upon the rest of the world. And Iran was nearly always a significant contributor.
As much as I love ancient Mesopotamian history (e.g., I own two copies of Gilgamesh and have read both of them. More than once.), their history has often, perhaps it’s better to say has been consistently, one of violence and conquest. In short, somebody in the region was seemingly always trying to take over somebody else in the region. And they slaughtered countless thousands while trying to be the one who wasn’t slaughtered, and therefore, got the land and the survivors to enslave. Those who won those bloody wars, too, always tried to impose their gods and cultic worship rituals on the losers.
I have blogged on this topic previously.
The sheer ancient heritage of Iran cannot be ignored. This from Wikipedia:
The history of Iran has been intertwined with the history of a larger historical region, comprising the area from the Danube River in the west to the Indus River and Jaxartes in the east and from the Caucasus, Caspian Sea, and Aral Sea in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman and Egypt in the south.
The southwestern part of the Iranian plateau participated in the wider Ancient Near East with Elam, from the Early Bronze Age. The Persian Empire proper begins in the Iron Age, following the influx of Iranian peoples which gave rise to the Median, Achaemenid, the Parthians, the Sassanid dynasties during classical antiquity.
Once a major empire of superpower proportions, Persia as it had long been called, has been overrun frequently and has had its territory altered throughout the centuries. Invaded and occupied by Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, and others—and often caught up in the affairs of larger powers—Persia has always reasserted its national identity and has developed as a distinct political and cultural entity.
Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 4000 BC. The Medes unified Iran as a nation and empire in 625 BC. The Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC) was the first of the Iranian empires to rule from the Balkans to North Africa and also Central Asia. They were succeeded by the Seleucid Empire, Parthians and Sassanids which governed Iran for almost 1,000 years.
I don’t, however, view the violence as some kind of irrevocable psycho-cultural destiny. The world has changed, radically so, around all of the Middle East, and indeed, within it. Persia is no more. The nations that exist now were so many wildernesses, or in primitive states, for the most part when the Persian Empire was at its zenith.
My greatest point of anxiety, the second of my concerns, is the rhetoric coming out of the Iranian leadership that implies a willingness to use a nuclear device (against Israel as their stated first target, but perhaps against Baghdad as an ultimate act of revenge, not just for the years of war with Saddam Hussein, but as as repudiation of the United States’ ten years of both conquest and attempts to bring democracy to the country) if they can succeed in manufacturing the device. To actually use it!
According to Mohammad Ali Jafari “If Israel military agresses against sovereignty and independence of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the country will use its right, established under international law which inevocably establishes the right to defend its sovereignty by all lawful means available to it. Moreover, if such aggression is penetrated, the United Nations will be obliged to repulse such an aggression towards its sovereign member”.
On 7 February 2010, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the destruction of Israel was assured. According to the Teheran Times, Khamenei told Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, “Israel is going downhill toward decline and fall and God willing its obliteration is certain”. Khamenei went on to call Israel “a symbol of atrocity, viciousness, and ugliness,” and said the West’s “support for the Zionist regime is ineffective.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, said that if Israel attacked Iran it would be destroyed within a week. Wikipedia
Iran’s combined effort of building a nuclear bomb and having (despite claims it is not interested in building a bomb and that its nuclear program is only for peaceful domestic power production) the intent to use it as a weapon against another nation remains the most heinous of threats. It is a club that no state should ever want to join, regardless of whether it is a first strike or retaliation. That the United States is the sole member of that club should remain a historical moment, sealed for all time.
I have one other major concern, however. Within the next few months or years if Iran were to complete its atomic weapon project, and the world community decided the only way take away Iran’s atomic bomb industry was to destroy their capability, failing diplomacy, there are really only two options: either destroy the military facilities in which the bombs are stored, along with the manufacturing facilities to create more bombs, and the delivery systems to launch them toward wherever target(s) are, or destroy so much of the population of the nation that it collapses and cannot retaliate.
For me, both options are horrendous. I very much wish I could say they are unthinkable, but, the fact I felt the need to write this post is bone-chilling evidence that it isn’t. One question remains, however. Since to achieve either of those scenarios of mass holocaust likely would raise the specter of the use of nuclear devices, and probably multiple bombs because of how Iran has spread out its atomic facilities; or to commit a scorched earth attack like Hiroshima and Nagasaki against the Iranians, which nation would be willing to push the first button?