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Nuclear off topic posts

  1. Oct 8, 2006 #1
    Well N. Korea is most certainly not the first country to perform nuclear tests. :smile:
    If I am not mistaken the US was the first country to perform such a test about more than half a century ago. Furthermore the USA was the only country that actually used nuclear weapons to kill human beings, talking about using weapons of mass destruction.

    From wikipedia we get:

    United States: 1,054 tests
    Soviet Union: 715 tests
    France: 210 tests
    United Kingdom: 45 tests
    China: 45 tests
    India: between 5 and 6 tests
    Pakistan: between 3 and 6 tests
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 8, 2006 #2
    MeJennifer-
    Who do you think is more likely to sell nuclear devices to terrorists, NK, or the US?
    Which country's nuclear workers do you think is more likely to be corrupted, NK or the US?

    People were worried about how Russians treated their scientists...

    Also, who has more to lose, NK or the US?
     
  4. Oct 8, 2006 #3
    had we not dropped the bomb the battle with japan would likely have raged on for weeks if not months or longer. Many more casualties would have been incurred in a much slower and more dramatic fashion. By nuking japan, we were able to swiftly and decisively win the war. Granted, it's a rotten thing to do someone and is sure to ruin their day... but is it any worse than firebombing dresden?

    bottom line, it sucked but had to be done.

    Our current situation with NK is completely different here. There is a real possibility of NK selling such devices to those who would use it against the US or our allies. There is very little chance of the US (or allies) preemptively using a nuke (although I guess I can't put anything past the bush administration).
     
  5. Oct 8, 2006 #4

    Hurkyl

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    Whether or not that's true, that topic is just a red herring.
     
  6. Oct 9, 2006 #5

    siddharth

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    Ouch!
    The certainty with which you present opinions as facts makes me cringe.
     
  7. Oct 9, 2006 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    This was the basis for the decision to use the bomb. At the least, it was the best information available to President Truman.
     
  8. Oct 9, 2006 #7

    EL

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    You're not saying this just to be able to sleep better in the nights?
     
  9. Oct 9, 2006 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    Do you have a problem with the facts?
     
  10. Oct 9, 2006 #9

    siddharth

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    What facts?

    The United States Strategic Bombing Survey reported
    (link http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/USSBS-PTO-Summary.html#teotab)

    Even though the information available may have been faulty, and even if it was a war, I think the decision was effectively instant mass murder.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2006
  11. Oct 9, 2006 #10
    No, I'm not. If I'm mistaken on my facts, then so be it - however I do not hold that line of reasoning simply to sleep better at night.

    The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the governments on earth have committed attrocities at some point in their history. For instance, the USA would not be here (in its present glory) were it not for the systematic uprooting and murder of the natives. Where should we draw the line? I see no reason to arbitrarily state that one should feel remose because your government nuked people 60 years ago, but you should be kosher with the genocide of the native americans because it was more distant in the past.

    If we were to take responsibility for the past actions of our governments, everyone on earth would have to promptly crawl up into a hole and die.

    So, for the sake of consistency, you have a choice. Either a) accept that attrocities have happened and you can't do anything to change them or
    b) take the responsibility on yourself and be miserable for your entire life.
     
  12. Oct 9, 2006 #11

    EL

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    "Facts"?
    How can you call a scenario which didn't happen "a fact"? How do you know how things would have turned out if US hadn't nuked Japan?
    (Note that I'm not arguing about if it was the right thing to do or not...)
     
  13. Oct 9, 2006 #12

    russ_watters

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    You are misunderstanding what is being said. The "fact" that they are referring to is the US's reason for dropping the bomb. Ie: It is a fact that the US dropped the bomb because of the expectation at the time that an invasion would be needed to end the war. (as others said).

    What really gets me about arguments over history, though, are the cherry-picking of the information. Ie, the report of the "Strategic Bombing Survey" - is that the only credible opinion that exists on the matter? (Rhetorical - I know there are other credible opinions and many of them say the opposite). I know it is irrelevant because it is an after-the-fact opinion of what could have happened, but still - it is annoying how people present such info. [/rant]
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2006
  14. Oct 9, 2006 #13

    Astronuc

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    Little Boy (Hiroshima) was about 15 kT, and Fat Man (Nagasaki) was about 20 kT.

    Correct on chemical explosives like TNT. The impulse is very different - 10-100 microsec vs few microseconds - because it takes time for the detonation wave from the primaries to propagate through the volume of HX.

    Source - Yahoo http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/russia_nkorea
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2006
  15. Oct 9, 2006 #14

    EL

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    I agree with with you. One cannot take responsibility (or credit) for things which one had no chance to affect (like things happening before one was born).
    My objection was because to me it sounded like you were trying to defend the nuking of Japan with some vague arguments about what could have happened otherwise, mainly just to stick up for US's actions.
     
  16. Oct 9, 2006 #15

    Astronuc

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    Russ and Ivan are correct on the "historical facts". The considerations and arguments involving Truman's decision are 'facts', as is the fact that two atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Of course, no one knows what might have happened if the US simply waited out the surrender of Japan. If the US did not have the nuclear weapons, it would have contined to US high explosives and incendiary bombs - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_storm#Firestorms_in_cities

    See - Tokyo (Japan) 9 March 1945 (120,000 dead) - mostly civilians - and many more injured.

    Truman made the decision. He elected not to wait.

    p.s.

    Firebombing
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Tokyo_in_World_War_II#Firebombing
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2006
  17. Oct 9, 2006 #16

    EL

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    Yeah, I guess we are misunderstanding each other a bit. What I objected to was I thought ptabor were trying to validate the nuking with
    My point is that this is speculation.



    Agree.
     
  18. Oct 9, 2006 #17

    EL

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    I never objected to that (or at least I didn't mean to).
     
  19. Oct 9, 2006 #18

    Astronuc

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    I see that in your other post. I simply wanted to point out that no one here attempted to justify the use of nuclear weapons, but rather simply reflected the justifications that Truman and others used.
     
  20. Oct 9, 2006 #19

    BobG

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    Neither is likely. If I had to choose one, I'd choose NK simply because of NK's leader. The question is still a little like asking whether the Pope or Santa Claus is more likely to rape your sister.

    Regardless, North Korea would be more likely to sell weapons technology to enemies of the United States, which I think might have been your real point.

    This is the most valid concern about North Korea having nuclear weapons. A single North Korean or a small group could help spread nuclear weapons technology to yet another state that the US considers to be an enemy.

    This question is also a very lousy question. It's like asking who has more to lose by dying - a rich person or a poor person?

    I'm not sure what good it does North Korea to have a nuclear weapon. Presumably, they could black mail South Korea and/or Japan, but they'd have to be very subtle about it. It would probably work better having the existence of nuclear weapons in the background than actively threatening anyone with them. Actually using them would ensure destruction of North Korea.

    Nuclear weapons in Iran is more dangerous than North Korea. Iran is a regional power that could use those nukes in the background to increase their influence a lot more effectively than North Korea could. The problem for both is the same one that confronted Iraq and its chemical weapons in the 80's and in the first Gulf War. Weapons of mass destruction only work if you're willing to use them - which means you have to be strong enough to withstand the response.

    Even having shown the willingness to use WMDs by using them against Kurds and Shi'ites, Iraq's threat only worked against Iran. It didn't stop the rest of the region from intervening when they invaded Kuwait. The difference being that in the 80's, Iran couldn't respond if Iraq hit them with WMD. Using chemical weapons against Israel or against neighboring Arab countries would have brought a response of nuclear weapons.

    In fact, if there's anything positive about the Iraq invasion, it's that the threat of WMDs isn't even a huge deterence to invasion - presuming the Bush administration actually believed their own reason for invading Iraq.
     
  21. Oct 10, 2006 #20
    nuclear weapons are more of a defensive weapon as opposed to chemical/biological since nukes can kill soldiers who are wearing their hazardous materials suits. what i mean by this is that its difficult to attack a country with a fleet of ships when the armada can be nuked. so the motivation of North Korea to have nuclear weapons is that they are no longer as vulnerable to forcible regime change. i don't think NK will be using that deterrent much but I'm told the leader there is extra cautious with these sorts of protections.
     
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