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Notes on Nuclear War


Published August 8, 2008 at 3:29 p.m.

On Wednesday, August 6, sixty-three years after U.S. bombers devastated Hiroshima, Japan, with an atomic bomb, Burlington held its first-ever "Nuclear Disarmament Day." At 8 a.m., peaceniks gathered at the corner of Prospect and Main Streets for a silent vigil. At noon, between 30 and 40 others gathered to hear a representative from Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss read a proclamation.

Meanwhile, ominous shit is happening around the world in relation to nuclear weaponry. "Israel will almost surely attack Iran’s nuclear sites in the next fourto seven months — and the leaders in Washington and even Tehran shouldhope that the attack will be successful enough to cause at least asignificant delay in the Iranian production schedule, if not completedestruction, of that country’s nuclear program," an Israeli professor wrote recently in the New York Times.  "Because if the attackfails, the Middle East will almost certainly face a nuclear war —either through a subsequent pre-emptive Israeli nuclear strike or anuclear exchange shortly after Iran gets the bomb." Jonathan Schell and Martin Sherwin later declared in The Nation that, "absent radical change,"the Middle East "will eventually become crowded with unstable, nuclear-armedstates."

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said publicly last fall that he wants to work towards a world free of nuclear weapons. But you have to wonder: If he hasn't ruled out military action against Iran, and if Iran were to attack or retaliate against Israel with a nuclear strike, and if American voters started to beat their war drums for a massive military strike . . .