Nuclear Assault

U.S. and USSR/Russian nuclear weapons stockpil...

Nuclear stockpiles

There is something missing from the current confrontations with Iran and North Korea: a clarification of those less obvious actions constituting a nuclear assault. Likely to be misconstrued as saber- rattling, in fact, such a declaration would bring, with its openness, a fairness both to those who might be otherwise confused and to those down wind from that confusion. Remember that détente was grounded in an ongoing mutual clarity.

For me the following defines a nuclear assault:

  • A particular nation:
    • Acquires or produces a nuclear device.
    • Or, being aware of a third party’s malicious intent, either delivers such a device to that party or supports its production.
  • And with malice aforethought on the part of its possessor, said device is detonated or fails to only by virtue of a failure in its delivery or design.

At first the assault itself, along with national culpability, may go unrecognized, but nuclear weapons leave a victim-nation far less room to maneuver than do conventional ones. As controversial as may be such an exposure, a nuclear possibility could quickly turn into a nuclear imperative. How might international protocol deal with the unclear when it is often feeble before the clear?

Ultimately each nation must survive upon its own judgment, but any internal, national guideline would benefit all in its revelation. For example:

  • A reminder that nuclear missiles cannot be called back, and there would be no place for them to return anyways
  • Upon the triggering of a satchel, fissile bomb of unknown origin, the squeaky, cover-supplying door would get unhinged.

In August of 1945 the United States of America assaulted the Empire of Japan with two nuclear devices. Our people were the only ones with such weapons; hence, end of nuclear war. Four years later the Soviet Union had attained explosive fission, but President Truman certainly understood that from an amoral perspective the United States was still able to begin and end its nuclear wars.

Getsuzo - Our Force Crossed the Yalu River - 1...

Earlier Yalu crossing, same result

Nevertheless, after China’s 1950 intervention into the Korean Peninsula, he declined any plan for nuclear interdiction at the Yalu River. By this restraint the United States gained a second distinction, being the only nation ever to have dropped that weapon from its war room in love so far beyond fear. Had the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki weighed heavily at that stopping of the buck? Or had he merely realized that making an almost-nuclear enemy that desperate would necessitate an unbearable finishing of the job?

There was certainly wisdom and responsibility in his judgment, but a half century later, there are many who twist their futures into pretzels merely to highlight some offense that has bent them out of shape. That is how the pervasive misery of North Koreans continues to deflect Truman’s reach from that higher standard; and how tragic irony as profound as ever moved an ancient Greek is being spun from North Korea, one of only two nations ever to have had its quietus thus dropped.

2 responses to “Nuclear Assault

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