Recently there has been talk of the United States plans to attack Iran with nuclear weapons, because Iran may be developing nuclear weapons.
Other nations that already have nuclear weapons, including Israel, France, India, Pakistan, and Russia, among others, have come to regard them as some kind of wonderful shield. A panacea against future attack or suffering. Nothing could be more distant from the truth.
We could all use this reminder from the book Hiroshima by John Hersey:
Dr. Sasaki and his colleagues at the Red Cross Hospital watched the unprecedented disease unfold and at last evolved a theory about its nature. It had, they decided, three stages. The first stage had been all over before the doctors even knew they were dealing with a new sickness; it was the direct reaction to the bombardment of the body, at the moment when the bomb went off, by neutrons, beta particles, and gamma rays. The apparently uninjured people who had died so mysteriously in the first few hours or days had succumbed in this first stage. It killed ninety-five per cent of the people within a half mile of the center, and many thousands who were farther away. The doctors realized in retrospect that even though most of these dead had also suffered from burns and blast effects, they had absorbed enough radiation to kill them. The rays simply destroyed body cells-caused their nuclei to degenerate and broke their walls. Many people who did not die right away came down with nausea, headache, diarrhea, malaise, and fever, which lasted several days...
The second stage set in ten or fifteen days after the bombing. Its first symptom was falling hair. Diarrhea and fever, which in some cases went as high as 106, came next. Twenty-five or thirty days after the explosion, blood disorders appeared: gums bled, the white-blood-cell count dropped sharply and petechiae appeared on the skin and mucous membranes. The drop in the number of white blood cells reduced the patient's capacity to resist infection, so open wounds were unusually slow in healing....
The third stage was the reaction that came when the body struggled to compensate for its ills-when, for instance, the white count not only returned to normal but increased to much higher than normal levels. In this stage many people died of complications such as infections of the chest cavity. Most burns healed with deep layers of pink, rubbery scar tissue, known as keloid tumors. The duration of the disease varied, depending on the patient's constitution and the amount of radiation he had received. Some victims recovered in a week; with others the disease dragged on for months.
...And, as if nature were protecting man against his own ingenuity, the reproductive processes were affected for a time; men became sterile, women had miscarriages, menstruation stopped.
We all live on the same planet under the same sky. These well-known effects of a nuclear bomb will not simply cease at the borders between warring nations. The effects do not cease when one side surrenders. People in all nations will suffer many consequences even if only one bomb is used in one place in the world. Look at the recent impact of Chernobyl and ask yourselves the question:
How wise is it for mankind to depend on any highly radioactive substances for any purpose whatsoever?