Nuclear Destruction - Distrust - The War Years
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The Nazi death camps and the mushroom cloud of nuclear explosion are the two most potent images of the mass killings of the twentieth century. As World War II ended and the cold war César Franck - Edith Wiens - Die Sieben Worte Christi Am Kreuz, the fear of nuclear annihilation hung like a cloud over the otherwise complacent consumerism of the Eisenhower era. The new technologies of mass death exacted incalculable costs, draining the treasuries of the United States and the Soviet Union and engendering widespread apocalyptic fatalism, distrust of government, and environmental degradation.
The advent of nuclear weapons fundamentally altered both the nature of war and the relationship of the military with the rest of society. A study by John Pike, the director of the space policy project at the Federation of American Scientists, revealed that the cost of nuclear weapons has constituted about one-fourth to one-third of the entire American military budget since President Eisenhower, in his farewell speech on the threats posed by the "military-industrial complex," warned of the potential of new technology to dominate the social order in unforeseen ways.
The "social system which researches, chooses it, produces it, polices it, justifies it, and maintains it in being," observed British social historian E. Thompson, orients its "entire economic, scientific, political, and ideological support-system to that weapons system" Wieseltierp. Throughout the cold war, U. In the s there was the bomber gap, in the s it was the missile gap, in the s the civilian defense gap, and in the s the military spending gap. The Soviet Union and the members of the NATO alliance developed tens of thousands of increasingly sophisticated nuclear weapons and delivery systems e.
With the possible exception of the hydrogen bomb, every advance in nuclear weaponry—from the neutron bomb and X-ray warheads to the soldier-carried Davy Crockett fission bomb—was the product of American ingenuity and determination.
During World War II, while German research resources were largely invested in developing the V-1 and V-2 guided missiles, similar investments were being made by the United States and selected allies in producing the ultimate bomb through the highly secret Manhattan Project.
The first nuclear device was detonated before dawn on July 16,at the Alamogordo Test Range in south central New Mexico. Within two months, atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The U. The United States continued to develop the new weaponry despite the fact the war had concluded.
Whether this was the reason why the Soviet Union embarked on its own weapon program, or if it would have done so if the U. The Soviets deeply feared that the United States, having demonstrated its willingness to use the weapon on civilian populations, might not hesitate to do so again during the cold war. Two weeks after Hiroshima's destruction, Stalin ordered a crash program to develop an atomic bomb using Gulag prisoners to mine uranium and construct weapons facilities, putting the needs of his people behind those of the bomb.
The race for nuclear supremacy had begun. The s saw the dawn of the cold war: the Soviet blockade of Berlin, Mao's victory over the Nationalists in China, discoveries and accusations of espionage, and, in Septemberevidence that the Russians had tested their own bomb.
His first war plan, based on a concept called "killing a nation," involved attacking seventy Soviet cities with atomic bombs. Fears of imminent nuclear war swept Nuclear Destruction - Distrust - The War Years globe.
President Truman believed that if the Russians had the bomb, they would use it. The physicist Edward Teller pushed for a thermonuclear weapon whose virtually unlimited power would dwarf the atomic bombs produced under the Manhattan Project.
The "Super," as it would be called, was the hydrogen bomb. In January Truman approved its development. Later that year, when in retreat, the North Koreans were reinforced by another Russian ally, Communist China.
The cold war was in full swing, and the climate of fear and suspicion fueled McCarthyism. In the first hydrogen bomb was detonated, releasing a force some times greater than the weapon that had destroyed Hiroshima.
The bomb, initially sixty-two tons, was later made smaller and lighter, allowing its placement on missiles. It was then that President Eisenhower's Secretary of Defense, John Foster Dulles, presented the impression that the United States would instigate nuclear war if there were any communist encroachments upon the "free world.
To ensure retribution following a first strike, stockpiles continued growing to the point where human populations could be killed many times over.
Nuclear anxieties intensified with Nuclear Destruction - Distrust - The War Years development of strategic intercontinental rockets capable of delivering a nuclear warhead anywhere in the world within minutes. Because atomic war Say It Again - Love Unlimited - Under The Influence Of. basically be a one-punch affair, the alacrity and thoroughness of the first strike became the preoccupation of strategic planners.
The race between the United States and Russia to refine German rocket technology intensified during the s. When Russia launched the first satellite, Sputnik, inAmericans panicked at the thought of Soviet hardware overhead and its ability to drop weapons from orbit. To recoup lost face and bolster national confidence, the United States entered Nuclear Destruction - Distrust - The War Years space race with its own orbital missions and even considered a plan to detonate a Hiroshima-size nuclear bomb on the moon that would be visible to the naked eye.
In the Soviets placed the first man, Yuri Gargarin, into orbit as the nuclear-arms race combined with the space race as the key instruments of cold war rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States. But the critical event of the s was the discovery that Russians had deployed forty-eight offensive ballistic missiles in Cuba.
In a showdown of nuclear brinkmanship, both the Soviet Union and the United States went on highest alert in their preparations for war. For thirteen days the cold war almost went hot. As the Russian nuclear missiles were nearing operational status the Kennedy administration weighed such options as Nuclear Destruction - Distrust - The War Years an air strike, staging an invasion, or conducting a naval blockade.
After the latter was selected, a Russian Reclusorio Oriente - Three Souls In My Mind - Reclusorio Oriente En Vivo! steamed west to break it; a U. Eventually, though, diplomacy and level heads prevailed. The missiles were removed in exchange for a U.
The nations' closeness to the unthinkable contributed to their agreeing on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. There was one final peaking of fears and expenditures before the collapse of the Soviet Union: the entry of another communist superpower on the nuclear game Nuclear Destruction - Distrust - The War Years . China, which had detonated its first atomic bomb inclaimed thirteen years later to have successfully tested guided missiles with nuclear warheads.
Reports surfaced of nuclear shelters being constructed in Manchuria. The s concluded with six members in the nuclear club and with memories associated with the seventy-fifth anniversary of the beginning of World War I and how an unpredictable chain of events could set into Ljubav nije za mene - Erato - Makeup unwanted global conflict.
In President Reagan unilaterally discontinued negotiations for a comprehensive test ban of nuclear weapons, echoing the military's claims of a "testing gap" with the Soviet Union. In fact, as of the beginning ofthe United States had over the previous four decades since conducted some more nuclear tests than had the Soviets. The President proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative, popularly known as "Star Wars," to protect the nation from Nuclear Destruction - Distrust - The War Years attack by using exotic technologies that were still on the drawing board.
Pure scientific research in physics, lasers, metallurgy, artificial intelligence, and dozens of other areas became largely focused on direct military uses. By the mids, 70 percent of American programs in research and development and testing and evaluation were defense-related, and nearly 40 percent of all U. Compounding public anxieties was a forecast by U. From the scientific community came highly publicized scenarios of a postwar "nuclear winter," possibly similar to conditions that led to the extinction of dinosaurs following the impact of an asteroid.
Groups such as Physicians for Social Responsibility warned that such a conflict would lead to the return to the Dark Ages. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war in the late s did not conclude American research and development—nor fears of a nuclear holocaust. In Russia, equipment malfunctions have accidentally switched Russian nuclear missiles Theme From A Wooly Place (Wooly Bully / Theme From A Summer Place) - The Tubes - Love Bomb a "combat ready" status, and deteriorating security systems have increased the likelihood of weapons-grade materials falling into the hands of rogue states and terrorists.
In the United States, major military contractors sought long-term sources of revenue to compensate for their post—cold war losses, and Republicans continued pushing for a defensive missile shield.
In the mids the Department of Energy approved expenditures of hundreds of millions of dollars for superlasers and supercomputers to simulate weapons tests.
A Lettera A Coco - Milva - Canzone nuclear weapons test, called Rebound, was conducted in at the Nevada Test Site. At the beginning of President George W. Bush's term, the Defense Authorization Bill was passed requiring that the Energy and Defense Departments study a new generation of precision, low-yield earth penetrating nuclear weapons to "threaten hard Nuclear Destruction - Distrust - The War Years deeply buried targets.
Through espionage, huge national investments, and a black market of willing Western suppliers of needed technologies and raw materials, the American nuclear monopoly was broken with the successful detonations by the Soviet Unionthe United KingdomFranceChinaIndiaand Pakistan Although the Western allies made the Soviet Union the scapegoat for the proliferation of nuclear weapons, it has been the export of Western technology and fuel that has given other countries the capability of building their own bombs.
Although publicly dedicated to controlling the proliferation of "the bomb," in the fifty years following the Trinity detonation the United States shipped nearly a ton of plutonium to thirty-nine countries, including Argentina, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
There is little doubt that the sixth member of the nuclear club is Israel, which was supplied a reactor complex and bomb-making assistance by the French as payment for its participation in the Suez Crisis. Despite its concerns over nuclear proliferation, the United States looked the other way as the Israeli nuclear program progressed, owing to the country's strategic position amid the oil-producing countries of the Middle East. When a Libyan airliner Nuclear Destruction - Distrust - The War Years over the highly secretive Negev Nuclear Research Center inIsraeli jets shot it down, killing all passengers.
In By the Bomb's Early Light Paul Boyer asks how a Ain’t Got No - I Got Life (Live - Nina Simone - Simply Nina Simone lives with the knowledge of its capacity for self-destruction.
However such thinking was in vogue with the approach of the West's second millennium, with the media saturated with doomsday forecasts of overpopulation, mass extinctions, global warming, and deadly pollutants.
By the end of the s, half of Americans believed that some manmade disaster would destroy civilization. The real possibility of nuclear war threatens the very meaning of all personal and social endeavors, and all opportunities for transcendence. Into dramatize the equivalency of nuclear war with collective suicide, undergraduates at Brown University voted on urging the school's health service to stockpile "suicide pills" in case of a nuclear exchange. Such existential doubts were not mollified by the government's nuclear propaganda, which tended to depict nuclear war as a survivable natural event.
Not even the young Walzer Fur Niemand - La Bande Dessinée - Demo distracted from thinking about the unthinkable. Civil defense drills became standard exercises at the nation's schools during I Believe In Music - Mass Production - Believe s, including the "duck and cover" exercises in which students were instructed to "duck" under their desks or tables and "cover" their heads for protection from a thermonuclear blast.
In the early s, a new curriculum unit on nuclear war was developed for junior high school students around the country. Psychologists wrote about the implications of youngsters expecting never to reach adulthood because of nuclear war.
In the words of Toronto sociologist Sheldon Ungar, "Splitting the atom dramatically heightened the sense of human dominion; it practically elevated us The atomic bomb in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, one of the only times that nuclear weapons were used in warfare, instantly killedpeople and injured thousands more, with the majority of its victims being civilians. The control over nature's ultimate power was also taken as a sign of grace, an indication of America's moral superiority and redemptive capacity"p.
But this seeming benefaction turned into a nightmare, destroying Western faith in moral progress and providential history. Scholars and essayists have speculated liberally on the psychological and cultural effects of growing up with the possibility of being vaporized in a nuclear war.
For instance, did it contribute to permissive parenting strategies by older generations seeking to give some consolation to their children? Or the cultural hedonism and dissolution of mores evidenced when these children came of age? It certainly did contribute to the generational conflicts of the s, as some Nuclear Destruction - Distrust - The War Years boomers laid blame for the precarious times on older generations.
It is in the arts that collective Nuclear Destruction - Distrust - The War Years and outlooks are captured and explored, and fears of the atomic unknown surfaced quickly. As nuclear weapons tests resumed in Nevada inanxieties over radioactive fallout were expressed cinematically in a sci-fi genre of movies featuring massive mutant creatures.
These were to be followed by endof-the-world books e. Strangelove intelevision series Planet of the Apes, and music e. The bomb also opened the door Nuclear Destruction - Distrust - The War Years UFOs. In the same state where the first nuclear bomb Nuclear Destruction - Distrust - The War Years two years earlier, near Roswell, New Mexico, an alien space ship supposedly crashed to Earth, although later reports have debunked that story despite the stubborn beliefs in an alien visitation by various UFO aficionados.
Were they contemporary manifestations of angels, messengers carrying warnings of humanity's impending doom? Or did our acquisition of the ultimate death tool make our neighbors in the cosmos nervous? The latter idea was the theme of the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still, where the alien Klaatu issued an authoritarian ultimatum to earthlings to cease their violence or their planet will be destroyed.
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