The Socialist Unity Network

Hiroshima and the moral case against nuclear weapons

Sandra Leslie

The fact that I alone find nuclear weapons disgusting is not moral evidence
in itself against nuclear weapons of mass destruction since many of us find
things disgusting out of personal preference, religious belief or simple
prejudice.  However, there is overwhelming evidence that there is universal
disgust over nuclear WMD even among their advocates who are probably more aware of their effects upon humanity than the rest of us.  These effects we
became aware of as a species when the plane Anola Gay dropped the first atom bomb on the people of Hiroshima on 6th August 1945.  Subsequent information of fallout and radiation sickness has only served to underline the horror and disgust experienced by both Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the onlookers of the world alive then and for subsequent generations since.

Without going into all of the gorey details right now for those who may not know, suffice it to say that those atom bombs caused widespread pain and suffering to the victims as well as to the onlookers.  This is because we would not desire such pain and suffering to to be inflicted upon ourselves even in retalliation to such pain and suffering inflicted upon ourselves.

To cause pain and suffering to others is what we understand to be 'evil' since what is 'good' is that which creates pleasure and improves things socially.  For example, if somebody were to stab me once, then it would either be sheer vindictiveness or insanity for me to retaliate with even one stab let alone two or to hack the other to pieces.  This isn't a pacifist stance either since I am speaking of retaliation and attack and not defence here in this particular argument.

There are also environmental arguments against nuclear weapons and nuclear
power, although I have found these to be increasingly more of a red-herring
since their moral and ethical foundations have become undermined and are
therefore shakey because of compromise and collusion.  This is because of
the advent of psuedo-environmentalism over the past twenty years where just
about everybody claims to be an 'environmentalist' and  where simply to add
the word 'green' to something appears to be grounds for moral superiority
but not because something is environmentally beneficial or even socially

It would seem obvious common-sense to me, however, that nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors are one and the same thing.  They are unethical, anti-social and are crap science and should therefore be abolished forever.

In response to Brian Quayle's remark about the use of the word 'deterrent' on the Ten Fascinating Facts About Trident - again listed below - I think that we all agree that this word is a government word in this context.


Check out;    to find out all the latest on
The Faslane Big Blockade 2004, Coulport Camp and Devonport, Plymouth.



Here Are Ten Fascinating Facts About Trident That Were Published In The Latest Faslane Briefing Sheet:

1. One Trident warhead has the destructive power equal to eight times the
atom bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.  200,000 people were killed by the Hiroshima bomb on 6th August 1945.

2.  The Government spends 48 a second maintaining the Trident deterrent.
That is 2,880 every minute or 3172,800 every hour.  It adds up to 1,500
million every year.

3.  On three separate occasions, Defence Minister Geoff Hoon pledged that
Trident would be used in the attack on Iraq if chemical or bioligical
weapons were used against British troops.

4.  The Trident missiles on UK submarines are leased from the USA, and
British Trident is entirely dependent on US satellite and communications

5.  Each Trident warhead carries about 5 kilograms of plutonium in a ball
about the size of a grapefruit.  One warhead also contains between ten and
twenty kilograms of high exlplosive.

6.  The International Court of Justice 1196 Advisory Opinion on nuclear
weapons makes it plain that systems like Trident, which are indiscriminate
weapons of mass destruction, are illegal under international law.

7.  There is a UK Trident submarine on patrol somewhere in the North
Atlantic ready to fire its missiles at all times.  Trident submarines are at
sea for about three months and never come to the surface.

8.  As well as carrying nuclear weapons each Trident submarine is powered by
a nuclear reactor.

9.  One of the first things a new Prime Minister does after being elected is
to hand-write a letter for each Trident submarine captain authorising him to
fire his missiles in the event of the submarine losing all contact with

10.  Britain has just under 200 Trident nuclear weapons.  Britain has more
strategic nuclear weapons than China, Isreal, India and Pakistan.  Only the
US, Russia and France have more.


August 2004


For Socialist Unity ~ For Internationalism ~ For Peace ~ For Justice ~ For Unity ~ For Socialism