The Legacy of Hiroshima On August 6 1945 a single aircraft “Enola Gay” dropped a “Little Boy” on the city of Hiroshima

. In no time around 70,000 almost all innocent civilians were killed by the immediate effects of the bombing and there were several thousands more, approximately 90,000 - 140,000 who died as a result of burns, radiation and the related diseases. In addition to the horrible human tragedy this atomic bomb ushered a new area (the use of a technology that has no limit in its destructive power and one of the most if not the most inhumane and indiscriminant means of warfare) The destructive power of Hiroshima around 12–15 kiloton’s of TNT* pails in comparison with the destructive power of modern day nuclear weapon which can go up to 500 kiloton’s of TNT. A thermonuclear weapon can have a destructive power of 50.000 kilotons of TNT, 5000 times more powerful than Hiroshima. Through the Hiroshima bombing the international community crossed the Rubicon of the actual use of this most horrifying technology. What is worse, rather than absorbing the ethical and humanitarian lesson that should have been derived from Hiroshima, it led more and more countries to acquire nuclear weapons. In the 80’s throughout the world there were 40,000 nuclear warheads, equivalent of 1 Million Hiroshima bombs. Almost 95% of it in the USA and Russia and many of them on a high alert status. In the aftermath of Hiroshima the international community continued to develop rules to regulate the conduct of war; to make war more “humane” building on the Hague conventions of 1899 and 1907 and their additional protocol who’s main effect was to ban the use of certain types of modern technology in war. The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional protocols contain the most important rules limiting the barbarity of war. They protect people who do not take part in the fighting (civilians, medics, aid workers) and those who can no longer fight (wounded, sick, and shipwrecked troops, prisoners of war). Other conventions and regulations also followed e.g. the Ottawa Treaty or the Mine Ban Treaty which bans all anti-personnel landmines. The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, also known as the “Inhumane Weapons Convention” which ban or restrict the use of specific types of weapons that are considered to cause unnecessary or unjustifiable suffering to combatants or to affect civilians indiscriminately. Regrettably with all theses laws and regulations in place we still see millions of innocent civilians loosing their lives in violent conflicts (Congo, Ruwanda, Iraq, Darfur, The Balkan are some reason examples) The basic question we have to confront is that we have 2 scenarios. The first is to continue to use nuclear weapons and other new technological warfare to settle our differences with the prospect of more and more countries acquiring nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction since the technology is already out of the tube with the odds that nuclear weapon and other WMD’s will be used intentionally or by

miscalculation is much higher. Under that scenario in the words of Rajiv Gandhi, addressing the U.N. General Assembly in 1988,"Nuclear war will not mean the death of a hundred million people. Or even a thousand million. It will mean the extinction of four thousand million (the world population at that time): the end of life as we know it on our planet earth.” The second scenario is to do all what is in our power to prohibit the development or use of nuclear weapons other WMD’s and inhumane weapons and understand that the route to peace does not go through the use of force except in extreme cases and in accordance with international laws as codified in the United Nation Charter. Beside the fantastic advances we made in many aspect of our life through advances in natural science (medicine, communication, technology etc.) we owe it to ourselves to make similar advances in our social interaction by inter alias developing a system of security that is equitable and inclusive and does not depend on who has the biggest “club” but is based on human security and human solidarity.

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