Elaine Meinel Supkis
Just this week, I have reported about rich Israelis building nuclear bomb shelters. And the USA suddenly announces they are closing the NORAD nuclear war room in Colorado yet we have all our fleet off shore by Iran because we fear nuclear war? Time to review why our leaders have extended their nuclear bomb shelters in DC while telegraphing to the rest of us, there is nothing to worry about except we should be scared to death or else?
CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colorado (AP) -- Dr. Strangelove would have a heart attack: America's vaunted underground war room deep inside this granite mountain is being retired. Not only that, but Russian military men have been inside the place.
During the long nuclear standoff with Moscow, the nation's super-secret nerve center was a symbol of both Cold War might and apocalyptic dread, depicted in such movies as "WarGames" in 1983.
But with the end of the Cold War, the war room is being put on "warm standby" to save money. A staff will keep it ready to resume operations at a moment's notice if a blast-hardened command center becomes necessary, but the critical work is being shifted to Peterson Air Force Base, about 10 miles away.
Seriously, since 9/11, they have been bellowing at us about Saddam who had no WMD what so ever, was going to nuke us and 'we don't want to find out when a nuclear bomb flashes' was used to terrorize the USA citizens into supporting the now disasterous war in Iraq. We used up every ounce of our diplomatic capital trying to twist arms of many nations that really couldn't believe what they were hearing and even today, we are going about the planet madly twisting arms, screaming about nuclear war and the need to disarm small, nearly helpless nations.
So aside from the obvious need to scare red state voters into voting for sexual predators, the only bomb shelters I see the GOP talking about is the bedroom: the nuclear bomb is two gay guys getting hitched.
The Japanese are understandably leery of being nuked, of course. But even there, I don't see in the news, stories explaining how they must build many nuclear bomb shelters! So whatever fear there is, it isn't translating into action.
Despite all the terror and fear pervading our poliltical realm, it is all psychological and none of it real, not like it was in my childhood. Here is a government guide from the late 1950's. Note the technical information which is useful only if one is in a suburb, not a city center.
#5 - SHELTER
The principles of radiation protection are simple - with many options and resources families can use to prepare or improvise a very effective shelter. You must throw off the self-defeating myths of nuclear un-survivability that may needlessly seal the fate of less informed families.
What stops radiation, and thus shields your family, is simply putting mass between them and the radiation source. Like police body armor stopping bullets, mass stops (absorbs) radiation. The thicker the mass, the more radiation it stops. Also, the denser (heavier) the mass used, the more effective it is with every inch more you add to your fallout shelter. The thickness in inches needed to cut the radiation down to only 1/10th of its initial intensity for different common materials is: Steel 3.3", concrete 11", earth 16", water 24", wood 38", etc. The thickness required to stop 99% of the radiation is: 5" of steel, 16" of solid brick or hollow concrete blocks filled with mortar or sand, 2 feet of packed earth or 3 feet if loose, 3 feet of water. You may not have enough steel available, but anything you do have will have mass and can be used to add to your shielding - it just takes more thickness of lighter wood, for example, than heavier earth, to absorb and stop the same amount of radiation. Increasing the distance between your family and the radiation outside also reduces the radiation intensity.
All this information assumes one's house isn't set on fire or is blown flat so one can't get out of a basement. Not that many houses outside of the fussy Northeast has anything resembling a basement at all.
In this side view, it shows the lucky survivor huddling under the table, barricaded inside. The house is suspiciously intact overhead so it must be someone about 100 miles away from ground zero.
The government advice is to stay huddled under the table for merely two or three days (um, right). From the end of WWII to the Cuban Missile Crisis, Americans were exhorted to prepare for any sudden nuclear war and many bulletins, movies, school exercises and civil defense drills were encouraged.
Click here to view a film that was made for us kids back then, 'Duck and Cover.' I lived at various times, especially when in Tucson, Arizona, at some pretty big ground zero first targets if the Soviet Union wanted nuclear war. This meant we were exposed to a lot of civil defense training that I found laughable and annoying because it caused nightmares. One of the curiosities of my youth was people I knew including wretched family members who made various bomb shelters in the Rincon mountains, for example, and then kept it secret from their own brothers or sisters.
Whoopee. Try surviving on one's own! Yup. It really puzzled me because I have high survival skills and of all female side of the family, I had the best shooting and sword combat skills not to mention, archery. One would think I would either be welcome or they would have to worry about me hunting them down so I could pig out on the food they hoarded?
Well, it led to such forms of madness as this. Many, many 'survivalists' were worried about sharing their shelters and their goodies (from people like me, I suppose) and so they thought, if they hid everything, no one would beg them for help if a nuclear war broke out. Snug in one's spider hole, one could laugh it up while cousin Eddie turned to cinder or rolled on the ground, screaming and ripping off his burning clothes. Yup.
In a nutshell, this is what our society is devolving into: people praying to Jesus to fry one's sister to death because she loves Pegasus and not some creepy death god. And millions of Americans pray for nuclear war.
Which takes me back to the bizarre headlines: why is the government telling the men and women protecting America (HAHAHA---like on 9/11) there is really no danger and they can relax and stand down? Like when Bush got the memo, 'Bin Laden Determined To Attack in USA', Bush stayed on vacation and even while under attack, he and Rummy didn't show even slight energy or interest.
The legions of Christians praying for nuclear war aren't getting ready for it because a certain insanity has entered our public domain and looking at the 'Duck and Cover' movie shows the roots of this insanity. It is assumed the children and adults would assist each other but they all had to be super-paranoid that a nuke was going to hit at any time! I could see as clear as day that if there was a nuke dropped on Tucson, if I had no gun or other weapon at hand, I would be killed...by my neighbors, my own family, anyone scared that I would eat their food or drink their stored water.
So a brutal rush to eliminate fellow citizens and family members would be the result, not kindly men assisting school children into group shelters. This Cowardly New World really disturbed me as a child. It didn't make me very happy, actually. Indeed, it pissed me off so much, I became an advocate for disarming all nukes so I wouldn't have to worry about shooting my own sisters dead if we had to see who gets the bomb shelter's supplies.
Actually, an amazing number of people ignored all this. They chose to live in fantasyland and even when my father was flying in and out of DC while advising President Kennedy or President Eisenhower on whether or not to launch nukes, most of my playmates were blissfully clueless because our government kept their families ignorant of the real danger.
Indeed, I was supposed to play dumb with them because otherwise they might try to sneak into our bomb shelter, too and we would have to kill them. Back to that dark, antisocial core of Shadowlands. My father grew very angry with me during the sixties as I fought our government over these issues. He felt these bombs protected America even as our family didn't really want to save anyone. Namely, no one in the government was telling the truth about nuclear war even as they gamed the system for themselves.
It is worse today for we are supposed to support gamesmanship that is quite nuclear warish while at the same time our leaders are frantically building bomb shelters or distant hide-a-ways like in Paraguay and they are telling us to redecorate the kitchen and go to Disney World.
Click here to see a harrowing Japanese cartoon written by a survivor of Hiroshima: Hadashi no Gen The Japanese are actually quite fatalistic about destruction. This is a common thread that runs through their culture now and it expresses itself in a thousand ways. I have seen not only Tokyo but the entire solar system, nay all the universe, destroyed in artful ways in Japanese films and anime. If anything, they are more pessimistic now than at any time in their culture.
This is bad, for they are the likely first target in any war scenario. Today, China has managed to lure North Korea back into the stalled six party talks. China knows the USA will torpedo anything China offers and so they are prepared to illustrate to all of Asia, the USA is a rogue state that must be shunned. We think the negotiations will occur because everyone is mad at North Korea.
This is false.
Which takes me back to the curious news that we don't need to protect NORAD anymore. Now, NORAD sits in a building even more vulnerable than the Pentagon which was attacked by a mere passenger plane! Does this make any sense at all?
Um, looks like the new location for NORAD is going to go 'poof'. Of course, the Pentagon claims they will rush to their old bomb shelter if they must. But again, on 9/11, they didn't even walk, much less, rush, to anything. They sat there, dumbfounded! For over an hour!
And everyone who runs nuclear war games (Russia and China) saw clearly how motivated and protective our military really is, which is, barely at all. Snoring away like just as the attack on Pearl Harbor. Sitting ducks. Quack.
Midway, this clip shows actual victims of the nuclear bomb attack. The actual footage of the victims of our nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima clearly shows people stunned by the attack, everything utterly destroyed and little children wailing in pain, dying, women clutching each other, trying to struggle forwards, everything breaking down yet families trying to cling to each other, little children desperately carrying even younger siblings out of danger.
Heartbreaking. And seldom seen in America. We don't want to know the grim reality of nuclear war because, frankly, we like the notion of bombing people until they surrender!
FROELICH: Benjamin's family is originally from the Marshall Island's Bikini Atoll, where in 1954 the United States conducted its biggest test, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb. The operation, code-named Bravo, was one of many detonated on Bikini, as well as Enewetak Atoll. The explosion was equivalent to a thousand Hiroshima-sized bombs, and pulverized large portions of coral reef, irradiating the land and sea.
The U.S. Navy, along with Atomic Energy Commission personnel, evacuated people, including Benjamin's family, from test sites like Bikini before the tests. They were allowed to go back twenty years later. But then it was determined that drinking water on Bikini was still too radioactive, so, six years after that, islanders had to leave once again. In the meantime, some may have received a dose.
BENJAMIN: Right now, I have a lot aunties, and also uncles, they died. They had the sicknesses with them until their body cannot fight it anymore. I got two this year, they passed away. My sister also passed away last year because of cancers.
FROELICH: The testing continued for more than a decade. Islanders on nearby atolls often were not evacuated during the tests. They were deemed to be at a safe distance.
Our military bombed those islands over and over again and the people are still paying for this not to mention, all of us. The whole planet is seeing a huge hike in cancers thanks to all the nuclear bombs dropped during the Cold War and by far, most of these bombs were American.
PACIFIC ISLANDERS SUE THE U.S. FOR $500 MILLION
By ROBERT TRUMBULL, SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES
The residents of Enewetak atoll in the Marshall Islands have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Government for $500 million in damages, accusing the United States of neglect and broken promises after they were evacuated from their homeland in 1947 so that it could be used for a long series of nuclear weapons tests, In the complaint, entered in the United States Claims Court in Washington, the Enewetakese say that when they returned to their property two years ago they found that five of the atoll's 40 or so islets had been completely destroyed, among other lasting damage. Several other islands on which they once lived have been put off limits by United States scientists because of lingering radioactivity in the soil. The major island of Runit has been converted into a repository for contaminated debris from the tests and covered with a concrete cap 370 feet in diameter and 18 inches thick. The scientists say the debris will be radioactive for at least the next 240,000 years, according to the complaint.
October 17, 1982
To this day, many Americans have a pretty brutal attitude about Hiroshima. They have been fooled into thinking victory at this price, is well worth it. For us to be secure, we should feel free to nuke civilian populations. This ethos conflicts with our own rage when our own civilians are attacked. The dual justice whereby we can use whatever tools of power we wish while others must hold back or be disarmed, lies at the core of our present troubles. Namely, no one is taking us seriously except insofar we are acting insane and they fear we might unleash terrible weapons upon the Iraqis or Iranians, for example.
MOSCOW, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Russia has no information indicating Iran's nuclear program is for military purposes but Tehran should act quickly to clarify lingering questions about its nuclear work, a top official said on Tuesday.
BEIJING, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- China holds that all parties concerned should refrain from taking any action that may lead to the escalation of the situation on Iran nuclear issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said here Tuesday.
Liu said some new situation emerged in Iran nuclear issue, and China will continue to consult with other members of UN Security Council on relevant issues.
This is why Russia and China have loudly warned us to not do this. Tension between the world's Great Powers isn't peaceful at all, it is very dangerously elevated this year. So...why are they taking NORAD out of their secure location? Hmmm?