Thursday, August 6, 2009

August 6, 2009

      An old saying goes, "God is kind to drunks, fools and the United States of America."  Well, maybe.  Sixty-four years ago--in 1945--the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The New York Times says it instantly killed an estimated 66,000 people.  It also, along with a second bomb dropped on Nagasaki, ended World War Two.      As a Roman Catholic cardinal put it some years later, the atomic bomb "gave man the power to destroy God's created order."  The possible proof of divine kindness is that we, not just America but all the nuclear powers, haven't done that yet.  It's not like us.  We are usually Pandora;  we open the box and trouble flies out.      The nuclear club is not just us any more, of course.  Some old and trusted friends have joined--Britain and France, for instance--and some countries we don't know as well, like Pakistan.  The earth has survived.      Now there's a great fuss about North Korea, which is the club's newest member  Nicholas Kristoff writes in his New York Times column that North Korea "seeks talks with the U.S conditioned on accepting North Korea's status as a nuclear power--which is unacceptable."  But how are we supposed to change it?  We could nuke them, of course, but surely that too is unacceptable.  Convert them by sweet reason, logic?  Most unlikely.  North Korea clearly wants to be in the club, be one of the big boys, and that surely won't change.      So we're stuck. Another old saying is, "What can't be cured must be endured."  That seems to be where we are with North Korea.  Maybe, like the other club members, they'll decide they don't want to destroy the planet.  Maybe.     It's a tough world.  Always has been.         
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