Sunday, August 07, 2005

Learning the Lessons of History?

Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima. The Independent on Friday did another of their striking front pages peppered with interesting statistics. As often is the case, the figures make depressing reading:

  • Under the headline "Never Again?" the article makes the point that the US alone is currently spending $27bn on nuclear weapons and related programmes.
  • Although Iran seems intent on entering the nuclear arms race, the point is made that while no Arab states are currently known to possess nuclear weapons, Israel has approximately 200.
  • There are estimated to be 11,000 active deliverable nuclear weapons in the World. The US has 6,390, Russia has 3,242 and the UK has 200.
  • Finally we are reminded that the bomb dropped on Hiroshima killed 160,000 people at the time and 77,062 later.
"....and I think to myself, what a wonderful World" as Louis Armstrong would say.