This is another of my posts on how humanity has already entered the end-days sometimes called Doomsday. Peddling Peril: How the Secret Nuclear Trade Arms America’s Enemies – by David Albright (2010) documents the depths of human shortsightedness. Probably all of the individuals involved in this book would be considered geniuses at what they do, and yet all of them have willingly been compliant and even complicit in the coming destruction of humanity, including even the possibility that future humans can ever again live long and prosperous lives. Some of these people were worse than others, and perhaps A. Q. Khan gets the top prize for encouraging the inevitable future use of atomic weapons by his decades long support of nuclear proliferation. He single-handedly created the networks of nuclear weapons information flow that made it possible for anyone with enough money to develop these Weapons of Mass Destruction. George Tenet, Director of CIA (p. 247.5) said, “In the current marketplace, if you have a hundred-million dollars, you can be your own nuclear power.” And yet A.Q. Khan, the Prince of Future Destruction, when finally prosecuted, received only a few years of house arrest for punishment. He then lived in what most people would consider a paradise. He is now considered a great hero by many people, but these very people may be eventually killed in the atomic wars which Khan made more likely and more deadly.
It is strange, but those people who have succeeded in bringing these terrible weapons to us are universally revered and rewarded with money and prizes. Whereas those people who have generally fought against their creation and spread have been termed pacifists, traitors and worse, but have been generally ignored and called crazy. Although well researched and written, it is doubtful this book, Peddling Peril, will ever have a wide readership.
Albert Einstein gets in several exquisitely phrased quotes in this book and is revered as the greatest scientist to ever live. However, he is the person who sent the letter to US President Roosevelt that triggered the hugely expensive Manhattan Project. Without Einstein’s clout the first atomic bomb project might have been considered too problematic and too expensive to build. Perhaps now, seventy years later, with more advanced technology it would be developed, and much quicker too – or perhaps not. Now, even with the certainty that these weapons can be made and with most of the necessary materials purchasable off the commercial shelf, there are still relatively few. So it obviously is not an easy thing to do. Only about a dozen independent powers have been able to possess them. Furthermore, on the difficulty of creating these things, most of these successful bombs were clones of the stolen offshoots of the original ones created by Einstein’s team. The USSR stole the original plans from the US and then sold the plans to the Chinese who sold them to Pakistan who sold them to several others. Only the precise details of how to make the bombs efficient are now secret. With common knowledge and enough fissile material, even a crude bomb would destroy a city.
At the conclusion of the book, Einstein is quoted, (p. 254.9) “The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.” He was the one who set the whole process in motion and perhaps without him the bomb wouldn’t be here at all. Probably it would because, like the Americas, it would have been discovered eventually by people with the requisite technology. By the time of Christopher Columbus the necessary ships were readily available to sail the high seas quite easily and all that was necessary was the attempt. The same can be said about atomic weapons. If the technology we now possess in other fields was available to atomic weapons designers these weapons would become available in a few years. But perhaps the inherent dangers could be realized and successful methods for preventing their creation could be developed. Unfortunately, now it is too late, far too late and because of these highly vaunted scientists of the past we are now living over the precipice of Doomsday.
A few might survive to restart the deadly cycle, or possibly form a stable world, but it is near impossible in our present mind set to avoid the Doomsday events.