Articles

WARNING:

This website is not for the faint hearted, or those with a nervous disposition.  The author, Radical Rooney disclaims any mental or physical disruption to anyone who chooses to read any of the contents.

Article 1

The Brink of the Abyss

Lord Mountbatten, who held the country’s highest military post once declared “The world now stands at the Brink of the Final Abyss”.  He gave a speech detailing the inevitability of Nuclear War, and it was for this speech he most wanted to be remembered.

Military resources and technology have now escalated to where many other methods are available for the total annihilation of Mankind.  Having studied the exotic options available, I also am in no doubt we are heading in the direction of the Lemmings.

The Super Powers may think twice before committing to full scale hostilities which would destroy all their resources, but would a third world country, with nothing to lose except their burden of over population.  In fact, third world countries have substantial grounds for contention.  Their emergent technology demands more and more oil, and as our public and private transport escalates they are finding that demand can only keep up with supply, if the price rises in line; so enter Catch 22.

In sheer tonnage there is more explosive power on earth than there is food.  Every third person in the world is wretchedly poor, and starving most of the time.  This poverty stems directly from widespread lack of clean water supplies.  Dirty water carries typhoid, dysentery, cholera, malaria, elephantiasis, snail fever, yellow fever etc. etc.  Most of these are killers and they kill countless millions every year, mostly children under five!

The World Health Organization claims this sad state of affairs could be totally alleviated if the funding of military budgets for just one month was devoted to the problem.  Unfortunately, that will never happen.  The Powers that be have a vested interest in reducing, not sustaining the world’s populations.  Less for them, is more for us.  We live in a conspiracy of silence fostered by an establishment intent on a ‘status quo’ which keeps us all in blissful ignorance until the point of no return.

The average Joe is easily led: witness the current demeaning cartoon content of television ads.  The power of TV is just phenomenal.  When some make believe ‘Character’ in a popular soap series commits suicide the suicide rate rockets up and down the country.  The same incidence occurs when the character gets pregnant, or even has an abortion, or takes drugs, or goes off drink etc. etc.  The majority of us live in TV land forgetting an excess of fantasy leads to reality.

For the price of a modern jet fighter, fifty thousand village pharmacies could be established in crucial areas of the third world.  The Brandt Report claimed many years ago that one half of one per cent of one year’s expenditure on armaments could end the problem of starvation for the whole world.

Unfortunately mankind, I believe, has an inherent instinct for self-destruction.  Call it evil, or bad genes, but I believe we’d better do something soon to rectify that weakness.  No country in their right mind would start a nuclear war.  Trouble is there are one or two out there who are not in their right mind.  The more immediate danger is a simple nuclear accident.  As I write (late May 2008) only the workers at Dungeness Power Station were aware of a Brown Out, where a massive generator went off-line, due to a human error with the reactor.  It automatically shut down but London was momentarily blacked out (30 mins) and the whole country’s power decreased from 50 to 48 cycles, resulting in the brownout, where all the street lighting, etc, shone at less than full power.

Every area of technology from armaments to reactors will have re-curring human errors but the hardware does not always compensate for the mistakes of its creators!  President Kennedy once said “the future of civilization hangs by the slenderest of threads, that could be cut at any moment, by accident, madness or miscalculation”.

What are the realities of a nuclear war?  Einstein, when asked what the Third World War would be fought with, declared “On the assumption it must escalate to nuclear weapons, I can only tell you that the Fourth World War would be fought with bow and arrows”.  Nixon once claimed “I can go into the next room, press a button, and a hundred million people would die”.  Mao also claimed China would could afford to lose the equivalent total population of America because hundreds of millions would be left in China to carry on.

The death of a million people is called a Megadeath.  Imagine a Megadeath in your own area where you live and work.  Start with your children; then your family, then all your relatives and loved ones; all your friends and acquaintances, and everyone you passed in the street today, and all the people you work with – all dead, all of them, and that’s just one Megadeath.  In a nuclear war there could be thousands of Megadeaths.

The Hiroshima bomb was just a baby in modern terms.  A ‘mere’ twelve and a half thousand tons (of TNT power) and bombs now exist of 100MT. or one hundred million tons of explosive power.

There is, at least I hope not any reason to build bigger because just encasing such a monster in a Cobalt Shell makes it a Doomsday Weapon.  We may safely assume Doomsday Weapons do currently exist.  A Cobalt bomb has such potential because when detonated would disperse vast amounts of radioactive cobalt, which has such a long half-life that it would poison the Earth for thousands of years, and destroy every living thing in the planet!

There are over 200 types of radioactive substances which can be produced by a nuclear device.  All give off one or more of the three strains of radiation; alpha and beta particles, and gamma rays, which can penetrate six inches of steel.  You can neither see nor feel radiation enter your body, but it destroys the cells and living tissue, collects in the bones and prevents new blood forming.

Some weapons are dirty bombs, emitting massive fallout designed not to destroy but merely drift like wind falling on everything in its path.  Others are clean bombs; one such weapon is the Neutron Bomb which works by enhanced radiation.  Designed to be detonated miles high over ground zero there is little or no blast.  All the people below would simply notice a slight tingle down their spine as their whole system was bombarded with a lethal dose of neutrons.  They will continue to function for some hours, unaware that their bodies are now mobile microwaves, cooking them from the inside out.  This is currently considered a very viable optional first strike weapon because no cities will have been destroyed, leaving room for political manoeuvres.

In the next war, hundreds of millions will die from radiation alone.  It is a singularly unpleasant death.  You would not know you had contracted a fatal dose, as there is no immediate pain.  It may take weeks to kill you.  Firstly you would feel sick; then you lose control of your bodily functions.  Your gums and insides would then haemorrhage and you would grow pale and weak, with little or no appetite, but  a raging thirst.  After a short while your hair would start falling out; then your teeth and your fingernails would drop out.  You would start to swell up and bruise.  Even your eyeballs may swell so much they may pop out, to explode as they hit the ground.  Finally with blinding headaches you would experience fits, convulsions and death.

Even if you just suffered a minimal dose you would recover slowly, and probably lose all your hair.  Many survivors never get really well, and die years afterwards.

The Earth is currently surrounded by satellites and a number of these contain exotic lethal hardware.  Possibly nuclear powered and with weapons like death rays, or parabolic mirrors designed to burn up whole cities.  Weapons designed as Doomsday weapons against which there is no defence.  For example ‘UGM 731 Pos. C3’ missile has 14 war heads or MIRVs (Multiple Independent Re-entry vehicles) designed so that 14 warheads of 15MT each can be independently targeted, to deliver 200 megatons in a single missile: this is equivalent to 16,800 Hiroshima bombs.  The MAD doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction, is currently invalid.  Basically the accuracy of modern missiles gives them a very high ‘K’ factor.  This is the potential lethality.  An effective accuracy of just a few metres means the enemy can take out silos with their underground missiles.  A missile can travel over ten thousand miles at a speed of 20.000 miles per hour and deliver its warhead straight through your front door.

There are tactical nuclear weapons which can be fired like a bazooka over a battlefield a mile away, yielding less than a kiloton and the Russians claimed thirty years ago they could take out the corridors of power along Whitehall, without even damaging the windows in Buckingham Palace.

A tactical weapon is one intended for use against the opposing army, and not for civilian deployment.  Not only do these things move around the country at random, to avoid targeting by satellites, but occasionally blow up on trains or trucks, but the Russians compacted one into  the size of a small suitcase.  They constructed 100 and years later admitted they had ‘displaced’ over half of them.

A future war would not entail a massive pre-emptive strike, more likely an accident, or a renegade missile would destroy a small city.  The other side would be forced to take out an opposing city of similar size and value.  This is necessary to show their people pride and prove to the enemy they are not a soft target.  Well, from this point on it may cease whether the first strike was deliberate or accidental.  Or, it may not!  It may escalate in a slow-motion ‘City for City’ war; as each side struck in retaliation, or one side may decide now is the time to catch them with their pants down, and send everything it had, relying on some nuclear umbrella, to protect them from the inevitavle counter-strike.

Envisage the scenario of a single modern strike.  An instant before the missile explodes miles high over ground zero, which happens to be London.  Travelling faster than sound no-one sees or hears it arrive.  The streets echo to the sound of traffic and the everyday noises of a busy city.  Flocks of pigeons hover over the white stone buildings of Trafalgar Square, and in the surrounding streets people go about their business thinking about everyday worries and problems. A young girl pushes a pram, while the voices of children mix with that of the street traders.  It is that single warhead of 100MT ignites.

It is a sunny Saturday morning and the pavement artists are happy with the weather and the crowds, which are more generous than usual.  An old man scratches his face; he tugs at his beard and lights a cigarette; before his match goes out a million people will die.

One hundred thousand feet above him in a sudden flash of glaring blinding light explodes in a blast of whitish-pinkish fire. It melts the eyes of millions before they have time to blink.  It grows in sixty seconds to a howling shrieking fireball, two miles across, and is hotter and brighter than the inside of the Sun.  It signals the most traumatic event in the history of humanity.  Nelson’s Column is instantly vaporised.

People facing it on the South Coast are instantly blinded, while those in East Grinstead have their eyes melted in their sockets.  Those caught in the open as far away as Croydon and Watford are instantly consumed in the furnace of the flash.  There are no ashes; even on the pavements; only their black shadows on the whitened stones.  They are the lucky ones; for them there is no pain, no memory.  As the fireball sinks to earth the incredible heat burns the flesh of those facing it so that half their skin is stripped from off their bodies.

Those sheltered from the flash by walls and buildings hurl themselves off bridges into the Thames, maddened by the intolerable heat and a raging thirst they cannot control.  For twenty miles across millions caught in the open stagger blindly around with a macabre cloak of skin dragging at their heels.  A minute later, at the speed of sound, the blast touches off.

Its unearthly rumble is like a giant door closing in hell.  It rips out the entire underground system, as far as the suburbs, and leaves a crater five miles wide and a thousand feet deep.

It completely and utterly flattens everything for twenty mile around and totally destroys all brick buildings in a thirty mile circle.  Twenty five miles away lorries, buses, cars, people, prams and babies are fired through the air like bullets, at a speed of five hundred mile an hour, to pile into heaps of rubble and bodies, hundreds of feet high, at the ends of streets and crossroads.  Up to fifty miles away, millions are left buried in their homes, which are in danger of collapsing around them.

As the heat wave reaches Brighton and Oxford it blinds people facing it and burns all exposed skin; it sets fire to wood and paper and ignites furnishings and curtains in these towns.

This is the start of a ring of fire a hundred miles across which will spawn the ultimate horror of a firestorm.  This is a gigantic uncontrollable fire that eats up all the oxygen and sucks in air at hurricane force to fan and feed the flames until everything within is consumed.  In the last war a firestorm in Dresden killed twice as many people as in a few hours as did the bomb over Hiroshima.  The winds reach a shrieking one hundred and fifty miles an hour and the flames soar five miles up into the sky.  In the centre there is no fire but there is no air either.  As the furnace hot temperatures of fourteen hundred degrees F. consume all the oxygen, children are torn from their parents’ grasp by the force of the hurricane and whirled up into the flames.  Even those who escape the initial radiation and the blast wither like leaves and die in an instant.  Some with huge swollen heads feel their eyeballs pop out to explode on the ground.

The panic-stricken survivors run blindly in the streets, the fluid from their melted eyes crusting on red-raw faces; the screams from open wounds that once were mouths echoing in the deathly stillness of the aftermath.  Their shrivelled blackened skins tearing off in huge glove-like flaps as they stumble around hysterically screaming for release.  There is no transport, there is no water, no doctors, no help, no relief.  There is only the sewage and the blood running with them in the streets; they shriek for their children, they roar from the pain and howl like animals in their anguish and their agony.

The howling raging thing of the firestorm slowly burns itself out; only the gun-shots of the police squads ring out, as they quickly ease the pain of those for whom there is no help.  The only other sound is the hiss of the army burial teams as their flame-throwers ensure that remains are safely disposed of.

Faces of marble gaze slowly upwards, as a fine grey snow begins to fall; one wants to feel its cold touch cleanse and refresh, but this is the real killer; it rains down for many hours and covers over ten thousand square miles; those staying under it for more than a few minutes are already condemned to death.  This is the fall-out and there is no real defence against it.  Lord Gardner told the World Disarmament Convention that fall-out shelters in such a situation were absolutely useless.

What if such a missile were dropped with a multiple warhead or if a hundred such weapons arrived within one minute?  What if the country was flooded with a thousand smaller ones, when the enemy felt they had nothing to lose and decided to annihilate us all?  Just one warhead would cause the total collapse of the National Health Service and saturate the hospitals to overflowing.  All the dead would have to be put in body-bags, to be stored in refrigerated warehouses.

There are those who say that systematic elimination, or dispersal of that small elite who carry out the policies concerned would, sooner or later, create a deadly political vacuum which few would relish filling.  But let us not foster revolt; it is better the blood of our children should run in the streets with the sewage than that our noble politicians should worry for our welfare.

There are those who say this is God’s world and He wouldn’t destroy it.  Well, the greatest gift He has given us is freedom: freedom to live, to create, and to destroy.  Evil is the result of ignorance and for evil to triumph it is only necessary that good men do nothing.

J.A. Rooney         ©