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What About the Bombing of Nagasaki? - The New Yorker
Kyoto, Hiroshima, Yokohama, and Kokura were the first four targets chosen, with Niigata as a runner-up.

Given the plane’s mechanical problems, the crew were close to the point at which they would have to turn back or risk ditching. To have any hope of making it to a friendly airbase they would likely have had to drop the Fat Man into the ocean. “Less than two hours of fuel left,” one of the pilots wrote in his mission diary. “Wonder if the Pacific will be cold?”

After Hiroshima, now that the bomb was no longer a secret, the Army Air Forces had drafted propaganda leaflets to inform the people of Nagasaki about the possible coming shock—as much an act of psychological warfare as a humanitarian warning. But internal coördination with the bombing crews was so poor that the leaflets were delivered late. They fluttered down over the city the day after the Fat Man went off.

The day after Nagasaki, Truman issued his first affirmative command regarding the bomb: no more strikes without his express authorization. He never issued the order to drop the bombs, but he did issue the order to stop dropping them. Even if Hiroshima remains preëminent in our historical memory—the first nuclear weapon used in anger—Nagasaki may be of greater consequence in the long run, something more than the second attack. Perhaps it will be the last.
reportage  weapon  disaster  1945  nuclear  history  anniversary 
may 2016 by aries1988
Kim Jong-un’s Generational Ambitions
But having covered previous North Korean nuclear tests, I know the script: International outrage, emergency meetings and sanctions will follow in close suit. And as debate continues in regional capitals about what to do about the defiant North Koreans, their rock-star scientists will keep building better and more powerful nuclear weapons.

here is a small nation where the people are dancing in the streets celebrating the supposed creation of a bomb with the potential to exterminate whole cities. Footage of North Koreans cheering as they watched the news announced at noon local time Wednesday was like a scene out of an old Cold War movie, so anachronistic in this globalized era that the only response that makes any sense is to think the North Koreans are crazy.

C.I.A. estimates put it at roughly $1,800 per capita, on par with some of the poorest nations in the world. Geographically, North Korea was dealt a bad hand: Mountainous, with an extreme climate that veers from bitterly cold winters to blistering summers, it simply does not produce enough food to sustain its people, and outmoded agricultural practices have only worsened that shortfall.

What North Koreans do have in spades is pride, a characteristically Korean trait that has protected this small peninsula for 5,000 years. For North Koreans, pride is manna. They may be hungry every day, but pride is what keeps them going. Not everyone can feast off pride — tens of thousands of North Koreans have defected over the decades — but enough of the population is buoyed by this singular sense of national pride and a Korean sense of conformity to keep the regime afloat.
story  korea  weapon  war  enemy  people  children  society  psyche 
february 2016 by aries1988
Paris attacks: Belgium’s arms bazaar
Mr Moniquet said the black market for firearms, including gun runners around Gare du Midi, have seen prices spike in line with the increased risk of sales. Just a few years ago, an AK-47 with 300-400 rounds included could be acquired for about €400. Now, Mr Moniquet says, prices have risen to €1,000 to €2,000.
belgique  history  weapon 
november 2015 by aries1988

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