OPINION

Small-scale disaster?

One of our most serious problems is that technological developments exist alongside an outdated political framework. Getting what you want by means of extermination is the oldest trick in the book. Achieving your aims through the use of new technology (such as weapons of mass destruction) does not mean you avoid bloodshed but that you kill selected targets (on a predetermined scale). Technology is the ticket to the use of weapons that had previously been frowned on. As if the thousands of nuclear warheads manufactured during the Cold War were not enough (there are still more than 80,000 missiles in 70 countries) – and despite a trend toward nuclear disarmament – we have entered a new arms race. But this time we are collecting smaller, more adaptable nuclear bombs which are capable of landing a precise hit on underground bunkers and terrorists’ weapons arsenals. The new «bunker-blasting mini-nuke» – exported ready for use from the USA – is the result of the search for a «clean» bomb capable of striking a predetermined target without causing collateral damage. But since collateral damage is always something which happens shortly after the initial disaster, this «smart,» «clean» bomb will actually eradicate a few thousand lives along with the underground bunker it was aimed at. It is estimated that the radioactivity emitted by such a bomb striking an underground target in Baghdad would kill between 10,000 and 40,000 civilians in 24 hours…