OT: Obama just won Nobel Peace Prize.
knarftheriault at gmail.com
Sat Oct 10 19:38:57 EDT 2009
On Sat, Oct 10, 2009 at 10:56 AM, AlunFoto <alunfoto at gmail.com> wrote:
> Interesting choice. He turned completely against nukes after seeing
> the actual devastation of the bombs used in Japan. A turnaround that
> made him victim of the Red Scare, even. However his role in the
> Manhattan Project probably keeps him off the list in the first place.
Oppenheimer was a "suspected communist" before WWII, having had some
involvement with leftist groups while at Berkeley in the '30s - as was
common among academics at the time.
General Groves, the military head of the Manhattan Project had to fend
off FBI resistance to Oppenheimer's involvement due to that history -
in fact it's believed that Groves actively covered up Oppenheimer's
past to keep him on the project. Groves knew that Oppie was the best
man for the job, period. In addition, Groves knew that his political
history wasn't a security problem ~at that time~ since Oppenheimer was
a fervent anti-fascist.
Oppenheimer certainly became an early anti-nuke activist. As he
watched the detonation of the first test bomb, he uttered "I am
Vishnu, the destroyer," in apparent recognition of the awesome power
he and his team unleashed on the world.
IIRC, Oppenheimer was advocating ~not~ detonating the bomb in Japan,
urging Truman instead to "invite" Japanese officials to another test
detonation (the first one was top-secret) and threaten to actually
drop it over Japan if they didn't unconditionally surrender.
Of course, since Japan didn't surrender immediately after Hiroshima,
waiting instead until the second bomb flattened Nagasaki, it's
doubtful that a demonstration of the bomb's capabilities at a desert
test-site would have persuaded Japan to surrender.
"Sharpness is a bourgeois concept." -Henri Cartier-Bresson
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