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World War Whatever

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When it comes to war, most people, like the idea of global warming, don’t know what the heck their talking about. When we start to talk about the possibilities of World War Three, most people deem you an idealist and slam their front doors in your face. Such action takes ignorance to a whole new level: It’s all right to waste a few extra pieces of paper, but it isn’t all right to waste a few extra million lives.
I was explaining our dwindling lack of natural resources the other day only to be confronted with mocking laughs. In a loud voice, one guy said “We get what we want; if we don’t get it, just nuke ‘em.” Honestly, I was appalled at both the ambivalent use of violence to satisfy greed, and the apathy towards the results of such an action. This exchange has caused me to deeply analyze just why people are so ignorant towards “real” war.

Most people don’t realize how close we got to a full-scale world in the past few decades. Armed with thousands of tons of nuclear weaponry, Kennedy was ready to blow the Soviet Union’s backside sky high over an unauthorized military base in Cuba. This conflict, known as the Cold War, was the closest we’ve ever gotten to a third world war.

When we think of war today, we visualize dirty, grimy soldiers storming up a hill. Unfortunately, these movie scenes are not accurately reflected in real life. Heck, the two don’t even come close. Today, a full scale war would mean trading Trident IIII nuclear missiles between two countries. Over a hundred times more powerful than the bombs used during Hiroshima and Nagasaki, one of our bad boys could level a medium-sized city in minutes. A study done by scientists called “The Effects of a Global Thermonuclear War” shows the results of a full out nuclear holocaust: in just a few years, the earth’s population would go from seven billion, to three billion. That means that there is more than fifty percent chance that you would die.

At least the public’s misinterpretation of war is justified. Being ignorant themselves, the general population will believe almost anything they hear. If Kennedy told them that the Cold War was World War 3, they’ll take the statement to heart. If Bush tells them that the ongoing war on terrorism is World War 3, they’ll nod and fill the newspapers with his picture. If Obama tells them that World War 3 ended with the death of Osama Bin-Laden, they’ll suck up the information like a vacuum.

So now, you may be wondering, why hasn’t this happened yet? It would have, if it hadn’t been for the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). The philosophy works like this: If you nuke me, I’ll nuke you, so let’s be smart and not nuke each other. Take the United States and Russia for example. Both countries are world superpowers, and both countries have a nuclear arsenal bigger than the rest of the nukes in the world combined. If they started dropping H-Bombs on each other, both countries would, inevitably, be destroyed.

So far, this idea of MAD has kept us safe. But let’s not mistake safety as a justification for ignorance. Use your brain; you were born with it for a reason. And stop listening to presidents’ speeches about our situation on war. They don’t even write it themselves.




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