Thoughts on Beirut

The tragic explosion in Beirut wiped out the port area and killed about 150 people.  I lived in Beirut as a child, and it’s sad to see the destruction.  The disaster left Lebanon in chaos, and they’ll have trouble recovering and rebuilding.


Last week was also the 75th commemoration of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that killed about 200,000, mostly civilians.  Those were small nukes. 


What if a terrorist or enemy had bombed Beirut with a nuclear weapon?  Hundreds of thousands would have died instantly or over the following weeks and years.  Most of the big city would be destroyed, along with the nation’s economy and government.  How would they be able to recover and rebuild from that?


Congress recently voted to spend billions on new nuclear weapons.  Wars often start with an arms race and bellicose statements, then are sparked by an incident.  A nuclear war would wipe out dozens, or hundreds, of American military bases and cities.  Our militarism could destroy America.  Why would anyone rattle that saber?


Beirut reminds us that horrible mistakes and accidents do happen, and they need to be prevented.  The only way to prevent a nuclear war is to stop the arms race, and then to eliminate the world’s nuclear arsenals as quickly as possible.  


Our lives depend on it.

Robert Raven

Robert Raven grew up on three continents, but he's lived in the SF Bay Area for forty years. He has a BA in Government and a MA in History, and has been an advocate all of his adult life on various national and local issues.

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