I like to joke about Slate running articles with titles like “Why Genocide Is Good For Real Estate Values”, but this is from a real article from Time Magazine:
Want Peace? Give a Nuke the Nobel
As long as a nukeless world remains wishful thinking and pastoral rhetoric, we’ll be all right. But if the Nobel committee truly cares about peace, they will think a little harder about actually trying to make it a reality. Open a history book and you’ll see what the modern world looks like without nuclear weapons. It is horrible beyond description.
During the 31 years leading up to the first atomic bomb, the world without nuclear weapons engaged in two global wars resulting in the deaths of an estimated 78 million to 95 million people, uniformed and civilian. The world wars were the hideous expression of what happens when the human tendency toward conflict hooks up with the violent possibilities of the industrial age. The version of this story we are most familiar with today is the Nazi death machinery, and so we are often tempted to think that if Hitler had not happened, we would never have encountered assembly line murder.
The truth is that industrial killing was practiced by many nations in the old world without nuclear weapons. Soldiers were gassed and machine-gunned by the hundreds of thousands in the trenches of World War I, when Hitler was just another corporal in the Kaiser’s army. By World War II, countries on both sides of the war used airplanes and artillery to rain death on battlefields as well as cities, until the number killed around the world was so huge the best estimates of the total number lost diverge by some 16 million souls. The dead numbered 62 million, or 78 million — somewhere in there.
Look, a huge number of the people who died in wars in the 31 years prior to the invention of the nuclear bomb died in wars that originated in western Europe. Is he really claiming that he can say with a high degree of certainty that German would invaded France again if not for the nuclear bomb? What about the Marshall Plan? What about the European Union?
And, obviously, tell the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki what a lifesaver nuclear bombs have been.