Friday, August 05, 2005

Day of Fame or Infamy?

Saturday, August 6 will be filled with mixed emotions. 60 years ago, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. 43 years ago, the island nation of Jamaica was granted its independence from Great Britain.

Interestingly, the first film in the British-produced 007 series, "Dr. No," takes place on the island of Jamaica (released in 1962), with the eponymous villain possessing a nuclear warhead which he threatens the world with as part of operations for the criminal organization SPECTRE (Special Executives for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion). The villain, half-White, half-Asian, in a conversation with hero James Bond, says: "East, West, points on a compass, each as stupid as the other."

I'm no expert on atomic energy, but it is said that Albert Einstein, arguably one of the greatest minds of our time, was instrumental in harnessing its use. He is quoted as saying:
"The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one."

I wonder what the existing problem was, considering how urgently the world needs to manage the problem of readily accessible (okay, maybe not a accessible as bread, or a newspaper, but still) nuclear ingredients and bomb-making info. I wonder too if Einstein ever envisioned the crucial reality of terrorism, which invariably is accompanied by counterintelligence, revenge and extortion. I wonder if he ever imagined that his work with the atom, the smallest component of any thing, would morph into the greatest potential source of destruction imaginable.

I wonder if the approximately 2 million Jamaican residents know that the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, three days later, killed what would amount to approximately 10 percent of Jamaica's population. I wonder if the 50,000 expected to commemorate the bombing of Hiroshima in Japan know that while they cry, Jamaicans commemorate something entirely different. I wonder if both countries, with the U.S. in the middle, share concerns about the impossibility of maintaining peace while preparing for war.

"World domination. Same old dream. Our asylums are full of people who think they're Napoleon or God. " -- James Bond

Let's hope and pray they remain in the asylums and not end up controlling things.


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