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Monday, November 17, 2008

Atoms for Peace

"Atoms for Peace" was the title of a speech delivered by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower to the UN General Assembly in New York City on December 8, 1953.

I feel impelled to speak today in a language that in a sense is new—one which I, who have spent so much of my life in the military profession, would have preferred never to use.

That new language is the language of atomic warfare.

The United States then launched an "Atoms for Peace" program that supplied equipment and information to schools, hospitals, and research institutions within the U.S. and throughout the world.

Philosophy of Atoms for Peace


The speech was possibly a tipping point for international focus on peaceful uses of atomic energy, even during the early stages of the Cold War. It could be argued that Eisenhower, with some influence from Albert Einstein, was attempting to convey a spirit of comfort to a terrified world that the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would not be experienced again.

It presents an ostensible antithesis to brinksmanship, the international intrigue that subsequently kept the world at the edge of war.

Eisenhower's invoking of "...those same great concepts of universal peace and human dignity which are so clearly etched in..." the UN Charter, placed new emphasis upon the US's grave responsibility for its nuclear actions— past, present and future. In a large way, this address laid down the rules of engagement for the new kind of warfare, the cold war.

In the heavy field of today's superpower politics and technological progress, one might recall:


* "It is with the book of history, and not with isolated pages, that the United States will ever wish to be identified. My country wants to be constructive, not destructive. It wants agreement, not wars, among nations. It wants itself to live in freedom, and in the confidence that the people of every other nation enjoy equally the right of choosing their own way of life."

* "To the making of these fateful decisions, the United States pledges before you--and therefore before the world--its determination to help solve the fearful atomic dilemma--to devote its entire heart and mind to find the way by which the miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life."

1 comment:

Samuel Tenney said...

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