Lions and Tigers and Nukes – Oh My!

Today’s headline about nuclear warheads being mistakenly carried aboard a B-52 reminded me yet again that journalists need to take a few history lessons.  The period in history I am referring to?  Apparently a little-known period sometimes referred to as the Cold War.  You see kids we used to sail and fly nuclear bombs all over the world every day. 

Listen up you whippersnappers!  In a program call Airborne Alert, approximately a dozen nuclear-armed bombers were in the air at any given moment.  You may have even seen a film about it – Dr. Strangelove (you gotta know how to relate to these kids!).  The airborne program lasted for a smallish time period of approximately 20 years, but nuclear-armed subs still sail the seas – each sub with enough firepower to destroy a country (200 warheads each). 

Heck, one of these bombers full of nukes, Buzz One Four, tragically came to its final rest a few miles away from my home town in 1964 – apparently where it, minus its nukes, still rests (entire very detailed story here).  In another notable incident, a sub went down in the Atlantic and neither it nor its nukes were ever recovered.  These “Broken Arrows” seemed to happen with at least some regularity (at least 26 that we know of). 

So journalistic kids, this is a little technique that I like to call: putting things into historical and world perspective.  Yes it was a mistake, but no, it wasn’t a bombing mission, just transport.  Isn’t the bigger worry all of the nuclear material that we don’t know where it is or how it is tracked – from such unstable regions of the world as Russia and Pakistan? 

Oh I see – along with not taking a (or sleeping through your) history class, you also skipped Geography – excellent – well thanks for doing your best to help us make informed choices anyway.  Now, you kids get outta my yard and go read some history books.


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