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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 30, 2008 at 4:30 PM

Pakistan / India conflict

Consider the aftermath

Pakistan is moving military forces toward its border with India [“Pakistan moves troops toward India,” Nation & World, Dec. 27].

Tensions between the two nations remain dangerously high.

This strain between Pakistan and India must not escalate into thermonuclear conflagration. Even a limited nuclear exchange between these two belligerents would have a devastating impact on global society and economic markets.

A Indian-Pakistani nuclear war would thrust the world’s economy over the precipice that it now rests upon into a deep and long depression.

Worldwide currency values would plummet.

Seven to 12 million people would die directly from such a nuclear exchange. Every medical facility from Southwest Asia to Europe would be overwhelmed, culminating in millions of more deaths because appropriate care would be unavailable to deal with this demand on the region’s health-care system.

The number of injured would be in the millions; their injuries would last a lifetime, just as those who lived through Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings of 1945.

But what would happen to North America and Europe in the event of a Pakistan/Indian nuclear confrontation? No one in the media addresses the issue of nuclear winter. Based upon high-altitude wind-pattern flows, experts opine only 25 detonations in the South Asian region would affect North America and Western Europe. The sun would be blocked; crop-growing seasons would be adversely affected.

Food shortages would arise; prices would escalate. Food riots would ensue in the cities, not to mention what the effects would be from radioactive contamination as this high-altitude debris begins to return to Earth.

Revisit the 1959 classic movie “On the Beach,” with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner, to get an idea of what the Northern Hemisphere would be in the aftermath of such Indian/Pakistani nuclear exchange with radioactivity killing millions of Americans and Europeans as the stench of these bodies would rise from the malls, bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, golf courses and ballparks.

For the sake of mankind, those in control of political and military policy in both nations must now temper their actions, and not send the world into an abyss of nuclear insanity.

— Earl Beal, Terre Haute, Ind.

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