That is of course a hard concept to debate, with so many outcomes. Without mutually assured destruction over the last few decades, would we even be here today? Anyway, I thought some people may find this interesting and hopefully it will help some people to remember how fucked up of a world we live in and what we can do to each other.
"A few years after the United States unleashed the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Soviet Union tested their first nuclear warhead ever. They appropriately called it "First Lightning," the opening of a series 456 atomic tests that brought Hell to Earth sixty years ago. For all of us, that summons terrifying, but beautiful images into our brains:
Sadly, to more than one million innocent people living near the Semipalatinsk Polygon—the Soviet nuclear testing site in the northeast of Kazakhstan—it means this:
For three generations, and more to come, those tests mean deformed babies. They mean premature aging, and countless diseases caused by radiation poisoning. The bombs' ghosts still live in the dead steppe, their invisible fangs ready to suck seven years off the life of every person living around that place. That's the difference in life expectancy with the rest of Kazakhstan.
Of course, it's not the only horror inflicted by weapons in the Soviet Union—or in the rest of the world. I recently read all about them in a fascinating book by Ryszard Kapuściński, one of the best journalist and writers of our time. The book, called Imperium, talks about the Soviet Union through a series of adventures and trips that reach all the corners of the Red Empire. The mosaic is a frightening view of the deadliest, most insensitive killing machine that has ever existed, all through the eyes of the people who suffered it. Not even Hitler matched the horrors of Stalin and his cohorts.
Imperium's raw stories moved me to tears many times, and these images by Ed Ou are a perfect summary of the atrocities inflicted upon hundreds of millions that Kapuściński describes in his book."
I plan to read Imperium, and see how it is. It sounds really interesting and heartbreaking at the same time, a first hand insight in to the Soviet Union. The images he describes by Ed Ou (http://www.adventureswithlight.net/#a=0&at=0&mi=1&pt=0π=1&s=0&p=-1) are amazing, you can access them on the right hand side of the flash app. His other stuff is amazing as well.