Linus Pauling: The time has come when we have to rid the world of the great immorality of war, and I believe that we are going to do it.
You know, we've had war in the world ever since the dawn of civilization. Men have always been out killing one another: they
bash one another in the head with clubs, or stab one another with spears, shoot one another with bows and arrows, and pretty
soon shoot one another with pistols and rifles, sink one another's battleships. And of course war was really horrible in the
old days, full of savagery and cruelty. When a city was conquered, all the women and children in it would be killed.
Then of course, man became enlightened and more advanced so that men still went out in the armies and killed the soldiers
on the opposing side, but women and children were safe.
Until now we have come back into savagery again, into the old original cruelty where the women and children and old men and
infants, babies, are all killed. During the second World War, cities in many nations were bombed - women, children, everybody
killed indiscriminately - and then of course there came this ultimate immorality: sixteen years ago, today, when a bomb exploded
over Hiroshima and killed practically everybody in the city.
And that was only a little atomic bomb. The standard atomic bombs now are a thousand times more powerful. The three-stage
fission-fusion-fission bombs that are piled up now by the thousands in the arsenals of the nuclear powers. One of these bombs
has the explosive power of 20 million tons of TNT, 7 times the amount of explosives used in the whole of the second World
War. One of these bombs is enough to destroy any city on earth: London, Berlin, New York, Moscow, Tokyo... might kill as many
as 10 million people. One bomb. And thousands of these great bombs are stockpiled in the arsenals of the nuclear powers now.
We have to decide now, today, on the sixteenth anniversary of the destruction of Hiroshima, we have to decide whether we are
going to continue along the path of militarism, continuing to increase our military budget, increase the stockpiles of great
bombs, increase the size of the military forces, increase the effectiveness of the methods of delivering the bombs, make more
efficient the process of wiping the human race off the face of the earth. We had the increase just four days ago, by our Congress.
Increase in the military budget of the United States to a level of about $1,000 per American family for this year.
Or, are we, all of us, going to join together with the people of the rest of the world in a revolt against militarism in the
fight for peace and reason in the world, to rid the world of the great immorality of war, to get back, to force nations to
accept the ethical and moral principles that are accepted by ordinary individual human beings all over the world. If we join
together in the firm determination to rid the world of war, then we are going to succeed. We can succeed.