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This is the place for off-topic posts.http://www.guardian.co.uk/kashmir/Story/0,...,725968,00.htmlPray for peace, and if you don't believe in God or prayer, let your voice be heard. A collective voice of the planet must cry out immediately for an end to the madness.Never has humanity faced such times. And before anyone starts flaming me about how, "...there have been wars for time immemorial" I say, never has so much vitriolic covered the planet at a time when the players had nuclear weapons, and daily threatened the use. Add the radical factor of terrorism, and its apparent success, or at least rationalization as a just political tool, and you have the makings of Armageddon.The rhetoric must stop. Speak out to your friends. Speak out in forums. Speak out to your govt. The fate of humanity is at hand.And you can take that for what it is worth.Peace to all,bt

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I completely agree that this madness has to stop. But I also believe that no country has the right to act as the moral superior to any other country. Which nation can claim to fully adhere to the following articles?Article 1.All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.Article 2.Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.Article 3.Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.Article 4.No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.Article 5.No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.Article 6.Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.Article 7.All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.Article 8.Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.Article 9.No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.Article 10.Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.Article 11.(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.Article 12.No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.Article 13.(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.Article 14.(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.Article 15.(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.Article 16.(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.Article 17.(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.Article 18.Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.Article 19.Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.Article 20.(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.Article 21.(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.Article 22.Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.Article 23.(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.Article 24.Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.Article 25.(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.Article 26.(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.Article 27.(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.Article 28.Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.Article 29.(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.Article 30.Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.This is the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. (It has never been fully ratified by the US, for example). Therefore, rational argument IS needed - if only to convince people that nuclear war is bad for the economy... Enough mistakes have been made in the past, it's time to put it behind us and look for a new start.Yes, we have to do everything we can to stop this madness, whether it be the troubles in Israel/Palestine, the conflict in Kashmir or the blind obsession with eradicating everything that even remotely smells of terrorism. It is time we took a hard look at ourselves - aren't our prejudices in their refinement not worse than the racism of the #####? After all, they hated all jews, where nowadays prejudices are against minorities within minorities - e.g. 'I have nothing against Muslims, except the Shi'ite', fuelling conflict within those groups? The conflict in the Balkans should have tought us something - there will always be some minority group to blame - have most people in the West ever asked why the Serbs suddenly felt the urge to turn on the Slovenians, Croats, Bosnians and Kosovo Albanians, where they've been living together united in a single country for half a century? Yes, the creation of the Yugoslav state of the 20th centurey started with the assassination of the heir to the throne of the Austria-Hungarian Empire in Sarajevo - the start of the first world war. Yes, even at that time there were idealists like Count Couldenhove-Calergi etc. who believed that only unification could save the continent from destruction - they were right, but it took another tyranny (i.e. a really bad dude) to convince the rest of Europe - but whilst Churchill already advocated a 'United States of Europe' in a speech at the University of Zurich in 1946, the British people were firmly against forging any ties with the continent, so the EEC was formed without Britain in 1952. Considering what a long drawn-out process it was to unite Western Europe, what hope is there for other countries who have been in feuds for centuries, escalated by colonialism? History teaches us that only a savage war brings about the necessary sobering-up of minds - I only hope that, for once, history is wrong.Cheers,Gosta.

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You know. Until your last sentence, I was lost...but:History teaches us that only a savage war brings about the necessary sobering-up of minds - I only hope that, for once, history is wrong.Strikes so true to reality, I had to say it...so trueBest,bt

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Hi Braun and all,I also fully agree with you that this must stop. And I wholeheartedly backup any call for raising your voice to make any and all aware of such atrocities in the hopes we can change our ways - but more importantly, to take direct action by taking the time to influence our representatives in all ways we are able.However your alarmist "Armageddon" backdrop is not helpful in my humble opinion. If such a call to action is to be taken seriously and truly inspire motivation to enact change, such alarmist and religious incantations cannot be a party to the call I think. Not the least of which because it is a disservice to those millions who have lived through or in the shadow of such wholesale death and war as the word "Armageddon" reflects.Do you know how many people died in WWI? Sixteen Million Five Hundred Thousand including both military and civilian.Do you know how many people died in WWII alone? Sixty One Million between all nations (military and civilian). Most think this was the most atrocious period in our bloody history and thus democide, genocide, war and death on such a scale was at an end in 1945. This is, however, patently wrong.Do you know how many people have died from the end of the war in 1945 to the latest statistics taken in 1987 due to democide, genocide and war by governments world wide? Seventy Six Million.Taken with the military and civilian casualties of WW1 and WW2 (and none of the intervening years between WW1 and WW2), the death toll between 1914 to 1987 was One Hundred and Eighty Five Million killed - in the name of international and national war and conflict, frequently with religion as the reason. This does not take into account any regional deaths in the early century due to the many regional wars and democide, genocide or ethnic cleansing (or even civilian deaths from famine and the like caused by war, etc). As a matter of fact, it doesn't even take into account some of the very large national wars such as the Russian Civil War that followed WW1 in 1917. And of course it does not include the massive death toll since 1987.But just think about that statistic for a moment. 185,000,000. Calling our current conflicts in the world worse than at any time before (and more, calling something like now close to "Armageddon") is a disservice to the many millions of innocent people who have lost their lives in this most bloody century.I don't mean to preach in the least here... Please don't take me this way. Most aren't even aware of the conflicts and deaths that have killed so many millions of people beyond the big wars of our century. But, just as many people have died since the end of WW2 than all of WW2 and WW1 combined.This is also not to belittle the conflict between India and Pakistan today - indeed it is an extremely dangerous and potentially devastating situation for that entire region - and the world. It does seem that the region is as close to nuclear devastation as we were with the USSR in 1962. Small comfort however, for the world view, is that the number of warheads and relatively small yields India and Pakistan have would not of themselves cause a global scale devastation like 1962 would have - and this doesn't seem to be a global face off between multiple nuclear powers with much more devastating arsenals. Again, I don't want to belittle the horrible conflict that is happening right now in India, Pakistan, the middle east and everywhere else of conflict that kills so many of our fellow human beings ever day - in the least.But calling today's world or conflicts something close to "Armageddon" does no good to farther a cause to finally stand up and say: enough is enough. Indeed, it is a term which can cause some to simply accept our ways as "Divine Providence" and do nothing to change it out of resignation. "Armageddon" is a very religious idea and it is indeed Religion that is the cause of so much of this conflict and is the root excuse that allows, or even empowers, so much death in our world.I indeed will pray about this conflict - as I do for all the others of this terrible century that I have been aware of. And I feel even more compelled to take action because of your thoughtful statements... I hope others will as well. We all have immediate access to Our Representatives in congress: directly through the web or as close as a 411 call.My fervent wish of Peace to you and all as well.http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/elrondlogo.gifhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/flyurl.gifSome references from my links:http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstats.htmhttp://www.stokesey.demon.co.uk/wwii/casualty.htmlhttp://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/POSTWWII.HTMAnd an article I don't quite agree with, but has some points about duplicity in our times that strikes a cord of truth in me:http://yorkshirecnd.org.uk/news/articles/c...andeathtoll.htm

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Elrond...I am sorry that you found my message alarmist. You should be alarmed. These are alarming times, and in my opinion the most dire times this planet has faced in its human history. Never before has such power (weapons of mass destruction) been available to so many, and so many with ill intent.As to my use of the term Armageddon, why you would try to equate my use of the term in the context of my statement, to some sort of religious statement, well that simply baffles me.Peace brotha' !bt

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I find it perplexing that in this 21st century we are still fighting over land."Don't you know that the only land you get to keep is the 6 feet or so that you are buried in? Ask the Kings & Queens in their sepulchers"Grown ups are nuts, I'm glad I never grew up!If I do, I know I'll die spiritually.cmon' Mankind, wake up!

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"So much progress we think we have made - sadly it's only illusion" (Myself in a quiet minute)I don't normally involve in threads like these, knowing how often they get out of hand - thinking of several such threads over at a certain non-MS combat flight sim forum about which I could only shake my head.I think we should really ask ourselves if this world we are living in has really become better over the years. We think of ourselves as modern, enlightened and oh so advanced over earlier generations - but are we? Are we really if such savage conflicts such as in the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Middle East or indeed Africa (Uganda) and Latin America (Colombia) can still happen? One should assume that man has been fed up with such utter cruelty long ago - if we were following logic, which, obviously, we aren't.Most of us, anyway.Is it really that hard to make use of that common wisdom which we all share? Is it really necessary to argue in court about a too bright lightbulb which disturbs one's sleep? Believe it or not, just recently this exactly happened in my country. For I believe such home-brewn conflicts serve no useful purpose save planting anger, disgust and distrust - and aren't most conflicts we meddle in, be they large or small in scale, of our own making? Created, it seems, only for nothing better to do, when there are so many more urgent matters to solve? Born only out of sheer boredom? Were they not to take such sad endings ever so often, could we not have a good, hearty laugh about the sheer stupidity and pointlessness on which they found?Obviously, until now, we can't.We should rather learn, and learn quickly, lest we waste our last chance to do so. There is still hope to cling on to - let us not have it fade away.

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>Is it really necessary to argue in court >about a too bright lightbulb which disturbs one's sleep?Absolutely - how else would I make a living? Joking aside, this is the part of human nature I see on a daily basis - clients come to me believing their grievance against another person is wholly justified, and are completely gobsmacked when told the law doesn't see it that way. In this case, I'm the bad lawyer in their eyes, there's not even a hint of recognition that their position may not be as righteous as they think. This is the very principle on which hatred grows - the failure to even recognise another's point of view worthy of consideration. Cheers, Gosta.

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>"So much progress we think we have made - sadly it's only illusion" (Myself in a quiet minute)Dominik: It has been my personal belief, for what seems forever now, that we (I, you, us...the collective in whole) are completely responsible for our experience. How we choose, individually and collectively, becomes our reality, our now. I also believe there are forces, spiritual forces, which influence our decisions, good and evil. ###### Germany is but one example of how good people can be influenced to choose evil choices. The universe we live in is but one big interactive play, and the choices I make influence yours, and the choices and experiences of thousands if not millions of others. Last month, in Discover magazine, eminent physicist John Archibald Wheeler, discusses his last quest of a highly productive career. The title of the article is, "Does the Universe Exist if We're Not Looking?". A stimulating article, the basic premise is the fact in quantum physics, it has been proven that a particle (photon) will travel one way when not observed, but simply turn on a photon detector, a completely passive device, and the path of the particle changes. In summary, the passage of the photon is influenced by the observer. The story contains some pretty radical concepts, but it makes one think.How does this relate to me, to you? In my mind, simple. The atom makes the molecules, which form the cells, which build the body, which houses my brain, which powers the thought that types this message, that exists as bits and bytes, that displays on your screen. Everything around us, about us, is extensible from the smallest atom to the largest galaxy. We are not separate from our universe. We are the universe. Individually, collectively. So what! you say. So what this means is the collective planet can and MUST make a difference. As you so clearly stated in your prose, we have had chance after chance, and yet each time we seem to miss the mark. The stakes today are higher than ever in our planets history. The genie came to life at Trinity, and he is about to jump out of the bottle with the most dire of consequences. We can sit around and bemoan our fate, or we can take a stand and say, "No. Not this time. I won't allow it"Spread the "gospel". Talk to your family and friends, neighbors and co-workers. Speak out. Contact your government. Individually we are powerful (look at the power of 19 individuals on September 11) but as a collective we can change the world! Tell them, everyone, this must not be! We cannot go down the path we are currently choosing. It is fraught with nothing but the most hideous destruction and sorrow.We simply must try

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Good post, Braun - in fact, this thread is one of the best discussions I have ever read on any forum which was *not* expressly set up with the premise of discussing matters of social, political or philosophical importance - but rather for anything related somehow to the field of aviation, and a PC simulation thereof.Allow me to quote the lyrics from a song by one of my most favoured musicians...We'd gather around all in a roomFasten our belts, engage in dialogue;We'd all slow down, rest without guilt,Not lie without fear, disagree sans jugement.We would stay and respond and expand and includeAnd allow and forgive and enjoy and evolveAnd discern and inquire and accept and admitAnd divulge and open and reach out and speak up.(Chorus)This is Utopia,This is my utopia,This is my ideal,My end in sight.Utopia,This is my utopia,his is my nirvana,My ultimateWe'd open our arms,We'd all jump in,We'd all coast downInto safety nets.We would share and listen and support and welcome,Be propelled by passion,Not invest in outcomes,We would breathe and be charmed and amused by difference,Be gentle and make room for every emotion.(repeat chorus)We'd provide forums,We'd all speak out,We'd all be heard,We'd all feel seen.We'd rise post-obstacle,More defined, more grateful,We would heal,Be humbled and be unstoppable,We'd hold close and let go and know when to do which,We'd release and disarm and stand up and feel safe.(repeat chorus)Alanis Morissette: "Utopia"Thinking about what we all posted to this thread I feel that these lyrics sum it all up, and in a rather pointed manner if you ask me.Sometimes when we're watching the news on TV it would seem as if we were asking too much when drawing pictures as in this-here song. But are we? Have our ancestors not shown that when we all act together we can push the frontiers out to reigns never seen? Let us consider those deeds for just a minute. Take the discovery of America - the birth of democracy - the inentions of railroad, of human flight and indeed space travel. If we follow the tree down to its deepest roots - were these endeavours not born out of sheer human will? Mocked at their protagonists were ever so often, some even persecuted and excluded from society. But through all hardship they stood together as one, united in faith as much as in deed. And together it was that they all achieved what until that point everyone considered impossible. Considering these more glorious examples from our past - if indeed we - all mankind - were to finally unite in a common faith of the heart...what other great deeds could we possibly perform? Might we then not recognize that indeed not even the sky is the limit? Then to compare where and what we once were, and to be all the prouder of what greatness we achieved - united as one? The very seed of disagreement, I believe, will never perish, for we are and will always be human. But for as long as we can keep it under control, isn't discussion, born out of diverging points of view, the very motor for progress?The question remains if there is anyone who might be able to tell us if one day we might indeed reach that summit. If he or she would then in fact tell us is not really important - as long as that glimmer of hope is still lit...somewhere.

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Hi Braun,I do fully agree with you that these are indeed alarming times. Compared to our history this past century however, this is the most stable era we've ever experienced as a people - which was the point I was trying to make. I know thats hard to imagine for most North Americans, most Middle Easterners, etc, when conflict and tragedy hit so close to home. But the murder and oppression on a scale which we as relatively isolated North Americans can't even imagine is too recently behind us as a people: comparatively speaking and hopefully on its continuing decline.While terrorism has hit its stride as it rarely has in our history and indeed weapons of such unimaginable destruction have the distant possibility of falling into some of these extreme hands, our recent past this century has seen far more dire times. The cold war brought us closer to the brink of near instantaneous worldwide destruction on more than just one extremely public occasion during the Cuban missile crisis. With the widespread fall of dictatorial communism and the spread of capitalism to the recesses of the most staunch communist regimes such as China and Cuba, the threat of global scale Armageddon is farther behind us than it has been since 1951.I make no arguments that our world today is cured of its strife and hatred. Or that destruction and pain of unimaginable proportions is, as always this century, a door-knock away. A rogue and unstable faction in todays world is closer than ever to obtaining one or more nuclear weapons that could wreak pain and suffering of immense proportions on a specific region, even our region - to be reciprocated in like kind upon themselves.But not Armageddon. Such wholesale global annihilation is further away today (if not far enough) than it has been in the last fifty years of our on-the-brink world. We as a populace had tired and tuned out of the political times we lived in since the likes of the more than depressing Watergate, Nixon and Vietnam era. There have been a few short-lived, focused times where we've grumbled in our sleep and taken notice of the world around us. But we quickly self-sedated once each mini crisis was at its end. As a result, right or wrong, we absorbed ourselves more and more in the minutia of our daily lives and take all but cursory looks at the wider world around us. But this hasn't changed the political and unstable realities of our world that continued to cause such unimaginable turmoil during that time. That we are becoming awake again to the realities because of recent events which hit too close to home for the first time in many, many years cannot change the face of what we've been sheltered from for so long. A face that many unfortunate others in this world have dealt with on a daily basis. Our history this past century has seen so many innocents murdered in the name of political, religious or ethnic gains. And this continues to be so, if on a thankfully declining extent. But now, directly on our doorstep, something we haven't experienced in so long has called and alarmed us from our slumber. For how long, I wonder.The word Armageddon *is* a religious word. Its origin and meaning is of course directly from the Christian bible: the term is the epitome of religious prophesy. That was my only point concerning the use of the word, even as I find it inaccurate to describe todays world. I fully believe the use of such terms resigns too many to accept the things they have been taught they cannot change and strips the courage to change the things they can. Bypassing the use of such prophesetic words, I believe, allows man the wisdom to know the difference.Take care,http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/elrondlogo.gifhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/flyurl.gif

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Elrond, I enjoyed reading this post, thou I found it doing a search just to find out if you were still reading these boards at all. Did you get my email? I'd like to know (in general terms if need be) what caused you to abandon those interested in design concepts.You are missed!Bob Bernstein

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It also does not take into account the estimated 200 million people killed in the USSR and the People's republic of China during the communist revolution and subsequent purges, nor the millions killed elsewhere for political reasons outside wartime situations.Killing eachother is the favourite passtime of our species (which dares call itself 'homo sapiens sapiens' in an effort to confirm to itself if does indeed have the power to reason and think). Current conflicts may generate larger number of dead and wounded, but as a percentage of the population of the affected areas I do not think this has changed. You also have to remember that a tribal war in the stone age that took 50 dead and wounded was waged between two parties of maybe 500 each (5%). A modern conflict taking 500.000 is waged between two parties of 50.000.000 each (0.5%).A nuclear war over Kashmir would leave an estimated 9.000.000 dead and wounded (based on estimates of targets selected and total number of weapons available to be employed), out of a total population of approximately 1.250.000.000 (0.72%).The numbers of victims may have increased dramatically, but so has the number of POTENTIAL victims (which has increased even more), leading to a smaller percentage of the total population being affected even in a nuclear conflict (not talking global nuclear exchange, the effects of that are unknown, but localised nuclear exchange).I'm not defending the warmongering of course, but in the light of history it is probably unavoidable and nuclear weapons are just big bombs after all (except ones designed to cause maximum fallout, which have never been deployed by anyone except (shortly) the USSR in the 1960s).

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