Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness
In the 1970s and 1980s, furor arose over our possible use of the “neutron bomb” that macabrely would “kill people, but not destroy property.” The logic of the perverse weapon was that on allied and friendly European ground, outnumbered defensive NATO troops might radiate and destroy invading masses of Soviet armored troops by periodic detonations of low-yield thermonuclear shells, rockets, and bombs.
The ensuing blasts of heat would sear flesh, but would lack commensurate repercussion power to destroy most structures and buildings, and leave far smaller toxic radiation trails. In eerie Strangelovian terms, once the enemy was finished off, returning friendly troops and populations could sort their way among the mass dead to find their infrastructure intact—without “collateral” damage or fear of serious radiation sickness.
In some ways, COVID-19 was our neutron bomb. When we reach the now politically incorrect, taboo term “herd immunity” through vaccinations and antibodies, and when the virus ceases to be a pandemic, the lethal tally may have exceeded 600,000 Americans.
If so, the nation will have lost more countrymen than were killed in World War I and World War II combined—with thousands more suffering disabilities, from “long haul Covid” to stress and psychological impairment from losing livelihoods and lockdown cabin fever.