Tag Archives: Albert Einstein

Recall Einstein’s projection about ‘WW IV’

An excellent analysis on Politico.com suggests that Iran isn’t likely to trigger an overarching armed conflict in the Middle East in reaction to the death of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Sulemaini on orders from Donald Trump.

The Iranians are blustering about a severe response to Sulemaini’s death in a U.S. air strike. Ray Takeyh, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, believes Iran will back off and will not provoke a conflict that would fester into a third world war.

Read his essay here.

It goes without saying that I hope he’s right. I’ll say it anyway: I hope he’s right.

I want to look back at a statement attributed to the physicist Albert Einstein, who after contributing to the development of the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project during World War II, offered his view of how future world wars would unfold.

He supposedly said he didn’t know how World War III would be fought, but said he was certain “World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones.”

If ol’ Albert Einstein didn’t say precisely that, the message remains vital if the Iranian mullahs have any ideas about how they intend to react to the death of a killer.

As Takeyh said, the “last thing (the mullahs) need is a costly confrontation with a president willing to do things they once considered unimaginable.”

Why we must avoid the next real ‘world war’

The world is pausing this week to look back on a pair of events that occurred 70 years ago.

On this date in 1945, a B-29 U.S. Army Air Corps bomber took off from Tinian Island in the Pacific Ocean, flew to Hiroshima, Japan, and dropped an atomic bomb on the city.

Roughly 70,000 lives vanished in an instant.

Three days later, another B-29 took off en route to Nagasaki. That bomb did even more damage.

It was near the end of World War II. On Aug. 14, 1945, Japan surrendered. The war was over.

The nuclear age had been brought to bear in the most horrible fashion imaginable.

I remain committed to the notion that President Harry Truman made the correct call by dropping the bombs. Declining to do so would have resulted in the invasion of Japan by U.S. and allied forces, likely killing many more thousands of lives than were lost in those two blasts.

So, the president had to kill people to save people. It’s a terrible irony, to be sure.

But this look back also brings to mind something that one of the creators of this terrible weapon once said.

It comes from Albert Einstein, who noted: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

May we never forget.

Mr. President, you see … we have this bomb

I posted earlier today a blog item about how Franklin Roosevelt’s death changed the vice presidency for the better.

Vice President Harry Truman became president upon FDR’s death in April 1945. He took office, asked his Cabinet to pray for him and then set about finishing off the Axis Powers as World War II came to an end. Nazi Germany surrendered just about three weeks after FDR’s death. The Pacific combat remained to be fought.

But he knew next to nothing about the secrets that FDR took with him to the grave. One of them involved the Manhattan Project. Imagine the conversation taking place between Secretary of War Henry Stimson and the president of the United States.

Stimson: Uh, Mr. President? I’ve got something to discuss with you.

Truman: Sure, Henry. What is it?

Stimson: Well, sir, we’re developing this bomb out in New Mexico. We’ve been working with really smart fellow: Bob Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, Albert Einstein, to name just three.

Truman: Bomb? We’ve got all kinds of bombs. We dropped them by the thousands every day in Europe and we’re still doing so in the Pacific.

Stimson: But Mr. President, this bomb is a big one. Really, really big. It’s an atomic bomb. I mean, when it explodes, it registers enough firepower to equal several thousand pounds of dynamite.

Truman: Holy s***, Henry. One bomb equals all that power?

Stimson: Yes sir. We’re going to detonate one of them in July out in Alamogordo. It’ll be the first one. If it works, we’re going to propose something quite dramatic.

Truman: And that is … ?

Stimson: We think we ought to use it on Japan. Send them a message that if they keep fighting we’ll use it again and again. Mr. President, we don’t think the Japanese will have the stomach for many of these.

Truman: OK, Henry, we’ll wait to see how the test blast goes and then we’ll make that call.


The test went off successfully. Less than a month later, President Truman issued the order to bomb Hiroshima. The Enola Gay took off on Aug. 6. Three days later, Nagasaki was demolished by the second A-bomb — and the rest is history.

God bless President Truman.

Queen prepared doomsday speech

Queen Elizabeth II once wrote a speech that, thank God in heaven, she never had to deliver.

It was a speech noting the outbreak of World War III, to have been delivered in 1983.


It was a dress rehearsal for disaster, as the link here notes.

Here is a portion of what Her Majesty the Queen wrote:

“Now this madness of war is once more  spreading through the world and our brave country must again prepare itself to  survive against great odds.

“I have never forgotten the sorrow and pride I  felt as my sister and I huddled around the nursery wireless set listening to my  father’s inspiring words on that fateful day in 1939. Not for a single moment  did I imagine that this solemn and awful duty would one day fall to  me.”

She was noting, of course, the outbreak of World War II, when Adolf Hitler’s forces invaded Poland and sent the world plunging into its bloodiest conflict. Elizabeth hadn’t yet ascended to the throne.

These are the kinds of documents that are worth preserving for all time, if only to remind us that foresight does exist in the highest places.

Still, when I read those remarks I couldn’t help but think of another great individual’s remarks about the consequence of a world war in the nuclear age.

They came from Albert Einstein, one of the fathers of the atomic bomb.

He said: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”