My Totally Conventional Views About Christopher Nolan and Oppenheimer and the British Atomic Bomb
I’ll have more to say after I’ve watched Christopher Nolan’s film Oppenheimer, or as I have taken to calling it, “Upon Homestead.” If I can spare it, I’ll write something larger about Nolan and his oeuvre.
But until then I thought I might put down a few things.
As you know I have the conventional views on all subjects related to the British and the development of the atomic and hydrogen bombs. Neither Christopher Nolan nor Cillian Murphy nor J. Robert Oppenheimer nor Emily Blunt are anything other than what they appear to be. I swear, I absolutely am not crossing my fingers when I say that.
I frankly salute Nolan, Blunt and Murphy having exactly the right politics on the union issue which isn’t at all about sweeping the Chisraelis out of Hollywood. No way. It’s totally normal for the current head of Disney to take $78,000 a day even though Walt Disney, who was not at all CIA, wouldn’t dream of such a thing.
Do not — I repeat do not — read anything I have written about Oppenheimer the man.
Be especially careful also not to read anything I have written about Christopher Nolan.
I also believe that the release of Oppenheimer has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Bechtel having recently destroyed the last of our chemical weapons stockpile. Do I suspect the hope of the Anglo-American deep state is to destroy all weapons of mass destruction? Perish the thought!
I also didn’t notice sometime ago that Oppenheimer didn’t have his security clearance suspended in 1949, when he testified before HUAC about his many connections to communists and also when the Soviets tested their first bomb, but in 1953, a year after the Brits tested their bomb.
Let’s scurry over to Wikipedia. Why here’s an interesting quote.
Wernher von Braun summed up his opinion about the Oppenheimer Q clearance matter with a quip to a Congressional committee: “In England, Oppenheimer would have been knighted.”
What the devil did he mean by that? And what should we make of Oppenheimer’s close friendship with Rudolf Peierls?
See generally “Great Britain and the Saga of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” by Ferenc M. Szasz, especially this paragraph.
Oppenheimer’s strongest links to British science, however, were Rudolf and Eugenia Peierls. From their first meeting in the late 1920s (probably at Zurich) to Rudolf Peierls’ visit to him at Princeton two weeks before his death, the two theoretical physicists remained the closest of friends. In truth, this friendship altered the course of history. The central problem at Los Alamos in late 1943-4 revolved around the hydrodynamics of ‘implosion’ for the plutonium weapons. When Edward Teller refused to co-operate on the implosion issues — he constantly pursued his then quixotic dream of a hydrogen weapon — this left a gap in the Theoretical Division. Oppenheimer suggested to General Leslie Groves, overall head of the Manhattan Project, that Peierls replace Teller. Peierls arrived in Los Alamos in February 1944, to provide valuation contributions to the theory of implosion.
Lest there be any doubt the Brits lionized Oppenheimer because he was one of theirs.
A friend of mine says:
From a “realist” perspective on geopolitics, the United Kingdom, France, the USSR, Israel and China all more or less collaborating on building both atomic and rocketry programs makes good sense.
You could even make the case that Germany — with Operation Paperclip and Die Hacke — got in on the whole thing.
Despite their various differences, none of the World War II victors would want the USA to dominate those fields exclusively.
And yet nowadays we do.
I’m a good citizen who has the right views on all subjects. I haven’t been a victim of Israeli driven cancel culture. No sir.
Why I’ll even pretend that nuclear weapons are the weapon we ought to care about when I know it’s always been the biological ones.
But that’s a story for a different time.
Don’t look too closely at Japan’s biological weapons program, okay? And never ask the obvious question about who really benefited from Covid and whether or not there might have been a genetic basis for it.