Quotation by John Paxton

Do you really want to know who I think started the war?... Who would ever have believed that human beings would be stupid enough to blow themselves off the face of the earth?... The trouble with you is you want a simple answer and there isn't any. The war started when people accepted the idiotic principle that peace could be maintained by arranging to defend themselves with weapons they couldn't possibly use without committing suicide. Everybody had an atomic bomb and counter-bombs and counter- counter-bombs. The devices outgrew us, we couldn't control them. I know. I helped build them, God help me. Some poor bloke probably looked at a radar screen and thought he saw something, knew that if he hesitated one thousandth of a second his own country would be wiped off the map, so, so he pushed a button. And, and the world went crazy.
John Paxton (1911–1985), U.S. screenwriter. Stanley Kramer. Julian Osborne (Fred Astaire), On the Beach, with the submarine crew, on their mission (1959).

From the novel by Nevil Shute.
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