As the three-hour Oppenheimer shows, to build the first atomic bomb required the best scientific minds, the finest facilities, and the construction of an entire community. Today, a project of that magnitude would be doomed to failure.
The Manhattan Project scientists were pale males of European extraction. Such men are no longer acceptable, regardless of scientific merit and proven experience. Biden’s diversity forces would demand “scientists of color” and LGBTQ activists without regard to experience. This would be only one of the hurdles.
The candidates would need instruction in critical race theory, lest they hold mistaken ideas about their nation’s achievements. Scientists of Jewish and Christian belief, should they gain any consideration, would have to be screened for Islamophobia, lest they hold false ideas about people who seek to harm America in the style of 9/11. The medical standards would also be tough.
Joe Biden proclaimed that Covid was “a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” and under Biden, Air Force pilots who resisted vaccination were discharged from the military. Regardless of past experience anyone who resisted vaccination, on any grounds, would not be allowed on a modern Manhattan Project. The “fully vaccinated” would also face a security test.
As Biden made clear last September one, those who want America to be great pose the greatest danger. Candidates for the new Manhattan Project would have to be screened for conservative types in general and Trump voters in particular. Anyone less than worshipful of the federal government would be rejected out of hand, regardless of scientific capability.
Such people, and parents who protest at school board meetings, are now branded domestic terrorists and violent extremists. Under Biden, they can have no place in weapons design and the military strategy, but there’s more to it.
Joe Biden is on record that the Chinese Communists are “not bad folks,” and the Biden DOJ is declining to prosecute Chinese scientists on visa fraud charges. The Chinese are setting up their own police stations and covert biological laboratories in the USA. Biden even allowed China’s surveillance balloon to overfly the nation’s most sensitive military bases.
The security check would disregard any collusion with China, and approval of these actions would be required for inclusion on any Manhattan Project that happened to arise. As for the real one, it didn’t happen quite like Oppenheimer shows it.
In the early 1960s, Robert Oppenheimer was director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton. One of his students was William Happer, now emeritus profess of physics at Princeton and a specialist in radiofrequency spectroscopy of atoms and molecules, radiation propagation in the atmosphere, and spin-polarized atoms and nuclei.
According to Happer, Oppenheimer was an “outstanding theoretical physicist,” but had an “easy act to follow” when he took over from Gregory Breit in 1943. There is no Gregory Breit character in Oppenheimer.
Tom Conti plays Albert Einstein but according to Happer, the Manhattan Project was “not the result of a brilliant theory” and not made possible by Einstein’s E = mc² formula. What made it possible was “a rapid-fire series of accidental experimental discoveries in the 1930s, including a celebrated mistake.”
In 1932, James Chadwick discovered the electrically neutral projectile, the neutron, which could reach the surface of even the most highly-charged nucleus, uranium, with no hindrance from the nuclear charge. As Happer notes, “it was this accidental discovery that led to the Manhattan Project.”
Chadwick, a Nobel laureate for physics in 1936, was part of the Manhattan project and in 1944 lived at Los Alamos with his family. Chadwick witnessed the first atomic explosion but in Oppenheimer nobody plays Chadwick. This is hardly the only significant omission.
From 1941-1944, Stalin’s top spy in California was Grigory Kheifets operating under cover as a vice consul in San Francisco. Kheifets was tasked with obtaining atomic secrets, and in a cable Kheifets claimed Oppenheimer was one of his recruits. A film that wanted to get at the truth might have noted that, but there is no Kheifets character in Oppenheimer.
The film does reveal that Klaus Fuchs (Christopher Denham), present at Los Alamos, was in fact a Soviet spy. So were American Stalinists Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and Ethel’s brother David Greenglass, a machinist at Los Alamos. There is no Greenglass character in Oppenheimer. and the American atomic spies were more responsible for nuclear proliferation than anyone in history.
They helped Stalin explode his first atom bomb on August, 29, 1949. By that time, Stalin had absorbed Czechoslovakia, held Eastern Europe captive, and ramped up antisemitism by branding Jews as “rootless cosmopolitans.” In three hours of Oppenheimer, Stalin gets two brief mentions.
Viewers never learn that for nearly the first two years of the war, Stalin and Hitler were allies under the Nazi-Soviet Pact. Under this Pact, Stalin handed German Jewish Communists to the Gestapo. The Communist Party USA collaborated with pro-Nazi groups in America and did everything in its power to keep the United States out of the conflict.
In Oppenheimer, no Communist is asked to account for what he or she did during the Pact, and why they stayed in the Party after many others left, never to return.
For all its artistry – Bruce Bawer called it a “Dishonest Masterpiece” – Oppenheimer is like those 1960s beach-and-bikini movies. What they reveal is interesting but what they conceal is crucial. Oppenheimer mentions American GIs but viewers don’t see them fighting across the Pacific. Without these men, the USA doesn’t win.
Under Joe Biden, who never served, military leaders are basically zampolits, political officers imposing woke indoctrination that divides the ranks and forces out the best and brightest. If veterans thought that sets up the United States for defeat it would be hard to blame them.