These were and still are the great heroes of China who, together with hundreds of millions of other Chinese patriots, had sacrificed much to keep the nation safe. As Deng himself noted, without nuclear bombs and missiles, China would've been swamped again by Western aggressors. What happened to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc., are mild - despite the death and wounding of millions of civilians in those countries - compared with what would've happened to China. There would've been no China left. Armed with this foresight, Mao Zedong decided that even if each Chinese had only a bowl of porridge a day, China must still have the atomic bomb. China was lucky it didn't have so many western proxies and traitors like today yet.