Fleeing the Apocalypse?
Doomsday Looms Closer
Ever since I sat in that briefing room on the Strategic Air command base at Glasgow Montana, watching the horrifying secret SAC films on the atomic bombing of the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 100 thousand defenseless civilians in a flash, then witnessing the Colonel who was our tutor strut about with a smirky smile proudly announcing:” Oh these bombs were like fire crackers compared to the ordinance we have on this base, “ I got a dreadful feeling that I was witnessing the means by which the fires predicted in the Book of Revelations, that will engulf and incinerate the earth, shall be delivered.
It is a feeling I feel as I write, fully aware that the magnificent city I am looking out upon from my perch on Harlem’s Sugar Hill, could become a pile of radio-active Rubble, along with the other five boroughs, in ten minutes! It only takes one mirved missile fired from a Russian Nuclear submarine sitting out in the Atlantic Ocean. And the US, with all our marvelous technology, is powerless to stop it. But that is just the beginning of my nightmare. Then will come the poisonous black rains that will persists for weeks, the radiation polluted air, the onset of the nuclear winter that will soon follow, no food, no water, and no medical care. It is no wonder that people who have studied the aftermath of nuclear war have concluded: ”The living will envy the dead!”
The thing that surprised, indeed shocked me most, when I returned from life in the Barnum and Baily world of the DEW line – Distance Early Warning – a position in the Great Plains of Montana bordering on the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, where the first nuclear strike on Russia would be launched – was the fact that nobody I talked to had any idea that they could be incinerated in a nuclear fire at a moment’s notice. Since I had a Top-Secret security clearance, and was therefore privy to US nuclear war strategy, I was acutely aware of the holocaust hovering over their heads…but having sworn myself to secrecy under penalty of imprisonment, I could not speak on it. But then two things happened that allowed and compelled me to talk about the real possibility of nuclear annihilation without divulging classified information: The Cuban Missile Crisis and the movie “Dr. Strangelove, which was released shortly thereafter.
Knowing how close the mad men that controlled the nuclear arsenals, and the automatons they command, came to blowing up the world, I have been ever aware that the apocalypse is one human error or mechanical failure away. Anyone who doubts that the decision to incinerate the earth with nuclear weapons hinged on a single decision by one individual – Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev – should carefully watch Robert F. McNamara’s frightening account in his confessional film “The Fog of War.” As McNamara was the US Secretary of Defense tasked with giving the nuclear attack order, he is an unimpeachable source.
Yet, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the world is in greater danger just now. Since I Regard the Bulletin as the most informed source of public information on the probability and consequences of nuclear war, I pay close attention to what they have to say. Founded in 1949, a few years after the atomic bombing of Japan – one of the greatest crimes against humanity on record – by Dr. Albert Einstein and other scientists who had played a role in the creation of the bomb, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientist introduced the “Doomsday Clock.”
Since then, the hands have been positioned on the clock as a warning of how close we are approaching Doomsday, with the witching hour of midnight signaling the point at which mankind self-destructs. It is enough to know that during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the hands on the Doomsday clock were set at 7 minutes to midnight…now they are set at 100 seconds to midnight!
The paramount questions that beg accurate answers now are: How did we get ensnared in this planetary dance of death…and how do we get out of it while avoiding a nuclear catastrophe? Viewed from the flawless vision of hindsight one could credibly argue that the roots of the present crisis lay in how the US and its lackeys in NATO and the EU responded to the dismantling of the Soviet Union in 1991.
At the time Secretary of State, Jim Baker, had pledged that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would not move “one inch to the East – i.e., toward Russia’s borders, in return for Russia’s agreement to not oppose the reunification of Germany. This was a momentous decision for Russia, because a unified Germany had invaded and slaughtered 27 million Russians just 46 years earlier – a number equal to the entire population of Afro-Americans!
Yet the Russians consented to German Unification only to be repaid by NATO expanding right up their borders, even incorporating former members of the Warsaw Pact, the Russian led military alliance formed on May 14, 1955, as a deterrent to NATO, which was founded six years earlier. When NATO began its dramatic eastward expansion in 1998 under President Bill Clinton – a Rhodes Scholar who was reputed to be savvy about foreign affairs – Dr. George Kennan, the Nation’s most influential Russian scholar, a policy wonk whose ideas had formed the basis of the “Truman Policy” in 1947, the aftermath of World War II, that guided US policy toward Russia until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, said the following:
‘’I think it is the beginning of a new cold war, ’I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. [NATO expansion] was simply a light-hearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs.’’
The prescience of Dr. Kennan’s analysis has been verified by the motion of history, so where do we go from here? How do we avoid nuclear catastrophe? That is the Question of this moment!
The answer certainly does not lie in the boastful blather of clueless cadaverous old white guys like Biden, bragging about what he is doing to bring Putin to his knees, forgetting the lessons John Maynard Keynes taught us about the disaster unleashed on the world from the crippling sanctions imposed on Germany in the 1919 Versailles Treaty, which he brilliant predicted in his book “The Economic Consequences of the Peace,” or Lindsay Graham calling for the assassination of Putin and establishing a NATO enforced no-fly zone for Russian planes over Ukraine. Both of which are fast tracks to Armageddon.
The framework all interested parties must now follow seems obvious:
I-Negotiate and immediate cease fire.
II- Draft a treaty between the Ukraine, Russia, NATO, and the EU, that Ukraine will remain a neutral state, unincorporated into the EU, NATO, or the Russian Federation.
III – End the sanctions against Russia.
IV- Disband NATO
V- Empower the United Nations with the legitimacy in international law to settle disputes between nations and provide the military muscle to carry out UN decisions.
VI-The US should lead an effort to assemble a Conference of nuclear armed states with total disarmament as its objective. Poison Gasses and Biological Weapons are already banned by international treaty, but they are child’s play compared to the destructive capacity of nuclear weapons.
VII -The Citizens of nuclear armed nations should organize to lobby their governments to support the banning of all nuclear weapons on this planet and outer space. It will be task of this movement to convince fellow citizens to support the struggle for total nuclear disarmament because the fate of our planet depends upon depends on its success.
As Mao Tse Tung – who organized the greatest mass transformative movement in history and guided too victory – said: “Either man will destroy the bomb…or the bomb will destroy man!” Viewed from the perspective of the raging war in Ukraine, Mao’s prediction has the ring of prophecy, especially in light of Dr. Albert Einstein’s pessimistic observation after the first successful atomic explosion: “Mankind now has the ability to destroy the world…but human nature has not changed.”
Playthell G, Benjamin
“What’s going On,” Produced and Hosted by Jim Dingman
WBAI FM, New York City, WBAI.org on the Web
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