“[O]ne .45 caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days’ concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; $100 in rubles; $100 in gold…” — Maj. T. J. “King” Kong, survival kit list in the 1964 movie “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”
War may be rushing upon us. Like an indeterminate storm, it may divert or the storm may run out of energy. Regardless, what is happening in Ukraine and the political and military posturing over that country between Washington and Moscow could release a thermonuclear war over a country best known for its grain fields.
Then again, why should that be so strange? It was in 1962 when I was 5 years old that I remember my father talking about the immediate need for a family fallout shelter from a nuclear war that was about to erupt over the poor banana republic of Cuba. Why should it be any different half a century later? Nation states and the people who control them are still imbued with greed and are every bit as circumspect and nihilistic today as they were 50 years, or even 500 years, ago.
“Peace for our time,” declared British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in 1938, clutching Adolf Hitler’s signature before the onset of a war that killed more than 60 million people. But peace in any time is a utopian fantasy. As my carpenter friend who was also a karate instructor said, “Man will exist from the first ape swinging a club to the last man with his finger on the button.”
The truth is there will be no lasting peace in this or any time until the last missile has been fired and the last shot has been shot. In fact, it may not come until 100 years later, when the last club has been swung. If you remain the least bit doubtful of man’s innate ambitions for war, you haven’t been watching the pre-war posturing between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin that is spilling like a whirlwind of wild oats spiraling in Ukraine and beyond its borders.
Yet brilliant men seem to ride the peace train one generation after another. In 1988, on the verge of ending the Cold War, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared that world-ending wars were forever gone: “It is obvious, for instance, that the use or threat of force no longer can or must be an instrument of foreign policy. This applies above all to nuclear arms, but that is not the only thing that matters.”
Yet the nuclear option has become the only option for both Moscow and the United States. Moscow no longer has the conventional army that could dig up Europe in a blitz to the English Channel. And Washington has always depended on its nuclear deterrent — everything from ballistic missiles to tiny tactical nukes — to stop Soviet aggression. When the Cold War ended, both sides agreed the cheap and non-discussed option was nuclear weapons.
If it sounds morally reprehensible, who in Washington or Moscow even cares?
In her new book Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom, Elaine Scarry asserts that the United States is only a country formerly dependent on its population, its legislature and its executive acting in concert for any act of defense. She says that today the United States has largely eliminated its population and its legislature from the sphere of defense, and it relies almost exclusively on its executive.
Simply put, the fate of the world is in the hands today of Obama and Putin or the powers that control both. To be even more direct, the lives of 200 million to 300 million people depend on Obama’s not screwing up and getting us into a nuclear war.
No wonder, believes Scarry, that these are very dangerous times:
It’s widely acknowledged that nuclear weapons are incredibly susceptible to accidental use or to seizure by a non-state actor or terrorist.
But what has been insufficiently recognized is the biggest danger of all: the belief that there is some “legitimate” possession of these weapons, that we are safe as long as there’s government oversight of them. In fact, they are utterly incompatible with governance.
So there we have it. Tempers are flaring, and the man who has made America into a spy state, has stricken our freedoms and has scorched so many of our rights under the Constitution now has the nuclear football (the briefcase with all U.S. launch codes) on him all the time. Not since Richard Nixon’s psychotic meltdown has America been less safe than it is today, when the entire fate of humanity is being decided by a former Soviet spy and a sympathetic Muslim President.
Of course, few if any of our popular press — or, as I call them, Obama’s Print and TV Productions — said a word of criticism. They say only how Putin is ex-KGB (which means that, unlike Obama, he at least once had a real job) and that he is Ivan The Terrible incarnate or, for most of the watchers on CNN who do not remember a day past grade 5, “Putin is Hitler.” (I am surprised the TV doesn’t yell at us: “Write it out 500 times!”)
Of course, the sources for what is becoming a bloody civil war are Ukrainian nationals — some of them the children and the grandchildren of tens of thousands of Ukrainians who had bloodlust for the Jews and a hatred of Russians that sometimes disgusted seasoned SS troops. Not true, you say? I say turn off CNBC and read a book.
Start with The Second World War: A Definitive History by Antony Beevor, who wrote of Ukrainian atrocities against both Jews and Bolsheviks in World War II. To believe that Beevor, a Brit and the most respected World War II historian of this age, would write such things two years in advance of a Ukrainian civil war is absurd. That Obama parrots on TV say wonderful things about Ukrainian “freedom fighters” after the conflict began is totally predictable and is carried out because Obama and his handlers know just how poorly educated most of the American people are — a people who “get their news” from Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon.
In other words, Ukraine is just as bad as the Russians. Yet we are going to risk all of humanity to preserve its freedom in a region of the world that is under the influence of Russia. Charles Darwin might argue that, in such case, our extinction is inevitable.
What is a fact is that there remain 10,000 nuclear weapons in the world, and 97 percent of them belong to Russia and the United States. The percentage of the nuclear stockpile that could kill 44 million people immediately and another 1 billion people over the following month is 0.015 percent.
There is much to like in the fictional character Kong’s survival list. In fact, just before the film’s release, the FBI screened the movie and was startled at the accuracy included in the Soviet and United States exchange, which resulted in an FBI interrogation of director Stanley Kubrick.
In the event of a full-scale nuclear exchange between the United States and Russia, lists will be meaningless. As Nikita Khrushchev once said, “The living will envy the dead.” But a limited nuclear war will be survivable if we are trained and prepared.
Unless you have years of experience and practice using a handgun, I prefer a 12-gauge pump shotgun. Also a water source and hundreds of gallons of bottled water are essential as is canned foods to be safely stored. Just the preparations necessary would require a book, but I urge you to become industrious and start making plans for a dark future brought down on us by a former Kenyan and a former communist.
Yours in good times and bad,
Note from the Editor:Round two of the financial meltdown is predicted to reach global proportions, already adversely affecting Greece, Spain and most of Europe. It appears less severe in the states because our banks are printing useless fiat currency. I’ve arranged for readers to get two free books—Surviving a Global financial Crisis and Currency Collapse, plus How to Survive the Collapse of Civilization—to help you prepare for the worst. Click here for your free copies.