Over several weeks, the drumbeat of war has been pounding louder; a new Cold War has been heating up and expanding beyond the U.S. and Russia to include NATO and Ukraine. There have been interesting webinars on the subject and the few corporations who own the news outlets have been sure to keep the story well fed. And while the majority of people in the US have no appetite for more war, the ‘military experts” who have been filling up the airwaves are dependent upon a bloated military budget. All the pork projects are needed to grease the revolving doors of the Pentagon to ensure that the profiteers and the defense contractors are the largest “winners” in any rush towards war.
In recent decades, the focus on nuclear weapons has largely been on the countries attempting to acquire nuclear weapons and the sanctions imposed upon those countries by the countries that possess nuclear weapons. Now it appears that the oldest and potentially most devastating war in this country’s history, the Cold War, is heating up and bringing the issue of nuclear weapons to the front burner. The likelihood of nuclear war happening from an accident, misunderstanding or posturing appears to be increasing to a level not seen before; military strategists are questioning if a non-nuclear war is even possible.
There were two articles side by side last week that attempted to make the case for nuclear war. In one article Jeffery Edmonds, former National Security Council director, states referring to Russia “For them, nuclear weapons are not above this weird glass ceiling the way they are in the United States.” Underneath was an article titled Years Ago, Kyiv Gave Up A Huge Nuclear Arsenal. Today, There is Regret. The article looks at Ukraine’s inheritance of over 5,000 nuclear warheads with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 that were decommissioned.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany suggested that Ukraine might look at rearming with nuclear weapons, questioning if Ukraine could not join NATO asking “How else can we guarantee our defense?” The article goes on elevate the opinions of those crafting this brinkmanship “More widely, experts fear that the current crisis could turn Ukraine from an example of arms-control benefits to one of atomic-disarmament risks, and drive the Irans and Saudi Arabias of the world to pursue their own nuclear arms programs.”
The only citizens who have experienced the horrors of nuclear bombing are the Hibakusha, the survivors of the nuclear bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who are becoming fewer in number. Many survivors have lived their lives never sharing the trauma that they encountered in witnessing the pain of the worst weaponry unleashed upon humanity. As many Hibakusha are entering the final years of their lives, an increasing number have been sharing in detail to younger Japanese students the horrors they witnessed of people wailing out and jumping to their deaths for first time. They shared their stories secret because of the stigma that they faced in employment, marriage and misinformation about radioactive poisoning and the myth of contagion associated with it.
Japan, the only country to be bombed by another nation, now lies under the ‘nuclear umbrella’ by the very country that unleashed nuclear bombs upon it. Originally the notion of MAD-Mutually Assured Destruction was at the heart of the nuclear armed nations to keep the actual use of the weapons at bay. The ‘duck and cover’ drills of the past have faded as has much of the horrors of nuclear weapons from public consciousness.
Sometimes it feels as if our role as war tax resisters is that of counselors, conspiring with like minds who are willing to see beyond the insanity that a way to ‘resolve conflicts’ is to bomb the earth into oblivion. Together we hold onto our core beliefs and breath new life into a world coming into existence. Our role as counselor allows us to be with others who are willing to break through fear and center hope of the possibility of the world with less destruction.
Consider joining us for our counselor’s training on Saturday February 19th 8am-1:45pm Pacific (for more info) to learn new skills to assist others to stop paying into this insanity.
Post by Chrissy Kirchhoefer