More Ways to Doomsday

Posted 12/5/19

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has just reset the Doomsday Clock at Two Minutes to Midnight, having added Climate Chaos to the previous Nuclear Weapons danger to Mother Earth.

The Union of …

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More Ways to Doomsday


The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has just reset the Doomsday Clock at Two Minutes to Midnight, having added Climate Chaos to the previous Nuclear Weapons danger to Mother Earth.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has been on a campaign interviewing presidential candidates on their support for a no-first-use nuclear policy. They have also polled the general public who have shown broad support for a no-first-use nuclear policy. [John Bolton and Mike Pompeo have refused to take part in any of the polls, but we know their policy.] The UCS have just printed the Fall issue of Catalyst which is self congratulatory concerning the land, sea, and air based ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles).

But, now a new class of new nuclear weapons has entered the picture, and the Two Minutes to Midnight may have to be further lowered to One Minute. The new danger is the Intermediate Range Nuclear Missiles — from 500 to 5500 kilometers. An INF treaty was signed in 1987 between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. Now, many nations have the missiles that can reach that shortened distance and are becoming capable of arming them with nuclear warheads. Except, there is no longer a U.S.S.R. and there is no sense of anything rational going on in the White House.

The Fall issue of UCS’s Catalyst has attracted readers with an interview of Richard Garwin whose illustrious life spans over 90 years and has more awards than anyone and everyone. How many people have worked with Enrico Fermi and with Hans Bethe? Garwin also collaborated with Edward Teller — not a proud moment in his career. But anything to attract readers.

So why are Russia and China refusing to enter an INF Treaty. The US is connected in both instances. With Russia it’s politics, and with China it involves dollars as well as politics. NATO has been playing footsie with Ukraine (historically, in Russia’s sphere of influence also the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s home base in the Crimea, which geographically is part of Ukraine. The bottom line was the election of President Zelensky, who is not a politician but an actor and comedian. Wonder what Ronald Reagan would have to say about a Slavic “acting president”.

So Russia agreed with the withdrawal of the US from the INF Treaty and in return started to arm its Middle Range Missiles.  Politics as ever since the 19th century Crimean War. 

China, with its long history of Opium Wars, never got over the withdrawal of Taiwan from Mainland China. [It was ceded to Britain as a Crown Colony in the mid 1800s.] It was eventually agreed that it would revert to Chinese rule in 1997. In between, other changes took place: It was declared part of the Qing Empire, and after the Sino-Japanese war was ruled by Japan. When Chaing Ki-shek fled the mainland in the face of overwhelming forces of Mao Tse-tung, Chaing established martial law, which was finally lifted after many years.

Taiwan is known as the Republic of China to many residents of the island; and is a province of Mainland China to The Peoples’ Republic. Chinese INF Nuclear Missiles don’t threaten the US but target every square meter of Taiwan. And, Walmart and the big Box stores do a brisk business with mainland China.

Americans generally support the military, but Supporting the Troops has little to do with paying millions and billions to military contractors who include the likes of: Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics (Major General?), Raytheon, Grumman, Boeing, BAE, and BlackWater Services.

Let’s stop calling it the “Defense” industry. Then, it’s high time for the US to take the lead and re-establish the INF Treaty. We can bribe and otherwise strong arm lesser powers to sign it also — UK, France, China, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran [you can call them Persia], Brazil, Argentina, and the Seychelles Islands. It would be just like the Pact of Paris [or Kellogg Briand Treaty] when WILPF led the way through the Outlawry movement. [WILPF is still active, though Jane Addams its founder and Nobel Peace Laureate is not alive.]  Let WILPF nominate Gadfly for a Nobel Peace Prize for this latest essay.


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