Nuclear War Is As Great A Threat As Ever, And The Elites Are Playing Games With Our Lives

Caitlin Johnstone
6 min readApr 15, 2017

Seven decades is not a long time. It can feel like a long time because of the current limitations of the human lifespan, though, which is a big part of what has lulled humanity into a false sense of security with an existence alongside weapons that can snuff out all life on earth as a result of a misunderstanding or a mistake. Most living humans have never known an existence without these weapons, and the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima feel like such a very long time ago, so people assume that since we’ve made it this far, we’ll probably be okay.

But seven decades is not a long time. If we’re planning on making it past the impending climate crisis and continuing to survive as a species (and I personally am, because humans are beautiful and life is awesome), then on a relative scale the nuclear age is likely still in its infancy. There’s potentially a whole lot of future for something to go wrong in, and right now we’re about as close to nuclear annihilation as we’ve ever been. The fact that we’ve made it this far is no reason to believe we’ll make it past the crisis that the sociopathic oligarchs who rule our society are steering us headlong into.

Stephen Cohen is the professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton and New York Universities, and worked as a paid consultant on Russian affairs both on and off screen for CBS News. He is as accomplished as any such niche academic could possibly be; when it comes to American experts on US-Russian relations, he is the guy. And he’s saying that things are in some ways more dangerous than they were during the Cuban Missile Crisis, during which we came within an inch of total annihilation.

In a recent interview with Democracy Now, Cohen cites Trump’s recent remark that US-Russia relations are at an “all time low” and pairs it with Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev’s comment after the Trump administration’s cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base, “We are on the brink of war, and American-Russian relations are utterly ruined.” Cohen points out that Medvedev is actually the most pro-American member of the Russian administration, on whom President Obama and Secretary Clinton based their Russian “reset” in 2009.

“So if the pro-Western faction in the Kremlin is saying that,” Cohen said, “Need I tell you what the so-called state patriots are telling Putin about what’s going on?”

Cohen also pointed out that the complications added by the conspiratorial political pressures and accusations of treason being leveled against Trump actually make this situation in some ways the most dangerous that we’ve ever seen.

“Imagine if Kennedy had been accused of being a secret Soviet Kremlin agent,” Cohen said. “He would have been crippled. And the only way he could have proved he wasn’t was to have launched a war against the Soviet Union. And at that time, the option was nuclear war.”

Cohen added that this raises the question, “Why did Trump launch 50 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian Air Force base, when, God help us, he did kill some people, but was of no military value whatsoever? Was this meant to show ‘I’m not a Kremlin agent’?”

A lot of attention is being paid to North Korea lately, and with good reason; the DPRK’s seasonal dick-wagging is being met with extremely hawkish rhetoric instead of the usual eye roll and perfunctory press conference we‘d grown accustomed to from other administrations, which Kim Jong Il’s unauthorized autobiographer says is taking us into “dangerous new territory”. The situation is unpredictable and unstable, with many small moving parts and at least two gigantic egos at the reins between Trump and Kim Jong Un; it is possible that something could go very wrong and half of South Korea’s population could be snuffed out in a mushroom cloud over Seoul.

North Korea’s political alliances are like the friendships of a drunken gambling addict; it’s alienated most of the world with its erratic behavior and hyperbole-riddled threats, and its former allies have gotten fed up with its shit. China’s support and military power aren’t anywhere near the factor they once were now that Beijing is so annoyed that it’s enforcing coal sanctions on the DPRK and threatening to bomb its nuclear facilities if it steps out of line, which means that North Korea’s primary ally right now is — you guessed it — Russia. So that could definitely complicate things.

Ultimately though in terms of an existential threat to the continued survival of our species, nothing comes close to the situation in Syria. The American deep state has made it abundantly clear that it has no intention of letting go of Syria’s crucial strategic location in the fossil fuel wars, the Assad government has made it abundantly clear that it has no intention of kowtowing to Washington, and the Kremlin has made it abundantly clear that it has no intention of backing away from its longstanding alliance with the Syrian government. Combine that with the new dynamics Stephen Cohen described and you’ve got a dry California summer full of careless smokers; all it could take is one more false flag (and we’ve got more reason than ever now to believe that the Idlib attack was indeed a false flag) to send us dancing with the dinosaurs in extinction paradise. Someone has to say it: we are at this point a few clever terrorists and a canister of sarin away from the apocalypse.

A 2014 report published in the journal Earth’s Future found that it would only take the detonation of 100 nuclear warheads to throw 5 teragrams of black soot into the earth’s stratosphere for decades, blocking out the sun and making the photosynthesis of plants impossible, starving every terrestrial organism to death that didn’t die of radiation or climate chaos first. The United States and Russia currently have about 7,000 nuclear warheads apiece that we know of, and the further into conflict two nuclear superpowers get, the greater the probability of a nuke being deployed, either accidentally, on purpose, or some mixture of the two in the fog of war. If anything goes wrong, if any of those many, many unpredictable moving parts doesn’t move perfectly at the perfect time, if anyone makes a mistake or misunderstanding, it’s all gone. Everything.

And all because of fucking oil. These sociopaths have put us in this situation because of natural gas and oil. Every flower that grows, every bird in the sky, every fish in the sea, every man, woman and child that breathes this planet’s delicious atmosphere is at risk of having its vibrant, miraculous body reduced to its component elements in some stupid ego game played by powerful apes with toys that they cannot control in a world that they do not understand.

One government rose above the rest, and the few monkeys who figured out how to steer it just couldn’t leave the rest of the world alone. They had to keep shoring up more and more power and control, making sure none of the other governments got as strong as their government. They keep making up reasons for why they need to be involved in the affairs of the other nations;
“Oh, your country needs protection, you should sign these treaties.”
“Oh, your country has a dictator, let me get rid of him for you.”
“Oh, your country has terrorists, we’ll just come in and fix your terrorism problem by riddling your country with blast craters and bullet holes.”

But of course really it’s just so they can get their rapey fingers into the affairs of those nations and control them. They’re addicted to that sense of control, and it’s making them crazy. Some ancient evolutionary programming triggers the reward center of their brain when they shore up a little more dominance over the planet, and they’re so addicted to that sensation that they’re risking the life of every terrestrial organism to keep getting it.

This has got to stop. We’ve got to find a way to get the wheel away from these people.

— -

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this, please consider helping me out by sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or even tossing me some money on Patreon so I can keep this gig up.