Don’t expect the concept of extinction or omnicide to roll off the lips of nuclear warriors. Their brains focus on the win-ability of nuclear war to the exclusion of all other possibilities. Let’s take a minute to examine the myopic mindset of nuclear strategists and what we should be doing about it.
The story of nuclear weapons begins with the dropping of an atomic bomb named Little Boy on the city of Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. Since then, many authors have written and exposed this event as being more about starting a new war with our ally Russia than about ending WWII, more about continuing war so that the vast fortunes made by the US arms industry from WWII could continue indefinitely into the future.
Ever since Little Boy, the US has threatened Russia with nuclear bombs, and even had Russia ringed with nuclear weapons by 1951. [Caldicott, 69] Today the US is parading its nuclear arsenal in Ukraine along the Russian border in an unimaginable display of blatant aggression. Note that Russia is not posturing the same way by having Russian troops lined along the border of Canada or Mexico. The US claim that Russian aggression forces them to Russia’s doorstep with nuclear weapons is patently false. The Russian army remains in Russia, while the US military and its many mercenary armies are not only in Ukraine but run rampant across the planet.
Continuous aggressive nuclear posturing by the US over the years was memorialized in a military strategy called Escalation Dominance, wherein, rungs on a ladder of aggression escalate violence incrementally up the ladder until full domination is achieved. The principle of this stratagem was Dean Acheson, who laid out this plan in a now declassified top secret National Security Council Memorandum: NSCM-68, which was then received by President Harry S. Truman on April 14, 1950. It originated in the bowels of a secret meeting between the State Department and the Council on Foreign Relations in 1939 explicitly detailing the role of a US empire as a replacement for the British Empire. [Kaku, 63]
The Council was set up in 1921 as a bridgehead to bring America’s emerging power under the umbrella of the British throne. This had already been partially accomplished by modeling the Ivy League colleges after Cambridge. Imperial-minded professors were given free range to preach the gospel of privilege for an elite few. As Britain fell from the top position of colonial power, the aristocracy, although now in the back seat, remained in the lead limousine of a new arising phenomenon called globalization—turning the world into a singular vast colony for elite domination.
The Council produces an influential magazine called Foreign Affairs. Council director Isaiah Bowen wrote in 1942 that the US must secure areas “strategically necessary for world control.” Foreign Affairs editor Edwin Gay wrote, “When I think of the British Empire as our inheritance, I think simply of the natural right of succession.” America was on track to take over the world, country after country, in domino fashion. British imperialism reaching around the globe using American muscle would be distasteful to the American people, who thought they had escaped British influence through their revolution, so the creeping dominoes of world control had to be blamed on some other tarageted enemy, still ally at the time, Russia.
Professors Michio Kaku and Daniel Axelrod summarized the new state of affairs:
The advent of atomic warfare gave a new twist to the plans to assume the mantle of the British Empire: just as the British used the battleship as an ultimate weapon of intervention, the US would use the atomic bomb. According to the Council’s study groups, naval superiority, which protected and expanded British investments around the world, would be replaced by atomic superiority. Gunboat Diplomacy would be replaced by Atomic Diplomacy. Pax Britannia would give way to Pax Americana. [Kaku, 64]
A US new world order was rising out of the crumbling British, French, and German colonial empires. Financial barons from Wall Street were eager to be the architects of this new world order. About 100 senior bankers and lawyers jelled into what was called the “old boys’ network or “national security establishment.” [Kaku, 39] Like aristocracies of old, their enemy was any populist sharing of power. The people of America were to be left out, while the US Constitution was to be ignored or used only in limited cases to shore up the old boys grip on power.
The aristocracies of old Europe were now to be demoted to puppet dictators. For example, exiled White Russians and members of the Tsarist aristocracy who fled Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution would be allowed to set up a puppet government for Wall Street. Russia had to be dismembered to expose its vast resources to the new world order, the new internationalists.
Back home, Constitutionally-minded Republicans and Democrats were not keen on American expansionism, as imperialism emanating from any country is anathema to a global plurality of democracies. Non-interventionist Congressmen wanted the US to remain isolated, sovereign, and independent, leaving other countries to fend for themselves, choosing their own respective sovereign destinies in the spirit of freedom. This friction came to a head when a fistfight broke out in a Senate chamber between internationalist Dean Acheson and his arch-enemy, Senator Ken Wherry from Nebraska.
Acheson was an impeccable member of the Eastern Establishment, growing up as a member of the upper class. His father became an Anglican minister then bishop of Connecticut after serving as a British Army Officer. His family was steeped in the traditions and mores of British colonialism. His mother grew up in a wealthy banking family with business interests in England and Canada. As part of the old-boy network, he attended colleges like Groton and Yale, “where it was considered the birthright and perhaps even the duty of his social class to intervene in the affairs of other nations.” [Kaku, 67]
Acheson saw most Americans as his social inferior, including the low-class haberdasher from Missouri, President Truman. Acheson hated the right-wing Republican isolationists who opposed the interventionist policies of the Council. In his typical condescending manner, he called the isolationists “sub-humans” and “apes,” [Kaku, 69] unenlightened by his own troglodytic tendencies of greed and selfish acquisitiveness through ruthless means.
Like Acheson, the Dulles brothers, John Foster and Allen, were sons of a well-to-do clergyman. As boys, they tagged along with their grandfather to conferences around the world that introduced them to international power politics. They, too, attended exclusive schools like Princeton, which were modeled after aristocrat-controlled Cambridge University in England. John Foster traveled extensively during WWII, making intimate friends with members of the British Colonial Office.
Lord Cranbourne argued that Britain could no longer run its Empire alone, and that US elites should join and help lead a new bigger British world empire. America supposedly had escaped the grip of the British Empire, only to have the likes of John Foster Dulles aspire to yoke Americans right back into the ranks of British servitude. No wonder there was a fistfight in the Senate chamber.
The Dulles brothers father, Allen Macy Dulles, reared his boys to embrace missionary Christianity. The world was to be led by a new imperial ministry and their weapon of choice for global domination was nuclear Escalation Dominance. Students at Groton even coined a name for it, muscular Christianity. The age-old “divine right of kings” seems to have changed only in faces and names. The new theological kings declare “onward Christian soldiers” with nuclear weapons at their side and an image of Armageddon as doable. President Reagan puzzled over the possibility of Armageddon, uncertain whether or not God was commanding him to destroy earth or to leave it in the hands of God.
Psychopathology in Aristocracy
Aristocrats commonly suffer from profound delusional thinking and Severe Narcissistic Personality. They live a seeming fairytale life style, floating above the normal mundane chores of life, like having to cook or clean, never having to wash dishes, clothes or toilets. Being raised like veal, as in a confined ideological world, lends itself to psychological anemia and disconnected thinking from reality, thus, setting the stage for delusional thinking. The unusual degree of pampering in their upbringing includes coaching them to believe that their station in life is above the masses, even elevated in some theocratic families to the status of demigod, born of and “chosen” by God to lead lower classes. By self-pronouncing, without question, that their power is derived by God, they need not defer to the people themselves. The masses are, in effect, irrelevant and completely disposable. History is rife with examples of the aristocracy amusing themselves with killing lower people, like in the Roman coliseums. Disconnection from reality causes some elites to become perplexed by the distaste of the masses being subjected to the cruelties of servitude.
In the nuclear age, profound consequences follow from a toxic brew of distorted, disconnected, and arrogant thinking. From secret minutes of the National Security Council, Allen Dulles repeatedly bewailed the ignorance of the American people, “who draw an ‘artificial’ distinction between nuclear and conventional weapons and cannot realize that atomic bombs should be treated like bullets.”[Kaku, 314]. By losing touch with the fire power difference of bullet that kills one person versus an atomic bomb, like Little Boy, that fell on Hiroshima and indiscriminately killed 100,000 plus civilians reveals a callous disrespect for life almost too incomprehensible to imagine.
In addition, the lust for power adds an aggravating element of addiction to the toxic mix of disassociation, as exemplified by Dulles. Pursuit of power can become so engrossing and self-absorbing as to preclude the outside world, disconnecting critical brain functions from life and consequences of intended actions, not unlike a drug addict, totally obsessed with a perceived need to rob and kill to acquire money for the next fix. Keep in mind too, that not all members of the very rich become psychopaths.
John Kenneth Galbraith grew up among the elite but didn’t lose his sanity. He often lamented, however, the fact of being hopelessly outnumbered by the others in the Council “who felt it was natural, proper, and even Christian to apply force against other nations.” [Kaku, 161] Having self-declared demigod status, “Thou shalt not kill” was meant only for the lower-class masses. Being the indispensible exception, as part of the white mans’ burden, the son’s of theologians all too often become entrenched in the perceived higher missionary work of eradicating the world of nonbelievers.
Adding another dimension to the toxic stew is the love of war, love of mass murder, which is so prevalent in military circles. John Hersey’s book: The War Lovers tells the story of how the fascination with annihilation drives men to obsess over death, like a moth flirting forward to test a candle’s flame.
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark warned:
“The pitiful mentality and ethic that can tirelessly banter, threaten, and toy with omnicide cannot be permitted to wield such power… The obvious joy that men like Teller, Kaysen, LeMay, Rostow, Kissinger, Haig, Brzezinski, Allen, and Reagan reflect in wielding such power provides a clear warning of our peril.” [Kaku, viii]
We certainly can add the names of Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Netanyahu, and a slew of neoconservatives. While working in a Top Secret war room, I personally witnessed officers planning wars of untold destruction. If necrophilia exudes a tone, then the prevailing mood in that war room was necrophilia. The clear warning is that we have allowed civilization to drift into the hands of necrophiliacs.
General Patton said that war is the “cataclysmic ecstasy of violence.” Nazi torturers described an almost orgasmic fascination with killing—almost a feeling of omnipotence. One psychopath described to Dr. Helen Caldicott how, as a boy, he experienced feelings of ecstasy by piercing the belly of a frog with a stick and watching it squirm and burn to death as he roasted it over a fire. [Caldicott, 296-297]
These individuals are disconnected from humanity and reality, lost in pleasure seeking and intoxication with power, the power to destroy. The ultimate climax would be to destroy all life, creating a planetary-wide necropolis, as exemplified by the sinking of the gods into the sea, as the final climax in Wagner’s opera, Twilight of the Gods, which fascinated and held captive the mind of Adolf Hitler.
The general public finds it difficult to relate to this whole discussion of torture, narcissistic demigods, and necrophiliacs because the masses do not suffer the drama of these disturbed personalities. It takes one to know one, or you have to study psychopathology. Psychopaths flock together in the high echelons of power, out of view of the general populace. Therefore, the general public, out of ignorance, fails to conceive of remedies that could address such a strange disconnection from reality.
Keep in mind that psychopathology in war is not exclusive to other countries. As part of NATO, Canada plays a junior role in US gang murders around the planet. Nuclear threats to Russia and Iran are ongoing. This puts the Prime Minister’s office right in the thick of things, even escalating tensions in neighboring countries. Stephen Harper now claims that his administration can escape unharmed from bombing Syria and Libya, because (a) the US has world courts in a head lock, unable to prosecute him for war crimes, and (b) that victim countries cannot fight back because they lack the missiles required to shoot down Canadian fighter-bombers flying at high altitudes.
Of course, bombing little weak countries evokes mass casualties, mass murder. So Harper is claiming, in effect, that he can get away with a bloodbath scot-free. Does this evoke from you an image of a national hero personally bearing arms in a fight to stop a foreign invading army of Canada, or does it solicit more of an image of an emasculated leader who hides his cowardice behind the apron of a western gang murder force called NATO? Since none of the civilians he will have killed will never have had the right to be tried for any crime, should he not personally go there to accuse, convict, condemn, then slay all these people with his own two hands in a spectacular showing of imperial just cause? You be the judge.
NATO consistently makes a patently false claim that bombing countries is done in order to free them. These countries are left in ruble. Churches, schools, hospitals, drinking water and food supplies are all destroyed in what NATO calls their responsibility to protect, the pretext they use to self-invite their bombing campaigns.
The real reason is stated behind closed doors, far away from the evening television news. The real goal is to further imperialism, to clear the land of all obstacles so that western corporations can access and take all the resources for free. Dead people don’t complain or resist the taking of their lands. Psychopaths drive these wars of conquest.
These bombings constitute wars of aggression, what the UN now defines as the most egregious human behavior ever imagined. Yet, this is the current state of world affairs. For the record, US war-planners created and exploded the first atomic weapons over Japan in 1945. Their descendants have gone on to use tactical nuclear weapons in eight countries. No other country has used atomic or nuclear weapons on another country. [See list at end]
The use of nuclear weapons has become so routine, that killing and poisoning the landscape of other countries has become part of an American nuclear culture. Imbued into the political landscape, nuclear weapons are never discussed in Congress, in Parliament, or the nightly news as weapons of mass destruction.
In fact, they are now claimed to be conventional weapons, you know, like rocks and spears. War-planners claim they are defensive weapons. Logically, this means that any number of them could be exploded over North-American soil to stop an incoming invasion. Can you imagine nuclear bombs going off all over the country in the name of protecting the land? I can’t. It’s just another example of disconnected, ignorant, and arrogant thinking.
Final Analysis: Sanity as a Path to Recovery
The most fundamental war facing humanity is the conflict between psychopathology and sanity. If we intend to survive, we need to begin a new mode of thinking. If we don’t we will continue to drift toward unparalleled catastrophe as Einstein warned us. We need to start educating ourselves about the causes and cures of wars. This new endeavor could be called warology. To some degree, each of you needs to become a warologist.
You need to understand that the role of Escalation Dominance in nuclear power politics, as carefully researched and explained by professors Kaku and Axlerod, is a move towards a state of total global domination and servitude. Seeking absolute power over other human beings is seeking the power of gods, the ultimate folly of an egocentric narcissistic personality, a self-anointed demigod that finds little room for other people on this earth except in the service of the narcissist’s pleasures.
Nuclear-war planners live in a world of make-believe, where they disconnect themselves from reality. They have to pretend that a god gives them the right to make and use hideous weapons of mass destruction. They have to pretend that the bomb dropped on Hiroshima did not produce mass destruction and ought not be of any more concern than a bullet. They have to pretend that evaporating people is part of a new normal. They have to pretend that shooting off nuclear weapons all over the world would be a permissible defensive posture. They have to pretend that by disallowing any media discussion of the use of nuclear weapons renders such weapons automatically safe for use. They have to pretend that nuclear weapons are not offensive weapons, which involves war crimes of the highest dimension.
The public is not trained to directly change the egomaniac delusions of the demigods, but it must not fall prey to collusion by accepting another set of delusional beliefs:
— that we are completely innocent and therefore free of all responsibility;
— that we are helpless;
— that our voices won’t count even if we do express ourselves;
— that public opinion is 100% ignored by the politicians;
— that any effort we put forward must show immediate results and rewards;
— that we can control nuclear war once it breaks out;
— that since an all-out nuclear war has not yet happened, it never will, so we can relax and ignore the problem.
You would likely scrub this last belief if you informed yourself of the many near misses we’ve had. For instance, in a single 18 month period, failsafe mechanisms malfunctioned 151 times, and there were 32 broken arrow accidents between 1950-1980 alone. [Caldicott, p.17, 44]
Sanity must come to power. To be sane, we have to live in the real world, not fantasyland. Pretending that nuclear weapons are legitimate, legal, defensive weapons is insane. War-planners are insane, but what about the rest of us? Are we absolutely innocent? We must own our part.
We allow nuclear posturing to go on as if nothing has changed with the splitting of the atom. We look the other way. We, too, pretend that nuclear weapons are legal by virtue of our silence.
A thick blanket of nothingness hangs over the land: no media debate, too little rational-fear, too little rational-anger, considering the massive number of deaths thus far. If our collective-psyche is too numb to register fear, anger, and remedial action, then we need to question our own sanity. Is censoring a public debate in the media sufficient to make us numb and unwittingly insane? Well, we better start talking about it.
Sanity requires rational thought, rational discussion, and remedial action. Any one of the following: making, storing, transporting, using, or threatening to use nuclear weapons is an international war crime, yet collectively, we have not created the proper courts to enforce war crime statutes.
Independent war crimes tribunals already have been conducted, showing the world how proper legal proceedings are done, like the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal and the International Tribunal on U.S./NATO War Crimes Against Yugoslavia. We, the people of the world, need to get behind the findings of these tribunals and push. This will take precious time that we can hardly spare. Meanwhile, the people of the world have a right to vote on the question of extinction, exactly where an all-out nuclear war is leading.
What to do right now
Would it not be logical for everyone in the world who has a computer to contact the White House with a clear message that nuclear war is not an option? Please don’t pretend that stopping nuclear war is the job of someone else, someone out there in fairyland.
We should not need to be told that having and raising children with a long bloodline loses all of its meaning and value when extinction arrives. Surely, a fight for the survival of posterity is something worth waging. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote: “No nation or individual, can be permitted to possess the power to destroy the world.”
The good news is that public opinion does have a dramatic effect on governments. Professors Kaku and Axlerod give ample examples of where, when, and how public opinion pulled nuclear policy makers back from triggering nuclear war.
Contact the White House. Keep contacting the President from time to time. Don’t expect a response, but they do count votes, pro and con, to every subject people raise and praise or complain about.
If you need to be energized, borrow a little psychological power from the movie, Network. You first have to get mad as hell. Get off your chairs, but I don’t want you to go to the window and shout out, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more.”
Instead, I want you to go to your computers and type “The White House” into your web search window. When you get on site, click on “Contact US.” Find the blue box that says, “Submit comments online.” Click on it. Fill out the required information. In the comment window, I want you to type just three words, “No Nuclear War.” That’s it. Hit the send button.
If you then spread this message through social media, millions of people could flood the White House with a message too large in number for the President to ignore. This gives the President ammunition to show to the Pentagon warriors who are itching to conduct nuclear war. Be proud of yourselves. Tell your children and friends that you are at work on the right side of history.
Bo Filter, veteran social scientist, geopolitical analyst and author of: The Cause of Wars and Aggression: Book 1. See reviews and availability at GlobalJusticePublishing.com
TO WIN A NUCLEAR WAR: The Pentagon’s Secret War Plans. 1987. Kaku, Michio and Axlerod, Daniel. Black Rose Books, Montreal-New York.
MISSILE ENVY: The Arms Race and Nuclear War. 1984. Caldicott, Dr. Helen. William Morrow and Company, Inc. New York.
Eight countries attacked with tactical nuclear weapons—one country with atomic bombs—all sponsored by the US government: Egypt by Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War; Iraq in 1991 US attack called Desert Storm; Yugoslavia during 1999 US continuous bombing raid of 78 days and nights; after 9/11: Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Africa, Libya, Syria.