Op-Ed

We should be in the streets protesting U.S. nuclear war policy, present and past

Ron Hubbard, president of Atlas Survival Shelters, stands amid a bomb shelter at his company’s headquarters in Montebello, Ca. Hubbard said his company’s sales have increased this year, and now include several Japanese costumers, amid rising fears of conflict between the United States and nuclear-armed North Korea.
Ron Hubbard, president of Atlas Survival Shelters, stands amid a bomb shelter at his company’s headquarters in Montebello, Ca. Hubbard said his company’s sales have increased this year, and now include several Japanese costumers, amid rising fears of conflict between the United States and nuclear-armed North Korea. Atlas Survival Shelters

Recent events have shown that our government has no legitimacy at all. None.

As a result, we should all be out in the streets every day. We should be joining a revolution in response to the uncompromising words of the Declaration of Independence identifying the right and duty of citizens to dethrone abusive governments: “. . . when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce (the People to) absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

And here I’m not just referring to the most recent outrages:

▪ The Republicans’ unilateral decisions about climate change that will deprive our grandchildren of nature’s abundance.

▪ The recent “tax reform” that ignores the country’s majority and that loots our national treasury on behalf of the already filthy rich.

▪ The $54-billion increase in the Pentagon budget, despite the fact that $6.5 trillion in military spending remains unaccounted for.

▪ President Donald Trump’s completely arbitrary, unlawful and severe provocation of Muslims across the world by his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Even those acts of ignorance and unprecedented kleptomania are insignificant compared to our oppressors’ greatest barbarity. It involves not just the Trump administration, but every one of the criminals who have run our national horror show since the end of World War II. All of them have been would-be terrorists and mass murderers.

According to Daniel Ellsberg’s new book, “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner,” every post-war president stood ready to use nuclear weapons to incinerate 98 percent of the world’s population in one fell swoop.

That policy was not just about deterrence or a response to the Soviets. It involved a policy of first strike now so dear to Trump’s heart. President Dwight Eisenhower, for instance, was firm in his insistence that in time of crisis there could be no waiting for a Russian attack. Our country had to strike first.

Guided by such policy from the early ’50s onward, plans targeted every city of over 25,000 inhabitants in Russia and its satellites, and in China, too. The planned destruction is mind boggling.

How many people would be killed? How about 100 Holocausts — 600 million? Later the Pentagon estimated that about two-thirds of the planet’s population would perish. Actually (counting deaths from Russian and Chinese responses), the figure would be far closer to three-thirds.

“Abuses and usurpations,” anyone?

So what should we do in response to such outrages? At the very least we should:

▪ Stop dead our country’s nuclear-weapons modernization program.

▪ Begin serious worldwide negotiations for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.

▪ Cut the Pentagon budget in half.

▪ Fund that war department by special war taxes to to be increased with each new conflict.

▪ Before imposing such taxes, hold nationwide binding referenda on the war’s advisability.

▪ Throw the bums out. In 2018 truly drain the swamp. Get rid of all Republicans and their Democrat enablers.

▪ Replace them with true progressives, with a goal of reviving the New Deal that raised living standards for all Americans, not just the rich.

▪ Force Israel to honor United Nations Resolution 242, thus removing the major cause of international terrorism.

And if none of that works, take to the streets — in the name of Thomas Jefferson’s brave words. It’s our patriotic duty.

Reach Mike Rivage-Seul, retired Berea College professor, at Mike_Rivage-Seul @berea.edu.

  Comments