by Gus Steeves
Ah, choices, choices...
Where do you want to start World War III? Korea? Taiwan? The Himalayas? The Caucasus? Iran? Syria? Yemen? Niger? Algeria? Poland? Ukraine?
All are wonderful candidates for sending up the final balloon. Which do you prefer? Since you keep choosing leaders who want to push the button, just point the way and I’ll help you.
78 years ago this week, Aug 6 and 9, 1945, you showed me you had it in you to be my favorites. The lies and censorship used to justify mass murder in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were inspired, and I didn’t even have to suggest them. Over the next decade or so, even I was impressed with the twisted logic and fearmongering I heard to promote bigger ways to throw death around the world. Tsar Bomba and Bikini Atoll were amazing. I was so proud of you.
You took a few steps back with the treaties and the talks of the "60s and "70s, and I had to shake my head. Humans, so inconsistent. But, I’m patient.
Then came the ‘80s – oh, so close! Able Archer, the US drill that almost started a nuclear war, Chernobyl, the "Peacekeeper" missile, Iran-Iraq War, Reagan’s "Star Wars" fantasy. You even gave yourselves the heebie-jeebies about what could happen with Threads, The Day After, and countless horrific novels. I was almost certain it was coming.
… And you backed down in the "90s. The Soviet collapse could have changed everything. It reset the Doomsday Clock back to 17 minutes, sparked real efforts to destroy the weapons, and gave you a chance to shift resources to address a long list of other issues the Cold War had back-burnered. You even managed to ban CFCs, PCBs, and a few other nasty pollutants and started talking for real about climate change.
I was beside myself. So disappointed, I even started drafting plans for another civilization I might have to mess with. But I was also curious to see what you"d do with the "Peace Dividend."
Ah, I should've had as much faith in you as you have in me. Your neo-cons squandered it in spectacular fashion, turning peace into empire. My game was on again. They even came right out and said they saw it as the "end of history." I couldn't believe my ears!
More wars, more countries testing the Bomb, and the big ones ripping up their nuclear treaties to rearm. Add to that AI, drone weapons, hypersonic missiles, cluster bombs, the rebirth of the claim "nuclear war can be won," and even actual creation of a military Space Force.
I could see you were now serious about this, not just playing anymore. I mean, wow, you"re actually at war in Ukraine, a place that was the core of Russian civilization! Not to mention "freedom of navigation" stunts near China, nuke subs in Korea and Australia, Marines on ships in the Gulf, wingtip fighter jet incidents over Syria, war-games with just about everybody, and constant propaganda.
The Doomsday Clock recently jumped forward, officially to 90 seconds, but it"s really closer to 30. Even without launching the nukes, you"re burning enough fossil fuels to set Earth on fire and make the sea a hot tub. It"s so nice of you to make me feel cozy.
Honestly, people, you're starting to scare even me. I don't have enough demons to handle a massive influx of capitalist pigs, and God doesn't have enough angels to handle all the good people in WW3 would send his way. Never mind all the innocent animals, plants, and other lifeforms who have no say at all in this.
That reminds me – where did I put Mother Nature’s phone number? I really need to call her and see how we can work together to stop this craziness...