Nuclear War Will Only Kill People Already Impacted By Nuclear Weapons. That’s Everyone.

In the photo above, World BEYOND War Board Member and Treasurer John Reuwer, a physician, at right, supports downwinders impacted by nuclear weapons testing, demanding restitution from the U.S. government that has experimented on and lied to people for decades. John commented:

“I often think the two reasons most otherwise good people support war is they don’t count all the costs, and they don’t know the alternatives to protecting freedom and self determination. Here are indigenous peoples from numerous states across the country whose families and communities where seriously harmed by the Manhattan project and subsequent arms race, begging us to consider the cost imposed on them. These leaders have devoted their lives to educating America and Congress about the harm (an uncounted cost of the arms race) and asking for expansion of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. It was an honor to support them. I recommend this movie they made to understand some of their situation: First We Bombed New Mexico.”

Another movie that many will find enlightening is SILENT FALLOUT. Beginning in 1951, the U.S. government used numerous nuclear weapons on Nevada, and told everyone it was safe, including all the people in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and the rest of the United States and world — the places reached by the fallout. Tourists went to Las Vegas for the fun of watching mushroom clouds. And cancer spread. People developed cancer at very high rates.

It’s not in this film, but a film crew shooting a Hollywood movie glorifying war, died off in high percentage from cancer after filming in the heavy fallout area. One of the dead was John Wayne.

Enormous craters remain in the desert — and in our knowledge. The U.S. government knew at least by 1952 that radioactive material was reaching every corner of the mainland United States, but who knows that in 2024?

Louise Reiss, a physician in Saint Louis, led a group of scientists who collected baby teeth — and accusations from Congress of being “communists” — and showed the extent of the fallout, influencing President John Kennedy to make an agreement with the Soviet Union to end atmospheric tests by both nations. Women went on strike from housework in 60 cities, which may have helped tip the balance.

More recent tests of honey show that radioactive material is still present across the United States, but most of it not from tests in Nevada, most of it from larger U.S. and UK tests in the Pacific and from Russian tests in Russia.

The U.S. and Russian and other governments have already nuked the United States and the world. Probably nobody is free of nuclear weapons radiation — or plastics or PFOA. Who knows, perhaps someday some scientists will figure out a link between what all these poisons do to the brains of Congress Members and the policies that have allowed the poisoning to contiinue.

But the damage done by nuclear weapons tests is nothing compared to the damage that would be done within minutes of someone starting a nuclear war. Annie Jcobsen’s new book, Nuclear War: A Scenario, has a few glaring doozies scattered through it, from a false and dangerous opening quote by Winston Churchill to falsely claiming that nuclear weapons ended World War II, to explaining that “deterrence” involves nations vowing “never to use nuclear weapons unless they are forced to use them” — which relevant nations, the United States and Russia, have actually never vowed. It also fantasizes North Korea starting a nuclear war, which may be the least likely scenario. But what it does usefully is lay out a timeline in seconds and minutes of how anyone using one nuclear weapon would within about half an hour or so doom most or all human life and most other life on Earth.

Reading through that timeline, one is struck by how seriously the lunatic nuclear machine takes itself (and how different it looks in that truest documentary Dr. Strangelove), how many billions of dollars are endlessly and immorally wasted on each gear in the machine, and how at no point in time does it every make the slightest sense to launch more nuclear weapons — not when you’re suspecting someone else has launched them and not when you’re sure. Launching them doesn’t stand a chance of deterring some future war by proving you meant your threats. There is no future war. There is no future anything. The choices with nuclear weapons are a never-use-them policy or lunacy.

We can also observe, as instiutional lunacy gasps its last and we with it, that the mountain bunkers to keep government officials alive are — at most — for fewer people than you can count on one hand, and how nuclear energy facilities serve as self-facing weapons.

There’s also a new series on Netflix called Turning Point: The Bomb and the Cold War, which may be so bad that it does more harm than good, even though it has many good moments, including those with Daniel Ellsberg speaking — whose book The Doomsday Machine is probably the single best one to read on the nuclear threat. I also think it important to read a book on the multitude of near misses — the many times we’ve already almost all died: Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety.

In general I think the proliferation of even deeply flawed books and movies is all to the good. Different people will read different books. Most people, who read nothing, will hear from a friend whose cousin saw an interview of an author on Youtube. Slowly, perhaps, people will grasp that the cold war never ended, that the danger is greater than ever before, and that there is no such thing as using one nuclear weapon and not using them all.

What can be done? Get rid of the underground bunkers and deal with the fact that we’re all in this together. Get rid of the policy of “launch on warning” as promised and reneged on by Bush, Obama, and Biden. Get rid of land-based ICBMs as redundant on lunacy’s own lunatic terms, and dangerous as hell over here in reality. Get the U.S. nukes out of Europe, as they serve — in both realty and in Jacobsen’s scenario — exclusively to make Europe a target. And — perhaps most importantly — stop believing absurd war lies, especially about Ukraine but also every other war, lies that blame only one side, depict it as subhuman, and pretend nonviolent solutions are not readily available for every crisis from Congress Members insulting each others’ faces to militaries invading and occupying nations.


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