Monday, November 26, 2007

Nuclear Annihilation, Anyone?

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' have a metaphorical device called the Doomsday Clock. This clock is set to show how close humanity is to catastrophic destruction, which happens when the clock strikes the figurative midnight. The catastrophic destruction could be brought about in any of a number of ways including nanotechnology and climate change-- however, the primary concern is nuclear weapons.

The year that I graduated from High School, the doomsday clock was at 4 minutes til Midnight, the year after it was 3 minutes 'til midnight-- the closest it has ever been set.

Living under the very real threat of nuclear annihilation as a 15 year old shaped my life in profound ways. It was in large part, why I have prioritized working for peace, as well as my philosophy that I life is to be enjoyed now, like there is no tomorrow--- because I have never really been so sure that there was going to be one.....

Recently on Positively Revolting Talk Radio, I had a chance to interview Norman Solomon. Norman has authored dozens of books, including his latest work, Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters With America's Warfare State, as well as many others. He is a nationally syndicated columnist on media and politics. His book War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death has been made into a documentary. Solomon is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. And popular rumor has it, some of his first experience with radio was here at KBOO, when Norman lived in Portland during the 1970's.

In Made Love, Got War, Solomon weaves together astute political analysis with wonderfully honest personal memoir, giving context to the political history. It is a book that challenges the reader to take an counting of her/ his own life, making sense of the political world through how it impacted your life, and to take action needed to bring about lasting peace and sustainability.

Our discussion began with a note that the U$ is an "exterminist state" as Daniel Ellsberg called it in his introduction of Solomon's latest book. This distinguishes the U$ from other warfare states, noting that the Dept. of Defense has strategies that include mass exterminations of people, nuclear weapons being used in urban areas (as they were in Japan and as they were targeted during the cold war).

Against the backdrop of the "exterminist state" there is the projection of stability. Solomon offered that it's the mainstream media's job to sell that sense of normalcy. Solomon quickly pointed out the rise in television programs like "Father Knows Best", as the world wrestled with the uncertainties of the new nuclear age.

The calm assurance of business as usual, as promoted in corporate media, contrasted with the reality that our current administration has continuously

kept nuclear military options on the table (and uses scores of tons of depleted uranium in weapons) makes for one hell of a disconnect.

Norman Solomon emphasized the importance of using independent media, and holding media accountable to report accurately.

In Made Love, Got War, Solomon cites author Jeff Nuttall, who wrote of the difference between the generation that were post adolescent when the U$ used the A-Bomb on Japan, vs those who were younger than that. According to Nuttall, people that were already through adolescence when the U$ nuked Japan plan for the future; the folks that were pre-adolescent during that moment (or, like myself, were yet to be born) were unable to realistically picture their future. Tomorrow was uncertain at best.

And now, the generation coming of age is once again doing so under a renewed threat of nuclear war, and certainly a spreading global war of aggression. While once the U$ presidents spoke of sure victory and U$ strength, we now have a who tells the public that we must be prepared for a war on terror that has no end, and that it is our patriotic duty to go shopping. The Doomsday Clock has crept back to 5 minutes to midnight.

For the sake of our future, for the sake of our earth, now is the time to get active; no time like the present to resist the death cult. The madmen in the ruling elite are willing to risk everything if it means that they get to continue to consolidate their power and wealth.

It is up to each and every one of us to demand accountability-- impeachment is a good start; after that the war crimes tribunals would be a great idea.

It's up to each of us to demand peace, and money for human needs.

Ya basta.

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