Hello everyone. Thank you for coming today and for all the good things you do, both large and small things, to oppose the madness that threatens all life as we know it.
Did you know that last week (April 26) Biden announced he would station a Trident ballistic missile submarine in South Korea to “counter” North Korea’s threats against South Korea. You may recall that each Trident submarine carries over 300 nuclear weapons. North Korea is reported to have 40 nuclear weapons while the US has over 5000 in total.
Did you know that in January, a four star Air Force general told the 50,000 troops under his command that he expects the US to be at war with China by 2025, that’s two years from now. And he ordered them to prepare in very practical ways for this war and to report to him by the end of February what their plans are. Please remember that China has 350 nuclear weapons, the third most in the world. As mentioned, the US has over 5000.
Did you know, that in February Russian troops began exercises in Siberia with intercontinental ballistic missiles. A few days earlier, Sunday, Putin revealed plans to station "tactical" nuclear weapons in Belarus, He compared this to the United States' placing similar weapons in allied European countries. Russia has over 5500 nuclear weapons.
US Forces Surround China and N. Korea
Let us be honest, the US surrounds Russia, China and North Korea with numerous ships, planes and bases including nuclear weapons. Why? To prevent these nations from challenging US world dominance. What do you think would be the US response if Russian, Chinese and North Korean ships patrolled US shores, positioned troops in bases in Canada and Mexico, and all of these were armed with nuclear weapons? The 1962 Cuban missile crisis gives us some indications when the world came the closest to nuclear war between the US and the USSR. Just think of all the madness resulting from the overblown Chinese “spy” balloon incident.
Click here to watch the spread of NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) since its been founded in 1949. It is a military alliance between 28 European countries and 2 North American countries. Sweden and Finland are about to join.
Instead of these nations finding ways to cooperate in addressing the climate catastrophe — an absolutely essential requirement, these nations are all playing nuclear brinkmanship. Every day, intentionally or not, nuclear war becomes ever more likely. And if that happens, nuclear winter will end life as we know it. You may recall that nuclear winter occurs when the debris from nuclear war rises into the atmosphere and blocks the sun’s ray making it impossible to raise food for years to come.
And, if that’s not bad enough, nuclear war becomes ever more likely because of the impact of climate change — floods, droughts, extreme weather patterns, fires, sea level rise, mass migration, etc. These changes in earth’s climatic push nations into greater competition for diminishing human necessitates such as food, fuel, fresh water, land, etc. In fact, a few months ago, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved their doomsday clock to 90 seconds before midnight, the closest it has been since it was first used as a measurement of the threat of nuclear apocalypse. And they moved it because of the dual threat of nuclear war and climate change.
Am I being alarmist? Yes, I am, because we are facing the end of life as we know it. It’s time for a total paradigm shift. Some would call it a “revolution.” We have to move from a world based on competition to one of cooperation if we are to reverse our march off the cliff. I know this sounds like pie-in-the-sky thinking but we don’t have any other choice.
Jesuit priest Dan Berrigan said that the reason we don’t have peace is because many peacemakers are unwilling to make the same commitment to peace as those who make war: leaving family and career, etc.
Many of you have been working tirelessly to fill that void. I hate to say it after all you’ve given to oppose this madness, but we have to keep trying the best we can to stop this madness. And we need to invite our sisters and brothers — family, friends and enemies alike — every one, to turn around, to reexamine our lifestyles but most importantly to stop the madness of these national leaders from driving us to annihilation. We have no other choice.
Bob Bossie, SCJ is an actively retired priest, a member of the international order of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. He worked at the now closed 8th Day Center for Social Justice for 32 years on issues of nuclear war, U.S./UN sanctions against Iraq, and the environment among other concerns.