Colossal Lies Paralyse the Mind

If a lie is sufficiently vast, it freezes our ability to think. We are left wondering ‘How can they say this? Am I going mad? Do I not understand anything? Why is there not massive protest?’

There are around 2000 nuclear weapons (shared by US and Russia) held on hair-trigger alert, ready to be launched in minutes by accident, misjudgment or lunatic malevolence.

This is not Russian Roulette. Here there are bullets in all the chambers of the revolver the nuclear weapons states are holding to the head of humanity. And we have no control over the finger on the trigger.

This is the posture of a species of sentient beings which has lost the will to live. This is the stance of a species on the verge of mass suicide – self induced extinction.

This posture of incipient suicide is defended by the perpetrators with the plea ‘It is maintained to keep us safe’. It is impossible to imagine a more colossal lie. This lie is so vast and omnipresent that we cannot get far enough away from it to see it for what it is.

What could possibly keep us less safe than creating and priming the means of Armageddon and delegating the button-pressing omnicidal act to whoever happens to have temporarily clawed to the top of the power-elite pack at any particular time.

So we have an immanent threat of extinction in operation every minute of every day.

It is the monstrous and blatant in-your-face nature and scale of the lie which makes focusing on it and relating to it so difficult. This lie is like a vast amorphous Teflon-shielded thing with neither orifice or extrusion – no way in and no way to get a grip on it.

Who do you approach about such a lie? Where do you start?

If this monstrous lie really exists, why are there not major articles about it in the media? Where are the outraged talking heads on television? Where are the thunderous denunciations from the Think Tanks or from the ‘quality press’?

One thinks, perhaps I am missing something. Maybe the Colossal Lie is just a figment of my fevered imagination.

Then someone mentions Stanislav Petrov – The Man Who Saved the World.

One of the major features of this Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) posture is that the incoming nuclear warheads cannot be detected by our human senses since they travel at over 1000 miles every 4 minutes – and in the stratosphere. They can only be detected by electronic sensors.

We have created a species-destroying monster which we are unable to directly control All electronic systems are subject to failure – catastrophic failure in these circumstances. When the claxons went off in Petrov’s early-warning command centre he had to decide – Should he alert the owners of the fingers on the button and probably ensure that the other half of humanity perished, or should he keep quiet. He kept quiet (it was an electronic malfunction). Would Mr Bush or Mr Cheney, or Mr Rumsfeld or Mr Blair have done the same? The drunkard President Yeltsin had his finger hovering over the button in similar circumstance but, fortunately, refrained from pressing it.

Well, perhaps it is that today we have very wise and very very clever people in charge who know that they have devised a system which is absolutely one hundred percent foolproof. After all if it was not one hundred percent foolproof, it would surely be absolutely clear that this system, ‘for ensuring our safety’, is completely off-the-wall insane.

But, hang on, we all know that human beings are not creatures capable of making anything one hundred per cent predictable. We all know that mistakes are endemic – part of the human condition. After all, if it were possible to make anything one hundred per cent safe, wouldn’t we have made nuclear power stations one hundred percent safe? Presumably we tried. And ended up with three simultaneous complete meltdowns at Fukushima which we can’t bring under control.

So where does that leave me in the face of this terminal Colossal Lie?

I have decided to reaffirm, to myself, my own sanity. And what that means is that this omnicidal stance is either not sane or that its supporters are in a life-denying state of total despair. What other conclusion is possible when there is a simple remedy – when we could all be rendered safe from this appalling threat of annihilation?

The world leaders could simply ban nuclear weapons (as we have banned chemical and biological weapons and land mines and cluster bombs) and create a UN force to ensure adherence to the ban.

O.K. but there is no particular hurry, is there?

Well, there is, actually. The relatively new nuclear weapons states, India and Pakistan, have already been close to war on two occasions on which the use of nuclear weapons was considered.

Now a state of international hysteria is being whipped up by Israel and powerful elements in the US threatening war with Iran because it is considered by some that the Iranians might be planning to create their own nuclear weapons.

The Colossal Lie breeds concomitant lies. One of these is that Israel is justified in its posture despite the fact that it is common knowledge that it has 80-100 nuclear weapons of its own. We are told it is ‘opaque’ about this. Obfuscation and lies.

Oh, yes. It is urgent. We must, for our own sanity, for our own survival, find a way to expose the Colossal Lie and remove this terminal threat.

Jim McCluskey is the author of The Nuclear Threat. Read other articles by Jim.