Humanity at a Crossroads: Cooperation or Extinction

We hold in our hands vast power to both create and destroy, the likes of which have never been seen in history.

The nuclear age inaugurated by U.S. bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 almost reached its deadly culmination in October 1962, but Kennedy and Khrushchev prevailed over the militarists in both camps and found a diplomatic solution. Mature statecraft led to an agreement to respect each other’s security interests. Russia removed its nuclear weapons from Cuba, and the USA followed suit by removing its Jupiter nuclear missiles from Turkey and Italy soon thereafter while promising not to invade Cuba.

Kennedy created several precedents for future leaders to learn from, starting with his Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963, his plans to halt the US invasion of Vietnam, his vision for a U.S.-Soviet joint space program, and his dream of ending the Cold War.

We are now sitting on the cusp of the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Sadly, very few statesmen in today’s world think on the strategic level of President Kennedy by trying to understand the world through the eyes of their adversaries.

In that sense, we must recognize the legitimate security interests of both Russia, which has long viewed NATO expansion as an existential threat, and Ukraine, which justifiably deserves freedom, peace, and territorial integrity. There are no viable and humane military solutions to the present conflict. Diplomacy is the only way out.

Beyond simply putting out the immediate fires threatening to engulf our collective home, a longer-term plan to avoid future fires from taking hold is also necessary. To this end, cooperation on matters of common interest is vital to establishing new security architecture founded upon firm principles. This means seeking out projects that unite the goals of eastern and western blocks into a shared destiny, rather than amplifying divisions of “us” vs. “them” with “good guys” invited to democracy summits that exclude nearly half of the world’s population.

Today’s statesmen must discuss climate change, search for new energy sources, respond to the global pandemics, close the gap between rich and poor; these are but a few examples from a nearly limitless available list.

If humanity is to survive the current storm, it will have to rethink the geopolitical assumptions that have dominated throughout recent history and search for universal collective security rather than the unipolar domination that has prevailed since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The good sign is that Russia and Ukraine continue talking and achieving some limited progress but, unfortunately, with no breakthroughs, as the humanitarian catastrophe inside Ukraine worsens. Instead of sending more western weapons and mercenaries to Ukraine, which adds fuel to the fire and speeds the race towards nuclear annihilation, the US, China, India, Israel, and other willing nations serving as honest brokers who must help to negotiate in good faith to resolve this conflict and eliminate the danger of nuclear extinction that threatens us all.

• Edith Ballantyne, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Canada
• Francis Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law
• Ellen Brown, Author
• Helen Caldicott, Founder, Physicians for Social Responsibility, 1985 Peace Nobel Laureate
• Cynthia Chung, Rising Tide Foundation, Canada
• Ed Curtin, Author
• Glenn Diesen, University of South-Eastern Norway
• Irene Eckert, Founder Arbeitskreis for Peace Policy and Nuclear Free Europe, Germany
• Matthew Ehret, Rising Tide Foundation
• Paul Fitzgerald, Author and filmmaker
• Elizabeth Gould, Author and filmmaker
• Alex Krainer, Author and market analyst
• Jeremy Kuzmarov, Covert Action Magazine
• Edward Lozansky, American University in Moscow
• Ray McGovern, Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
• Nicolai Petro, American Committee for US-Russia Accord
• Herbert Reginbogin, Author, Foreign Policy Analyst
• Martin Sieff, Former Senior Foreign Policy Correspondent for the Washington Times
• Oliver Stone, Film director, screenwriter, film producer, author
• David Swanson, World Beyond War

Edward Lozansky is president of the American University in Moscow. Reprinted from the Washington Times with permission from the author.

3 thoughts on “Humanity at a Crossroads: Cooperation or Extinction”

  1. Today’s statesmen need to get out of the way and let a free market address climate change, closing the gap between rich and poor, searching for energy sources, and so on. About all most statesmen do is screw those things up whenever they get involved.

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  3. “The good sign is that Russia and Ukraine continue talking and achieving some limited progress but, unfortunately, with no breakthroughs…”

    And there will not be any breakthroughs. The only topics under discussion are the humanitarian corridors, with Ukraine refusing most of the Russia-suggested corridors, especially those into Russia. And the ones Ukraine does approve don’t work because the local Nazi forces do not implement them.

    As for the core Russian demands, these are non-negotiable.

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