Everyone on Earth Dies for Democracy

"February 8, 2023 – The US Air Force announced earlier today that a test launch of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile with a mock warhead will take place late between 11:01 p.m. Thursday and 5:01 a.m. Friday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California."
~ Leonard Eiger, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action

My grandfather loved me. He also directed the most deadly bombing campaign ever and claimed he killed more than a million people in Tokyo during his Operation Meeting House. I watched him spin around his den surrounded by his 63 framed black and white photos of the firebombing arguing with his friends Robert McNamara and Curtis LeMay, demanding they send the communists a message by dropping a nuclear bomb on Hanoi.

Like many of the architects of the rush towards World War III he attended the best schools: Phillips Academy, Dartmouth and Harvard Law. He was recruited into the Office of Strategic Services and was stationed in Burma.

I slept in his Needham, Massachusetts finished basement next to the two file cabinets of formulas that he would sell to Ken Olson, the founder of Digital Electronic. A photo of thousands of shirtless Burmese slaves pounding rocks with hammers or balancing baskets of stones on their heads sat next to my bed. He shared stories about how he helped set up

the opium trade to the United States so they could flood the black community with heroin to keep them busy with addiction knowing the GI Bill wouldn’t offer equal benefits to those who shared the horrors of war.

I was expected to follow in his foot steps. I would grow up to determine who would live and who would die, saying that this was the "white man’s burden." Those I killed would not have to worry about the responsibility of such decisions. He shared that elections were theater designed to give the impression of Democracy. We couldn’t give real power to the ignorant masses. I was one of the genetically special people who would help defend corporate power.

In the months before Russia’s Special Military Operation I could see my grandfather in the words of the Brookings Institute, the Atlantic Council, Victoria Nuland and her husband Robert Kagan. Suggestions that a first strike against Russia might be necessary.

The call for a direct conflict and a suggestion the US could and should use nuclear weapons against Russia was outlined in the long rambling essay, "The Price of Hegemony – Can America Learn to Use Its Power?"’ by Robert Kagan in the May 2022 issue of Foreign Affairs outlining the rationale for going to war with Russia.

Kagan writes, "It is better for the United States to risk confrontation with belligerent powers when they are in the early stages of ambition and expansion, not after they have already consolidated substantial gains. Russia may possess a fearful nuclear arsenal, but the risk of Moscow using it is not higher now than it would have been in 2008 or 2014, if the West had intervened then."

In the opinion piece "The U.S. Should Show It Can Win a Nuclear War” by Seth Cropsey, the founder of the Yorktown Institute, wrote is but one of dozens of articles preparing us for a nuclear conflict.

Cropsey writes, "The reality is that unless the U.S. prepares to win a nuclear war, it risks losing one."

“The ability to win is the key. By arming surface ships with tactical nuclear weapons, as well as attacking a nuclear-missile sub and thus reducing Russian second-strike ability, the U.S. undermines Russia’s ability to fight a nuclear war."

The foreign secretary Liz Truss told a Tory hustings event in Birmingham in August 2022 that she was willing to hit Britain’s nuclear button if necessary – even if meant "global annihilation".

Calls for regime change in Russia is dangerous. Is there any leader who would let themselves be topped without a fight?

During a speech in March 2022 in Warsaw, Poland, President Biden said of Russian President Vladimir Putin: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power." Thankfully the White House staff tried to tamp this statement down.

Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested that Russians should assassinate President Vladimir Putin.

“Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?” the South Carolina Republican asked in a March 2022 Tweet.

Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was assassinated by Brutus and others in the Rome Senate on the Ides of March. Graham was also referring to German Lt. Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, who tried to kill Adolf Hitler in the summer of 1944.

“The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country – and the world – a great service,” Graham said.

Do we really think that sending Ukraine F16 jets, long range missiles and tanks will force Russia to agree to end the war? Was bombing the Nord Stream pipelines and the Kerch Bridge the best way to reduce tensions? Will launching intercontinental nuclear capable missiles reduce the threat of a global nuclear war?

We might not be able to stop World War III but we should try. That is why I am helping organize Rage Against the War Machine protest on February 19, 2023.

Washington DC Event

San Francisco Event

Keith McHenry is the Co-Founder of Food Not Bombs.

21 thoughts on “Everyone on Earth Dies for Democracy”

  1. The first strike talk is the scariest, because it really could happen. That there are people in government evil enough to do it is clear, since some openly advocate it, and stupid enough goes without saying. If the order is given hopefully the military will refuse it on Constitutional/humanitarian/self preservation/sanity grounds, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    1. They did a test decades ago that showed that the people who’d have to actually launch nuclear missiles in the U.S. military would refuse the order. Let’s hope that’s correct.

      1. Got any data? The only way to test compliance would be to convince the subjects it wasn’t a test. What was the compliance rate, and what percentage of compliers would put a gun to the noncomplier’s heads? Missile crews aren’t selected for independent thinking. I expect if the order goes out a lot of missiles are going into the air, almost certainly enough to produce a Russian launch. Hope of survival would not be realistic.

        1. I don’t remember any details; I read this story 15-20 years ago.

          To be clear, I’m not at all saying that we should place our trust in U.S. military people refusing to obey orders to launch nuclear weapons. I was just saying that this refusal might be the only thing that saves us, as the refusal of the Soviet officer did during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Nuclear anything, especially weapons, is a major scourge on this planet and shouldn’t even exist.

    2. I wouldn’t either. The Smedley Butlers of this world who have the ethical capacity to see the errors of their way generally only do so after they have compliantly and obediently completed the orders for the missions.

  2. Like many of the architects of the rush towards World War III he attended the best schools …

    This shows that being smart intellectually doesn’t mean that you’re wise, empathetic, kind, loving, etc. One of the main things wrong with humans is that they obsess on their intellect to the detriment of things like wisdom and empathy. Humans moved in the wrong direction mentally and spiritually thousands of years ago. This needs to be reversed, and intellectually smart people who advocate war are a perfect example of the reason.

    Julius Caesar was assassinated because he crossed the ruling class in favor of the general population. I’m sure that idiots like Lindsay Graham don’t know that, but using Caesar here is not the best choice.

      1. We fit the medical definition of being a cancerous tumor on the Earth. Doesn’t have to be that way, but it’s the path humans have chosen. We could instead focus on expanding our consciousness and leave the natural world alone except to get some food and drink from streams & creeks. Of course we’d have to greatly lower our population too, but that’s a nonstarter for a species whose members worship themselves because of their grossly oversized egos.

        1. I fear that the only way to realize your fantasy of turning the clock back ten thousand years so that we all can live like our Neanderthal cousins again will work out the same for us as it did for them and can only be accomplished through the nuclear holocaust that we all abhor and wish to avoid.

          1. Not at all true.

            1. This isn’t about what’s best for humans; it’s about what’s best for the Earth, its ecosystems, and all life here. But because of humans’ oversized egos, the vast majority are human supremacists who only care about humans. This is as immoral as any other supremacist ideology, in addition to being ecologically destructive.

            2. Humans lived for 95% of our existence as hunter-gatherers, and we were thriving, with humans on all continents except for Antarctica.

            3. The way to lower human population is through birth control and abortion. Girls and women all need to be empowered (no more patriarchal religious crap that forces or even encourages women to be breeding machines) and educated, and we need a global one-child-family policy (this is an economic carrot-and-stick policy, despite lies and propaganda to the contrary, and does not include forced abortions). Greatly lowering our population and returning to living as hunter-gatherers would probably take thousands of years, but it is doable if people would make the effort.

            4. Humans’ only proper role on this planet is to expand our consciousness. We should not be artificially and very harmfully manipulating the physical/natural world for our benefit, because it causes great harm to the Earth and all the life here, as should be quite obvious. See https://rewilding.org/fixing-humans-by-expanding-our-consciousness/ for more details.

            5. Returning to living naturally as hunter-gatherers and greatly lowering our population to an ecologically balanced number while focusing on expanding our consciousness would not be “turning the clock back.” It would in fact be a major step forward for humans, and maybe even for all life on Earth. We don’t have to be a cancer on the planet; we could be a shining light instead. At our mentally and spiritually unevolved level, there’s no way to know where expanding our consciousness could lead, but one possibility is that shown in “Errand of Mercy” from the original Star Trek series.

  3. To paraphrase (and expand upon) a waggish aphorism: The most important decision one ever makes is choosing one’s parents.

    I never knew either of my grandfathers, both having died before my birth. Therefore, I am grateful to have none of the moral conflicts WRT one of yours. That said, I’m glad that your grandfather loved you. I do not envy your relevant moral conflicts.

  4. Regarding that poster for the Rage Against the War Machine, San Francisco event:

    No war against Russia (or anybody) – Hell Yes!

    Declare a Climate Emergency – Hell No !!!

    No more grants of emergency powers to stupid and aggressive government fools. One might have hoped that the counterproductive and destructive nonsense imposed with the covid excuse had taught people at least that lesson; but then perhaps I am expecting intelligence where there is none.

    1. We are in multiple major ecological crises, and the climate crisis is one of them. While we might agree that the proposed solutions would not work — there’s no such thing as “green” energy; the only solution is to stop living industrially — that doesn’t mean that we should do nothing. And considering the large number of people on the planet and the way that our societies are organized, we definitely need governments to lead the way here. Of course governments won’t do that because they work for the industrialists and their industries that are causing the problem, and admittedly because the vast majority of modern humans don’t want to give up their unnatural and very harmful lifestyles, but government engagement here is definitely needed.

      1. Dangle your favorite bait in front of you and not even the hook showing through would prevent you from reflexively biting on it.

        1. For one thing, the climate crisis is not one of my major environmental issues, because it’s a mere symptom of industrial society, which is in turn a symptom of wrongful living, which in turn is a symptom of lack of mental and spiritual evolution.

          Second, you consider discussing major issues like the climate crisis dangling bait? That says infinitely more about you than it does about me.

          1. “….you consider discussing major issues like the climate crisis dangling bait?”

            My comment was about “declaring a climate emergency” which would bestow additional undefined or even unlimited powers on a government that has always abused every power it has ever held, either a specific one much less a ‘blank check’ to do what it wanted. To claim that such a grant is “discussion” of the issue is the bait on the hook of the abuse and tyranny that would result from yielding more authority to power-maid and dangerous criminals.

          2. On one hand, I agree with you. I do have an anarchist tendency to some extent. However, people only deserve freedoms to the extent that they act responsibly when exercising those freedoms. Otherwise, we need laws and enforcement.

            As to this problem specifically: First, are you a global warming/climate change denier? If so, no point in continuing this discussion, I’m not going to waste time arguing that the Earth is basically round.

            If not, then who do you propose fix this crisis? Individual action will clearly not be enough; we need strong government action. To be clear, I’m well aware that the government of the U.S. (and most other countries) works for the ruling class and has no intention of doing what it would take to fix this problem. (Neither do most people, but that’s another issue.) But that doesn’t change the fact that strong government action is necessary here. I couldn’t care less about businesses having to be restricted in what they do if that’s what you’re referring to regarding government power; those businesses are most of the problem to begin with.

            With gross human overpopulation, along with lack of mental and spiritual evolution making the vast majority of humans not evolved enough to act responsibly, we need government. The only alternative would be chaos. While you might prefer chaos, which BTW is not anarchy, hardly anyone does and you’re in a very small minority if you do.

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