A Butcher Knife


Prof. Dietrich Fischer – TRANSCEND Media Service

In modern warfare, those who issue orders to kill seldom see their victims face to face.

Roger Fisher proposed that the secret service agent who at all times carries a briefcase near the US President with the 12-digit code that the President must release to authorize the use of nuclear weapons, should be replaced by a volunteer who has that code hidden in a capsule implanted near his heart, and who carries a butcher knife in his attaché case.

If the President decided it was necessary to kill millions with nuclear missiles, he would first have to see what it means to kill one human being with his own hands. When he suggested this at a meeting at the Pentagon, the others protested,

“That is a terrible idea. It could distort the President’s judgment.”


Dietrich Fischer (1941-2015) from Münsingen, Switzerland, got a Licentiate in Mathematics from the University of Bern 1968 and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University 1976. 1986-88 he was a MacArthur Fellow in International Peace and Security at Princeton University. He has taught mathematics, computer science, economics and peace studies at various universities and been a consultant to the United Nations. He was co-founder, with Johan Galtung, of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment in 1993.

Excerpted from Dietrich Fischer’s Stories to Inspire You – TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 6 Aug 2018.

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