The War in Ukraine Must Stop Now
EDITORIAL, 9 Jan 2023
The Ukraine War and Nuclear Weapons
After his illegal and brutal invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin put Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert, thus threatening the world with an all-destroying nuclear war. The threat brought back memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the world was balanced on the edge of a suicidal and genocidal nuclear war. We are once again reminded of the urgent need for the world to rid itself of nuclear weapons.
The Danger of Nuclear War
War was always madness, always immoral, always the cause of unspeakable suffering, economic waste and widespread destruction, and always a source of poverty, hate, barbarism and endless cycles of revenge and counter-revenge. It has always been a crime for soldiers to kill people, just as it is a crime for murderers in civil society to kill people. No flag has ever been wide enough to cover up the atrocities of war.
But today, the development of all-destroying thermonuclear weapons has put war completely beyond the bounds of sanity and elementary humanity.
Today, the existing nuclear weapons have half a million times the power of the bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A thermonuclear war would destroy human civilization, together with most of the plants and animals with which we share the gift of life.
Research has shown that fire-storms produced by a nuclear war would send vast quantities of smoke into the atmosphere, blocking sunlight, and blocking the hydrological cycle. The climate would become very cold for a period of about ten years. Human agriculture would fail. Plants and animals would also be killed by the nuclear winter.
We must act quickly and resolutely before our beautiful world is reduced to radioactive ashes, together with everything that we love.
The Invasion of Ukraine Cannot Be Called Unprovoked
To understand how Russians feel about having western weapons and troops poured into a position on their nation’s borders, we should imagine how the United States would react if large numbers of Russian weapons and troops were stationed in Mexico or Canada.
In 1991, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, George H.W. Bush and his Secretary of State, James Baker, promised Mikhail Gorbachev that if he agreed to the unification of Germany, NATO would not expand eastward, toward Russia, “not one inch”. The promise was broken almost immediately by Bill Clinton, who helped to bring the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland into NATO. Russians saw this not only as a betrayal, but also as an act of aggression.
The Monroe Doctrine
There is no document more fundamental to the foreign policy of the United States than the Monroe Doctrine. It states that interference in the Western Hemisphere by European powers would be interpreted as an attack on the United States, and would be opposed by the United States. The Monroe Doctrine has been used to justify U.S. interventions in Central America and in the Caribbean. Understandably, the United States wishes to have its backyard secure. Why should Russia not have the same wish?
The U.S. Should Stop Threatening Russia
Because Russia’s fears are legitimate and based on historical suffering, the U.S and its allies should stop threatening Russia. Nuclear missiles should be removed from positions near the Russian border, and the eastward expansion of NATO should be halted.
A Diplomatic Solution to the Conflict is the Only Way to End It
UN Secretary General António Guterres has urged Russia and Ukraine to negotiate an immediate cease-fire and a mutually agreeable settlement to end the conflict. However, this rational solution is opposed by politicians in the United States and elsewhere, who are influenced by money from giant arms corporations. Thus, more and more heavy weapons are sent to Ukraine, pouring oil onto the flames, and enriching the merchants of death. This must stop, and a diplomatic solution must be found under Secretary General Guterres’ wise leadership.
John Avery John Scales Avery, Ph.D., who was part of a group that shared the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize for their work in organizing the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, is a member of the TRANSCEND Network and Associate Professor Emeritus at the H.C. Ørsted Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He is chairman of both the Danish National Pugwash Group and the Danish Peace Academy and received his training in theoretical physics and theoretical chemistry at M.I.T., the University of Chicago and the University of London. He is the author of numerous books and articles both on scientific topics and on broader social questions. His most recent books are Information Theory and Evolution and Civilization’s Crisis in the 21st Century (pdf). Website: https://www.johnavery.info/
Tags: European Union, Nuclear war, Pentagon, Russia, USA, Ukraine
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 9 Jan 2023.
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