Holocaust vs. Omnicide
by Spencer Graves
The threat of omnicide, the destruction of all human life, posed by the US nuclear arsenal makes the Holocaust look like a childhood prank: How would you compare the deaths of 6 million with the deaths of over 7 billion, over a thousand holocausts, leaving at most 150 million survivors, leading short, miserable lives without modern sewers, sanitation, and other amenities of modern life? It makes Hitler and Stalin look like kindergarten bullies.
The people advocating “modernizing” the US nuclear arsenal and delivery systems are essentially the same people who led the Coalition of the Willing into invading Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. This was responding to the suicide mass murders of September 11, 2001, perpetrated by 15 Saudis and 4 from neighboring countries, funded and organized by leading Saudis including the Saudi ambassador to the US and employees of the Saudi embassy and consulates in the US.1 The Saudi King was not likely involved, except in creating a political environment that made it safer and more effective for his citizens to organize mass murder than to ask that US troops be removed from Saudi soil. Preparations for the September 11 attacks were known to Clinton administration personnel at least as early as 1999 and classified Top Secret, presumably to keep it from the US public: Major advertisers have good business relations with Saudi Arabia, which should not be disrupted by a little thing like one month’s road kill on US highways. (The average monthly death toll on US highways in 2001 exceeded 3,500; the official toll from the September 11 attacks is just under 3,000.) But a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.2
The people advocating “modernizing” the US nuclear arsenal and delivery systems are similar to the managers of the nuclear plants at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima and the executives managing other organizations that have experienced “system accidents”:3 A disaster hasn’t happened yet, so they convince themselves it won’t happen. And they routinely defer maintenance on safety systems or overload the system like the MV Sewol Korean ferry that was carrying over double its rated capacity when it sank in 2014 drowning almost two thirds of the passengers and crew:4 A disaster hasn’t happened yet, and therefore it won’t happen, they believe. Managers who refuse to defer maintenance are replaced by ones more “cost conscious”.
So what would be the most sensible response to a nuclear attack? William Perry, US Secretary of Defense under President Clinton, has said that a nuclear war would most likely start by accident, initiated perhaps by a computer virus like Stuxnet.5 Once started, it could be hard to stop, with thousands of nuclear weapons hitting cities, thousands of Hiroshimas, lofting so much smoke into the stratosphere that it rarely gets above freezing for 5 years even in summer in most parts of the world. If that happens, an estimated 98 percent of humanity will starve to death if they do not die of something else sooner.
If we retaliate with nuclear weapons, will we make matters better or worse? Will we target someone other than the perpetrators, like invading Afghanistan, whose leaders offered to consider extraditing Osama bin Laden but wanted evidence, which the US refused to provide, perhaps because it would implicate Saudi Arabia?
If we believe that Perry and the forecasts of a nuclear winter might be accurate, the most sensible response by any nation to a nuclear attack is a nonviolent appeal to international law. Everyone thinks they know more than they do.6People who think that a nuclear war won’t happen, or is winnable and survivable if it does, are threatening the extinction of civilization, while denying they are doing so.
The most sensible preparations for such a possibility is to strengthen international law while eliminating existing nuclear arsenals to the likelihood that one nuclear-weapon state might believe they are being attacked when they are not. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN, icanw.org) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for their part in securing the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by the United Nations earlier that year. That treaty officially entered into force on January 22, 2021, ninety days after the 50th state party submitted their documentation with the UN. Just over 11 months later Peru became the 59th state party. And New York City recently adopted the ICAN Cities Appeal, promising to divest from companies involved in the design, production, and maintenance of nuclear weapons and delivery systems.
Let me be very clear: I am NOT accusing the architects of omnicide of being evil. I’m accusing them of being human.
- FBI agents, who knew the involvement of Saudi Arabia in the planning for the September 11 attacks also knew that if they tried to give that information to the public, they could be sent to prison, like Bradley / Chelsae Manning,7 or Dan Hale,8 or forced into exile like Ed Snowden.9
- Generals and admirals seem to get promoted, especially to third and fourth star rank, based on their ability to sell expensive weapon systems to the US Congress, which requires denying publicly the dangers of nuclear weapons.
- Politicians become unelectable by offending major advertisers.
- Media executives lose advertising revenue and get fired or absorbed by more successful media if they offend major advertisers.
In 1963 Bob Dylan sang, “It ain’t him to blame: He’s only a pawn in their game.”
But you, dear reader, CAN do something different: You can ask your acquaintances what they think about this analysis. You can write your representatives in the US Congress. You can ask your local city council to follow the lead of New York City in joining the ICAN Cities Appeal and divesting from companies involved in designing, manufacturing, and maintaining nuclear weapons and delivery systems. You can support organizations working to end this nuclear madness.
Yes, we can. Sí, se puede.
CAVEAT: This is the opinion of the author and is not an official position of PeaceWorks Kansas City.
©2021 Spencer Graves, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License
1 The involvement of Saudi officials in the preparations for the suicide mass murders of September 11, 2001, was documented in “The 28 pages” of material classified Top Secret and redacted from the December 2002 report of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. They were declassified in 2016 by President Obama. The link given here is to a Wikipedia article summarizing that document. That document was for a time available on the web site of the US House. Copies of that are available from the Internet Archive and from Wikisource via links given in that Wikipedia article. Further discussion of this is available in the Wikiversity article on “Winning the War on Terror“.
2 Wikiquote, “Paul Romer“.
3 Wikipedia, “System accident“.
4 Wikipedia, “Sinking of MV Sewol“.
5 See William Perry and Tom Z. Collina (June 2020) The Button: The new nuclear arms race and presidential power from Truman to Trump(BenBella Books) and the discussion of this in the Wikiversity article on “Time to nuclear Armageddon“.
6 Wikiversity, “Confirmation bias and conflict“.
7 Wikipedia, “Chelsae Manning“.
8 Wikipedia, “Daniel Hale“, who sentenced to 45 months in prison for violating the Espionage Act of 1917 for released government documents showing that, for example, ‘During one five-month period during January 2012 to February 2013, nearly 90 percent of those killed by drone strikes were not the intended target … . But civilian bystanders were nonetheless classified as “enemies killed in action” unless proven otherwise.’ Those documents were clearly classified to keep them from the US public, not from any foreign enemy.
9 Wikipedia, “Edward Snowden“, living in exile in Russia after exposing violations of US law by the National Security Agency of the US government.