Darkness Darkness: Time to Ban the Bomb

Darkness darkness, be my pillow
Take my head and let me sleep
In the coolness of your shadow
In the silence of your dream….

Darkness darkness, long and lonesome
Ease the day that brings me pain
I have found the edge of sadness
I have known the depths of fear

Darkness darkness, be my blanket
Cover me with endless night
Take away, take away the pain of knowing
Fill the emptiness of right now
The emptiness of right now
Fill the emptiness of right now…

From Diana Johnstone’s (author of ‘the Queen of Chaos’) ‘Nuclear Weapons Ban? What Needs to be Banned Is U.S. Arrogance’, counterpunch

A few passages:

“In a context of almost total indifference, marked by outright hostility, representatives of over a hundred of the world’s least powerful countries are currently opening another three-week session of United Nations talks aimed at achieving a legally binding ban on nuclear weapons.  Very few people even know this is happening.

Ban nuclear weapons?  Ho hum… Let’s change the subject.

The nuclear war peril is manmade, and some of the men who made it can even be named, such as James Byrnes, Harry Truman and General Leslie Groves.  The United States government consciously and deliberately created this danger to human life on earth. Faced with the United States’ demonstrated capacity and moral readiness to wipe out whole cities with their devices, other countries built their own deadly devices as deterrents.  Those deterrents have never been used, which lulls the public into believing the danger is past.

But the United States, the only power already guilty of nuclear manslaughter, continues to perfect its nuclear arsenal and to proclaim its “right” to launch a “first strike” whenever it chooses.

The United States naturally calls for boycotting the nuclear arms ban conference.

On the occasion of an earlier such conference last March, President Trump’s gormless U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, wrapped her lame excuse in womanliness: “As a mom and a daughter there is nothing I want more for my family than a world with no nuclear weapons,” she shamelessly uttered. “But we have to be realistic. Is there anyone that believes that North Korea would agree to a ban on nuclear weapons?” 

Well, yes.”

She explains that North Korea sees its nuclear arsenal as a deterrent, a ‘great wall’ as she names it, and notes that the Hermit Nation was a response to post Japanese Imperialism, and that the ‘rogue nation’ (my words) has indicated in the past that it would give up their nuclear capabilities if the world would accord Pyongyang a lasting peace accord.

“The United States with its nuclear arsenal is like a demented maniac with delusions of grandeur.  The delusions are institutional rather than individual.  Psychologists may be brought to the scene to try to cajole an individual maniac who has taken a schoolroom of children as hostages, but there is no known psychological treatment for such a mass delusion.  Ostensibly normal Americans truly believe that their nation is “exceptional”.  Their military doctrine does not talk about “defeating” but “destroying”.  You may “defeat” an enemy in a war over some issue, but for the Pentagon, the enemy must be destroyed.  To eventually serve this death machine, young Americans are being trained by movies and video games to view enemies as extraterrestrials, intruders in our world who can be wiped out, not real humans the way Americans are.”

Has USian MSM paid any attention at all to the marches?  Nah.  Just stick ‘Ban the Bomb marches’ into a search engine; it’ll come up close to an Empty Set, the exception being New Jersey Online.  Unimportant, irrelevant, not-Russiagate, Trumpgate, nor ‘Katy Perry now has 3 million followers on Twitter!’

The long history of WILPF, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom post Nagasaki and Hiroshima:  ‘Women and the ban the bomb movement’, antinuclear.net

“In my opinion, the process of banning nuclear weapons serves another purpose as well: It acts as a challenge to much of the existing discourse, which has been distinctly patriarchal in tone.

In fact, much of the opposition to the nuclear ban process has been highly gendered. Those who talk about the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and call for the prohibition of weapons of mass destruction are accused of being divisive, polarizing, ignorant, and emotional. Meanwhile, opponents to the ban say that they support “reasonable,” “realistic,” “practical” or “pragmatic” steps, and call anything else “irrational” and “irresponsible.”

In the case of the ban treaty, this approach links caring about humanitarian concerns to being weak, and asserts that “real men” have to “protect” their countries. It not only suggests that caring about the use of nuclear weapons is spineless and silly, but also implies that the pursuit of disarmament is an unrealistic, irrational, and even effeminate objective.

Of course, the fact that masculinity is equated across so many cultures with the willingness to use force and violence is a social phenomenon, not a biological one. Boys come to learn to define themselves as men through violence. The way that norms of masculinity such as toughness, strength, and bravado are displayed in the media, at home, and in school teaches boys to exercise dominance through violent acts. Boys learn to think of violence as a form of communication.

Nuclear weapons are themselves loaded with symbolism—of potency, protection and the power to “deter” through material “strength.” For many, such symbolism obscures the real point of the existence of these arms—to destroy—and their horrendous effects.

Nuclear weapons are not just symbolically gendered. Women face unique devastation from the effects of the use of nuclear weapons, such as the impacts of radiation on their reproductive and maternal health. Women who have survived these radioactive effects also face unique social challenges; they are often treated as pariahs in their communities.”

From WomenBantheBomb.org: ‘Nuclear weapons are about to be banned and we need your voice!’

“In one of its final acts of 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted with overwhelming support a landmark resolution to begin negotiations on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. This historic decision heralds an end to two decades of paralysis in multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts.

Throughout June and July of 2017, governments will negotiate a ban on nuclear weapons at the United Nations. WILPF and our coalition are hitting the streets to celebrate and also demand a good treaty that prohibits these weapons of mass destruction once and for all!”

How can you not love this? ‘Peace Train’ will join Women’s March to Ban the Bomb’, nj.com, June 14

TRENTON — A “Peace Train” will be leaving the Trenton train station Saturday morning to join the Women’s March to Ban the Bomb in New York City. The march coincides with negotiations for a Treaty to Globally Ban Nuclear Weapons, which is taking place at U.N. Headquarters.”

stunned speechless…

United National Antiwar Coalition Conference, June 16-18, Richmond, VA: 

“This will be the place where the antiwar and social justice movement will come together this spring to discuss, map strategy and organize for the coming period. Antiwar leaders from across the country and across the world will be in attendance including: Ajamu Baraka, Medea Benjamin, Glen Ford, Bernadette Ellorin, Bruce Gagnon, Lawrence Hamm, Jaribu Hill, Jonathan W. Hutto, Sr, Margaret Kimberley, Ray McGovern, David Swanson, Ann Wright, Kevin Zeese and many more.”

47 responses to “Darkness Darkness: Time to Ban the Bomb

  1. Seventy years past time to ban the bomb.

    The US persists in the illusion that there is some way that it can be the sole holder of some technologically advanced weapons system that allows total power.

    The key point to notice is that the US did not keep the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks rolling into a new phase once Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State; they ratified what was on the table and then dropped it. Same with the chemical weapons momentum after Russia intervened to broker a deal with Syria. It was diplomatically possible then to ask for Egypt, Myanmar, and whichever other countries were holdouts on the Chemical Weapons Treaty to step up, sign up, and eliminate stockpiles, bringing all nations under the OPCW.

    But one of those nations was Israel. Not nice to put diplomatic pressure on Israel to rid itself of its chemical weapons.

    • sorry to be so long, but real life…and all that.

      i was hoping you’d weigh in, as i know you know all this stuff forward and backward. but 1947? all i could find (well, not to minimize it) was the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission General Report 1947. that and then?

      so hillary’s underlying reasons for failing to move forward was, what, russia? and no, it’s not nice to put diplomatic or economic pressure on israel about anything, is it?

      but it seems that the US is now bombing the syrian army, and iran may have fired missiles at IS in retaliation for the attacks on tehran. when does it end? does it end? i remember d.w.bartoo at fdl often saying: ‘when they stop us’.

      • The major reworking of US national security institutions occurred in 1947. The National Security Council, Department of Defense, Central Intelligence Agency, and bunches of other changes were all made as a architecture for fighting the Cold War. Thus military-industrial complex. Thus war without end. Thus, assumption that US would continue as nuclear power, chemical weapons power, biological weapons power. Rationale: ultimate existential war between irreconciliable economic systems. I was thinking of this whole big ball of institutional wax.

        Likely, neo-con collleagues of Hillary don’t believe that banning the bomb is possible or desireable and think that deterrence can be managed with sufficient mad-man credibility.

        About US Syrian policy, idiots will be idiots. The clique that seeks to prevent at all costs Iran extending its influence from Pakistan to the Mediterranean grabbed the controls. d. w. bartoo has a point. The whole US policy of fighting ISIS was a fight-two-enemies-at-once-even-though-it-is-contradictory-as-hell policy. Iran and Russia were seen as more salient if not more immediately dangerous enemies than ISIS.

        It doesn’t end. War is a racket. Smedley Butler told you that after he busted the plot to overthrown FDR.

        • an uninclined plane


          “Woodrow Wilson gets tired of waiting for Congress to pass legislation authorizing a Food Administration, so he just goes ahead and tells Herbert Hoover to start organizing the housewives of America to use food efficiently under his directions.”

          warfare is a great centralizing force, ain’t it? how is food to be used? well, what do the war planners say? the awful mono-culture we endure in this country is both a product of & necessary for the war economy. weed out the non-STEM students cuz what the hell does playing the violin have to do w/ precision bombs or the neuro-science behind advertising & desire manipulation? apple doesn’t need violin players. apple needs people who smuggle advertising into other people’s interest in the violin and those who design the hard & software packages that allow advertisers to do so. it is the death of the violin.

          it’s all about coercion. if we can’t coerce you w/fake images of how great our sparkly products are, there’s always the whip, the terror campaign, the bomb, the nuke. capitalism as culture producer is just as much “spiritual” death as its bombs are material death.

          what’s death like? “Here we don’t die, we shop. But the difference is less marked than you think”-DeLillo’s “white noise.”

          • good stuff, an uninclined plane. (not even monoplane?) also from your link:

            “Alice Hill Chittenden, president of the NY State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, warns of the “servant slacker” and says the role of American women in this war is to stop “noisily pursuing useless activities” like, oh for example, women’s suffrage, and spend their time supervising their servants and keeping their cooks from wasting food. This article is everything you expect an anti-suffrage woman to say about servants.”

            but remember kissinger: ‘who controls the oil controls nations; who controls the food…controls the world’.

            hilarious cynicism on apple not needin’ violins, a fun parallel: i’d earlier clicked into a juneteenth piece from pop resistance quoting ‘slate’ (srsly? okay…) an one of slate’s link in reference to an early black texican..went to an ipad ad. zounds on the de lillo quote, though.

            i’m out for the night, only half o accoutta i’m afearet that thd might spring a pop test on his most recent comment….and i need to read it w/ morning fresh eyes. ;-)

            nite. may your dreams cover you w/ the darkness you need.

            • what’s bartleby’s favorite simple machine? an uninclined plane. (major groan.)

              my favorite day of the week in Amerika, restores my faith in magic: trash day. make it all disappear.

              • lol. ‘i would prefer not to.’ ‘make it all disappear’. a worthy sentiment, but how much of amerkka disappears into landfills, the ocean, islands for refuse©? how much of it gets ‘compacted’, yanno, w/ those machines that can turn 40 lbs. of trash into…40 lbs. of trash?
                (oddlyy my earlier comment didn’t make it the The Big Show boards.)

                but the first fawn of the spring just showed itself. and the rare (here) western bluebirds who took up residence in one of our bluebird houses had apparently fledged their babbies a couple weeks ago. but today they brought them back to show them how to eat bugs in our wee gardens. not as vibrantly colored as mountain bluebirds, or your blue jays, but lovely nonetheless.

        • crikey, i should have remembered 1947, as you’ve brought it before to me/us. ‘irreconcilable economic systems’ i’ll have to think thru, though. but ‘fighting IS (herr T) is even more convoluted than ever as funding and arming different versions, brands, gets mixed up, and now it’s apparently come to light that US support for the YPG in raqqua was misplaced (and i’d have to hit the Twit machine to explain how that is). stay tuned i guess.

          yeppers; how many times can we quote ole smedley butler and still not understand why most USians are soooo blind to his wisdom? but dayum, you have me pinging kurt vonnegut’s ‘war in reverse’. no, i won’t bring the video again. but i yam tempted to. ;-)

          ““It was a movie about American bombers in World War II and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this: American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation.”

          i gotta shut down for a bit, laptop’s wheezing, and i should look to the dinner. (eggplant parmigiana, yum. broke the budget for this un.)

  2. how useful is it to express condemnation of nuclear weapons thru the prism of gender binaries? radioactive destruction doesn’t discriminate. ecocide, the blowing of all fertility to smithereens, is the goal. I don’t know. it’s a question. it’s easier to talk about the gender dynamics of more “traditional” warfare cuz women aren’t, generally speaking, the soldiers. warfare, all of it, is, qua si, sacrificing society’s fertility to Mars, w/the men officiating. is there a qualitative difference w/nuclear weapons? men’s little tadpoles are affected, too. anyway, not to belabor that issue…

    didn’t uncle sam suppress reports about radiation sickness in the population after dropping the bombs on Japan? now why did they do that? hey, look, now we *must* test them out on soldiers & “remote” islands and etc., cuz we don’t know what it really does, all this fallout.

    it’s difficult to grasp the embrace of nothing, of nihilism, of darkness, complete darkness, the embrace of warfare is in this age.

    better dead than red.

    • mmmm. well… fair question in a way, i reckon. which is why i’d stuck the preface to this this way in the OP: ‘The long history of WILPF, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom post Nagasaki and Hiroshima’

      ray acheson had said at the antinuclear.net: The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) —where I work as director—was one of the first civil society groups to condemn the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (The term “civil society” gets used a lot and has many different definitions, but is generally accepted to mean groups working in the interests of citizens but outside of government or business; some examples include charities and non-governmental organizations such as the Red Cross.) Women were leaders in the campaign to ban nuclear weapon testing in the United States, using powerful symbols such as a collection of baby teeth to show evidence of radioactive contamination. Women led the Nuclear Freeze movement in the 1980s, calling on the Soviet Union and the United States to stop the arms race. Now, women are the leading edge of the movement to ban nuclear weapons in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.”

      and in their call for mobilization, they included:
      “The Women’s March to Ban the Bomb is a women-led initiative building on the momentum of movements at the forefront of the resistance, including the Women’s March on Washington. It will bring together people of all genders, sexual orientations, ages, races, abilities, nationalities, cultures, faiths, political affiliations and backgrounds.”

      and you may have noticed there were a hella lot of men, a hella lot of colors marching w/ the women. mr. wd’s main chich w/ acheson was that violence in males is due to socialization, not biologically ordained, or close. he disagrees.

      but as i’d asked thd if he might have meant, “the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission General Report 1947.” now that wiki is interesting, as japan and the US had different angles on why to investigate.

      but i guess each to his own on your question. but yes, both jesse colin’s song and paul simon’s lyrics have been playing in my head this week.

      Hello darkness, my old friend
      I’ve come to talk with you again
      Because a vision softly creeping
      Left its seeds while I was sleeping
      And the vision that was planted in my brain
      Still remains
      Within the sound of silence

      In restless dreams I walked alone
      Narrow streets of cobblestone
      ‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
      I turned my collar to the cold and damp
      When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
      That split the night
      And touched the sound of silence

      And in the naked light I saw
      Ten thousand people, maybe more
      People talking without speaking
      People hearing without listening
      People writing songs that voices never share
      And no one dared
      Disturb the sound of silence

      • I had forgotten about the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission General Report 1947. It got swamped in major postwar reorganization events. Thanks for bringing this up.

        Of course, the US military was doing all sorts of after-action reports on the campaign against Japan. The military was very keen to learn what had worked and what hadn’t and with what impact. The interest in the health effects was motivated by (1) concern about battlefield effects on troops of use of nuclear weapons on the battlefield; (2) concern about US civilians casualties if some nation had gotten the bomb and we faced it as a threat; (3) most importantly, how much of a threat other nations would consider it to be if the US held without actual use; (4) the actual damage to expect from use in war.

        Items 1 and 2 were academic when the study was initiated; the US likely did not know yet that the Manhattan Project had been compromised by Soviet agents. The history is not clear when the US found out; for sure, it was no later than August 1949 (coincidentally, the year of the Central Intelligence Act of 1949 that made spooks off limits from Congress).

        So the background of this study is the fact that the Soviets and likely other nations were just as eager to find out the consequences.

        A good summary of what the Soviets were up to in the meantime:

        Soviet atomic bomb project

        What the US learned from the study when it was finally completed was enough to shift US policy from “use” to “deterrence”. Every nation that has joined the nuclear club so far has had the same experience, now including North Korea. Part of that is the certainty of effective retaliation (you are painting a target on your country). Part is the sobering reality of what these weapons actually do.

        In principle, banning the bomb is easy; in practice it has the dynamics of a game of prisoner’s dilemma. If all ban, all win. If anyone cheats, they might win big. If all cheat, they are still in prison. Or dead.

        Asking a general to ban a weapon is like asking a farmer to participate in the soil bank.

        • thanks for the soviet link; i’ll look later as i’m able. complex dinner to assemble soon. ;-) this is ‘‘The Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission in retrospect’, pnas.org lots of info, but this stood out, and i reckon it was true:

          “There were conflicting objectives in the undertaking. On the American side, there was recognition of the urgent need for research on the medical and genetic aftereffects of radiation, but the military authorities also had interest in the offensive and defensive implications of atomic radiation. On the Japanese side, there was an unmet expectation of medical care coupled with a suspicion of the American motives. There were other problems: the uncertain commitment within the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), which was the funding agency (and at times uncertainty also within NAS), the resulting financial problems, and the changing direction of the research. Japan was under military occupation (the Occupation). Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been destroyed. The country was in chaos, and the civil structure and infrastructure had to be restored. All of these elements led to a troubled first decade for ABCC.”

          “In principle, banning the bomb is easy; in practice it has the dynamics of a game of prisoner’s dilemma. If all ban, all win. If anyone cheats, they might win big. If all cheat, they are still in prison. Or dead.” whoooosh; excellent +, amigo.

    • j ain't a physicist

      yeah, maybe women smelled thru that “nukular war is just like any other war” b.s. more quickly cuz of their previous experience w/the colossal lies of warmongering men?

      and if the US wins in its nuclear strategy, what does it win? no one seems interested in that, b/c the US threatens to blow the planet up in order to…earn the right to blow the planet up. if Russia or china backs down from nuclear brinkmanship, the US goal is still to have the unchallenged capacity to nuke stuff at will. yes, it is about control, but such control that the madman’s whims to toss or not to toss VZ or NK or Iran or…on to the nuclear bonfire are absolute & cannot be questioned.

      and all this from the refusal to share. better dead than red. better a dead capitalist planet than a pinko live one. better an incinerated iran than an iran that controls its own goddam oil. how many people kicking the Iraqi oil can around now give a second tho’t to the horror inflicted on the people there? nope, too busy devising r2p strategies for all the wymynz & babbies elsewhere to even notice.

      it’s almost like karma or nature or god or whatever has designed this thing. the more wealth/energy one wastes in the effort to seize & control wealth/energy so you can expend that energy to seize & control more wealth & energy…a vicious & ever-dwindling cycle. just how long can the Road Warriors waste their gas chasing each other around trying to steal gas from each other? we may be about to find out.

      oh, and is the world running out of uranium? my god! if we don’t use our nukes before all the world’s uranium runs out, i’m not sure what the point of it all will have been…better start hoarding the plutonium while we are at it.

      happy Juneteenth.

      • thanks for the realistic polemical take; you’re right. but your first paragraph pinged me to remember Aristophanes’ Lysistratra, wiki says was:

        “Originally performed in classical Athens in 411 BCE, it is a comic account of a woman’s extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War by denying all the men of the land any sex, which was the only thing they truly and deeply desired. Lysistrata persuades the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace—a strategy, however, that inflames the battle between the sexes. The play is notable for being an early exposé of sexual relations in a male-dominated society.”

        what does the US win? Lords of the Planet, holding the One Ring that rules them all. no sharing, no, just knowing that it’s been written that the US was destined by god to keep the planet in the order as it sees fit. i loved this part of johnstone’s take:

        “but there is no known psychological treatment for such a mass delusion. Ostensibly normal Americans truly believe that their nation is “exceptional”. Their military doctrine does not talk about “defeating” but “destroying”. You may “defeat” an enemy in a war over some issue, but for the Pentagon, the enemy must be destroyed.”

        i suppose the one benefit herr T has brought to the world is the increasing understanding that US supremacy may always have been a bit of an hubristic chimera, and is now desperately engaged in shadow play. but that’s only IF the pentagon doesn’t use its first strike claim.

  3. Until On the Beach, the fear of nuclear warfare could not be confronted directly. The Red Scare and McCarthyism were in part driven by popular fear of nuclear warfare piloted by establishment fear of labor unions and infrastructure becoming full-on socialism.

    The B-movies of the 1950s were driven by the suppressed popular fear of nuclear warfare and its unknown global consequences:

    “The fear of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, along with less expressible qualms about radioactive fallout from America’s own atomic tests, energized many of the era’s genre films. Science fiction, horror, and various hybrids of the two were now of central economic importance to the low-budget end of the business. Most down-market films of the type—like many of those produced by William Alland at Universal (e.g., Creature from the Black Lagoon [1954]) and Sam Katzman at Columbia (e.g., It Came from Beneath the Sea [1955])—provided little more than thrills, though their special effects could be impressive.[63] But these were genres whose fantastic nature could also be used as cover for mordant cultural observations often difficult to make in mainstream movies. Director Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), released by Allied Artists, treats conformist pressures and the evil of banality in haunting, allegorical fashion.[64] The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), directed by Bert I. Gordon, is both a monster movie that happens to depict the horrific effects of radiation exposure and “a ferocious cold-war fable [that] spins Korea, the army’s obsessive secrecy, and America’s post-war growth into one fantastic whole.” (From Chris Auty, “The Amazing Colossal Man” in John Pym (ed.) Time Out Film Guide (2005).

    By comparison, Nevil Shute’s novel came out in 1957, the movie in 1959, and Walter Miller’s A Canticle for Liebowitz in 1960.

    In the US fear was still repressed, but in 1957 the UK Campaign for Nuclear Disaramament (CND) began out of a letter to the New Statesman:
    “In November 1957 J. B. Priestley wrote an article for the New Statesman magazine, “Britain and the Nuclear Bombs”,[7] advocating unilateral nuclear disarmament by Britain.”

    The UK had developed (with US encouragement?) a me too bomb. Priestley advocated that the UK unilaterally disarm itself of it’s nuclear weapons. Should Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn take the step of actually doing that (or Emmanuel Macron in France), that would be stunning but would not get at what is driving that armament. They (and North Korea and Pakistan and India) can afford to unilaterally disarm. Well, India and Pakistan would have to have their own mini-Strategic Arms Reduction Talks build-down. Leave US, Russia, China (and Israel) on the field and start the international pressure for all of them to build down together. Of course, that would mean subjecting Israel to inspections that the other three countries are already tolerating (at least, for now.)

    Some more historical trivia. In 1982, the second year of the Reagan administration, Johnathan Schell’s The Fate of the Earth was published. The pushback of Reagan’s nuclear policy continued with the then Resistance (TM) in 1983 with ABC’s made-for-TV movie The Day After. In 1984 (yep!), the sociological form of the Resistance (TM) became the academic, business, and marketing-spawned Beyond War. (” Beyond War sprang into being during the early 1980s in the Palo Alto area of California, among a group drawing primarily from academia, the computer industry and marketing.”) In 1987, scientific news about nuclear winter consequences of atomic weapons use. In November 1989, a US-USSR team of authors for Beyond War issued a statement that “Everything Has Changed.” (In December 1989, East Berliners tore down “The Wall”.) Kinda interesting history there.

    Interesting enough to put up the authors of that November 1989 statement of Beyond War. (Another publication, Breakthrough, had a more academic celebrity list of authors, including economist Kenneth Boulding.)
    “We are-
    Wileta Burch, educator and seminar facilitator. She has been
    a director of curriculum and also coordinator of Beyond War activity in southern California. Wileta currently is working as
    a full-time volunteer with the national Beyond War staff in Palo
    Alto, California.

    James Burch, writer and producer of films, presentations, books, and television “spacebridges.” Before becoming a member of the
    national staff for Beyond War, Jim was a Vice-President and Creative Supervisor for an international advertising agency.

    Gail Lamy, educator and workshop leader. She is a full-time volunteer and regional coordinator for Beyond War in Sonoma County, California. Gail and John live in Santa Rosa, California.

    John Lamy, electrical engineer. He is Quality Manager for the Microwave Technology Division of the Hewlett Packard Company. John has been active with Beyond War since its founding in 1982 and was on the 1987 Beyond War U.5.-U.5.5.R.
    Task Force.

    Andrei Y. Melville, political scientist, author of four books on American politics and philosophy, Vice-President of the Soviet
    Peace Committee, and former Section Head of the Institute of USA
    and Canada Studies, Academy of Sciences, of the USSR. Andrei, a
    principal author of Breakthrough, lives with his wife, son, and daughter in Moscow.

    Alexander I. Nikitin, Director of the Center for Political and International Studies of the Soviet Peace Committee and Soviet
    Political Sciences Association. Alexander is an author of two books on American foreign policy, was an executive editor and
    author of Breakthrough, and lives with his wife and daughter in

    Pat Sundermeyer, former teacher, studied languages and taught French in the elementary grades. Pat has coordinated activities in the central California area for Beyond War. Pat and Niels live in
    Santa Cruz, California.

    Niels Sundermeyer, a team and seminar leader with Beyond War, was formerly a writer/editor for Kaiser Aluminum Corp. on The Dynamics of Change, and assisted in film projects including the Academy Award winning documentary ‘Why Man Creates.” Niels is co-owner of a real estate brokerage firm in Santa Cruz, California.

    Nancy Valentine, educator, lecturer and seminar facilitator, volunteers full-time for Beyond War. Nancy and Paul live in Sacramento and coordinate Beyond War activities in northern California.

    Paul Valentine, engineer and a lawyer. He retired in 1985 after 25 years of practice as an attorney both
    in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in Washington, D.C. and Blase, Valentine and Klein in Palo Alto, to become a full-time volunteer for Beyond War. He has had wide experience as an author, public
    speaker and seminar facilitator.”

    That is from a much more innocent age. How innocent? It’s the zeitgeist of the Broadway show Rent. Questions we would ask about proximity to Stanford did not occur to us then, did they?

    But the collapse of the Soviet Union did result in two rounds of Strategic Arms Reduction Talks that took down the aresenals to 5%-10% of the warheads that existed in 1988 and subsidized the electrical generation in the US for a quarter century.

    Negotiating away the rest (everybody’s nuclear arsenals) will not produce as much electricity but maybe enough to end uranium mining altogether? Eh, what?!

    • interesting. there is a “nuclear unconscious” which sometimes must bro’t to consciousness, in very controlled & contrived ways. a la bush junior’s “it may appear in the form of a mushroom cloud.” and the…nuke-baiting? what do we call it? against iran & n korea.

      and let’s not forget Godzilla, and kung fu theater’s nuclear shaolin warriors, inframan and ultraman.

      ok I misremember a bit what ultraman was “about” from my childhood, but whatever. awesome is still awesome.

      that some cracks appear in the nuclear-denial façade in these typically kind of silly movies…hmmm…the return of the repressed….

    • thanks for all of that, thd. oddly, beyondwar.org now goes to (srsly) an anabolic steroids page; wow, how ironic. but youtube does have the bb video:

  4. since *another* “alien” movie is out (it sux, don’t bother. I was forced to see it, driven by chthonic powers, to confirm once again the destruction of anything remotely good from my childhood. ie, the 1st alien movie,) and since w.d. mentioned lysistra (thanks; ecclesiasouzouai & the thesmophoria one also cool) & got me thinking about them greeks…

    Cronos eating his children. the universe sends its children out into the cosmos just to devour them in the most horrible ways imaginable (=the whole “alien” franchise.) the father has to be castrated & bound w/adamantine chains in tartarean darkness just so the children can get on w/living.

    intergenerational rivalry. via nuclear weapons, the fathers (sic) hold the threat of Cronos over the children in perpetuity.

    one doesn’t need to get too far into greek (or other) lit to see what destruction arises when men arrogate to themselves power of “deity”, esp. the power of death, which is warfare. there’s a truth in the Iliad w/Achilles that the last person the warrior kills is himself (somewhat contrived the way it works in the Iliad, but still, identification w/the warrior is suicide.) it’s difficult to see b/c the social construction of memory is generally about victory, not how the heroes go off & drink themselves to death (like maybe Alexander the g did?) but we see it in the future, the warrior’s killing of all, even if we are only allowed to glimpse over the precipice in cheesy B horror movies.

    never seen any of this movie except the scene where mr. biohazard suit goes wandering around to find what the telegraph signal is. i’d forgotten that it’s a coke bottle.

    that’s private property…you’re going to have to answer to the coca cola co. mister-from stranglelove

    • the possibility is presented in “on the beach'” that all attempts at communication are (or will become) absurd & cruelly meaningless in the face of the impending nuclear blackout, incl. the significance of the word “coke” in the telegraph scene.

      the story itself, and storytelling in general in its many guises, are part of the way we deal w/ “the problem of evil.” “tis not the worst while there yet remains *to say*, ‘this is the worst.'” the attempt to constrain & control & direct & manipulate & foreclose on speech & storytelling that we endure hourly under capitalism is the channel, the course, that directs the current of life into the great silent sea of nuclear nothing.

      the first word in the catechism of judaism:
      listen ;)

      • i get maximizing horror by way of stories and films is a way of minimizing actual factual horror, but what means this, j bird? ‘the first word in the catechism of judaism: listen’

        bless their hearts, that some of the most painful-to-mine-ears singing i’ve ever heard in my life. ;-)

        • oh yeah, “gimme some money” is better. and…got to get back to my “hellhole”.


          • well why in blazing saddles hadn’t ya just said ‘שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל‎’, then, ya great idjit! hellhole. hmmm. last i looked at the thernomenomemonter here it was 95, prolly hotter later. mr. wd said the sun just burned like fire at his workplace. gettin’ hot, but tomorrow is the solstice.

            oh, and i wanna be ultraman! come to think of it, weren’t peter parker’s spidey powers due to exposure to uranium?

            • live straight from hell…where music goes to die…they’ll make your eardrums bleed…like a Mozart symphony…

              ay yi yi. I guess tejas is already hitting record temps? very humid here in Charlotte, but not too hot.

  5. ‘intergenerational rivalry. via nuclear weapons, the fathers (sic) hold the threat of Cronos over the children in perpetuity.’ what a brilliant analogy (metaphor?).

    but holy crow, this from strangelove: ‘that’s private property…you’re going to have to answer to the coca cola co.’ strange synchronicity. i’d just been adding a few comment’s at i. walsh’s site about ‘people or property, which matters more (grenfell fire hell)’, and the most recent one concerned the very strong USian ‘intellectual property rights’. i used monsanto and the other GE food and seeds and poisons as the most egregious examples i could think of as attacks on ‘the commons’ (seed and food sovereignty).

    and of course, it was monsanto who’d ‘invented’ saccharin and aspartame w/ funds from…coca-cola. but on my quest to make sure, i also found:

    4. Nuclear Weapons
    ‘I don’t think these need much of an explanation as to what they are, why they are bad, or where they are being used, but it is interesting to look at Monsanto’s involvement. Shortly after they acquired Thomas & Hochwalt Laboratories, Monsanto developed a department that played a key role in the Manhattan project from 1943 to 1945, responsible for producing the first atomic bombs for the Second World War.’

    another site adds:
    ‘Later, Monsanto operated the Mound (Ohio) Laboratory as a nuclear facility for the Federal government until the late 1980s, and their Dayton Laboratory was used as a research facility for nuclear-based and other government-funded projects.’

    i’m not altogether sure i can afford to watch any of thd’s film list, but i will look at your trailers. hell, the island of doctor moreau was purdy scary for me. ;-)
    cripes, ‘the nuclear monsters that terrorized the 1950s‘, at slate. arrrrgh! ‘war of the worlds’ may be the only one i’d ever watched.

    • it would not be surprising if Kubrick & the co-author (terry southern?) were referencing On the Beach w/that coke thing.

      oh Monsanto….didn’t know any of that.

      hummingbirds are around. to feel a bit of panicky urgency at an unfamiliar buzzing in the ears, expecting a wasp or bee, to turn & swat only to see a hummingbird fly off in fear cuz I drifted off and forgot I was sitting under the birdfeeder precisely to see these marvels up close…to be surprised by the world in such a small but giant-souled way

      • dinnae yer mother teach you to Not Swat the Hummies, j ?? we’ve had a few, but we stopped feeding them a couple years ago. i hadn’t know that about monsanto either, but a green revolution cheerleader at ian’s made light of the monsanto/bayer merger as ‘maker of baby aspirin, although he made a lot of other silly claims as well. but…heeeere’s bayer. oh, that adorable baby aspirin!

    • and thanks for the slate article. great stuff.

    • I got my Uranus & C(h)ronus myths mixed up, as one does. maybe if they had written that stuff down somewhere? adult supremacy maintained thru destruction of the children.

      In addition to the name, the story of Cronus [sic] eating his children was also interpreted as an allegory to a specific aspect of time [Chronos] held within Cronus’ sphere of influence. As the theory went, Cronus represented the destructive ravages of time which devoured all things, a concept that was definitely illustrated when the Titan king ate the Olympian gods — the past consuming the future, the older generation suppressing the next generation.[13]
      nice pix by rubens, Goya, and uh etc

      • ta for the corrections, i’d always seen ‘kronus’. when i’d only seen your wiki, i went and chose the rubens. for me, it’s hard to believe that was goya.

  6. Anyone familiar with George Kennan’s PPS23 Memo? February 24, 1948; it’s a stunner.
    Here’s a link;

    I copy/pasted the whole thing for my reference library.
    It’s a long read, but history in print; certainly explains why were here at this juncture in time.

  7. I’ve never read the whole memo referred to above from Kennan but it does get excerpted/discussed a lot by leftoids.

    go set a watchman…for the ww3 storm front. probably trivial to state the NYT front page is intentionally confusing. more revelations of cia torture, but intel officials universally agree that M. Flynn opened himself to rooskie blackmail (snort.) n korea is now fully in trump’s court (huh? what?), etc., etc. and look! Duterte is now fighting ISIS in the Philippines. where do those “Muslim” “separatists” get their guns & butter from? does Al Q have an international, a global, reach????? they are in Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Mali, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Chechnya, ex-Yugoslavia…and no doubt the moon. (cuz they go wherever the US goes. I know it’s early, but keep up people!)

    does anybody here remember Vera Lynn? remember how she said that we would meet again, some sunny day…I get the dunce cap for the day. that’s a quote from pfloyd’s The Wall…I just realized who Vera Lynn is. tra la la.

    • thanks for the brief version; i can at least start w/ that. yep, i knew vera lynn and the song. oddly enough, a blues band called ‘the turnkeys’ in kent Ohio played the song; i loved it. but what i hadn’t remembered is that
      it was used in that sequence. brrrrrrrr.

      the times is weirding all that? oof. oh, and the green revolution lament diary is up. i need some…west (lily von schtup).

      on edit: betcha the ny slimes dinnae have this from RT. and of course it pinged gary powers and the ‘U-2 incident’, so as ever…i’d had to follow that breadcrumb trail for a bit.

  8. j, et al : The finale of On the Beach STILL is the most spirit-rending of the Failsafe and Strangelove endtime trilogy – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNju8IjExn4

  9. I never read the Kennan memo but reading Kennan’s “The Sources of Soviet Conduct“, a 1947 article by Kennan as “X” in Foreign Affairs was required in at least two of my courses as an undergrad.

    This is the public face of Kennan’s views. By the mid-1960s, everyone knew it was Kennan. According to the brief of the memo, it was not declassified until 1972.

    Vera Lynn, eh. The patriotic voice of the UK with “The White Cliffs of Dover“.

    “On 18 February 2009, a story in The Daily Telegraph announced that Vera Lynn was suing the British National Party (BNP) for using her version of the “The White Cliffs of Dover” on an anti-immigration album without her permission. Dame Vera’s lawyer claimed sales of the song would help boost the BNP’s coffers and would link her name to the party’s far-right views by association.”

    Good for her.

    • do you remember the ‘source of soviet conduct’ well enough to capsulize it, thd? i admit i was so buffaloed by just half of memo PPS23 that i clicked into related links and read the, holbrooke for one.

      yeah, bully for vera lynn! what a great find.

  10. Great contributions here, all. I do hope the UN talks are productive. Here’s somewhat my reflection upon the subject, lately arrived at, as an addendum to the discussion above concerning Kronos – my mind went at once (maybe tempered by Lysistrata) to Aeschylus’ ‘Prometheus Bound’ – he is the Titan who stole fire and gave it to man, thus arousing the wrath of Zeus – I think you, wendye would like this description of him given by my translator, David Grene:

    “…Prometheus is,politically, the symbol of the rebel against the tyrant who has overthrown the traditional rule of Justice and Law. He is the symbol of Knowledge against Force. He is symbolically the champion of man, raising him through the gift of intelligence, against the would-be destroyer of man[Zeus]. Finally, there is a level at which Prometheus is symbolically Man as opposed to God…”

    • I will say also that loving this play I acquired the Greek text, and some places where the translation says “Zeus” the Greek text says simply “God”. Here’s Grene’s translation of Prometheus’ final speech (I’ve changed only the * places, not having a version of my own):

      Now it is action, not speech*: now in very truth
      the earth does tremble*: the thunder in the sea’s depths*
      bellows resoundingly, the fiery tendrils
      of the lightning flash light up, and whirling clouds
      carry the dust along: all the winds’ blasts
      dance in a fury one against the other
      in violent confusion: air* and sea
      are one, confused together: such is the storm
      that comes against me from God
      armed terror manifestly marching forth.*
      O my mother most holy, who to all,*
      O Sky (aither), brings light -*
      behold me, as unjustly I do suffer.*

      (Not to say my version is better, but I have a thing about the ordering of words in poetry, like to keep them as close to the original as possible.)

      Thanks again to all here. Sorry to be late.

      • There shouldn’t, of course, be a gap in the lines before ‘bellows’, nor should there be a ‘manifestly’ before ‘from God’ – sorry!

        • hope i’ve fixed it as you wish, julianania. i partially came here now to hear ‘darkness, darkness’ as a necessity. partially it suits my darkish mood because real life suffering (am i alowwed to call it that?). and i know that most call bullshit on oppy’s quoting the bhagavad-gita as craven and self-serving after the fact, but:

          “Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and, to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says,

          “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

          anyhoo, i’m a bit out of words, empty of any positive spirit, and need a rest…and some blessed rain. sorry to any and all of you to whom i owe emails. i just can’t keep up.

          and yes, i love prometheus bound. and prometheus unbound, as well (an excerpt).

  11. Sorry for the no rain, wendye. We are back to the unremitting sun also down this way, between White Sands where those dark words were spoken and the Pajarito Plateau where they still do who knows what with the energies of the sun.

    One of my earliest memories is of gazing at darkness out my Nana’s ‘sitting room’ window to the north where ‘the war’ was and my father and uncles in it. Now I gaze to the north out my kitchen window and Los Alamos is on that horizon.

    I was just reading John Le Carre’s “The Secret Pilgrim”, from back in the day 1991. Smiley says:

    “The Bear of the future will be whatever we make of him, and the reasons for making something of him are several. The first is common decency. When you’ve helped a man to escape from wrongful imprisonment, the least you can do is provide him with a bowl of soup and the means to take his place in the free world. The second is so obvious it makes me a little intemperate to have to mention it at all. Russia — even Russia alone, shorn of all her conquests and possessions — is a vast country with a vast population in a crucial part of the globe. Do we leave the Bear to rot? –encourage him to become resentful, backward, an over-armed nation outside our camp? Or make a partner of him in a world that’s changing its shape every day?”

    I love Smiley and I enjoyed this book more than any of the others.

    • ah, yes; stuck between a rock and a hard place time-travelling. to gaze north to the bomb’s belly of the beast, oh my. i liked the smiley books, too, but i didn’t remember that passage at all.

      i just watch matt damon in ‘the martian’. i loved it, but partially because the amerikans finally yielded to chinese help in a rescue mission. the chinese chose, mind you: chose, to decloak some of their most innovative (and secret) propulsion methods in aid.

      ah, it’ll rain some time, right? who knows what fire season will be like this year? lightner creek 25 mi. east of here near durango is burning, and has been evacuated. tons of houses up there. it’s up to 250 acres now, according to online news. lots of air attack crews are buy there.

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