By Keith McHenry, Co-Founder of Food Not Bombs, February 9, 2023
“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.