Erm I Know You’re Busy But Nuclear War Is Getting Increasingly Likely

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by Caitlin Johnstone, Caitlin Johnstone:

While mainstream western media have been spending their time concern trolling about a “missing” Chinese tennis player who is not actually missing, hardly any coverage has gone toward NATO’s announcement that if the new German government does not continue to allow US nuclear weapons on its soil those weapons will be relocated to the east of Germany. This would put them closer to Russia’s border, a major provocation of Moscow and yet another step forward in the western empire’s steadily escalating game of nuclear brinkmanship.

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“Germany can, of course, decide whether there will be nuclear weapons in (its) country, but the alternative is that we easily end up with nuclear weapons in other countries in Europe, also to the east of Germany,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said last week.

“Should NATO decide to move U.S. nuclear weapons to Poland, for example, that would likely be seen as a step towards angering Moscow by bringing them closer to the Russian border,” Reuters reports.

Meanwhile the US is considering sending more weapons to Ukraine as tensions mount between Moscow and Kiev, and Vladimir Putin is warning that western powers are ignoring Russia’s red lines which are meant to serve as a deterrent to prevent escalation into full-blown nuclear war. The cold war against China has been continually ramping up as well and appears likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Half of Americans would now reportedly favor going to war against Russia in defense of Ukraine and a majority would now favor going to war with China in defense of Taiwan. These drastic spikes in opinion are not an accident; the consent has been forcefully manufactured by an aggressive propaganda campaign against those two nations. They are not manufacturing that consent for fun; they are doing it for a reason.

And I just keep tripping on how weird it is that so few people see the US empire’s headlong charge into cold war conflict with two separate nuclear-armed nations as the single most urgent concern of our day. It probably doesn’t even make most people’s top ten. Very few people seem to believe the most pressing threat to humanity might be all those armageddon weapons we’ve been stockpiling and how increasingly irresponsibly our leaders are treating them.

I write about this issue a lot because to me it seems obvious that when you really look at the facts of the matter it’s the most worrying thing of all worrying things in this world. It is entirely possible that climate chaos causing heat spikes and flash freezes which destroy plant life could be the thing which sends us the way of the dinosaur, or it could be the reckless development of weaponized artificial intelligence, but those fates are a bit further down the track. There’s only one threat facing us which could technically wipe us all out tomorrow, and it’s the rapidly increasing likelihood of boring old nuclear holocaust.

I write about it a lot, but it’s never shared particularly well. I could get a lot more traction telling people the most urgent threat of the day is government abuses related to Covid, or white supremacists, or one of the two mainstream political factions which so much energy goes into amplifying the enmity between. But when I write about what I see as the actual greatest threat to our world it’s like yelling into the wind. People don’t want to hear it. My words get swallowed up by a big black hole in the ground and their energy just kind of fizzles.

A big part of it is probably due to the fact that this isn’t something which fits neatly into any of the partisan filters we’ve been trained to view the world through. Detente is no longer an issue promoted by the mainstream parties which present themselves as the “left” end of the spectrum; when aggressions against Russia or China come up it’s usually in an argument over which one we should hate more. Nobody’s self-reinforcing ideological social media echo chamber is going to help them amplify the message that we’re getting way too close to nuclear war; it’s even a back burner issue for most socialists and anti-imperialists.

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