Letter for Friday, January 19, 2018

Missile scare a time to seek peace

That we all live under an ominous and growing threat of nuclear war is clear. While recently vacationing on beautiful Kauai we were reminded on Jan. 13 how precarious human survival is.

Fortunately the emergency broadcast of an incoming nuclear missile targeting Hawaii was a false alarm. For about 30 unforgettable minutes I witnessed out right disbelief, panic, fear, terror and actual resignation.

Following the all clear I had the opportunity to listen to both island residents and tourists regarding this sentinel nuclear false alarm. The dominant feeling expressed was anger at state officials for allowing such a gaffe to ever occur. Some expressed desire to learn more about area shelters should the unthinkable occur in Hawaii. And many expressed either confidence or wishful thinking in the military’s ability to down or take out incoming nuclear missiles.

People are of course justified in their anger at an errant message that terrified untold thousands and made global headlines. What is striking however is the lack of anger and discussion about our growing nuclear peril. It appears that we have adopted the conviction that a world filled with nuclear weapons is inevitable. We have accepted and normalized the unthinkable.

For the sake of our children and the planet we must divorce ourselves from this now and forever dystopian mind set. Nuclear war is not inevitable. Nuclear abolition is possible. The strategies of nuclear abolition have nothing to do with political ideologies or “left” vs “right” dogma and rhetoric. This is about the fate of the species and planetary survival. Nuclear abolition will not be easy.

The “military industrial complex” that Ike warned us about has now mushroomed into the “military – congressional – media – industrial complex.” Ike’s worst nightmares are now our reality.

Perhaps the only power greater than the energy harnessed by the splitting of the atom is organized citizens working together towards a common and worthwhile goal. This is the power of democracy in action. The choice is ours.

Jim Sawyer, Edmonds

  1. Wally Roberts January 19, 2018 3:52 am Reply

    Mr. Sawyer needs to study the history of North Korea for the last 65 years. Their objective is to ultimately takeover South Korea. Now that the north has nuclear weapons they will be held as a threat against the United States to prevent our intervention in the eventual resumption of the war between the north and south (peace treaty was never signed). Those are the hard realities.

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