Doomsday Clock Moves Us Closer to
Becoming a Planet of the Nuclear Dead

Comment by Larry Ross, January 20, 2007
Larry is Secretary/Founder of the New Zealand Nuclear Free Peacemaking Association (1981)


The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock two minutes closer to midnight - to 11.55.

I believe it should be closer. In their stated reasons the BAS did not mention that the Bush Administration now allows for nuclear weapons to be introduced into a conventional conflict on the recommendation of US field military commanders. Also, it does not mention that President Bush has the legal authority to wage a pre-emptive nuclear war on enemies chosen by his administration on the basis of so-called US 'intelligence' about the alleged intentions of such chosen enemies. There is no appeal and no subjecting of such decisions to the scrutiny of senior diplomats, experts or anyone other than the inner circle of the neocon Bush Administration. In other words the Bush Administration can create whatever so-called "intelligence' they need to justify their pre-planned attacks. They have already done this to justify their attack on Iraq , and are doing it to justify demonising Iran  in order to prepare the public for future attacks.

 It is important not to overlook that both George Bush and Tony Blair threatened to use nuclear weapons against Iraq if Saddam Hussein responded to their attack with what were called 'weapons of mass destruction' Even more important is that this was an illegal war based on a number of outright lies. Nuclear weapons were used as a threat to back an attack based on lies. That was a very, very important step, that was deliberately downplayed by the media and overlooked by the vast majority of people, and I suspect, by  BAS.

We know from many erudite articles by insiders and experts that the Bush Administration is planning a nuclear war on Iran . The 60 year taboo on the use of nuclear weapons for offensive purposes, rather than as a last resort in defending the nation or retaliating against nuclear attack, has been reversed. This reversal is hugely significant, particularly given the existing and planned wars of the Bush Administration.

I think that BAS should have taken this nuclear war threat to Iraq  in 2003, and nuclear war planning against Iran in 2007 into account in a more urgent manner than their rather vague warning about "a renewed emphasis on the military utility of nuclear weapons." After all, most serious observers know, and have known for some months that the Bush Administration is planning a doomsday attack using nuclear weapons against Iran , perhaps within the next few months.

This can trigger a number of consequences, which can escalate into various retaliations and counter retaliation, and even pre-emptive retaliation. Events cannot be controlled in a nuclear war.  I think most objective experts reject the idea of a controlled or so-called 'limited nuclear war' using what nuclear war planners like to call 'mini-nukes'. BAS seems to have completely skirted this issue. 

I feel grateful to BAS for their decades of work against nuclear weapons, and their brilliant idea of a 'Doomsday Clock' to warn the world population about the growing dangers of a nuclear war. So it is sad that they seem to be reflecting the popular mood, which is to avoid some of the very important issues that threaten humanity with nuclear war sometime in the next few months.  




Doomsday Clock moved two minutes closer to midnight

by Mark Bridge, January 17, 2007

Giles Whittell's comment: Doomsday timeline since 1947

The keepers of the so-called Doomsday Clock, which counts down to Armageddon, today moved its hands closer to midnight for the first time in four years to reflect the growing threats to mankind from nuclear proliferation and climate change.

In a ceremony hosted by the British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, the minute hand was moved forwards by two minutes to stand at five minutes to midnight - the closest it has come to midnight since the Cold War arms race of the 1980s.

The decision by the directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was made in consultation with the Bulletin's Board of Sponsors, which includes 18 Nobel laureates.

The BAS said that the world faced its most critical choices since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War.

"We stand at the brink of a Second Nuclear Age. Not since the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has the world faced such perilous choices," it said.

"North Korea's recent test of a nuclear weapon, Iran's nuclear ambitions, a renewed emphasis on the military utility of nuclear weapons, the failure to adequately secure nuclear materials, and the continued presence of some 26,000 nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia are symptomatic of a failure to solve the problems posed by the most destructive technology on Earth."



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