Guest post: Once again on the brink

Originally a comment by Pliny the In Between on Special Alert.

My actual earliest childhood memory is of my parents whispering to each other when they thought my brother and I were asleep. Dad consoling my mother that being as we lived only a handful of miles from the US Navy’s primary ordinance depot that building a fallout shelter was probably a waste of time. That was during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

I was staying at my grandma’s house the night that Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia.

I was in high school when Nixon set our strategic alert status to its highest level since the Cuban Missile Crisis in response to Soviet threats to intervene in the 1973 Arab Israeli War.

I scared the shit out of my civics teacher when my semester oral report was on the effects of a 5 megaton thermonuclear blast over our city center (it showed that our school was in the zone of ‘dead or to die later’).

From age 5 to 1991, I was quite sure that nuclear war was one of the three ways from which I was likely die.

Then the wall fell. Like millions I sighed with relief. Unlike most I lobbied my representatives to embrace a new Russia and do everything to find common ground and mutual advantage. The Cold War hadn’t been won – we’d just all survived it by the skin of our teeth.

Now we are right back where we (I) started – once again on the brink. Taken there by a handful of hateful old men. On the brink of the end because of one man’s greed and hatred. We must find a better way. We must find a way that prevents a handful from murdering us all. But all that hangs in the balance, it would seem, as to whether there is some senior Russian official or general who is as scared as the rest of us and says not on my watch.

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