NET BENEFIT: MAKING WMD SEEM SAFE PREVENTS NUCLEAR ABOLITION
SMALL ACTIONS TO LIMIT NUCLEAR DANGER ONLY CREATE A DANGEROUS STATE OF DENIAL
HOWARD BREMBECK, Fourth Freedom Foundation, 2000; IN SEARCH OF THE FOURTH FREEDOM // VT2002 acs p. 66-67
The 1995 incident-and other incidents that undoubtedly have occurred but which have not been reported- teaches an important lesson. Anyone who believes the world is safe from nuclear war is a victim of selfdelusion. Anyone who objectively examines the present state of international security is bound to conclude that while conventional diplomacy has achieved many successes, it has been unable to build a solid foundation for the future of humanity. At best, the world's leaders have temporarily delayed the nuclear onslaught. At worst, they have created a distracting illusion that has kept humanity from concentrating on a lasting, inclusive solution to the threat posed by nuclear weapons.
This threat is not secret to anyone. A full-scale nuclear war would end life as we know it and almost no one believes a nuclear war could be anything less than full-scale for very long. As former senator John Culver once said, attempting to limit the use of nuclear weapons is like "limiting the mission of a match thrown into a keg of gunpowder." When people face up to the facts of nuclear peril, they are horrified-but not for long. The ordinary reaction is denial. Like those who choose to make their homes near the summit of an active volcano, they deny the existence of danger. They close their eyes to the destructive power of nuclear weapons, to say nothing of the threat posed by biological and chemical weapons.
DENIAL OF NUCLEAR DANGER IS A COURSE LEADING TOWARDS GLOBAL DISASTER
HOWARD BREMBECK. Fourth Freedom Foundation, 2000; IN SEARCH OF THE FOURTH FREEDOM // VT2002 acs p. 168
For some time now, most of the earth's people have closed their minds to the danger posed by weapons of mass destruction, especially the thousands of nuclear devices that now are poised to obliterate life. The danger is real and immediate but millions choose to ignore it. Instead of confronting the very real possibility of Armageddon, they rely on national leaders who repeatedly have demonstrated an allergy to the truth. They prefer to hold tight to the comforting but mistaken belief that the end of the Cold War eliminated or, at least, greatly reduced the threat to survival that is inherent in the world's bulging nuclear arsenals.
Dangers of Denial
This denial of danger is unhealthy in the extreme. By closing their minds to the truth , people are slamming the door on tomorrow. They are condemning themselves and their families, friends and neighbors to annihilation. They are guaranteeing a catastrophic disaster that will mark the end of human history.
Perhaps I am inordinately naive, but I cannot bring myself to believe most people will be forever content to live the lie that repeatedly has been told to us by our national security establishment. I have unshakable faith in the wisdom of everyday people in my country and around the world. Once they realize the truth, they will take action to end the nuclear peril. By rejecting false notions of security, they will assure that the record of humanity's progress, a story that dates back thousands of years, will not end. More chapters will be written, more goals accomplished, more ground gained in humanity's effort to realize its potential.