Quotable

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." — Elie Wiesel


Monday, March 30, 2015

THE MERRY-GO-ROUND, by David Krieger

Editor's Note: The world stands, nearly 70 years since the dawn of the nuclear age (and the first use of nuclear weapons), at a crossroads. Will we take the road that leads to disarmament and hope for future generations, or will we sink into the deep well of hopelessness and despair by accepting the twisted logic of continued Cold War thinking and concepts like "strategic nuclear deterrence"? A new Cold War is brewing, and it must be stopped for humanity's sake. The US and Russia can lead the other nuclear nations either toward the brink, or away from it. What is required is massive and consistent pressure from civil society brought to bear on the leaders of all nuclear nations, but in particular the US and Russia.

One could write forever on the facts and concepts and theories, and yet... sometimes it takes something creative to awaken us from our slumber. David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, just published this poem about nuclear weapons that I believe does just that. With thanks to David.

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THE MERRY-GO-ROUND

It could begin with a missile launched by accident.
And then the response would be deliberate, as would be
the counter-response, and on and on until we were all

gone.

Or, it could be deliberate from the outset, an act
of madness by a suicidal leader, setting the end in motion.

First, the blasts and mushroom clouds. Then the fires
and burning cities and the winds driving the fires, turning
humans into projectiles, and all of it mixed with deadly
radiation. Finally, for the last act, the soot from destroyed
cities rising into the upper stratosphere, blocking the sunlight
and the temperatures falling into a frozen Ice Age, followed
by mass starvation.

If any humans were left to name it, they might call it
“Global Hiroshima,” but none would be left to bear witness.
It would be ugly for a while, but there would be no one left to see.
It would be eerily still and silent for some stretch of time,
but there would be no one left to notice. The Earth would go on
rotating around the sun and the universe would go on expanding.

Only we humans would be off the merry-go-round.

David Krieger
March 2015

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