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‘Countdown to Zero’—or Apocalypse, Whichever Comes First

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Posted on Jul 29, 2010
Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

By Richard Schickel

“Countdown to Zero” is an intelligent, graphically sophisticated documentary film about what is almost certainly the most important issue confronting the world today—nuclear proliferation. Its director, Lucy Walker, interviewed 84 individuals, ranging from Valerie Plame Wilson to Tony Blair, over the course of a year’s intermittent shooting, of whom 31 made it into her final cut. In addition, she grabbed an indeterminate number of on-the-street interviews with ordinary people, designed to determine what, if anything, they know about this problem.

Therein lies the film’s most fundamental irony. Most documentaries are created implicitly—often enough explicitly—as calls to action. We are supposed to do something about the issues they explore; mount protests, write letters to the editor or our congressman, make some kind of fuss. But the good folks Walker catches unaware on the streets of New York or Moscow or wherever basically shrug, simper and grin at their own ignorance. They take wild stabs at the number of countries that are members of the nuclear club, they have no idea about how easy it is to steal, buy or build a bomb of one’s own, how close we have often come to accidentally setting off a nuclear incident.

Or, perhaps, most chilling, how impotent the deterrent threat of retaliation actually is in today’s world. To take a convenient instance: Al-Qaida, which has a high, obvious interest in obtaining nuclear capability, is not a nation; the threat of retaliation is of no consequence in its calculations. What in the world could we threaten to bomb in return if it carried out its threat to exterminate 4 million Americans with even a few primitive atomic devices? There are, after all, only 50,000 al-Qaida members and they are not conveniently clustered in some Pakistani cave.

At the dawn of the Atomic Age, Robert Oppenheimer was asked what might be the most useful tool in preventing a nuclear attack on New York City. He replied: “A Screwdriver”—actually, of course, many screwdrivers, enough to open every single container entering the port by ship or plane. It does not appear that in the intervening years any substantial advance on Oppenheimer’s proposal has come forth.

Photo courtesy Magnolia Pictures

That’s in large measure because proliferation has always been a matter discussed mainly at the highest, most secretive, levels of government. Sure, every once in a while A.Q. Kahn is observed scuttling about, peddling his deadly wares, and there is a little flurry of reporting and think pieces about his activities. But as far as we can tell, nothing is ever done about him. Or about the guys who sneak into Russian facilities and make off with fissionable material, using little more than wire cutters and crowbars to do their sometimes very profitable deeds.

It is therefore useful—not to mention scary—for this film to penetrate the dimness and get knowing people to speak frankly about what is so obviously a clear, present and never-ending danger. But still, one has a certain sympathy for the ordinary people asked suddenly to think about the unthinkable. They remember their high school civics class. They know they really ought to care about this subject, though perhaps not to extent of taking out a subscription to Foreign Affairs. So, sheepishly, they perhaps head off to the movies—thinking, possibly, that they’ve been lucky for 65 years and that maybe their luck will hold for a similar span.

Last week, when “Countdown” appeared on a few screens, “Salt” appeared on a couple of thousand of them. In its way, it takes up a closely related issue. Seems that toward the end of the Cold War, the Russians trained a small army of sleeper agents, who were at some point supposed to awaken, commandeer the U.S. nuclear arsenal and start a war from which the Russkies hoped to be the last men standing. Or wobbling. Or something. We are also expected to wonder if the title character, played by Angelina Jolie, is not the CIA agent she’s supposed to be, but one of the sleepers. We know she’s not—she’s the movie’s alarmingly athletic star for godsake.

The whole thing is silly, of course, though director Phillip Noyce has mounted an enjoyably delirious nonstop action piece—one of those movies that comes as close to pure visual abstraction as the commercial cinema permits. But that’s not the point. What I’m saying is that movies like “Salt” give us exactly what we can handle when we’re asked to contemplate the “nuclear Sword of Damocles” as John F. Kennedy called it, hanging over all our heads—a finite time frame, a happy ending and a very pretty woman in perpetual jeopardy. We may emerge from it looking a little guilty, because, against our better judgment, we had a pretty good time at it. But that’s nothing compared to the guilt we feel coming out of “Countdown to Zero.” Danger requires a clear and present deadline if it is to arouse and concentrate our attention. But all this film’s earnest, learned witnesses offer us is Apocalypse Sometime, which is a thought too vague to stir us into urgent thought or action. It represents the documentarian’s endemic, insoluble problem: how to turn talking heads into running feet. “Countdown” is a well-made and instructive film, but it tends to evaporate from memory—sort of like yesterday’s Op-Ed piece.


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By ofersince72, August 16, 2010 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

Thank you for the Samuel L. Clemens, alias

M A R K   T W A I N…

and if you read


Do you think maybe????

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By erichwwk, August 16, 2010 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment

thank you gerard, that is a good option.

If you haven’t figured out yet that all wars are a scam, educate yourself that wars occur when rich old men con poor young men into stealing for them.

Other options are to not buy into war propaganda, and refuse to have anything to do with the military.

That includes even pushing a broom at a facility such as LANL, accepting the laundered money from the LANL foundation.

There has never been a just one, never an honorable one — on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful will shout for war. The pulpit will warily and cautiously protest at first…The great mass of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes, and will try to make out why there should be a war, and they will say earnestly and indignantly: “It is unjust and dishonorable and there is no need for war.” Then the few will shout even louder…Before long you will see a curious thing: anti-war speakers will be stoned from the platform, and free speech will be strangled by hordes of furious men who still agree with the speakers but dare not admit it ... Next, statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.” -Mark Twain

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By Steven, August 15, 2010 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Shane: I like the website{interesting info}, but
there are a couple of problems with what you’ve said:

1. ‘Duck And Cover’: Unless you are on the fringes of
a blast, you are going to get injured at the very
least, if not KILLED, by the heat, blast wave, etc.
In other words, the CDA’s little strategy was
definitely somewhat half-assed… would’ve
only worked for some, but failed for most, if an
actual conflict took place.
2. Lying in a field: Don’t count on surviving unless,
you are, again, on the very fringes of a blast or not
affected at all. Not to mention the varying pressure;
that is a KEY component of what makes the blast wave
so destructive; it’s not just random wind, like a
thunderstorm or hurricane!
3. Fallout: While it is true that radioactive fallout
does lose most of its lethality within a not-too-long
time period{more like 1-2 weeks, though, instead of 2
days. C’mon, let’s not kid ourselves here}.
As for perpendicularity? Sorry, but most people
aren’t going to have the time to move all the way to
the other side of whatever area they’re in.
And finally, effective fallout shelters? Sorry to
break it to you, Shane, but they have never been, and
probably never will be, easy to build with ordinary
skills & materials{In fact, even today, most people
probably believe that you could just have a basement
or cellar and you’d be fine no matter what.}.

We can agree on one thing: that the disarmament
movement has made the occasional
mistakes…........but I’d rather live in a world
without nukes. Wouldn’t you?

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By gerard, August 5, 2010 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Christian 96:  Sorry, I did not have you or anyone else specifically in mind in my anti-Armageddon comments.  It’s just that I am unutterably opposed to these scenarios as I believe they are not only destructive in themselves, but added to the nuclear holocaust scenario, leave behind a feeling of helplessness that mitigates against construlctive action.

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By erichwwk, August 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment


Someone at the Huffington Post gets it:

On its surface Countdown to Zero is about nuclear disarmament, but deeper down the film . . . is actually an alarmist portrayal of dark-skinned men, Muslims, “terrorists,” and other racial or ethnic bogeymen who we are told, over the span of 90 minutes, are seeking nuclear weapons to use against the American people. A related theme in the film is the demonization of Iran and North Korea which are portrayed as dangerous rogue states with ties to terrorist organizations . . . against whom military action may be warranted—or else.”

Meanwhile a psuedo disarmament group - Campaign for a Nuclear Free World” give us this Bull shit: Are they a front for the nuclear weapons industry?

Point 1:  As New START progresses toward a vote, we’re gratified to see bipartisan support emerging in committee to match the bipartisan support from our military and national security establishment.

Point 2:  On funding [depending on organization]
Congress now agrees that there is a well funded, credible plan that will support the nuclear stockpile well into the future. These same Senators can vote, on a bipartisan basis, for a treaty which strengthens our national security.

Right. Let’s disarm by supporting a well funded stockpile into the future.  Do they really think anyone is stupid enough to buy this crock of crap??

Nuclear weapons have ALWAYS been about one thing-

To show the world how ruthless and barbaric the U.S. is willing to be, to burn the flesh off of living women and children- lest anyone ordain to oppose US empire.

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By christian96, August 3, 2010 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

Gerard—-How can you twist my comments to assert
I don’t care about love, beauty, spirit, God, and
the eyes of children.  I taught Child Development
at Washington State University. To assert I undervalue my life and the lives of other is beyond
my comprehension.

Erichwwk and Railbird—-You are on the right track.
The talking heads on tv discussing possible wars
does wonders for the industrial/military complex.
It secures support from the populace, regardless of
the nation, for corporations to make big bucks
by cranking out the weapons.

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By prosefights, August 2, 2010 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

TSA reponse and link to “Bi To” posted

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By Railbird, August 2, 2010 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

erichwwk observed:
“What is to be NOT a small probability, is the continued Nuclear APARTHEID of the U.S. and other nuclear haves against the rest of the world, to keep third world countries as essentially vassal states and citizens.”

“To me THAT is what US nuclear hegemony is all about - maintaining and perhaps even extending U.S. empire.” [end quotes]


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By erichwwk, August 2, 2010 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

To me a nuclear Armageddon is NOT a realistic scenario. To me the probability of it happening is rather small.

What is to be NOT a small probability, is the continued Nuclear APARTHEID of the U.S. and other nuclear haves against the rest of the world, to keep third world countries as essentially vassal states and citizens.

To me THAT is what US nuclear hegemony is all about - maintaining and perhaps even extending U.S. empire.

So while nuclear terrorism may happen at some point, its impact will still be rather small re. the killings possible under US cover of threat. THAT (to show the world that the US has the WILL to be so cruel as to burn alive innocent women and children in the thousands is why the bomb was dropped in the first case. It is now clear, that as far as Japan, ending the war, or saving lives is concerned, dropping the bomb COST lives, by unnecessarily EXTENDING the war beyond July 25, 1945 just so the bomb COULD be dropped, to show the world how cruel the US could be, in case anyone challenged our position as the world master.

The historical record is now rather clear on that.

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By Name, August 2, 2010 at 11:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why is this site advertising this?  I almost wasted $22 on it but managed to get a refund.  We walked out in the last 15 minutes, the music was unbearable.

There should be absolutely no new information in this documentary for anyone with even a passive interest in this subject.  It is an incoherent mess of youtube clips and google maps pans.  The terrible editing and production would pass if there was some kind of information being put forward here but there isn’t, there’s nothing.

The entire thing focuses on terrorist bogeymen and Iran/Pakistan.  Just one brief mention of Israel but not a word about non disclosure.  There isn’t a hint of a progressive perspective here.  America is painted as problematic only due to technical issues, equipment failures, as if on some kind of moral high ground.

There is no “indie budget” excuse for this disaster, this is a scam that’s cashing in on extremely ignorant viewers.  It doesn’t just appeal to the
lowest common denominator but it exploits those viewers as well.

If this is the kind of garbage Truthdig is going to advertise then I guess I have one less site to check every day.

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By gerard, August 2, 2010 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

What’s really heavy is passively contemplating (anticipating?) the end of the world when you love the earth and your life on it. 
  People who undervalue their lives and the lives of others easily say “lighten up” and “I am covered” and other such inanities. 
  People who care about love, beauty, spirit, struggle, people who look deep into the eyes of gods and newborns are the Human Spirit walking on water everywhere they can.

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By BR549, August 2, 2010 at 5:57 am Link to this comment

As Christian stated, so what? If we are somehow able to shift the supposed
inevitability of the planet Earth, through meditation or prayer and a more
cohesive alignment of the powers of the human mind being able to draw on
higher powers from above, hey, I’m all for that, but when you run up against
the likes of Rockefeller, Kissinger, and Cheney, it doesn’t really leave one
feeling warm and fuzzy, when you stop to realize how much their negativity
will destroy the Earth.

That said, why did we choose to come visit this amusement park if we knew the
roller coaster was going to make some of us toss our cookies? We forget that
we actually came to the amusement park to have a good time.

As Christian said, we need to lighten up. That doesn’t mean that we should do
like Bush and his undereducated minions would have done; spend money like
drunken sailors because the rapture will be coming tomorrow, but we chose
this time for reason; now we just have to try to understand why.

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By christian96, August 2, 2010 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

People are too serious.  Lighten up.  So the world’s
coming to an end.  So what?  I’m covered by the Lord.
Jesus tried to lighten your load but you wouldn’t
listen. He said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me
all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn
of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you
shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is
easy, and my burden is light.”

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By christian96, August 1, 2010 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

I just received a joke from a friend.  It is a picture of Hillary and Chelsea laughing.  Under
the picture is written:

With the wedding rapidly approaching and wanting
to show her concern as a good parent, Hilary ask:
“Chelsea, have you ever had sex with Marc?”
Chelsea responded, “Not according to dad!”

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By ofersince72, August 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

Civilization is going to be dead and long gone before
you know it despite man’s lofty opinion of himself.

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By nemesis2010, August 1, 2010 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

Nuclear weapons are here to stay. Once the transition from Type 0 to Type 1 civilization is complete only our government—the planetary government—will have nuclear weapons. The problem is completing the transition without destroying all of humankind first. Nations do not trust each other and there will never be any complete nuclear disarmament as long as we are a Type 0 civilization. Never!

”Our painful transition from type 0 to type I will surely be a trial by fire, with a number of harrowing close calls. If we can emerge from this challenge successfully, we will be stronger, in the same way that hammering molten steel serves to temper it.”

- Michio Kaku, “Parallel Worlds”

”Our species seems to face a kind of test toward which basic forces of history have been moving us for millennia…

…The world will reach a new equilibrium, at a level of organization higher than any past equilibrium. And the period we are now entering will, in retrospect, look like the storm before the calm.”

Or, on the other hand, we could blow up the world. Remember, even poppy seeds don’t always manage to blossom.”

Robert Wright, “Nonzero”

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By gerard, August 1, 2010 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

I come from a long line of faithful Christians and am myself inclined toward the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, but most of the so-called Christian palaver on TD leaves me as cold as ice.  It seems to have nothing to do with the basic teachings of Jesus on the morality of “love thy neighbor”” and “do good to those who despise you” and “turn the other cheek” and such directives, now largely profaned for the sake of supporting war, economic avarice and environmental destruction.
  I am not, nor have I ever been this kind of “Christian” and having so much of it aired on line here makes me feel obligated to try to present another less vindictive Christian view shared by millions.

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By BR549, August 1, 2010 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

christian96, August 1 at 1:14 pm

All good stuff, my friend. The REAL issues here in the Congress are all about,
as you stated, morality, and also integrity and honesty. More so now than ever,
as the pace of experience seems to be speeding up for everyone, we are being
hard pressed to come up with these admirable virtues. They are just so severely

I may like to jokingly think about some angel bitch-slapping Cheney, Gonzales,
and Rumsfeld (and we might as well throw Geittner, the Clintons, and Obama in
there as well), but they have made their own hell; they don’t need any help or a
reminder from us. Their grandchildren will most likely be paying a very dear
price for the abuses of grandparents. As far as Rockefeller is concerned, I
wouldn’t want to be on the same planet with him when that karmic 2x4 comes
around and slaps him in the head.

Anyway, it is difficult for people to reach that place of compassion when they
are so encumbered with hatred and ignorance, and we have ALL of that in

You had stated that “No other religion offers spiritual explanations for human
behavior and cognitions.” This isn’t the venue to elaborate on that, but I would
only suggest that the various cultures had found ways to build those human
behavior facets into their lives. We may not understand them or how they
might even work within an anglo-centric perspective, but no, the Judeo-
Christian religious system is not the only one capable of addressing those. The
others just do it differently and evaluate its components differently, so to us, it
may appear as if those issues were never addressed.

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By christian96, August 1, 2010 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

BR549—-Appreciate your comments.  As a psychologist
I can tell you that psychologists nor any profession
can tell you where thoughts come from.  Jesus tells
me that thoughts come from a spiritual realm.  Not
all thoughts but many.  Spirits are like radio or
television waves. They can’t be seen and therefore
aren’t of much use to scientists because they can’t
be measured.  The Bible tells me that there are a
group of spirits(angels) who rebelled against God.
Their leader is called Lucifer.  He goes by a lot
of other names, Satan, Devil, etc.  Lucifer wants to
be like God.  He wants to be worshipped.  He tried
unsuccessfully to get Jesus to worship him while
Jesus was in the desert being tested for his loyalty
to God.  No other religion offers spiritual explanations for human behavior and cognitions.
The preoccupation of Zionists priests with money and
power is basically no different than businesspersons
preoccupation with money and power.  It is very
selfish in nature neglecting the welfare of others.
A few weeks ago at Torah study the Rabbi mentioned
that Moses was very humble.  When I ask what he
meant by humble his response was, “Moses cared more
for the welfare of others than himself.”  If certain
Zionist priests are preoccupied with power and money
they should learn from the ultimate priest, Jesus,
who taught us to deny self and to love others.
You might be interested in the following comments
I just posted following a book review titled, “Troy
Jollimore on Markets and Morality.”

By christian96, August 1 at 12:35 pm #

I’ve been reading comments.  I read a lot about
“liberalism”, “socialism”, “political philosphies”,
etc. but I don’t read much about “morality” which
is part of the title of this book review.  I laughed
when Tolstoyscat quoted a railroad tycoon years ago
“I can hire half the working class to kill the other
half.”  Sadly, it’s true.  Look at the Pentagon today.  I don’t know the latest demographics on
soldiers fighting the wars but I’d guess most of them
are from a middle to lower working class background
with average to below average IQ’s.  I don’t imagine
a lot of them sitting on their bunks at night with
their hand under their chins saying to themselves,
“I wonder why I’m over here killing all these people
I don’t even know?”  They joined the service to make
a buck and get some traveling experiences they wouldn’t be able to afford outside the service.  They
are killing somebody they don’t know because they
were conditioned to do so by wars movies, tv war programs, computer games, listening to buddies who
were in the services, etc.  Instead of a lot of
discussion on philosophies perhaps you should concentrate more on morality.  Why do humans kill
other humans they happen to be sharing the planet

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By Leefeller, August 1, 2010 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Greed and fear have always graced this world and probably always will. Opportunism seems rampart now because the new wold order is adjusting the top from the bottom, and being on the bottom; if one is not apathetic to their surroundings;  the fellowship does seem a missing link.

What seems to me, is on the bottom there are more than enough people I would consider questionably about their choices in how they deem and choose to preform their existence, though I understand some people do not have a choice, but many could grasp a few morals on the way.

Looking from the bottom to the upper plutocratic life style one may see only the flashy glamorized lifestyle and money, which I suppose is what looking up is all about?  May I suggest even the plutocracy has its morals looking soggy more often then not.

And in 2012 it will not matter how much wealth one has accumulated, acquired or incarcerated, because it will all come out in the end or one one can have their head kicked around a chiropractic lab, like the famously known Ted Williams did.

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By BR549, August 1, 2010 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

Re:  christian96, July 31 at 10:28 pm

Despite others’ criticism, here, I knew what you were getting at. I am not a practicing anything and I gave up Christianity a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean that I believe that Jesus wasn’t a loving avatar that any soul could call upon when in trouble. In their own right, Buddha and Mohammed, as well as a number of others have served some purpose among the populations that believed in them. All of these avatars assist in the spiritual evolution of mankind, and I personally do not believe that ANY of them would have denied help to any mortal. I would argue quite strongly that Mohammed would be far more willing to help you heal someone than would Jesus help you succeed in attacking some village (not that you would do such a thing), or vice versa.

When individuals get disconnected from the world around them and go into some dark place of fear, they inevitably have an overabundance of beta brainwave output, characteristic of stress or ego-based interpretation. On the other hand, while we are always having all of the four major brainwave groups present all the time, predominance of one over the others tends to govern
one’s present state.

In the case of those who “successfully” meditate on a regular basis, it has been proven that access to alpha and theta (and delta to a lesser degree) are greatly enhanced. It is those two states in which we access not only the collective but also the universal consciousness. Communications can go two ways, and
usually, we wind up learning how to “receive” information before we have learned how to “transmit”, which may seem developmentally logical, anyway.

The problem comes in that there are a large number of people who have learned how to “pray” or “meditate”, or so they believe, but their ego based fears have only allowed them to “transmit” and they never learn how to listen (or receive). So, barring any true and meaningful “dialogue”, these people will ultimately run through all the motions of praying or meditating and only be able to hear what their ego is screaming in their inner ear. This was like Bush the Idiot thinking that God was talking to him to go invade Iraq. Jesus wouldn’t bitch slap Bush, as some might wish to happen; he’d treat him as the spiritually immature adolescent that he really was. As much as some of us might have thought about using Bush for live target practice, in the end, following the path of Jesus or Mohammed would have had us bless the sorry SOB and let him be his own judge once he actually matured enough to do so.

But back to your earlier statements about the Jews; the attitude of the temple priests was no different than what we are seeing today among the Zionists. The preoccupation with money and power comes out of a basic disconnection with the very society within which one lives, not to mention a complete disconnect with the world community. When these so-called meditators or praying people claim to be speaking to God, they are only getting their information from their ego relaying their own visceral insecurities, and that could be Christian, Muslim, Jewish or whatever. Greed and fear know no cultural boundaries.

When anyone, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, the Maya, or who have you, is able to enter that space (and one doesn’t always have to meditate to get there), they are able to access intricate patterns of nature that transcend any human language. Some individuals are blessed enough to be able to put those experiences into words ..... while many of their neighbors can only see them as being some local whacko living down the street.

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By Money is funny, August 1, 2010 at 12:09 am Link to this comment

Nuclear weapons are best when everyone has them because that is when we all finally realize that they they serve no useful purpose.

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By gerard, July 31, 2010 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

One of our Christian commenters says God spoke Hebrew.  The Koran tells us with equal conviction that God spoke to Mohammed in what?  Arabic?  Farsi? Otherwise?  I’m not sure, but some foreign language.
Now one commenter prophesies that God is going to speak at the End Times in some scientic/mathematical
mjrgon.  Like he knows!

2-4-6-8-...E+MC2 ... 666 ...if a=6 and b=93, what is the square root of 102?  Sigma. or x to the 9th power.  And to think millions of ignorant people like me are not going to be able to understand a word God says! Shucks!

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By Railbird, July 31, 2010 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

Christian 96 noted:
“I’ve been studying the Bible over 32
years.  Most of the predictions have come true.”

Dear Christian,
I read the Racing Form for close to 40 years and I noticed it had a lot in common with the Bible.  There are countless ways to interpret it and those who manage to get it right once in a while readily forget the many times when they didn’t. 

To say that “MOST” of the predictions in the Bible have come true brings new meaning to subjective interpretation.  The Buddhists wisely council that that ‘what you fear you draw to you.’  Considering the topic here and the prophesy of Armageddon the LAST person I would EVER want in power, (anywhere) is someone who takes the Bible literally.

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By christian96, July 31, 2010 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

D. R. Zing—-The man who wrote 2nd Peter spoke Greek
language.  It has been translated into English.  God
originally spoke Hebrew to the writers of the Torah.
The God who created the universe can speak any
language he wants.  The Bible says in the last days
he will speak in a pure language.  I believe this
will be mathematics as scientists make dsicoveries
using mathematics.

BR549—-You are absolutely correct.  There are people
on both sides of the pond who would like to blow up
the planet.  I’ve been studying the Bible over 32
years.  Most of the predictions have come true.
For example, he explained through prophets to the
Jews that if they remained stiff necked and refused
to follow the 10 commandments he would scatter them
throughout the nations.  They refused.  He scattered
them.  The Bible says God will draw them back to
their country.  He started doing so in our lifetime
on May 14, 1948 when Israel once again became a nation after wandering among the nations almost
2000 years.  The Bible says he is going to make
gentile peoples lives miserable trying to get them
to repent, as was mentioned in 2nd Peter.  Things
are going to get very bad on earth in the near future.  Then, as mentioned in 2nd Peter, the elements shall melt in fervent heat to be replaced
by a new earth wherein dwells righteousness.  I am
getting ready to finish a program I recorded on
CNBC a couple of days ago titled, “Enron: The
Smartest Guys In the Room.”  It amazes me how cruel
the people from Enron were to California turning
their power on and off to manipulate stocks to make
money.  Jesus said, “You can’t worship God and
money.  You have to choose.”  It’s obvious who
Enron was worshipping.  The almighty dollar.

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By gerard, July 31, 2010 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

Considering the attractiveness of these destructive mythologies of the End (Armageddon and/or nuclear holocaust and/or inevitable Global Warming) people who have half a brain left should try to unite to form a counter-scenario that makes hope and cooperative action possible where people worldwide who are younger that 25 can find a breath of fresh air. The pessimism in religious teachings and in the daily news is enough to turn the younger generation into zombies (see meaning 3 in the Collegiate).

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By rainwave, July 31, 2010 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

christian96, said

““Looking for the day of the
Lord wherein the heavens(plural)being on fire shall
be dissolved, and the ELEMENTS shall melt with
fervent heat. Nevertheless we(Christians), according
to his promise, look for NEW heavens and a NEW earth,
wherein dwells righteousness.”

Well, what are you waiting for. Get to it. Are you the lords warrior or an armchair submissive? If it’s so damm greener on the other side with heavens gate swinging back towards a new earth,what’s taking ya. Hell, naked virgins sound just as good. Those dudes who martyr themselves have bigger cojones than your pastors who who preach in Starbucks like houses of the lord. Ya, they walk around with wireless mics preaching fear, then all load up for a man retreat at Lake Tahoe and learn how to talk to down to their wives.

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By BR549, July 31, 2010 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie and Gerard

Well, consider that these very same globalists have no concern for nature’s
time proven method of evolution. They have no problem experimenting in Dr.
Moreauesque fashion on the species of this planet. So what if they are storing
seeds in the Artic, as Alex Jones says, just in case their experimental food
control program doesn’t work; what are they going to do, terraform the planet’s
surface to erase their experiment and reseed it with their stored stocks? Their
whole plan wreaks of incompetence, yet these braintrusts like Hilary and
Kissinger think they have the intelligence to outwit 4.5 billion years of nature.

More like we could consider this a test of humanity’s understanding of
connectedness and working together. So far, those who are claiming to be in
control are getting an “F”, mostly because they’ve forgotten their assignment.

They are so consumed with this adolescent bullying their way into controlling
the school yard that they never for once considered that they might have been
in school to learn something useful for later on in life.  While they were so busy
knocking chips off other kids’ shoulders, the serious students were learning
how to train their brains to become doctors and scientists, not thugs and
bullies. The real challenge wasn’t the “turf” in the schoolyard after all; it was
learning how to merge, to heal, and to eventually become stewards of the
planet as any intelligent citizens would have recognized their responsibility to
do so.

While the nuclear issue MAY seem a bit pessimistic to some, it has to be taken
into the context of who has the potential to use it and why those weapons were
never dropped from our arsenal. These misanthropes are still living in the
stone age, although you couldn’t convince them of that. They think that they
can always beat someone with a larger stick, their potential victims will have
learned how to transform in a rock. The globalists try to then use dynamite ....
and the population turns into water and drowns it. They will never win because
their method assumes that man is weak and the collective unconsciousness of
all they seek to oppress will be what comes back and bites them all in the ass.
There is no way to win unless we all win.

As I’ve stated before, this is the same argument as with Ishmael and Isaac,
which are Islam and Christianity, two brothers locked into a dysfunctional
family, each one desperately trying escape the as were Loki and Bele in Star
Treks’, “Let This Be Your Last Battlefield.” Deep inside, each one knowing there
is no place to go until they embrace each other as brothers. It is their spiritual
immaturity that will kill them.

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By hark, July 31, 2010 at 10:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

” the most important issue confronting the world today—nuclear proliferation.”

That’s where I stopped reading.  The most important issue confronting the world today is global warming/fossil fuel depletion.  Nothing else comes close, and we are largely ignoring the threat.

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By Anarcissie, July 31, 2010 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

I doubt if the world’s Great Leaders want to blow themselves and each other up, so that is a mitigating circumstance.

The thing most likely to bring about nuclear disarmament is bankruptcy, which a number of states, including the U.S., are pursuing, which gives us a little hope.

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By gerard, July 31, 2010 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Furthermore, the Christian Armageddon scenario and the “Countdowns to Zero” feed each others’ fires.
What is needed is a lot of cool-headed common sense and hard work, but of course we can’t expect that from fear and the exploitation of hysteria.

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By gerard, July 31, 2010 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Furthermore, the Christian Armageddon scenario and the “Countdowns to Zero” feed each others’ fires.
What is needed is a lot of cool-headed common sense and hard work, but of course we can’t expect that from fear and the exploitation of hysteria.

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By gerard, July 31, 2010 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Quote from BR549:  “I think our biggest problem is that the NWO is counting on the populace being unorganized, and that can only lead to either a bloodbath or a prison state.”
  1.New World Order—populace unorganized—bloodbath or prison state.  So ...?  Who gave (gives) the NWO so much power?  An unorganized populace?  Only if it refuses to organize.
  2. The defeatist Nuclear Holocaust scenarios on this site (and unfortunately widespread elsewhere due to the popular hysteria of Hollywood scenarios hyped up to “get to” jaded overfed emotions) are as destructive as the Christian Armageddon scenario.
It will be a wonder if people don’t die of this misinformation before the bomb is ever dropped.

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By Anarcissie, July 31, 2010 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

gerard—The function of the state is to secure and extend the power of its ruling class.  Those who are not interested in power over others are seldom found in the policy-making levels of the government or other state institutions.  Nuclear weapons are an important symbol of power over other people.  Therefore, the kind of people who govern are unlikely to give them up, and are likely to resist public pressure to do so mightily.  Hence, 20 years since the dissolution of the U.S.‘s great nuclear antagonist, the U.S. maintains enough nuclear weapons to destroy the entire earth several times over.  One must ask, then, what the function of the movie is, especially if it features Muslim terrorists and is headlined with a depiction of Manhattan undergoing a nuclear strike.  It seems to me the Counterpunch theory is most in accord with what we observe.

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By Anarcissie, July 31, 2010 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

Leefeller—the Maya Long Count runs out on December 21, 2012.  I am not sure when the Maya day begins, so I can’t give the exact time.

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By D.R. Zing, July 31, 2010 at 7:55 am Link to this comment


I didn’t realize the lord spoke English and had a Caps Lock key.


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By Leefeller, July 31, 2010 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

2012 is coming, I saw the movie, so who gives a crap if Palin becomes president or her daughters best friend got knocked up by her potential son in law, depending on when the Apocalypse comes in 2012, spring, summer etc, the bad news is, I will not be able to watch Fox News 24/7 after it happens!

Even so, it makes me feel so good the war on terror, drugs and stupidity is working so well and that Goldman Slacks is working for god!

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By BR549, July 31, 2010 at 6:33 am Link to this comment

Re:  christian96, July 31 at 1:43 am

“With the rise of nuclear weapons along side radical Muslims who would love to blow up the world, I think we are on the verge of fullfilment of this prophecy.”

Your post was very pertinent. I would suggest, as well, that we have just as many sick and twisted radical ANTI-Muslims on this side of the pond, who also “would love to blow up the world”, and they’re on BOTH sides of the aisle, hiding behind the cloaks of their respective parties’ supposed philosophies.

I forget which thread had the link to the US’s United Nations voting record against nuclear proliferation, but the US’s record was DEPLORABLE. The rest of the world is looking for fellow nations to walk forward with a spirit of cooperation, growth and prosperity ....... and we’re still back in the stone age, victims of this hegemonic New World Order crap that the elder Bush tried to ram down everyone’s throat in those sugary sweet speeches he made that would make the average person puke.

While the rest of the world is trying to plan for a future, WE are still archaically thinking this is the era of colonial expansion with our square rigged frigates sailing off to defend Mother England and her twisted interests.

It will be those people who bring the world down, if such is to happen at all. Their greed, their revulsion for life and their hatred of God and themselves; that is what will bring it all down. I am not a religious person, but I can see the wisdom in the words of the bible in this regard.

If there is a God in heaven, he will one day open up the Earth and swallow the venue for the next fully attended Bilderburg meeting and then bitch slap Bush Sr while he drops the Kennebunkport residence into a pool of molten magma.

There, I feel better now.

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By omisaide7, July 31, 2010 at 6:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The average citizen don’t have a clue- we are living in some precarious times. The hotbeds (Pakistan, Korea, and Isreal). If you continue to rush to war without commonsense..its like bringing a knife to a shootout…its ridiculous. We Us as citizens live inside a media bubble and carry on day to day like mice in a maze. What precarious times..

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By christian96, July 30, 2010 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

For those of you not familiar with Bible prophecy
2nd Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning
his promise(to return) but is longsuffering not
willing that any should perish, but that all should
come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord WILL
COME as a thief in the night: in which the heavens
shall pass away with a great noise; and the ELEMENTS
shall melt WITH FERVENT HEAT, the earth also and
the works that are therein SHALL BE BURNED UP.”
Now, whether that explains nuclear wars or the
explosion of the sun I’m not sure.  The prophecy
does mention elements.  I don’t think the periodic
table was around when this was written.  With the
rise of nuclear weapons along side radical Muslims
who would love to blow up the world, I think we are
on the verge of fullfilment of this prophecy.  For
Christians this will be a positive development.
Verses 12 and 13 read, “Looking for the day of the
Lord wherein the heavens(plural)being on fire shall
be dissolved, and the ELEMENTS shall melt with
fervent heat. Nevertheless we(Christians), according
to his promise, look for NEW heavens and a NEW earth,
wherein dwells righteousness.”  Righteousness?  That
means no more lying self-serving politicians or
perverted movies or television programs coming out
of Hollyweird. HALLELUJAH!

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By gerard, July 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

Anarchissie postscript:  I looked at the recent Ploughshares site.  They had a recent international conference on how to and a number of collaborating organizations are listed, so there are people working on this nongovernmentally, at least, and especially in Canada.  The film and their support for it was not mentioned.

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By gerard, July 30, 2010 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

Anarchissie:  I read the Counterpunch article and did a bit of research on the author, Darwin Bond-Graham.  I don’t find anything that authenticates the article very well, either in the credentials of the author or the content of the Counterpunch article itself.  Again, I may be wrong and welcome correction. 
  My main objection to both article and mateial on Graham’s blog is that in a kind of upside-down way he is promoting fear and not what to do about getting rid of nukes or changing the present US psychology of fear and confusion. I await seeing the film itself in entirety. The cooperation of Ploughshares is intereting and troublesome, as presented by Graham, I think now.
  Most of all we have to be prepared to believe in the possibility of getting rid of nukes by taking initiative and engaging worldwide cooperation at the very beginning—not another go-it-alone-we-are-the-holy-and-powerful ones etc. etc. We have to access world support from the start, whatever we do. And the premise has to be “for the sake of humanity” and its future existence.  Humanity, needless to say, includes everybody, nuclear, nonnuclear, aspiring nuclear. 
  I’ll admit it’s huge and imponderable. But I also know it’s urgent to make the effort, worldwide ties and commonality being what they are at present.  And dishonorable, even craven, not to do so.  Open information on plan and process from the beginning and throughout is vital.  No secrets.  No deals.  No cheating.  No double-talk.  No over-riding agendas supporting or antagoizing this or that political or religious point of view, no judgmental posturing.   
  Yeah, yeah, yeah???  Where is such a person? Where are such people?

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By nemesis2010, July 30, 2010 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Like Felicity, I have lived all of my life (66 years) under the threat of nuclear annihilation. I say bring it the eff on goddamnit! The good thing about wiping out our species is that all the different ape-made deities and the ruling elite get their comeuppance! Death to the apes!

The world is going to hell in a hand basket anyway. The National Enquirer is reporting that Levi Johnston may have knocked up Bristol’s BFF from high school, Lanesia Garcia (his other girlfriend), while he was split up from the Palins. He’s supposedly one of three possible candidates. Bristol is, reportedly, heart-broken and who knows what more emotional damage will occur before this tragedy is completely played out. Will Lanesia and Bristol remain BFF? Will this have a negative effect on Sarah and her bid for the presidency?

”The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”
-Steven Weinberg

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By BR549, July 30, 2010 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

gerard, July 30 at 3:22 pm

“.... we have a President who, in spite of his faults, made it clear early on which
side of this issue he would prefer to promote.”

The only problem with that statement is that, so far, Obama has been talking
out of both sides of his mouth. He kept mute about his intentions with NAFTA
during the elections, while the candidates that DIDN’t support it had their
walking papers handed to then by the main stream media, and those that DID
support it were ever so elegantly ushered onto the center of the debate stage.

So, where Obama has SEEMED to have in opposition to nuclear proliferation, he
hasn’t done SQUAT about the problem except support Israel to even greater
heights of nuclear temptation.

Otherwise, Gerard, I think our biggest problem is that the NWO is counting on the populace being unorganized, and that can only lead to either a bloodbath or a prison state.

IF, and I say IF, we are able to roust enough of the incumbents from their cushy little nests come November (assuming that Obama hasn’t found some flimsy excuse to suspend the elections under marshall law or some new false flag flavor of the month), perhaps we will have a chance to unify enough to remind all those militaristic meatheads that they had actually taken an oath to uphold the Constitution.

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By Bill Jones, July 30, 2010 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m not worried about some alleged nutter half way around the world plotting to do me harm. I am worried about the thousands of murderous psychopaths in Washington D.C. who have plotted (and executed those plots) to do harm to me for decades.

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By gerard, July 30, 2010 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Lots and lots of scarey stuff here so far—and it is a scarey problem.  But ... scare on top of scare is either ineffective in solving the problem, or actually counterproductive.
  Lets grit our teeth and get our act together, people!  As erichwkk pointed out: “The steps to eliminate nuclear weapons have longed been known:

1. The US must renounce its right to “first use” of nuclear weapons
2. The US must stop its massive spending on the development and deployment of nuclear weapons.”

The problem is us, we, you, me, the people of the United States.  We can’t seem to get our act together though we have the advantage of knowing a lot more than millions of other people.  We sit and do nothing, telling each other there is nothing to do.
It is a kind of sick fatalism that, ultimately, will do us in—and take a lot of other people with us.

The cure for this is knowledge and cooperative action committed to pushing the U.S. into initiating the process by renouncing production and use and demonstrating utmost clarity and honesty.  You say that’s impossible.  It’s impossible if we do nothing.
There are millions around the world who would join in such a movement, and we have a President who, in spite of his faults, made it clear early on which side of this issue he would prefer to promote.  He can’t do it alone.

The problem at first will be access—how to get to and unite all the forces that favor getting free from nuclear terror.  High and low.  American and foreign.  Help is out there, waiting to be activated. But the spirit coming out of America right now is primarily so reactive that others are losing faith in American ability to do anything except supinely support war and economic mayhem.

I may be wrong in many parts, but at the base I feel sure there are latent possibilities and a movement needs to be kick-started soehow. I just can’t lie down and quit in view of all that has NOT even been tried.  More input, anyone?

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By erichwwk, July 30, 2010 at 10:39 am Link to this comment


I agree with your assessment that space weapons is the next major component of the DOD “full spectrum dominance”. 

Looking at UN General Assembly resolutions is another way to determine how alone we are in the world in thinking the world belongs to the US elites.


Here is a tally on how the US votes on nuclear weapons :

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By felicity, July 30, 2010 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Having lived 69 of my 78 years under the daily threat
of nuclear annihilation from somebody - Soviets,
North Koreans, North Vietnamese, Cuba, the under-the-
radar regime of some rogue nation, and now the ever-
present terrorist, it’s all gotten rather ho hum.

In the ‘60’s-‘70’s my kids moved away from windows,
hid under their desks when the school ‘nuclear’
attack siren sounded (as if that would save their
lives?.)  We (well somebody did) built bomb shelters
in our backyards stocked with enough food to last for
100 years (how long we would have to stay underground
not to mention that nothing can be grown in nuked
soil for 100 years). 

Living for 69 years with the constant threat of
nuclear annihilation (today or tomorrow) by
someone/anyone makes for a population that lives for
today (why not max out my credit cards) and a people
won’t/can’t get easily moved to give a rat’s ass
about who has the bomb.

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By erichwwk, July 30, 2010 at 10:31 am Link to this comment


Re Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD):

“General David C. Jones, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified that mutual assured destruction (MAD) was not US policy,saying:

“I think it is a very dangerous strategy. It is not the strategy that we are implementing today within the military ... I do not subscribe to the idea that we ever had it as our basic strategy.”
( p 18 of pdf or p 28 in original )

George Kennan stated the basis for the nuclear policy in 1948:

We have about 50 percent of the world’s wealth, but only about 6.3 percent of its population…. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity…. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of Altruism and world-benefaction….We should cease to talk vague…and unreal objectives such as human rights, the rising of the living standards and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.

—- George Kennan, TOP SECRET memo written in 1948 while serving as head of the State department’s Policy Planning Department as quoted by Joseph Gerson, Empire and the Bomb: How the US Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World, p. 19.

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By glider, July 30, 2010 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

I think it hass become very palatable for America to push for the elimination of nuclear weapons.  This is not altruistic, but a result of overwhelming superiority in new age weapons which will become increasingly robotic in nature.  The new world order is going Terminator style and the ability of other states to defend themselves with nuclear weapons is a now ironically more of a threat to U.S. military domination.

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By prosefights, July 30, 2010 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

Fidel Castro appears again, warns of war

Castro’s sudden re-emergence after four years in seclusion for health reasons has raised questions about his intentions, but his message has been consistent—a devastating war is at hand if the United States, in alliance with Israel, tries to enforce international sanctions against Iran for its nuclear activities.

Monday July 26, 2010 12:39

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Hello TSA,

Purpose of this email is a response to the below tag left in our luggage ...
on Saturday July 24, 2010 prior to departure of US AIR flight 89 from Portland, OR to Phoenix, AZ.

And to ask for help from Mr Pistole.

Salmon caught July 22 and 23 near Ilwaco, WA were being transported to Albuquerque.

Attempt to conceal explosive such as C4 as a chunk of salmon may have been the reason for the search?

Orange to red TSA threat level increase is a possibility because “A US military strike on Iran has become more likely and could be justifiable in the future, former CIA chief Michael Hayden said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”?

Hayden is a liberal arts educated history major.

The United States government under the Carter administration apparently incited Saddam Hussein to start the Iraq/Iran war in 1980.

Zbigniew Brzezinski apparently did this on behalf of the US government.

If true, then this appears to be a felony violation of 18 USC § 1091(c).

Ambassador Ryan Crocker appears to be involved too.

Both Brzezinski and Crocker are liberal arts educated too.

We have done about everything we can think of to try to get the liberal arts educated to deal with this problem. But have so far failed perhaps as a result of their liberal arts educations.

Here’s a link to an email to professor Christopher Layne of The Bush School of Government and Public Service appealing for help.

We ask that you forward this email to TSA chief John S. Pistole.

We ask Mr Pistole’s help to peacefully settle these unfortunate series of events involving Iran, the US and increased need of electricity, including nuclear generated, by all countries.

Please ack if you get this message.

Please ask Mr Pistole to ack to both of us if he receives the forwarded email.

Thanks in advance.


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By diman, July 30, 2010 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

There are no primitive nuclear devices, read some of the memoires of the pioneers of nuclear physics who participated in the development of the nuclear weapons on both sides. There are no easily obtainable nuclear materials in Russia ( a myth cultivated by some mindless hollywood producers in a movies a-la “The Sum Of All Fears”). Try to approach somebody who is working in, say, Arzamas-16 with an offer to buy some enriched uranium and see what happens next or try a more extreme approach, try to infiltrate one of the “seemingly unguarded” nuclear arsenals in Russia and see what happens next. My point is, that all this talk about how easy it is to obtain the nuclear materials to produce a bomb is pure bullshit, scare tactics designed to scare well-fed middle class conformists into believing that it is indeed possible to assemble a “primitive ” ( nobody so far showed how does it look like) atomic device on a knee somewhere in the caves of Salang passage.

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By Anarcissie, July 30, 2010 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

gerard, July 30 at 12:49 am:

‘... The real problem is getting rid of all nuclear weapons, which will have to be done through negotiated agreements for the good of all the world. ...’

As the Counterpunch article points out, there is no present movement in this direction.  In the U.S. and probably elsewhere, things are going the other way.

The kind of negotiations you are talking about would have to take place between ruling classes.  Members of ruling classes are primarily concerned with acquiring and exerting power over other people.  The possession of nuclear weapons is one way to do this.  It is especially attractive because by and large only the very rich and very powerful can afford them, and they afford these people the power of destroying millions of ordinary people in the twinkling of an eye.

The one thing the r.c. need to avoid is MAD, mutual assured destruction.  That is what any negotiations are going to be about.

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By Night-Gaunt, July 30, 2010 at 8:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The National Security Agency have nothing to do with our nuclar arsenal. General Electric, Raytheon, the Pentagon and military do.

Haven’t seen the movie. Wish I had been one of those on the street interviews because I do follow, as best I can, what is going on in this area.

I was appalled when the Union of Concerned Scientists pushed the Doomsday Clock back after the fall of the USSR in 1992. It was rediculous! Things were even more precarious. Now the USA via N. Korea have shown that having nukes do deter even the mighty USA from a direct attack does work. That and Israel who seems to want to nuke Iran which is psychotic.

What the USA and other countries should be doing is demanding from Pakistan their nuclear war crimnial A.Q.Khan instead of using them in this war of control of the Middle East. [it was Pakistan that helped N. Korea to get their nukes the USA seems so bothered with. Shows the strange way the gov’t thinks when it chooses who is an ally and who is an enemy. Sometimes they change places like with Iraq.]

One of the greatest threats is from any nuclear weapon in anyones hands. Any one.

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By erichwwk, July 30, 2010 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

Robespierre115, July 30 at 1:50 am # wrote:

For a clear analysis of this film and its agenda:

An on target review that understands how dangerous this propaganda film is. I hope everyone reads it.

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By balkas, July 30, 2010 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

And he interwiewed tony blair and another 30 class one citizens of the world. And i am gonna see the crimomentary show? tnx

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By erichwwk, July 30, 2010 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

I’m disappointed that a “truthdig” article would so miss the point of this film.

Richard Schickel calls it “intelligent” and “sophisticated”, w/o apparently realizing these characteristics are not used to enlighten, but to obfuscate and misdirect.

Rather than rely LESS on nuclear weapons, the Obama administration is proposing a massive INCREASE in the NSA (nuclear weapons) budget, all under the sophisticated guise of political doublespeak.

Just follow the money. or read the counterpunch by Darwin Bond-Graham article cited earlier. The US has not used nuclear weapons just twice, but at least 34 times. In the last 32 times just the threat to “bomb you back to the stone age” was enough for the US to obtain its resource or strategic advantage. But to not count the times the US uses nukes w/o destroying countries would be akin to claiming a robbery was not “armed”, just because no one was shot while threatened. No judge would buy that argument. Why does the American public?

This film is part of a long series of US propaganda films beginning with the “The Beginning or the End” that Leslie Groves used to justify dropping the bomb on Japan.

For a serious look at how the US uses nuclear weapons to maintain empire (this film is NOT)  try something by Joseph Gerson, Garry Wills, or Gar Alperovitz. As Richard Schickel writes this film “tends to evaporate from memory”.

THAT is its intent. All you are supposed to remember is fear, that the problem with nukes is not the US, but the “other guys”, and a “modernized” US nuclear stockpile will keep you safe.

The steps to eliminate nuclear weapons have longed been known:

1. The US must renounce its right to “first use” of nuclear weapons
2. The US must stop its massive spending on the development and deployment of nuclear weapons.

George Orwell predicted how nuclear weapons would evolve in an essay written two months after dropping the bomb in Oct, 1945 entitled “You and the Atomic Bomb”. So did a large number of scientists who developed the bomb, pleading that it not be used on civilians, realizing that their invention was now to be used to maintain a US monopoly on violence and power, and to extend empire.

I hope Richard Schickel educates himself on nuclear weapons and writes a followup to this review. As has often been noted, the first causality of war is truth.

He might also try one of the watchdog groups here near Los Alamos, in sight of this massive buildup, such as or before writing that followup.

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By BR549, July 30, 2010 at 7:28 am Link to this comment

Re:  kalpal, July 30 at 11:07 am

“Just as soon jews are eradicated from the face of the earth, All countries will
democratize, women will achieve full equality and Muslims clerics will cease to
inveigh against modernization.”

While I might be more inclined to include all the “extremists” from all cultures,
if eliminating any one group would hold the most promise for world peace, it
would the eradication of the Jews, ....... at least the Zionists.

I have no problem with peaceful Jews, but the pessimistic Zionist mentality is
what will destroy this planet; them along with the right wing paranoia of
douchebags like Bush and Cheney, and Tony Blair.

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By kalpal, July 30, 2010 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

As usual someone devotes a few moments to inform us all of the exact number of nuclear weapons Israel has in its arsenal and of the irrationality rampant in that state. Since Israel always threatened to kill off all of Islam and liberate all the lands it stole by armed force about 1300 years ago, one must assume that someday soon it will take its small population and attack a billion or so Muslims with full intent of ridding this planet of those nefarious, yet peace loving peoples.

Personally I like Israel’s irrationality in relation to Islmic Sharia laws and its imperative to insure that females remain enslaved and property and that their children be raised to become mass murderers of Muslims and other religious groups.

There may something admirable about Israel’s enemies but it is so well hidden that it has yet to be uncovered even by those ultra rational clerics and government officials who work hard to explain that what is wrong in Muslim countries is entirely the fault of Zionists and Jews who can’t grasp the delicious all encompassing wonder of being a Muslim living under cruel authoritarian leadership.

Just as soon jews are eradicated from the face of the earth, All countries will democratize, women will achieve full equality and Muslims clerics will cease to inveigh against modernization. Santa will also start working 7 days a week rather than one day a year.

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By skulz fontaine, July 30, 2010 at 7:05 am Link to this comment

The U.S. was the first and only nation to have ever used the nuke. The U.S. will
never give up the nukes. Neither will any “other” nation that has the monstrosity.
Our entire planet is trapped in a twitchy game of itchy finger on the nuclear
Given that most of our world’s governments are ruled by absolute insane
warmongering freaks, there is not much hope that at some point one of these
crazy fucks is going to pull that trigger.
Apocalypso dancing on nuclear pins and needles.

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By David Ehrenstein, July 30, 2010 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

The great Peter Watkins made a REAL film about nuclear proliferation back in 1987

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By SoTexGuy, July 30, 2010 at 5:16 am Link to this comment

I’d like to view this film.. But I’m also despairing of there being any freedom from nuclear arms any time soon.

As was already mentioned there are players who will not willingly divest themselves of their nukes.. and isn’t that why they have them? .. to be able to thumb their noses at the world at large? It’s a strategy that has worked for regimes both large and small for some time..

And the US absolutely will never go non-nuclear.. We may say we will or have but it will be a lie.. What other defense could we have against the hordes of barbarians hating our freedoms and wanting revenge on us for our free and decadent ways? We’d run out of bullets and be overrun!

Imagine in the future, a few years after ‘the last’ big-un was decommissioned in a huge display of international unity and joy! .. a new Wiki-Leak.. There’s a dozen warheads in Charleton Heston’s old basement.. and the government knows all about it! President Sarah Goldwater Clinton-Graham gives the leakers the medal of ultimate freedom (and secretly has them disappeared to Guantanamo).. Then has the bombs distributed to new hidey-holes.. smile

Anyway, we paid a fortune for them and even more cash to hide and maintain them.. we can’t just waste that, they have to be used! And, as Hollywood tells us we’ll need BIG Bombs for other emergencies.. catastrophic continental shift? NUKE IT! Planet-killing asteroids? NUKE THEM! Alien invaders.. NUKE THEM!

Sounds silly, right? Then why was there serious discussion of using nuclear weapons to ‘fix’ the BP oil blowout disaster?


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By Claus-Erik Hamle, July 30, 2010 at 4:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Former Trident missile engineer Bob on the missiles to be deployed on ships in the Black Sea in Bulgaria and on land in Romania and Poland by 2015: “Whether they are on ships or land, they are still a necessary component for an unanswerable first strike”. The US Navy can track and destroy all enemy submarines simultaneously (Robert C. Aldridge: Nuclear Empire, ch. 9). Minuteman-3 (with MX´ warhead to minimize nuclear winter effects when used against hard targets rather than industrial targets) and Trident-2 D5 have an accuracy of 30 meters or less, enough to destroy any hard target. Bob Aldridge resigned because a disarming and unanswerable first-strike capability leads to Launch On Warning and suicide by mistake/accident. MAD isn´t enough for the Pentagon, they insist being NUTS (Nuclear Use Target Selection). And we could have been here about 4 billion years more without the bloody fools in the Pentagon aiming to achieve First-Strike Capability + Launch On Warning = Suicide.

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By shane, July 29, 2010 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Unfortunately, the disarmament activists are always ridiculing anything they see as being in competition with their agenda of no nukes, like trying to survive nukes in the meantime via public Civil Defense.

Most think if nukes are unleashed then everybody will die, or it’ll be so bad they’ll wish they had. The disarmament crowd now for 60 years has been hammering this theme home. Because of this attitude most now think it futile, bordering on lunacy, to even try and see what they might learn beforehand to save themselves later.

Ironically, the disarmament activists are responsible now for many millions more remaining ignorant of how to prepare, and then potentially perishing from nukes needlessly when they are unleashed!

The majority of those who won’t survive the blast, or later radioactive fallout, of a nuke, will have died from their own ignorance. It’s what they don’t know about how to minimize its effects, from the first second onward, that will kill most of them and, tragically, their innocent families, as well.

For instance, most ridicule “duck & cover”, but for the majority, not right at ‘ground zero’ and already dead, the blast wave will be delayed arriving after the flash, like lightening & thunder, anywhere from a fraction of a second up to 20 seconds, or more.

Today, without “duck & cover” training, everyone at work, home, and your children at school, will impulsively rush to the nearest windows to see what that ‘bright flash’ was, just-in-time to be shredded by the glass imploding inward from that delayed blast wave. They’d never been taught that even in the open, just laying flat, reduces by eight-fold the chances of being hit by debris from that brief, 3-second, tornado strength blast.

Then, later, before the radioactive fallout can hurt them, most won’t know to move perpendicular away from the downwind drift of the fallout to get out from under it before it even arrives. And, for those who can’t evacuate in time, few know how easy it is to throw together an expedient fallout shelter, most anywhere they are, to safely wait out the fallout as it loses 99% of its lethal intensity in the first 48 hours.

The greatest tragedy of that high loss of life, when nukes come to America, will be that most who died will have been killed, and their families, out of ignorance of how easily they might have avoided becoming additional casualties, all because they thought it too futile to ever try and learn how to beforehand. Thanks to the disarmament movement!

Read the 2-page article; “The Good News About Nuclear Destruction!” at to banish those deadly myths of nuclear un-survivability that have kept your own family vulnerable, or at least until there are no nukes.

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By gerard, July 29, 2010 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

Leaving out Israel (if that is the case. I haven’t seen the entire film) would be a terrible mistake. Because of Israel’s seemingly-impulsive suicidal tendencies, it may be one of the most unconsciously dangerous countries.  But then again, accusation of any sort doesn’t help either. Accusation sets up counter-defensiveness which usually makes matters worse.  Inclusiveness is the vital key: We all need to get rid of nuclear weapons, for all our sakes, and no one will benefit more than any other.

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By Robespierre115, July 29, 2010 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

For a clear analysis of this film and its agenda:

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By Railbird, July 29, 2010 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

gerard writes:
“People simply refuse to think about it if they possibly can avoid it.”

When I read the piece I had flashbacks to the late 50’s, early 60’s.  People building bomb shelters in their back yards.  People may refuse to talk about it but they think about it…, at some level and the consequences show up in the variety of addictive preoccupations in our culture.

In his book “Love and Will” (1969) Rollo May drew attention to the psychological costs of living in a world where for the first time in history, your life could be snubbed out in a split second and you might not even see it coming. 

As May pointed out, “the greater our alienation from nature (alienation’s ultimate symbol being the atom bomb and radiation) the closer we actually are to death.” [end quotes]

Don’t need a PhD in psychology to imagine the variety of ways this eats away at the psyche and affects the choices of people who think they’ve tuned it out, for as May noted, “human beings cannot block off any important biological or emotional aspect of experience without developing an equivalent amount of inner anxiety.”

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By Robespierre115, July 29, 2010 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

The trailer conveniently leaves out Israel, which is run by pretty irrational people, and already has 200 NUKES.

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By gerard, July 29, 2010 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

Rudolfo, what you say is twisting the truth ... that “It’s the victims of the terrorists’ wars of aggression that the film demonizes, to provide the rational for vaporizing them.” Your very statement is a kind of verbal terrorism.”
  True:  Any war is terrorism, whether a U.S. war of agression or any other war.  The victims of US/NATO present wars of agression (Iraq, Afghanistan, and in their own way victims of starvation, exploitation and ignorance) could all be victims of atomic extinction if present stocks of nuclear weapons now held by six or seven “nuclear powers” got out of hand in one or more cases—accidental or deliberate.
  The real problem is getting rid of all nuclear weapons, which will have to be done through negotiated agreements for the good of all the world.
  The fact that the U.S. used two nuclear weapons on Japan has made the U.S. the most obligated to lead a way out of the present stalemate, to sponsor and persist until ALL nuclear weapons are destroyed and no new ones are made.
  To label nations “terrorists” actually feeds the nuclear frenzy of fear and hatred. And as everybody knows if they have half a brain, “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” depending on who is making the allegation.
  War is everybody’s enemy, and nuclear war would quite likely put an end to life on earth.  To avoid it we have to get together, not divide up into namecalling enemies.
  The first thing that any sensible agreement demands is that nations come together, not separate into “terrorist” and “non-terrorist.”  This is a human problem, not a problem of any one or a few nations.  Even non-nuclear nations ought to be involved up to their eyebrows 24 hours a day, in helping to get rid of this menace.

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By Rudolfo, July 29, 2010 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

The film is a sham, misdirection.  There is a long article on giving the details.  The objective of the film is to justify war with Iran, or other wars to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of the ‘terrorists’.  The real terrorists in world today are concentrated almost exclusively in the U.S., so the terrorists already have nuclear weapons.  It’s the victims of the terrorists’ wars of aggression that the film demonizes, to provide the rational for vaporizing them.

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By Wren, July 29, 2010 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a pipe dream. The human race is too insane to ever give up nuclear weapons without first giving up war itself. As long as war continues to be an acceptable means to settle disputes between populations, having the biggest gun will always be desired and that is a nuclear weapon right now. Until we decide that war and the race to get the biggest weapons is insanity, obtaining nuclear weapons will continue to be just the logical conclusion.

I had to laugh when I saw President Reagan and General Musharraf in the trailer saying we should have 0 nuclear weapons. Reagan was the one that continued to provide aid to Pakistan even with credible evidence that Abdul Qadeer Khan was trying to build a nuclear weapons program in Pakistan. All so we could funnel aid through Pakistan to our radical Islamic terrorists to attack the Soviets and who eventually would attack us. Forget that it was Reagan with his SDI (Star Wars) program that got in the way of even greater reductions in nuclear stockpiles while negotiating with Gorbachev.

So, our leaders love to go on and on about how they think we should find a way to eliminate nuclear weapons, but behind the scene, they understand war and the necessity to have the biggest guns on the planet. Thus, they always find a way to sabotage any efforts at real meaningful nuclear disarmament. Just look at Obama’s pledge to work toward a world without nuclear weapons while funding the modernization of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

So, as long as war is considered inevitable, nuclear weapons will remain inevitable and thus the possibility of non-state actors acquiring and using them will remain a possibility.

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By gerard, July 29, 2010 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

This touches me deeply as I have worked, along with others, more or less consistently, on this horrendous problem for 60 years and counting. People simply refuse to think about it if they possibly can avoid it.
  Tens of thousands of people in Japan were forced to think about it and they have been in the front line of trying to educate the world. Many of those who have been to Japan and gone through the museums and talked with victims who escaped with severe damage, understand vaguely what happened. But
the majority of the earth’s population is either completely ignorant or nonchalant. As with other serious problems, millions think “there is nothing we can do” so they do nothing.
  When I was actively involved with anti-nuclear organizations (Union of Concerned Scientists is one still working furiously though understaffed and under-supported) the scientific community as a whole was a major support to citizen efforts, mainly in education. In spite of CIA/FBI intrusions, together, after years of hard work, we were finally influential in getting the first Test Ban Treaty between the USSR and the USA. Not much progress has been made since, and we are all living on a knife edge.  The once effective “atomic clock” is now greeted with a universal ho-hum. The problem, like global warming, is scientifically “boring.”
  Negotiations should be going on fulltime between all the “atomic powers” to get the beast under control.  It can be done, especially since the Cold War is not such a barrier. 
  I beg all people who read this to join and make a contribution to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Google it immediately and volunteer to help them educate the public and influence others to force the government to negotiate controls and the destruction of atomic weapons and further research on possible new weapons before it is too late.  Please.

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