[eDebate] Dr. Snider addendum

Israel Pastrana i_pastrana
Mon Jul 3 13:55:26 CDT 2006

the Maoist International Movement (MIM) has been making this argument for years. (the version i'll post is from 99)  And while Dr. Snider's post reflects the most recent incarnation of this argument by MIM, I personally prefer the old school version, substituting a game of frogger for the russian roulette scenario.
  btw: i could bet money that once upon a time (albeit in novice)  Korcok voted for Jason Derby and I in a round where the 2nr probably consisted of little more than "extend the MIM evidence---1% Korcok!---try or die!"
  MIM Notes 193 
September 1, 1999

  The risk of nuclear war has existed ever since the united snakes dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It persists even today, despite claims that it ended with the cold war.
  The recent conflicts between the U.$. and Russia over Kosovo threatened to turn into a war between nuclear powers. At one point during the U.$./NATO bombing of Kosovo, Russian President Boris Yeltsin said to the Amerikans, "Don't push us to military. Otherwise, there will be a European war for sure and possibly a world war." The chief of the Russian General Staff was more explicit. "If the question is to be or not to be for Russia," he said, "we must use everything we have in the armed forces, including nuclear weapons."
  These statements cannot be dismissed as bluster or posturing, since they were backed up by actions. As soon as the Amerikans and their cronies started bombing Yugoslavia, Russia pulled out of a program for a joint communications center with the U.$, which would have eased the risk of accidental nuclear war due to misinformation. Then in April, Yeltsin approved a program to modernize Russia's tactical nuclear weapons, which had been taken out of service several years earlier. So the conflict in Kosovo -- one of those persistent small wars caused by imperialist powers and local capitalists -- brought the humyn species one small step closer to extinction via nuclear catastrophe.
  Furthermore, the threat of accidental nuclear war may even be greater than the threat of conscious war. The August issue of The Progressive details five instances over the last 30 years when nuclear missiles were almost launched as a result of mechanical failure or humyn error -- the most recent near-miss being in 1995. In one case, an apparent attack by thousands of Russian missiles turned out to be a training tape playing for a senator on an inspection tour.
  If there is only a one-percent chance of nuclear annihilation each year, then after 50 years the probability of surviving is 60.5%. (To put it another way, you can probably run across a busy freeway once and not get hit, but if you keep doing it, you're bound to be maimed or killed by a speeding car.) By the standards of the Iroquois people who do not do anything that would have negative implications for people seven generations from now, a one percent chance of nuclear war would mean only a 17.2% chance of humyn survival 175 years from now.
  We must popularize the fact that nuclear war is inevitable under the current imperialist economic and social system to mobilize the people inside U.$. borders against that system. Imperialism forces powers like the U.$. to conquer -- by force of arms, if necessary -- new markets. It is also characterized by a preponderance of investment in parasitic, non-productive, but immensely profitable sectors like the weapons industry. (Of note, even some Pentagon types seem to think that Amerika's nuclear arsenal serves no good purpose, but lobbying by the technicians and companies who make their living off of nuclear research and kooky schemes like SDI ensures the preservation of the arsenal.)
  While exposing militarism and imperialism as the fundamental problems behind thethreat of nuclear war, we must also combat other dangerous snake-oil remedies to the problem. For example, while pointing out that conflicts between the U.$. and nuclear powers like Russia and capitalist China may lead to nuclear annihilation, we must also carry out anti-chauvinist and anti-jingoist propaganda. The threat of nuclear war will not be averted by ensuring that only the U.$. has nuclear weapons, as some reactionaries argue. In fact, the U.$. is the only power to date to use nukes, at a time when no other country had them. In terms of the size of its arsenal and its historic willingness to use the bomb as a threat (it did so in both Korea and Vietnam), the U.$. has always been the main danger when it comes to nuclear war. 

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