Doomsday Clock: Five Minutes to Midnight
by Felicity Arbuthnot
Global Research Canada, January 13, 2012
Indeed. Beware of Presidents bearing Nobel Peace Prize tags....
‘’ I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita … “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” ‘(J. Robert Oppenheimer, 22nd April 1904 - 18th February 1967, Scientific Director of the Manhattan Project, on the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
Chilling ironies surely do not come much greater than the Nobel Peace Prize winning President of the United States, in an election year, having contributed to global instability and the possibility of nuclear conflict, to such an extent that the “Doomsday Clock”, maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago, has this week been moved to five minutes to midnight.
The forward-creeping hands of the symbolic clock, maintained since 1947, two years after the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, indicate the closest to global catastrophe in twenty six years, with the exception of 2007, when the hands were similarly set under the gung-ho “Bring ‘em on”, Presidency of George W. Bush.
What a world away from Obama’s June 2009 speech at Egypt’s Al Azhar University, where he declared he was in Cairo: “… to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims round the world (and to) share … tolerance and dignity…”
He asserted: “There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other, to learn from each other, to respect one another and to seek common ground … the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful then the forces that drive us apart.”
Tell that to the bereaved, maimed, homeless Libyans, Iraqis, Afghans, the US-menaced people of Syria, over one third of whom are fourteen or under; the annihilation-threatened Iranian population, nearly a quarter also children, fourteen years or under.
Iran, so demonized, yet which generously hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world. (1999 UNHCR figures cite at a cost then, to embargoed Iran, of ten million $s a day.)
Tell it too, to the droned and blown (away) of Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia.
A: “ … sustained effort to listen …”, has been largely denied the untried, incarcerated, abused, tortured in Bagram and Guantanamo’s “gulags of our times”, as totally during the Obama Presidency, as the years before.
But back to the ticking Atomic clock. Alarmingly, the furthest from “midnight” it has ever been is seventeen minutes, in 1991, when the US and then Soviet Union, under George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (31st July.) A heartening seven minute leap from from the ten to midnight of 1990, even that, in spite of the onslaught of thirty two nation war on Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait. The Berlin Wall had, however, fallen and the Cold War seemed to be ending.
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