Our December issue featured the story (reprinted from our sibling publication Toward Freedom) “Nuclear-Free Central Asia: A Model for the Korean Peninsula?” by Rene Wadlow. It noted a real glimmer of hope in the terrifyingly bleak world situation: the repudiation of the logic of nuclear proliferation by the governments of a highly restive and militarized part of the planet. The Central Asian nuclear-free zone is bad news for the nuclear ambitions of super-powers (which seek to station atomic weapons in the region), as well as “rogue states” (which seek accomplices in their efforts to build atomic weapons) and terrorists (always happy to have more atomic weapons infrastructure to raid or pirate, especially in unstable regions). It is good news for the rest of us—the overwhelming majority of humanity. We can only hope that the two Koreas follow the Central Asian example.
However, this is but a small counter-vortex in the general downward spiral towards nuclear holocaust. After a brief de-escalation following the end of the Cold War, the global trend has been worsening dramatically since 9-11—as noted by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists when they moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock forward two minutes to seven of midnight in 2002 (exactly where the clock stood when it was unveiled in 1947). Our December Exit Poll was: “Are you anticipating a New Years Eve nuclear terrorist attack on New York City? C’mon, tell the truth.” We received the following responses:
From Stephanie Damoff, somewhere in cyberspace:
um, no. should i be??
WW4 Report responds: We certainly hope not, Stephanie.
From JG, New York City:
No. Are you hoping for a New Years Eve nuclear terrorist attack on New York City?
WW4 Report responds: Definitely not, JG.
From Nancy, at the Zapatista Solidarity Coalition office in Sacramento:
I’m in California—but know of no reason NY, NY should expect other than a Happy new year’s eve.
WW4 Report responds: Memories of Chiapas 1994 always give us a reason to smile on New Years Eve. Viva Zapata!
From Robbie Liben, Missoula (formerly a New Yorker):
Well, the thought hadn’t really crossed my mind. On the other hand, in the back of my mind one of the (very minor) reasons for moving to Montana was to be far from the city in the middle of the bulls eye…
But, why are you asking specifically about nuclear attacks? There are so many other catastrophes that could be unleashed much more easily. Aside from American DU weapons, we haven’t seen nuclear attacks anywhere else, even by people who believe they have the motives…
WW4 Report responds: Because we haven’t crossed this particular threshold since August 1945, and we’d like to keep it that way. With all the other nightmares, at least there will be a planet left to fight over (however ugly and impoverished)…
From Joseph Wetmore, Ithaca, NY:
Yeah, cops will shoot another New Yorker with a hail of 60+ bullets claiming he was about to blow up the city.
From Margery Coffey, Rosalie, Nebraska:
No. NYC is not going to be attacked again.
WW4 Report responds: We certainly hope you are right, Marge. But making political predictions is an inherently dangerous business.
Margery also had a response to our story “The Real Scoop on Biofuels: ‘Green Energy’ Panacea or Just the Latest Hype?” by Brian Tokar:
Point of information on your Bio-fuel article. The situation in Nebraska is this: We can no longer grow food for human consumption because our soils no longer contain enough nutrients to qualify for that status. We lost that during the dirty thirties when we went from 36″ of Holdrege Loam topsoil to none. Chemical cannot replace the natural nutrients. They can only force the land to produce inferior plants. We grow cattle feed because the standards are lower. This is the land that they will “mine” for fuels.
WW4 Report responds: Like we said. However ugly and impoverished…