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The question of peace remains the foremost issue on the agenda of the world. In spite of the recent encouraging rapprochement between the superpowers, we still remain very far from an effective, global peace. The following items will suffice to give some notion, however faint, of where the situation stands.
1. The death toll of the Second World War, the greatest war in human history, was 50 million human beings. On the other hand, in the period of pseudo-"peace" we have been living through since the Second World War, the number of dead in regional wars, border conflicts, terrorist activities and the like has exceeded 100 million.
2. Taking the total destructive power of World War II as a yardstick, a single Trident submarine is scheduled to carry the equivalent of 25 World War IIs, while the world's nuclear arsenal adds up to 6000 World War IIs.
3. Setting aside all other armaments in the arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union and concentrating only on (normal and thermo-) nuclear weapons, each of these nations has a stockpile of about ten gigatons in its possession (or an actual gross yield equivalent to twenty billion tons of TNT). We are, therefore, sitting on top of one million six hundred thousand nuclear bombs of the size delivered on Hiroshima. To put it another way, a four-ton share of TNT falls to every last man, woman and child on earth. This means, further, that even if these two countries were both to abolish 99.9% of their respective stockpiles, there would still be enough left over for 1600 Hiroshima bombs - more than enough to destroy not only each other, but any number of other countries they might choose to as well.
4. All the nations of Europe are in hot pursuit of "the Bomb", and the capabilities of almost all of them are more than equal to the task. A conflict arising in sensitive areas such as the Middle East and Israel is likely to mushroom into nuclear warfare and a rapid escalation that would engulf the entire world in its flames. (Israel is estimated to have about 100 nuclear weapons in its stockpile.) Besides countries such as China, Britain, France and India which are definitely known to possess the Bomb, countries such as Pakistan and South Africa are suspected of having produced it. Experts fear that even terrorist organizations might - by clandestine means - construct or otherwise procure nuclear weapons.
5. Due to a confusion of birds appearing on radar screens with ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles) and errors of a similar ilk, the world has come to the brink of annihilation many times to date.
6. According to the recent findings of scientists, even if we were to ignore all the rest of the devastation wrought by a thermonuclear war, the smoke and dust raised by the mushroom clouds would bring about a "nuclear winter" on Earth, and hundreds of millions of survivors would starve or freeze to death. And yet, this is only one among the many dreadful effects of an all-out - or even a small - thermonuclear war.
7. Global arms expenditures are measured in terms of hundreds of billions of dollars per year. A considerable portion of this money comes from the Third World, which is poor enough to start with. A small fraction of the sums spent on arms would suffice to eradicate hunger in many a poor country.
The above items - to which we have confined ourselves for reasons of space - do not, however, really begin to take the measure of the global Arms Race. The situation is far graver than any impression the above facts might convey, so that the optimism of a person in these matters is almost invariably a direct measure of his ignorance. The indescribable horror of a thermonuclear holocaust vastly exceeds the capacity of the mere human imagination to deal with it, and lies totally beyond the powers of description of any human language.
No matter how serious the differences, there is one thing all human beings should never forget: We are all the great-grandchildren of Adam and Eve. All men are united by their common ancestry in the First Man and Woman and in this respect, we are all equal - each of us having been inspired with the Divine Breath, not merely of life, but of humanity. Yes, human beings of different races, languages, nationalities, etc. have emerged later on, due to geographical circumstances, differences of land, culture and the like. But these are all human beings. They are all our cousins, our brothers and sisters. Wherever on earth you go, you will find none with three eyes, four legs or five hearts. Indeed, even in the case of rare genetic disorders, no difficulty whatever is encountered in identifying these anomalies as homo sapiens.
Unfortunately, due to superficial differences stemming from any number of reasons, human beings have become enemies of one another. All men are brethren; yet, since they are unable to see this fact, they remain sworn enemies. Such cruelty is brought to bear that man flees the wrath of man in mass emigrations, which may follow upon forced deportation, seeking refuge elsewhere - both domestically (as in the case of Russia) and between nations (such as the exodus from Bulgaria to Turkey or from East Germany to the west).
In our day mankind has, in terms of science and technology, ascended to unheard-of and, until quite recently, unimaginable heights. Human beings have set foot on the moon, and are preparing to visit Mars and the other planets. In medicine, intensive research is being conducted so that even the most invincible diseases may be vanquished.
Was man more advanced in the Stone Age, or is he more advanced today, in the Space Age? In terms of science, technology, and medicine, the answer is unquestionably that we are more advanced today.
But if we view matters from a different aspect, we shall see that human beings have not progressed at all. Scientists and historians calculate that out of the last 5400 years, only in a hundred has the world seen peace. In peaceability, therefore; in ethics and in all things that make man human, there has been very little progress indeed. The creature who ascends to the skies in planes and spacecraft is but a clean-shaven, necktied version of Stone-Age Man. Furthermore, the caveman was at least redeemed by the fact that he did not possess the possibility to destroy his fellow-men and the rest of the world. Viewing things from this perspective, we realize that we have, in relative terms, actually regressed, back beyond even the Stone Age. The technical proficiency of human beings many times exceeds the wisdom, the moral and ethical level, required to ensure their proper use of that technology.
If we consider our life on Earth, we note that nature does not distinguish between human beings in bestowing her gifts. The borders men have arbitrarily defined between nations, as well as the artificial barriers they erect within these borders, are invisible from the sky and remain totally irrelevant to the natural elements on which mankind depends for its existence. The sun shines on everyone, drawing no distinctions between people. Water gives life regardless of race, language or religion. The soil presents its bounties to all people of every imaginable kind, whether young or old, good or bad, rich or poor.
Herein lies a lesson for human beings. If the sun, the water and the soil do not discriminate between men, from where, precisely, do we fancy that we have received the right to do so?
As in life, so also in death, the natural elements of the Earth will bind us inextricably together. Wind and water will carry the radioactive fallout from even a small nuclear skirmish between a couple of minor nations far beyond the borders of the two. In 1986, the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in Russia were registered as far away as Canada, the U.S. and Japan. Even a single nuclear weapon, however, would contaminate a much greater area than the worst conceivable accident to a nuclear reactor.
We must resolve our differences and take the requisite measures for a durable peace in the shortest possible time. For if the "Doomsday Machine" - constructed by mankind with such a vast outlay of money and labor - once begins to operate, not only human life but perhaps all life will be wiped off the planet. Before the Megadeath Machine begins to roll, before the Holocaust of Hell, we must destroy this monster before it is too late.
Although its arrival has not been officially announced or celebrated with fanfare, we have at long last to realize that ever since 1945, when the first nuclear bomb was exploded, we have been living in a totally new - or, more precisely, Brave New - World. In a sense, the End has already begun. Hiroshima constitutes the most important turning point in human history and prehistory. It would be much more appropriate to discard the present calendar and start a new one, with 6 August 1945 as Year (and Ground) Zero. At this writing, as of 44 A.H. (After Hiroshima), we are already a long way into the Era of Doomsday.
We must never forget that the First World War was triggered by the assassination of a minor European nobleman by a nobody. We have not the slightest assurance that history will not repeat itself. Any spark can ignite a chain reaction, a maelstrom that will inexorably suck in one nation after another until none is left. The Arms of Inferno warn us: "As long as we exist, even the least of the wars you wage among yourselves imperils you all." And again, they say: "If you cannot control yourselves, destroy us; or else we will destroy you." This is the mutual message not only of nuclear, but of all Toxic Weapons (whether Nuclear, Biological or Chemical). Until we do so, not a single person on Earth can be safe.
Hatred does not cease by hatred; hatred ceases by tolerance, by compassion and, ultimately, by love. We cannot extinguish fire with fire; to put out fire, water is required. Water, more than anything else, is what mankind needs today: The Water of Life, the Water of Peace. For if we cannot survive, the meaning of all other needs will be negated.
The heart, the marrow, of all religions is love. History both ancient and modern testifies to the fact that only by religions have human beings been motivated to civilized behavior. Those who castigate religion for crimes committed in its name should search elsewhere for the real culprit: It is not religion but man's diabolical ego that commands him to do such things. The purpose of religion is, rather, to inhibit these drives. Science and technology cannot, and have not been able to, achieve this: they do not even address the question. By this time, such a dense cloud of ignorance and obfuscation surrounds the subject of religion that we have forgotten these simple facts.
The monstrous atrocities, tortures and genocides of the last 100 years have amply demonstrated that ethics cannot long survive in the absence of religion. Only religion can teach men to be gentle, to curb their passions, to care for others. And only religion can provide human beings with the moral education and elevation necessary to deal with the Weapons of Doomsday conclusively.
Throughout history, human beings have found the wherewithal to unite over religious books. The most famous of these are the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospel and the Koran. Today, too, men must come together over one Book. Men must join hands around whichever Book is the most all-embracing, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, language, or nationality.
All men must rally around one banner. They must produce water with the might derived from that flag, and extinguish all fires. Only in this way is a lasting peace possible.
Do not forget: if we do not stamp out the flames while they are already under control, the tiniest spark anywhere may someday destroy the entire forest, leaving a desolate, waste land in its wake.
Where is this fire going to end? We shall surely put an end to this wonderful, this heavenly world of ours with our own hands. The basic power of the universe will be harnessed in a cataclysm whose ferocity lies beyond imagination. The energy that powers the sun, that fuels the furnaces of the stars, will be unleashed on earth in all its terrifying intensity; human beings will scorch and raze the face of the Earth, and will roast and boil and vaporize each other with temperatures of tens of millions of degrees. Even their individual atoms will cease to exist. This is the stark, the horrifying reality we have used our science to conjure.
Of all the bodies in the universe, our planet is the only one on which we are sure life exists. A wise adage goes: "I myself did and myself suffered; so who cares?" If we decide to commit global suicide, there will be no one left behind to shed tears after us.
Unfortunately, the day is long past when the Arms of Apocalypse were under the exclusive monopoly of the two superpowers. At present, there is no way in which weapons proliferation can be halted. The long closely-guarded secrets of the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb (which is a thousand times more powerful) are out. For any nation with the means to construct the first, the second is also no longer out of reach. Any government, even if it developed and built them on its own, could today pave the way to the destruction of the entire planet.
It is stated in a Divine utterance that: "Human beings will bring about Doomsday with their own hands." What else can this saying refer to, except thermonuclear war?
Moreover, the potential effects of all novel weapons systems - under consideration or deployment by member countries of the "Nuclear Club" - on the Balance of Terror are uniformly and depressingly destabilizing. Mired as they are in a quicksand in which all struggle is self-defeating, the more the superpowers have striven to increase their stockpiles, the lower has their security (and that of the whole world) sunk. And now, as if the balance weren't precarious enough already, the push towards space weapons, Star Wars, and newer generations of weapons and missiles promises to exacerbate the situation by many orders of magnitude.
Once before, in the remote past, our Earth experienced another catastrophe of global dimensions: The Flood, occurring in the time of Noah, destroyed all living beings not on board his Ark. In this respect, Noah was the second Adam.
Today we are faced with the danger of a second Deluge. But this time things are different. Whereas the first Deluge was one of water, the second will be a Deluge of Fire. Furthermore, although the first one did not harm the Earth or impair its ability to nurture life, the Fire Deluge will destroy all, reducing the entire planet to cinders.
It is no use feigning ignorance. All the governments of the world, including those of Europe, are fully aware of the facts, aware of this diabolical error. But whereas peace talks drowsily continue on the one hand, they are all striving to bring about the End of the World on the other. On the one hand are the global preparations for this awesome destiny; on the other is the paralysis, the singular and total inaction, to do anything to prevent it. No matter from which angle we view things - whether scientific, medical, technical, or indeed any other - the conclusion is inescapable: Mankind is preparing to burn down the Earth, to reduce it to fire and ashes, together with all its human, animal and vegetable inhabitants. Who will bear the responsibility for this infernal agony? Who feels prepared to stand to account for this universal slaughter, this massacre of mankind, this Geocide?
On the one hand, we cherish our youth, our children and grandchildren; on the other hand, the fathers of the same children are preparing to purge the Earth with the Weapons of the Armageddon, to incinerate their children with their very own hands. If we, as the community of the United Nations, do not with good sense and conscience put an end to this peril, how can we expect our children to succeed where we have failed? If the United Nations forum cannot find a satisfactory solution to this menace, for what else is it good for, what is its reason for existence, its raison d'être? And if men do not pity Mankind and themselves, let them at least have mercy on the animals and plants of the world, those innocents that have borne the burden of Mankind ever since Adam and Eve.
The enormity of a global conflagration staggers all powers of the imagination. Atom-Age Man has sought far and wide for a haven by which to escape this terrible fate. Nowhere has he been able to find a foolproof shelter, not even from the peaceful yet still poisonous (radioactive) byproducts of the atom, either in the bowels of the Earth or ten miles beneath the sea.
Once men had understood this, they turned their eyes to the realm of space. It is high time this sinister secret was revealed: Be it known that whatever its ostensible purposes, the real aim behind the Space Race is the craving of men to find a home in space so that they can detonate Doomsday on Earth. Is it an article of Divine Judgement that compels you to do this? Or are you only acting under the compulsion of a selfish and satanic drive, from Adam and Eve to this day?
The First Adam, as everyone knows, was Adam himself (and Eve). Noah was the Second Adam. And now, prepare yourselves for the Third Adam, for this is what the rockets, the space stations and shuttles are all about. The frantic search is on for a hideout in space where the last representative of Mankind can survive.
Who will the Third Adam be? Whether American or Russian, Japanese or Chinese, his nationality will mean little to the rest of foredoomed mankind and, ultimately, nothing to himself.
For a moment and simply for the sake of the argument, let us suppose that this is, after all, a viable solution. Where can Adam-3 survive? Within the solar system, the only place where the support of life is even remotely possible is on Mars. The conditions on Mercury, Venus and the outer planets are much too forbidding for the survival of man, even granting that the enormous difficulties involved in visiting them could be overcome. Interstellar and intergalactic travel lies beyond the pale of any currently foreseeable terrestrial technology, quite apart from the fact that a suitable planet would first of all have to be found.
Whether in a space station, on the Moon or on Mars, man will be totally dependent on a spacesuit, an oxygen mask, and medical food-pills for survival. He cannot do without these for a single instant. Can you forecast how long he will survive under these circumstances? The most he can manage will be five years. In view of this fact, how much longer is the Space Race going to continue? We cannot justify these expenditures, this senseless squandering of vital and gigantic resources, especially not when Mankind stands in dire need of them.
As far as the giant telescopes can probe, the only habitable place within sight - and within reach - is the planet we are already standing on. Does it not say something to us that scientists looking 15 billion light years into space, to the very limits of the cosmos, have not yet discovered a single planet even remotely resembling the Earth? That we should perhaps be a little more careful, a little more considerate and reverent, toward the humble ground we tread on?
Since he cannot escape himself no matter where he goes, and as if the Earth were not enough, man had to carry his dreams of destruction into space. Leave aside for the moment the thousands of spy satellites in orbit, the U.S. Armed Forces Space Command and its opposite number in the USSR. Even if they can only fantasize about it today, the vision of particle-beam and laser weapons on orbiting satellites shooting ICBMs out of the sky has mesmerized those who believe that an effective defense against a thermonuclear "spasm war" is possible. But things have not quite worked out that way. Far from rendering nuclear weapons and the insanity of MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) "impotent and obsolete", the SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) has, by the science-fiction nature of its aspirations, been reduced to the much more mundane and dangerous - position of maintaining the capability to retaliate. Is it not obvious that herein lie the seeds of a much more terrifying space/arms race than witnessed hitherto?
The Maginot Line of the French was, in World War II, able to secure little defense against the Germans. How much more protection or the illusion thereof is a space-based Maginot Line expected to provide? Ignore for a moment that a Star-Wars system will cost trillions of better-spent dollars; that no one will be able to write 50 million lines of error-free software. Disregard the fact that the computers will have to fight out World War III between themselves, since there will be no time to alert the generals and heads-of-state. Forget, too, that a well-aimed grain of sand can disable a satellite, that mirrors can be used to reflect the lethal beams back to their sources, and the countless other countermeasures that undoubtedly can, and therefore will, be used. A much more ominous possibility looming ahead seems to have escaped almost everyone: If directed-energy weapons of sufficient power are developed someday, they will much more readily be used for offense than for defense, which brings us back to the very predicament we had set out to resolve. When are we going to realize that our only true security lies, not in devising ever more intricate and impossible arms (whether offensive or defensive), but in the total abolition of weapons of indiscriminate mass destruction?
The road to salvation lies, in our view, in the four fundamental Books: The Torah, the Psalms, the Gospel, and the Koran. Only from these Four Books will mankind be able to derive the moral fortitude and integrity, the self-control and inspiration, necessary to protect against the deadly fruits of science and civilization. (All other religious texts, to the extent that they are true, may be regarded as exegeses of and commentaries on these).
Let us unite on these Four Books of Divine Dispensation. Let us not try to destroy our only - once and future - world. Let us strive to rid ourselves of these impulses - selfish and diabolical - that plague the minds of men. Let us endeavor, not to incinerate our Earth with hellfire, but to enrich it - humanely, with wisdom, with the Pen, from our present vantage point of medicine and science. Starting with man, let us feel a little compassion for the whole world, together with its plant and animal kingdoms that support Mankind.
We leave the verdict to the leaders of the world, and to all humanity. Let us wake up from this slumber. Let us cast off the demon of our egos.
We have received this world as a gift from God, our Creator. The Earth is a present to us. With discernment and with conscience, let us again bequeath this abode to God, Who entrusted it to us in the Beginning.
For a more recent update on the nuclear threat, click here.
Basics can be found here: Consequences of Nuclear War