Merton’s Message Resonates as Nuclear Holocaust Looms | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Merton’s Message Resonates as Nuclear Holocaust Looms

The days of the fallout shelters with their supplies of long-lasting food to nurture us after the bombs had dropped and the school drills with children taking cover under their desks are long behind us. That was back during the height of the Cold War, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when world Communism was still on the march and only the assurance of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) was believed to prevent a hot war between the United States and the Soviet Union. Then, in 1964, the great Stanley Kubrick movie, Dr. Strangelove, or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb, came out, and we began to come to our senses. We were shown graphically how, through a series of misunderstandings, the nuclear hair-trigger could be pulled and the world annihilated. That movie, following the profoundly unsettling experience of the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, reminded us of how dangerous our flirtation with the idea of nuclear warfare really was, and for more than a generation we have pretty much put it out of our minds as simply unthinkable.

Not any more. In an important recent interview and article in The Nation, Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton University, “discusses several subjects related to his long, often-stated belief that the new US-Russian Cold War is more dangerous than was its 40-year predecessor, including the possibility of nuclear war”: