Nuclear War

Friday, 20 September 2013 0 comments
At this writing (April 7, 2013) the situation in North Korea is extremely critical. Kim Jung Un, the child leader of that 4th-world nation, is threatening a nuclear strike on everyone in sight, in particular the United States. No one seems certain of just what his capabilities are, and the media keeps playing it down, but what does seem certain is that Kim is unstable and apparently believes his own brainwashing, i.e., that he can "destroy" the United States.

Kim can't destroy the United States, but if he does have the capability to fire a nuke over a great enough distance, he might succeed in killing a lot of Americans (and people of other nations such as Japan and South Korea). We know for a fact that he has successfully tested some short- and medium-range missiles, and he has detonated at least one nuclear warhead, so the threat is real. He has also nullified the cease-fire of 1953 that ended the shooting (but not the war) on the Korean Peninsula, so whether his threats are sincere or just a video game in his mind, he must be taken seriously. (There are also rumors that he has stealth submarines with nukes on board, but I haven't been able to verify that.)

This article is not to debate Kim's capabilities, but to give you a heads-up on what you can do if he actually does pull the trigger. Most people under fifty have probably never read up on what nuclear war is like, so you may not know what to do. I lived under the threat my entire life, so I've read quite a bit over the years. My purpose today is to SCARE you.

I and most of the people I know live on the West Coast of the United States; if Kim can reach the U.S. mainland at all, we will be the most likely target. Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle are the most likely choices for a nuclear strike, but North Korea's targeting accuracy might not be all that swell, so a missile launched from that country might land anywhere. No one is safe.

When I was a kid, growing up under the "Red Scare" (which today's sneering skeptics seem to think was a joke), we had air-raid sirens that would sound if Soviet nukes were detected; we also had CONELRAD, the equivalent of today's Emergency Broadcast System, that would interrupt radio and TV broadcasts if anything happened. Today I doubt if those sirens still exist, or would be used in the event of a nuclear strike, but we do have EBS... so you may or may not get any warning if a nuclear strike is inbound. It is very possible that the first warning you will get will be...


The nuclear flash is the brightest thing you will ever (hopefully never) see. It is so bright that everything vanishes for three to five seconds, then gradually color returns to the universe. I saw one once, in 1958, when atomic bombs were being routinely tested in Nevada; I was ten years old and got up early, before dawn, because we knew in advance that a test would be conducted. I lived about 300 miles to the west of the test, with the Sierra Nevada mountains in between, but the light was so bright it erased everything for a few seconds. And I was indoors at the time.

If you see the flash, and you are outdoors, DO NOT LOOK AT IT. Depending on the size of the bomb and your distance from it, just looking at it can melt your eyeballs in your head. Even if you survive, you will be blind for life. (Even if you are a hundred miles away, don't take the chance. Close your eyes and cover them with your hands if possible.)

Your chances of surviving a nuclear blast depend on many factors. The first and most important of these is your distance from the explosion. If you are within a certain radius (which varies depending on the type and size of bomb), you're doomed. Nothing can save you, so don't even worry about it.

Special Teams In Of War

Have you ever wondered why we have Special Forces and also regular force in our military? The U.S. Navy has the Navy seals, the top gun pilots, and the best of the best. The US Marine Corp considers everyone in their group part of their Special Force. The Army has the Airborne Rangers. Okay, you get the picture. It would be similar to a football team which has a starting quarterback, and a few really good receivers. The special teams are those which run special plays, sometimes new people are added to the mix, or during a kickoff return, field goal or punt a new group comes onto the field.

What's the difference between this and the regular team players? Well, when you have a very important job to do and you want to put maximum power at the tip of the spear, you want to use your special teams. In time of war this might be like using the Navy SEALs putting the maximum force at a certain point to get a job done very quickly. This would be;

Similar to the Difference Between a Pro-Soccer Team and a Local AYSO City League Championship Team

A little AYSO Team wouldn't stand a chance, would they?

Neither does the enemy when we come to play, meaning that these assets and teams are often they go to folks for very important missions that cannot fail. No nothing is guaranteed when playing for keeps, I am certain the AYSO team might get lucky once in a Blue Moon, and the Pro-Teams job is to; Not Let That Happen.

An example of using a special team in war for instance would be going in and getting Osama bin Laden in his mansion compound in Pakistan across from the Pakistani intelligence and war college. We need our special teams, and they need our support, this is one group that you do not want to cut their budget, because when policymakers want to get something done in a hurry, and they want the mission to succeed, the last thing we wanted to do is send them on their way without the proper equipment.

Do you remember when Jimmy Carter sent our military in to rescue the hostages in Iran? The mission failed, it was terrible. Of course, it was the same president who had almost a gutted the military because that was the direction his party, and political persuasion was headed. Sometimes I wonder if we are making the same mistake today in2013. That is to say that perhaps the Obama Administration in trying to play around with the military budget, trying to cut out its core competencies with all the sequestration - it is hurting not only our regular military, but also those very special teams, the same ones we will call on when our country needs them the most.

Feeling That Saved the World

It was September 26, 1983, about half-passed midnight in Russia; it was September 25, 1983 in the United States on a Sunday afternoon. Deep inside Sepukhov-15, a secret bunker of Russia's Ballistic Missile Warning System command and control post deep in a forest thirty-miles northeast of Moscow, deafening alarms were suddenly tripped via their satellite warning system, picking up a flash in Montana near a Minuteman II silo. Sirens were blaring, warning lights were flashing and screens showing an unbe­lievably nightmarish hor­ror show of one, then two, then three and fi­nally five nuclear missiles speeding toward Russia at about 15,000 miles an hour.

Amid this were 120 panicked military officers and engineers sitting behind their terminals, then jumping from their seats to focus on one man whose role it was to evalu­ate incoming data, having less than fifteen minutes to de­cide whether or not to press the red button flashing the word "START" in bright letter­ing; initiating a retaliation against America, which would without doubt, literally trans­form the face of the planet. Two coun­tries would incinerate each other in one hour and radioactive fallout and a nuclear winter would bring to an end the world, as we know it. The man is 44 year-old Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov. Unbelievably, most of the world has never heard of him.

Just three weeks before, the Soviet military accidentally shot down a Korean Airline Flight 007 killing 269 people including many Americans, and President Reagan denounced the Soviet Union as an "evil ­empire." In the same year President Reagan made his Star Wars speech stoking fear in the Soviets that such new technology would in­crease the chance of America launching a first strike, along with the ability to intercept a Soviet retaliation.

Also, the United States was about to deploy the Pershing II missile that could hit Moscow from West Germany in twelve minutes; there was a series of psychological naval maneuvers by the West into Soviet strategic areas like the submarine bases in the Barents Sea, and the United States and NATO were involved in exercises known as Able Archer, using tactical nuclear weapons in Europe that put Soviet leaders on edge, fear­ing it was a cover for an invasion. With all this history, the Soviets were on hair-trigger alert. Both sides comprising a grotesque gigantic war machine poised to blow-up the planet on a moments notice, setting the stage for a perceived first strike, and setting off cascading events that would end in Armaged­don.

Petrov, trained as a scientist, was under enormous stress beyond all imagination. He recalls, his legs were "like cotton." With a phone in one hand and an intercom in the other, while electronic maps and consoles were flashing, he was trying to digest all the information at once, "Everyone jumped from their seats looking at me. What could I do? There was a procedure that I had written myself." Although he had a gnawing feeling the computer system was wrong, he had no way of knowing for sure.

The ground radar units that were con­trolled from a different command center could not verify the attack because they were incapable of seeing beyond the horizon. He knew the system had flaws, "I just couldn't believe that just like that, all of a sudden, someone would hurl five missiles at us. The U.S. had not five, but a thousand missiles in battle readiness." But the protocol dictated, as did his orders, that he press the red button, automatically engaging an irretrievable launching sequence of a full-scale nuclear war, all 5,000 of their missiles against the United States.

Petrov says, "The main computer wouldn't ask me, it was made so that it wouldn't even ask. It was specially con­structed in such a way that no one could affect the system's op­erations." His paranoid supe­riors repeatedly told him that the United States would launch a massive attack against them. Despite all these factors racing through his mind, Petrov relates, "I had a funny feel­ing in my gut," and agonizingly decides it's a false alarm. So he and the crew waited. Sec­onds passed. Then min­utes... twenty agoniz­ing minutes passed. All was quiet. He was right. He averted an all-out nuclear war and everyone around him con­gratulated him for his superb judgment; there he stood; a hero of unprece­dented propor­tions.

What had happened was the false alarm came from a satellite. Shortly after midnight, the sun, the satellite system and the United States missile fields all lined up in such a way as to maximize the sunlight re­flected from high-altitude clouds in Montana, giving an appearance of several missiles in flight. The most disquieting and chilling thing about this entire story is that Stanislav Petrov was not originally scheduled to be on duty that evening; the person originally scheduled called in ill and Petrov had to work a double shift.

There is little doubt that another commanding officer, given the high-alert itchy trigger- finger paranoia of the higher echelon, would have followed protocol. The normal officer in a command post is not a scientist, and he follows check lists scrupulously, and does not deviate. They trust their equipment and do not want to make any decisions, espe­cially one of that magni­tude, and the results would have been monumentally and horrifi­cally different.

Stanislav Petrov re­tired in 1993 to care for his wife suffer­ing from a brain tumor. He now lives in a small village near Moscow, living on $200 a month pension. He was neither rewarded nor hon­ored for his actions, rather, he was in­flicted with intense ques­tion­ing by his superiors because he dis­obeyed mili­tary procedure. They didn't pun­ish him, but his promis­ing military career ended.

We almost died in 1983. The world owes him big. In 2006, this forgotten hero was honored at a special ceremony in the Dag Hammarskjold auditorium at the United Nations in New York City. Stanislav Petrov spoke there and was presented with a World Citizen Trophy by the Association of World Citizens. His heroism has earned him the title of The Man Who Averted Nuclear War. In his small apartment while making tea during an interview, he said, "I was simply a person doing my job." His inner intelligence, a feel­ing, was one of greatest gifts ever bestowed upon humanity. We thank you Stanislav, from the bottom of our hearts for listening to your inner voice.

Tactics of War Don't Change The Technology

We don't actually have to be at war in the Middle East to stir the hornet's nest, it's practically perpetually perturbed as it is, and has been for 1000s of years. That's the way they roll, no surprise there, especially for anyone who studies their history. If they are not fighting us Westerners in unison, then their ranks degrade and they are fighting each other over sectarian tit-for-tat revenge bombings and attacks.

Just the thought that we might intervene somewhere causes new alliances due to the conventional wisdom and phrase; "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" at least for today, because when tomorrow comes "Familiarity breeds contempt" and the events of past periods comes back alive once again. How about a case in point as President Obama has threatened to intervene in Syrian's Civil War in the Summer of 2013. The Syrian Army's cyber command - yes, they have one too - has already worked to undermine our efforts to stop the use of chemical weapons.

There was an interesting article on Dark Government on September 2, 2013 titled; "Syria's Electronic Army Hacked Marine Corps Site," with a subtitle sentence; "The Syrian Electronic Army has threatened to target the United States in case it decides to launch a military attack against Syria. For now, the US hasn't taken a decision, but the hackers have already attacked a website of the US Marine Corps to send a message." The article goes on to state that the hackers posted this message to USMC Troops:

"This is a message written by your brothers in the Syrian Army, who have been fighting Al Qaeda for the last 3 years. We understand your patriotism and love for your country so please understand our love for ours. Obama is a traitor who wants to put your lives in danger to rescue Al Qaeda insurgent."

If you will recall in Vietnam the enemy was broadcasting by radio to earshot of US Troops. The tactic was used to demoralize the troops. Preemption, psychological warfare, guerrilla tactics, terrorist proxies, mass media propaganda - well, they are all part of modern war, but in reality haven't they always been in one form or another?

There was another interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal which stated that "Iran Plots Revenge, US Says - Officials Say Intercepted Message to Militants Orders Reprisals in Iraq if Syria Hit" by Julian E. Barnes and Adam Entous, published on September 7, 2013 which also stated; "Israel so far has been the focus of concern about retaliation."

Okay, but maybe the media or the "officials" in our government ought to tell us something we don't know, obviously Iran uses terrorists and terrorist plots to serve their political will all over the region and has said they will call up sleeper cells in the US also if Iran were to be attacked.

Further, judging by the cyber attack preemptions, it's obvious to me that whether the US does or doesn't do something in Syria, there will be attacks on Western Embassies, forces, soft targets, shipping targets of opportunity, perhaps even our homeland. They are always plotting something, and we are always listening in to preempt their preemption, it's like looking in an endless set of mirrors sometimes. Think on that - from a philosophical perspective - because war is not pretty.