Millions So Far, Billions Ahead?
Thank you for this sobering Article. I am a psychotherapist of over thirty years and I have just written a book called "America in Therapy" in which I am calling out the epidemic of mass mental illness as the greatest threat to human survival. My hope and my commitment is that we can mobilize and use all our present psychological understanding, tools, and resources-- our capacity for looking deeply into the most destructive human behaviors and addressing them-- with the goal of employing all possible methods to interrupt the cycle of violence and abuse in our country (and worldwide). I have been following your work and am very very grateful for your unapologetic stand to speak truth, sound the alarm, and do everything in your power to save us from ourselves. I am doing a lot of podcasts in advance of my book being published and I often mention your work. Thank you. Phyllis Leavitt MA.
Could you provide a link to the public report from the Harvard Belfer Center that concludes with the expectation that Russia is being pushed to use tactical nuclear weapons? I have a hard time with the word "pushed". Russia is the agressor on a sovereign nation and committing war crimes. They can just go home and they won't have to use them.
Dr Lee, the global situation is indeed getting confrontational. Some say that the confrontation is between illiberal world order (Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Belarus etc) against Liberal nations (US, Europe, Asia Pacific democracies etc). There are nations sitting on sidelines like India (also having 100s of nukes) who are undecided because while India is a thoroughly undemocratic nation, it is also at war with other authoritarian China. Also there are failed states like Pakistan which is close to internal collapse and it possesses 100s of nukes as well. The proliferation of nukes is also great threat. This could happen either in Pakistan or in Russia if there is internal breakdown (Putin already survived assassination attempt) as there are also internal power struggles in Kremlin. Russia has placed nukes in Belarus which is also a highly corrupt & unstable country.
But Dr Lee, there is more to the picture of millions of deaths. Millions of people die every year in poor 3rd world nations because of hunger, starvation, malnutrition & diseases like Malaria, Cholera etc. In my country India, there is mass poverty. You can see 3-4 year old children rag pickers cleaning garbage dumps on streets. Humans are extremely capable species if they are educated & nurtured well. But we are throwing our most precious human capital into meat grinder. The economic consequences of war are far & beyond. The food supply line disruption in eastern Europe is causing famine in Africa. While there are nuclear dangers of millions of deaths, the economic consequences are materializing right now every day.
Coming to broader point, what world is facing is a crisis of leadership. You very well know the Psychic pandemic & Trumpism movement in America. But other nations are facing challenges as well. In America, at least there is (some) freedom of speech that you & your colleagues can put forward your point of views. The situation is so bad in nations like India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China etc where Govt will destroy dissenters and their families if they dare to speak up. It's a hopeless situation.
But what can experts do in this type of world? Surely, in nations with freedoms, they can give their analysis and propose solutions. I must say that America is unique in this regard that it has astute intellectuals who have great clarity of global challenges. But the political system of America is full of imbeciles. Look at these politicians who are trying to blow up global economy just to reinforce their political power. The solution to our problems must start with education of public & spreading awareness. But beyond that we need to reform our political system so that we can put problem solvers, the intellectuals, the technocrats, the philosophers directly into political office where they can exercise their true potential.
These words are apocalyptic in the truest sense of revelation. The Armageddon of which you speak is truly the mountain of human arrogance and ignorance in the plain of Megiddo. 7,000 years of human conquest of the “other” that we are 50 seconds away from the end. May we learn to love one another so that there is no longer any “other.”
These geopolitical conflicts can quickly and easily cascade from a small regional dispute into a worldwide war or set of wars. World War I is a prime example, and those that believe it can't happen again, are naive. Once such a conflict or war is officially over, the cascading adverse effects continue with mounting death tolls, epidemics, homelessness, extreme poverty, starvation, and ethnic hatred. See, for example the recent reports issued by the Watson Institute at Brown University, linked below:
The Costs of War.
Well, you're pretty good at it. I like to write also. Very often I write at night as I tend to wake up during the night. I am very glad to have met you.
To be honest, not much of this surprises me. I have long studied the nuclear game, and follow US Colonel Larry Wilkinson who has been warning for a long time that any use tactical weapons always results in the various countries going all the way. In addition I have been reading the book called, "The Bomb," by Fred Kaplan. The insanity of the idea that using nuclear weapons would not lead to massive devastation is clearly laid out in that book. One gem really caught my eye, during the 1950s, when the US was definitely in the lead in terms of numbers of means to deliver nuclear weapons on the Soviet Union, the US very kindly included in their plans to decimate the USSR, plans to also nuke all of Eastern Europe, and just for fun, China, even if those two groups were not involved in a nuclear war at all. Yep, nothing more fun than trusting the US military to constrain itself.
To underscore and remind please read Fiona Hill's Foreign Affairs article 'The Kremlin's Strange Victory ". Covering her original essay from November/December 2021.
Is Putin a subscriber to this substack?
He's getting much preferential treatment here, and there's no clear reason given for the heavy bias.
*HE'S being pushed.*
*He'll be RESPONDING with tactical nukes.*
Poor man has no choice....else how is he to succeed in his monstrous campaign of destruction and genocide?
But, at least SOMEONE'S sticking up for the poor fascist victim!
It's difficult to not feel he must have personally commissioned the essay.
How as a species do we deal with aggressors like Putin?