Tuesday, 16 February 2016

MAD Keeping Us Safe

Growing up in the 70s and 80s i was a cold war kid and my over-riding memory was the school drill where in case of a nuclear attack we were to dive under our desks in the hope that a couple of inches of wood above our heads would save us when the mushroom cloud went up.
Up to 1991 when the Soviet Union ceased to be, the Soviets and the West had enough nuclear devices aimed at each other to wipe us all off the planet several times over but thanks to Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), nobody really expected the cold war to turn hot because as the acronym implied, it assured both countries destruction if it did.  
There was a brief period when Ronald Reagan came along and you thought that bloke could just be crazy enough but he turned out to be even crazier than we thought, making important decisions based upon advice from his astrologer so it was only by the grace of his 7th house not disappearing up Uranus that we escaped unscathed.
Now we seem to be drifting back into another Cold War period with the Russians and Americans bickering over who is blowing up hospitals in Syria and who is invading who and therefore the greater danger.
The United States has 4,500 nuclear warheads and Russia 4,700 so still enough to send us all to a fiery death but the rules of MAD are still there and keeps us safe or at least until we get another Ronald Reagan figure in control.
In the West Vladimir Putin is portrayed as the loose cannon and our leaders point to Ukraine and Syria as evidence while the Russians point the West towards Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria as evidence that the West is at fault.
With America due to elect a new President in 2016 and Russia in 2018, we may be able to avoid another fully fledged Cold War with new leaders but as both countries need a bogey man to frighten their populations into backing the massive military expenditure, to keep us safe, this could just be the start.  
Just hope we get another song as good as Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 'Two Tribes' out of it if we do.

12 comments:

Keep Life Simple said...

You sound bitter Lucy. I understand, after being the leading empire for so long. It must be sad to be a bench warmer. The U.K. Is still pretty decent and will be as long as we continue to take care of you - kinda like caring for a doting parent.

Falling on a bruise said...

Bitter about what? The British empire was one of the most brutal regimes in history and I want us to further disentangle ourselves from all the conflicts so I want us not even warming the bench but back in the changing room.

Keep Life Simple said...

Yep, bitterness and guilt for something others did. Well, thanks to your forefathers because if not for them we might be under Islamic law today, or perhaps a very oppressive version of the Catholic Church. Maybe even some form of Imperial Russian rule.

Falling on a bruise said...

Shame is the word I would use.

Keep Life Simple said...

Why should you feel shame for the actions of others?

Falling on a bruise said...

Because there are some people that still try to defend it.

Keep Life Simple said...

Why should you feel shame for the action of others?

Keep Life Simple said...

So, you feel shame because of actions you did not commit; and you fell shame because others defend actions you did not commit?

Falling on a bruise said...

Shame because there are some people that try to defend what our forefathers did that should be undefendable.

Keep Life Simple said...

So you feel shame because of the actions others. I do not understand that. Why should you feel responsible for the actions of others. Especially if they are actions you would not commit. That is not empathy.

Falling on a bruise said...

Don't think you get me, its shame that people are defending it.

Keep Life Simple said...

Applying today's standards to the past is often invalid. Context is often filtered. History is rarely recorded accurately. We rarely assume positive intent. Everything has multiple viewpoints (ISIS think they are heroes).

But, I was misunderstanding your comments.