Presidential Elections and Armageddon

When some Americans act cavalierly about voting for a President, they ignore a profound responsibility to the world to ensure that the steadiest hand possible is next to the nuclear button. The 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis should be a reminder, says Robert F. Dodge.

By Robert F. Dodge

This week’s final presidential debate saw both candidates contemplate the greatest threat we face as the world quietly marked the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis. During those 12 days, 50 years ago, the world came closer to intentional nuclear annihilation than ever before or since. Yet neither candidate articulated the fact that by their very existence nuclear weapons pose the greatest threat to our survival.

By not mentioning the threat posed by global nuclear stockpiles in excess of 20,000 weapons, of which the U.S. and Russia control over 90 percent, everyone ignored the armed elephant in the room. We worry that Iran may be able to develop a single weapon at some future date totally oblivious to the number of times that the world has narrowly averted disaster from accidental and misread information since the 1962 missile crisis.

President John F. Kennedy addresses the nation on Oct. 22, 1962, regarding the Cuban Missile Crisis.

It is a matter of sheer luck that we sit here today terrified of a future nuclear Iran, disregarding the reality that each day is one day closer to intentional or accidental nuclear war. Probability experts conclude that such a catastrophe is more likely every day, not less.

Since we choose to own and maintain these arsenals, it is our democratic duty to contemplate how the world and civilization as we know it would end as a result of nuclear war.

This could come from the effects of nuclear famine stemming from the use of a relatively small percentage of global arsenals causing prompt global climate disruption that cuts food production worldwide and could kill more than a billion people. Alternatively, the effects of a so-called “nuclear winter” resulting from a full-scale nuclear attack would even more disastrously end life as we know it.

So what will we do about the greatest threat we face? Polls show that the people have decided. A majority of Americans and indeed citizens around the world say they want all nuclear weapons abolished. Society pays the price and faces the risk every day of these massive stockpiles and the bloated military budgets that support them and the wars we fight.

And part of the price we pay comes from the competition for precious resources both natural and financial fueling the very conflict around the world that leads to war in the first place. So how will we address this greatest threat? It is not enough to eliminate these stockpiles alone.

As President Kennedy said, “mankind must put an end to war — or war will put an end to us.”

We have the international institutions and diplomatic skills, models and best practices today to resolve conflict without war. What is needed is the collective will and leadership to take this stand. The future of the planet depends on it. The choice is ours.

Robert F. Dodge, M.D. is a family physician practicing in Ventura, California. He is co-chairman of Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions ( He sits on the Boards of Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles ( where he is also a Peace and Security Ambassador and Beyond War ( where he heads the Nuclear Weapons Abolition Team.  In addition he sits on the PSR National Security Committee.

6 comments for “Presidential Elections and Armageddon

  1. nveric
    October 28, 2012 at 14:38

    Mr. Dodge,
    Yes, nukes must be banned. However, the military bloat is from conventional systems and the executive office Adventurism.

    Leadership is what created this Adventurism mess. Since 1945, the federal government has served this country a Great illness. This illness started small in 1917, with the Espionage Act. After World War 2, it grew precisely from Americans throwing away their votes to elect Leaders. But, again, I have gotten ahead of the story.

    100 years of the Federal government easing the people out of their lawful right to know what their government is up to, has left the people unable to make any meaningful decisions.

    When our increases in representation in the House were stopped, we were effectively removed from the equation. There is nothing to question this as other than fact. Check the records, not a single real increase since the 1910 Census. This was certified in 1929 by Public Law 62-5 at 435 members in the House of Representatives of these United States of America. Our rightful voice has only diminished since then. Today we have 3 times the population.

    Since 1945, many secret agencies have been created to which We the People have no access to. Committee hearings in Congress go unrecorded or there is no record which we can get of those hearings.

    The Federal Government operates in secrecy, so how can we ever make informed decisions at all? All we do is rubber stamp the oligarchy in Washington DC for our Dictatorship Democracy. These Leaders do the devil’s work with no thought to right or wrong, and no concern for the people of the country or the world.

    The modern President sends citizens on fool’s missions to die. And now the can kill all more, by way of the fiendish drone program, aptly called the Disposition Matrix by some. This is what Leadership inside the beltway is, Dictatorship. It is the very tyranny we fought 236 yeas ago.

    The People, Americans, must rise up and remove this Federal Government invasion, take charge of their government again, and with new tools to insure we never repeat our National Military Socialism Adventurism again. Electing Leaders in a nationalistic federal government framework was debated much in the Convention of 1787. They warned of concentrating too much power into a single person. Yet, today this is what we have.

    Congress is largely to blame for circumventing and disregarding the Constitution for 95 years.

    “…collective will and leadership…” however, must come from Americans, and not those elected as Leaders.
    “…competition for precious resources…” and the lust for ever more profits fuels much discord and poverty.

  2. Gusseppe
    October 27, 2012 at 12:14

    ‘jews’ are NOT Semites.

  3. Paul G.
    October 27, 2012 at 06:15

    Puuuuleeease, the Kennedy assassination is one of the most thoroughly researched events of its kind. Though there are many theories, and Israeli elements could have been involved the major players were largely domestic. Israel is bad but there are more and badder actors in the world.
    Kennedy managed to piss off some of the most powerful and ruthless elements of American society; the joint chief’s of staff, the CIA,the Mafia and the Cuban emigres. He had just ordered the beginning of a withdrawal from Vietnam, which had been preceded by cutting bait in Laos and Cambodia. That and not backing up the Bay of Pigs invasion and not attacking Cuba during the missile crisis convinced the insanely aggressive Joint Chiefs that he was dangerously “soft on Communism”. He had fired Allen Dulles, CIA chief over the Bay of Pigs fiasco. The “notorious” Dulles brothers had long been among the most powerful elements in foreign policy. And of course, the Cuban emigres in Miami were furious at him for Bay of Pigs. On the home front brother Bobby had launched the first serious attack on the US Mafia; since LBJ hated Bobby a Johnson presidency would be incompatible with him as Attorney General. And of course, J. Edgar Hoover hated the Kennedys and could be relied on to cover the deed up.
    Unfortunately the original article does not mention that the Cuban missile crisis was resolved, despite the Joint Chief’s fervent desire to immediately attack Cuba, because the US and Russia had two leaders who were wise enough to by-pass their own untrustworthy bureaucracies to negotiate directly under the table, so to speak.

  4. Hillary
    October 26, 2012 at 16:26

    American Depleted Uranium ( WMD)in Iraq.

    In Falluja alone,the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health concludes that the rate of life-threatening illnesses and birth defects is “significantly greater than those reported for survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.”

    “they noticed that almost every family they visited had a child under the age of 10 with stunted or paralyzed limbs, or who had been born without fingers or toes,” Susskind says. “And they found teens who had been toddlers at the time of the U.S. invasion and were now sick with cancer. The OWFI activists were shocked and wanted to know what was going on, why this was happening.”

    Families in numerous Iraqi cities are now living with a dramatic rise in birth defects and cancer from chemical weapons that were detonated near homes, schools, and playgrounds during the nearly seven-year conflict.

  5. db
    October 26, 2012 at 15:12

    The Jews assassinated Jack Kennedy. Why am I not surprised?

    Herr Rehmat,

    Did the Jews also get Bobby?

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