McNamara on Nuclear Strategy

McNamara's article missed the mark on how we as a species are going to survive. He quoted a letter from Einstein urging President Roosevelt to develop the nuclear bomb. Another letter not mentioned from Einstein after the droping of the atomic bombs on Japan stated, "The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe."

McNamara did talk about the drift toward unparalleled catastrophe, but he did not mention the change required in our mode of thinking. There will be no arms agreements unless we see that we live on one planet, with one interconnected, interrelated life support system, and that we either live together or we die together.

The new mode of thinking demands a shift of identification, from being an American, a Soviet, to a member of the human race evolving to become the highest it can become and insuring life to continue.

If this is what we are striving for, then there will be arms agreements, treaties, and mutual respect for what needs to be done to insure the quality of life that we dream of for every person on the planet.

The new mode of thinking does not require a scientific breakthrough, billions of dollars spent on research, or years of negotiations. It requires a decision of the will by seeing that what is best for everyone, including the Soviets, is best for me.

McNamara should have acknowledged the signing of the Atmospheric Test Ban treaty during his tenure in the White House. President Kennedy, responding to the reality of the effect of nuclear fallout from above ground testing on mothers and children, sent Ambassador Averell Harriman to Moscow to write a treaty to ban all above-ground tests. The treaty was written in three weeks and still is in force today. This is an example of correct perception of reality, that we live on an interconnected planet, and that what is best for everyone is best for us.

It is possible to duplicate Ambassador Harriman's and President Kennedy's bold move today. It is just a matter of will.


Santa Barbara

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