This article was originally posted on Twitter.
The New York City Emergency Management Department has posted a public service announcement advising residents what they should do in the event of a nuclear attack.
Incredibly, the video begins: “So there’s been a nuclear attack. Don’t ask me how or why. Just know that the big one has hit.” Then comes the advice:
1) Get inside; 2) Stay inside, stay away from windows, and shower if exposed to radioactive fallout; 3) Stay tuned.
Just think how many lives might have been saved if the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had taken these steps! What the fantasists who created the video fail to mention is that a hydrogen bomb strike would reduce most of New York City to flaming rubble within seconds.
Tens of thousands of people would be instantly vaporized. At least 80 percent of NYC residents would be dead within minutes of the nuclear strike. All public services would be dysfunctional. Most of those who survived the initial blast would be dead within a few days.
NYC and its environs would be uninhabitable for decades. The scale of the resulting destruction is beyond description. “Tsar Bomba”—a hydrogen bomb detonated by the Soviet Union in a nuclear test 60 years ago— produced devastation within a 60 mile radius.
An attack on NYC would be just part of a worldwide nuclear exchange. According to a new study using computer simulations by Louisiana State University, a nuclear war would result in a global ice age leading to the extinction of life on the planet.
Even worse than the delusional advice is the statement: “Don’t ask me how or why.” But those are precisely the questions that must be asked if a catastrophe is to be stopped. The concise answer to “why?” is that the reckless policies of Washington triggered a nuclear war.
The release of the public service message can only mean that NYC officials, acting on information they have received from Washington, believe that a nuclear war is now a distinct and even imminent danger.
Rather than pulling back from the brink, Biden is escalating the reckless war against Russia. The public service announcement is in line with recent efforts by the US government and media to downplay the consequences of a nuclear war and portray it as a survivable event.
In a recently published book on the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, historian Serhi Plokhy writes that a nuclear war was averted, despite numerous blunders and miscalculations, because American and Soviet leaders recognized the catastrophic consequences. He writes:
Kennedy, Khrushchev, and their generation of world leaders and the citizens of their countries came of age in the shadow of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki…
That generation was keenly aware of the destruction that atomic and especially hydrogen bombs could wreak on their countries and humankind as a whole. Every move of the two leaders ... was dictated by their fear of the use of nuclear weapons...
There is little doubt that today there are world leaders prepared to take a more cavalier attitude toward nuclear weapons and nuclear war than Kennedy and Khrushchev had in 1962.
This is true. But the recklessness is not merely a problem of the leaders’ psychology.
The conditions of intense capitalist crisis—producing a sense among leaders that desperate measures are necessary and unavoidable—result in actions that would in “normal times” be rejected out of hand as “insane.”
The only effective and rational response to the insane policies of the capitalist regimes is their overthrow by the working class and the unification of humanity on a progressive basis through socialism. The alternatives, Rosa Luxemburg wrote, are “socialism or barbarism.”
Make the decision to stop war and fight for socialism! Read the World Socialist Web Site! Join the Socialist Equality Party! Build the Fourth International as the World Party of Socialist Revolution.