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The Radius of Destruction

“Force is the weapon of the weak.” – Ammon Hennacy

“Freedom is a two-edged sword of which one edge is liberty and the other responsibility, on which both edges are exceedingly sharp; and which is not easily handled by casual, cowardly, or treacherous hands.” – John Whiteside (Jack) Parsons

It has been 65 years since the atomic flash threw permanent shadows upon the walls of Hiroshima. Let us remember… and in remembering let us look where we stand today:

1. The Federation of American Scientists, founded by Manhattan Project members, gives us the current figures of nuclear stockpiles around the world. US Strategic Command has a fact sheet on US stockpiles and dismantling of out of commission weapons.

2. Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Bechtel Corporation, Offutt Airforce Base (USStratcom) and the US Department of Energy still engage in various forms of nuclear weapons development.

3. President Barack Obama “reserves the right” to use nuclear weapons against those we see as violating the nuclear proliferation ban.

In choosing to act with the same cowardice as those we purport to oppose, we achieve the same ends: the diminishment of dignity, the escalation of hatred, the forging of old ways instead of new. And in the face of our pernicious lack of inner progress, the past becomes our prologue…

The people of the earth shall be as dust. The plants of the earth shall become ash. The animals of the earth shall be laid waste. And still the stars shall shine.

Today, I will meditate on why we feel the need to own and test such weapons of mass destruction. Today, I will meditate on the hubris of the US seeking to control everyone’s appetite for war except our own. Today, I will meditate on my own use of force, and the ways in which I give over to weakness instead of living from my strength. Today, I may even pray.

There are those who will write to me in response to this, by saying “If Joe has a bomb, I need a bomb too, in order to keep Joe peaceful!” To these I reply: “Find your true strength. Stop your reactionary posturing. Stand tall. Find within yourself a better way.”

May we become courageous in the face of what we fear.

[Poster from the Nevada Desert Experience]

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