The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists emerged after World War II as a voice for peace by some of the scientists who developed the then ultimate weapon of mass destruction. Now his mission has become an echo chamber for the American imperial project urging President Biden to take even more destabilizing action against Russia.
By Roger D. Harris
Drop the A-bombs
By the time top-secret Manhattan Project scientists had developed the atomic bomb and the US military had worked out the logistics for its deployment, World War II was all but over. At first May 1945, Germany had capitulated unconditionally; largely due to the efforts of the Red Army to defeat the Nazis Wehrmachtbut awful Cost of 27,000,000 Soviet lives. The Japanese too had been defeated militarily and had accepted “unconditional surrender” with the only reservation that Emperor Hirohito be spared.
So the emerging hegemony of the world had a problem. He had the ultimate weapon to enforce his policy of world domination (i.e. the current official US national security doctrine offull spectrum dominance”). But what is this ultimate weapon for if it is secret? And, even if they knew it, would the world believe that the United States had the will to unleash such destructive force?
President Truman had the solution: nuclearize Japan. All military targets in Japan had been destroyed, but an even stronger message of US determination to impose imperial hegemony was sent by wiping out the civilian cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
The Japanese quickly surrendered, offering the life of their emperor. The United States agreed, but did not execute the Emperor, who was more useful alive than dead. Furthermore, the gesture of leniency reinforced the message that the United States would bomb capriciously at will. Even when President Obama visited Hiroshima in 2016, he ostensibly offered “no excuses” for the destruction his country had wrought.
The dawn of the cold war
Japan’s rapid surrender in August 1945 had another cause, which many historians consider more compelling than the American bombs. The Soviets, engaged on their western front, had remained neutral in the war with Japan, but had promised the Allies to join the war effort against Japan once the Germans had been defeated. At the same time that the United States dropped the bombs, the USSR declared war on Japan provoking Tokyo to capitulate.
The dropping of the atomic bombs was the first salvo of the Cold War, signaling the end of the wartime alliance of convenience between the United States and the Soviet Union. Truman’s rush for nuclear weapons from Japan had the double advantage of publicizing his “hammeron the Kremlin as well as denying the USSR time to advance east and have a seat in the surrender deal with Japan. The Soviets had not developed atomic weapons on the assumption – which turned out to be essentially correct – that World War II would be over before they could be deployed to defeat the Axis powers.
In the immediate postwar period, the Soviets and their allies were existentially threatened by the lack of ambiguity intention of the United States and its allies to destroy them. As a defensive measure, the Soviet Union had no choice but to develop a nuclear deterrent, testing its first atomic bomb in 1949.
Although the Soviets pledged to use their nuclear arsenal only for defensive purposes and renounced the “first strike”, the United States did not. Soon, the Cold War arms race threatened the planet with destruction. The emergent construction of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) was a fragile arrangement for the future of humanity.
Emergence of Newsletter by scientists for peace
Voices of peace came from the very inventors of the atomic bomb. Immediately after the destructive power of the atom descended on Japan and even before the Soviet Union developed its deterrent force, former Manhattan Project scientists Eugene Rabinowitch and Hyman Goldsmith founded the Foundation for education for the nuclear sciences, later renamed the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
Other notables associated with the Newsletter were nuclear physicist Hans Bethesoviet space scientist Anatoly BlagonravovJewish-German émigré and developer of quantum mechanics Max Bornphysicist “father of the atomic bomb” turned anti-nuclear proliferation activist J.Robert OppenheimerBritish polymath peace activist Bertrand Russellsoviet physicist Nikolai Semyonovand Albert Einstein.
the Newsletterit is Apocalyptic clockunveiled in 1947, was set at seven minutes to midnight. The clock was intended as an educational tool to serve “as a living symbol of these multiplying perils, its hands showing how close we are to extinction”.
the Pugwash Conferencesa peace effort at the start of the Cold War, were a consequence of the Newsletter in his formative years in the 1950s.
Mission drift at Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
Today, the risk of nuclear annihilation, not to mention global warming and other threats, has never been greater, according to the NewsletterThe Doomsday Clock. But the Newsletter has moved from being an advocate for peace and against other threats to humanity to something else.
From an organization run by scientists, the current board of directors from Newsletter hardly a scientist in sight. Its chief executive officer is Rachel Bronson, a political scientist from the NGO world of the American security establishment, including the Council on Foreign Relations (The Wall Street Think Tank) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (class the best military think tank in the world). Its president, David Kuhlman, is a business consultant who specializes in helping “clients identify pathways to profitable growth.” Its secretary, Steve Ramsey, previously worked for defense contractor General Electric. Former Secretary of State and accused war criminal Madeleine Albright does promotional for the Newsletter.
the Newsletter maintains a liberal facade and always publishes articles that contribute to peace and environmentalism. In this sense, its role of collusion with the American imperial project is insidious, because the patina of peace is used to legitimize its missionary drift.
Fanning the flames of anti-China sentiment, the Newsletter favors the conspiracy theory that the Chinese artificially developed COVID-19, featuring “How the origins of COVID-19 have been obscured, by East and West” by journalist Nicholas Wade. However, scientific evidence indicates the natural origins of the virus. Anti-Russian sentiment is promoted with “Russian media spreading misinformation about US bioweapons as troops mass near Ukraine” by journalist Matt Field. Where are the scientists advocating peace?
the Newsletter covers the Ukrainian crisis
Another example of its decentralization is the article “How to mix sanctions and diplomacy to avoid a disaster in Ukraine” published in the Newsletter February 1. The article advocates sanctions that would “seriously and quickly devastate Russia’s powerful energy export sector.” Echoing Washington’s talking points, the article presents its recommendations as a response to Russian aggression but actually offers nothing to defuse the conflict.
It is beyond ironic that an organization that purports to warn of the dangers of a nuclear holocaust would vehemently defend an even more aggressive stance from one of the world’s major nuclear powers.
Yes the Atomic Scientist BulletinThe doomsday clock is now 100 seconds to midnight, and they’re trying to bring it closer to Armageddon.
The sight of the Newsletters The article on Ukraine is that the current crisis is Putin’s “own fabrication”. On the other hand, the article explains that the United States has diplomatically “engaged” in talks with Russia. There is no mention of the advanced deployment of American troops or send lethal aid to Ukraine. There is no recognition of aggressive actions by NATO such as ABM assault stationing missile systems in Romania and possibly in Poland. Off limits is an allusion to the United States shredding the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Hidden in plain sight in the aforementioned article and another one published the same day on “How the disappearance of an arms control treaty foreshadowed Russia’s aggression against Ukraine” is Ukraine orchestrated by the United States cut in 2014 which installed an anti-Russian regime there. The meticulously detailed history of the region in this last article notes that “Moscow invaded and annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea”, but not the coup that precipitated it.
Reasonable peace proposals
There is not a word in these articles about how some of the Russian initiatives could prevent hostilities and make the region safer with a reduced likelihood of war. And certainly, there are none of the following reasonable peace proposals:
+Russia and the United States will not use the territory of other countries to prepare or carry out attacks against each other.
+Neither party will deploy short- or medium-range missiles abroad or in areas where such weapons could strike targets within the territory of the other.
+Neither party should deploy nuclear weapons abroad, and all such weapons already deployed should be returned.
+Both sides will eliminate any infrastructure for deploying nuclear weapons outside their own territories.
+Neither side will conduct military exercises with scenarios involving the use of nuclear weapons.
+Neither party shall train military or civilian personnel of non-nuclear countries in the use of nuclear weapons.
Quoting the Atlantic Councilamerican society thinking group for NATO, the Newsletter explains that the sanctions they advocate would cause “significant chaos” to the Russian economy. These penalties that the Newsletter calls are one form of war just as deadly as dropping bombs. Sanctions kill! Instead of supporting peaceful measures to reduce tensions in Ukraine, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists became a cheerleader for Washington.