In January this year the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists set the ‘Doomsday Clock‘ at 100 seconds to Midnight, indicating that the world was inching closer than ever to a cataclysmic disaster from climate change or nuclear weapons.
Then the corona virus pandemic hit, a common threat to humanity that should have knocked some common sense into leaders of the nuclear-armed states, and evoked a pause – or even a reversal – of the nuclear arms race.
But the reverse appears to have happened. The US Strategic Command re-affirmed that they are ready, willing and able to launch a nuclear strike if required. Russia released information about their nuclear deterrent policy (June 2) which re-affirmed that Russia is prepared to use nuclear weapons in a range of circumstances including in response to the use of nuclear weapons, other WMD or a conventional attack.
North Korea increased tensions by destroying the North-South liaison office in in Kaesong. And the US Administration provided further fuel to the fire by disclosing that they are considering the resumption of nuclear tests, in response to unproven allegations that Russia and China are conducting low-yield nuclear tests.
Two Suns in the Sunset re-released
Last Saturday (June 20, 2020), Roger Waters responded to the ‘insanity‘ of the continuing nuclear arms race, by recording and releasing a new version of the Pink Floyd anti-nuclear song ‘Two Suns in the Sunset‘.
Waters, who is a supporter of the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign, recorded the song with session musicians participating from their homes due to the corona virus pandemic.
The recording opens with a graphic on-screen warning: “We’re at one hundred seconds to midnight on the doomsday clock. This is the the closest the Human Race has ever been to nuclear catastrophe.”
‘That we allow nuclear weapons to exist in a world controlled by deranged sociopaths is, in itself, a deranged arrangement,’ said Waters on releasing the new version of the song. ‘We are many they are few. We could just say no, to the whole MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) insanity. It makes zero sense and is potentially omnicidal.’
US-Russia talks begin in Vienna
Meanwhile the US and Russia began talks in Vienna yesterday on the New START Treaty which is due to expire in February 2021.
The treaty could be extended for a further five years, a move which Russia supports while the US is undecided. US officials have said they want a wider agreement covering non-strategic weapons and even more stringent verification, as well as Chinese participation, neither of which have been agreed by Russia or China.
If New Start is allowed to expire there will be no remaining agreed limits on the proliferation of nuclear weapons for the first time in nearly half a century.