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The Man Who Stood Up To Armageddon


The Man Who Stood Up To Armageddon

Robert C. Koehler

Suddenly it’s possible — indeed, all too easy — to imagine one man starting a nuclear war. What’s a little harder to imagine is one human being stopping such a war.

For all time.

The person who came closest to this may have been Tony de Brum, former foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, who died last week of cancer at age 72.


I ask myself, what is my response to the idea of an individual person coming up to me and claiming that they were once great, while I know that they have homicide record? What would you do if someone came up to you as an individual with claims and accusations of the type being foisted by members of ‘the government’.

Why is there a complete break between the individual values and standards and those of the society? What percentage of what is determined to be appropriate “policy” is actually ‘stop-gap’ or, in the sage observation of the ancient Taoists, ‘opening gaps’ to effect an overthrow. If the latter, one must then ask: of what?

Its time to realize that there is a secular version of ‘original sin’ one might call original delusion. It so distorts discernment as to render it no longer anything even close to discernment, but rather a psychotic break from the dignity and integrity of the truly amazing potential of the human being. It is stunning to think of the degree to which the ‘takers’ have projected, enforced and claim as original being, their twisted, avaricious sclerosis they call their version of ‘history’ and ‘reality’. “Real politic” needs another name. Something closer to bull$#!*


Well now, it appears as though we will soon have numerous large vacant pedestals from which monuments to flawed figures of history have been removed. As discussions proceed as to what sort of figures deserve memorialization in castings of bronze, may I propose that Tony de Brum, as a person and as an example of what qualities we wish to honor, be placed front and center for consideration.


Inside the nuthouse [civilization] - it is difficult to gain perspective - to “become yourself”, as Crosby, Stills Nash & Young once put it. Inside the nuthouse it is possible to firebomb Dresden, or the Marshall Islands, or to bow to a God who would have you sacrifice your first born son to Him.

We just watched an amazing film last evening - a DVD - which will illustrate something of what I am trying to say.

“Touching the Wild” (Living with the Mule Deer of Deadman Gulch), might seem a surprising film to post here, but I highly recommend it. The photography is more than superb - it is sublime, and one wonders if it is not this one man’s quest and contact with the wild world which enabled this expression of beauty and truth to emerge?

We change or we die. Culturally change is possible - but not until individuals change.

So change.


Once again, Robert Koehler approaches a subject of critical importance to humanity, and gives the human, and humane, side of it! I realize I’m sounding like a broken record, but " Bravo" Mr. Koehler.
You are journalism at its best!


Thank you! That is among the best lines I’ve seen in any post.


Gaining traction? How can a nuclear disarmament treaty be ‘gaining traction’ when democracy is losing traction? Only if the voice of the people is reflected in their government, can any sane measure gain traction. Americans inability to rid itself of pro-corporate sycophants in Congress and the White House makes all other peace movements toothless. Instead we’re saddled with defence industry picked, ideological free politicians who justify their misdeeds by the financial support and media support they receive from corporate America to maintain the status quo.


hi space_cadet! i for one will no longer waste my energy tilting at windmills. the whole charade is tearing apart at the seams, anyway. i do not expect those corporate/political misleaders who refuse to see what’s before their eyes to change. those who are vested in maintaining the status quo “believe” against all evidence they can salvage this capitalistic/militaristic most self-destructive system. we cannot change them so hearken to what ‘manysummits’ advises:

We change or we die. Culturally change is possible - but not until individuals change.

So change.


I have changed. I’ve despaired of any change.


we watched this just last night! what a poignant tale! we humans don’t own the rights to family values, love and compassion, do we? thanks, mike?



“No Problemo” Lin ! I’d like for Space_cadet to get a copy of this response too ~

Quoting Arnie seems appropriate, as that film “Terminator Two” is more relevant than ever, with what appears to be a successful Hydrogen Bomb test of ~ 100 kilotons by North Korea, and Lindsay Graham spouting fire and damnation all over the airwaves.

Space_cadet mentions that:

I wonder, surveying the planet after almost seven decades on it - if we have ever had a truly functional democracy, or if we are not just good spin doctors, masking an authoritarian state not unlike that of Russia or China ? JFK may have been moving us that way, but we all know the end result there.

I am reading closely the current edition of Foreign Affairs (Sep/Oct), and it is very revealing. The articles are high quality, almost without exception - but there is a prevalent mindset - that we do have a functional democracy (USA).

Is this true ?

I see that James Mattis completely contradicted Trump’s post-H-Test statement - saying that the USA is always open to talk and negotiation.

Personally, I don’t think Trump is in charge - surrounded as he now is by the highest ranking generals from the US Forces.

The article in Foreign Affairs on China vs Trump put forward a timely forecast - that the "Thucydides trap’ may be about to spring shut, i.e., world war, or at least, war of some kind between nuclear armed states, rather than the ridiculous assertion that in fighting the war on terror, there is anything resembling war - rather we get to launch multithousand dollar armaments against an enemy - in their own country - of shirt clad jihadists armed with primitive weaponry, no body armor, no night vision, no eyes in the sky - and very little if any medical backup.

The Thucdides trap spoken of above was noted by a Greek when Athens was rising as a power and Sparta took exception, got very nervous, result - war - probably not intended by either side.