Apparently, at exactly 11.00 pm on Friday 29 March 2019, Brexit will descend upon us. I am wondering whether I should stay up and watch it as I do when there is a total eclipse. If a deal is not struck by this time then hell-fire and damnation is forecast to rain down upon the people of the British Isles, as alluded to by the ignominious EU President, Donald Tusk. I suspect that, if I wake up on Saturday morning 30 March to total darkness, it is much more likely to be due to the onset of Nuclear Winter than a failure to renegotiate a variance of the Irish Backstop.
I was wondering if, in all the hoo-hah and razzmatazz of Brexit, you have had the chance to consider the latest development on our path to Nuclear Armageddon. In case you haven’t I’ll just remind you. Your partner in crime, The Donald, has given notice that the United States will withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, claiming that Russia has violated the terms of the Treaty, whereas Russia claims that the United States violated the terms of the Treaty first. I love an adult conversation, don’t you, especially when the outcome may well determine the survival of our planet.
As a result of the dispute over the INF Treaty Russia has announced the reactivation of its Perimeter System which was de-commissioned following the end of the Cold War; that is the first Cold War ending in 1991, not the current one. The Perimeter System is a nifty little arrangement to counter the United States posture of First Use of nuclear weapons by anticipating that such a pre-emptive strike could destroy Russia’s command and control systems; in which case a cluster of SS17 ICBMs will launch automatically on detection of seismic activity, compatible with that caused by a nuclear explosion. As these Russian SS17 missiles fly over the nuclear armed ICBMs in their silos they will transmit a launch signal to them. If the United States doesn’t already have a similar defence system no doubt it will feel it prudent to build one and, hey presto, planetary annihilation without any need for fallible human intervention!
I find it strangely reassuring, in a psychotic sort of way, that MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction – has been fully restored after faltering in recent decades and without even the need for a mad man or mad woman to press the button. Given that the UK is a major player in this ultimate game of chicken with its – soon to be dazzlingly new – Trident nuclear submarines I hope you will find time to give this matter a few minutes of your attention amid the Brexit fever. From our perspective we in the Socialist Party have a rather simple solution. We advocate a world devoid of imperialism, nationalism and all sabre-rattling murderous manifestations of warfare which emanate from such pathologies: a world where there are no nation states, no borders and no private property, where resources are held in common for the benefit of all; which will leave very few things to fight over.