Vasili Arkhipov, October 1962 the Cuban missile crisis.

The US has thrown up a ‘quarantine zone’ around Cuba demanding Russia removes all its nuclear weapons from the island.

As a USSR flotilla approaches Cuba the world is on the edge of nuclear war.

The US depth charge a Russian submarine to bring it to the surface.

Senior officers on the sub – in 100 degree C temperatures – prepare to launch their one nuclear torpedo.

Executive officer Arkhipov will not agree and the launch is aborted.

Stanislav Petrov. This time its September 1983. The Soviet Union early warning system detects incoming US missile attack on Moscow.

Senior duty officer Major Petrov is not convinced.

He breaks protocol and does not report up the chain of command.

Incoming missiles turn out to be an “aberration of sunlight and orbiting satellites.”

Two cases in modern history where we have been on the edge of nuclear armageddon, all but for the decisions of military officers, under enormous pressure, getting it right.

October 1962 the Cuban crisis we were on the world nuclear clock less than a minute to midnight.

We are now on the latest nuclear risk assessment fifteen seconds to midnight.

Our hugely more complex world – weapons pouring into Ukraine from all over the world.

One tactical mistake. One misunderstanding. One Russian ship sunk. One US plane shot down. Escalation rapidly running out of all control.

Vastly complex integrated IT and AI systems – in the end nobody on planet earth knowing who is in control.

Sending more weapons into Ukraine is insanity.

Screaming and raving at the Russian president; anyone might as well scream and yell at themselves.

We have thousands of years of endless wars and mass killing. Its in our DNA.

Our one hope reason prevails. We listen to the other side. We do all we can for a cease fire. We negotiate, in our mutual self-interest. One species – one planet.

As if we haven’t enough cope with with climate meltdown and rising famine around the world we throw high risk nuclear armageddon in for good measure.

Whatever gods there are or are not no doubt they will getting out one large rubber stamp ‘FAILED SPECIES’.


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