We must not let Putin’s threats of nuclear bombs scare us, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj has been stressing in almost every interview for months. But fear is a lifesaver.
Without fear, humanity would have died out long ago. Fear is a gift from God for our protection. The all-important question on the subject of fear is: Is it justified or not?
Is our fear justified?
When fear gets out of control and takes on a life of its own, it can make us sick. A fear that takes on a life of its own takes hold of the psyche and begins a vicious circle in our own minds. So it’s crucial that we don’t become afraid of fear, but that we keep a cool head even when we are afraid.
The facts: The reality is that Russia and the U.S. each have so many nuclear weapons at their disposal that they can bomb the world deserted and uninhabitable several times over. President Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons a dozen times since the war began, as have his closest military associates.
Putin had added: “This is not a bluff.” And the official policy of nuclear deterrence includes the option of nuclear counterstrike, that is, mutual annihilation. So, unfortunately, the fear of nuclear war is justified.
Wars of the future
It is true that no one wants to imagine this, because we no longer want to imagine what we can do. But military strategists of the nuclear powers are planning the wars of the future with the help of ever smaller, more targeted and instantly deployable nuclear weapons.
Now, for the first time since the war began, the two nuclear superpowers appear to be moving toward a possible dialogue on this threat. Putin says he wants to talk to Biden when he is ready. And Biden’s response is cautiously positive. Earlier, the U.S. president had said he feared a “nuclear Armageddon.” The danger of nuclear war, he said, has never been greater since the Cuban Missile Crisis 60 years ago. He is absolutely right. NATO defense ministers just echoed this assessment.
It is now the task of diplomacy to explore a negotiated solution to end the war before it is too late. Berlin should support the USA in this. For we Germans would be among the first to be affected by a nuclear confrontation. The danger could become all the greater the more territories Ukraine recaptures in these weeks. Selenskyj’s downplaying statements could prove to be extremely dangerous.
The fear of nuclear war is well-founded
It is therefore the best advisor for the future. Only the perception of this well-founded fear will open our eyes to be able to become active and to fight against this quite normal madness. Otherwise, we will continue to race blindly toward the abyss. Disarmament takes away fear. Who disarms, makes fear. It is never too late to look for a way out of a great danger.
With the detonation of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, mankind already lost its nuclear innocence in 1945. Do not tell anyone that such a thing could not happen again. Today we have about 10,000 megatons of nuclear explosive power. Actually, we should know about it. This destructive capacity is about one million times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb.
The Ukraine war has now reached a dangerous point for the whole world. There is a real danger that Putin will try to avert its end with the madness of using nuclear weapons. Anyone who does not see this danger is not a realist. The word “Armageddon” comes from Greek and Hebrew – from the Bible (Revelation of John, chapter 16) and means the decisive battle in the war for the end of the world.
Ukraine has all the right in the world to resist Putin’s aggression. That is quite clear under international law. But both sides are trying to win this war. But real peace will only be possible when both sides try to win the peace.