Book Signings wake up call to nuclear war threat

Book Signings wake up call to nuclear war threat

With three presentations of Open Borders behind me and one more to go (Wednesday, Nov. 14th, 6 p.m. Homestreet Bank in West Seattle), it is clear these book signing are a wake up call to the nuclear war threat. Members of the audiences who are old enough to remember the doomsday predictions at the height of the cold war in the early 1980s–the historic period of my memoir–realize that the dangers we face today are far greater. They also acknowledge that people are not talking about the threat the way we did thirty five years ago.

A movement to fight against this threat is building. On Oct. 25,  the NYTimes opinion page published articles by Michael Gorbachev and George P. Shultz declaring a new nuclear arms race is underway and demanding the preservation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by Reagan and Gorbachev all those years ago.

In the introduction to my book, I write,

Today, I am more frightened by the possibility of nuclear war than
I was in 1982. I also feel alone. If there are others trembling before the
“fire and fury” rhetoric and the repeating rocket and hydrogen tests, I
hope this story of our activism will stir them to find ways to organize,
to seek peace through cross-border understandings of our common
humanity and the love we each have for our homeland.
Why does it seem so few are alarmed at the threat of nuclear
war today? Are we in denial or overwhelmed by the enormity of so
many doomsday crises at once? Or have we, as I worry, left behind
as antiquated that practice humans have engaged in for millennia of
gathering in groups to work things out with minds firmly connected to
hearts? Eye to eye conversations are much more effective than thumbs
tapping through electronic devices.
Through the latter half of the 20th century, as much as the Kremlin in Russia and the White House disagreed with how our world should be organized, one felt the leaders grasped their sober responsibility for the future of the whole world and genuinely did not want to put all that fire power to use. Today, I am not so sure. Putting words on paper is my way of taking up arms again.
Action gives me hope.

Two goals have emerged from the three Open Borders book signings.

  1. Conversations across borders must happen, eye to eye, heart to heart. This means across the borders of our own socio-economic divide right here in America. Friendships with our so-called international enemies in North Korea, Pakistan, India, Iran, China and Russia are important. The Sister City efforts to pair Seattle with Istevan in Iran must continue. However, as hand after hand went up, we have a divide in our country that must be bridged before an anti-nuclear weapons peace-through-strength-policy can be abolished.
  2. Actions by ordinary citizen must happen. People asked what they could do.  My commitment to you, my readers, is to keep an updated calendar of organizations working the nuclear arms issue and the actions they recommended. Check here often or at least when you are feeling inspired to make a difference. If you know of an action or organization working on reducing the threat of nuclear war, please add it.

A excellent analysis of the current situation and the efforts we are making in Washington State to change course was published in Truthout. Nov. 11th. I recommend reading the whole article.

Laura Skelton, the executive director of WPSR, asks the same question I am asking: “Why are we not talking about the massive spending earmarked for these weapons, or the unthinkable destruction and destabilization they represent?” she asked. “For me, another desirable outcome of our campaign would be that people are regularly asking these questions, talking with candidates about them and demanding more progress on nuclear policies.”

Read Open Borders and be inspired to take action. Talk to your neighbors and people whose politics differ from your own. Question whether Boeing, our darling home-grown company, needs to increase profits by manufacturing nuclear weapons.

In peace, let us prevent what we can not cure. Betsy