The news that North Korea just tested another nuclear weapon is a bracing reminder that the sword of nuclear holocaust still hangs over our heads.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was easy to comfort ourselves with the thought that this threat was no longer looming.

The idea that the superpowers would destroy the Earth seemed so 1962.

But the United States and Russia still have thousands of nuclear weapons aimed at each other and on hair-trigger alert.

North Korea has the bomb, and Kim Jong-un, as we've just seen, is recklessly flexing those warheads.

Meanwhile, tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan are also on the rise.

That's why it's so important tonight that President Obama, in his State of the Union address, outline a path toward nuclear disarmament.

The United States and Russia, who hold 95 percent of the world's nukes, ought bring their warheads way down, and I'm glad Obama seems to be moving in that direction.

And then they should call a conference of all nuclear powers and start hammering out an agreement for the abolition of every single nuclear weapon.

To get there, smaller nuclear powers like North Korea need to be assured that the larger powers, like the United States, won't destroy them once they relinquish their warheads.

And China needs to be reassured that the United States is not trying to dominate it with Washington's "tilt to the East."

We've been lucky for the past 68 years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

At some point, our luck -- and the world's luck -- is going to run out if we don't get rid of these omnicidal weapons.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Republicans Take Abusers' Side on VAWA."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.


Add new comment

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.


Trump's politics are not the problem.

The fiery Milwaukee Sheriff is on the shortlist to head the Department of Homeland Security.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

Public School Shakedown

Progressive Media Project