We’re Losing Our Anti-War Heroes Right When We Need Them Most
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
~ Greek proverb
The heroic whistleblower and peace activist Daniel Ellsberg is dying.
In an open letter to his friends and supporters, Ellsberg announced that two weeks ago he learned that he has inoperable pancreatic cancer with a prognosis of three to six months. The letter is beautiful and inspiring, but it’s also as heart-rending as anything you’ll ever read, largely because within it Ellsberg makes it abundantly clear that he has extremely urgent concerns about the world he will soon be leaving behind.
“As I write, ‘modernization’ of nuclear weapons is ongoing in all nine states that possess them (the US most of all),” Ellsberg writes. “Russia is making monstrous threats to initiate nuclear war to maintain its control over Crimea and the Donbas – like the dozens of equally illegitimate first-use threats that the US government has made in the past to maintain its military presence in South Korea, Taiwan, South Vietnam, and (with the complicity of every member state then in NATO ) West Berlin. The current risk of nuclear war, over Ukraine, is as great as the world has ever seen.”
I wrote this letter recently to my friends in the antiwar and anti-nuclear movements. I see it’s being circulated, so I’ve decided to share it here. For all of you working on these issues, thank you, and please keep going! pic.twitter.com/8BIerLHD2U
— Daniel Ellsberg (@DanielEllsberg) March 2, 2023
Ellsberg writes of the “scientific near-consensus” that a nuclear war between the US and Russia would cause a nuclear winter that ends most life on earth, and mourns the fact that this understanding has had no bearing on the behavior of the world’s major nuclear powers.
“There’s tons more to say about Ukraine and nuclear policy, of course, and you’ll be hearing from me as long as I’m here,” he writes.
But Ellsberg will not be here long. And I personally find this to be a very dear loss, for reasons that go much further than the death of one man.
At 91 years of age it is entirely unreasonable of me to resent the exit of Daniel Ellsberg from this stage at this time; the man is no spring chicken, and he’s done more good with one lifetime than thousands of us lesser souls combined. And yet
Article from LewRockwell