The game is afoot. Cold War occurs when tensions between nations or groups within nations rise to the brink of a shooting war then ebb as a tide with the soothing words of statesmen or their pretenders. Many think of the Cold War with a timeframe that began in 1947 with the end of WWII hostilities and ended in 1991 with the break-up of the Soviet Union. The cold war game began in antiquity and continues. It is not a period in history; it is a manipulation technique.

My time of service in the Cold War (1947-1991) was from the mid-1980s through the 1990s wind down and re-purpose. I worked for a Department of Energy (DOE) contractor. My battlefield was in underground nuclear testing in Nevada and the maintenance of the safeguards and environmental remediation in the Pacific. I was proud to have played a part in keeping the world safe. The long history of nuclear testing was a tribute to the strength of the United States. Support provided to allies like Great Britain and Australia kept them strong as well. Maintenance of the safeguards kept a bookmark in its rightful place so our statesmen could belly buck with their counterparts in enemy nations. Belly bucking was a popular game in the old west. According to the Urban Dictionary if is, “The act of two large, hairy beefers bumping their big, fat hairy guts together.” One won or lost the game by pushing the other over a ‘line in the dirt’. Each game of brinksmanship ended with a Hot War averted. The United States was ‘owning’ its environmental sins in the islands of Micronesia and doing its best to make them whole. It was an important and honorable job.  Well, I was right but for the wrong reason.

The Cold War stimulated great minds in physics and technology, art and culture. The fields of theoretical and experimental physics got to try their stuff out at test sites designed as physics playgrounds by the masters-themselves. Materials science and alloys grew by leaps and bounds. The need to capture huge quantities of data in shakes drove instrumentation and computer technology, which then made its way into the market place. Movies like Dr. Strangelove and Red Dawn used the tension of the cold War as a context and artists like Bob Dylan sang morality plays for our listening pleasure. The United States and Russia competed like never before to have the best gymnasts, ballerinas and most Olympic gold medals. The Cold War drove protestors to the streets in a frenzy of self-righteous fear and anger. And we all benefited from the advances whether we liked them or not.

I remember the fall of the temple of my belief in the goodness of the Cold War. The temple fell slowly, one column at a time. We demilitarized the nerve agents out of Europe from WWI and WWII. I was ecstatic that the horror of these agents would be eradicated; then horrified as I discovered that it was to make room for binary weapons, which are an order of magnitude more horrific. I was thrilled to be part of the environmental recovery of Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. My reality session came during afternoon spent with Tara O’Toole’s former Navy thugs at the DOE’s Headquarters in the Forrestal Building in Washington, D.C. They wanted me to sign off on Eniwetok Atoll, another of our testing grounds in the Marshall Islands, as being safe for the people and it was not. Fortunately, the DOE’s Project Office supported the position, at least the right to take the position, and my employer did not fire me.  DOE Headquarters eventually found a beltway bandit to sign the papers. Dr. Tara O’Toole was, at the time, the Assistant Secretary for Environment Safety and Health in the Department of Energy. She is now the Under Secretary of the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security. The collapse of these two columns began the fall of the temple and marked the beginning of my quest for truth.

What of the under belly? The manipulation? Keeping a nation in fear is a tried and true strategy for control of the people within. H.G. Wells and General Omar Bradley warned of self-annihilation because the human race is so infantile in its ethical development. Orwell thought our path was to slavery. If we don’t get a grip on our politicians and statesmen, both views are prophetic. The leadership of the United States is regressing to the mean. Our leaders are looking within to control We, The People rather than without to those who would like the resources of our land. The ranks of our leaders are filled with cowards. Cowards are scary because they will react without wisdom if they feel personally threatened. Our weapons are devastating but old and without adequate maintenance and cowards might use them without or in spite of understanding the historical consequences. The government is using every propaganda tool it has to keep the U.S. population in a state of fear and promote the concept of the collective. Historically, this is a path that leads to slavery through the growth of the state. Slavery weakens our ability to defend ourselves because the individual cooler heads are not there to prevail.