News Release

Nuclear War Dangers Are Heightened by Fears of Smears


The Nation magazine published a piece yesterday warning that “inflamed tensions between Washington and Moscow” are making nuclear war “plausible via any one of numerous scenarios.” The article, by Institute for Public Accuracy executive director Norman Solomon, says that “fears of being perceived, if not smeared, as pro-Putin or sympathetic to Russia are palpable, with ongoing constraints on advocacy” for measures that could prevent global nuclear annihilation.

“We hear next to nothing about the crying need to reinstate the Open Skies and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaties canceled by President Trump or the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty canceled by President George W. Bush, while the absence of those pacts today makes a nuclear war with Russia more likely,” Solomon wrote. “Neither Barack Obama nor Joe Biden tried to revive those agreements snuffed out by their Republican predecessors.”

The article says that “while daily horrors are being inflicted on Ukrainian people by Russia’s warfare, the prevailing attitude in the U.S. is that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin isn’t worthy of negotiations over much of anything.” Solomon added: “But if efforts for détente and arms control should be put on the back burner when a superpower is making horrific war on a country after an illegal invasion, neither Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin nor President Ronald Reagan got the memo.

“In 1967, while the U.S. government was escalating the Vietnam War, Kosygin met with President Lyndon Johnson in direct talks that lasted for more than a dozen hours at the Glassboro Summit in New Jersey. Twenty years later, Reagan met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at the White House, where they signed the INF treaty; at the time, Soviet troops were continuing their war in Afghanistan, which took an estimated 100,000 Afghan lives.”

Solomon noted that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock is now 90 seconds away from apocalyptic midnight, the closest ever. But “crucial lessons that President John Kennedy drew from the Cuban missile crisis, which he articulated eight months later in his June 1963 speech at American University, are now in the dumpster at the Biden White House: ‘Above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy — or of a collective death-wish for the world.’”

Available for interviews:

NORMAN SOLOMON, solomonprogressive[at]
Solomon’s latest book is War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine. He is IPA’s executive director and a co-founder of