Last Friday, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of four regions in Ukraine. A day later, Ukrainian forces recaptured the key city of Lyman in the region of Donetsk, one of the annexed regions. In response, Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Russia’s region of Chechnya, said that Moscow should consider using a low-yield tactical nuclear weapon in its war against Ukraine, Reuters reported.
This was not the first, or second time that the idea of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine came up. Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, also warned that Russia might use nuclear weapons, but Kadyrov’s statement is the most explicit and presents an escalation in the level of aggression.
I am not surprised that the idea of a world war is on the table, or that it is expected to be a nuclear one. My teacher’s father, the great thinker and kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag (aka Baal HaSulam), wrote shortly after the end of World War II that humanity has learned nothing from the past, and that a third, and even fourth world war was possible, and that they will be atomic wars. Clearly, Baal HaSulam’s ideas were not accepted and people thought that humanity would not dare repeat the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Just as clearly, people were wrong, and the possibility of nukes seems very real today.
However, I do not think that humanity has forgotten World War II altogether. Even if nukes are used, it will probably not be an all-out nuclear world war, but more along the lines of tactical weapons, and the horrific results of even these nukes will revive the trauma of the past. Hopefully, this will be enough to stop humanity one step before destruction.
Additionally, people are more aware today that the root cause of our woes is our division, the mutual hatred that infests people and nations. The notion that our survival depends on our unity, or at least on the level of our solidarity, is gaining ground throughout the world. This, too, at least somewhat inhibits people’s passion for blood.
In his writings, which he titled The Writings of the Last Generation, Baal HaSulam detailed why solidarity is the key to preventingV a third world war. Now that it is clear that democracy, international agreements, treaties, and sanctions are helpless before hatred, perhaps people will be more open to try the only antidote to mutual destruction: mutual construction, or in simpler words, solidarity and unity.
Everyone realizes that there will be no winners in an atomic war. I hope and believe we have enough sense to remember this before we pull the nuclear trigger.