Editor’s note: WND’s J.R. Nyquist is a renowned expert on
America’s fatal illusion of an international balance of power;
diplomatic and Cold War history; the survivability of a thermonuclear
world war; and is the author of “Origins of the Fourth World War.” Each
month Nyquist provides an exclusive in-depth report in WorldNetDaily’s
monthly magazine, WorldNet. Readers may
subscribe to WorldNet through WND’s online store.

Imagine you are on a tall ladder. It is a nerve-wracking situation
because you might fall and break your neck. So you take a pill to calm
your nerves. Unfortunately, if you slip while working on the ladder,
the pill won’t break your fall. It won’t soften the pavement or prevent
injury. But anxiety might save you from a misstep. It might lead you
to move with greater care.

As citizens of a republic, we sometimes forget that nations rise and

Take America, for example. In a matter of speaking, America has
“climbed the ladder of success.” It has risen to a great height.
Consequently, it has a long way to fall. The law of gravity is said to
affect all heavenly bodies — and by analogy it affects all political
bodies as well. In its political form, gravity has a number of
components. There is the inescapable fact of oligarchy, the badness of
human nature, and recurring cycles of peace and war which follow one
another as night follows day.

To remain at the top rung of history’s ladder, America must maintain
its political balance. We must check oligarchy with democracy, mend
human badness with spiritual teachings, and preserve peace by preparing
for war. It is with regard to the last two items that we are failing

When history is forgotten, when spiritual teachings are neglected,
when the Founding Fathers and the ancients are no longer authoritative,
what then will hold us up? Worse still, modern science has given us
biological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Thanks to this new
technology, a single false step could result in a fall like no other in

Even as we have neglected the historical sciences, we have mastered
the science of destruction. Other nations have also mastered this
science, especially Russia and China. But there are smaller countries
developing this technology as well, like Iraq and North Korea.
According to Joseph D. Douglass Jr. and Neil C. Livingstone, in their
book “America the Vulnerable,” Russian instructors at Cuban chemical
warfare schools in the 1980s boasted that Castro was prepared to kill
tens of millions of Americans with toxins he had stockpiled.

Some Americans, upon realizing our precarious position, would prefer
to treat their nuclear age anxiety with a pill. As it happens, this
pill is nothing but sugarcoated optimism. Easily swallowed, it is a
favorite remedy with politicians and voters. It is cheap and quickly
neutralizes the brain, where it deadens all worry. In fact, many
Americans have been taking this pill for decades. That is why the
country is famously listless and incredibly calm in the face of
unprecedented danger. We are so doped up on optimism, in fact, that we
tolerate politicians who oppose an effective national missile defense,
not to mention their longstanding neglect of civil defense.

Sugarcoated optimism has dulled our sense of collective
self-preservation, even as it enfeebles our wits. As you might have
already guessed, the optimism pill destroys the defense-logic function
of the brain. Once sufficient brain damage has taken place, a person is
able to accept the wisdom of arms control treaties devised to ensure our
country’s nuclear vulnerability. The idea of defense or protection from
nuclear bombs is suddenly unthinkable. Assured death and destruction,
rather than survival, is seen as a good thing.

Strangely, the drugged optimist of our time doesn’t care about
surviving. Protected against truth by a bodyguard of lies, the
pill-taker’s lack of vigilance promises to unleash the very war he no
longer fears. This is because the pill directly inspires two
fundamental delusions, which have influenced American policy: First,
there is the delusion that there will not be another world war; and
second, there is the delusion that surviving such a war is impossible.

In general terms, anyone who says that this column is off base, that
its message is somehow an irresponsible attempt to scare people, needs
to explain by what magic history will advance without another world war,
and they need to explain by what magic we will preserve our country in
the absence of national missile defense and well-stocked underground
shelters. In this context, if we are adults and not children, able to
face reality instead of running from it, we should easily find the
political will to construct real defenses for ourselves and our

If we fail to defend our country and our freedom, and this failure
results in a destructive war for which we are unprepared, tens of
millions of our countrymen might die who otherwise might have survived.
Those who hate this message, who do not see a grave danger in Russia and
China’s nuclear and biological programs, who do not think there can be
another world war, might call me any bad name they like.

But one word suffices for them.

That word is “empty.”

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