Linus Pauling: Are we being led into war, being prepared for war? Can it be that the powerful people
who make decisions think that perhaps the suggestion of Herman Kahn, that it may be
that not 180 million or 150 million Americans would be killed but perhaps only 50
million is right and that there is a reasonable chance of this and that it would be
worth this price of 50 million to destroy Russia and gain a mastery over the whole
world? I don't know. If there were nobody in the world but politicians, I would feel
that there was no hope for mankind, no hope for civilization, no hope for the world.
Today, I listened to our Congressman, Congressman Hiestand, Representative Hiestand.
He said "Our Congress made mistakes. We have just appropriated hundreds of millions
for unemployment, for sewage disposal. This is a waste of money. We don't need to
spend that money. We need to spend it in order to increase our military might, to
make ourselves stronger for Berlin." Then he said "The town of Newberg, New York,
where they won't give money for the help of illegitimate children, sets an example
of real Americanism." He said "Let's set a deadline for Cuba, about that plane that
they have hijacked, that Electra. Let's set a deadline, say 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
And if that plane isn't back by 10 o'clock tomorrow morning we come and get it, the
Marines would come and get it. The Pentagon has told me," Congressman Hiestand said,
"The Pentagon has told me that we are powerful enough to take over Cuba in 12 hours,
and that would be a real lesson, that would show Khrushchev that we mean business."
I am quoting Representative Hiestand this afternoon, as he spoke this afternoon on
But the world is not populated only by politicians, exclusively with politicians,
there are also people, other people in the world, people like you and me and our counterparts
in all of the other countries of the world. People of good sense and high principles
of morality, war resisters, members of the International War Resisters League, pacifists,
clear-thinking people, scientists too -- or some scientists, I don't want to say that
all scientists are the same -- people who know what the meaning of "one million" is,
what it means for bombs to be a million times more destructive, more powerful than
they were before. People who have the imagination to think of what one 20-megaton
bomb can do when it explodes over a city, what ten 20-megaton bombs can do, what 100
20-megaton bombs can do, what 1,000 can do, what 10,000 20-megaton bombs can do when
they explode, and there may well be -- this is approximately the amount of nuclear
explosive that we have in the world now.
There are people with conscience, with the belief that the precious resources of this
beautiful world should be used for the benefit of human beings all over the world
and not for death and destruction, people who believe in the brotherhood of man. People
who want their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren to populate this
earth and enjoy its fruits, people who are determined that the insanity of extreme
nationalism and religious fanaticism, of unthinking and unrestrained economic self-interest,
selfishness, of racial intolerance, of anticommunist hysteria will not be allowed
to destroy civilization and bring the human race to an end.