Living in Fear

Oh, the Irony.

The 150 or so Minuteman Missiles silos that lurked (and some still lurk) menacingly below our western mountains are a remnant of a secretive and tenuous time in our nation’s history. The weaponized nuclear warheards that were perched atop the minuteman missiles, and of course our mutually assured destruction, was the only way our government could imagine protecting our soil from the only other existing super power at the time – the mighty Soviet Union.

These missiles remained on alert for 30 years until George Bush officially signed an arms reduction treaty with the Soviets in 1991. Two missiles, Delta Nine and Delta One, remain under glass as a dark, and strangely artistic, reminder of this scary period in our country’s history.

Guided tours are available though, thanks to the failure of the friendly local ranger to be able to read the day’s schedule, we missed our guided tour. But we did decide to drive out to Delta Nine to see the missile up close. The truth is, it was a bit overwhelming to imagine that, at certain times during our country’s history, we were on the verge of what was coldly referred to as “mutually assured destruction.” Which it more specific terms meant, if you decide to destroy us, we are agreed that we must oblige to obliterate you as well. Coppice?

In a day and age ruled over by a terrorist threat that even our government doesn’t seem to understand, it was interesting to see what lengths our politicians and so-called leaders would go to “protect” their vital world interests. Sure, they would say it was to protect the “citizens” (and still do) but how exactly – with our missiles aimed randomly at various terrorist threats, and their hatred aimed specifically at our “vital interests” can we be sure that a major misunderstanding, rogue operative or misunderstood launch instruction won’t send our world into its darkest moments. The sad truth is, we can’t.

We need only to lay our faith in the politicians we elect and hope that their actions lead us through a peaceful permanence.