During a January 1956 meeting on war planning at the White House, Dwight Eisenhower aggressively confronted his advisers. None of them, he complained, “had withdrawn into a quiet room and contemplated . . . the real nature of a future thermonuclear war.” No one, he said, could imagine “the chaos and destruction which such a war would entail.” There would be no winner. “The destruction,” the president told the group, “might be such that we might have ultimately to go back to bows and arrows.”

    In another meeting, Eisenhower argued that nuclear war was not a real option, and thus widespread, serious planning for it was a waste of time and money. It wasn’t merely a matter of building better weapons or deeper shelters if a nuclear conflict came: “There just aren’t enough bulldozers to scrape the bodies off the street.”

    For his part, Lyndon Johnson lived in fear of the button. “When Richard Nixon took the oath,” Johnson recounted, “the greatest burden lifted from me that I have ever carried in my life.” He explained, “Never a day went by that I wasn’t frightened or scared that I might be the man that started World War III.”


Such a terrible sentence to have the word probably in.

posted by kleinbl00: 303 days ago