Leah Libresco has a fascinating post…

…celebrating one of the greatest heroes in human history–and a guy you’ve never heard of: Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov

I cannot help but wonder how many of our kill crazy trigger happy pre-emptive warriors in comboxes or on Talk Radio these days would demonstrate the steely restraint that man did in refusing to panic and push the button.

Over at the Register comboxes, one of the devotees of the theory that John Paul II and the Church are in a Vast Conspiracy against Our Lady of Fatima is complaining that because all wars everywhere have not magically stopped that means Russia was not consecrated and the Church is apostate, blah blah, etc. etc. Prescinding from the fact that Sr. Lucia certainly said John Paul did as our Lady asked, I am struck by stories like Leah’s (and by the fact that a system founded on as much blood and iron as Eurocommunism fell without a shot being fired) and have to say, “Have you eyes? Do you know how many bullets we dodged? Where is your sense of gratitude?”

Thanks be to God and to our Lady for all the silent miracles we have been granted that we don’t even know about.

  • http://frmartinfox.blogspot.com Fr Martin Fox

    “Even if one should rise from the dead, they will not believe…”

    The entire world witnessed the miracle of the fulfillment of Fatima. The entire world.

  • John

    So you are saying that Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh would have ordered the nukes to fly just because? Every missileer I’ve ever talked to have been men who weren’t trigger happy. Sometimes I wonder if you even actually listen to these “talk show guys” – neither strikes me as trigger happy to drop bombs on people for nothing. Especially nuclear bombs.

    • http://creativefidelity.wordpress.com Dan F.

      funny that you immediately connected Limbaugh and Beck with what Mark wrote even though he didn’t name any names….

      • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

        In all fairness, it’s not much of a leap to assume either of those two in connection with Talk Radio. You would almost have to point out that you don’t mean Limbaugh or Beck, since they are so closely associated with Talk Radio, for better or worse.

    • Mark Shea

      Our troops do not give the orders. Our troops are forced to obey the orders given by pre-emptive warriors in our political class who worry a great deal about what sober minds like the Chickenhawk Talk Radio commentariat and crowd ginners shout. One of their tricks is to say that if you don’t listen to their kill crazy pre-emptive war rhetoric, you “hate the troops”. These are the people who bury our troops in landfills and cut their benefits while devising new wars to send them to.

      • Blog Goliard

        There’s something I’m not sure of. Are you using the “Chickenhawk” epithet to imply that one may not have an opinion on foreign policy if one has not served the military?

        Or perhaps that one may have an opinion, so long as it’s sufficiently pacifist in tone?

        Or is it just a nicely tangy term of abuse, to be slung at “neocons” (itself a heavily abused term, but that’s it’s own complaint), because…well, screw them, they deserve to be called names.

    • Ted Seeber

      In fact, I would hope that people like me- who wanted to Nuke Mecca in retaliation for 9-11 for a few months, as I was grieving the loss of my mother-in-law to cancer and losing my job due to 9-11 economic effects, are rejected in training to become missile silo operators.

  • John

    Our political class doesn’t care about “chickenhawk” talk radio Mark….. to conflate the two or argue that the helpless politicians are cowering before awesomely influential talk radio is just….absurd.

    Name your ‘conservative talk host’ and most of them “walk the walk” with the wounded warriors, etc. who paid the price for war. From Iraq to Afghanistan and points beyond, the warriors and their families have received real support (moral and financial) from these hosts…. so they’re not oblivious to the human price for their policy preferences…..

    My thing is…. why the cheap shots at these talking heads when the story could stand on its own without such a cheap shot? It’s almost as though the russian silo commander’s heroism isn’t good enough without casting aspersions on your real enemies – those darn chickenhawks (and their helpless political minions who gosh darn it, just would love to be sane but aren’t allowed fresh air on account of these radio guys).

    Of course when the politicians are opposed by said radio guys….nothing happens. Beck has long since abandoned the GOP and backs it only occasionally to the degree it happens to support one of his causes…. ditto with Limbaugh. That they’re somehow coterminus with “the party” is a hoot.

    • Mark Shea

      You seriously believe that Limbaugh and Fox et al are not in a feedback loop with the GOP and massively influential? Really? Wow.

  • John

    You’ve changed the goal posts. Yes, they’re influential. yes, they work with the GOP. But they are neither in control of the GOP as overlords yanking helpless politicians about….. or mere parrots of “the party line” ala MSNBC….

    Beck, Limbaugh and to a lesser degree Hannity have all castigated Republicans for being RINOs. They led the charge against “comprehensive immigration reform”, against Harriet Myers for SCOTUS, against Medicare part D, and TARP, and loads of other things besides…..

    Beck has written a dozen books blaming Republicans for selling out conservatives and pro-lifers etc. Limbaugh endorsed Anthony Codevilla’s book “The Ruling Class” (in which it was argued that we don’t have 2 parties at polar ends but rather a single ruling class with two wings that pits the rest of us against each other while they divide the spoils).

    All these guys and others besides simply make the case that of the two parties, one is totally gone (DNC) while the other (GOP) is still up for grabs, especially on the local and state level. Beck was involved in the Tea Party for pete’s sake….

    Look, reality is “nuanced” – both parties are coalitions. It’s not 2 dimensional and static. But by and large the only game in town where conservatives have a chance to effect social change politically is via the current party system (as rigged as it is against 3rd parties).

    • Ted Seeber

      “But by and large the only game in town where conservatives have a chance to effect social change politically is via the current party system (as rigged as it is against 3rd parties).”

      And that would be about the same chance as a snowball in a supernova. None at all. Both the major parties are dedicated to immorality in such a way as to reject Orthodox Catholicism and attempt to destroy it with Cafeteria Catholicism.

  • Mark R

    John is right. The die-hards are always far away from the front lines, safe at home.
    That said, I applaud Petrov, and Libresco for drawing attention to this.

  • Thibaud

    I’m sorry to be “that guy” and I get what you mean by “Eurocommunism” (communism in Europe, that pretty much died in 1989-1991, as opposed to communism outside of Europe (Cuba, China, Vietnam,…) that unfortunately still clings to life here and there) but “Eurocommunism” actually has a very precise meaning : in history, Eurocommunism defines a “trend” in the 1970′s and 1980′s that was somewhat popular among Western European Communist Parties, and mostly among the Italian Communist Party, which launched Eurocommunism. Eurocommunism was, to sum up, the attitude of some Western Communist leaders who realised that the USSR and International (ie Soviet-ruled) Communism were pretty much dead and about to collapse and who attempted to save their national Parties by proclaiming their independence from USSR (up until then, Western Communist leaders were almost purely representatives/spies/5th collumn of USSR in their respective countries) and defending a “new” independent, democratic, “human” communism. It was quite succesful in Italy (Italian Communists leaders were pretty much excommunicated by Moscow, and therefore their Party survived as the main “left-wing” Party under a different name (“Democrats of the Left) until very recently)), not so much in France (where leaders kept supporting USSR, even the invasion of Afghanistan, leading to the Parti Communiste Français plumetting from 20% of the votes in 1978 to less than 1% today).

    • hicsunt

      Thank you for this. Mr Shea is not a political scientist, certainly, but given the general ignorance about non-US politics (“socialist Europe” and such nonsense) , it is important to clarify our concepts and use the accurately. Thanks.

      Otherwise, indeed, 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe was a miracle, as those of us who lived through those days can attest it.

  • Dan C

    In 2004 conservative blogdom, the declaration was that the Cold War was WW3 and the entire Islam vs. West drama is WW4.

    In light of that, Petrov is most likely an atheist who cooled and failed to escalate WW3. Christians ahould be concerned that their co-religionists fanned the flames and heated up WW4.

    Blessed are the peacemakers, we are told. Sometimes our divinely blessed peacemakers do not know Him by Name, but serve Him. We should wish that their faith-in-action if not words would inspire those of us who claim to know Him by Name to do at least as well as they do.

    • http://www.likelierthings.com Jon W

      I would beware of painting with too broad a brush. Most Christians I grew up with, Tom Clancy-reading Reaganites, subscribed to the “peace through strength” doctrine: bullies only attack those who won’t fight back and all that. Nobody wanted a war. It was pretty much believed that the Soviets were the aggressors, and we would never strike first.

      I don’t know what happened to everyone after 9/11: this nation had a collective freak-out.

  • Elaine S.

    I know this is a really old post, but I just had to add this…

    For anyone who’s into alternate history (fiction based on “what if” premises like the South winning the Civil War, Hitler winning WWII, etc.), you might want to check out a site called “Doomsday 1983″. It is a comprehensive alternate history wiki based on the premise “What if Petrov hadn’t been on duty that day, and the person who was there in his place did what he was ‘supposed’ to do and thereby started WWIII?” The result: all out nuclear war from which the world would still be trying to rebuild today. The neat thing about “Doomsday 1983″ is that it tracks the alternate history timeline in real time with current stories about what would be going on in the world right now, almost 30 years later (the U.S. would be reduced to a bunch of little mini-states just getting around to communicating with each other, for one thing).


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