Countdown to Zero

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Writer/director Lucy Walker, producer Lawrence Bender, and former CIA Covert Operations officer Valerie Plame Wilson discuss the documentary, “Countdown to Zero,” which explores the dangers of nuclear weapons, exposing a variety of present-day threats, and features a host of international experts and world leaders who advocate total global disarmament. “Countdown to Zero” opens July 23 at AMC Empire and the Angelika Film Center.


Lawrence Bender, Lucy Walker and Valerie Plame Wilson

Comments [14]

IRideRed from On This Planet

No surprise the new 'Countdown to Zero' disarmament documentary omits life-saving strategies from their agenda of banning nukes, like advocating public Civil Defense, to try and better survive nukes in the meantime. The disarmament movement for decades has hyped that with nukes; all will die or it will be so bad you'll wish you had. Most have bought into it, now thinking it futile, bordering on lunacy, to try to learn how to survive a nuclear blast and radioactive fallout. In a tragic irony, the disarmament movement has rendered millions of American families even more vulnerable to perishing from nukes in the future. For instance, most now ridicule 'duck & cover', but for the vast majority, not right at 'ground zero' and already gone, the blast wave will be delayed in arriving after the flash, like lightening & thunder, anywhere from a fraction of a second up to 20 seconds, or more.

Today, without 'duck & cover' training, everyone at work, home, and your children at school, will impulsively rush to the nearest windows to see what that 'bright flash' was, just-in-time to be shredded by the glass imploding inward from that delayed blast wave. They'd never been taught that even in the open, just laying flat, reduces by eight-fold the chances of being hit by debris from that brief, 3-second, tornado strength blast.

Then, later, before the radioactive fallout can hurt them, most downwind won't know to move perpendicular away from the drift of the fallout to get out from under it before it even arrives. And, for those who can't evacuate in time, few know how quick & easy it is to throw together an expedient fallout shelter, to safely wait out the radioactive fallout as it loses 99% of its lethal intensity in the first 48 hours.

The greatest tragedy of that horrific loss of life, when nukes come to America, will be that most families had needlessly perished, out of ignorance of how easily they might have avoided becoming additional casualties, all because they were duped that it was futile to ever try to learn how to beforehand.

The disarmament movement's sincere supporters, just wanting a world safe from nukes, will discover those unintended consequences to be inconvenient truths of the worst kind.

The Good News About Nuclear Destruction! at dispels those deadly myths of nuclear un-survivability, empowering American families to then better survive nukes. For as long as nukes exist, these life-saving insights are essential to every families survival!

Aug. 22 2010 02:07 AM

This Lucy Walker looks pretty good though. I googled her pics and videos.

Jul. 20 2010 04:24 PM
Mike from Inwood

HughSansom claims: "Mr. Lopate's guests need to open their eyes to the fact that the entire world, and even some Americans, are wise to the holier-than-thou American mass-delusion of its moral superiority."

Every country has citizens who believe their country is morally superior; the US is no exception. For the moment, the US is able to military dominate most countries. This fact, regardless of whether US hegemony is cruel or benevolent, will engender resentment from many people outside the US. While no one wants to be dominated, a great many people (perhaps a majority) outside of the US do realize that falling within the sphere of any of the alternatives to the US (e.g. Iran locally in the Middle East, China in Asia and perhaps throughout the world) would be far worse than 'domination' be the US. Of course, it would be nice if no nation dominated any other, but this is a pipe dream. Perhaps you need to open your eyes to all this.

Jul. 20 2010 01:23 PM
Mike from Inwood

@HughSansom - You talk about the 'right' to possess nuclear weapons as though it were a human right. When the issue is framed this way, it implies that everyone should have the same rights and that either no one should possess them or everyone should be able to. We know that none of existing nuclear states will be the first to completely eliminate theirs, so the only conclusion we can arrive at is that everyone should be able to possess them. Yet common sense tells us that with the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the odds of their actual use increase, which means that eventually they will be used. All of this stems from a moral indignation that everyone has the 'right' to possess them. Tell me: When several million people in a dense urban environment find they all have 20 minutes to leave their city or die, will they feel vindicated that their 'rights' were upheld? Or can we conclude that framing the issue of nuclear weapons in terms of 'rights' is flawed? Perhaps it's time you and those of your ilk climb down from your own moral superiority.

Jul. 20 2010 01:08 PM

To Hugh Sanson

So if the United States is the leading terrorist state, followed only by Israel, then why did 183 countries sign a treaty that the US pushed so hard, the NPT? And why did Israel, India and Pakistan choose not to sign the treaty?

Jul. 20 2010 01:03 PM
Amy from Manhattan

On the Russian spies, it actually occurred to me to wonder if Russia was keeping people in the US, not doing much of anything for them, specifically to have them available to exchange for US spies in the event it became politic to do so! Not that I seriously believe that, but their apparent ineffectiveness & the speed of the exchange did make me wonder briefly.

Jul. 20 2010 01:03 PM
Mike from Tribeca

HughSansom -- You appear to be asking for perfection. When in our history has the US of A ever had "its eyes open to the rest of the world"? Have a nice day.

Jul. 20 2010 01:02 PM

@Mike from Tribeca - Do you really think the US has its eyes open to the rest of the world?

No claim of superiority. Somebody walking to the edge of the cliff with eyes closed has his eyes closed -- simple statement of fact.

Jul. 20 2010 01:00 PM
Mike from Tribeca

HughSansom -- It's been my experience that people who demand that others "need to open their eyes" tend to believe that they are "morally superior."

Jul. 20 2010 12:56 PM

Wow. Historical revisionism at its best.

The Rekjavik talks between Gorbachev and Reagan were a dismal failure because of the staggering stupidity and belligerence of Reagan (not exceeded by the idiotic mass-suicidal tendencies of Republicans and many Democrats).

In the first day or so after the talks, the media widely reported the failure, then George Shultz when to work spinning, and the media promptly fell into line.

The basic principle for the rest of the world is simple: The world's leading terrorist is the United States, followed closely and more locally by Israel.

What reason has any person on this Earth have to trust the word of a US government?

Jul. 20 2010 12:50 PM
Mike from Tribeca

I haven't seen the documentary yet, and so have no opinion about it, but I was wondering if the involvement of Global Zero in the production could bring on charges that you have produced a piece of "propaganda"? I put quotes around that word since I am not making that charge, just wondering if it was something you thought about. Thanks and good luck.

By the by, the ludicrous review in the ludicrous Washington Times presumed your film was a product of "the peacenik movement," which conjured up images of Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsburg reciting poetry and playing bongos in the cutting room.

Jul. 20 2010 12:42 PM

To Hugh Sanson

In 1969, an international UN treaty, pushed by the United States called the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty came into being. Under the terms of the treaty, those who signed the vowed never to produce nuclear weapons. As a result, they would be allowed to buy reactors and other nuclear materiel on the legal world market. Those countries who already had nuclear weapons, the "declared nuclear states" (the US, Russia, UK, France, China) would commit themselves to reducing and eventually eliminating them. Eventually 183 countries signed the treaty, but no one was obligated to do so. But three countries chose not sign: India, Pakistan and Israel, and so they retained the right to produce nuclear weapons INDIGENOUSLY. No one was allowed to sell them reactors or nuclear materiel of any kind.
Of the three who did not sign, Israel chose not to discuss its own nuclear program, nor did it conduct any weapons test, and so that there would be no LEGAL PROOF of it having a weapons program.
Israel did so for very good reasons, so that the enemy states of Israel would not have a legal excuse to withdraw from the NPT as North Korea has. Iran has chosen not to withdraw from the treaty, but it has not fully transparent with the IAEA, and hence is considered in violation by many of the treaty.

Jul. 20 2010 12:41 PM

You guests leave out Brazil which has made fairly clear its interest in a nuclear program.

As for the Number One bad guy in the world -- they're in the US -- George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice. Mass murderers all.

Mr. Lopate's guests need to open their eyes to the fact that the entire world, and even some Americans, are wise to the holier-than-thou American mass-delusion of its moral superiority.

As for helping others with getting nukes. Israel definitely helped South Africa when it had a program. The US and France helped Israel.

End the double standard.

Jul. 20 2010 12:39 PM

Perhaps someone can explain why any other nation should be denied nuclear weapons when the US expressly claims the *right* to have nuclear weapons, the *right* to use them first (affirmed by Obama) and tacitly endorses Israel's claim to a right to them. The US and Israel are arguably the two most belligerent nations on the planet.

So why should we be more concerned about Iran having them than we are about the US or Israel (or India, China, Pakistan, Britain, France)?

The pop-line is "Iran is unstable and totalitarian." Okay, but the US and Israel are vastly more aggressive internationally. Check.

Jul. 20 2010 12:33 PM

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