Growing up in the 60’s, every time I heard a plane fly over, I cowered. Had the Russians finally crossed into our skies? My paranoia soared. Was this the first time I’d heard some fake news.
“The Russians are Coming! ” is a phrase from 1949 attributed to United States Secretary of Defense James Forrestal who added, “The Russians are Coming! They’re right around. I’ve seen Russian soldiers.” Forrestal allegedly uttered those words while suffering from mental illness, not long before “allegedly” falling out a 16thstory window of the Bethesda Naval hospital.
The nations nerves were just as mentally frazzled for over a decade.
And then in 1966, as the anti-communism crusade subsided in the early 1960s, the Hollywood blacklist was slowly discontinued and Norman Jewison put out the comedy “The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!” starring Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint, Alan Arkin and Brian Keith. But to a kid growing up with a father who’d already put the fear of the Russians (and the Japanese) into me , there was nothing funny about this Russian proclamation. The phrase only added to my anxiety.
My generation had grownup hiding under tiny wooden desks. I remember my Girl Scout leader’s family had an underground bomb shelter, a bunker to hunker down in, but they lived across the boulevard. I’d never make it in he event of a nuclear attack.
“These apocalypse-ready rooms were engineered to fit cozily beneath lawns and patio furniture, and their sales fueled a cottage industry catering to the midcentury Boy Scout mentality. The Federal Civil Defense Administration (later the Office of Civil Defense), which was formed in 1950 to prepare civilians for nuclear attack, dispersed information for a mostly suburban audience (it was assumed cities would be toast), initially emphasizing evacuation before settling on fallout shelters as a viable recourse for survival.
In a letter published in the September 1961 issue of Life magazine, President Kennedy even urged Americans to install personal fallout shelters.” Rian Dundon, 2017 Medium (For more photos, check out https://timeline.com/pictures-nuclear-fallout-shelters-e524e17bce14—
I also remember being terrified when the Emergency Broadcast System would interrupt my Bugs Bunny cartoons. After the shrill, heart-stopping warning, the announcer would conclude with “This is only a test.”
But, the initial scripted announcement was: “We interrupt this program. This is a national emergency. The President of the United States or his designated representative will appear shortly over the Emergency Broadcast System.”
When I was a teenager, I became a born-again-Christian, eagerly anticipating the second coming of Christ that was talked about in the Bible. But more ominous was my fear of the Armageddon described in the Book of Revelations. I feared the bear as described in Daniel 7:5. I feared the Russia (Gog) described in Ezekiel chapter 38 — “And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog (Russia) shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that My fury shall come up in My face — ”
But even though I’d been saved, how was I to survive a nuclear attack? Where were all the modern-day bomb shelters? And what about all the Jews and the Australian pygmies who hadn’t yet been reached by missionaries to hear the word of the Lord. And what about my loved ones who’d not yet been saved?
By 1991, the Wall came down, the iron curtain was lifted and the Cold War came to an end. Disappearance of superpower tensions and the prospect of nuclear escalation greatly diminished. And as time slipped by, as if we’d swallowed some sort of anti-anxiety pill, numbness, apathy and complacency seemed to seep into our blood stream.
And so now Russia — long described as the bear of the north — is coming out of hibernation. She is awakening and hungry to devour much flesh as predicted by the Prophet Daniel. And now, as tensions between Washington, Moscow, and even Beijing have heated up, those concerns have resurfaced.
Just yesterday, Reuters reported that at a news conference when asked about the reports that Turkish F-16 warplanes flew over the country’s capital Ankara on Monday to test its new Russian S-400 system, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo replied, “Yes it is concerning.”
Oh Lord, help us now!
WARNING! The following is FAKE NEWS, but could be used for later. Listen at your own risk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lHMYCPlT_Q