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Death of Stanislav Petrov... the man who saved your life.



Many of you don't even know his name, even though he should be taught in every history class.


Because without him, none of you would probably be alive today, or, let's say, for a part of us (the less lucky ones) alive but in conditions that I don't even dare to imagine, on a planet that has probably become a hell on Earth.


This man, Mr. Trump, you would do well to listen to his story, because this man, this hero, to whom we all owe our lives, has done nothing less than avoid, in the middle of the cold war (which you are heating up with an unconsciousness that borders on madness and the greatest stupidity), that a rain of nuclear missiles fall on the world and do not transform it into a surface as welcoming as the moon's ground.


While he was only 34 years old in 1983, he was in charge - in the middle of the Cold War - of the surveillance of the satellite system in Moscow. When on September 26 at midnight the alerts began to sound, indicating the launch of 5 missiles from the United States towards the USSR, military logic would have wanted him to launch the alert and thus the immediate response of the USSR: which meant in plain language, a nuclear war.


But here it is.


That night, this man refused to give the alert.

That night, he probably avoided nothing less than the 3rd (and probably last) world war.


Terrified, he quickly understood what was at stake in the decision and what it meant for the world. He also had the idea to reflect (a practice that I encourage you Mr Trump to practice from time to time), saying to himself that an attack of the USA against the USSR with 5 missiles was not logical: if the USA wanted to destroy the USSR, why launch only 5 and not the whole arsenal?


Having a doubt, he then observed the ground radars which did not confirm this firing. He then decided to bet on a bug, a computer error, praying that he was right.


The history will learn us later that the error of interpretation of the computers came indeed from the reflection of clouds that the technological tools of the time had badly "understood".


That evening of September 26, 1983, our technology could have destroyed us.

On the evening of September 26, 1983, this man simply saved the world.


At a time when many madmen are threatening to use this weapon,

At a time when more than a hundred countries have just attempted to ban the use of nuclear weapons at the UN this week - refused, as one might expect, by the handful of countries that possess them and want to keep them, led by France - this death sounds like a strange echo of history in the present.


Have we learned nothing from history?

...

No.

...

Nothing.


And we continue in the total blindness to dance at the edge of the volcano, rocked by our unconsciousness, our inconsequence and our irresponsibility, not to say our stupidity.

Luck was with us in 1983.


It was, to tell the truth, on a number of occasions.

But luck always runs out in the end.

It will not always be so. We will not always have a Petrov to save us from committing the irreparable.


________________


At a time when we wonder which statues should be kept or removed because of the ethics of the people they represent, there are others who paradoxically deserve statues all over the world, but whom no one knows and will never know.


Ironically, Petrov actually died in May... but we only just found out about it this week... and I bet very few media will report it these days...


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