October 2016 – MOSCOW/WASHINGTON – The growing tensions between the United States and Russia may lead to a nuclear war and destroy humankind, an American writer and retired professor says. As tensions between Moscow and Washington spike over the Syria conflict, “we could head into a nuclear conflict which would devastate humanity,” said James Petras, who has several books on Middle Eastern political issues. “We need to move away from this saber-rattling from Washington into a position that could come to terms with peaceful co-existence, but I don’t see that on the horizon in present or the near future with either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump as presidential candidates,” Petras told Press TV on Tuesday.
Former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev warned on Monday that the world has reached a “dangerous threshold” as tensions between Russia and the United States rise over the Syria crisis. “I think the world has approached a dangerous threshold. I would prefer not to suggest any particular schemes, but I want to say: we need to stop,” Gorbachev, 85, told Russia’s news agency RIA Novosti. “Dialogue [between Russia and the US] should be resumed. Stopping the dialogue has been the biggest mistake,” added Gorbachev, who as the last leader of the Soviet Union oversaw an easing of decades of tensions with the United States.
Gorbachev helped end the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the US and established the architecture of nuclear arms control in a series of high-profile meetings with the administration of then US President Ronald Reagan. Relations between Washington and Moscow — already at their lowest point since the Cold War over the Ukraine conflict — have worsened further in recent days as the US suspended the Syrian ceasefire negotiations and accused Russia of cyber attacks.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week accused Russia and the Assad government of committing war crimes against the Syrian people, and called on Moscow and Damascus to be investigated for this over the Aleppo campaign. In response, the Russian military warned the Pentagon against conducting airstrikes on Syrian military positions, noting that its S-300 and S-400 air defense systems in Syria are active. Moscow has also suspended a series of nuclear deals, including a symbolic pact to cut stocks of weapons-grade plutonium in both countries. –Press TV