Stanislav Petrov: The Man Who Saved the World Nuclear War
This week Congress has the opportunity in the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill to end the Federal funding of Planned Parenthood. We pray they act before it is too late. It is undeniable that God’s judgment hangs over our land for the atrocious sin of abortion. Many Americans were not aware that God spared us a devastating judgment just 10 years and 8 months after Roe v. Wade.
A crisis reveals the character that a man has built over the course of his lifetime. Each little step builds upon the previous step, his thought life, his decisions, and his affections all form his character. When the moment of crisis arrives, it is too late to build those things into his life – the crisis will reveal what he has made of his soul.
Such a crisis took place 34 years ago last Tuesday. On the night of September 26, 1983, the military officer on duty at the Soviet Union’s early warning center received repeated urgent messages that indicated a nuclear war had begun. His “computers warned that the United States had fired five nuclear missiles at his country.
‘The machine indicated the information was of the highest certainty,’ he later recalled. ‘On the wall big red letters burnt the word: START. That meant the missile had definitely been fired.’ And the clock was ticking before they came to their designated targets obliterating millions upon millions of people.
The Soviet government’s policy in the event of a US nuclear attack was to launch an immediate and all-out retaliatory strike in accordance with the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction.” One phone call and that would have happened.
The officer had just minutes to decide whether to assess the attack as genuine and inform the Kremlin that the United States was starting World War III – or tell his commanders that the Soviet Union’s early warning system was faulty.
Imagine the pressure he was under. His career would certainly be effected – what would come of telling his superiors that the system they built and trusted was at fault, telling them to trust his instincts rather than the super computers. They had no reason not to trust their computers, and why should they trust him?
Stanislav Petrov, a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Air Defense Forces in that crisis made the right decision. “Guessing that a genuine American attack would have involved hundreds of missiles, he put the alarm down to a computer malfunction.
Lt Col Petrov was vindicated when an internal investigation following the incident concluded that Soviet satellites had mistaken sunlight reflected on clouds for rocket engines.
Although Petrov was feted by his colleagues and initially praised by superiors for his actions, he was not rewarded.
He later complained that he was scolded by superiors for failing to complete a routine paperwork during the incident and had been scapegoated by generals embarrassed by the failure of their early warning system.
He took early retirement from the armed forces the following year.”
It is interesting that no one outside the USSR knew about this incident until the Iron Curtain came down.
“The incident was only made public in 1998 with the publication of the memoirs of General Yury Vontintsev, Mr Petrov’s superior at the time. In the 2014 documentary The Man Who Saved the World, Mr Petrov said: ‘All that happened didn’t matter to me — it was my job. I was simply doing my job, and I was the right person at the right time, that’s all.’” Indeed he was. The man whose, “decision to ignore warnings is credited with averting nuclear armageddon” died this past May 19 at age 77. We only learned of his death this past week because, “Karl Schumacher, a German film maker who first publicized the story in the West, …tried to get in touch to wish him happy birthday” this September 7th. Petrov’s son, Dmitry, informed him of his father’s death.
Stanislav Petrov, the ‘man who saved the world’ made the right decision when the crisis came. Note that he was not rewarded for doing so; indeed he paid a price for doing the right thing, but he never regretted that decision. And God spared our land a judgment which in 10 years and 8 months of abortion it had earned. We are now at 44 years and 8 months and we should remember that God’s judgment has not altered, indeed His cup of wrath is much fuller than it was in 1983. It is high time to repent of our sins.
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