A now-deleted message from the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation originally warned citizens last weekend to prepare for a possible ‘retaliatory nuclear strike from NATO countries.’ According to Newsweek, Russian officials say the message was written and posted by hackers. But despite the warning’s uncertain origin, the fact we’re discussing even the SLIGHTEST possibility of a nuclear war means our world leaders have gone too far, Glenn says: ‘[The world] is being run by a seemingly group of crazy people. And the rest of us are sitting here going, what the hell? Where are we going? What's happening?!’ So, would leaders ACTUALLY consider escalating today’s conflict into a nuclear war?!
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: You know, I watched something last night, I saw this alert, last night.
And I thought, hmm. And I -- I listened to something, I haven't listened to since I was a kid. Listen to this. This was produced for schools.
VOICE: We all know the atomic bomb is very dangerous. Since it may be used against us. We must get ready for it. Just as we're ready for many dangers that are around us all the time. Fire is a danger. It can burn whole buildings if someone is careless, but we are ready for fires.
We have a fine fire department to put out the fire, and to have fire drills in your school, so you'll know what to do. Automobiles can be dangerous too.
They sometimes cause bad accidents. But we're ready. We have safety rules, that car drivers and people who are walking must obey. Now, we must be ready for a new danger. The atomic bomb.
First, you will have to know what happens when an atomic bomb explodes. You'll know when it comes. We hope it never comes, but we must get ready.
It looks something like this.
There's a bright flag, brighter than the sun, brighter than anything you've ever seen.
If you're not ready, you do not know what to do. It could hurt you in different ways. It could knock you down hard. Or throw you against a tree or a wall. It's such a big explosion. It can smash in buildings. And knock sign boards over. And break windows all over town. But if you duck and cover, like Bert, you will be much safer. You know how bad sunburn can feel.
The atomic bomb flash could burn you worse than a terrible sunburn, especially when you're not covered. Now, you and I don't have shells to crawl into, like birds and turtles, so we have to cover up in our own way. First, you duck, and then you cover.
And very tightly, you cover the back of your neck, your face. Duck and cover underneath a table or a desk, or anything else close by. In Betty's school, they're talking about the atomic bomb too. Betty is asking her teacher, how can we tell when the atomic bomb explodes? And the teacher is explaining, there are two kinds of attack, with warning and without any warning.
We think that most of the time, we will be warned before the bomb explodes. So there will be time for us, to get into our homes and schools, or some other safe place.
Our civil defense workers, now, our men in uniform, will do everything they can, to warn us, before enemy planes can bring a bomb near us. You may be in your school yard playing, when the signal comes.
That signal means to stop whatever you're doing, and get to the nearest safe place fast. Always remember, the flash of an atomic bomb can come at any time. No matter where you may be.
GLENN: Holy cow.
That's the kind of stuff that I grew up watching in -- in school. You would have a -- an atomic bomb thing. I -- I don't think it was every year. But I remember going home, terrified. Terrified. Of the bomb.
And you notice what they said? The bomb is so strong, it could knock you down. Yeah. Kids. It will also vaporize you. That's another one of the options, that whole duck and cover thing, didn't ever cover.
It is just bizarre, that we are sitting here, at this time. And I know the heart of the American people. The American people care deeply about the people who are having their lives destroyed, over in Ukraine.
But none of us -- none of us would say, let's get into a nuclear war.
If they launched -- if Russia launched a -- a nuclear missile, or developed a nuclear bomb. Even one of the strategic, you know, low-yield nuclear bombs, anywhere.
Except in our territory, would you be for a retaliatory strike?
STU: Because this is an interesting thing. I think we've always thought of nuclear war like that. Nuclear war is big flashes on your home turf. And massive city destroying nuclear weapons. And then when they fire those, we retaliate mutual -- mutually assured destruction, right?
That's the standard recipe over many decades. Well, the new world is, of course, they have these strategic nuclear weapons, that could be used on battlefields. Can be used for all sorts of different purposes. I mean, certainly, you know, if -- if Russia comes tomorrow, and decides, you know, Mary Opal is going to be the subject of the first usage of one of these weapons. It's going to do a lot of damage there, but that would not be something that the United States would be advocating a nuclear response to.
GLENN: If that happened. And let's say Russia hits a NATO country.
STU: They drop one in Poland?
GLENN: In Poland. Would you be for us firing ICBMs?
STU: Yeah. And I -- we would be bound by treaty, to respond.
GLENN: Right. But not like that.
STU: Yeah. Right. I mean, we would do everything we could to stay out of that, I think. But --
GLENN: At least with nuclear weapons.
STU: With nuclear weapons. We would be in a war with Russia, in the circumstance. I don't think there's any doubt about it. Even if you don't like the treaty. Even if you don't like NATO, it would be hard to imagine the West overlooking a nuclear strike on a NATO country of any sort.
GLENN: This is a real clear case, at least to me, I feel, like the people of the world, are so disconnected to the leadership of the world. The Lynn of the world, they're not listening to the average person.
It's all being run by these seemingly group of crazy people. And the rest of us are sitting here going, what the hell? Where are we going? Wait. What's happening?
And it seems that -- I mean, if God forbid, something like this happens, I hope someone is around to, you know, write down or tell, I don't know. The -- the poor guy, who has just broken his glasses, sitting at the library. You know, just wanting to read books. Because that's all he ever wanted to do. Twilight Zone. I hope someone is alive to say, the average person was not for this. The average person in the world, knew this was madness. Absolute madness. And in the end, what destroyed us, was our leaders. Back in a minute.