“Let it be an arms race:” The Nuclear Nighmare holds the world hostage

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OpEdNews Op Eds 12/27/2016 at 16:38:47

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The Cold War for Kids: Arms Race
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It would take only a few hundred nukes to kill almost all the people on earth, who live on 12% of the landmass. The US has more than enough to annihilate humanity many times over…..more nukes does not mean more safety but more risk.

“A recently declassified document shared by nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein gives the verdict that scientists at the Los Alamos laboratory and test site reached in 1945. They found that “it would require only in the neighborhood of 10 to 100 Supers of this type” to put the human race in peril.”

Today’s bombs are incredibly more lethal. North Korea has deterred attacks with only a handful of nukes, but enough to wipe out Seoul and Tokyo. The beneficiaries of more nukes is the military/industrial complex which trades the risk of annihilation for more profits.

War is a racket (Smedley Butler).Never forget that essential fact.

The CBO has been banned from making a cost estimate on the Nuclear Modernization Act, meaning a blank check for the merchants of death. In all other nuclear nations, nuclear capacity will be increased as a response to an obvious threat.


DoD Wire
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As a Chrismas present to the world, a few days ago, a man not yet President and lacking popular support, brought into focus the threat of nuclear annihilation in one tweet: “Let it be an arms race.”

This was in response to the game of ego-driven chicken he was playing with Putin who had warned that Russia could not be defeated with nuclear threats, from NATO, the US, or anywhere. I decided to look into the scale of the terror that Trump has unleashed, as tho waking up from one of the recurrent nightmares of my youth that indeed, nuclear war had started. Below I explore the scale of the threat and the rationality of the fear.

One current nuclear bomb has the force of 15,000 kilotons, compared to the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, which had 15.

So the current active US arsenal of 2000 bombs had this much more force than the first bomb dropped: 2000 x 15000 =30 million kilotons. This is enough to flatten 2 million large cities. This is enough to kill every living thing on earth.

Why would anyone in his right mind think it makes sense to have more capacity?

Here is the kind of “defense” that Trump supporters are promoting (from OEN discussion forum): “These statements about upgrading nuclear arsenals could be jockeying for eventual arms reduction negotiations.”

This brings to mind Einstein’s insight that “You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.”


Albert Einstein quotes – Quote Coyote page 2
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Against this insight is the Nixon Madman Theory which Trump has adopted: “I call it the Madman Theory, Bob (Haldeman) . I want the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We’ll just slip the word to them that, “for God’s sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can’t restrain him when he’s angry–and he has his hand on the nuclear button” and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace.”


The man who inspires Trump to use the Madman Theory…….

“In October 1969, the Nixon administration indicated to the Soviet Union that “the madman was loose” when the United States military was ordered to full global war readiness alert (unbeknownst to the majority of the American population), and bombers armed with thermonuclear weapons flew patterns near the Soviet border for three consecutive days” Wikipedia

If Trump had been reading history instead of Hitler’s speeches, he might have realized that the Madman theory led only to more slaughter, never to peace.

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Santayana

Those who defend state terrorism fail to understand that it is not only the tool of Tyrants but leads to death and destruction.

Why would anyone in his right mind support a man who wants more capacity to destroy the earth not 30 times but more? To argue that this is a “negotiating tactic” is like claiming a man brandishing an assault weapon is negotiating.

Hiroshima after the bomb
Hiroshima after the bomb
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150,000 died in Hiroshima, almost all women, children, the elderly, and the wounded. Today, we have the power to destroy 2 million Hiroshimas….do we need more?

It is not the people but the new Trump regime which seeks to reverse the decline in nuclear weapons and begin an arms race.

” In a 2002 CCFR survey, 22% of Americans said that the US should never use nuclear weapons under any circumstances, 55% said only in response to a nuclear attack, and 21% said that in certain circumstances, the US should use nuclear weapons even if it has not suffered a nuclear attack. These numbers remained remarkably consistent over the next decade, with replies in 2010 being exactly the same 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll found that 35% most fear a nuclear war putting an end to humanity, compared to 23% who worry about a deadly virus, 15% the Rapture, 15% global warming, and 8% an asteroid hitting the Earth.

And to round out the subject, in a 2010 Pew survey 64% approved of Barack’s Obama’s declaration that the US would never use nuclear weapons against a nation that did not have them, but 30% did not want to take that option off the table” source: Roper Center

.Storax Sedan. underground nuclear test – July 1962
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Underground test 1962. The next year, JFK signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Three months later, he was murdered.

So a robust majority of Americans do not support first strike or escalating the risk with threats. This highlights the fact that Trump does not represent most people but a minority which includes those who fear the Rapture more than a Nuclear War.

When the minority takes power and promotes programs that the vast majority oppose, that is tyranny. The only responses are revolution…or surrender.

The Roper article reports: ” A look back into history, however, shows that the idea of starting a nuclear war has not always been unthinkable to many Americans.”

The public has changed its view, but tragically, our new leadership is a step backward towards a world at risk of nuclear annihilation.

As I read the latest book about the assassination of JFK (Mary’s Mosaic), I am reminded that one of the reasons the Pentagon and CIA hated Kennedy enough to kill him was that he had rejected two proposals to use nukes, in Vietnam and against Russia during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The US build-up of nukes reached a peak in 1965 with 31,000 When JFK took office, the stockpile was 18,500. He had led the campaign to end nuclear testing and rejecting using nukes except in self-defense.

On August 5, 1963, after more than eight years of difficult negotiations, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

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Three months after the Test Ban Treaty was signed……..the Day that changed history…..all hopes for peace died.

The JFKLibrary reports: “John F. Kennedy had supported a ban on nuclear weapons testing since 1956. He believed a ban would prevent other countries from obtaining nuclear weapons, and took a strong stand on the issue in the 1960 presidential campaign. Once elected, President Kennedy pledged not to resume testing in the air and promised to pursue all diplomatic efforts for a test ban treaty before resuming underground testing. He envisioned the test ban as a first step to nuclear disarmament.”

Three months after signing the Test Ban Treaty, he was murdered.

Months after the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed…………

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52 years later, his dreams have been destroyed by a usurper, whose views contradict the views of the American public and 40 years of de-escalation.

At the time of JFK, the USSR only has 8% the nukes of the US, enough to destroy the planet. Under LBJ the US arsenal doubled which provoked the Soviet Union to quadruple its arsenal.

Trump’s tweet to begin a reversal of the nuclear nightmare is a repudiation of the Start Treaty:The (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)was a bilateral treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms. The treaty was signed on 31 July 1991 and entered into force on 5 December 1994.

The New Start Treaty was signed on 8 April 2010 and, after ratification entered into force on 5 February 2011.[1] It is expected to last at least until 2021.”


New START – Wikipedia
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Obama and Medvedev sign Start II to reduce nuclear arms;in the meantime a one trillion moderniation program (no new nukes but expensive new delivery ssystems and upgrades to existing weapons) has been approved, with a blank check, as the CBO was banned from conducting a cost analysis.

Trump, who ran on improving relations with Russia, has announced he will scrap the the New Start Treaty. Incompetence or insanity? Putin does not want an arms race and continues to cut defense. The friendship is a charade, as both men know.

One knee-jerk tweet by a man who 5 months ago did not know what the nuclear triad is, has destroyed the safety provided by the reduction of nuclear weapons. History teaches us that those who rule without consent, without popular support, must rely on force, intimidation, and lies. One of the most effective ways to short-circuit rational thinking is through fear, or state terrorism. We know have a man, unprepared to take power, who is both irrational, impulsive, and ignorant of nuclear strategy and policy. Fear is used to control the masses by Trump, and by activating this fear, has shown, before taking office, and having already angered China, Russia, and their ally Iran, that he will use the threat of state terrorism, backed up by the “negotiating tactic”: of brandishing a world-ending arsenal, that he is a grave danger to all humanity.

Putin’s .Modern Love. – The New Yorker
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The question is: who will restrain him. Will Putin’s careful flattery and moderation calm the waters, or will Trump’s provocations only embolden the hard-liners in Russia, whom Putin has so far restrained? Will the majority of Americans who disapprove of Trump stand up or……………….surrender? Will the legacy of our martyred President Kennedy be once more betrayed by a man intent on proving he has the biggest bombs? Enough not only to destroy the enemy (his friend, Putin) but all humanity many times over?

98% of arms races end in war. What are the chances that a nuclear arms race would defy the odds? It assumes rational leaders: do we have a rational leader, a man who would reverse 40 years of policy in a tweet?

Today I awoke not from a nuclear nightmare but to one. Merry Christmas!

(Article changed on December 27, 2016 at 18:20)

retired, working radical egalitarian/libertarian socialist old school independent, vegan, survivor

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

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