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James Carroll: Entering the Second Nuclear Age?
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He was the candidate who, while talking to a foreign policy expert, reportedly wondered“why we can’t use nuclear weapons.” He was the man who would never rule anything out or take any “cards,” including nuclear ones, off the proverbial table. He was the fellow who, as president-elect, was eager to expand the American nuclear arsenal and told Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski, “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.” I’m referring, of course, to the president who, early on, spoke with his top national security officials of returning the country to a Cold War footing when it came to such weaponry and called for the equivalent of a tenfold expansion of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. I’m thinking of the president who once threatened North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” and proudly claimed that he had a “bigger nuclear button” than that country’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

Given his fascination with nuclear weaponry, it’s hardly surprising that the very same president would decide to pull the U.S. out of the Cold War-era 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) or that his vice president would refuse to rule out — another potentially treaty-busting act — the deployment of nuclear weapons in space. It’s a gesture that, as TomDispatch regular and former Boston Globe columnist James Carroll explains today, could not be more devastating when it comes to creating a new nuclear arms race on this increasingly godforsaken planet of ours. Reading Carroll’s piece, I thought of a mobilizing nuclear moment in my own life. It was the time in 1982 when I read Jonathan Schell’s bestselling book The Fate of the Earth, which helped create a global anti-nuclear movement, millions of active citizens desiring a nuke-free world, that prepared the way for the INF Treaty. In that remarkable volume, Schell offered a stunning vision of what a ten-thousand-megaton nuclear strike on the U.S. might mean. (“In the ten seconds or so after each bomb hit, as blast waves swept outward from thousands of ground zeros, the physical plant of the United States would be swept away like leaves in a gust of wind.”) In the end, after radiation had also taken its toll, he wrote, the United States — in a phrase that’s haunted me ever since — “would be a republic of insects and grass.”

That, in other words, is what it might mean, in the twenty-first century, as in the previous one, for a president to put all those nuclear “cards” back on the table and “outmatch… and outlast them all.”

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
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  1. Get in the way, you’re JFK.

  2. AWM says:

    Clinton turned blind eye to major treaty violations

  3. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    How can Mr. Carroll’s essay criticizing the present belligerence of President Trump include such illustrative detail about the early 1980s, yet omit mention of this past summer in Helsinki?

    Back in July, Mr. Engelhardt and Mr. Klare, another of his “TomDispatch regulars,” were snorting about the supposedly naive President to cover the Establishment’s derailment of what appeared to be some long overdue, respectful dialogue with Russia. (Remember that presser when the lights literally went out moments after an uncharacteristically shaky President was brought out to publicly recant his statements?) But now, it’s time to paint President Trump as the aberrant nuclear warmonger.

    I still have yet to read anything here at The Unz Review sourced to TomDispatch that wouldn’t fit smoothly into NPR or “Democracy Now!” Have a look into its affiliations and funding to see why.

    This stuff plays well to self-styled “Progressives,” who in general seem to be the most predictable, conforming people around. It has been and still is a puppet show. And the “TomDispatch regulars” are stage hands.

  4. anarchyst says:

    The United States government gets its marching orders from Israel. THAT is a major problem, with dual-nationality Israelis running our government and formulating both our foreign and domestic policy.

    Cleaning the swamp should involve getting rid of ALL dual-nationality types. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for anyone having dual loyalties in MY country.


    In addition, Israel holds a Damocles sword over the rest of the world with its undocumented nukes.
    If a nuclear device is lit off in an American or European city, it will have Israel’s fingerprints all over it. Israel is desperate to keep the American money spigot running, as well as sabotaging the Palestinian peace process that the world wants it to take seriously.

    In fact, if a nuclear device is lit off anywhere in the world, it will have come from Israel’s secret nuclear stockpile.

    The power outage in Atlanta was a convenient excuse for Israel to perform a logistical sleight of hand, as an Israeli plane was allowed to land and take off during the power outage without receiving customs clearance or inspection. Just maybe another one of Israel’s nukes was just being pre-positioned, getting ready for the big one. As most Americans are tired of all of the foreign wars being fought for Israel’s benefit, another incident on American soil would be enough to galvanize the American public, once again, (just like WTC 9-11) to support another war for Israel’s benefit. Israel’s samson option is a real threat to light one off in a European or American city, if Israel’s interests are not taken seriously.

    Israel refuses to abide by IAEA guidelines concerning its nukes as they are already distributed around the world. Israel would not be able to produce all of them as most of them are not in Israel, proper. No delivery systems are needed as Israel’s nukes are already in place. Look for another false flag operation with the blame being put on Iran or Syria. You can bet that some Iranian or Syrian passports will be found in the rubble.

    Israel also threatens to detonate nuclear devices in several US cities. Talk about total INSANITY; the so-called Samson Option is it.

    As an aside, American foreign aid is prohibited from being given to any country that has not signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty or refuses to abide by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) guidelines regarding its nuclear devices-the Symington Amendment. Guess what?? Israel does not abide by EITHER and still gets the majority of American foreign aid. This prohibition also applies to countries that do not register their agents of a foreign government with the U S State Department. Guess what?? Israel (again) with its American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) still gets foreign aid in contravention of American law..

    There are forty or so congressmen, senators and thousands of high-level policy wonks infecting the U S government who hold dual citizenship with Israel. Such dual citizenship must be strictly prohibited. Those holding dual citizenship must be required to renounce said foreign citizenship. Refusal to do so should result in immediate deportation with loss of American citizenship. Present and former holders of dual citizenship should never be allowed to serve in any American governmental capacity.

    When Netanyahu addressed both houses of congress, it was sickening to see our politicians slobber all over themselves to PROVE that they were unconditional supporters of Israel, just who the hell do they work for? Certainly not for the interests of the American people and the United States they should renounce their United States citizenship and be deported to Israel.

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