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Friday, December 23, 2016

TICK TOCK

On the one hand, it is still a month until the Inauguration, and Trump has not actually done anything yet as President.  On the other hand, his loose-lipped [or twitchy fingered] remarks about nuclear weapons scare the living daylights out of me.  I do not believe he has a clue what he is saying, but I am damned sure some of the people whispering in his ear, like Steve Bannon, do.  As I have on several occasions explained on this blog, I have been openly and vocally critical of the fundamental orientation of American foreign policy since 1960, and there has in all time not been a single President [with the possible exception of Dwight Eisenhower] who exhibited what I consider an appropriate hesitation to project American military power abroad.  But for most of those fifty-six years, the men in the White House have treated nuclear weapons as essentially unusable [I say most, because the sainted John F. Kennedy brought the world within a hair's breadth of an all out nuclear war, a fact for which I could never forgive him.]

For all his bluster about being unpredictable as a tactic, I do not think Trump has any idea how destructive nuclear weapons are, nor do I think he cares, so long as they do not damage Trump properties.  Trump poses an existential danger to the world, and anyone ostensibly on the left who imagines that his unorthodoxy holds out the possibility of a better American world posture is being seriously delusional.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen.

howie said...

Professor

Your same fears oppress me too, especially as late night thoughts.
Whatever happens will suck for all of us. But this is territory though dark is new.
Part of it's terror is it's sheer unpredictability.
We have to imagine and conceive ways to outlast Trump. I have an active imagination, so I can imagine tons of ways things that can go wrong.
But I can think of ways to resist or mitigate Trump.
There is the idea of direct resistance but there is the idea of containment, internationally and by domestic institutions at home.
You've done your part by pushing along actvism.
I think someone said in the eighties (having to do with fighting racism) that millions of people can't be held down, someone I thought of as an extremist back then
Time is on our side and numbers are on our side and justice is on our side
He will not be a new Pharaoh I'm sure of that

LFC said...

The most indefensible of the Trump remarks is the one about an arms race.
Not even the academic who appeared on the NewsHour tonight to defend the supposed 'need' for a larger arsenal explicitly defended the arms race remark. This prof claimed that US adversaries have been increasing their arsenals while the US hasn't been; but at the extant levels of overkill, it's irrelevant even if true. (Only exception might be in the case of an 'irrational' actor, possibly Kim Jong Un, but in the case of an irrational actor deterrence is ineffective by definition, so levels again don't matter much.)

The prof in question said the US is 200 or so warheads below the level permitted by the 2010/11 New Start Treaty whereas Russia is 200 above. Shades of 50 years ago, when people were employed full time worrying about alleged 'missile gaps' (and one criticism of JFK is that he ran on the 'missile gap' theme in 1960 when there really wasn't one). OTOH, whatever blame one assigns JFK for setting the stage for the Cuban Missile Crisis, he did in the end manage to steer out of it.

On another subject of poss. interest, I saw elsewhere some reference to a long piece on North Carolina comparing it on various democracy metrics to a semi-authoritarian or authoritarian state. Will try to add link in next box.

LFC said...

The North Carolina piece:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/opinion/article122618669.html

LFC said...

p.s. It's actually not long -- I was wrong about that.

Chris said...

Happy Holidays everyone!
I'll be out of town for a while.
Best wishes,
Chris