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A 10-Minute Debate on War


A 10-Minute Debate on War

Robert C. Koehler

“Look, nuclear should be off the table. But would there be a time when it could be used? Possibly, possibly . . .”

This is — who else? — Donald Trump, flexing, you might say, his nuclear trigger finger in an interview with Chris Matthews, who responds in alarm:


Mobilization for War Against Russia?
The large-scale US-NATO amassing of military force on Russia’s Western borders, NATO’s “Eastern Front,” is unprecedented and creates the impression of preparation for actual war.


Trump likes to shock people with his comments and it’s taken him far but my guess is if he got into office he would be heavily dependent on other Republicans for his decisions. He is not the problem.
The problem is our peace prize president now, talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk. He now, instead of pushing to end nukes, wants to spend a trillion or more on updating our arsenal of nukes. I am so sick of Democrats pointing fingers when they are the one’s getting a pass for the rotten decisions they are making. The confrontation with Russia and China is ridiculous and is bringing us closer to war. Does anyone yell and scream about that? No.
Trump is just yapping, Obama is doing it. And believe me Clinton loves her some war. Buddies make money and she feels powerful. Great!
Go Bernie!


No wonder the military industrial complex (MIC) operatives are directing more bribes toward Clinton. By questioning why we make nukes but don’t use them Trump is opening a Pandora’s box that could cost the MIC some nuke production revenue.

As Koehler mentions, the war on terror was not meant to be won, just to last forever. Eternal war equals eternal revenue for the MIC. Trump is messing with that business model.


wow! a ten minute nuclear debate before handing the pentagon a blank check! outrageous! can there exist any doubt that “our” congressional representatives utterly fail to serve the interests of the people? the few principled exceptions like barbara lee have little ability to stop this impending train wreck! let’s face it. the number one time-consuming occupation of congressional members is not addressing the causes of ecological degradation nor its brother economic inequality, but rather focusing on garnering campaign donations and winning the next election. those massive campaign donations come from the monopolies who manufacture the weapons, the financial wizards who control the budget, the oil and energy conglomerates who use war as a means to exploit natural resources around the world, giant retailers who promote consumerism and big pharma drug pushers focused not on public health, but profiting from illness. indeed robert! we need to think deeply about trump’s haunting question,

Why do we make them?

#1 for the love of money! lobbyists for the industrial class write the legislation as they bribe venal congress members–a millionaires’ club–to pass laws robbing the tax payer in order to enrich the already wealthy. did you know that almost no one in congress actually reads the proposed legislation before voting?

#2 fear! right you are, robert, the media promotes fear and xenophobia to keep the lucrative arms business going full blast. let us not believe, however, that the one percent and political class is fearless. those with the most wealth and power to lose have the most to fear. how then do we_the_people stand against the fear-mongering and begin to replace the “love of money” with an enduring spirit of community and harmony? the answer to our dilemma begins with considering barbara lee’s questions,

"Do you feel any safer? Are we any safer?”


This is a terrific piece by Robert Koehler. We have two dominant political parties and they are both war parties. How can I possibly vote for Hillary Clinton when she is such a war monger? But, if I don’t vote for her, I am effectively voting for Trump who is even worse. I have no way to effectively vote for less war, and more concern for our global environment. I wish I could vote for Barbara Lee or Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.
Jim Shea


When a nation loses their educational system to lack of funding, sloth, lowest common denominator thinking, or shift to for-profit education, the entire nation pays a great price, possibly forever. One price is lack of “leaders” with the prerequisite education, understanding, moral compass, and knowledge of history to be “statesmen and women”, and it’s clear we have lost our leaders of moral compass, understanding of history and common-sense perspective - they often seem from another planet.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Also read as: “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”
– George Santayana

Other words of great wisdom from Santayana that relate to leadership, the failure of education, morality, and much more.


Russia spends about 50 billion a year on its Military. This about 1/12 US spending. It less than the UK alone spends. It less then France. NATO members added together spend over 60 percent of what spent on the Military worldwide and dwarf the spending of Russia.

The population of Russia is some 150 million versus well over 600 million in the NATO member nations, this discounting other Western allies not considered part of NATO such as Japan. NATO ground forces outnumber Russia 5 to 1 .

Yet with all this it Russia that deemed the threat.


They can hit us all they want with this propaganda that Russia is the enemy. However we know who the enemy is and it ain’t Russia.


Thank you for this essay/article, Mr. Koehler. I hadn’t heard these latest “words of wisdom” from Trump.

The following 2 paragraphs are rich… so I am re-posting them:

"And this is the state of American democracy during an election year: a 10-minute debate in Congress about the future of war and a reckless cowboy’s logical conclusion that since we’ve made a whole lot of nuclear weapons — we have over 7,000 in the stockpile right now — a president ought to have the right to use one or two if he’s really annoyed with another country’s behavior. No doubt this is how you make America great again.

“In other words, the United States is under the almost total control, politically and emotionally, of a confluence of economic and military interests that go by various names: the military-industrial complex, the Deep State. And the defense budget, of course, quietly passes in Congress, releasing a new round of unquestioned funding — more than $600 billion — for the Department of Defense to use as it sees fit. Funding is scarce for everything from schools to lead-free water pipes to addressing the Zika virus. But nukes and weapons development and the war on terror continue unchallenged.”

Barbara Lee gets it so right on not funding perpetual war; but then she endorses Hillary, a water-carrier for the MIC? Why the disconnect?