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What We Talk About When We Don’t Want to Talk About Nuclear War


#1

What We Talk About When We Don’t Want to Talk About Nuclear War

Andrew Bacevich

You may have missed it. Perhaps you dozed off. Or wandered into the kitchen to grab a snack. Or by that point in the proceedings were checking out Seinfeld reruns. During the latter part of the much hyped but excruciating-to-watch first presidential debate, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt posed a seemingly straightforward but cunningly devised question. His purpose was to test whether the candidates understood the essentials of nuclear strategy.


#2

And in typical Clintonianese, Hillary triangulated her position on first strike by providing an answer for everybody. Yes, she did say "But I would certainly not do first strike." However, her very next two statements go on to say:
"I think that once the nuclear alternative happens, it's over. At the same time, we have to be prepared. I can't take anything off the table."
There you have it! No I won't, but everything is 'on the table'. Classic, ain't it?
She also chose to up the ante a bit at the debate with some veiled threats that somehow haven't merited much comment within this context:
"We need to make it very clear -- whether it's Russia, China, Iran or anybody else -- the United States has much greater capacity.
...And we're going to have to make it clear that we don't want to use the kinds of tools that we have. We don't want to engage in a different kind of warfare. But we will defend the citizens of this country.
And the Russians need to understand that. I think they've been treating it as almost a probing, how far would we go, how much would we do."

How is it that there is little or no mention of the peace option available to US voters this November? How is it that, at the very least, the concerns and arguments questioning US policy by those advocates of peace are denied proper exposure and public hearing in the debates, press, and elsewhere?


#3

"An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people."
--Thomas Jefferson

Ain't going to happen, folks. Does anyone know the score from last night's game?


#4

How I imagine a 4 sided debate would have gone:
Trump: We'll build a wall high enough to keep out enemy planes, like Arnold does in that TV ad.

Clinton: Damn, I wish we had one of them Doomsday Machines!

Johnson: Um, just what is our Nation's long standing policy?

Stein: We'll stop bombing and invading other countries, creating situations which can lead to escalation. And NO, we will never use nuclear arms first.


#5

Excellent!!!!!!


#6

Because the warmongers are large and in-charge.


#7

Since Trump did not know what the nuclear triad was it must have been anticipated by Holt that Trump would be totally coherent on the nuclear terminology of "first use" and "first strike." Trump came though in the usual Trump style by announcing he was taking contradictory positions leaving leaders around the world wondering if the next US president will know anything at all about nuclear policy and scratching their heads as they wonder how Americans could possibly contemplate a person like that. Well it can happen. The people without college educations are fed up with college-educated people looking down at then as less worthy and are willing to elect someone who seems to relate to them. Even if they know Trump will be a disaster they will still vote him. Trump with his Ivy Leagues degrees sounds nothing like someone would be expected to sound with degrees from Penn and Harvard. On the other hand, Clinton sounds like someone with degrees from Wellesley and Yale and they have had enough of that.


#8

So what your saying is that some people will knowingly and purposely vote for their own destruction? (And everybody else's in the bargain.)

We once called those people insane and fascists.


#10

40 Million Russians To Take Part In "Nuclear Disaster" Drill, Days After US General Warns Of War With Moscow

As relations between Russia and the US disintegrate as a result of the escalating proxy war in Syria, which today culminated with Putin halting a Plutonium cleanup effort with the US, shortly before the US State Department announced it would end negotiations with Russia over Syria, tomorrow an unprecedented 40 million Russian citizens, as well as 200,000 specialists from "emergency rescue divisions" and 50,000 units of equipment are set to take part in a four day-long civil defense, emergency evacuation and disaster preparedness drill, the Russian Ministry for Civil Defense reported on its website.

According to the ministry, an all-Russian civil defense drill involving federal and regional executive authorities and local governments dubbed "Organization of civil defense during large natural and man-caused disasters in the Russian Federation" will start tomorrow morning in all constituent territories of Russia and last until October 7. While the ministry does not specify what kind of "man-caused disaster" it envisions, it would have to be a substantial one for 40 million Russians to take part in the emergency preparedness drill. Furthermore, be reading the guidelines of the drill, we can get a rather good idea of just what it is that Russia is "preparing" for.

More here:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-03/40-million-russians-take-part-radiation-disaster-drill-days-after-us-general-warns-w

When is the last time the US had a Civil Defense drill?
Last time I remember I was in the 4th grade - 1955-56.


#11

Donald and Hillary take a 'No-First-Use' pledge on relevant information

Love that. Believe Andy Bacevich has been reading Andy Borowitz.


#12

As usual, Mr. Bacevich speaks wisely, truthfully and rationally, something our political leaders are either incapable or unwilling to do.

In my dark moments, it appears that nuclear war between Russia and the U.S. is inevitable, given the evil and insanity that neoliberalcons and neocons are continuously revealing to us, I have a hard time seeing otherwise. In my more hopeful moments, I pray that somehow, someway, nuclear war will be prevented. I have zero faith in the Obama administration and Democratic leadership and of course the Republicans are the biggest bunch of losers I've ever seen.

Nuclear war is a crime against creation itself, an affront to humanity and the greatest evil that faces us. If Clinton wins, the world loses, if Trump wins, the world loses. What are we to do?


#14

YouTube video from RT America:
Bunker sales up 700% in 2016, politicians demand NDAs

Published on Oct 3, 2016
Upscale sales at Rising S Bunkers, a company that specializes in fancy underground bunkers, have increased a whopping 700% this year. Sales at other bunker companies have seen similar upticks. And the politicians buying them for millions of dollars are demanding the bunker makers sign non-disclosure agreements.


#15

Holt: What will your policy be on nuclear weapons, specifically first use?

Trump: Just because I'm crazy doesn't mean I'm not also stupid.

Clinton: (scoffs) Well, I'm not stupid. (thinking: But just because I'm not stupid doesn't mean I'm not evil.)


#16

Why did we build underground deEp underground series military bases and cities than if not for elites to nuke the world above wake up we are have been the evil empire for well over a hundred years read for free 'War is a racket' written by most decorated marine officer our sad history Smedley Butler he prevEnted elites in the thirties tried hire him to over throw fdr and when he instead turned them into congress they did usual nothing to the plotters.


#17

And thanks to Regan and his successor's "outstanding foresight" they thought that such drills that constantly remind us of a hell that a nuclear exchange can be would be no longer needed. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.


#20

Although considering what they say about how the living will envy the dead following a nuclear war, maybe the normal people who will die instantly will be the lucky ones. The earth will be uninhabitable either way, although the image of the elites in their fancy bunkers running out of food and starting to eat each other does give me a slight cathartic pleasure.


#21

There are so many important issues that are "off the table" in this Kabuki Theater election. Global warming is the big one. Nuclear weapons policy is right up there. Why do we continue to maintain the nuclear triad? Why are we "modernizing" it right now instead of phasing it out as we were after the fall of the Soviet Union? What about the latest generation of mini-nukes and how are they being deployed, not just by us but by the Israelis? So many issues that no one is willing to touch.


#22

Bibi not a happy camper??

Hell, he's camped all over Palestine!


#23

I've taken the elites fascination with bunkers as more proof of their stupidity. All they're buying are really nice tombs.