Only Trump Controls Our H-Bombs? No!
Ronnie Dugger / Reader Supported News
(November 2, 2020) — The cruel and impulsive Donald Trump is the only person, among more than 328 million of us in the United States, who has the deciding control over our H-Bombs and the right to fire them off from probably the largest nuclear weapons arsenal in the world. This is because he is our president.
Last October 18th, the New York Times Editorial Board declared, “Mr. Trump is a man of no integrity.” The editorial stated, “Donald Trump can’t solve the nation’s most pressing problems because he is the nation’s most pressing problem…. He campaigned as a champion of workers, but he has governed on behalf of the wealthy. He promised to raise the federal minimum wage and to invest in infrastructure; he delivered tax cuts that mostly benefit the rich.”
Trump has totally failed to lead the federal response to Covid-19. To increase his chance of re-election, he falsely claims that the plague is over. This shows that he has no empathy. As the Times columnist Paul Krugman says, he just does not care about the 227,000 of his fellow citizens who are already dead from the virus. But he cares about slamming his critics as worthless or disloyal. He has publicly called at least eleven of his critics treasonous. And this year he has actually directed our military and federal officials against our millions of peaceful and constitutional citizen protesters in their demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality in our country.
It’s like previews of what happens if he’s re-elected. On June 1st, five days after the killing of black George Lloyd by police seen on national TV, he announced in the Rose Garden behind the White House that he had ordered “thousands and thousands” of our world’s most powerful armed forces into military action against masses of active demonstrators then in about 140 of our cities. His explanation was against “looters” and “thugs.”
Stopped publicly by our two highest military leaders from carrying through on that, Trump, instead since then, claiming for his re-election he’s law and order, has literally been ordering federal officials obviously under his presidential authority to go with subordinates, armed, into what he politically calls “Democrat-run” cities to literally take over their local police forces against legally activist citizens he condemns.
Local officials and even governors telling him they don’t want his men in their cities doesn’t matter. Joe Biden, Trump’s humane and worthy opponent for president, says, “He’s rooting for more violence, and is clear about that.”
Trump’s sister, older than him by eight years, the retired federal judge Marianne Trump, who has known him longer than almost anybody, said to his niece Mary L. Trump, “He has no principles. None. None.” Again and again, Bernie Sanders has called him “a pathological liar.”
Is Trump the person we want to be in sole control of our nuclear weapons for the next four years? Our 1,500 deployed, ready-to-send-out nuclear bombs are likely, along with Russia’s, the most mass-murderous and destructive weapons in human history. Former friends quote Trump asking, “If we have nuclear weapons why don’t we use them?” The man asking this startling question has solitary and total control of the decision to unleash them and destroy our world.
In 1945, President Truman made the decision and gave the order to explode our first nuclear weapons over Japan. Since then it has become policy, but not law, that only our president can decide whether or not to detonate our nuclear weapons. Only our president, acting alone, can give the order to totally destroy with our H-bombs any nation or many of them, however large they are, and kill all – oh, probably except for a few – of their people.
Trump and Vladimir Putin, the dictator of Russia, the country which has the other of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals, are of course the human species’ main nuclear planners now. They seem to be either close acquaintances or friends. Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer for ten years, wrote in his book “Disloyal: A Memoir” that Trump told him, “Putin is the richest man in the world by a multiple…. I know it for a fact. Putin is worth more than a trillion dollars.”
In 2016, as many will remember, Trump on international TV asked Russia, if listening (that is, Putin and his technicians), to continue to help him win the American presidency by revealing his opponent’s missing 30,000 or so emails. Formally told by our intelligence authorities that Putin did so help, Trump denies such assistance. The two of them have since conferred on occasion so privately that Trump reportedly even took an accompanier’s notes during one of their secret meetings away from her.
Trump said again on U.S. TV that if a foreign official offered him information to help him get elected, that would be OK with him. Now our intelligence people tell us that again Putin and his agents have been secretly helping Trump politically. There could be a lot going on between them that Americans should know about but do not.
Putin brags to the world about Russia’s recently expanded nuclear arsenal, saying that his is the only country in the world that can burn the United States – that is, us – to ashes. Nevertheless, in concord last year both of them withdrew their countries from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Marking the potentially tragic deterioration of the real progress in nuclear disarmament achieved by Mikhail Gorbachev, the first George Bush, and Ronald Reagan, the New START agreement is the only nuclear arms treaty left between us and Russia, and it expires in February. It now limits both countries to no more than 1,500 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers.
For some time, Putin was open to renewing New START, but Trump would only consider it if China joined. That country, being so far behind them in nuclear weapons, has flatly refused. However, two weeks before the November 3rd election, Putin and Trump agreed to a freeze on their warheads and a one-year delay before the treaty’s scheduled expiration.
President Trump has been interviewed by the U.S. press about nuclear weapons and the public informed about it. He has said a lot about his realization of nuclear weapons’ mass-murdering destructive power and has exclaimed about it dramatically, but then said no more on that. He has emphasized publicly that he does not want anybody, obviously including potential adversaries, to know what his intentions are concerning our nuclear weapons.
As president, Trump has kept our Congress, industry, and military continuing a policy against disarmament of nuclear weapons in a ten-year, more than trillion-dollar “modernization” program. All the nine nuclear nations, the U.S. leading before and after Trump became president, also first ignored and then actively opposed, and still do, the historic treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons adopted in 2017 by 122 nations in the General Assembly of the United Nations.
During promotion and debate on it, there was literally almost no journalism about it published in our country. It has just been ratified and becomes international law in about three months. The sponsors of “the ban treaty,” as it’s now called, were an international organization, ICAN, and its 50 or more member organizations. Some of the leaders, while not hopeful about its chances now, postulate that simply outlawing nuclear weapons changes the debate.
Ronnie Dugger is the founding editor of the Texas Observer and received the George Polk lifetime journalism award in 2011. In a 26,000-word article in The New Yorker in 1988, he advanced the proposition that even our presidential elections can be invisibly and unprovably stolen when the votes are counted by computers, which he believes has now been substantially realized. He has written biographies of Presidents Johnson and Reagan, books about Hiroshima and universities, and many articles in The Nation, The Atlantic, Harpers, The New York Times, and other periodicals. A number of his essays focused on Donald Trump have been published by Reader Supported News since 2016, and he has work on nuclear weapons and war under way.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.