Nuclear Winter

Do you recall the part of the recent Presidential Election when we decided to go to war with China?  I don’t either.  But you might consider this linked article from the International Business Times.  Here’s their quote from Steve Bannon, new head of our National Security Council, Trump confidant, and apparent Vice-President if not, a la Dick Cheney, de facto President:

article-2061468-0ecc4c0000000578-694_964x663“We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years, aren’t we? There’s no doubt about that. They’re taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face — and you understand how important face is — and say it’s an ancient territorial sea…” (From a conversation with Steve  Bannon  on a radio show hosted for Breitbart in March 2016.)

How about war with Iran while we’re at it?  Consider this on Steve Bannon from The Guardian:

“But China is not the only hotspot Bannon sees, and forecasts another ground war for American troops in the Middle East.  ‘Some of these situations may get a little unpleasant,’ Bannon said in November 2015. ‘But you know what, we’re in a war. We’re clearly going into, I think, a major shooting war in the Middle East again.’  He also branded Islam as “the most radical” religion in the world, and moved swiftly since entering the White House to enact policies hostile to Muslims. Some have called Trump’s central doctrine a “war on Islam”.”

Since taking office, Trump and Bannon have angered both China – by scornfully disregarding a decades old “one China” policy – and the Islamic world, by threatening Iran and banning the entry into the United States of Muslim refugees and the citizens of seven Muslim countries, none of which have a history of terrorist activity directed at the United States.  Just yesterday, Trump’s press secretary falsely accused Iran of attacking a US warship.  The day before, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn announced that he was officially “putting Iran on notice.”

If that doesn’t concern you sufficiently, then consider how Trump’s policy of cozying up to Putin and signaling the obsolescence of NATO encourages Russian aggression in the eastern Ukraine.   Does one need to reiterate the possibility of an expanding ground war in Europe?   What happens in that war if one side begins to lose?

Trump and Bannon are taking us down the extremely dangerous path of brinksmanship in multiple corners of the globe.  Each of these prospective wars would be fought on foreign soil.  Loss of life, even in conventional warfare, might well be staggering.  Of greater concern is the possibility that Trump and Bannon consider the use of nuclear weapons to be optional, or perhaps even desirable, in the interest of limiting American casualties.  Back in the 1980s, Carl Sagan led a group of scientists who hypothesized that a significant nuclear exchange would trigger a nuclear winter ending life on our planet as we know it.  Since that time, some other scientists have tried to reassure us that nuclear winter is not inevitable, at least in the case of a limited exchange.  See this link to the debate on Wikipedia.   Such an exchange might only kill millions and render substantial portions of the Earth’s surface uninhabitable.  Comforting indeed.  Of course, in the event of such a war, there might not be an opportunity to retest the various theories and calculations.

stillman-hiroshima-690It seems absurd, on the one hand, that I am even worrying about this.  Surely nuclear holocaust only happens in The Man in the High Castle.  Still, you might want to also consider the recent diagnosis of Donald Trump as mentally ill by a prominent John Hopkins psychologist.  An excerpt from an article in US Uncut by Zach Cartwright reads as follows:

John D. Gartner, a psychotherapist who teaches at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, told US News that he believes Trump has ‘malignant narcissism,’ which is incurable, and different from narcissistic personality disorder. Gartner violated the ‘Goldwater Rule’ of the psychology profession, in which a diagnosis of a public figure without personally examining them, and without their consent, is considered unethical. ‘Donald Trump is dangerously mentally ill and temperamentally incapable of   being president,’ Gartner said, citing his movements and behavior, pointing out the president’s tendency for grandiosity, sadism, aggressiveness, paranoia, and anti-social behavioral patterns.  ‘We’ve seen enough public behavior by Donald Trump now that we can make this diagnosis indisputably,’ Gartner added.”

Let’s see.  Grandiose mentally-ill President, war mongering advisor, and nuclear weapons that might not kill us all.   Hmmm.   Bomb shelters anyone?

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