The Fire and Fury of Nuclear War

The latest terroristic bombast out of Donald Trump about unleashing “fire and fury like the world has never seen” on North Korea is very dangerous stuff and is leading the United States in the completely wrong direction.

Agreed that North Korea is making foolhardy moves to prove that it has nuclear weapons capable of reaching Guam and will use them if the U.S. continues its threatening posture toward the tinpot dictatorship of the unstable and slightly ridiculous Kim Jong Un.  Agreed that it is vital that the U.S. make some response to defuse this confrontation and avert a war, whether nuclear or not, that would likely end in millions of civilian deaths.

But to suggest that America would launch “power the likes of which this world has never seen before”–and to do so almost exactly on the 72d anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, and in almost exactly the words Harry Truman used announcing that catastrophe–is simply perilous folly.

Trump doesn’t understand, and perhaps none of his overly-militarized crew around him understands, that Kim has learned a  lesson from America’s actions toward countries that try to build a nuclear defense against it.

The first was Iraq.  In that case it was held by the American neocon government that Saddam Hussein possessed nuclear weapons, even after years of negotiations and inspections, and that was enough to launch a war in March 2003 that toppled the regime and eventually killed Hussein.  The country was in chaos for a decade, became irrevocably split into three factions, and even now is a pathetic excuse for a functioning government.

Time to buy old US gold coins

The second, even starker case, was Libya.  There the Qaddafi regime attempted for more than a decade to build  nuclear armaments without much success but with a lot of stockpiling of fissionable materials.  After extreme Western pressure, and with promises of great rewards, Qaddafi started to dismantle the program in 2003 and by 2009 it was mostly defunct.  Then, instead of rewards, the West encouraged an all-out rebellion with the aim of unseating Qaddafi, the United Nations declared a no-fly zone,  and a

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