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Hullabaloo


Friday, June 03, 2016

 
QOTD: Mr Cool

by digby














Trump in San Jose last night:
“Now she’s saying, ‘Donald Trump, do you trust him with the nukes?’ Let me tell you. My temperament is so much tougher and so much better than her temperament. And by the way, we need a tough temperament. All of these countries that are our allies — she talks about our allies — our allies think we’re very stupid people.”
Why would he bring up our allies in that context? Well, maybe because he has said that they should all get nukes because we can't afford to use our military (which he plans to build up so YUUUUGWE that nobody will ever mess with us again) to keep them under our security umbrella.

This is what he really thinks. He'll backtrack a number of times and he'll say one thing today and another tomorrow. But if you really listen to him and see how he free associates, you can tell what he really believes.

This isn't a joke. At all. This very scary article in The Atlantic about Trump's nuclear blathering explains why this is so dangerous:
A nuclear-armed Trump is indeed a scary thought. But his apparent comfort with encouraging other countries to develop their own nuclear stockpiles is just as scary, if not more so. For 70 years, American presidents of both parties have understood the simple arithmetic involved—that the more countries have nuclear weapons, the more opportunities there are for nuclear war to break out, whether by design or by accident.

Yet the Republican nominee is effectively advocating the spread of arms so destructive they haven’t been used since their horrifying debut over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. In addition to remarking that the United States would be “better off” if nations like South Korea and Japan had nuclear weapons, Trump also seemed open, in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, to the possibility of Saudi Arabia, too, getting the bomb. He has since tried to walk this back—“They said that I wanted Japan to get nuclear weapons. Give me a break.” But as both Clinton and CNN have pointed out, he did say exactly that.

Given contradictions like this, it can be hard to take Trump seriously on foreign policy. But the implications of what he has said on nuclear weapons are extremely serious. A Trump presidency could reverse decades of American presidents’ work to hold the line against the spread of nuclear weapons, ushering in a new era of proliferation. U.S. leaders have applied “tremendous pressure” on allies to get them to turn back their nuclear programs. They have led efforts to successfully reduce the number of states that had or were actively pursuing nuclear weapons, from 23 in the 1960s down to nine.

At the core of Trump’s proliferation “policy” is a mistaken, reflexive belief that America is weak and will be powerless to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. “[I]f the United States keeps on its path, its current path of weakness,” he told The New York Times in March, Japanese and South Korean leaders would want such weapons “with or without me discussing it, because I don’t think they feel very secure in what’s going on with our country.” To CNN, he said: “It’s going to happen anyway. It’s only a question of time.” He ignores America’s past success in stemming proliferation—including in South Korea. It is unprecedented for an American leader to accept proliferation as inevitable because America is “weak.” Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, someone whom Trump praised as one of the “biggest diplomats in the country,” didn’t. In fact, he applied pressure on South Korea in 1975 to keep the country from going nuclear.

This isn’t a left-vs.-right issue—among the strongest opponents of nuclear proliferation was President Ronald Reagan. More than 30 years before Obama went to Hiroshima to warn about nuclear war, it was Reagan who went to Tokyo to state definitively, “A nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought,” and to pledge that “our dream is to see the day when nuclear weapons will be banished from the face of the Earth.”
Read the whole thing. And then go have a very stiff drink. You'll need it because the fact is that it isn't totally necessary for Trump to win for this nuclear regime to start to fall apart. It's enough that one of the two major parties has nominated him and millions of Americans are ecstatically cheering him on.


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