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Boardman writes: "Maybe fewer than a hundred nuclear attacks could destroy the world as we know it. Not to worry, there are thousands at the ready around the world. The U.S. and Russia, and maybe others, have massive numbers of nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert - believed to be a necessary element of nuclear deterrence."

B-2 stealth bomber on runway. (photo: AFP/Getty)
B-2 stealth bomber on runway. (photo: AFP/Getty)


How Close Are We to Nuclear War?

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

27 July 16

 

“I believe that the risk of a nuclear catastrophe today is greater than it was during the Cold War – and yet our public is blissfully unaware of the new nuclear dangers they face.”
William J. Perry, U.S. Defense Secretary (1994-1997), January 2016

ormer Bill Clinton cabinet member Perry perceives a danger that none of this year’s presidential wannabes have paid much if any attention to. The most recent candidate to make nuclear arms a central issue was Congressman Dennis Kucinich in 2008. President Obama has played both sides of the nuclear dilemma: rounding up and securing nuclear materials around the world, but also modernizing and miniaturizing American nuclear weapons to make them more “usable.” These days, no one in leadership – or aspiring to leadership – seems committed to actually making the world any safer from nuclear catastrophe. With rare exceptions like Kucinich, this unquestioned reliance on nuclear weapons is mainstream American military group-think, endlessly echoed in mainstream media, and that’s the way it’s been for decades.

In November 2015, William J. Perry published “My Journey at the Nuclear Brink” with Stanford University Press, a short book (234 pages) with a global warning that goes unheeded and almost unmentioned in out denial-drenched culture. A quick Google search turns up no reviews of the book – none – in mainstream media. Pro forma book trade reviews by outfits like Kirkus or Publishers Weekly or Amazon make Perry’s book sound pretty bland and boring, but then so does the publisher’s own blurb. It’s as if these people are saying: yes, we know there’s a pack of wolves in the woods, and that’s not necessarily such a good thing, but we don’t want to be accused of crying wolf, and besides we’ve got our own wolves at home, and they’re trim and well fed, and they haven’t attacked anybody since 1945, so why is anyone worried?

That’s Perry’s point, of course, that nobody’s worried – worse: “our people are blissfully unaware.” He doesn’t go on to argue that our people are deliberately kept unaware by a government and media pyramid that manages public consciousness for its own ends. Listen, Perry was free to publish his book, people are free not to read it, what more can one ask? That’s the nature of repressive tolerance.

“A Stark Nuclear Warning”

California governor Jerry Brown reviewed Perry’s book in the New York Review of Books for July 14, 2016, under the headline: “A Stark Nuclear Warning.” William J. Perry spent an adult lifetime working in the world of nuclear weapons. Perry has long expressed his concern that the detonation of just one nuclear weapon could produce a “nuclear catastrophe … that could destroy our way of life.” Perry has been a manager of nuclear weapons “deterrence,” which he now considers “old thinking.” The fact that deterrence hasn’t failed for more than 70 years is not evidence that the policy is successful. In Perry’s view, nuclear weapons do not provide security for anyone, and the more nuclear weapons there are in more and more and more hands, the more they endanger us all.

In his review, Brown tried to break through the complacent collective quiet in response to the bipartisan American nuclear risk-taking that Perry objects to:

… as a defense insider and keeper of nuclear secrets, he is clearly calling American leaders to account for what he believes are very bad decisions, such as the precipitous expansion of NATO, right up to the Russian border, and President George W. Bush’s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, originally signed by President Nixon.

Twenty years of American stealth aggression against Russia, particularly in Ukraine and Georgia, is only the most obvious flashpoint, though perhaps not the most dangerous one. Another obvious and over-hyped threat comes from North Korea. Most countries in the world don’t have nuclear weapons, and don’t want them. Even Iran is in that group, thanks to the multi-national deal that Perry wholeheartedly approves. But in the Middle East, what threat might seem serious enough to persuade Israel – or France – to launch a nuclear strike against the Islamic State? How long will India and Pakistan, already at proxy war in Afghanistan, maintain their uneasy standoff? And how secure is the Pakistani arsenal from an Islamist government in Islamabad? Will Turkey somehow get its hands on the NATO nuclear weapons at the air base at Incirlik (still under virtual siege more than a week after the failed coup)?

And then there’s China, which is not in the habit of nuclear saber-rattling. As if the U.S. weren’t risking enough in its perennial confrontation with Russia, in recent years the American “pivot to Asia” has begun to look like the early stages of another game of nuclear chicken.

How many nuclear detonations would create a global wasteland?

Nobody really knows how many nuclear explosions it would take to bring on nuclear winter or create the radioactive conditions to kill millions of not billions of people. Probably it would take more than ten, although ten would have a devastating impact. Maybe fewer than a hundred nuclear attacks could destroy the world as we know it. Not to worry, there are thousands at the ready around the world. The U.S. and Russia, and maybe others, have massive numbers of nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert – believed to be a necessary element of nuclear deterrence.

Rhetorically, President Obama has called for the elimination of nuclear weapons, but as a practical matter the Obama administration has reduced the American nuclear arsenal by the smallest amount in 36 years – less than any amount under Presidents Bush, Clinton, Bush, or Reagan. Under President Obama, the U.S. has maintained its aggressive policy against Russia, with one consequence being a new nuclear arms race on which the Obama administration wants to spend $1 trillion to make mass killing easier to achieve in smaller increments. No candidate for President has challenged this nuclear orthodoxy, not even Jill Stein of the Green Party.

The world has more than 15,000 nuclear weapons ready-to-use by common estimate, with enough Uranium and Plutonium available to make more than 100,000 more. The U.S. has more than 4,500 nuclear weapons, Russia about 7,000, and the other nuclear weapons states have “only” a few hundred each at most (except North Korea, with a few to none). Israel, India, Pakistan, and South Sudan are the only three countries in the world that have not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty of 1970.

And what might we expect from the next American President?

Republican Donald Trump seems to have published no formal policy on nuclear weapons or foreign policy. In interviews, Trump has indicated a dislike of nuclear proliferation, but has also said it’s probably “going to happen anyway,” and maybe the U.S. “may very well be better off” if countries like Saudi Arabia, Japan, and South Korea had their own nuclear weapons. He implied a willingness to use nuclear weapons against the Islamic State, or even in Europe under undefined circumstances: “I’m not going to take it off the table.” He also told the New York Times on July 20 that if Russia, for no particular reason, attacked one of the Baltic states, he’d want to make sure that they “have fulfilled their obligations to us” before coming to their defense. He did not address the U.S. treaty obligations under NATO. He has called for re-negotiating treaties that he says are too expensive for the U.S. But, in an odd and perhaps inadvertent way, his answer on the Baltic states speaks indirectly to the 20-year madness of putting Russia’s neighboring countries into the hostile NATO alliance. Trump has also spoken of pulling back forward deployments of American forces around the world, including elements of nuclear deterrence.

Democrat Hillary Clinton has called Trump’s positions “truly scary.” Clinton has indicated her willingness to use nuclear weapons – “massive retaliation” – against Iran in defense of Israel. She has expressed but limited support and limited opposition to the Obama administration plan to spend $1 trillion upgrading the U.S. nuclear arsenal. In an ad falsely claiming she was responsible for “securing a massive reduction in nuclear weapons,” Clinton has over-stated the impact of the new START treaty, which has been minimal in reducing nuclear weapons. As Secretary of State, Clinton appointed an utterly unqualified political donor to the International Security Advisory Board dealing with nuclear weapons. Clinton, like Trump, seems to have published no formal foreign policy on nuclear weapons of foreign policy. She has opposed the idea of Japan having its own nuclear arsenal, while at the same time falsely saying Trump “encouraged” the idea.

Where is the candidate who speaks truthfully of reality?

In an address at the University of Sydney in March 2016, titled “A World War Has Begun,” Australian journalist John Pilger argued that Hillary Clinton is more dangerous than Donald Trump. At the heart of Pilger’s argument is his perception of President Obama:

In 2009, President Obama stood before an adoring crowd in the centre of Prague, in the heart of Europe. He pledged himself to make “the world free from nuclear weapons”. People cheered and some cried. A torrent of platitudes flowed from the media. Obama was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

It was all fake. He was lying.

The Obama administration has built more nuclear weapons, more nuclear warheads, more nuclear delivery systems, more nuclear factories. Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher under Obama than under any American President.

Clinton has pledged, forcefully but selectively, to “defend President Obama’s accomplishments and build upon them.” In this written statement, Clinton makes no mention of nuclear weapons, defense spending, or U.S. military deployments on Russia’s borders (among other omissions). Pilger has that covered:

In the last eighteen months, the greatest build-up of military forces since World War Two – led by the United States – is taking place along Russia’s western frontier. Not since Hitler invaded the Soviet Union have foreign troops presented such a demonstrable threat to Russia….

In Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – next door to Russia – the US military is deploying combat troops, tanks, heavy weapons. This extreme provocation of the world’s second nuclear power is met with silence in the West.

Those who don’t speak up are complicit in silence

In 1996, Secretary of Defense William J. Perry was the only member of President Clinton’s cabinet who got it right, including the President himself. Perry was the only cabinet member who opposed enlarging NATO with former Soviet bloc countries. Perry was the only cabinet member then, and perhaps since, to object to the American policy of steady, stealthy, soft aggression against Russia (including the Ukraine coup) that would lead inevitably to direct confrontation between the world’s largest nuclear weapons states. Perry has called for radical change in the U.S. nuclear force structure consistent with actual deterrence, actual defense, not aggressive war. He would reduce the nuclear triad (about which Trump apparently knew nothing last October), keeping only the sea-based missiles in nuclear submarines and eliminating nuclear bombers and nuclear missiles. This would save millions of dollars and reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war. But it is heresy among the believers in faith-based nuclear policy.

And yet, in an election year, “no one is discussing the major issues that trouble Perry,” as Jerry Brown wrote: “And why does most all of official Washington disagree with him and live in nuclear denial?” In January 2016, while promoting his book, Perry wrote:

What I am really advocating is not so much a particular force structure, but a serious national discussion on this issue, the outcome of which has hugely important security and financial consequences — for the U.S. and for the world. Considering the huge costs entailed, and, even more importantly, the transcendental security issues at stake, we must not simply drift into a decision….

And yet the country drifts on, blissfully unaware, and it’s a mystery why a man as accomplished and respected as Perry has not done more to wake the country out of its sleepwalking incomprehension. But it may be a tragedy that we have neither a President nor a would-be President who would or could confront our potentially fatal collective denial.



William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

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.

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+21 # guomashi 2016-07-27 08:50
How close are we to nuclear war?

How close are we to a Clinton presidency?

The answer is the same.

And take notice how the former Goldwater girl learned the lessons of her experience: she is trying as hard as possible to 'Goldwater' Trump. We may even say the famous anti-Goldwater ad of the little girl counting daisies again but aimed at Trump if she keeps on keepin' on.

Then she will really have arrived. She will become the Johnson girl and get to start her own war.
 
 
+5 # kalpal 2016-07-27 10:26
Johnson did not start any wars. How did you become so ignorant? Were you schooled in the USA?
 
 
+2 # economagic 2016-07-27 10:35
So who do YOU think started the conflagration in Viet Nam in 2005?
 
 
+10 # rocback 2016-07-27 10:49
Actually, it was Eisenhower that first got us involved in Vietnam in the 50's. Every president after him escalated it.
 
 
+6 # economagic 2016-07-27 11:55
We all know that. Kalpal is insisting that Johnson "did not start any wars" to counter guomashi's suggestion that Clinton would follow Johnson and "start her own war." The issue under discussion has nothing to do with Johnson, only with Clinton, but if she were to follow Johnson's "did not start any wars" example, we would be in deep doo-doo -- guo's point.

Do we have to explain everything to you guys? Oh, I forget, you know exactly what you are saying and doing, and you are doing it to distract us from serious discussion.
 
 
+8 # jsluka 2016-07-27 15:36
2005?! Must be a typo.
 
 
+4 # economagic 2016-07-27 21:05
Oops -- no I was just checking to see if any of the trolls were actually paying attention! Yeah, right -- my bad.
 
 
+3 # Activista 2016-07-28 01:29
Quoting economagic:
So who do YOU think started the conflagration in Viet Nam in 2005?

"Do we have to explain everything to you guys? Oh, I forget, you know exactly what you are saying and doing, and you are doing it to distract us from serious discussion."
 
 
-22 # rocback 2016-07-27 10:56
Hillary's steady presence will bring us peace. In the short time she was Sec of State she negotiated a cease-fire between Hamas and Isreal saving a lot of lives.

She also did the impossible by getting Iran's sponsors in the U N, Russia and China to back tough sanctions on Iran that brought them to the table to agree to a nuclear deal that has made the entire region and the world a safer place. And she did it in spite of Netinayhou and the Republican House trying to go around Obama to kill it. She boxed that warmonger Beebee in who was itching to strike Iran.
 
 
+15 # reiverpacific 2016-07-27 16:08
Quoting rocback:
Hillary's steady presence will bring us peace. In the short time she was Sec of State she negotiated a cease-fire between Hamas and Isreal saving a lot of lives.

She also did the impossible by getting Iran's sponsors in the U N, Russia and China to back tough sanctions on Iran that brought them to the table to agree to a nuclear deal that has made the entire region and the world a safer place. And she did it in spite of Netinayhou and the Republican House trying to go around Obama to kill it. She boxed that warmonger Beebee in who was itching to strike Iran.


Can you say "Honduras"???
And Obama gets the credit for not bombing Iran.
Not very keen on historical fact, are ya Bubba?
 
 
-14 # rocback 2016-07-27 16:41
We have already addressed Honduras several times but this time I will let you hear it directly from Hillary:

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, let me again try to put this in context. The Legislature—or the national Legislature in Honduras and the national judiciary actually followed the law in removing President Zelaya. Now, I didn’t like the way it looked or the way they did it, but they had a very strong argument that they had followed the Constitution and the legal precedents. And as you know, they really undercut their argument by spiriting him out of the country in his pajamas, where they sent, you know, the military to, you know, take him out of his bed and get him out of the country. So this was—this began as a very mixed and difficult situation.

If the United States government declares a coup, you immediately have to shut off all aid, including humanitarian aid, the Agency for International Development aid, the support that we were providing at that time for a lot of very poor people. And that triggers a legal necessity. There’s no way to get around it. So, our assessment was, we will just make the situation worse by punishing the Honduran people if we declare a coup and we immediately have to stop all aid for the people, but we should slow walk and try to stop anything that the government could take advantage of, without calling it a coup.
 
 
-11 # rocback 2016-07-27 16:42
So, you’re right. I worked very hard with leaders in the region and got Óscar Arias, the Nobel Prize winner, to take the lead on trying to broker a resolution without bloodshed. And that was very important to us, that, you know, Zelaya had friends and allies, not just in Honduras, but in some of the neighboring countries, like Nicaragua, and that we could have had a terrible civil war that would have been just terrifying in its loss of life. So I think we came out with a solution that did hold new elections, but it did not in any way address the structural, systemic problems in that society. And I share your concern that it’s not just government actions; drug gangs, traffickers of all kinds are preying on the people of Honduras.

So I think we need to do more of a Colombian plan for Central America, because remember what was going on in Colombia when first my husband and then followed by President Bush had Plan Colombia, which was to try to use our leverage to rein in the government in their actions against the FARC and the guerrillas, but also to help the government stop the advance of the FARC and guerrillas, and now we’re in the middle of peace talks. It didn’t happen overnight; it took a number of years. But I want to see a much more comprehensive approach toward Central America, because it’s not just Honduras. The highest murder rate is in El Salvador, and we’ve got Guatemala with all the problems you know so well.
 
 
-8 # rocback 2016-07-27 16:43
So, I think, in retrospect, we managed a very difficult situation, without bloodshed, without a civil war, that led to a new election. And I think that was better for the Honduran people. But we have a lot of work to do to try to help stabilize that and deal with corruption, deal with the violence and the gangs and so much else.
 
 
# Guest 2016-07-27 22:57
This comment has been deleted by Administrator
 
 
# Guest 2016-07-27 22:57
This comment has been deleted by Administrator
 
 
+9 # reiverpacific 2016-07-28 11:46
A coup is a coup, whatever "nice" words are put to it.
So I guess you support a heavy-handed removal of a popularly-elect ed DEMOCRATIC, egalitarian president (Zelaya) in favor of a death-squad enforced oligarchy, making Honduras one of the murder capitals of the western hemisphere if not the world -just 'cause y'r blood-stained, warmongering heroine says so.
Bit of lemming, aint ya.
 
 
-5 # Caliban 2016-07-28 13:26
Clearly the Honduras situation was/is a difficult one, # reiverpacific.

Had you been an administration advisor at the time, what would you suggested the US do or not do that would have been better than the current Obama - Clinton approach?
 
 
-6 # lights 2016-07-27 23:30
What an expanded and refreshing point of view rocback. Such thinking makes a difference in the outcome! Thanks!
 
 
-17 # mmc 2016-07-27 11:03
guomashi, you are clearly one of the large numbers of uneducated and ignorant so called Americans backing Donald Trump, the greatest threat to freedom, democracy and the very existence of the United States. Are you paying ANY attention to the lunacy that comes out of his mouth every time it opens--like how he isnow publicly inviting the Russians and Chinese to hack American computers!! Trump is a psychopathic moron.
 
 
+16 # guomashi 2016-07-27 13:59
Quoting mmc:
guomashi, you are clearly one of the large numbers of uneducated and ignorant so called Americans backing Donald Trump, the greatest threat to freedom, democracy and the very existence of the United States. Are you paying ANY attention to the lunacy that comes out of his mouth every time it opens--like how he isnow publicly inviting the Russians and Chinese to hack American computers!! Trump is a psychopathic moron.


As far as telling them to hack computers? You know they are doing that already.

But hell yes, if Russia and China are the only way I can find out about what the government is keeping secret from us, I wish they would tell us.

While they are at it, they should publish the TPP and anything else being negotiated in secret and passed at midnight without anyone knowing about it.

Kind of makes you wonder who the real enemy is, doesn't it?

Wasn't "transparency" one of Obama's promises??????
 
 
-12 # rocback 2016-07-27 16:46
So you are good with foreign govts who's interests are adverse to ours of breaking the law, stealing our data and using that to influence an American election for Trump because of Trumps pliability because of his financial obligations to Russians close to Putin and his own campaign manager, Paul Manafort who is in Putins pocket and Trumps total ignorance or worse his kowtowing to Putin to weaken NATO?



Boy, guomashi, you are a real prize.
 
 
+6 # guomashi 2016-07-27 16:59
Quoting rocback:
So you are good with foreign govts who's interests are adverse to ours of breaking the law, stealing our data and j... blah blah blah


What you mean "ours".
My interest is truth and transperancy.

Breaking the law? What law? the one that allows the government to seize anything and everything we do electronically without a warrant?

blah blah blah
It's already happened.
It's called Realpolitik.
The one good thing about it: less secrecy and lies.

As far as influencing the election?
If you need to lie to get elected...

And who the heck are you, a CLinton supporter, to lecture anyone about lying?
That's rich.

Bye now!
back to the bridge with you little girl.
 
 
+5 # dbrize 2016-07-27 18:48
Quoting guomashi:
Quoting rocback:
So you are good with foreign govts who's interests are adverse to ours of breaking the law, stealing our data and j... blah blah blah


What you mean "ours".
My interest is truth and transperancy.

Breaking the law? What law? the one that allows the government to seize anything and everything we do electronically without a warrant?

blah blah blah
It's already happened.
It's called Realpolitik.
The one good thing about it: less secrecy and lies.

As far as influencing the election?
If you need to lie to get elected...

And who the heck are you, a CLinton supporter, to lecture anyone about lying?
That's rich.

Bye now!
back to the bridge with you little girl.


Game, set, match.

One caveat:

I have it on good authority roc is a male...though since meeting lights he's doing his best to make up for it. :-)
 
 
-7 # lights 2016-07-27 23:32
rockback: "Boy, guomashi, you are a real prize."

AND piece of work!
 
 
-6 # lights 2016-07-27 23:28
Guo: NASTY REPUBLICAN living alone and miserable somewhere in the darkest region of the earth. Seriously.
 
 
-6 # indian weaver 2016-07-27 09:05
Speaking as the Devil's Advocate, I think a massive nuclear war would be a good thing for our Great Mother Earth in that most humans would die, and possibly ACD would be averted / reduced once no more fossil fuels are used, in a complete destruction of most of "civilization" that depends on fossil fuels. This is the upside: the planet would probably survive. Without Nuclear War, our Great Mother Earth will not survive ACD. Nor will any life. With Nuclear War, some life would survive even when all humans are extinct, a good thing for my Mom - Spaceship Earth. It's not all bad news: Nuclear War. The upside is very probably very good.
 
 
+17 # Crumbling Empire 2016-07-27 12:51
Quoting indian weaver:
Speaking as the Devil's Advocate, I think a massive nuclear war would be a good thing for our Great Mother Earth in that most humans would die, and possibly ACD would be averted / reduced once no more fossil fuels are used, in a complete destruction of most of "civilization" that depends on fossil fuels. This is the upside: the planet would probably survive. Without Nuclear War, our Great Mother Earth will not survive ACD. Nor will any life. With Nuclear War, some life would survive even when all humans are extinct, a good thing for my Mom - Spaceship Earth.


From the 2008 remake of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL:

"Klaatu (Keanu Reeves): This planet is dying. The human race is killing it.

Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly): So you've come here to help us.

Klaatu: No, I didn't.

Helen Benson: You said you came to save us.

Klaatu: I said I came to save the Earth."
 
 
+2 # Caliban 2016-07-28 13:36
But didn't Klaatu stay to save humans also ?
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2016-07-29 10:04
He came to realize that not ALL humans were bad. (But most were.)
 
 
+1 # jdd 2016-07-27 09:26
IW You're joking right? Or have you lost it?
 
 
-6 # HowardMH 2016-07-27 10:24
jdd, he has lost it alright.
 
 
+11 # Merlin 2016-07-27 13:19
jdd 2016-07-27 09:26
"IW You're joking right? Or have you lost it?"

Perhaps you don't understand what a "Devil's argument" is all about?

IWs first sentence was this:
"Speaking as the Devil's Advocate,…"
 
 
+2 # Anonymot 2016-07-27 16:03
JDD & Merlin: Can't you read or don't you know yet what the Devil's Advocate is? Hillary needs to send out a few smart trolls for a change.
 
 
+5 # Merlin 2016-07-27 22:34
Anonymot 2016-07-27 16:03
JDD & Merlin

I think you confused me with HowardMH. I said exactly what you are saying. Read those posts again.
 
 
+23 # reiverpacific 2016-07-27 09:34
For in-depth analysis and projections, read or hear anything by Dr Helen Caldicott, an obstetrician and lifelong anti-nuclear activist.
Hope y'all can handle her brutal, well-researched conclusion.
 
 
+14 # wrknight 2016-07-27 09:48
What the neocons are trying to accomplish is the fulfilment of the biblical prophecy of armageddon in the book of Revelations. Whether it will take place near the ancient city of Megiddo as the prophecy predicts or on the borders of Russia is uncertain. But what is certain is that the neocons are dedicated to its happening.

And along with it will come the next major extinction after that of the dinosaurs.
 
 
-16 # kalpal 2016-07-27 10:21
How close are you to sentience? No closer than a few light years.
 
 
+1 # kalpal 2016-07-27 10:24
Meggido is a small mountain. All biblical prophecy is BS.

Har Meggido = mount meggido = armageddon

Grew up near there.

The older the ignorance the more refined its stench?
 
 
+16 # Merlin 2016-07-27 10:27
wrknight 2016-07-27 09:48
Please correct me if I'm wrong. It is not the neocons that are seeking this. It is the radical evangelical christians you are speaking of. Please provide sources that the neocons believe this, as they are a totally different group.
 
 
+14 # economagic 2016-07-27 10:37
Quite so, although the neoCONS have their own agenda and as far as I know would gleefully embrace "tactical" nuclear weapons.
 
 
+11 # dbrize 2016-07-27 14:06
And the neocons embraced and used the "useful idiots" to embellish and sustain their GOP takeover. This is the marriage that has finally imploded the GOP this season.

The neocons are now in the process of going over to Hillary to work their magic on the Democratic Party and as is evident from the rocs of the world, are welcomed with open arms.

The Dems are only one cycle behind the GOP in the implosion contest.

May we all live to see it. :-)
 
 
+14 # lorenbliss 2016-07-27 10:57
@Merlin: Jeff Sharlet, "The Family: the Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power"; Harper: 2008.

These people, best described as JesuNazis, run the Empire. Though their fanaticism is every bit as murderous as ISL's -- note their suicidal aggression against Russia -- it is downplayed and in many instances kept secret by their ownership of mass media -- and Hillary is not only very much one of them, but a close ally of Sam Brownback: see pages 272-277.

Bottom line, in essence, the Neocons and the JesuNazis are one and the same. Ditto the Neoliberals, whose economic savagery is merely the JesuNazi Prosperity Gospel in secular camouflage.
 
 
+5 # Merlin 2016-07-27 13:07
lorenbliss 2016-07-27 10:57
Thanks Loren. I was not aware of the connection. I will have to get the book. I saw them as religiously different but seeking essentially the same goals for different reasons.
 
 
+6 # lorenbliss 2016-07-27 16:26
@Merlin: related and therefore relevant works are Chris Hedges' "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America" (Simon & Schuster: 2006); Kevin Phillips' "American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century" (Viking: 2006); and Susan Jacoby's "The Age of American Unreason" (Pantheon Books: 2008).

Phillips is a Republican, which makes his disclosures all the more interesting due to their outspoken opposition of the GOP's already obvious JesuNazi direction.
 
 
+11 # wrknight 2016-07-27 09:53
"...but we don’t want to be accused of crying wolf, and besides we’ve got our own wolves at home, and they’re trim and well fed, and they haven’t attacked anybody since 1945,..."

Like hell they haven't. They just didn't use their nukes -- yet.
 
 
+18 # economagic 2016-07-27 10:09
(The US has indeed been waging "perpetual war for perpetual peace" almost continuously since 1950. But I believe Boardman was using "wolves" as a metaphor for nukes specifically.)
 
 
+6 # Crumbling Empire 2016-07-27 12:53
ECONO: I think you forgot the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the extermination of the Indians, the Civil War......
 
 
+5 # economagic 2016-07-27 20:48
". . . since 1945."

But I do agree that the USian Empire is crumbling.
 
 
+8 # WBoardman 2016-07-27 13:52
economagic is correct about my metaphor ;-)))
 
 
+6 # economagic 2016-07-27 20:51
Obvious to me, but not to some, or to those who prefer to "interpret."

I appreciate your almost unique practice of joining in the conversations regarding your articles. It helps to clarify your intents, and also indicates an interest in the big picture beyond the paycheck. That used to get me in a certain amount of trouble, though not nearly as much as it has lorenbliss!
 
 
+18 # wrknight 2016-07-27 09:55
"And yet the country drifts on, blissfully unaware, and it’s a mystery why a man as accomplished and respected as Perry has not done more to wake the country out of its sleepwalking incomprehension."

It's not like he hasn't tried. The corporate controlled MSM won't allow him to be heard.
 
 
+9 # WBoardman 2016-07-27 13:56
wrknight says Perry has tried, and that may well be true,
but I found little evidence to support that his efforts have
been much more than token. Any such evidence, other
than what I referenced, is welcome.

Of course the corporate controlled MSM has been little (or no)
help, but Perry has gotten little attention in alternative
media either, so far as I can tell (some, like Counterpunch, but not much). Again, evidence to the contrary is welcome.
 
 
+12 # Realist1948 2016-07-27 10:04
I hope that Hillary's proposal to use nukes in a "massive retaliation" against Iran in defense of Israel is nothing more than posturing. Would any sane person resort to nuclear weapons and unleash the possibility of an all-out nuclear war (possibly bringing the Russians in on Iran's side)? Considering what western (mainly U.S.) forces were able to do to Iraq's military in the last two Gulf Wars (using conventional weapons), I see no reason to actually use nuclear weapons on an adversary of Iran's size. The risks associated with doing so are simply too great.
 
 
+13 # lorenbliss 2016-07-27 11:45
@Realist1948: Not if you believe, as the JesuNazis do, that the end of the world is the beginning of everlasting paradise, and that the quickest way there is by thermonuclear apocalypse.

Just as Radical Islam believes beheading young boys is a sure ticket to heaven, so do the JesuNazis believe the same about dropping the Bomb. Indeed they cite biblical prophecy as "proof" of the ultimate "godliness" of thermonuclear extinction.

In this context, the beheading-by-kn ife-torture of a young boy is but a microcosm of nuclear mass murder. Islam and Christianity are each Abrahamic religions; so is Judaism. Together they and capitalism -- a direct derivative of protestant fundamentalism -- are the most genocidal malignancy in human history.
 
 
+7 # Realist1948 2016-07-27 15:28
@lorenbliss: I take your point. Just one more reason to leave the scourge of religion behind us in the dustbin of history. It is ludicrous for politicians to be making nuclear age policy on the basis of bronze age fairy tales.
 
 
+3 # librarian1984 2016-07-29 10:09
Another alarming trend is the infiltration of the military by religious extremists of the Dominion type. The AF Academy in Colo. Springs has had some real problems with it. Don't know what they're doing about it, or even IF they're doing anything.
 
 
+1 # Crumbling Empire 2016-07-27 12:59
NATION-FUNDED TERRORIST ATTACK. I think the far bigger risks than US nuking Iran is a nation state, let's call it the Russian Federation, which just meddled in the US Presidential process, covertly arming a terrorist group, let's call them Al Nusra, and providing funding for Al Nusra to detonate nuclear devices in multiple cities. Think Saudi funding of Al Qaeda for 9/11.

KASHMIR. Or The People's Republic, threatened by the rapidly growing Indian economy, doing the same in Pakistan, making it look like the Indians detonated the device, and inducing a Pakistan/India thermonuclear exchange.

CHERNOBYL. Or more simply than the above, ISIS infiltrating and exploding a nuclear power plant in the EU, no ISIS nuclear technology or plutonium required - both are sitting at the power plant.

THE GREAT COMMUNICATOR. Not that the US ever would engage in such a strategy, let's call that Iran/Contra....
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2016-07-29 10:11
I think it would be very interesting to know how many of the 1% have nuclear shelters in place.
 
 
+7 # WBoardman 2016-07-27 13:58
HOPE – isn't that a thing with feathers?
 
 
+15 # economagic 2016-07-27 10:10
MAD was mad then, and it is still mad now. Maybe madder.
 
 
-5 # mmc 2016-07-27 10:57
Donald Trump is now publicly calling on Russia and China to hack into American computers. His hate and violence filled bullying has brought out the very worst in America, the most recent evidence being the effort to raise the traitorous confederate flag all over South Carolina. Trump must be stopped and eliminated as a threat to the end of America and democracy.
 
 
+11 # Elroys 2016-07-27 11:10
Yet another means of self inflicted extinction of humanity and all life.
Climate change, ecological destruction / forest devastation,oce an acidification,m assive income and wealth inequality leading to terrorism - oh,let me tell you the ways that our system of laws, economies and institutions, our mindset and behaviors have gone so far off the deep end that walking back is extremely challenging.
Our economic system has eaten our brains and souls to the point where more money, more Suvs, more "freedom" to be as dumb as we like is more important than our lives and the future for our kids and grandchildren. Our species has been so dumbed down by insane economic interests that so many are just sleepwalking through life with no thought or care about the future. Is this the American dream?

This is madness. Not only are we living in"interesting times", we are living in historic times. We get to choose - life or extinction?
 
 
+13 # economagic 2016-07-27 11:15
Quoting Elroys:
We get to choose - life or extinction?


That second possibility is indeed a possibility today. But how do we know what to choose and what to reject in order to avoid it? Simply repeating "we must stop Trump so we must vote for Hillary" again and again is not a reasoned argument. Or in other words, if Hillary is our choice how can we be certain that this is the RIGHT choice?
 
 
+10 # lorenbliss 2016-07-27 11:29
The hideous probability -- proven not just by USian imperial foreign policy but by the deception-camou flaged refusal to act against terminal climate change -- is the global Ruling Class has concluded our species and our planet are doomed.

Otherwise we would not be witnessing the suicidal aggression against Russia, much less the huge USian build-up of nuclear weapons and the empire's refusal to do ANYTHING to reduce fossil fuel consumption or the world-killing risks of nuclear reactors.

Meanwhile the One Percenters and their Ruling Class vassals are indulging themselves in the ultimate obscenity of a final orgy of greed and selfishness. They care not about the consequences because they believe we are all dead no matter what.

And -- whether as Christians or capitalists or both -- they have never had anything but contempt for the notion of Mother Earth. Hence their ongoing -- indeed wildly escalating -- depredations against the environment, as for example by fracking.

As hideous a hypothesis as this is, a "fuck-it, we-are-doomed" conclusion by the One Percent and its global Ruling Class is the ONLY hypothesis that, per Occam's Razor, explains all the variables.

Indeed, it may be the sole difference between Hillary and Trump is Trump's ignorance of ecology gives him (false) hope for human survival, while Hillary's warmongering and environmental sociopathy express her Goldwater-Girl schemes of global conquest and her JesuNazi belief in salvation by apocalypse.
 
 
+5 # economagic 2016-07-27 20:54
I will certainly accept that explanation as a real possibility, though not as demonstrated "fact," whatever that may mean.
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2016-07-29 10:12
vassals .. you mean like rocback?
 
 
+7 # janie1893 2016-07-27 13:35
Neither Hillary nor Trump care about human kind or nuclear devastation because they don't think about it.

Looking at what we now know about space and the importance of humanity in the overall scheme of 'universal space', we know that we are nonentities, small quirks in the experiments of 'lifeforms'.

Actually, I don't think we even have an adequate vocabulary that can explain what is occurring in the universe. We are not special, we are but dust motes. Nuclear destruction matters not at all.
 
 
+9 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2016-07-27 14:07
When you don’t believe in “science,” you put yourself in the uncomfortable position of having to walk back your descriptions of how things really are.

If you strip away the mystical interpretations in John the apostle’s Book of Revelation, what you are left with is NOT a description of “the end time” but rather a pretty, damn good description of what Earth will be like during the Sun’s last 3 billion years. However, since the Universe isn’t slated to collapse for at least 3 trillion years, IF there ever is an “end time” condition, it will occur trillions of years after our solar system no longer exists.

As to Armageddon having any relationship to the “end time,” that too is a religious myth. Our sun, from where we are now on the Main Sequence, will take about 4 billion years to end while all multi-cellular life will become extinct within the next 1 billion years.

I think the reason Christian Fundamentalists reject science is that when one uses science to explain how things are, the answers often contradict what the Old Testament seems to say. Fundamentalists , whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim, have invested themselves so thoroughly in a literal belief in the OT that they simply cannot walk their erroneous interpretations back. They are stuck.
 
 
+6 # WBoardman 2016-07-27 15:03
thanks to tref for putting the sun in perspective.
I am much relieved.
I had thought we had only 90 million years left.
 
 
+8 # boredlion 2016-07-27 16:00
This is an excellent and important piece of journalism.

Thank you, Mr. Boardman.
 
 
+7 # Ted 2016-07-27 15:22
And on top of all THAT..religion is fiction.
 
 
+5 # Realist1948 2016-07-27 15:36
@Ted - I take it that you don't plan on visiting Ken Ham's recently-opened attraction dubbed "Ark Encounter." https://arkencounter.com/

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=ken%20ham%20ark%20encounters
 
 
+7 # Ted 2016-07-27 15:50
Quoting Realist1948:
@Ted - I take it that you don't plan on visiting Ken Ham's recently-opened attraction dubbed "Ark Encounter." https://arkencounter.com/

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=ken%20ham%20ark%20encounters

Ha! Well, if it were just presented as the fantasy bedtime story that it was originally written as, I might.

But no, as long as it is being presented as a false "truth" to impressionable children who don't easily recognize when they are being lied to by the adults they instinctly trust (a form of child abuse, really), then no, I'lll visit the Harry Potter theme park instead. MUCH more morally correct.
 
 
+6 # Realist1948 2016-07-27 19:40
@Ted - Good for you. I agree, religious indoctrination of kids IS child abuse.

BTW, the Freedom From Religion foundation has sent letters to about 1,000 school districts in Kentucky (where Ham's ark is) and several neighboring states. These letters warn against school "field trips" to the ark, as such trips would constitute religious activity at taxpayer expense. I applaud the work of FFRF. http://ffrf.org/
 
 
+6 # economagic 2016-07-27 21:17
Hey, the myths were the best they had 3,000-5,000 years ago! The problem is that some people claim that they can pick and choose which parts of the vast increase in human understanding of the human condition since that time they will "believe in," including parts they "like better" than what the myths say. Is there any mystery regarding the origin of the internet "like"?!
 
 
+10 # Ted 2016-07-27 14:42
According to the Doomsday Clock http://thebulletin.org/timeline
we are now at 3 minutes til midnight.

I'll bet $27 that if either clinton or trump become our next president, that "choice" will push the minute hand (and Humanity) even closer to nuclear annihilation.
 
 
+7 # Mountain Man 2016-07-27 15:38
President Johnson did too start the war. He's the one who sent the B-52s & the combat troops to defend them, the beginning of combat operations.

He didn't begin our military presence, that's true. But that military presence wasn't combat units. It was several thousand advisors, who were prohibited from enaging in combat.

As for the Russians, they hsve known since right after WWII that our military wants to take 'em out. As we speak, the US & NATO are planning a war with Russia .

Therer's a major military build-up going on, & maneuvers/warga mes predicated upon attacking Russia. Hence the continual vilification of the Russians. Blame 'em for everything. Gin up that war fever.

Would such a war go nuclear? Who thinks not? There are Typhoons on station in deep water off both of our coasts.

It won't take 25 minutes for the missles to get here. We'll be lucky if it's 5 minutes. But take heart. Even if we're destroyed, our Ohios will still take 'em out.
 
 
+4 # economagic 2016-07-27 21:13
Yeah, Kalpal and rocback are just trolls; much of what they say doesn't mean anything at all. In a way I was relieved to see that the leaked emails verified the existence of paid trolls in large numbers, validating my earlier dictum to ignore them.

But yes, the capitalists have always seen the "communists" (who weren't) as mortal enemies, less for their social dogmas that even they themselves ignored than as a potential military power, while always insisting that their superior firepower (that of the capitalists) would carry the day.

The oligarchs, with few exceptions (such as Perry) have yet to get their minds fully around the reality of the power of humankind to destroy. Their heads are still in the days of war as glorious.
 
 
# Guest 2016-07-27 17:43
This comment has been deleted by Administrator
 
 
+2 # Activista 2016-07-28 01:24
"In 2009, President Obama stood before an adoring crowd in the centre of Prague, in the heart of Europe. He pledged himself to make “the world free from nuclear weapons”. People cheered and some cried. A torrent of platitudes flowed from the media. Obama was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
It was all fake. He was lying."
... OR the USA military industrial complex did not listen?
Clinton will NOT start nuclear war, Putin will NOT start nuclear war - unlikely, but possibility is our nuclear "friend" in the Middle East under the present government.
Please read
nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/07/obamas-success-only-beginning-to-come-into-view.html?mid=facebook_nymag
on Obama.
"Obama’s largest areas of achievement: economic recovery, health-care reform, and a response to climate change"
 
 
+5 # economagic 2016-07-28 06:01
If those are his achievements, we really ARE in trouble, as his foreign policies continued to make the world less stable for eight solid years. I could pick apart those three for the details, but most people here are aware of how little genuine progress they represent.
 
 
+1 # Activista 2016-07-28 23:05
"I could pick apart those three for the details, but most people here are aware of how little genuine progress they represent."
Please do - it would be a pleasure to read from you something of substance. Thanks.
 
 
+4 # RMDC 2016-07-28 07:48
I think there is always a faction in the US regime and the American right wing that always wants to use nuclear weapons just to show the size of the American balls. But they have a problem with targets. What exactly would they bomb.

1. they cannot bomb Russia or China because these nations have the ability to retaliate and they would decimate the US.

2. They cannot bomb small poor nations like Libya, Somalia, Iraq, etc. because there are only civilians and poor but big cities.

3. THey cannot bomb Iran or similar nations because there are much too many civilians.


The solution to the "no target" problem is in Obama's renovation of the nuclear arsenel. He will build smaller, tactical nuclear weapons so they can be used almost anywhere without such devastation to civilians. They will be used against, let's say, an Iranian nuclear power plant (still a violation of international law, but the US never has cared about that).

It is hard to predict whether Trump or Clinton would be more likely to use nuclear weapons. Both are vicious and evil to the core. So fuck them both. Vote Green.
 
 
-2 # Activista 2016-07-28 13:48
The solution to the "no target" problem is in Obama's renovation of the nuclear arsenel??? He will build smaller, tactical nuclear weapons so they can be used almost anywhere without such devastation to civilians. They will be used against, let's say, an Iranian nuclear power plant (still a violation of international law, but the US never has cared about that) ... please!
it is more and more difficult to read this non substantiated RMDC anti Obama propaganda above ...
Obama/Kerry just made a peace treaty with Iran (very much opposed by Republicans, Israel, Pentagon)....
Military-Industrial complex provides jobs to "working class" going in debt by sick consumerism - and idolizing Trump populism ..
 
 
+5 # AUCHMANNOCH 2016-07-28 08:20
Yeah what a fantastic plan for the U.S.A. to go to war with Russia. I mean you guys have had such fantastic successes with recent wars... for example.... for example..... well, there was Granada.
 
 
+7 # RMDC 2016-07-28 12:25
AUCH - yeah, that Granda one was tough. The marines got lost because the CIA gave them bad maps. Someone got the bright idea of going to a tourist kiosk and picking up some tourist maps. Then they shot up the building where the US medical students were staying, almost killing some of them.

The US will lose every war it fights because it never fights on its own soil. It has nothing to fight for except for the profits of the war contractors. The poeple don't really care and they don't know anything about why the war is being fought.
 
 
+4 # Activista 2016-07-28 13:54
yes - agree RMDC - Grenada attack under Reagan (to save Americans ...??) the peak achievement was to bomb .....
mental hospital remains a casualty of the Grenada invasion
www.nytimes.com/.../l-mental-hospital-remains-a-casualty-of-th...
The New York Times
Nov 22, 1984 - The United States has been as unrepentant about the sacrifice of the lives of mental patients who were bombed during its invasion of Grenada ...
 
 
+4 # Activista 2016-07-29 00:00
Doomsday Clock - Timeline | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
thebulletin.org/timeline
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists informs the public about threats to the survival and ... Through an award-winning magazine, our online presence, and the Doomsday Clock, we ... 2002: Concerns regarding a nuclear terrorist attack underscore the ... This stalled progress discourages the Bulletin: "[The Soviet Union and ...

and scientists are adding Global Warming to the doomsday scenario
 

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