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Dugger writes: "There is an important likelihood that Donald Trump is planning to 'prosecute' his war or wars possibly in a new U.S. alliance with Russia, Turkey, and 'a couple of other countries' if he is elected today."

Donald Trump. (photo: AP)
Donald Trump. (photo: AP)

Trump on War and H-Bombs

By Ronnie Dugger, Reader Supported News

08 November 16


Bannon: “the war leader of this country”

here is an important likelihood that Donald Trump is planning to “prosecute” his war or wars possibly in a new U.S. alliance with Russia, Turkey, and “a couple of other countries” if he is elected today.

Steve Bannon, the Chief Executive Officer of Trump’s presidential campaign, in a recorded strategy conference with Trump last December, said to him that he was postulating himself as “the war leader of this country.” Trump did not contest that description of himself from his chief campaign planner.

Trump told his top sidekick that his plan if elected is to form an alliance of his chosen nations to work together with the United States. “I will get the Russians,” Trump said. “I will get Turkey and a couple of other countries, and they’ll all work together, and they’ll all get along.”

At the time of their planning Turkey had shot down a Russian airplane at or just inside Turkey’s border. Bannon had just asked if Turkey is a reliable U.S. and Russian ally. To Bannon’s question – “If you plan if you’re elected President to prosecute this war,” how would he deal with Turkey? – Trump’s answer did not refer to what war Bannon was asking about.

(Turkey’s President Erdogan, Trump answered, is “a strong leader,” and “Turkey has been a good partner for the United States.” Since then a violent coup against Erdogan failed and he has imprisoned many thousands of citizens and shut down large sections of Turkey’s media.)

In another context Bannon cited to Trump “your big selling point for being President and Commander in Chief.” The questions Bannon asked seemed based on previous consultations between the two men. Evidently Bannon had become Trump’s campaign “CEO” before this, although his role was announced later.

Seven or eight times during this consultation Trump said various ongoing wars and problems were not worth starting, getting into, or fighting World War III over. Not worth that, he said specifically, were the war in Syria, the war between ISIS and the West, Turkey’s tension with Russia over the shootdown of the Russian plane, and the “Islamization” of Turkey as a questionable ally because it was then run by “people who are not part of the populist right that’s your constituency.”

“We’re dealing with people in the world that would use [nuclear weapons], OK?” Trump recently told the New York Times board. “You have many people that would use it right now in this world.” Another of his frighteningly material convictions about H-bombs is that deterrence theory, the belief in “mutual assured destruction” that works keeping the U.S. and Russia from nuclear war, does not work any more between such nations as Pakistan and India.

Trump’s stated war-related plans if elected have similarities and some matches with his startling plan that he revealed in the 1980s when he was in his thirties. As reported last Saturday, Trump wanted to be himself the chief U.S. negotiator in a U.S.-Soviet Union negotiation for the two as partners to force a lesser nuclear-armed nation to abandon its nuclear weapons. “The Big Two,” the U.S. leading, would viciously crush the smaller nation with trade practices to cause food and medical supplies desperation and rioting among its people while the Soviet Union for its part was also engaging in undescribed “retaliation” against it. This will be explained further later.

Trump and Bannon’s recorded strategy conference, which apparently had been put online by mistake and left there unreported for eleven months, was the subject of my story on Reader Supported News last Saturday, “Trump and His CEO Steve Bannon Make Plans.”


Trump could have North Korea in mind as a reason for or a focus of the aggregated power of the new alliance he has in mind between the U.S., Russia, Turkey, and “a couple of other countries that want to get themselves some real power.” He has alluded during his campaign to the president of North Korea as “like a maniac” and “a madman” who “is sick enough” to use his nuclear weapons.

If he wins today, North Korea as an enemy will be somewhere in the forefront in his mind. He declared to Bannon in December that if he is elected he would have four prisoners who were then being held in North Korea back on American shores before he is sworn in next January.

In the 1980s he was saying that nuclear proliferation was the biggest and worst problem in the world. He has said this year that nuclear weapons themselves are that. North Korea was the first nation he mentioned as he discussed the danger of nuclear war in the context of President Obama’s participation, at the time of this consultation, in the Paris climate-change summit.

On that, Trump said to Bannon that Obama, instead of worrying in Paris about “global warming,” should be “worrying about nuclear weapons coming into the middle of our cities.” Turning a phrase, Trump said (as later presented in quotation by Bannon in a brief story), “we have a form of Global Warming that’s a very serious form of Global Warming. And that’s called Nuclear Global Warming. Because if we don’t get our act together and corral all the countries that want to get themselves some real power, we’re going to be in big trouble. You know, you do have North Korea, which nobody talks about.”

North Korea’s president, Kim Jong-un, often accuses the U.S. of planning to invade or attack his country and vows in cryptic threats to destroy the United States. U.S. intelligence chieftain James Clapper recently told the Council on Foreign Relations that no further U.S./Western negotiating with and sanctions against North Korea are going stop North Korea from continuing its development of its nuclear arsenal.

North Korea is known to be actively pursuing its completion of the manufacture of usably small nuclear bombs that can be carried in missiles on which they can reach the United States. American and Western leaders now expect, more or less on-the-record, that by 2020 North Korea will be able to devastate the United States with its nuclear weapons from its own country. If Trump is elected, that would be the last year of his first term during which he will have total personal power over the American nuclear arsenal.

Trump’s frequently and clearly stated conviction that others in the world want to use nuclear weapons now obviously increases the logical likelihood that as president in serious confrontation or crisis with another nuclear-armed nation, he might command his military subordinates to launch our nuclear weapons first against that nation thinking, because of his conviction just cited, that he should or has to do it because otherwise the adversary would nuclear-bomb the United States first.


Readers may well wish to compare, on the one hand, Trump’s plans told to Bannon if he is elected concerning his U.S./Trump/Turkey alliance and, on the other, his extensively-developed thoughts and plans about nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union, and the U.S. in the 1980s. To facilitate such a comparison, here is a brief excerpt from my reporting on his thinking in 1984 and 1987 on Reader Supported News last July 15th, “Trump on Nuclear Weapons: By Whatever Means Necessary”:

While “Russia” was still the dictatorial and communist USSR locked with the U.S. in the mass-overkill first H-Bomb race, we and they [in 1962] very nearly fell into a potentially life-ending nuclear war. Donald Trump, when in his late 30s, had been nurturing a notion, an idea in fond prospect, that he become the principal U.S. negotiator with the USSR and that the two countries work together to strip lesser nations of their nuclear weapons, leaving them and us astride the world. unchallengeable. He had been thinking about this for some time, and his “good friend” and adviser Roy Cohn (famous as Senator Joe McCarthy’s sidekick during McCarthy’s anti-communist crusades) told him that his forthcoming interview with reporter Lois Romano in 1984 was just the time to reveal his thoughts.

He was 38 then, already rich and famous.…

In 1987, Ron Rosenbaum … opened one of his magazine pieces, “Donald Trump with his finger on the nuclear trigger…. China yes? Moscow no? Donald Trump with the power to destroy life on earth.” In Trump Tower … Rosenbaum had learned from Trump, in his office, of his special interest in the subject. “...he confided to me he was talking to ‘people in Washington,’ ‘even the White House,’” and while they were talking Trump took a (“probably rearranged”) call from Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. “‘I won’t be nuking anyone,’” Rosenbaum quoted Trump, then adding last March, “He didn’t sound eager to pull the trigger…. There had to be a deal!” …

Rosenbaum reported: “Trump foresees a situation soon when such hair-trigger heads of state [as Quaddaffi in Libya] will have their hands on multiple nuclear triggers.” He told the reporter this was “the” great problem of the world.

As the pair approached the iron gate of Club 21, Rosenbaum asked why there was little action against such proliferation.

“People don’t believe the inevitable,” Trump replied. “You know … it’s always going to happen to the other guy …”

In his writing then, coming to Trump’s thinking of bombing suspected nuclear weapons facilities, Ron Rosenbaum now as it were took the floor:

So what’s the solution? I ask him….

“I think you have to come down on them very hard economically or whatever way,” Trump says. “I think the solution is largely economic. Because there are so many of these countries that are so fragile and we have a vast power that’s never been used. They depend on us for food, for medical supplies. And I would never even suggest using it except on this issue. But this issue supercedes all other things.”

He pauses.

“I guess the easy thing would be to say you go in and clean it out.”

“Like the Israelis did with the Iraqi plant?”

“I don’t necessarily want to advocate that publicly because it comes off radical.

“And you know, without a lot of discussion prior to saying that, it sounds very foolish and that’s why I get very concerned about discussing it at all.”

Trump continued that most U.S. negotiators are long-term bureaucrats who don’t get the deals done and that the masters of dealmaking are “only a roomful … in the whole country.” People from Harvard say a deal is dead. “I go in and make the deal … better than they could have.” He said it was “now or never” and the people in Washington were not getting the deal done.

Rosenbaum asked why others don’t feel his urgency. Trump then clearly declared his passionate and potentially momentous conviction, which he has expressed again during his presidential campaign, that nuclear bombs will be used again. This belief might well affect a president’s actions in a perceived or actual nuclear crisis between or among nations.

“Those people think that because we have it and the Russians have it, nobody will ever use it because they’re assuming everybody’s not necessarily mad…. They don’t see Quaddafi as the psycho he is.… I mean, what if he’s got the bomb and something happens like the time we shot down two of his planes. And he’s enraged and he can’t see straight and he’s got 20 missiles pointed at the United States. Washington, I mean, do you think there’s a chance he won’t press the button?”

So, Rosenbaum asked at the rolling top of the 20th century nuclear arms race, what is the Trump deal?

“It’s a deal with the Soviets,” Trump replied. “We approach them on this basis: We both recognize the nonproliferation treaty’s not working, that half a dozen countries are on the brink of getting a bomb. Which can only cause trouble for the two of us. The deterrence of mutual assured destruction that prevents the United States and the USSR from nuking each other won’t work on the level of an India-Pakistan nuclear exchange. Or a madman dictator with a briefcase-bomb team. The only answer is for the Big Two to make a deal now to step in and prevent the next generation of nations about to go nuclear from doing so. By whatever means necessary.”

[Trump] continued 29 years ago:

“Most of those [pre-nuclear] countries are in one form or another dominated by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Between those two nations you have the power to dominate any of those countries. So we should use our power of economic retaliation and they use their powers of retaliation and between the two of us we will prevent the problem from happening.

“Maybe we should offer them something. I’m saying you start off as nicely as possible. You apply as much pressure as necessary until you achieve the goal. You start off telling them, ‘Let’s get rid of it.’ If that doesn’t work you then start cutting off aid. And more aid and then more. You do whatever is necessary so these people will have riots in the street, so they can’t get water. So they can’t get Band-Aids, so they can’t get food. Because that’s the only thing that’s going to do it – the people, the riots.”

And, Rosenbaum asked, what about the French [and their nuclear weapons]? “I’d come down on them so hard,” Trump said. “… if they didn’t give it up— … If they didn’t give it up—and I don’t mean reduce it, and I don’t mean stop, because stopping doesn’t mean anything. I mean get it out. If they didn’t, I would bring sanctions against that country that would be so strong, so unbelievable …”

Trump today is one day away from his dream of being the chief U.S. negotiator with the Russians, which, if he is elected President, he of course in fact will be.

The author received the George Polk career journalism award in 2011. The founding editor of The Texas Observer, he has written biographies of Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan and numerous articles for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, The Nation, Harper's, The Atlantic, Mother Jones, and other periodicals. In Austin now he is working on a book about nuclear war. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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. your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

+11 # DongiC 2016-11-08 14:24
One dream away from being chief US hegotiator or is that really a nightmare? Seems like Trump wants to play God and if any nuclear or would be nuclear power defies him, say like the French, his mighty wrath will consume them, World peace is a noble end; I don't think it is obtainable through such a potentially violent approach orchestrated by such an egocentric maniac no matter how much money he has.
+14 # Anonymot 2016-11-08 20:29
Hillary has blatantly and repeatedly declared that she wants a no-fly zone over Syria and she and Obama are in agreement with a massive modernizing of our nuclear capacities. That's the CIA dream lady.
+1 # Kiwikid 2016-11-08 23:17
Thanks for all your efforts opposing Hillary - it looks like you've been successful and we're all going to get the President you deserve.
+8 # Anonymot 2016-11-08 23:58
I have spent a long life being a Democrat. I contributed to and supported Bernie Sanders from the gitgo writing repeatedly that while a woman would be welcome Hillary Clinton is not electable. I learned years ago that being right is seen as bad by people who don't think through why they are wrong.

I didn't want him. The knee-jerk people forced him on us, jerk.

At least you'll live long enough to help me build a new democracy for 2020.
+10 # Navrongo80 2016-11-09 09:10
Wow, first the Cubs...

Sorry, Kiwi, HRC was no prize. The DNC screwed up and anointed her the second coming. Shame on them.

The President we deserved was Bernie.
+2 # Johnny 2016-11-09 13:29
Quoting Kiwikid:
Thanks for all your efforts opposing Hillary - it looks like you've been successful and we're all going to get the President you deserve.

No, we deserve Jill Stein. Unfortunately the bankster oligarchy bought the election. As they do with all elections. And while we are talking about homicidal maniacs, how many Afghanis, Iraqis, Pakistanis, and Syrians has Obomber murdered with his drones, missiles, and his Islamic terrorists?
+1 # Billsy 2016-11-10 14:07
Oh dear. Let the feckless scapegoating begin. No kiwi. The DNC undermined its populist candidate, Sanders, and went with a polarizing uncharismatic choice with a tarnished & lengthy policy and voting record. Neoliberal economics have harmed & angered a significant population. Ignoring that anger & tolerating insider corruption was not the answer. You've no one to blame but yourself.
+9 # Bic Parker 2016-11-08 18:09
You are just getting to this now??

RSN should have been on top of this and the racism and sexism many months ago!!!!

What do you hope to accomplish at this late date?
+12 # Ted 2016-11-08 19:27
This is probably just a last minute poke for the west coast voters.

Can't have them voting for the Green Party after all!
+10 # Charles3000 2016-11-08 19:03
Trump/Russia scares me much less than HRC/neocons/Rus sia.
-1 # Texas Aggie 2016-11-09 11:42
You are on record. Come back in a couple years and comment.
+2 # dickbd 2016-11-09 15:34
I'll side with him on that. I don't like Trump, but he has a point about the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It is a big problem that no one is talking about.

It seems to me that part of the solution has to be Russia and the US working together.
0 # Depressionborn 2016-11-11 11:36
from jsm:

"Putin is dancing the Russian dance of Joy. He has experienced many invitations to a proxy war over the last six months in Europe, which he has refused to pick up.

Now there are two men of mutual respect who could in fact bond together in order to oppose the darkness that has been hovering over the world for years.

Can you imagine the power of the United States and Russia combined to stop the madness in the Middle East?

Now there is the possibility that deals can be made that are win-win instead of mutual destruction. Forget the past and the bad actors it benefited. Do not seek revenge, not matter how inviting.

Let the rule of law and the Constitution be reinstated. We have a chance now that the world has previously never had. Don’t blow this candle of opportunity out. Rather, wish good fortune to the two most powerful men in the world to put the pieces back together again.

That is why Putin is celebrating because war, so possible yesterday, is now off the playing board."
+17 # Inspired Citizen 2016-11-08 19:47
Hillary is the much more dangerous candidate w/r/t nuclear weapons. She says she wants to restart the nuclear arms race and the Cold War (my words to describe her policy proposals). If that's not bad enough, she's more likely to use nuclear weapons. This topic is WHY I went back to grad school. The hippie is right; HRC plans war with Russia over Syria.

She is also a more serious threat to self-government as defense against corporate greed and abuse. She will implement the TPP.
-2 # boredlion 2016-11-08 20:52
I hope y'all 'll be happy with Trump. Looks like he'll be the one to lead us all off the cliff.
-2 # ericlipps 2016-11-08 21:54
Quoting boredlion:
I hope y'all 'll be happy with Trump. Looks like he'll be the one to lead us all off the cliff.

And right at this moment, it looks as though he'll get the chance. God help us all, because the Hillary-haters here and elsewhere haven't.
+4 # Kiwikid 2016-11-08 23:18
Yep, as I stated above, we'll all get the president they deserve
-3 # ericlipps 2016-11-08 21:57
Quoting Inspired Citizen:
Hillary is the much more dangerous candidate w/r/t nuclear weapons. She says she wants to restart the nuclear arms race and the Cold War (my words to describe her policy proposals). If that's not bad enough, she's more likely to use nuclear weapons. This topic is WHY I went back to grad school. The hippie is right; HRC plans war with Russia over Syria.

Oh, hogwash. Hillary has no reason to "plan war with Russia" over anything.

Neither does the Rump, come to that, but he's more likely to swagger and bully his way into one.
+9 # Inspired Citizen 2016-11-08 22:36
You don't pay much attention, do you? Clinton wants to impose a no-fly zone over war-torn Syria. General Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate panel “for us to control all the airspace in Syria would require us to go to war with Syria and Russia.” She made a grave mistake voting for the Iraq war. Proving she didn’t learn from that mistake, she made the deciding argument of support for the destabilization of Libya in the Obama administration; and she will pick a fight with nuclear-armed Russia if elected. While there are many reasons why she should not become the next president, a Syrian no-fly zone would pose an existential threat to the United States and the entire world if that conflict should escalate to an exchange of nuclear weapons with Russia.
-4 # boredlion 2016-11-08 23:01
So - be merry with your choice, o inspired one. And try not to whine when you see what transpires.
-6 # Kiwikid 2016-11-08 23:22
He will, and he'll find a way of blaming Hillary, the DNC and anyone except himself. While we all go to hell in a handbasket, he'll have the satisfaction of knowing his integrity is intact, because at least he didn't vote for her and did his bit to make sure others followed his lead.
+6 # Inspired Citizen 2016-11-09 06:21
One group is to blame for Trump: the superdelegates. We WARNED them.
+3 # Inspired Citizen 2016-11-09 06:19
He wasn't my choice: I supported Jill Stein.
-1 # Texas Aggie 2016-11-09 11:44
Which has the effect of electing Drumpf. Thank you very much.
0 # Johnny 2016-11-09 13:35
Quoting Inspired Citizen:
He wasn't my choice: I supported Jill Stein.

I voted for Jill Stein because I thought the country was ripe for a woman president, but the oligarchy-contr olled media made sure the masses would not even know about her. The good news is that Clinton lost. The bad news is that Trump won.
-2 # hipocampelo 2016-11-09 00:36
Apart from Sen. Sanders, the only candidate
with any chance to lead this nation in a different direction, was Mr. Trump. He won because he understood the political dissatisfaction prevalent in this country.
It was palpable,and justified. Neocon new world order is for the birds, or "globilization" if you prefer. I expect good
things from Mr. Trump.
+1 # Texas Aggie 2016-11-09 11:47
Expect all you want, but come back in two years when the whole country looks like Kansas and tell us how good it is. How is his economic plan any different from Ryan's?
+9 # RLF 2016-11-09 02:36
This is on Debbie Wasserman Shultlz...this is on the Democratic Party that knew better than us what was good for us. We are so fucked!
+4 # Patriot 2016-11-09 04:45
Not yet--and maybe we should listen to what Trump has to say before we leave the country or jump off a roof. I'm not too alarmed that he'll fall into the arms of the Repub pols--they snubbed him and called him names, then abandoned him.

His acceptance speech was remarkable--for him--and was well within the bounds of what presidents-elec ts usually say.

Let's see what transpires. He's what we've got, so we might as well stand ready to tell him what we want, and what we don't, instead of merely grumbling and griping among ourselves.

Meanwhile, pray that he turns out to be the best president we've ever had. More than one president has turned out to surpass (and surprise) all expectations. Maybe Trump will, too. He thrives on approval; if we're lucky, OUR approval will mean something to him.
+4 # librarian1984 2016-11-09 07:48
Now is when we get to work teaching Trump to be president. I hope Sanders will be at his side. Wouldn't it be something if he passed single payer healthcare? He could gain huge approval instantaneously -- and he doesn't owe the insurance companies a thing! Or the banks or even the GOP.

He has already broken the GOP, the DP and the msm, and he put a pretty big crack in Fox News. Good.

I love thinking of the arrogance of the Clinton campaign getting wiped away. I wish I could have seen the look on the faces of the superdelegates and the Clintons as the results came in. DWS ... I'd have liked to have watched her realize what was happening.

I have to admit I was wrong about election theft though.

In the bigger picture there are elections coming up internationally too, Germany in September. Some countries have chosen progressive leaders (Canada) but others have gone conservative.

This is about economics. We cannot be calling people names and looking down on them. We have to help the middle class.

We have to work with Trump. You're exactly right. He wants approval. Let's teach him to be a populist president.

Last night I figured I'd be depressed today. Instead I'm a little scared --- but I prefer that!

I feel bad for the Greens -- but they can't call her a spoiler! What a surreal day. The world is in shock. People are walking around in a daze.

But I do not feel that we're going to war with Russia --and that's nice :-)
+5 # librarian1984 2016-11-09 08:02
I hope TPP is dead. And Trump has blown up BOTH PARTIES. Good start.

We have GOT to take advantage of this blowup and not be led by the same old arrogant crowd. We need families. We need blue collar workers. We need to be talking to Trump supporters, not telling ourselves we are better than them. The Democratic Party needs to make a big left correction. The DP needs Sanders' supporters -- his MILLIONS of young followers and Independents. THAT is the only future the DP has.

I hope Bernie will Occupy the DP. Take it over. OMG that would be so awesome.

This needs to be the death of the vacuous pundit class and the pandering msm.

Trump's speech was a good start.
+1 # Texas Aggie 2016-11-09 11:52
The right wing controls both the Senate and the House, and you think that somehow Drumpf will be a spoiler??? The man has flat out said that he plans to leave the day to day work to Pence who is a far right winger. And you think Drumpf has anything to say about how the government is run??? The man doesn't even know how it works!!!
-1 # Questions, questions 2016-11-09 15:10
Librarian - dream on... (like most lefties seem to have been doing most of this election) In the deluded name of populism, we just handed over the WHOLE government to the Crypto/Christo- fascist Rethuglicans - and Trump will be too helpless/cluele ss to offer a viable alternative.

Yes, he may not go to war with Russia - just most everyone else in the world, not to mention with the future of a liveable planet!
-1 # Allanfearn 2016-11-09 06:52
Arrived at between midday and 1241 GMT 2016-11-10 on this UK laptop. (Are you posting via US Mail?) By which time NATO and Putin have already gone public on your President Elect. And for all we know a Russian taskforce is lining up missiles on Aleppo. Events, dear boy, events.
-1 # Allanfearn 2016-11-09 06:59
Amendment to last. Sorry not 10 Nov, 9Nov . But all the same around 7 hours after concession of result. And 16 hours later than the first comment on this post. When WW3 breaks out, I hope you'll have the decency to let us know.
+1 # Navrongo80 2016-11-09 09:26
Will RSN still post whiny Reich - Pro-Hillary blips.

What do you think.....
+1 # Henry 2016-11-09 17:01
Quoting Navrongo80:
Will RSN still post whiny Reich - Pro-Hillary blips.

What do you think.....

He whined ...

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