Trump’s tweet and the danger of nuclear war
James Cogan, WSWS, Dec 23 2016
A tweet sent Thursday by Donald Trump advocating the expansion of the Pindosi nuclear weapons arsenal has become the top news story around the world. Trump’s tweet was almost certainly a response to a speech delivered by Putin to a meeting of top Russian military officers. Putin, noting the provocative build-up of Pindo and NATO forces on the Russian border and the deployment of Pindo anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe, reportedly stated:
We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defence systems.
The open discussion on nuclear weapons by Trump and Putin, whose militaries deploy over 7,000 nuclear warheads each, underscores the tremendous dangers facing the world’s population from the steady growth of geopolitical conflicts. There have been numerous signals from Trump, including the figures he has appointed to his cabinet, that he represents a wing of the American elite that views nuclear-armed China, not Russia, to be the greatest and most immediate challenge to its global hegemony. His incoming administration is mapping out a bellicose agenda of trade war and military confrontation with Beijing. His tweet is a clear warning to Moscow that it remains firmly in the Pentagon’s sights, particularly if the Putin regime provides support to China or in other ways attempts to thwart the plans of a Trump White House. For all the assertions by the Democrat Party and much of the Pindosi media that Trump is a “Siberian candidate” and “pawn” of Putin, his administration will ruthlessly assert the strategic and corporate interests of the Pindosi ruling class against any and all perceived rivals, unchecked by even token adherence to the legal and diplomatic norms of the post-WW2 order or the traditions of Pindosi bourgeois politics. Trump, a billionaire demagogue surrounded by a cabal of other billionaires, generals, extreme militarists and right-wing reactionaries, feels so unrestrained that he sets out nuclear policy via Twitter and leaves his staff to work out the details. This is the man who in four weeks will be handed the nuclear codes and the power to set in motion the destruction of the planet. Throughout the presidential election, Trump repeatedly suggested the use of nuclear weapons to achieve Pindosi imperialist ends and impose Washington’s dictates. On Mar 23, Trump told Bloomberg News:
I want Daesh to think maybe we would use them. I want unpredictability. Frankly, I don’t want the enemy to know how I’m thinking.
On Mar 30, he told MSNBC that he would be prepared to use nuclear weapons in the Middle East if Pindostan was “hit” by Daesh. On Mar 31, he told Fox News that he would not “take off the table” ordering nuclear strikes in Europe, presumably against Russian targets, because it “is a big place.” In August, MSNBC reported that Trump had repeatedly challenged a “foreign policy expert” to explain “why we can’t use nuclear weapons.” That such an exchange actually took place has not been confirmed. The NYT and other media outlets in Pindostan and internationally are attempting to portray the tweet as a historic shift in Pindosi nuclear doctrine. The NYT wrote Thursday:
Trump is appearing to embrace an end to decades of bipartisan presidential efforts to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in Pindosi defenses and strategy.
The BBC said:
The tweet is a radical departure from Pres Obama’s current policy, which professes to seek peace and security without nuclear weapons.
It is nothing of the sort, nor was it Obama’s policy to dismantle the Pindosi nuclear arsenal. Barely a year after Obama was absurdly awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review restated the “right” of Pindostan to launch a nuclear first strike against states deemed to be in violation of the NNPT. In 2014, his administration ordered a massive “modernisation” to develop and deploy more advanced missile delivery systems carrying greater destructive payloads than the existing warheads. The plans initiated by Obama, estimated to cost $355b over 10 years and more than $1t over three decades, also involve the acquisition of new strategic bombers and ballistic missile submarines and upgrades to existing nuclear weapons plants and laboratories. In Asia, Pindostan has been deploying anti-missile systems in Japan and now South Korea to facilitate a nuclear first strike against either North Korea or China, using the defense systems to shoot down any retaliation. Similar systems have been erected in Europe, provoking Putin’s recent statements. The ability of an incoming Trump administration to threaten the nuclear destruction of alleged enemies and hundreds of millions of people has been dramatically enhanced, not lessened, by the policies of the administrations that preceded it, especially Obama’s. The Pindosi ruling class saw the dissolution of the Soviet Union by the Stalinist regime in Dec 1991 as initiating a “unipolar moment.” Pindostan set out, through continuous wars and diplomatic intrigues backed in the final analysis by its nuclear arsenal, to tear down all restraints to the untrammeled global domination of Pindosi banks and conglomerates.
Twenty-five years later, the Trump administration with its vows to “make Pindostan great again” embodies the seething frustration in Pindosi ruling circles over their failure to achieve their ends. In particular, the capitalist states in China and Russia, due to their economic resources and relative military strength, including nuclear weapons, are considered obstacles that must be shattered, by war if necessary. Trump brings into world politics an element of uncertainty and instability unlike anything that has previously been seen. The international working class cannot leave its fate and the survival of humanity in the hands of any section of the capitalist class. The response of the capitalist states in China and Russia to the steady build-up of imperialist pressure is opposed to the interests of the mass of the world’s population. They are not regimes that should be given the sympathy of the working class and oppressed. The policy of both Beijing and Moscow is the inherently reactionary policy of threatening the Pindo creeple with nuclear annihilation to protect the ill-gotten wealth of a tiny layer of capitalist oligarchs. Likewise, the only answer of the ruling elites in Germany, Japan and elsewhere to the inevitable growth of international tensions is their own agenda of militarism and acquisition of nuclear weapons. The only force that can stop the catastrophe of war is the unified action of the international working class, fighting for the only viable solution to the bankruptcy of capitalism and the national-state system. World socialist revolution must become the guiding perspective of the struggles of the working class in every country.
Putin Mocks Democrats As “Shameless Losers”
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Dec 23 2016
Covering numerous topics, from foreign politics to the Russian budget, the price of oil, sports doping allegations as well as the Pindo election during his annual end-of-year news conference, Putin slammed the Democrat Party, saying:
The party that is called the Democrats has clearly forgotten the original meaning of that name. Their use of administrative resources is absolutely shameless. Outstanding figures in Pindosi history from the ranks of the Democrat Party are probably turning in their graves. Roosevelt certainly would be. They are losing on all fronts and looking elsewhere for things to blame. In my view this, how shall I say it, degrades their own dignity. You have to know how to lose with dignity. Losers always look for someone to blame, but they should first of all look at themselves. The most important thing is what was revealed (in the hacks). It’s not like people invented this information. What they reported is true. It showed how the Democrat Party manipulated the system against Bernie Sanders. Instead of apologizing, they began to look for people to blame. Plus, the archaic Pindo electoral system is a problem. It’s up to the Pindo creeple to sort it out. Pindostan is a great country. It will draw (the correct) conclusions from the vote. Right up to the end, nobody believed Trump would win, except us. I credit his victory to his ability to keep his finger on the pulse of the mood of society. He went all the way, even though no one believed that he would win, apart from you and me.
Putin said on Friday he wanted constructive relations with Pindostan under Pres Trump. He acknowledged his own rising support among Republican voters in Pindostan, saying:
I don’t put it down to me, the fact that a large part of Republican voters support the Russian president. It means that a large part of the Pindo sheeple have the same idea of how the world should be, of our common dangers and problems.
Additionally, Putin addressed Trump’s comments about the need to boost the Pindosi nuclear arsenal, saying they were perfectly normal. Trump’s comments were made in a tweet on Thursday, seemingly in response to Putin’s own comments earlier in the day about Russia’s plans to modernize its own nuclear arsenal, which added that Russia’s military was “stronger than any potential aggressor.” On Friday, Putin said he was surprised by the fuss Trump’s tweet had caused and how it had been linked to his own statement. He made clear on Friday he did not regard Pindostan as a potential aggressor, saying:
In the course of his election campaign, he spoke about the necessity of strengthening the Pindosi nuclear arsenal and strengthening the armed forces. There’s nothing unusual here. To be honest, I’m a bit surprised by the words of certain other official representatives of the current administration, who have for some reason set about proving that the armed forces of Pindostan are the most powerful in the world. Nobody is disputing that. If anyone is unleashing an arms race, it’s not us. We will never spend resources on an arms race that we can’t afford.