Click here to print page

Presidents Trump, Kim Jong-un playing with (nuclear) fire

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Nuclear scientists tell us that there are enough nuclear weapons in existence to destroy the world and make it uninhabitable for millions of years.

Someone should remind United States President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un that there is no such thing as winning a nuclear war because of the long-term fallout.

The late Mao Tse-tung was just bluffing when he said there are so many Chinese that some would survive a nuclear war. He is not alone. There are military people in countries with nuclear weapons who believe it is possible to win a nuclear war.

Moreover, there is no such thing as a partial or regional nuclear war, because the radiation will poison the atmosphere, the nuclear cloud will block out light from the sun and, in the worst case, plunge the planet into darkness, thus setting in motion another Ice Age as temperatures fall.

We should keep in mind what Albert Einstein famously said so long ago: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

Those of us who think that mankind is too smart to annihilate itself should think again. Accidents do happen in spite of all the systems, computers and strategic command procedures in place. A computer glitch shut off electricity on the East Coast of the United States, and a computer failure grounded British Airways flights across the world.

Accidents even happen in nuclear plants such as Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and, most recently, Fukushima Daiichi in Japan. And these are just the ones that are too big to be covered up. There are hundreds of nuclear missiles sailing around the world on submarines and nuclear bombs on planes.

A disaster almost occurred off the coast of Spain in 1966 when a B-52G bomber of the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command crashed carrying nuclear weapons. Three of the four hydrogen bombs were recovered on land, but the fourth one was recovered from the Mediterranean Sea after a three-month search.

A nuclear war could also happen if some lunatic or terrorist were able to set the system in motion. Indeed, there is widespread fear that war could be triggered by a leader of a government in a fit of uncontrollable rage, or when two or more leaders of countries with nuclear weapons in a situation of escalating hubris are provoked to make a first strike.

The escalating and dangerous exchange of threats between President Trump and President Kim Jong-Un has degenerated into personal insults. The world watches helplessly, hoping and praying for what psychiatrists call a “lucid interval”.

It must be realised that the North Koreans are convinced that the US will attack them because of the Korean War and because the US did drop nuclear bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan, their Asian neighbour. Americans see Kim Jong-un as a mad man who cannot be trusted to be reasonable.

The United Nations' role as world referee is needed now more than ever.