“There are two problems for our species’ survival— nuclear war and environmental catastrophe.” Noam Chomsky
“We should indeed be worried,” – Kingston Reif, a nuclear expert with the Arms Control Association in Washington, D.C., regarding Donald Trump and the nuclear codes.
This week, Trump ordered the USS Nimitz, via his acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, to remain in the Persian Gulf. He said this was due to supposed Iranian threats “against President Trump and other U.S. government officials.”
In a statement, Miller said he had “ordered the USS Nimitz to halt its routine redeployment.” The carrier will now “remain on station in the U.S. Central Command area of operations,” Miller added. “No one should doubt the resolve of the United States of America.” In the last days of 2020, Trump ordered nuclear capable B-52 bombers to the Middle-East, prompting a senior Iranian military adviser to tweet directly at Trump, warning him “not to turn the New Year into a mourning for Americans.”
At this same time, congress has gone home for two weeks, while the governments of both Iraq and Iran have issued arrest warrants for Trump, for his illegal use of drone strikes that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani last year.
Trump’s most loyal base remains the fundamentalist and far right fringe of evangelical Christians in the US, whose sole reason for believing in him lies in uncritical and unwavering US support of Israel, regardless of human rights abuses. Many of them see support of this country as key to scriptural prophecy. Many see our times as the “Last Days,” and Trump as a biblical King David. In addition to this, he has been under increasing pressure from both the Israeli and Saudi governments to take action on Iran.
To sum up: A deeply disturbed and increasingly unhinged Donald Trump still has complete control over the nuclear arsenal and submarines until January 20th. One senior adviser told the New York Times that he “has lost it.” And that he has been “impossible to talk to all day.“
The laws of the US have been written such that the Commander and Chief has sole power over the use and launch of such weapons. Only impeachment or the 25th amendment to the Constitution stand in his way from launching a nuclear strike.
According to Forbes: “America’s roughly 6,200 nuclear warheads—and Trump’s sole command of them via a portable “biscuit” control system—hung like a specter over the proceedings. “The way our nuclear command and control works, all it should take for a nuclear launch order to be executed is that it be valid and legal,” said Ankit Panda, a nuclear expert and author of Kim Jong Un and the Bomb.“Any order issued by the president, provided he is properly able to authenticate his identity through the so-called ‘biscuit,’ would be regarded as valid.””
Up until the insurrection at the Capitol yesterday, Trump was refusing to accept defeat. He told the mob storming the building to go home, but couched it in the lie that the election was stolen from them. He has since agreed to an orderly transition. But his history is one rife with deception.
His words have often been somewhat cryptic, as if to send a secret message to his followers, who are appearing more and more like a religious cult than a political voting bloc. QAnon is not as weak as some might wish it to be. If he has any chance of retaining these fanatical followers without having to do a lot of work over the next four years, he must make good on some promises now.
Perhaps, he will be pushed back into the corner. Perhaps he will see this as detrimental to his future as a former president, reality star.
We can only hope.
But if this doesn’t make you tremble, or at least give you pause, you have no idea just how serious this current moment in history actually is.
Kenn Orphan January 2021
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