Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Guardian: Nuclear war has become thinkable again – we need a reminder of what it means

It’s frightening. We now have the leaders of North Korea and the United States who are unhinged and willing to take their countries into the abyss of nuclear war in order to settle their differences.

Moreover, Russia, in a game of up-oneship, has made its own threat to outdo Trump’s “MOAB.” A country who too seems willing to go nuclear.

“Last week, Donald Trump deployed his superweapon MOAB, the ‘mother of all bombs’ – 10 tons of high explosive detonated in mid-air in such a way as to kill, it is claimed, 94 Isis militants. The Russian media immediately reminded us that their own thermobaric bomb – the ‘father of all bombs’ – was four times as powerful: ‘Kids, meet Daddy,’ was how the Kremlin mouthpiece Russia Today put it. But these are child’s play compared with nuclear weapons.”

The situation puts the world into a dangerously precarious predicament. No one seems to have a solution. China, so far, seems to be the only country who may help: “We may get lucky. It may be that the Chinese leadership is prepared to put serious pressure on North Korea to prevent Kim’s regime staging some kind of provocation against the US navy. Or we may get unlucky: the DPRK has a nuclear weapon, even if the missiles needed to deliver it are unstable.”

Following a North Korea’s failed missile attempt over the weekend, Vice President Mike Pence said that we look for China to do more to help solve the North Korea problem. “The era of strategic patience is over."

“President Donald Trump, eager to stop rapid advances in North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, is signaling a break with decades of US policy as he looks to coax China into ramping up the pressure on North Korea.

“Trump's sweetening the pot, offering China better trade terms if the Asian powerhouse takes steps to put North Korea's provocative behavior to rest. China accounts for 80% of North Korea's foreign trade and has significant political leverage over North Korea,” according to CNN.

Meanwhile, the ‘World holds its breath.

Nuclear war has become thinkable again – we need a reminder of what it means

By Paul Mason