No one should have the nuclear codes


The latest attack on Donald Trump from Pravda (the mainstream media) is that we can’t trust him with the nuclear codes. Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw nukes. Hillary helped start illegal wars in Libya and Syria, resulting in murder and mayhem in those countries which continues to this day.

For the details, see The Impeachment of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: for High Crimes in Syria and Libya. In Syria, there was and is a serious risk of a military confrontation with Russia, one of the big three nuclear powers. Nuclear war is most likely to break out by accident as a result of confrontations in such proxy wars.

Hillary is significantly more bellicose with Russia than Trump is. Hillary has been obsessed with conflicts in obscure places such as Crimea that the average America could not spot on a map and which have never been on the American radar screen. Trump has indi- cated he wouldn’t get involved in those places.

Aside from her unfortunate habit re- cord of perpetrating war crimes, why would anyone trust Hillary with codes of any kind? Would she put them on her private server at home? Would she auction off access to them via contributions to the Clinton Foundation?

What if she typed them in the wrong way? Could she end up nuking the Vatican? In the mad, mad world of MAD (mutually assured destruction), I take it that the believability of a threat to nuke the other guy’s cities is critical. Does anyone believe anything Hillary says on any important issue?

All that said, it’s good that the issue of launch codes has been raised as we rarely have a serious discussion of nuclear weapons. This is strange because the world is a very different place than it was even fifty years ago. Just the other day, a major riot broke out in Milwau- kee when a black cop shot a black man who allegedly pointed a gun at him. It doesn’t take much to cause civil unrest in America these days. (BTW, I predicted all this turmoil and explained why it would happen in my 2014 book, Progressivism: A Primer, pp. 17-18).

The country is far more diverse than it was in 1861. Yet, a huge conflagration broke out that year whose effects are still being felt. To paraphrase Pat Buchanan, do we really have a nation anymore? What do we have in common? What values do we share? The left thinks the right owes them a living. How do you reconcile those who want to work and those who want to steal their stuff? The left and the right hate each other and there are still other Americans who consider themselves neither left nor right. Are we really immune to the forces of history that so far, have con- signed every empire ever created, except the U. S. A., to oblivion?

Long story short, on its current trajectory where, as time goes on, Americans have less and less in common with each other and are more and more at each other throats, often lit- erally, it is time to worry about all those nukes laying around. If civil war breaks out, there will be a race for the nukes. In the chaos of a civil war, it will be difficult to control the pos- session and use of nuclear weapons. A civil war would also create opportunities for for- eign terrorists to come in searching for nukes. I have contended for some time that the most likely scenario for a nuclear strike against Americans is during a civil war.

There has also been a technological change that makes the case against nukes much stronger. Smart bombs now allow the military to send a missile through the dining room window of the summer home of whichever head of state or general ordered a nuclear attack on the United States. This technology allows targeting of the key political and military leadership of a belligerent state. Thus, there is simply no reason to threaten a civilian population or carry out such a threat. This is not to concede that such a policy ever made any sense or was morally justified in any way.

How much do nukes cost? No one seems to know. It may be as much as $50 billion each year. It may be more. That’s a lot of money to waste on a program that provides us with no actual defense against either nuclear attacks or terrorist attacks, encourages other countries to develop nuclear weapons to match our own illusion of power and creates the serious risk of a boomerang effect whereby our own nukes end up being used against us during a civil war.

Thus, in the new era of international ter- rorism, chronic domestic civil unrest, endless disputes and hostilities among racial, ethnic and religious groups and extreme polarization of political views, the existence of thousands of nuclear weapons scattered throughout the country and the world is a serious threat to our security and not even necessary to deter nu- clear threats. It is time to dismantle America’s useless, prohibitively expensive and dangerous nuclear arsenal before we get hoisted on our own petard.

Jim Ostrowski is a trial and appellate lawyer in Buffalo, NY. He is CEO of and author of several books including Progressivism: A Primer on the Idea Destroying America.

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