Did Anybody Notice … ?

In this morning’s post, Jeff from On the Fence Voters made the very salient point that we need to focus less on Trump’s rhetoric, and more on what he is actually doing.  I fully agree, and as an example, one thing that nobody seems to be talking about is the fact that today ends the INF treaty that was signed by US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.

In 1987, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which led to the removal of more than 2,600 U.S. and Soviet nuclear and conventional ballistic missiles — specifically, ground-based weapons systems with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (310 and 3,417 miles). That proximate distance, and the fact that they could hit their targets within 10 minutes, made such missiles the source of constant fears of miscalculation during the Cold War era.

The landmark agreement, backed by a verification process and inspections on both sides, effectively eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons. It lifted the veil of permanent nuclear threat that hung over Europe. It also launched a lengthy subsequent process under which both Washington and Moscow reduced their nuclear arsenals.

In February, Trump announced that the U.S. would be exiting the INF Treaty in six months, citing long-standing U.S. complaints that Russia was violating the treaty’s terms with the development of a new land-based, nuclear-capable cruise missile. The Russians first denied the existence of the missile but now claim its range is under 500 kilometers (310 miles).INF-treaty-range.png“Now that the treaty is over, we will see the development and deployment of new weapons,” said Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer. The United States also is believed to be developing at least three new types of medium-range missiles — all of them intended to carry conventional warheads.

Jan Techau of the German Marshall Fund warned that the collapse of the INF Treaty is “the most visible proof” of the shifting geopolitical winds …

“Washington calculated that in order to regain strategic parity with China in this field, it was worth sacrificing European stability.”

National Security Advisor John Bolton recently indicated that he also wants to end the Obama-era New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), which expires in 2021. Another historic agreement, it limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads deployed by the United States and Russia. Similar to their grievances with the INF agreement, Bolton and his ilk argue that New START is insufficient for the present moment and complain that it did not include short-range or tactical nuclear weapons — no matter that the treaty was not intended to address those sorts of capabilities.

This seems to be the mentality of Trump and Co these days:  If something isn’t good enough or strong enough, rather than work toward making it better, just trash it.  This is exactly what Trump attempted to do with the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).  There were problems, it needed tweaking, but rather than iron out the problems, rather than work toward improving it, building on the foundation, Trump tried to ditch the whole thing.  This amounts to what is called “throwing out the baby with the bathwater”.

Here’s what some of the experts are saying …

“There is a very real risk that the whole security architecture around nuclear non-proliferation that was built up during the decades of superpower confrontation may collapse, through neglect, miscalculation and ill-founded threat analysis.” –  former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

“This is serious. The INF treaty has been a cornerstone in arms control for decades, and now we see the demise of the treaty.” – Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

“When something like the INF goes down the drain almost like nothing, it shows you the degree to which people have forgotten the power of these weapons. One day it’ll be too late.” – George Shultz, the U.S. Secretary of State who was instrumental in negotiating the 1987 INF Treaty

The entire world would be safer without nuclear weapons.  Period.  Were it in my power, I would see them all destroyed … every last one.  Today, the world became a little less safe … well no, actually a lot less safe, for far too many of those nuclear weapons are in control of power hungry madmen.  It would seem we are in a race to see whether mankind will destroy itself by destroying the environment, or by blowing up the world with nukes.  As George Shultz said, “One day it’ll be too late”.

22 thoughts on “Did Anybody Notice … ?

  1. Ah John Bolton DD (Draft Dodger). Who did not serve in Vietnam because he did not want to serve in a war which could not be won….Whereas Bolton is quite happy to send others off to die.
    With an oaf as his titular superior, he can sit safe and sound and play at war to his content.
    Still I am sure he can *cough* hypocrite *cough* explain it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Seems like most of Trump’s entourage found ways to keep out of the military back in their days, including Trump himself who’s daddy paid a doctor to say he had blisters on his feet or some such thing. I begin to feel as if the people of the world are seen by them as game pieces on a gameboard, but here for them to play with for their own pleasure. Oh yeah, he can ‘splain it, and the ignorant masses buy his explanations hook, line and sinker. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You can never tell when a tipping point will be reached….
        Here is a quote from Oliver Cromwell…..
        ‘Do not trust to that, for these very people would shout as much if you and I were going to be hanged.’ – Response to John Lambert’s remarks that he ‘was glad to see we had the nation on our side’ as they were cheered by a crowd in June 1650

        Liked by 1 person

  2. And people are still talking. That’s great except that seems to be all people are doing. As for POTUS, he’s going backward in time by building walls and might next tell us to build bomb shelters. If he’s retired he should go join a commune with the rest of his cult followers. He could hold a meeting every day and they could all wear their red caps, wave signs, and yell together without having the power to harm anyone. 😦 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, talk is all it amounts to. Congress is so divided as to be ineffectual, the courts sway one way and then reverse themselves within a day, and meanwhile Trump does whatever Trump wants and his sycophants cover his fat butt. I’d rather see him behind bars wearing an orange jumpsuit, myself. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have noticed that the Trump Administration changed the definition of domestic violence and sexual assault to mean only felony or misdemeanor level physical harm. The Obama Administration’s definition was much broader including physical, sexual, emotional, economical or psychological actions or threats of actions. Clearly the Trump Administration doesn’t understand abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wasn’t aware of that, but I’m not surprised. Many terms have had their meaning changed under this administration. No, they don’t understand abuse, and they don’t care, for they have shown a blatant disregard for people … or at least those who aren’t millionaires.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. There was never any chance off the treaty being renewed with people like John Bolton and his war hungry comrades in power. He wants to excuse to build an arsenal so he can thumb his nose at any rivals ‘Ha, I’ve got the biggest bombs’ which starts the race again. How nice if a new treaty had been signed giving even more safety that the last one
    Cwtch

    Liked by 3 people

    • You’re right … Bolton and Pompeo both have been itching for a chance to start a war for decades now. Frankly, they remind me of little boys “playing army” with their toy tanks and soldiers … pow, pow … I killed all of yours! I think that if anybody … Russia, the U.S., DPRK, China, France, India, or any other … starts a nuclear war, none will survive. Apparently Bolton, Pompeo and Trump think they are invincible. Yes, a new and even more stringent treaty would have been nice, and under Obama, would have been likely. Sigh.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Jill, people who support the man discount his rhetoric and say look what he is doing. Yes, look what he is doing.

    – borrowing from our future to make a long running pretty good economy a little better for a about eighteen months
    – backing away from important global agreements like the Paris Climate Change Accord, TPP which would have helped with China, the Iran Nuclear deal which his generals and six parties to the agreement said not to leave, and the above nuclear treaty
    – allowing companies to pollute or environment with impunity and delete climate change research and demote or reassign climate experts
    – placing tariffs or allies and other trading partners, then lying about who pays for the tariffs repeatedly, including last night when he said the truth was a lie
    – making ACA premiums go up by reneging on a deal with insurers (which they honored) by cutting funding to repay them for absorbing copays and deductibles for people making less than 2 1/2 times the poverty rate (while lying about its impact).

    We do need to pay attention to his lies that support policy decisions. Illegal and legal immigrants were not the major reason why certain communities were hurting – it is technology improvements and offshoring plants that hurt the jobs. As noted above, he continues to lie about who pays the tariffs (we do as importers pass along most of the costs).

    While this next lie seems less pertinent, he told reporters in front of the Pakistan PM that the India PM Modi asked Trump to mediate a dispute between India and Pakistan over a hotbed issue in Kashmir. Within the hour, the India PM released a statement that said “no such request was made.” The White House staff went silent on this. An India expert said this was offensive as the Kashmir dispute almost led to a war and Modi, a nationalist, would not ask for outside help.

    A lot of rhetoric is just BS, but not all of it. We need to highlight that the US is less trustworthy because the president’s word is not trusted. To me, he lives in a world with which most of us are not familiar. This India story was not aired on Fox as I have looked for it. Yet, it is an exemplar of why this person is so reckless.

    Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • I fully agree, Keith. I think we MUST keep shining a light on his lies, his rhetoric that demeans others for no reason at all, his inhumanity. But, I also think that sometimes we … and I include both myself and the press … get too wrapped up in the everyday horrors of his hate-filled speech, that we do forget to dig for what is going on behind the curtain. It’s a balancing act, and it’s hard to know sometimes … at least I find it hard … when to tune him out, and when to perk my ears. Sigh. Gonna be a looooonnnngggg 15 months.

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      • Jill, the dilemma as you note, the media focuses on so many inconsequential tweets and comments. Trump knows he can alter where the media looks to distract them away from a real problem. I mention how little the India issue got, as we were distracted. The WH incumbent just made up a delusional story that inflamed an ally and was dismissed in the hour. Whatever good will he may have created with Modi in meetings was destroyed. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Quite so … in fact, I wouldn’t have known about the India issue except that I heard it from you! Several media outlets said hey had learned a lesson after the 2016 election, but I think they have forgotten that lesson. Giving his every word non-stop coverage is definitely NOT helpful!

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  6. IMO, this is just one more reason why we need a WOMAN as POTUS instead of these testosterone-driven males who think the only way to maintain peace and solve problems is by FORCE and/or threats of force.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Well, the iron lady over here in the UK proved that women can be as testosterone driven…

      The whole thing brings back all my childhood and teenage nightmares. I grew up in the south of Germany close to a more or less secret military camp full of US nuclear war heads. I would have been collateral damage if the US and Russia would have gone to war.

      I cant believe we are all going back to that sh.. .

      What on earth is wrong with people?

      Liked by 3 people

      • Heh heh … Thatcher was one that came to mind as I wrote my response to Nan! I can only imagine the memories it brings for you, growing up in Germany. Even here, it brings memories of air-raid sirens, of having to climb under our desks at school (as if that would protect us from anything???), and neighbors building bomb shelters in their backyards. We are going back toward that and much more, my friend. What is wrong with people, you ask? Greed. Arrogance. Ignorance.

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    • My friend David says much the same, but … I’m not so sure. Mind you, I would love to see a woman in the Oval Office … it is way past time that this nation wake up and realize we have brains, too, and we actually keep ours in our heads, not our … well, you know. BUT … I have known some real bitches in my time … women can be just as power-hungry as men, or at least some can.

      Liked by 1 person

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