Normally, I would automatically agree with most anything Norman Solomon has to say. I put him in the same category of Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Boxer, both of whom I greatly respect. But not this time….
There is NO discussion about nuclear weapons that can occur at high government levels that can end well. All that can be said is one-sided posturing: what our nation will or will NOT do with our nuke stockpile. In a world where both Russia and North Korea have nuclear stockpiles, do we—really—want the U.S. to NOT have nukes? About the ONLY thing that keeps their egocentric, megalomaniacal leaders from lobbing nukes at whomever they dislike today is MAD, Mutual Assured Destruction. He who lobs the first nuke can expect 20 coming back his way by the holders of the several major powers around the globe that also have stockpiles of nukes. The ONLY “winning solution” is to NOT launch.
But just what could our president say that wouldn’t make a tense situation even more tense? He can’t, for instance, speak for any other country. He can’t tell Putin, “Get rid of your nukes.” That line can only be followed by a retort of “Make me.” And it would be incredibly stupid to “assure” the world that the U.S. will NOT ever launch first. That can only get the mad leader crowd wondering if their first punch would be sooo devastating that the counterattack might actually be survivable. But more importantly, as the conversation would inevitably boil down to, “They have nukes. We have nukes. And they—probably—wouldn’t dare to use them.” Such a speech can ONLY make a nervous population even more nervous.
Sometimes, silence IS the best approach. Because talking about it only makes things worse.