During the campaign, our beloved leader showed a complete disregard for just what a nuclear war could unleash. He once asked about nukes “Why do we have them if we aren’t going to use them?” He also said more than once that he believes that countries like Japan and Saudi Arabia should develop their own nukes.
Of course the trump apologists said that he was just be sarcastic, ironic, or comedic. We are supposed to believe that trump is really afraid of nukes, even though he told Putin just last week that the New Start Treaty was a bad treaty even though he didn’t even know what it said.
Then we have Mr. Alt-Right Steve Bannon. There have been reports from various sources that he believes that we live in apocalyptic times and that war with either Iran or China, or both, are inevitable. Those are very serious comments if they are true, especially coming from the man who has the most influence on our beloved leader.
But, before you really begin to worry, you better understand that they are not alone. They have members in their Republican Politburo in Congress who think the same things. The two most vocal supporters of this fantasy are Sen.Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina.
You may remember Cotton who last week introduced legislation to reduce “legal immigration” to half of what is now allowed. And, his plan hits non-European countries the hardest. Meaning, he only wants white people to be allowed into America.
So, Cotton, apparently not knowing a damn thing about nuclear war introduced another stupid bill, S332. To help out his fellow moron, Wilson introduced a companion bill in the House.
These two bills effect an organization with the long name of Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. If you don’t know, here is the story of the group. Between 1994 and 1996 the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was hammered out.
The treaty was signed by 183 countries and subsequently 164 ratified it, including nuclear powers France, Russia, and the United Kingdom. However, in 1999 the Republican controlled Senate refused to ratify the treaty along with other countries like Israel, India, Pakistan, China, and North Korea.
Since then India, Pakistan and North Korea have violated the test ban treaty. The U.S. has held by its pledge to not test nuclear weapons. Despite not being fully ratified, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization went ahead with their activities of monitoring nuclear tests. They get the funding from almost every country including the U.S despite the fact we haven’t ratified the treaty.
This organization does nothing but monitor the world for nuclear tests. They have a world-wide organization of 337 nuclear monitoring stations. The commission explains on its website:
The ban makes it very difficult for countries to develop nuclear bombs for the first time, or for countries that already have them, to make more powerful bombs. It also prevents the huge damage caused by radioactivity from nuclear explosions to humans, animals and plants.
Here is something to consider about the program. China’s warheads are heavy enough that they cannot put very many of them on their missiles according to experts. China would need additional nuclear testing to develop a lighter warhead. If it were free to test and thus develop lighter warheads, China would have the potential to field more, perhaps significantly more, warheads without expanding its current missile force.
As a result, a fully ratified Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is in the best interests of the U.S. Even in the absence of full ratification, so is the norm against testing nuclear weapons. I don’t think that anyone with a normal thinking brain would disagree with that idea.
This brings us back to Cotton, Wilson and Trump. The bills introduced by Cotton and Wilson would defund America’s contribution to the commission. Of course this prohibition of contributing to the fund will have a huge impact on balancing the budget. See, our country contributes a whopping $30 million annually. Geeze what a waste.
Hans Kristensen, the director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists in New York City, told The Daily Beast.
Any move by the United States toward reducing commitment to the CTBT or resuming nuclear testing would without doubt trigger similar actions in other nuclear weapon states. Such a development would undermine U.S. national security and international efforts to restrain nuclear weapons development.
To show his utter ignorance on this matter, Wilson said:
Congress never ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, so it is only logical that we should no longer fund the preparatory commission for its implementation, This bill will leave in place only the funding for the international monitoring system aspect of the preparatory commission—which improves our global nuclear detection capability. Nuclear deterrence is a critical part of protecting American families, and this legislation protects that capability.
There you have it. He is claiming that the commission obviously does other things than test monitoring, and that we are only cutting those additional funds. Except the commission only conducts nuclear test monitoring. Which means if you eliminate funding for this commission, you will be defunding the monitoring the commission does. That is a great way Cotton and Wilson will be helping protect American families.
To put it better Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear nonproliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey said:
The international monitoring system that’s part of the [test-ban organization] feeds back into an international data center. So they’re not going to fund the people who read the computer screens when the data comes in?
Lewis believes that Cotton and Wilson’s bill is, in part, a thinly veiled attack on the pro-ban United Nations, another institution trump has attacked. He said:
Can you imagine hating the U.N. so much that you’re willing to kick yourself in your own nuts? This is madness.
If Lewis understood the current Republican Party, he would understand that is exactly what the party is about. Madness!
Ever since the end of World War II, the world has lived on the edge of a possible nuclear war. During the Cuban Missile Crisis we came extremely close to fulfilling that fear. Since the 1970s we have worked with Russia and other countries to limit the number of nuclear weapons on the planet. We understood that unleashing a nuclear war would be the end of our planet.
Now, we have a beloved leader and a Republican Congress that seems hell-bent on unleashing the very thing we have all wanted to avoid. It begins with little steps. Like defunding the global organization whose only function is to monitor nuclear testing to keep other countries from getting the weapons.
Once that happens, and other countries begin testing nuclear weapons, we can pound our chest and say we need to start testing again to get better weapons ourselves. In essence we would get what trump told Morning Joe once “let it be an arms race”.
But, remember, it isn’t just trump and his regime that wants this. They are getting help from Republicans in Congress. As I have said more than once, trump is not the only problem we have in this country. The Republican Controlled Congress is just as dangerous as trump. That is really frightening.
And, the shirts keep marching along.