Trump and the nuclear ‘football’: No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons

By Dave Lindorff

            Maybe having a president in the White House who acts like an impulsive child is a good thing — at least if it convinces the Senate, a body that has for decades surrendered its vital Constitutional power over war and peace to the Executive Branch, to wrest it back.

            This is particularly important in the case of nuclear weapons. As things stand, going back all the way to Harry Truman, the only read more

Top 10 Ways to Stop Trump Nuking Anybody

 On Tuesday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on whether Trump can just up and nuke people or not. The hand-picked witnesses, all former military, all said there was some chance that if Trump ordered a nuking, somebody might refuse to carry out the order. On what grounds? No witness or Senator ever mentioned the illegality of war under the UN Charter or the Kellogg-Briand Pact. But one witness brought up “necessity” and “proportionality” as grounds for deeming a particular apocalypse-creating act illegal and another legal. But these “just war” concepts are not empirical. There’s no standard for determining whether an action is “necessary” or “proportional.” It comes down to the mood the commander of Strategic Command is in that day, or the partisan identity of some official, or the courage and integrity of rank-and-filers ordered to begin the earth’s destruction. If, like me, you’re not convinced that’s good enough, here are some other possible approaches:

1) Pass a new law for North Korea and one for each other country on earth pointing out that a stronger law already exists called the U.S. Constitution which forbids presidents from launching wars that have not been declared by Congress, and include a ban on using any funds to violate the law.

2) As long as we’re passing laws to acknowledge the existence of laws, pass one to point out the absolute ban on war in the Kellogg-Briand Pact, as well as read more

Tomgram: William Hartung, How to Wield Influence and Sell Weaponry in Washington

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

When it comes to the art of the deal, at least where arms sales are concerned, American presidents, their administrations, and the Pentagon have long been Trumpian in nature.  Their role has been to beat the drums (of war) for the major American weapons makers and it’s been a highly profitable and successful activity.  In 2015, for instance, the U.S. once again took the read more

Talk Nation Radio: War Stories

The late Eduardo Galeano’s forthcoming book, Hunter of Stories, has five or ten sentences on each page — each page a tiny story, their combination engaging and powerful. Galeano includes the story of a war resister who chose read more

U.S. Mass Shooters Are Disproportionately Veterans

Are veterans of the U.S. military disproportionately likely to be mass killers in the United States? Asking such a question is difficult, first because of concerns of profiling, discrimination, etc., and second, because it’s hard to answer.

It’s important to answer because it’s important for us to know whether military training is contributing to this epidemic, a fact that (one must rush to say) would not somehow eliminate the roles played by gender, guns, mental illness, domestic violence, read more

Focus: Update on the Latemenah and Khan Sheikhoun Sarin Attacks – Nov 13, 2017

Below is a discussion about the identification of the specific munition used in the Latemenah and Khan Sheikhoun sarin attacks. Bellingcat matches the munition parts found after the blasts to the M4000 bomb declared by the Syrian government to the OPCW as being part of its chemical stockpile. In an heated exchange of tweets, experts confute or approve the Bellingcat statements. Read also the comments at the end of the Bellingcat article.

Did Russia accidentally provide the best evidence of the Syrian government’s involvement in sarin attacks? – bellingcat

This report is based on “cherry picking” – i.e. reporting only matches. This bias causes the human brain to believe “it’s impossible for so many coincidences to happen”. When considering also the mismatches, it looks much less clear-cut: 1. Cap is ~20% smaller in diagram 1/3” – Rootclaim on Twitter

2. Inner metal ring in tail is ~20% larger and 15% wider. 3. Fins seem longer, but hard to measure. 4. Fuze is 30% larger. 5. “Lug” is 100% farther from the cap. 6. The mixer has 3 “steps” instead of 2, rod is 40% wider, and extends through other side 2/3 – Rootclaim on Twitter

7. A metal cone spreading like putty to a half circle seems weird, but expert opinion is needed. So other than a lug next to a cap (which also happens in the cannons), none of the items match. We might publish a probabilistic analysis of this once more info is available. 3/3 – Rootclaim on Twitter

Plausible? read more

Troopaganda Eats Its Own Tail

First they tell you what to think the wars are for. They’re for protection from evil enemies, for spreading democracy and human rights.

Then you discover that wasn’t so. The evil enemies were actually human beings and no threat. The wars on terrorism have created many more enemies and spread terrorism far and wide. They’ve endangered rather than protected. They’ve damaged democracy at home and abroad. They’ve violated human rights and normalized their violation.

Then they tell you to keep read more

WAR STORIES

By David Swanson, World Beyond War

HUNTER OF STORIES

The late Eduardo Galeano’s forthcoming book, Hunter of Stories, has five or ten sentences on each page — each page a tiny story, their combination engaging and powerful. Galeano includes the story of a war resister who chose to die rather than kill, and that of an Iraqi who foretold and pre-grieved the 2003 looting of the National Museum, also the story of former drone pilot Brandon Bryant who quit after killing a child read more