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(The New York Times)   We can't trust anyone with nuclear weapons   (nytimes.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Nuclear weapon, Cold War, Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, President Trump, nuclear dimension, false alarm, United States, nuclear weapons  
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1122 clicks; posted to Politics » on 22 Jun 2020 at 12:31 PM (7 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



45 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2020-06-22 7:15:40 AM  
I don't trust anyone holding a semi automatic rifle.

And why the F should I?
 
2020-06-22 8:25:45 AM  
You can trust me with them. Just hand over control to me. Don't be afraid. Just give me the biscuit.
 
2020-06-22 8:56:04 AM  
It's odd that leftover bit of the Cold War lives on. As that conflict wound down and the stakes were lowered, changes were made to reflect that.

For instance, in the bomber business, which I was a part of, we saw changes.  Short Range Attack Missiles (SRAM), hypersonic little beauties with Charmin squeezable soft rubber skin, they got pulled from the airplanes. Now it was always an absolute truth that nuclear weapons were safe, that they had multiple safeguards built-in to prevent accidental activation, and still others to prevent purposeful activation by bad actors. Yet they came off the planes for "safety."

Then only the gravity bombs remained. No problems there right? Perfectly safe. Part of our morning ritual on alert was to go out and preflight the airplanes. That meant coordinating with well-armed and humorless 18-year olds with guns. It meant following two-officer/two-man policy to the letter. It meant climbing in to a giant refrigerated metal shell in the middle of a Northern US winter to flip on the batteries, check the radios, and verify the status and security of the weapons, not to mention all the classified launch and execution documents. Everyday stuff, just like at the office.

About once a week, the preflight would include firing up the engines and doing a more thorough checkout. Then one day came a small change.

"Thou shalt not commence firing up the engines unless a fire truck is standing by." Standing by for what? To extinguish any accidental nuclear detonations? Dutifully, they'd show up in one of those Oshkosh monsters built specifically for tamping down the remains of crashed aircraft.  New rule so we all played the game.

Then, as the Cold War continued to fade, another new rule: "Thou shalt not put power on the airplane unless a fire truck is standing by."  We could not even flip on the battery. Now we're beginning to wonder, "Are these things safe or not?" The fire guys aren't stupid; they know their presence is essentially pointless. They always sent out a small brush truck to stand fireguard, symbolic support at least.

So to be serious, what was going on here? Well, it was simple risk analysis. The things we used to do, had always done during the decades of the Cold War, didn't seem as necessary now that threat was fading. We had long accepted certain risks, downplayed them even, because the times demanded it. When they didn't, adjustments were made.

Except for the football. Apparently, that has not changed.
 
2020-06-22 9:11:42 AM  

vudukungfu: I don't trust anyone holding a semi automatic rifle.

And why the F should I?

 
2020-06-22 9:37:33 AM  
No-one is perfectly trustworthy. There is some probability that the US President will order a nuclear strike, whether by mistake or merely because he's having a bad day.

On the other hand, President Putin seems less likely to order a nuclear strike when having a bad day if the US President has the capability to respond in kind. So, does giving the US president (at least) return strike capability increase the net amount of trust that may be placed in not having our planet further damaged by another nuke going off?
 
2020-06-22 10:32:12 AM  

abb3w: No-one is perfectly trustworthy. There is some probability that the US President will order a nuclear strike, whether by mistake or merely because he's having a bad day.

On the other hand, President Putin seems less likely to order a nuclear strike when having a bad day if the US President has the capability to respond in kind. So, does giving the US president (at least) return strike capability increase the net amount of trust that may be placed in not having our planet further damaged by another nuke going off?


This. MAD is the dumbest shiat ever conceived but that's because nuclear war is a zero sum game.

If we disarm our trigger I have zero confidence in Putin avoiding the temptation.

But then again, if we disarmed Putin's trigger, I would have zero confidence in my own side avoiding temptation.
 
2020-06-22 10:41:54 AM  

Elegy: MAD is the dumbest shiat ever conceived but that's because nuclear war is a zero sum game.


Strictly speaking, I think it's a negative sum game.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-06-22 11:12:28 AM  

abb3w: Elegy: MAD is the dumbest shiat ever conceived but that's because nuclear war is a zero sum game.

Strictly speaking, I think it's a negative sum game.

[Fark user image image 850x305]


I do believe you are correct, awesome point.
 
2020-06-22 12:34:25 PM  
*anyone not the United States

//there you go subby
//Japan deserved Nagasaki and Hiroshima
// If truman had listened to McArthur, and used the bomb on Red China, we would have won Korea and the China Civil War
 
2020-06-22 12:35:37 PM  
We're all going to have to accept that the hippies were right about everything.
 
2020-06-22 12:36:28 PM  
Sing it, Boy Wonder!
 
2020-06-22 12:37:32 PM  

Bloomin Bloomberg: *anyone not the United States

//there you go subby
//Japan deserved Nagasaki and Hiroshima
// If truman had listened to McArthur, and used the bomb on Red China, we would have won Korea and the China Civil War



People who champion McArthur are idiots.
 
2020-06-22 12:37:48 PM  

Bloomin Bloomberg: *anyone not the United States

//there you go subby
//Japan deserved Nagasaki and Hiroshima
// If truman had listened to McArthur, and used the bomb on Red China, we would have won Korea and the China Civil War


Why doesn't Bloomberg have his own space program?

Carl Sagan said nuclear bombs could be used for interstellar space flights instead of war.

Does Mike Bloomberg have any interesting hobbies aside from getting beat up by Elizabeth Warren and shiatposting Fark?
 
2020-06-22 12:37:56 PM  
No? No.

We can't do that on a good day.

My god.
 
2020-06-22 12:39:44 PM  
I know it doesn't work this way, but I like to pretend Tr*mp is incapable of launching a nuclear strike because he lacks the literacy and attention span to read the 16 digit code like they have in movies.

It's a fantasy that lets me sleep at night.
 
2020-06-22 12:40:21 PM  
probably the only thing that saved us from trump launching some is that he's old enough that he was subject to the MAD doctrine being talked on tv all the time (idk 70's/80's) and it got in past the fat.
 
2020-06-22 12:41:18 PM  
I think the US using the bombs on Japan was tragic but a necessary evil.  It taught us to not use them.
 
2020-06-22 12:43:15 PM  
One of the many things that keeps me sane these last three years has been the notion that no general with a brain in his head would hand Donald J. Trump launch codes or any sort of unilateral firing authority to nuclear weapons.

I have a secret hope, more like a fool's wish, really, that the "nuclear football" is nothing more than a piece of political theater to begin with.  A McGuffin to make our enemies believe they were constantly one finger from destruction.
 
2020-06-22 12:45:27 PM  

desertratt: I think the US using the bombs on Japan was tragic but a necessary evil.  It taught us to not use them.


Unfortunately it took more than one to learn that lesson.
 
2020-06-22 12:45:44 PM  
Supposedly, during Nixon's paranoia fueled last days in office, there was a standing order issued by the secretary of defense to anyone tasked with carrying the nuclear football, to not do anything, should the president order it, without getting the ok from secdef first.
 
2020-06-22 12:46:15 PM  

Excelsior: desertratt: I think the US using the bombs on Japan was tragic but a necessary evil.  It taught us to not use them.

Unfortunately it took more than one to learn that lesson.


Vladimir Putin wasn't in school that day.
 
2020-06-22 12:48:43 PM  
True, but we can't trust anyone to actually get rid of them either.
 
2020-06-22 12:49:14 PM  
Everyone should have one. No major wars since WW2.
 
2020-06-22 12:50:15 PM  
Every few time periods or so, someone has to haul this tired old trope out and do the performative dance. Everyone in the audience then walks over their own mothers to out-perform.
 
2020-06-22 12:53:23 PM  
Men At Work - It's a Mistake (Video)
Youtube I0AxrOUJ62E
 
2020-06-22 1:00:50 PM  
Nuclear weapons are useful to commit genocide. Aside from that, not so much
 
2020-06-22 1:04:26 PM  

Bloomin Bloomberg: *anyone not the United States

//there you go subby
//Japan deserved Nagasaki and Hiroshima
// If truman had listened to McArthur, and used the bomb on Red China, we would have won Korea and the China Civil War


Because occupying China would be easy peasy. You are very intelligent.
 
2020-06-22 1:04:29 PM  

Elegy: This. MAD is the dumbest shiat ever conceived but that's because nuclear war is a zero sum game.


Only from an American perspective. From a global, or environmental perspective, MAD is the best case scenario.

I can't think of any country in history that has developed a new, highly effective weapon and not used it. Obviously, deploying a nuke comes with a lot more somber responsibility than a conventional weapon of war, but the planet as a whole is EXTREMELY fortunate that only 2 were ever dropped in conflict. Hell, even our allies were champing at the bit for us to wing a few more off. Churchill thought we could nuke the world into a Western-values utopia.

Even though trusting Russia to handle anything nuclear safely is like trusting Alabama Dan to run his meth lab safely, in a weird way, Russia getting the bomb prevented nuclear warfare from becoming commonplace.

The whole "Our enemy are suicidal madmen who would destroy the world to get us" is propaganda and always has been, but a superpower with a shiny new toy and a complex where they teach school kids that we are the greatest civilization that has ever existed will inevitably find an excuse to use their weapon, if not confronted with the reality of MAD.
 
2020-06-22 1:09:56 PM  

Bloomin Bloomberg: *anyone not the United States

//there you go subby
//Japan deserved Nagasaki and Hiroshima
// If truman had listened to McArthur, and used the bomb on Red China, we would have won Korea and the China Civil War


Good answer, good answer. I like the way you think. I'm gonna be watching you.
 
KIA
2020-06-22 1:19:40 PM  
Obvious use of obvious tag.  Obviously.
 
2020-06-22 1:27:56 PM  

lolmao500: Nuclear weapons are useful to commit genocide. Aside from that, not so much


They are equally good at preventing genocide. Just ask Israel.
 
2020-06-22 1:28:24 PM  

Bloomin Bloomberg: *anyone not the United States

//there you go subby
//Japan deserved Nagasaki and Hiroshima
// If truman had listened to McArthur, and used the bomb on Red China, we would have won Korea and the China Civil War


Shocking that someone who loves police brutality also loves civilian deaths in war.
 
2020-06-22 1:29:14 PM  

lolmao500: Nuclear weapons are useful to commit genocide. Aside from that, not so much


Pretty handy of you want to obviate a long and costly assault in southeast asia.
 
2020-06-22 1:33:04 PM  

Purple_Urkle: Why doesn't Bloomberg have his own space program?


Because he can just pay someone else to do the heavy lifting?
 
2020-06-22 1:37:09 PM  
linkhk.comView Full Size


I know some guys who can get us a solution, cheap.

Or no nukes. That works too.
 
2020-06-22 1:38:34 PM  

WelldeadLink: Purple_Urkle: Why doesn't Bloomberg have his own space program?

Because he can just pay someone else to do the heavy lifting?


Somebody should go troll Elon Musk that  in the end he's just cheap muscle for Bloomberg Space.
 
2020-06-22 1:40:04 PM  

lilplatinum: lolmao500: Nuclear weapons are useful to commit genocide. Aside from that, not so much

Pretty handy of you want to obviate a long and costly assault in southeast asia.


There are no winners in occupation of a nuclear wasteland.
 
2020-06-22 1:42:42 PM  

thealgorerhythm: lilplatinum: lolmao500: Nuclear weapons are useful to commit genocide. Aside from that, not so much

Pretty handy of you want to obviate a long and costly assault in southeast asia.

There are no winners in occupation of a nuclear wasteland.


Well, the mutants...
 
2020-06-22 1:51:01 PM  

Magnanimous_J: Only from an American perspective. From a global, or environmental perspective, MAD is the best case scenario.

I can't think of any country in history that has developed a new, highly effective weapon and not used it. Obviously, deploying a nuke comes with a lot more somber responsibility than a conventional weapon of war, but the planet as a whole is EXTREMELY fortunate that only 2 were ever dropped in conflict. Hell, even our allies were champing at the bit for us to wing a few more off. Churchill thought we could nuke the world into a Western-values utopia.

Even though trusting Russia to handle anything nuclear safely is like trusting Alabama Dan to run his meth lab safely, in a weird way, Russia getting the bomb prevented nuclear warfare from becoming commonplace.

The whole "Our enemy are suicidal madmen who would destroy the world to get us" is propaganda and always has been, but a superpower with a shiny new toy and a complex where they teach school kids that we are the greatest civilization that has ever existed will inevitably find an excuse to use their weapon, if not confronted with the reality of MAD.


The dumb part about MAD isn't the fact that it's the strategic nuclear version of two people sitting across a table holding a gun to each other's head.

As long as nobody's grip falters, everyone is going to be ok.

But as soon as one person's grip falters or their attention wanders or they get tired of playing the game the only solution is for the other side to pull the trigger and win the game.
 
2020-06-22 2:07:49 PM  
We would only be able to trust a true pacifist.

Someone like Ghandi.
 
2020-06-22 2:40:00 PM  

Riche: lolmao500: Nuclear weapons are useful to commit genocide. Aside from that, not so much

They are equally good at preventing genocide. Just ask Israel.


True. If the Palestinians had nukes, the Israelis wouldn't be ethnic cleansing the occupied territories.
 
2020-06-22 3:00:37 PM  
And I would trust the 2 authors of that opinion piece less then any world leader.
 
2020-06-22 4:03:48 PM  

thealgorerhythm: lilplatinum: lolmao500: Nuclear weapons are useful to commit genocide. Aside from that, not so much

Pretty handy of you want to obviate a long and costly assault in southeast asia.

There are no winners in occupation of a nuclear wasteland.


Beats throwing tens of thousands of your own men into the meat grinder.
 
2020-06-22 4:29:28 PM  

Wily Wombat: We would only be able to trust a true pacifist.

Someone like Ghandi.


Until he gets dementia, or develops an addiction from his arthritis pills, or gets a family member kidnapped and ransomed, or he dies and the replacement "true pacifist" is a psychopath... etc.

No one can be trusted with that amount of power, but if one button exists, many need to.
 
2020-06-23 12:26:08 PM  

jaytkay: Riche: lolmao500: Nuclear weapons are useful to commit genocide. Aside from that, not so much

They are equally good at preventing genocide. Just ask Israel.

True. If the Palestinians had nukes, the Israelis wouldn't be ethnic cleansing the occupied territories.


You certainly have a valid point I hadn't thought of.
 
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