Nuclear War: ‘You Would Want To Have A Commander-In-Chief Who Is Of Sound Mind’

March 31, 2024

Big, fluffy clouds floating in bright, shiny sunshine this late-afternoon Sunday here in California’s Central Valley — another gorgeous spring day, though, today is a holiday and, too, seemingly slow on the horror-news.
End of another month, again, which gut-clutching displays how our current calendar/clock-time seems to be accelerating the shit past as a full quarter of 2024 is already about to disappear.
Nowadays continues to spin toward whatever clusterfuck lies ahead, not just for tomorrow, or next November, but in the next few minutes.

A rant-like lede to the first post in a few days, huh? Shit news is hard to digest if consumed at large helpings three or four times a day. And don’t just believe me, we’re truly in the midst of a shitstorm of weird, nasty, unprecedented shit events coming at us from all angles — violence embedded with cruelty marks our time in the history books.
And to curdle the stench, T-Rump, and his MAGA assholes create the chaos that makes living a bitch.

During my early doomscrolling this morning, I came across an old/brand-new horror — freaking, fucking nuclear war:

Julian Borger at the Guardian touched on the long-known horror subject, though, seemingly the last three decades pushed to a back burner on humanity’s always hot stove.
Borger interviewed journalist and writer, Annie Jacobsen, author of “Nuclear War: A Scenario,” recently published on the topic of the up-to-date reality of that Cold War thrown-back. Surprise, surprise! The situation/scenario is way-worse than you’d ever think, yet maybe not — highlights:

As the book promises on the cover, it presents a single scenario for a nuclear war, set in the present day. North Korea, perhaps convinced it is about to be attacked, launches a surprise missile strike against the US, leading Washington to respond with a salvo of 50 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). These are aimed at North Korea’s weapons sites and command centres, but in order to reach their intended targets the missiles have to fly over Russia, because they do not have the range to use any other route.

All too aware of the danger of miscalculation, the US president tries to get hold of his Russian counterpart. But the two men and the countries they run are not getting on, and he fails. Making things even worse, Russia’s dodgy satellite early warning system, Tundra, has exaggerated the scale of the US salvo, and from his Siberian bunker, the Russian president (Vladimir Putin in all but name) orders an all-out nuclear attack on the US.

The scenario is based on known facts concerning the world’s nuclear arsenals, systems and doctrine. Those facts are all in the public domain, but Jacobsen believes society has tuned them out, despite (or perhaps because of) how shocking they are.

Jacobsen was stunned to find out that an ICBM strike against North Korea would have to go over Russia, and that Russia’s early warning system is beset with glitches, an especially worrying fact when combined with the knowledge that both the US and Russia have part of their nuclear arsenals ready to launch at a few minutes’ notice. Both also have an option in their nuclear doctrine to “launch on warning”, without waiting for the first incoming warhead to land.

A US president would have a few minutes to make a decision if American early warning systems signaled an incoming attack. In those few minutes, he or she would have to process an urgent, complex and inevitably incomplete stream of information and advice from top defence officials. Jacobsen points out that in such circumstances the president is likely to be subject to “jamming”, a chorus of military voices urging he or she follows protocols which lead inexorably towards a retaliatory launch.

“My jaw dropped at so much of what I learned, which was not classified but had just been removed or rather sanitised from the public discourse,” she said. “I found myself constantly surprised by the insanity of what I learned, coupled with the fact that it’s all there for the public to know.”

And with the horror of the T-Rump made worse:

“You would want to have a commander-in-chief who is of sound mind, who is fully in control of his mental capacity, who is not volatile, who is not subject to anger,” Jacobsen said, referring to this year’s presidential election.

“These are significant character qualities that should be thought about when people vote for president, for the simple reason that the president has sole authority to launch nuclear weapons.”

And we’re back to 1962 without JFK, but only a terrible, terrible twist — T-Rump has words: ‘“I worry about their safety too,” he said during the town hall event, which reached more than 3.2 million viewers on average, according to Fox News. “These people, everybody in this room is in great danger right now. We have a nuclear weapon that if you hit New York, South Carolina is going to be gone too.”

And in a field of dreams:

Call for Dr. Strangelove, or not, yet once again here we are…

(Illustration out front: Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Old Man in Sorrow (On the Threshold of Eternity)‘ found here.)

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