Larry Flynt | Free Speech Activist

"If you're not going to offend somebody, you don't need the First Amendment."

- Larry Flynt

Larry Flynt

From HUSTLER Magazine

Hell-Bent on Nuclear War

Three months ago Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. Trump and his chickenhawk sidekick, John Bolton, alleged that the Russians had violated the treaty by testing a new cruise missile. The Russians countered that Americans had cheated first.

The sane thing would have been to renegotiate the agreement and strengthen it. But treaties of all kinds have become Trump’s favorite toilet paper—if it’s not a deal the Big Dealer made himself, then it’s flushed down the crapper. Vice President Mike Pence even suggested that the U.S. would not rule out deploying nuclear weapons in outer space, though that kind of mad escalation is outlawed by the Outer Space Treaty signed in 1967. Pence’s statement came on the heels of Trump’s proposal for a new addition to our hyper-bloated military, a Space Force.

Fifty years ago most of the world’s nations signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, pledging to pursue the total eradication of nuclear weapons. Reagan fostered considerable progress with START (the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), initiated in the 1980s, but now the Republicans who worship him have totally reversed course, hell-bent on making a nuclear apocalypse likely, if not inevitable. George W. Bush first slammed the gears into reverse in 2001, when he announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. And we’ve been going backward ever since, with plans to spend $1 trillion on new nuclear weapons over the next 30 years.

With an ignorant narcissist and serial liar as head of state, this new arms race is especially dangerous. Before the midterm elections Trump used the Republicans’ favorite tactics—outright lies and fear-mongering—to get out the vote. He stoked groundless fears about the “invasion” of “criminal” migrants and “Middle Easterners” heading for our southern border, claimed Democrats would not protect people with preexisting health conditions and warned of a stock market crash and “violence” if his party lost their House majority.

With Democrats now in control of the House, Trump’s whole regressive domestic agenda will get a much-needed check. That could push him to exercise unrestrained power in the arena of foreign policy, where Congress has almost totally abdicated its authority in the last two decades. Whenever an American President’s poll numbers hit rock bottom, the surest cure is to lob some missiles at a hapless Third World country.

Don’t put it past Trump to do the same—or worse, start a war with Iran, North Korea or China just as the 2020 election is on the horizon. Few countries will risk changing leaders in a time of war, and he knows this. The danger now is that, with nuclear weapons proliferating again, such a war could easily spiral out of control.

There is an important lesson in all this: Congress must reassert its sole Constitutional authority to go to war. With a man like Trump in the White House, reclaiming that power is more important now than ever.

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