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Are we satisfied to live with the nuclear sword of Damocles hanging over our heads forever?

USA election 2016Imperial fascism and nuclear realities, delmarva now, MICHAEL O’LOUGHLIN December 31, 2015 Are we satisfied to live with the nuclear sword of Damocles hanging over our heads forever? The rhetoric of the dominant Republican candidates for president has become imperial fascism.

Fascist because it expresses an enthusiastic embrace of violence as the central instrument of U.S. power in foreign policy. Fascist as well because this entails a cavalier dismissal of basic standards of morality associated with human rights and international law.

Trump, Cruz and Christie recently took turns giving voice to this rhetoric, talking about “carpet bombing,” “killing families of terrorists,” “shooting down Russian planes,” making “the desert glow” and closing our borders to desperate people fleeing war because they are Arab Muslims.

The smell of fascism also rises with Trump’s talk of “energy,” “strength” and “will.”Opponents are cast aside as “weak” and “low energy,” in contrast to Trump’s claims he embodies “strength” and the “will” to “make America Great Again.” Policy content? Irrelevant. Trump’s sheer “will” conquers all problems before him. All we need do is “believe” in our leader…….

The rhetoric is “imperial” because it embraces the idea that the United States alone, indeed the president alone, has a right to engage unilaterally in war without end and no need for Congressional authority, UN Security Council consent or multilateral involvement of European allies.

Arrogant claims become commonplace. The oil resources of Middle Eastern countries are now “ours” and we will just “take it,” according to Trump. Central to the imperial perspective, national sovereignty belongs only to the imperious state. Other nations have no such rights…..

As journalist Walter Pincus recently wrote: “After Sept. 11, 2001, a very wise intelligence officer told me in 2002, ‘we have turned 16 clever al-Qaeda terrorists into a worldwide movement, seemingly more dangerous to Americans than the communist Soviet Union with thousands of nuclear missiles.’”

As of this date, the world has a stockpile of some 15,695 nuclear weapons, with the US and Russia armed with 93% of that stockpile, 7,200 and 7,500, respectively. In this respect, though some nuclear disarmament has been achieved, it remains the case that the greatest danger to the survival of the US, indeed, the world, is the continued existence of Russian warheads and our own.

Much hot air has been expelled on the real and imagined threat of non-state terrorism. Yet, where in the debates thus far have we heard serious discussion of moving faster towards a “nuclear free” world? Or are we satisfied to live with the nuclear sword of Damocles hanging over our heads forever?

Michael O’Loughlin is a member of the Peace Alliance of the Lower Shore http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/opinion/2015/12/31/column-oloughlin/78150212/

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January 1, 2016 - Posted by | USA elections 2016

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