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John Kotson: President Trump is in denial about nuclear threat

John Kotson: President Trump is in denial about nuclear threat http://www.timescall.com/columnists/opinion-local/ci_32068313/john-kotson-president-trump-is-denial-about-nuclear, By John Kotson   08/14/2018

In October 1962, as a young IBM engineer, I and another co-worker were sent to Walker AFB, Roswell, N.M., to work on problems with the IBM-built electronics on the brand new B-52 strategic bombers. The morning we finished our work and were planning on flying back home, we encountered a full “alert” at the airbase. The “Cuban Missile” crisis was underway and no one could enter or leave the base except mission critical personnel. The commercial airline used the AFB base runway for operations, so they were out of business and we were stuck in Roswell.

All three wings of B-52 bombers (approximately 45 airplanes) sat on alert pads completely fueled and fully armed with nuclear weapons. The flight crews were living in underground bunkers next to their airplanes awaiting orders to attack. They all knew this was a one-way mission; there would be no airbase, homes or families to return to. Another increase in the “DEFCON” (Defense of the Continent) alert level would have launched an attack against the Soviet Union such as the world has never known. Both the United States and Soviets would have suffered massive destruction and millions of deaths.

THAT NIGHT, WE WENT TO BED WONDERING IF WE WOULD LIVE TO SEE ANOTHER DAY ON EARTH. EVERYONE IN ROSWELL KNEW THAT WALKER AFB WAS A PRIME TARGET FOR THE SOVIETS AND THE CHANCES FOR SURVIVAL WERE MINIMAL. THE TOWN BARS WERE JAMMED FULL AS EVERYONE WAS TRYING TO SOOTH THEIR NERVES. THIS SITUATION CONTINUED FOR SEVERAL DAYS UNTIL COOLER HEADS PREVAILED AND BOTH COUNTRIES MOVED BACK FROM THE NUCLEAR PRECIPICE. TO THIS DAY, THAT IS THE CLOSEST AMERICA HAS EVER COME TO A NUCLEAR WAR.

NOW WE HAVE A PRESIDENT THAT THREATENS COUNTRIES WITH NUCLEAR WAR AT THE DROP OF A HAT. THE “COMMANDER-IN-TWEETS” HAS VERBALLY THREATENED BOTH NORTH KOREA AND IRAN WITH A NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST FOR MAKING WAR-LIKE THREATS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. AT THE SAME TIME, HE HAS ANGERED OUR NATO FRIENDS TO THE POINT THAT IT IS NO LONGER ASSURED THAT THEY WILL EVER COME TO OUR AID IN THE EVENT OF A CONFLICT.

PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS SHOWN A LOVE FOR RUSSIA AND THEIR MURDEROUS, AUTOCRATIC, LEADER, VLADIMIR PUTIN THAT DEFIES ALL LOGIC. HE PROMISED THAT HIS SECRET ONE-ON-ONE MEETING WITH PRESIDENT PUTIN YIELDED ASSURANCES THAT RUSSIA IS NO LONGER A THREAT TO ATTACK THE U.S. RUSSIA WILL ALWAYS BE A THREAT TO THE U.S. AS LONG AS THEY CONTINUE ON A PATH OF SEIZING TERRITORY BY MILITARY MEANS AND THREATENING OUR NATO ALLIES. WE MUST REMEMBER, THE UNITED STATES IS COMMITTED UNDER THE NATO TREATY TO COME TO ANY MEMBER’S AID THAT IS ATTACKED BY ANOTHER COUNTRY.

THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN RUSSIAN NUCLEAR MISSILE SUBMARINES STATIONED JUST OFF U.S. COASTAL WATERS. PRESIDENT PUTIN BRAGS THAT HIS MISSILES CAN EACH CARRY UP TO 15 INDEPENDENTLY TARGETED NUCLEAR WARHEADS. IN A FIRST STRIKE SCENARIO, A LAUNCH OF THESE SUBMARINE MISSILES COULD DESTROY COUNTLESS U.S. MILITARY TARGETS, CITIES AND PEOPLES. THE MISSILE FLIGHT TIMES WOULD BE SO SHORT, IT WOULD BE NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO MOUNT AN EFFECTIVE DEFENSE AGAINST THEM. ONLY THE EXISTENCE OF MANY U.S. NAVY NUCLEAR MISSILE SUBMARINES PROVIDES A DETERRENT AGAINST RUSSIA STARTING SUCH A WAR.

I HAVE LIVED FOR 70 YEARS UNDER THE THREAT OF A NUCLEAR WAR, FIRST WITH THE SOVIET UNION AND MORE RECENTLY NORTH KOREA. DURING THAT TIME, MANY OTHER NATIONS HAVE ACQUIRED NUCLEAR WEAPONS, COMPOUNDING THE THREAT OF A MISTAKE CAUSING A NUCLEAR CONFRONTATION. PRESIDENT TRUMP TOTALLY IGNORES THE CATASTROPHIC CONSEQUENCES OF USING NUCLEAR THREATS TO ACHIEVE HIS OBJECTIVES. UNFORTUNATELY, THIS MAN HAS HIS FINGER ON A NUCLEAR TRIGGER THAT COULD START A WAR INSTANTLY.

I WORRY ABOUT MY CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN HAVING TO LIVE UNDER A NUCLEAR THREAT, AS NATION AFTER NATION STRIVES TO OBTAIN THESE WEAPONS. LIKE MOST AMERICANS, THEY PROBABLY WILL NEVER REALIZE THE THREAT THEY LIVE UNDER UNTIL THE DAY OF NUCLEAR ARMAGEDDON ARRIVES. UNLESS ALL COUNTRIES SOON AGREE TO DESTROY THEIR NUCLEAR WEAPON STOCKPILES, OUR WORLD WILL SOMEDAY ENTER A WAR THAT WILL DESTROY ALL HUMANITY. LIKE THE DINOSAURS, WE WILL JUST CEASE TO EXIST.

JOHN KOTSON IS A LONGMONT RESIDENT. HE IS AN IBM RETIREE, FEDERAL SYSTEM DIVISION PREVIOUSLY; IBM SYSTEM ENGINEERING MANAGER FOR MISSILE WARNING AND TRACKING GROUND SYSTEMS; AND SPENT MANY YEARS WORKING ON PENETRATION AIDS AND WEAPON GUIDANCE SYSTEMS FOR THE U.S. AIR FORCE AND U.S. NAVY.

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August 15, 2018 - Posted by | PERSONAL STORIES, USA, weapons and war

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