Today I read the speech of President Trump after his swearing in on Capitol Hill. I only saw some images of the inauguration because I was working at the Art Gallery and was busy with visitors. The tone of the speech and the phraseology was very war like, references to life and death struggle, using the word carnage and rousing the crowd in a manner reminiscent of populist dictators use.
I also looked that the White House website page and noticed profound changes, there is no longer any mention of Climate change or the Environment, Equal Rights and Women’s Rights have also disappeared. It is all replaced with a new policy on more police and more army and a new arms race. The first Executive order this evening before going off to the first ball, Trump signed an Executive order dismantling Obamacare, not waiting for Congress to act. Trade deals like NAFTA will be renegotiated or countries will be made to heel, in this case Mexico and Canada. This tough guy policy does not seem to take into account the integration of the economies of Canada and the USA, the complex economic links and the millions of jobs in the USA dependent on trade with Canada, the number 1 trade partner. I also find it interesting to see the tone of those first Foreign Policy statements, in the case of Britain and Brexit, Trump said that all will be great. Now he has turned the tables on Britain and offers to help them out trade wise only if it suits the USA.
It is all very condescending and imperialistic, language belonging to the World of 70 years ago.
So I then went to look at the time on the Doomsday Clock, yesterday because of the World situation the clock was moved up and now stands at 3 minutes to midnight. Even during the Cuban missile crisis when the possibility of a nuclear war between the then USSR and the USA was very real, the clock went from 12 minutes to 7 minutes to midnight. It only goes to show that it is far more dramatic now. The belligerent tone of Donald Trump is very dangerous for world peace.
With so many changes happening in the world, some are looking at 2017 as the year we finally see a nuclear war. A nuclear war would involve the deliberate use of a nuclear weapon against an enemy target. Such a use would necessarily result in thousands to millions of casualties, and possibly a retaliation. Could it be used to get rid of ISIS in one terrible blow, eliminating possibly ISIS but also killing millions of innocents at the same time?
The Doomsday Clock is a measurement of how close the world is to nuclear war. It is updated periodically as scientists from around the world assess the threats that could lead a nation to use a nuclear device.
Previously, the clock was at 5 minutes in 2012, and at 6 minutes in 2010, and 7 minutes in 2002. At the end of the Cold War in 1989, the clock was sent to 17 minutes.
The Doomsday Clock is merely an unscientific measurement, a tool used to convey the seriousness of the situation. Most Americans don’t even know what the Doomsday Clock is, or why it matters. Or more importantly, what’s causing it.
Rampant nationalism and the ambitions of politicians are pushing the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock closer to zero.
India, Pakistan, Iran, China, North Korea, Russia, and of course, the United States are all embarked on crash programs to develop or modernize their nuclear arsenals. President Trump is calling for a new arms race and mused about using nuclear weapons, what is the point of having them, to quote him.
At the same time Mr Trump has indicated he wants to flex the US military muscle, building or planning on exerting more force overseas than ever before, he has already made threats against China. This is a recipe for war.
All of this is to say nothing of terrorist efforts to create international chaos, like they have in Iraq, Syria, and parts of Africa.
The world has entered a dangerous time and it is very possible that 2017 could be the year we see a nuclear war.
What will the war look like? Fortunately, few people think it will look like it could have during the Cold War (1946-1989), with both the United States and the Soviet Union vomiting their entire arsenal around the globe. Such a war would have extinguished all life on Earth.
More likely, the conflict will be more limited, with a city or several cities reduced to ashes in a flash. It will still have worldwide consequences for the weather and health of billions of people. The losses will be staggering. And worst of all, it may not resolve anything.