These Lawmakers Are Trying to Curb Trump’s Authority to Launch a Nuclear War

Right now, Donald Trump could start a nuclear war on a whim, and no one could stop him.

Under any circumstances, the prospect of nuclear war is terrifying, the deadly consequences irreversible. Yet with a single order, the president – any president – could effectively declare a nuclear war that would wipe out entire nations, including our own.

More worrying still, our current president has shown an alarming willingness to engage in aggression instead of diplomacy – particularly towards nations like Iran and China, as well as countries whose citizens have now been banned from traveling to the U.S. under an overbroad, dog-whistle executive order.

Trump has almost gleefully exercised his right to threaten nuclear war.

He made boastful remarks about nuclear might throughout his campaign. And just recently, he called for a new push to put America at the “top of the pack” when it comes to nuclear weapons capability (as though we weren’t already).

Going against decades of precedent, not to mention hard-won diplomatic treaties reached with countries like Russia and Iran, Trump has enthusiastically declared that we should expand, not reduce, our nuclear arsenal.

Already, just a tiny amount of our nuclear stockpile would be enough to blow up the world several times over. We’d probably even have enough left over to decimate most of the seven Earth-like planets in the Trappist-1 solar system that NASA recently discovered.

Surely the horrors at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or the devastation after the nuclear power plant leak at Fukushima, should warn us against the danger of nuclear fallout. The disaster at Three Mile Island wasn’t exactly a small lab accident, either.

It’s almost impossible to comprehend millions of people being obliterated from the face of the earth simultaneously, in the blink of an eye. Especially at the whim of just one American who happens to have access to a certain red button.

That’s why Representative Ted Lieu and Senator Ed Markey have introduced legislation prohibiting the sitting president from unilaterally declaring nuclear war without a prior act of Congress. They call it the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017.

“Nuclear war poses the gravest risk to human survival,” Markey warned in a joint statement introducing this legislation. Unfortunately, Trump insists on “maintaining the option of using nuclear weapons first in a conflict.”

“In a crisis with another nuclear-armed country,” the senator went on to explain, “this policy drastically increases the risk of unintended nuclear escalation.”

As so many people have said, we only have one planet. Billions of people live here – and nowhere else in the universe.

If we take our nation’s responsibility as a leader of the free world seriously, it’s our duty to protect people from the horrors of war, famine, poverty, genocide, and nuclear fallout. But there will be no place to go for any survivors of a nuclear disaster.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t even watch post-apocalyptic TV shows. I certainly don’t want to find myself living in the middle of one.

No one person on this planet should be able to make a decision that will send millions of people instantaneously to their deaths. That’s genocide.

Killing off our entire planet? That’s just inhuman.

Olivia Alperstein is the Deputy Director of Communications and Policy at Progressive Congress. Originally published by OtherWords.

23 thoughts on “These Lawmakers Are Trying to Curb Trump’s Authority to Launch a Nuclear War”

  1. Wouldn’t Congress pass a vague bill, saying they give Trump permission to use nuclear weapons as he sees fit? Most of them like to have “all options on the table.”

  2. Separation of powers. Nukes are like all other presidential domain, except for actually declaring war, which since the end of WW2 (officially at least) we haven’t actually done. A “war on drugs” and “war on poverty” and “war on terror” don’t have a specific sovereign state. Given a unilateral declaration of the privilege exclusive to the U.S. for extreme extradition with or without the other governmental entity giving permission or even being consulted, like Escobar who was ready to testify against the U.S. but got assassinated ooops I mean “killed while resisting arrest” instead. There’s been so much gray areas placed into the proclamations the Prez has the de facto power to obliterate a lot of people and simply claim that it was a rapidly developing emergency.

    None of those privileges (“rights” are only rights if everybody has them) are allowed for those easy ignored Peasant States like Russia or China or France. No reciprocation is granted in the name of the Empire of Freedom, now everybody stand up, hand over heart “I pledge allegiance to the Empire”

    The technology is what’s the problem. The closer you are to the poles with your launch pads the faster a missile get to the ‘target’ in really low orbit.
    It was estimated at 15 minutes from Minot ND to the Russian targets. Or vice versa. Back in the 1970s. Missiles roaring westward while and at the same time the ground is spinning eastward at 900 miles per hour. So what do you do when you think the Others are attacking? No time to call a session of congress. Getting rid of them would be a good solution. The standard retort to that is the Others might strike first. Wouldn’t do you a lot of good nor would They have a victory. Speaking of dangerous fanatic leaders who might just up and commit Omnicide if “we’ don’t beat them to the draw”, exactly how many of those lunatics actually struck first? The U.S.

    All the “crazies” we’re told are the Latest Boogieman haven’t done it.

  3. Meh. All nukes have done is kicked the can down the road. Instead of major powers kicking the shit out of each other, they’re kicking the shit out of less developed nations instead. As long as talking monkeys exist, there will be war. We just can’t help ourselves.

  4. Why are they acting like Trump is the problem when it was the ZioCON/Communist war mongers who changed the US policy of “we won’t use nukes first” to a “we will use nukes first” policy?

      1. They = Ziocon/Communist war mongers who control the Senators and Congress Critters who let them get away with it.

          1. You said: “Why are they acting like Trump is the problem”

            Who is the “they” in your statement?

          2. He doesn’t know. He’s either a teenager who supports Trump or his mental development ceased in his teens.

      1. That’s the problem of deterrence at the start. Put a gun in your pocket to protect you from some faceless menace and it starts to take over the brain. Actually increases the original fear, and added fear is added danger, more “reasons” to one day pull the gun and separate a human from its soul. It works the same way small as it does big, and the missile ready-to-launch mentality decays on every level. I’ve been there, to an extent. Not a big one, I have this really neat survival instinct device… if you’re in a room with a bunch of dudes who have on tee-shirts saying “Peace is our Profession…. But killing is our hobby” you can assume they’re lunatics. That’s the actual motto of Strategic Air Command… then the unofficial one after the ellipsis…
        They’re the ones who would launch the ICBMs.

        If they’re roaring drunk you’re in trouble. Leave.
        Works every time so far.

        1. Thanks brother! Apt connection between the gun and the missile. It causes me to wonder how much the gun mentality motivates the other?

          Although I also understand that the history as it pertains to revolution against British rule has set minds in stone. That’s different from what prevails in my country.

          It also has to be mentioned that the US has an overabundance of very stupid people who are susceptible to propaganda more readily than what is the norm in some other countries.

          I’ve never witnessed the room with the t-shirt dudes before in my country but of the few times I’ve been at a social gathering in the US, I have seen the equivalent happen once.

          It was in 93 in California where my wife and I were at a cruisers party on a big American boat. I group of Americans made a point of speaking loud enough for my wife and I to hear them condemning Canada’s health care system. They were motivated only by the fact that they knew we were Canadians!

          Strange behaviour that went beyond patriotism on their part to what I viewed as deliberate confrontation. It was as if, our health care system was directly challenging them in some way?

          1. Yeah. I get a lot of that filtering in. Not often or consistently. They had a big issue where some restaurants refused to sell French Fries and French Toast unless you called it ‘freedom fries’. Because France didn’t jump into the Koalition of the Killing in Iraq.
            They were flying a lot of missions over Afghanistan though. Thing was they weren’t following the leader.

            Very naughty. That and they had pee’d in the cornflakes of the beef and dairy industry here, because of mad cow.

            The French allowed McDonalds ‘restaurants’ in their country, but playing by their rules. It’s not like the beef McD uses is actually primarily U.S. either, a lot of it comes from former rain forest land in Brazil and Belize.

            And between unrestricted drilling for oil and water plus the runoff from what could best be described as ‘cow factories’. CAFEs, Concentrated Animal Feeding Enterprises…. it poisoned the water near George Bush’s 5 cow ranch. Huge aquifer that provides three U.S. states and some of Mexico too. Really nice folks, you know? Make it 5 states because a corner of Kansas and a corner of Colorado as well.

            Now by executive order, like the power to launch Omnicide without any nicety such as War Powers… the polluters don’t even have to go through getting a variance saying they have a license to destroy the environment. They just have to dump their crap anywhere they want. They kept bitchin’ about a fish in the Grand Canyon and crying like the infants they truly are that their ‘right’ to destroy everything over-rides having enough of an ecosystem to support life. Including ours.

            They don’t stop with disrespecting foreign citizens, they do the same to other americans all the freakin’ time.

      2. Actually Trump declared that he “certainly not do first strike,” before saying “I can’t take anything off the table,” which sort of hints that he didn’t meant the first thing he said. I’ve been unable to find any instance of Trump saying he would use first strike.

        1. If you can’t find it then you’re likely right. It was only inferred if his words, “I can’t take anything off the table”, were in response to a question on his first use of nuclear weapons. I’m pretty sure that was the case and so there is no distinction to be made.

          1. He specifically said he WOULD NOT use first strike, then went on to say that nothing was “off the table,” seemingly softening his hard no first strike position. At no point did he ever say that he WOULD use first strike.

            So the distinction is that you got his actual stated position, such as it was, exactly 180 degrees ass backward.

          2. You can try to spin it any way you like, even though I have to wonder why you would want to do that. Are we now somehow opposed in our causes?
            You’ve seen the links the same as I have so I didn’t post the evidence. There’s no disagreement in our mutural understandings of what he said.

            Trump’s current stance on N.Korea doesn’t have to speak to the issue on the first use of nuclear weapons. It’s understood and that’s why Ron Paul and Daniel have discussed it. Even though they were too cowardly to make the direct accusation against Trump. They favour their political hides more than coming out solidly against Trump’s bluffing, if indeed it’s as little as that.

            Yeah, I know Ron Paul can no longer be elected, but he still has supporters he has to phony up to. Sad that he’s as good as it gets in your country right now.

          3. The situation continues to develop with Trump at the helm. N. Korea has threatened a nuclear strike on the US if a tank crosses the border into N.Korea. A threat that Trump is taking seriously too, even though it’s a bit questionable whether or not N.Korea could do it.

            Americans will stand with Trump and his rhetoric on N.Korea now because his words will be popular with the people. This is just one way on how the US will back their president on promoting a nuclear war, because the war will be seen as just.

            But let’s pause to think back on how Trump has been responsible for the escalating of the situation. That’s the point in this instance where Americans turn away from the facts when war threatens.

            You seem to be betting on N.Korea failing to hit the US with a nuke, as you demonstrate with your comments. (other thread) I’m thinking more like hoping he doesn’t choose Seattle. Actually, if he’s making preparations for war, he’s likely thinking that he can hit US forces in S.Korea.

            And not to imagine too much into this scenario, but China won’t fail to get one into the lower 48.

  5. Sadly, the USA is no longer a democracy. It has been turned into a dictatorship by the ZioCON/Communist war mongers who control the government and the media are have us on the verge of a police state under an Iron Curtain where they’ll only let us hear what they say. If they get their way, they’ll call this site a Russian agent and, when they get control of the internet, stop all open discussions.

      1. You’re a frog and the water is hot enough to cook you. Maybe you should jump out of the pot and see where you were. FYI, the USA is a Constitutional Republic, NOT a (representative) democracy.

        1. The way you can tell a democracy from a dictatorship is that the press is free and the people feel personally responsible for who was elected. We have plenty of press on all sides of the political spectrum, able to say anything they like, including unflattering things about the president. And I know plenty of people who actually voted for Trump, even though I didn’t, so I accept that he was elected.

          As dysfunctional as the United States appears to be, it would be wrong to interpret that as a dictatorship.

Comments are closed.