The Horror of Trump Threatening Nuclear War on Nagasaki Day
Lindsey German: The alternative to war is demilitarisation and negotiation, something Trump refuses to contemplate
The statement by Donald Trump that he will respond with 'fire and fury like the world has never seen' has been enough to strike fear into the hearts of millions of people. Unfortunately the world has already seen what Trump and his predecessors have been capable of, and it does not bode well for the future.
Today is Nagasaki Day, marking the date 72 years ago when the Japanese city was subject to nuclear bombing. This followed days later from the more famous bombing of Hiroshima. The effects of those bombings were hideous and created a revulsion against nuclear weapons, not least in Japan, which has continued to this day. The development of nuclear weapons and states which possess them has continued apace since then, despite all the evidence that the use of such weapons would result in the destruction of much of humanity. A bomb of the strength dropped on Japan in 1945 alone would wipe out the whole of central London.
The Korean Peninsula has seen more than its fair share of fire and fury at the hands of the U.S., which carpet bombed the north and used napalm - a chemical weapon used notoriously in the Vietnam War. After one of the bloodiest wars in history, a ceasefire was called pretty much where the division between North and South had been at the beginning of the war. Millions died in this war which was a Cold War proxy between the U.S. on the one hand and China and the Soviet Union on the other.
War and partition has been the lot of the Koreans for far too long - including occupation by Japan during the Second World War. The North is developing its own nuclear weapons and supposedly a mini nuclear warhead (although of course any weapon it develops does not have the capacity to inflict anything like the damage that the U.S. could carry out in reverse). But the South too is highly militarised, with 30,000 U.S. Troops there and the THAAD missile defence shield stationed near the border, something opposed by many South Koreans, including until recently its prime minister.
Any war will be a disaster for Korea and will draw in China and Japan. The alternative is demilitarisation and negotiation, something which Trump refuses to contemplate.
There are international agreements in favour of nuclear disarmament and of stopping proliferation. All Trump's recent actions shows he will ignore them as the U.S. continues to control the biggest nuclear arsenal in the world.
This is a frightening point in world history and one where the populations of an increasingly crisis ridden world have every interest in stopping war. It is time to build a big movement against this.