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Just exactly who is being "bellicose" right now?

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Last month, David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, wrote an open letter to both American President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation, noting that with the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moving their Doomsday Clock ahead to only two-and-a-half minutes to midnight, that with these two leaders, of two superpowers increasingly at odds, seem headed for a confrontation. One that would very likely change the world and not for the better.

Writing at The Hill, Krieger notes, grimly: “Humankind faces two existential challenges of global and potentially apocalyptic scope: nuclear weapons and climate change. Our focus here is on nuclear dangers, but we strongly encourage you, Presidents Trump and Putin, to undertake in a spirit of urgency all necessary steps to avert further global warming. 

As the leaders of the United States and Russia, the two countries with the largest nuclear arsenals, you have the grave responsibility of assuring that nuclear weapons are not used — or their use overtly threatened — during your period of leadership.”

Indeed they do.

And yet here we are a month later and The New York Times is reporting today, in a story headlined "Urging nuclear upgrade to face 'bellicose' Russia" by reporter Rick Gladstone, the U.S. Air Force's Lt. Gen. Jack Weinstein, the deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, called for the Trump administration to "strengthen and modernize" America's nuclear arsenal, in light of "increased tensions with Russia in large part to its actions under President Vladimir V. Putin punctuated by Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in 2014."

With a current FBI investigation into allegedTrump campaign ties to Russian interests and a House investigative committee trying to look under every rock for evidence, Weinstein told editors at the Times that history shows us that, as during the Cold War, following World War II, when tensions were also high between the U.S. and then-Soviet Union, and that an arms race essentially "kept the peace."

Nationalism is returning to Russia, and seems to be returning in a weird form here in the U.S. That tribalism and that tendency of resorting to warfare, that humans seem to have, should get everyone's attention, particularly when the 

But we know that during the 1980's, in those years immediately before the USSR fell into the ashbin of history, President Ronald Reagan was "bellicose" himself, surrounded by hawks who were not afraid to go "toe-to-toe with the Rooskies," to quote Dr. Strangelove.

Yes, to quote "Generals and Majors," a 1980 song from the UK band XTC: "Generals and majors always seem so unhappy 'less they got a war ..."

It does seem that way. 

We see Weinstein is accusing Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. 

Recall last month that there was a rather strange – and alarming – report out of Britain, reporting that “radiation monitoring stations across Europe had picked up a detectable increase in Iodine-131 since early January.”

Popular Mechanics reports that the stories were “debunked” but still put it out there in the “fake news” realm that Russia may have had a nuclear accident of some sort, while others speculated that Russia was resumed nuclear testing north of the Arctic Circle, as they did during the Cold War era, a time which resulted in “Tsar Bomba,” the largest nuclear bomb ever tested, which occurred on October 30, 1961.

And for those reading this saying the Republicans are not to be trusted when it comes to warmaking, remember that the Democrats of late have been bellicose in their own right, creating anti-Russia hysteria at every turn, while more and more people are seeking options outside the dominant political paradigm.

In any event, we need to be wary and watchful as these things continue to develop. 


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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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