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Obama’s Hiroshima Hypocrisy

Wait a minute! Did we hear Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, right? Did he really say this on Wednesday regarding President Obama’s planned trip to Hiroshima, the historic cradle of nuclear war?

The president intends to visit to send a much more forward-looking signal about his ambition for realizing the goal of a planet without nuclear weapons.


Nukebuild: As U.S. goes, so go China, Russia.

Yes, he did say it. We just saw a tape of Earnest’s press conference on TV. And since he has said it, then either the press secretary is lying, or he’s tragically misinformed about the President’s intentions. Or maybe he’s just insulting the press and public’s intelligence, and doesn’t consider it a lie…you know politicians and their teams.

Obama has made clear that — rather than realizing a planet without nuclear weapons — he’s assuring that the United States massively increase its nuclear arsenal, ramping up the danger of a possible nuclear war.

The President is already two years into a $1 trillion (yes, trillion) 30-year program to both maintain and replace (as in upgrade) America’s nuclear weapons. We wrote about this in an October 2014 column for The Clyde Fitch Report headlined “U.S. Activates Trillion-Dollar Nuke Buildup”. At that time we dubbed the policy the “insane Flash-to-Ash design for humanity”.

Among the lethal pile-up, the government in 2014 cited these figures in its budget projections for a portion of the buildup:

  • $100 billion for 100 long-range strategic manned nuclear bombers. An additional $30-40 billion will be needed to provide the nuclear weapons and cruise missiles to be deployed on these airplanes. This includes some $45 billion in previously unacknowledged funds required to build the new airplane.
  • $20-120 billion for a new generation of land based ICBMs. The highest end projection includes a few tens of billions of dollars to make new ICBMs mobile or implement other exotic basing schemes—a plan considered and rejected in the 1980s because of its extreme cost, but under consideration again according to Air Force solicitations.
  • Some $350 billion in funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration for maintaining current and building more modern nuclear weapons. This averages over $11 billion per year, despite Congress’s refusal to provide more than $8 billion in any of the most recent budgets.

China and Russia Respond, Increasing Nukes

Since that time, we’ve followed how China and Russia have responded to Washington’s nuclear-weapons plans, as well as its neo-con saber rattling, including its Asian Pivot.

We wrote two columns for CFR in June 2015. One was an overview of Beijing and Moscow’s actively increasing nuclear weapons to counter the U.S. effort, simply predicting “Nukebuild: This Will Not End Well”.

The second column looked more in-depth at China’s military intentions, since Beijing had just issued a detailed military policy report in response to U.S. efforts to intimidate China over the South China Sea. That column: “China, the U.S. and Looming War”.

“Flash-to-Ash” musical chairs.

This whole process is schizophrenic, as China and the U.S. continue to trade with each other while animosity builds over the Asian Pivot; and Russia and the U.S. outwardly cooperate in trying to create and maintain a truce in Syria, while the primarily U.S.-funded NATO works to aggress to Russia’s borders and the U.S. sends missiles and armed ships close to China and Russia, and Moscow adds more nuclear missiles.

We can’t help but imagine where human error or insanity might leave us as this new Cold War continues to heat up.

We can only repeat: “This Will Not End Well”. And the President and his press secretary’s hypocrisy in saying he’s visiting Hiroshima for an alleged wish to attain “a planet without nuclear weapons”…well, it won’t wash with an accurately informed press and public, nor with China’s and Russia’s policymakers.

Roger Armbrust

Roger Armbrust's articles and columns have covered labor and management, Congressional legislation, and federal court cases, including appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. He formerly served as national news editor of Back Stage in New York City, where he also taught a professional writing course at New York University. His recent book of sonnets -- oh, touch me there: Love Sonnets -- is available from Amazon and other book sites. He is an associate curator of The Clyde Fitch Report. He is also co-founder and co-curator of reality: a world of views.

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