Murray Polner is the author of No Victory Parades: The Return of the Vietnam Veteran, Branch Rickey: A Biography, and co-editor of We Who Dared Say No To War.
As I wrote several years ago, after our intelligence community warned us to prepare for the possibility of a Soviet attack, the Postal Service blissfully announced plans to distribute emergency change-of-address cards in the event of a nuclear war.
So it wouldn't surprise me if fear of the Russians and North Koreans repeated that sort of idiocy and politicians and special pleaders will soon start demanding more and more nukes while a few geniuses will tell us how a nuclear war can be won and, failing that, how we can survive an attack.
Meanwhile, whether Donald Trump is nuts enough to order an attack against North Korea remains a mystery. A worrying, ominous paragraph buried deep in a NY Times article in early February reported, "At multiple Army bases across the country this month, more than 1000 reserve officers are practicing how to set up so-called mobilization centers, which move reservists overseas in a hurry." You have to wonder why the Pentagon is playing real life war games.
Regrettably, the Democrats, many of whom were once doggedly antiwar, have become silent about a war against the North, obsessed as they are with blaming Russia for Hillary's defeat and perhaps triggering Cold War 2, while clearly trying to hasten Trump's impeachment, a very difficult task given the way the system works Talk about diplomacy, deterrence, even living side by side a nuclear-armed North, is rarely if ever heard from the Democrats and their long list of wannabe candidates for the White House and Congress.
The truth is that many Americans, insiders too, have probably sensibly concluded that a nuclear attack on North Korea cannot be won. Period. While our planes and bombs can destroy the North and most of its men, women and children it will also certainly result in nuclear and chemical retaliation, causing millions of earth-shattering casualties in South Korea and Japan where tens of thousands of civilian and military Americans also live, work and are stationed. Whether our hotheaded President likes it or not, North Korea has believed since the end of the Korean War in 1953 that it needed nuclear bombs to defend itself from the Americans. Above all, it will never surrender its nuclear weapons no matter how much our president insults the North's dear leader.
In the meantime, should Trump ever give the Pentagon a green light can anyone stop him? And how will Americans respond? With flag-waving sloganeering by our living room chicken hawks? With supportive editorials and Op Eds by liberal and conservative pundits as happened when Bush Two unforgivably invaded Iraq in 2003 and set off the forever Greater Middle East wars? 0r with the hope that some officers, trained to obey orders, will somehow refuse to act in so pointless a suicidal war. And by the way, whatever happened to the peace movement in the USA?
And, before nuclear bombs ever make their reappearance, does anyone inside the power structure really care enough to say NO! Anyone courageous enough to publicly condemn a looming catastrophe? Anyone?