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The impending NUCLEAR WAR…


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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: September 27, 2017, 09:10:56 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

How do we help children cope with fear of nuclear war?

“Now more than ever, we shouldn't deny that nuclear war could happen.”

By SUSAN LINN | 4:00AM PDT - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Students gaze upon the 4-story B Reactor on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, Washington on March 31st, 2016. — Photograph: Los Angeles Times.
Students gaze upon the 4-story B Reactor on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, Washington on March 31st, 2016.
 — Photograph: Los Angeles Times.


FOR the first time in decades, the news is filled with speculation about a possible nuclear war. There was President Trump's bombastic address to the United Nations, in which he threatened to destroy North Korea, and his schoolboy exchange of taunts with that country's dangerously capricious leader, Kim Jong Un. A quick glance at the headlines is enough to learn that the North's foreign minister has declared a missile attack on the United States “inevitable”, or that Pyongyang intends to explode a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific.

Adults around the world are rightfully worried about nuclear war. Unless things change soon, children will be worried too.

In the 1980s, a spate of studies documented the effects of nuclear fear on children in journals of medicine, psychology and education. Researchers agreed that the worries began in early childhood and evolved through adolescence. For many kids in the U.S., fear of a nuclear holocaust was topped only by fear of their parents' deaths. In the Soviet Union, those rankings were reversed.

The 1980s research confirms that even the very young are affected by events outside their immediate homes and communities. After the attacks on the World Trade Center, for instance, early childhood educators reported watching their young students repeatedly building towers and knocking them down. I still blame Bill Clinton for having to explain sexual harassment and oral sex to my 6-year-old daughter. (She'd heard about his scandal from a classmate.)

Childhood fear of nuclear war leaves a particularly lasting effect, as the researchers in the 1980s knew well — many of them had grown up in the 1950s, burdened with being the first generation to experience a childhood colored by the looming, very real possibility that we could blow ourselves up. I'm also of that generation, and I've been grateful that the children in my life have been spared facing the unthinkable possibility of nuclear holocaust. Until now.

My contemporaries and I share vivid memories of mushroom-cloud nightmares and daytime terror, inspired by the news we watched on our three channels of black-and-white television. Today, thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and other digital devices, children are more likely than ever to be exposed to the media's take on world events. They're going to need our help.

What should we do? It might be easier to say what we shouldn't do. Namely, we shouldn't adopt the 1950s model for coping — we shouldn't deny that there is potential for devastation or feed children the myth that they can protect themselves from a nuclear strike.

In my elementary school, we practiced lining up in halls. One friend remembers that kids living 10 minutes away from school could run home to be with their parents. Most remember duck-and-cover drills, popularized by a short film produced for schools featuring a cheery theme song and Bert the Turtle, the animated ambassador for the government's official instructions for what kids should do when the U.S. was nuked by the Soviet Union. Children were supposed to crouch under their desks and cover their heads like Bert withdrawing into his shell.

The drills and the film did nothing to assuage our fears. They denied the reality of the devastation we knew was caused in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Besides, if we could survive a nuclear attack by getting under our desks, why were people building fall-out shelters stocked with months' worth of canned goods?

Now more than ever, we shouldn't deny that nuclear war could happen. Given the impulsiveness and volatility of Kim Jong Un and our own president, it's simply not a given that cooler heads will prevail.

We can, however, tell children truthfully that nuclear war is unlikely. We can tell them that, like us, most people don't want it to happen. And we can reassure them that people in our government and in other governments around the world are working hard to prevent it.

We can also let kids know that they are not alone, and that they can come to us with their worries. This may sound obvious, but the children described in the 1980s studies often didn't share their fears with adults. Many felt isolated and helpless. This combination of fear, helplessness and isolation can lead to despair, apathy, cynicism or alienation — destructive attributes in individuals, and a threat to democracy if prevalent in the population.

Finally, while talking with our children is crucial, it isn't enough. Kids need to see adults take action. We can join protests or organize them. We can write letters and sign petitions. We can align ourselves with organizations that work to prevent war. Even if we ourselves are feeling weary, frightened or overwhelmed, children need to see that we care enough about them, and the world, to face the terror of nuclear war and do everything we can to prevent it.


• Susan Linn is a psychologist, a lecturer on psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the author of Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-linn-children-nuclear-fear-20170926-story.html
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2017, 09:11:47 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Stanislav Petrov's heroism is a cautionary tale
for the U.S. and North Korea


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | 5:00AM EDT - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Former Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov in 2015. — Photograph: Pavel Golovkin/Associated Press.
Former Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov in 2015. — Photograph: Pavel Golovkin/Associated Press.

To the editor: As nuclear tensions rise between the U.S. and North Korea, it is important to note the passing of Stanislav Petrov, the Russian military officer who in 1983 averted a nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. (“Stanislav Petrov, ‘the man who saved the world’ from nuclear war, dies at 77”, September 21st)

At the time, a new launch alert system indicated that several U.S. missiles were headed toward the Soviet Union. Despite the alarm indicating a U.S. attack, Petrov determined the warning was in error and did not tell his superiors, who probably would have launched retaliatory strikes.

Given President Trump's threats to North Korea, I wonder if there is a modern-day Petrov in Pyongyang we can rely on to avert a nuclear war.

Todd Collart, Ventura


__________________________________________________________________________

To the editor: With Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatening nuclear war and both of them being unreliable egotists, who will be the new Petrov who will disobey either or both of them and come to be known as the man who saved the world?

We hope that with Petrov's recent death, many North Korean and U.S. military officers will remember his brave act and “save the world” again.

Michael Hachigian, Canoga Park


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/readersreact/la-ol-le-stanislav-petrov-nuclear-strike-20170926-story.html
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2017, 09:11:58 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Is California preparing for nuclear war?
Not really, but bulletin is reminder of atomic threat.


By RICHARD WINTON | 2:30PM PDT - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea prompted a bulletin urging Southern California government officials to bolster their nuclear attack response plans. — Photograph: Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press.
Heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea prompted a bulletin urging Southern California government
officials to bolster their nuclear attack response plans. — Photograph: Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press.


FEDERAL and local law enforcement officials are dismissing a published report that Southern California authorities are now seriously preparing for a “nuclear exchange” between the United States and North Korea.

As the leaders of both nations escalate a tense war of words, the journal Foreign Policy published an article on Wednesday reporting that “the Los Angeles-area Joint Regional Intelligence Center issued a bulletin last month warning that a nuclear attack on Southern California would be ‘catastrophic’ and urged officials in the region to shore up their nuclear attack response plans.”

Although some readers may have found the report alarming, officials are not yet clearing cobwebs off of Cold War fallout shelters.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles police Deputy Chief Horace Frank, who oversees the city's counterterrorism efforts, said the bulletin is like many of those issued to public agencies about earthquakes and other disasters. He said it was purely a reminder for officials to be prepared for any event.

“It was generic information from public records,” Frank said.

The JRIC bulletin was an unclassified notification sent to local law enforcement on August 16th. The report cited North Korea's growing ability to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile that could could reach the United States' West Coast. It also includes information on the likely impacts of a nuclear strike on the Port of Long Beach, and warned that radioactive contamination could be spread by pets and clothing.

Federal and local officials not authorized to discuss the JRIC document told the Los Angeles Times that its contents include basic guidelines for responding to an atomic attack — information that has been available since the 1960s and that was distributed during the Cold War.

Topics include radiation, electronic magnetic pulses, the destruction of infrastructure and emergency response to a massive loss of life.

“This is a like a reminder with fundamental information and makes no assessment of the threat,” a source said. “It is designed for local government officials who don't get classified information but provide services.”

Although the document first appeared publicly in Foreign Policy, it was widely circulated among local governments and among federal personnel, according to multiple sources. The report warns that any federal assistance could take as long as 72 hours to arrive after an attack.


• Richard Winton is a crime writer for the Los Angeles Times and part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2011. Known as @lacrimes on Twitter, during 20 years at the L.A. Times he also been part of the breaking news staff that won Pulitzers in 1998 and 2004. He won the ASNE Deadline News award in 2006. A native of England, after getting degrees from University of Kent at Canterbury and University of Wisconsin-Madison, he began covering politics but chose a life of crime because it was less dirty.

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-ln-nuclear-prep-20170926-story.html
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2017, 09:15:44 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Rocket Man and Dotard go bonkers in Toontown

How this unfunny comedy resolves itself is anyone's guess, which is the problem, isn't it?

By KATHLEEN PARKER | 7:53P EDT - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald J. Trump. — Photographs: Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald J. Trump. — Photographs: Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

PITY THE PACIFIC, a portion of which faces ultimate destruction should “Rocket Man” follow through on his reported threat to test a hydrogen bomb in the ocean in response to recent anti-North Korea comments from President “Dotard”.

So it goes in Toontown, where two of the planet's most unstable state actors call each other names and spin the roulette wheel toward nukes and annihilation.

Within days of President Trump's address to the U.N. General Assembly last week, in which he threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” and referred to Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man”, tensions between the two nations escalated from a game of blind man's bluff to a drag race of nuclear chicken.

“I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire,” proclaimed Kim, who apparently relied upon a translation tool that uses archaic English vocabulary. Millions wondered, “Dotard?”

Racing to our dictionaries, we learned that the word means, more or less, an old person of diminished mental capacity. Not recently in use but popular as far back as the 14th century when Chaucer used it in “The Canterbury Tales”, it's a derivative of “dotage” and not of the word you (and I) were thinking.

I confess to being hooked on Dotard as a nickname for Trump, which seems wonderfully apt, though admittedly more so before I knew the word's meaning. It seems, too, that I've seen this movie before, a comedy in which an insane dictator named Rocket Man fires a missile at President Dotard's power tower. Or perhaps it was a comic-book series written by “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams, who lately has become an Internet sensation as a wry devil's advocate favoring Trump.

How this unfunny comedy resolves itself is anyone's guess, which is the problem, isn't it? Nothing like real diplomacy or containment seems plausible in the current scenario. Indeed, one easily imagines the world going up in flames over a flipped coin or an incorrect “Jeopardy!” answer — or an insult too far. Boom!!

Kim would insist that Trump started it, as one schoolboy might say about another, with his threatening rhetoric, which Kim's regime claims was a declaration of war. It wasn't quite that, certainly, but Trump clearly was putting Kim on notice — and the rest of the world on tenterhooks. Imagine that the world's destiny is in the tiny hands of a man who taunts and ridicules the enemy as if to test how much he can take. In another time of nuclear tensions, it's hard to imagine President John F. Kennedy calling Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev “Tricky Niki” or Khrushchev responding in kind.

But the memory of nuclear war was fresher then, the effects still raw and horrifying. Even the testing of a hydrogen bomb in or over the ocean can have disastrous environmental effects and should be condemned with at least as much outrage as Trump managed to muster toward NFL players who refuse to stand during the playing of the national anthem.

As even Rocket Man probably knows, Colin Kaepernick sat and kneeled during the anthem last fall to protest police brutality. The leader of the free world and commander in chief of the most powerful military machine in human history simply couldn't bear the image and made reference to the currently unsigned player during a red-meat political rally in Alabama.

When a player refuses to pay proper respect to the flag, Trump said, the team's owner should say, “Get that son of a b---- off the field right now, out, he's fired. He's fired!”

Whereupon, 200 or so other players (and some coaches and  owners) joined the protest, and “taking a knee” became the raised fist of a broad spectrum of Americans disgusted with the U.S. Dotard. Not only was Trump's interference beneath the presidency, but also he managed to escalate a relatively benign, personal protest into a national movement in a transparently racial way.

One may disagree with the players' manner of protest, and some, especially in the military, do. The flag and the anthem represent more than one president or one moment in history. To many, it should be a small thing to show respect for generations of Americans who have fought, suffered and died for the freedoms others enjoy, including the right to protest.

Which would have been a fairly easy thing for a president to say, if he were of sound mind and character. Since this is obviously not the case, we might all take a knee — and pray that we and the planet survive the Dotard and the Rocket Man.


• Kathleen Parker writes a twice-weekly column on politics and culture for The Washington Post. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary In 2010.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • The Washington Post's View: Trump should leave the madman routine to Kim Jong Un

 • Jennifer Rubin: Seven takeaways from the weirdest U.N. speech ever


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/rocket-man-and-dotard-go-bonkers-in-toontown/2017/09/26/1d35f6b8-a2ea-11e7-b14f-f41773cd5a14_story.html
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2017, 09:15:56 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Trump stands at the edge of a cliff with Kim Jong Un.
Time to start dealing.


His bluster has made a negotiated settlement much more difficult.

By DAVID IGNATIUS | 7:54PM EDT - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. — Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters.
President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. — Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters.

TOP U.S. OFFICIALS have said repeatedly that America is seeking a diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis with North Korea. But President Trump's insulting comments toward North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appear to have made such a negotiated settlement more difficult.

In the chaotic government-by-Twitter atmosphere of the Trump administration, no senior leader has publicly questioned whether the president's trash talk about “Rocket Man” and his threat to “totally destroy” North Korea have undermined his own strategy. But there's growing concern that, as former U.S. diplomat and North Korea expert Joseph DeThomas wrote during Monday on the 38 North blog, Trump's comments “may have closed any remaining doors” to a quick diplomatic resolution of the standoff.

Experienced Korea watchers believe that Trump's threats have deepened Kim's resistance to concessions and that the North Korean leader is unlikely to back down in the face-off with Washington. By responding personally to Trump's bluster and issuing his own counter-threats, Kim has attached his personal prestige and his family's demigod status to the confrontation.

Trump's disruptive comments have doubtless caused some head-scratching in Pyongyang, as leaders there try to discern the signal from the noise. But any benefits of Trump's unpredictability were probably erased by threats to obliterate North Korea and its leaders if they remain defiant.

Officials who appeared hopeful about diplomatic prospects just a few weeks ago now seem concerned that Kim may seek another round of escalation. One possibility is an intercontinental ballistic missile test, arcing far out over the Pacific, to demonstrate North Korea's range. North Korea could perhaps even mount a hydrogen warhead atop one of these missiles so that it exploded in the ocean, though that would risk prompt U.S. retaliation. The North Koreans could also test submarine-launched ballistic missiles to demonstrate a second-strike capability following any U.S. pre-emptive attack.

Conflict certainly isn't inevitable, even after Monday's claim by Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho that Trump's U.N. comments meant “the United States declared war on our country.” But analysts believe Ri's threats to attack planes that fly near North Korean airspace were serious. As both sides increasingly accompany their rhetoric with displays of military hardware, the risk of accident and miscalculation grows.

Korea watchers stress that for 70 years, North Korea's identity has been that of a defiant small country, armed to the teeth, that survives by not giving in to any outside threat. The regime's attitude is: “We don't mind dying, but we'll make you pay a price that you won't want to pay.”

The Trump administration has hoped to use China as leverage against this meddlesome foe. But Pyongyang seems impervious to Beijing's threats, too. Even as China has joined in U.N. Security Council sanctions, North Korea has denounced what it sees as the perfidy of its neighbor.

An example of Pyongyang's indignation is an article titled Chinese Media's Shameless and Impudent Acts Blasted, distributed on September 22nd by North Korea's official news agency. Calling sanctions “the dirty excrement of the reactionaries of history,” the article said North Koreans “really feel shame” when they see China “kowtow to the U.S.” The article describes an uncorrupted North Korea proudly resisting alone: “Though small in territory and population, the people of the DPRK have such fortune … standing against the ‘world's only superpower’.”

Hopes that Kim's inner circle may fragment as the confrontation escalates are probably misplaced. Senior North Korean military, intelligence and political officials appear convinced that if Kim's regime implodes, they go down with it. The fate of Saddam Hussein's family and associates offers a grim lesson that insiders can't easily separate from the regime.

What road map might allow the United States and North Korea to move away from the brink? Probably it would begin with a concession from Washington that eased North Korea's anxiety. One possibility would be a U.S. proposal to limit the scope of the next joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise, in 2018.

A wild card would be a dramatic gesture by Trump to “go to Korea”, as Dwight D. Eisenhower pledged to do in 1952, during the height of the Korean War. For a president who loves drama, it would be hard to beat a meeting at the demilitarized zone.

The first steps away from confrontation will have to be small. Trump's rhetoric has probably torched the big bargain, for now. An initial statement to reduce tensions could be followed by other confidence-building measures, and then, eventually, by talks about de-nuclearization and reduction of U.S. forces in the region.

The humbling lesson that Trump must learn: He has blustered his way to the edge of a cliff. Now he must stop fulminating and start dealing.


• David Ignatius writes a twice-a-week foreign affairs column for The Washington Post and contributes to the PostPartisan blog.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-stands-at-the-edge-of-a-cliff-with-kim-jong-un-time-to-start-dealing/2017/09/26/44c6e4a0-a2f2-11e7-b14f-f41773cd5a14_story.html
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2017, 12:43:04 am »

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