Opinion page 2 Thomas Terrio's View from the West, In my View-March 8, 2018
Doomsday Clock at 2 minutes to Midnight
Not since 1953 have Atomic Scientists moved clock so close
By Thomas Terrio

The Chinese have an ancient curse which says, “May you live in interesting times.” Well my dear friends we most certainly do; specifically when it comes to the relationship between the United States of America and the global community. President Donald Trump’s latest fixation to add additional tariffs on all foreign steel and aluminum is simply just another example of impulsive decision-making in his volatile administration.

At first, Trump appeared as a saviour to America’s downtrodden; someone who would “Make America great again.” He would do this by putting coal miners and farmers back to work, and by bringing the smartest minds together in an effort to improve America’s socio-economic order; a socio- economic order burdened by a national debt that has now gone beyond $18 trillion US.

What explains his charging-bull approach to politics along with his Machiavellian trade techniques, is the fact Trump is a businessman who never held elected office before, and now appears to be acting with impunity as President of the United States. For example, suddenly threatening to scrap the long-standing North American Free Trade Agreement, shook the capitols of Canada and Mexico. Quite obviously, Trump is allowing his lack of political experience to get the better of him.

Trump has also twisted the truth in many ways by creating doubt in journalism and the media with the term “Fake news” as a standard for any comment or report he disagrees with. America under Donald Trump is now more polarized than ever. You are either with the President, or not.

What’s worse is his audacious handling of international affairs regarding Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. Indeed, one of his first campaign mistakes was asking the Russian government for assistance in recovering Hillary Clinton’s questionable emails. In July of 2016 candidate Trump said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think that you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press—let’s see if that happens, that’ll be nice.”

Special counsel Robert Meuller is now investigating whether or not there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to illegally influence the outcome of the 2016 American presidential election. Furthermore, under the Trump presidency, Russia, China, North Korea and Iran have increased their military capabilities as well as their bravado.

These are dangerous times. The Doomsday Clock established by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has moved the clock 2 minutes to midnight. “The Bulletin was founded in 1945 by Manhattan Project scientists who ‘could not remain aloof to the consequences of their work.’” Nuclear weapons along with other weapons of mass destruction now deployed on a global scale by the major powers are a real threat to the existence of humanity. Remember, it took the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II. In my view, any such conflict between the major powers developing into a third world war will end in the same way―with the use of nuclear weapons.

Vladimir Putin’s speech on March 1 warning the US of Russia’s “invincible” nuclear triad is only one example of the rise in tensions. China, like Russia, has also stepped-up its activity in the South China Sea and elsewhere with a new military strategy challenging the US and its allies with a more aggressive stance called Anti-Access/Area Denial. Furthermore, the rogue state of North Korea has recently completed the development of a nuclear capable ballistic missile.

In 2015, after lengthy discussions throughout the international community, Iran agreed to the peaceful development of its nuclear energy. The agreement under President Barack Obama involving Iran and the U.S., Russia, China, Great Britain, France and Germany called on Tehran to limit its nuclear program to peaceful activities in exchange for lifting punishing UN sanctions. Trump has claimed the nuclear deal with Iran is “the worst deal ever.” Today, Iran is in a proxy war in Yemen against so-called American ally Saudi Arabia, in an attempt to expand its sphere of influence in the Middle East.

Indeed, when Donald Trump speaks from a prepared speech, he’s simply not believable; and when he speaks without a prepared text, he’s impulsive, confrontational and unpredictable. Based on this attitude, confusion and angst abounds in the global community.

A confrontational approach, whether political, economic, or involving the military―usually ends in confrontation. And at the moment, President Trump’s impetuous approach to decision-making appears to be a clear and present danger to world peace and global stability. I hope I’m wrong, but only time will tell.

First published March 24, 2018
Reader's comments are welcome
Thomas Terrio's Editorial Archives-Read more by simply selecting a date

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May 2009 Edition 53-West must re-evaluate its role in Afghanistan

February 2010 Edition 63-Technology and the lack of social cohesion

April 2010 Edition 65-Arrogance and the existence of God

June 2010 Edition 67-Why is Leonard Peltier still in prison?

August 2010 Edition 69-The tiresome tale of Omar Khadr

October 2010 Edition 71- Planet Earth cannot sustain mankind forever

February 2011 Edition 75-RCMP reputation in tatters

May 2011 Edition 78-The Trump Doctrine

June 2011 Edition 79-Racist hate and belief in religious dogma must end

July 2011 Edition 80-Vancouver's Olympic glow stained by thugs

August 2011 Edition 81-U.S. national debt higher than stated

October 2011 Edition 83-Globalization, racism, and the national debt

November 2011 Edition 84-Time to bring the troops home

February 2013 Edition 99-The Parti Quebecois legacy

May 2013 Edition 102-Where has all the "Gonzo" gone?

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August 2013 Edition 105-Is Kim Jong-un a madman?

September 2013 Edition 106-An exotic animal kills again

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April 2014 Edition 112-Rise of the BRICS

June 2014 Edition 114-American justice: Hard to find

July 2014 Edition 115-ISISL rampages across Iraq

August 2014 Edition 116-Ebola strikes West Africa

September 2014 Edition 117-The origins of ISIL

October 2014 Edition 118-The Jihadist's mad view

December 2014 Edition 120-Terrorists can exploit America's racial divide

April 2015 Edition 124-Is Civil War in America inevitable?

May 2015 Edition 125-No justice, no peace

October 2015 Edition 130-A mass murderer strikes again in America

November 2015 Edition 131-Putin's gamble in Syria

December 2015 Edition 132-The madness of terrorism

September 2016 Edition 141-What is really causing Planet Earth to warm?

December 2016 Edition 144-A modern day PT Barnum in the White House

April 2017 Edition 148-Is World War III inevitable?

May 2017 Edition 149-The most hated man on Earth

September 2017 Edition 153-Will common sense prevail over madness

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