It’s strange how life continues as normal. People walk in the park, tend their spring gardens, head off for bank holiday revelries. Yet nuclear war has never been so possible; perhaps, never so probable.
In the last few days we have seen an escalation in President Trump’s use of aggressive military force, in Syria and Afghanistan, with an increase in civilian casualties and a complete disregard for international law. He has given much greater freedom of action to the military, loosening the constraints that previous presidents have employed.
He has decided to follow the politics of the big stick, jettisoning the baggage of diplomacy without understanding that it has been developed precisely to prevent the worst from happening. He fails to understand that not everyone responds to the big stick approach and that it can lead to a spiralling towards disaster when nuclear weapons are in the frame.
And this is precisely where we are at. Trump has said that the North Korea issue ‘will be taken care of’. No one can be relaxed about such a statement from a man who has the ‘nuclear football’ just inches away from his trigger finger. As Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, has said, ‘one has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment…If a war occurs, the result is a situation in which everybody loses and there can be no winner.’
Meanwhile, as Trump sent an aircraft carrier-led strike group to the Korean Peninsula as an indication of his intentions, the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s Institute for Disarmament and Peace said, ‘thermo-nuclear war may break out any moment’.
Quite so. No doubt vast efforts are being made, politically and diplomatically to rein in both sides and prevent the worst happening. But we also need to play our part to stop nuclear war. Please join us on Wednesday at 5.30pm outside the US Embassy to say ‘stop Trump’s nuclear war’. We cannot stand aside when nuclear war is threatened.