Leftist fearmongering about President Donald Trump literally destroying the world flared up again on Thursday, as liberal billionaire donor George Soros joined the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in predicting a Trump nuclear armageddon. They did so despite recent — and historic — rapprochement between North and South Korea, for which Trump has been (at least partially) credited.
“It is with considerable concern that we set the Doomsday Clock, as of today,” Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin, announced during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “It is two minutes to midnight.”
“To call the world’s nuclear state dire is to understate the danger and its immediacy,” Bronson said.
Soros echoed the theme, halfway across the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“Indeed, the United States is set on a course towards nuclear war by refusing to accept that [North] Korea has become a nuclear power,” Soros declared, CNBC reported. “The fact of nuclear war is so horrendous that we are trying to ignore it, but it is real.”
The leftist billionaire warned that the United States’ unwillingness to accept North Korea’s power is “a strong incentive for North Korea to develop its nuclear capacity with all possible speed, which in turn may induce the United States to use its nuclear superiority pre-emptively, in effect to start a nuclear war to prevent a nuclear war, obviously a self-contradictory strategy.”
Soros centered his criticism around Trump, suggesting the president wants to create a “mafia state” in the United States, similar to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Not only the survival of open society but the survival of our entire civilization is at stake,” he declared. “The rise of leadership such as Kim Jong Un in North Korea and Donald Trump in the United States have much to do with this.”
These statements seem ill-timed after representatives of North Korea and South Korea reached a landmark decision this month to send a joint delegation of athletes to the Olympics in South Korea. South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in thanked Trump for contributing to this development.
Trump “made a huge contribution to make inter-Korean talks happen [and] I’d like to express my gratitude,” Moon said.
Trump took credit for the talks in a tweet. “With all of the failed ‘experts’ weighing in, does anybody really believe that talks and dialogue would be going on between North and South Korea right now if I wasn’t firm, strong and willing to commit our total ‘might’ against the North,” the president tweeted. “Fools, but talks are a good thing!”
With all of the failed “experts” weighing in, does anybody really believe that talks and dialogue would be going on between North and South Korea right now if I wasn’t firm, strong and willing to commit our total “might” against the North. Fools, but talks are a good thing!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2018
Trump’s contribution may be debatable, but the rapprochement suggests that the threat of nuclear war with North Korea has not necessarily increased since last year.
The Doomsday Clock, first used in 1947, is a metaphor meant to show how close humans are to destroying the world. The clock came this close to midnight only once before, in 1953, after both the U.S. and the Soviet Union tested their first thermonuclear bombs within six months of one another.
In 1991, at the end of the Cold War, the hands moved the farthest they’ve ever been: 17 minutes to midnight.
In recent years, hysteria about climate change has pushed the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to accelerate the threat measure. Last year, the organization rated the clock at 2 minutes, 30 seconds, an unusual move — perhaps to enable a slow progression under the Trump presidency.
Indeed, a Bulletin representative explained that the 2017 move focused largely on one person — Donald Trump.
“Never before has the Bulletin decided to advance the clock largely because of the statements of a single person. But when that person is the new president [sic] of the United States, his words matter,” wrote Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist at Arizona State University and chairman of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin, and David Titley, a member of its science panel, in a New York Times op-ed.
The Bulletin’s measure suggests that the world is closer to global catastrophe than most of the time during the Cold War, including the Cuban Missile Crisis — when the clock stood at 7 minutes.
Trump has a blustery manner, and his tweets toward North Korea have indeed been aggressive, but do most people really think the world is inches away from nuclear war? Trump has been president for one year already, and no missiles have flown. What reason will the Bulletin cite next year, when they increase the clock to 1 minute, 30 seconds?
Perhaps the scientists should rethink their message when they find themselves making the same statements as a major Leftist donor. Should science be so partisan?