The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Don Thomas

What, me worry?


I watched a movie last night (The Sum of All Fears) about terrorists setting off a small nuclear bomb in an American city as part of a plan to bring about a nuclear war between the U. S. and Russia. While this is an extreme example of a crisis that we may face, it is possible. The movie shows the kinds of difficulties that a president would face: false information, incomplete information, difficulty in interpretation of the enemy’s response, conflicting opinions among the president’s senior staff, moral dilemmas. Of course, in the movie, the hero arrives just in time with crucial information, cooler heads prevail, full scale nuclear war is adverted, and everyone can sleep securely.

But then I remembered that our new president is: totally lacking in knowledge about government policy or international relations, has already angered many allies as well as the people and nations of the Middle East that are the source of most Islamic terrorists, is not interested in detailed briefings, makes decisions on the spur of the moment according to what he feels, is constantly expressing conflicting opinions, lies constantly, has no ethical problems because he seems to have no ethics, and seems to be much more interested in counting heads in his inauguration audience (the “biggest inauguration crowd in history”) than in governing or reading those boring old briefings. Now I’m not feeling so secure.

Before going to bed, I did a quick check of email and saw that the State Department’s entire senior management team had resigned, and that The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists had just advanced the Doomsday Clock to 2 1/2 minutes before midnight, the highest it has been since 1953. They did this because of the general words and actions of two people, Vladimir Putin and our new president, on both nuclear arms and climate change.

Hey, sweet dreams, y’all!

Don Thomas



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