Letter to The Guardian:
I agree with Owen Jones’ litany of charges against President Trump’s policies and Donald J. Trump’s many character failures and downright bigoted ideas (“Protest against what Donald Trump represents, not who he is,” 12 July; https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/12/protest-donald-trump-protest-hatred).
But I disagree with one charge made against his presidential position on nuclear weapons, and disagree with CND - as the leading campaign against nuclear weapons- who have decided to join the demonstrations against the president’s visit to the UK.
At his extraordinary press conference at NATO HQ on Thursday, Mr Trump said the dream outcome for him for his bilateral summit with President Putin in Helsinki on Monday would be to agree to achieve a world without nuclear weapons (just as his Republican predecessor present Ronald Reagan did with his Soviet counterpart, Mikhail Gorbachev, at the path-breaking nuclear summit in Reykjavik in 1986, to the horror of the then British prime minister Margaret Thatcherhttps://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB203/).
Many anti-Trump campaigners assume erroneously Trump is in favour of nuclear weapons, but a look at the documented facts demonstrates he has long opposed them. He is, to be sure, in favour of a very strong US military and of a fully-funded NATO (which currently is a nuclear-armed alliance), but is against nuclear weapons.
On 15 December 2015 Trump said “The biggest problem we have is nuclear—nuclear proliferation and having some maniac, having some madman go out and get a nuclear weapon. That's in my opinion that is the single biggest problem that our country faces right now.”
An article published in US news web site, Slate (which resurrects an interview originally given to the author, Ron Rosenbaum, nearly three decades ago for the now defunct magazine, Manhattan Inc.) provides an extraordinary insight into a long-standing ‘atomic aversion’ held by Trump.(“Trump’s Nuclear Experience: In 1987, he set out to solve the world’s biggest problem,” www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_spectator/2016/03/trump_s_nuclear_experience_advice_for_reagan_in_1987.html)
Rosenbaum noted: ““Trump is not new to nuclear matters. He has been thinking about how he’d handle nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation for more than a quarter-century, at least since 1987, when he claimed to me that he was “dealing at a very high level” with people in the White House (that would have been the Reagan White House) on doomsday questions.”
He added: “Trump wanted to begin a crusade to find a way to halt a national security policy based on nuclear mutually assured destruction (MAD) “before a wild-card nuke deals death to millions.”
I wonder if none of these maverick - but sane - Trump views ever gets an airing in the British media, because they contradict a simplistic stereotype view of Trump.