mikeandgerry wrote: engage us in a contextual representation of the facts
I don't get it. That's what he did. tvb simply pointed out that Ronald Reagan, hero of the American right, had essentially the same goals of reducing nuclear weapons as Barack Obama. And everybody went ballistic and descended into a discussion of who on the forum is more civil than who. The best anyone could do was claim that the Ruskies knew they couldn't fool Reagan, but figured they could fool Obama because they don't respect him. That's a pretty weak argument. Some of you just can't cope with the fact that Obama and Reagan worked toward the same end. I think psychologists call that "cognitive dissonance".
Somebody mentioned nuclear fallout, and whether it does and doesn't travel around the world. When I was a child in the 50's, it was great fun to eat snow (with or without maple syrup), until it was discovered the snow included radioactive fallout and was no longer safe. Nuclear testing was poisoning everybody. That realization led to the test ban treaties.
Read Kurt Vonnegut's novel "Cat's Cradle", where "ice-nine" can be seen to represent the vast nuclear arsenals that could end our civilization in an instant. The looming threat of nuclear war was a constant nightmare for us older folks all through our childhoods, and I for one still fear it. A few dozen nukes are plenty of deterrence against any rational adversary, and there is no deterrence against an irrational one. What is important is to reduce everyone's arsenal to the minimum necessary level, or like the guy who kept the ice-nine, somebody someday is going to slip.