Wednesday, February 27, 2008

26,000 Nuclear Bombs for Us!

McCain has edge over Democrats reads this morning's Los Angeles Times poll report. And this could happen how?--Oh yeah, because McCain's more experienced than Obama and Clinton. It's like one of Jay Leno's questions to the man on the street, who invariably knows nothing:

"I just think he's older, he's more experienced, and he's got the betterment of the country in mind," said Robert Fear, 79, a registered Democrat from Newton, Ill., who said he planned to support McCain in November.
In case you're a reader who wants real information beyond the dullard remarks of an average (read idiot-sorry, I'm losing patience) American citizen, there is my friend Christopher Dickey's trenchant take in Newsweek online today on McCain and the Iraq "thing," as a Republican relative of his puts it:

But when I heard Sen. John McCain talking this morning about the "success" of the war in Iraq, I was the one cringing. Admittedly, I live across the Atlantic, but I had to wonder: has the whole country gone as crazy as my contentious relation, Mr. Republican?

Let's hope not. And I think not. But one senses in the GOP a hint of furor and fantasy akin to 2003, when authoritative and experienced men like Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz, the walrus and the carpenter of American policy, persuaded the president, the public and Congress that embracing war was the best way to bring peace to the Middle East. Supine as oysters, the vast majority gave their assent.

Now McCain would have us believe that more war, and then still more war—"bomb, bomb Iran" to the Beach Boys' melody—remains the best course to follow. "We will never surrender," he likes to say, "and they[meaning Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama] will." A more realistic appraisal: McCain will never come to his senses.

Nicely written, entertaining and ironic--a terrifying notion in its simplicity. McCain represents probably half of our fellow citizens who "will never come to [their] senses." Not a happy prospect considering the totality of issues facing us folks on the earth--inadequate medical care, nuclear weaponry, intransigent racial and ethnic hatred. And here we are focusing on Iraq stay or leave, as if there were an intelligent argument to be made in favor of ever going there at all.

Michael Kinsley, Los Angeles Times former editorial page editor, former editor of the New Republic, Slate and Harper's, said this in an op-ed piece on Sunday:

Imagine that you had been told in 2003 that when George W. Bush finished his second term, dozens of American soldiers and hundreds of Iraqis would be dying violently every month; that a major American goal would be getting the Iraqi government to temper its "de-Baathification" campaign so that Saddam Hussein's former henchmen could start running things again (because they know how); and "only" 100,000 American troops would be needed to sustain this equilibrium.

You might have several words to describe this situation, but success would not be one of them.
By the way--in case it crosses one's mind that terrorists pose any threat because they might get hold of a nuclear bomb and use it, how many bombs would it take to cause a stink on our planet? 1 in New York could kill a million people. 110,000 died in the Hiroshima nightmare. 10 nuclear bombs would wreak untold havoc if placed in heavily-populated areas. Would it make sense that several dozen nuclear bombs held by any country would be a major deterrent to another country not to press anyone's buttons-literally?

Then it should shake one's inner core of reason to read the following which is part of a review of several books in the New York Review of Books on the development of nuclear capabilities and it's consequences since the invention of the atom bomb seven decades ago:

US went from the atomic discoveries of the 1930s to the irrational situation in the 1980s in which a total of 65,000 nuclear weapons were held by the United States and the Soviet Union. Although the global arsenals have since been reduced to some 26,000 bombs, the United States and Russia continue to possess most of the world's nuclear warheads, with the other seven nuclear nations together holding the remaining one thousand.
Seems like a LOT of bombs, no?

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