The Half-Life of Nuclear Terror

A Quick Observation on the National Security Strategy” discussion, by CRK et al, Whirled View, 16 April 2005,

Mark at Zen Pundit blog was kind enough to email me a post on detering nuclear attack, now and in the past

The consequences of a terrorist nuclear attack would be far less than those of a Cold War first strike. It is unlikely that terrorists would be able to get their hands on one nuclear weapon, let alone several. Losing a large part of any city would be unacceptable. But how unacceptable? Unacceptable enough to launch a preventive strike on Iran? Unacceptable enough for an attack on North Korea?

Early in the Cold War, the argument was made that the United States could not accept the consequences of a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union, and that therefore the United States should pre-emptively attack. President Eisenhower decided that that was not the right course. We need to think the unthinkable, as the Cold War strategists did, and not flinch.

Mark Safranski’s comment was fascinating

The question of what deters al Qaida is essentially what costs would they find not worth paying in exchange for nuking, say New York city? Not their own lives, obviously nor do they care about the lives of fellow Muslims per se because they would be, in the zany Qutbist-Salafist world ” martyrs”.

All I’ve been able to come up with as a potential deterrent is the their having the knowledge of certain retaliatory destruction of Islam’s holiest sites – bin Laden and Zawahiri would shrink from paying that price.

This would seem at first blush, a terrible response but we once contemplated, with equanimity(!), incinerating hundreds of millions of Russians who had far less moral complicity in the policies of the Politburo than Saudi citizens have with supporting al Qaida. I raised this suggestion recently with Steve Coll ( Ghost Wars) and he responded ” This is exactly the question that I hope is being discussed in the National Security Council”.

We need to get serious about making the idea of nuking an American city and killing millions of Americans unimaginable once again. I have too much of a sense that this kind of action is viewed in some quarters as potentially an acceptable, if high-risk, gambit if enough cut-outs are used to muddy the waters.

I responded by noting that we have attacked other faiths in the past, and may do so again

After World War II America participated in the total destruction of two “enemy” religions (National Reich Church and State Shinto). In each case the ban was not merely a vertical shock — banning the faith — but an horizontal, ongoing effort to prevent its reemergence. NRC is still illegal in Germany, and SCAP (the American-led Coalition in Japan) stamped out several “unofficial” offshoots of State Shinto.

America rightly protects religious freedom at home, but it would not always be wise to protect the rights of enemy religions abroad. The full consequences of a holy-site strike should be considered (including the obvious blow-back), but the obliteration of enemy religions should remain a valid tool of American statecraft.

The Cause of the Plague

Health Department: HIV/AIDS cases up in 2004 in Minnesota,” Associated Press, 15 April 2005,

The Associated Press – Friday, April 15, 2005

As a people-killer spreads in Minnesota

More than 300 people in Minnesota were diagnosed with HIV last year, an 11 percent increase over 2003, the state Health Department reported Friday.

The AP waits until paragraph seven to state the main vector

The department continued to find disproportionally high numbers of cases among gay and bisexual men. During the past three years, the group has accounted for 50 percent of all diagnoses although they account for only 5 percent of the population.

That rate is roughly in keeping with national trends.

What aggrevates me is that the lower something appears in a news story, the more likely it is to be cut. The AP wrote the article so the homosexualism angle would be the one most likely to be left out.

If that’s not intellectual dishonesty, it’s close.


Shock – More Hatred in the Blogosphere,” by Michael Forbush, Dr. Forbush Thinks, 16 April 2005,

Forbush has been using blogspirit for almost as long as I have, though his blog history is much older. He writes well, he is friendly to commenters, and his site has been in my blog reader for a while.

Which makes his jumping the shark post all the more interesting…

Cao or Caohanifin or Whatever is attacking the French again. Her evil gang of right wingers don’t even understand the ideology and philosophy of Jesus, let alone the Republican Party.

So, Cao’s writings have degenerated into attacking, not just ideology or philosophy, but a couple who live in France because they have shown their gall to raise their heads and speak the truth against the hatred she has dispensed. These people are not just patriots with national ideology at stake, but we should invent a new word that means patriot in the sense of making the world a better place. These worldly patriots make the world better by promoting peace and unity instead of ranker and cancer on the world stage.

I pointed out Cao’s writings out as an example, but she is not alone in spreading hatred in the blogosphere. In fact, the right side of the political spectrum has taken to attacking the left with posts like these as in the same way that gangs walk around the New York subway platforms and spit on the beggars for not joining their gang and selling the drugs that is their economic lifeline.

These people are actually working for peace and they actually have morals and ethics. Unlike the likes of the false Christian morals lacking tribe or clan or is it a gang? These so-called Christians tend to use the Bible as a weapon to get their right wing fascist propaganda into the innocent heads of children. I feel so sad for these so-called Christians and their so-called souls. Hopefully Jesus will have pity on them, for they do not understand what they say. They do not understand the harm and hate they spread with their evil ideology.

While the Right is not immune from such things — witness the UN-is-Nazism graphic on Red Side of Belew, the “If you don’t agree with us you aren’t patriotic or Christian” meme has been spreading on the Left.

Partially, I blame South Dakota democrat Senators Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson. The Daschle’s camp groundless accusation that the Republicans were doing the same thing substantially lowered the bar. At the same time, Johnson’s complaints about “the Taliban wing of the Republican Party” signaled that it was OK for Democrats to question Republicans’ patriotism.

We should move beyond cries of un-Patriotic, un-Christian, and Fascist. It is too bad politicans like Daschle and Johnson, and bloggers like Forbush and Red Side, have brought us this low.

Update: Forbush’s comments were cross-posted on Right Wing Nut