Wednesday, April 12, 2006

First Strike Nukes?

Billmon, writing at the Whiskey Bar, has penned a thought-provoking and horrible post about what would happen if we used nukes in Iran, as Bush is currently considering.

His conclusion mirrors my darkest fears - we would accept it.
More to my point, though, I think it's possible that even something as monstrously insane as nuclear war could still be squeezed into the tiny rituals that pass for public debate in this country – the game of dueling TV sound bites that trivializes and then disposes of every issue.

We’ve already seen a lengthy list of war crimes and dictatorial power grabs sink into that electronic compost heap: the WMD disinformation campaign, Abu Ghraib, the torture memos, the de facto repeal of the 4th amendment. Again, why should a nuclear strike be any different? I can easily imagine the same rabid talk show hosts spouting the same jingoistic hate speech, the same bow-tied conservative pundits offering the same recycled talking points, and the same timid Beltway liberals complaining that while nuking Iran was the right thing to do, the White House went about it the wrong way. And I can already hear the same media critics chiding those of us in left Blogostan for blowing the whole thing out of proportion. It’s just a little bunker buster, after all.

Why should anyone or anything change? When a culture is as historically clueless and morally desensitized as this one appears to be, I don’t think it’s absurd to suppose that even an enormous war crime – the worst imaginable, short of outright genocide – could get lost in the endless babble of the talking heads. When everything is just a matter of opinion, anything – literally anything – can be justified. It’s only a matter of framing things so people can believe what they want to believe.
That quotation is just a piece of a longer and deeper meditation than you can find here.


Anonymous travelingal said...

Very scarey stuff. Reminds me of another scarey time in 1962
when our beloved President Kennedy and his brother considered a similar scenario.

Of course the Pentagon is going to plan for every possible thing that could happen. What if Iran nuked Israel, for example?

What's going on now is public saber rattling but I find it highly unlikely Bush will do anything since there are no nukes in Iran at this moment. He'll be long gone as President when they are pointing up in the air. I wonder what Hillary is going to do? hmmm

What we can't do is let Iran's threats go unanswered. If somebody tells you I'm going to kill your sister, what would you do?

I do agree with the article that the consequences of such an action are almost beyond imagination.

4/12/2006 1:15 PM  

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