I know it may seem like I've fallen into hole, but I really havent. It's just been Spring Break here at the Daveawayfrom Household, and everyone has been at home, leaving me little time for blogging (I suspect summer will not be kind).
One place I have been talking this week is United We Lay, engaging (when I have time) in a rather long debate about nuclear pre-emptive strikes. It was the usual thing; on one side war-hawks who think nothing of American hegemony bringing death to hundreds of thousands of other people. On the other, good moral citizens who loath the military-industrial machine (fed on blood-slicked oil money) that the American Government represents these days, rather than its citizens. (Oh, and that George Walker Bush, jr., is the anti-christ).
Since it represents the only thing of any real substance I've said in a couple of weeks, I'll reproduce (more or less) my part in it here on my own blog.
First, though, just so no one thinks I'm exaggerating about the U.S. plans for using nukes if it wants to, here's an article from the Washington Post. Or how about this speech from a conference on U.S. nuclear policy and counterproliferation. Or maybe this rather over-the-top (one hopes) article describing how BushCo Policy will bring on a nuclear holocaust
But first, a little scenario: Say there's a playground. It's the oldest playground in town in the one of the poorer neighborhoods. Most of the kids there are related, but they fight, a lot, always whacking each other with sticks. Then one day a new kid shows up. He's a lot bigger than the others, and he's not carrying a stick, but an aluminum baseball bat. At first he says he just wants trade some candy for a soccer ball or two (the kids seem to have plenty), but pretty soon he's started telling the other kids what to do. The neighborhood kids, naturally, resent this, (and try to ignore him), but he can be rather insistant. They hope a few whacks might convince him to leave, but even though he might grunt a bit when smacked with a stick, it never slows down his fist when he hits back (most of the kids take to running attacks). Pretty soon the Big Kid is getting madder and madder, and threatening the locals with his bat. All they want him to do is go away (even the kids he's been giving candy to would like to see less of him), but he wont go.
Why wont he go back home and leave those kids alone? And is it any wonder that they too would like to get their hands on a baseball bat?
Personally, I think anyone advocating raining nuclear death upon anybody perhaps need to review a bit of information. The two small warheads dropped on Japan during WWII killed over 150,000 people instantly. After various cancers and birth defects took their toll, the number was over 310,000.
Two SMALL bombs dropped on relatively unimportant cities. Tell me again that you want those bombs dropped.
Someone suggested that those advocating or celebrating attacks upon the U.S. have somehow given up their "innocent civilian" status (through aggressive rhetoric, I guess). Oddly, they dont seem to have noticed that the same could be said for Americans who lobby for killing those who dont like them.
So who is innocent? Nobody.
But I'm not sure that should be the standard for who to kill. Shouldnt it require something a bit more, like, perhaps, a deadly attack, with a clear attacker. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I thought we lived in a country where we believe that someone is innocent until proven guilty. Oh, and I think there was something about avoiding cruel and unusual punishment, also (I think killing a few hundred thousand people might qualify for "cruel", and probably also "unusual").
At least the people who are fighting against us are willing to get their hands dirty. Most Americans prefer to send the youth of the nation, that is, when we're not sending expensive explosive devices. You can see why we might like to use the Bomb. So "clean", so easy, and as long as the press is controlled, we'll barely have to look at the scorched skeletons of children. (Other people's children)
I'd also like to point out that should the U.S. undertake to do one of these "pre-emptive" strikes, it would be the third time that anyone had dropped a nuclear device, and it would have been done, once again, by the United States of America.
So, who's the dangerous bully? Who then would be the country that doesnt behave in a civilized manner? The most powerful nation on the planet, and when someone shakes a stick at us, and says, "oooh, I wish I had a baseball bat" (like the one we have), is the answer to break their skull open with that bat?
Well, listen, do you want to kill enough people to populate Cincinnati? Then go get a gun, hop on a plane, and go over there and start shooting. But dont sit there in your armchair in the comfort of your home, and talk about killing hundreds of thousands of people without even having to get up.
We are a Nation that claims that all are innocent until proven guilty, yet we can contemplate attacking a nation that we think might someday use nuclear weapons on us? If you had smacked your brother in the head and then claimed "he was going to hit me", you would still be in trouble. Pre-emptive attacks are the actions of cowards and bullies, and is perhaps the most Un-American action we could possibly engage in.
The Founders of this country, in addition to being Philosophers and Statesmen, were also gentlemen, something few in this country can now claim, especially those "leading" us. And Gentlemen, especially when dealing from a position of power, do not draw first blood.
And please dont insult anyone's intelligence anymore by bringing up 9/11®. There was no Iraq connection. There is no Iran connection. There is only Islam to draw the three things together (and, specifically, a fundamentalist version of Islam, not shared by all; see Wahabi and this BBC report). If you want to believe that's enough to justify killing on a scale of millions, that's your business, but then I must ask this:
What separates you from the Terrorists at that point?
Hey, for some more info on the bombing of Japan go here or here