Thoughts of an American Centrist

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Justifications for Nuclear War

Thank you to The Yellow Line, for posting an amazing discussion on the ethics (if you can call it that) of Nuclear war. The discussion spawned from the comments made by Representative Tom Tancredo, where he said:
"Well, what if you said something like -- if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites." When the host asked him if he meant ''bombing Mecca," he said, ''Yeah."
It is my position that this policy would be absolutely immoral and wrong. There is by no means a consensus, however, even among the moderate community. The argument for Trancredo's proposition is most succinctly put by Michael Reynolds (The Mighty Middle) in both the comments section and his own blog:
I am confident that the people of Hiroshima were not all supporters of Tojo. Certainly the many innocent children who were incinerated were not at fault. Likewise the children of Berlin, many other cities we effectively obliterated.

And, as others have pointed out, we stood ready to exterminate virtually all life in the old USSR for a good forty years. Deterrence is a nasty thing. So is war.

It is absurd to pretend that threats like this can be relied on to work against Al Qaeda. However, it is equally absurd to pretend that they could not work against Pakistan. Pakistan is not doing all it can in this war, it is doing all that Musharraf finds politically expedient. Ditto Saudi. Ditto Syria. Should a threat to vaporize Mecca be seen as a serious threat by these governments, the equation of expediency might change very significantly. IT might focus their minds a bit and stiffen their spines.
An interesting point. My views diverge from Michael's, however, given the fact that the bombing of Japan actually saved more lives than it cost.

Upon hearing the statistics on that, Rob Jackson stated "Well, okay I guess...still turns my stomach." I believe that sentiment very succinctly describes all war. We get so wrapped up in lauding the bravery and honor of the cause for which our greatest generation fought that we forget that the actual 4 years (more if you're not from the US) that were World War II were pure misery for all involved. The Civil War, the American Revolution, and Napolean’s march through Russia, to name a few, we most likely even harder on the soldiers than was WWII. As far back as history has been recorded, war has been the most arduous, painful, costly, and insane of all human endeavors.

As far as Hiroshima and Nagasaki are concerned, I believe that the bombs were indeed justified. Our invading forces would have lost, by conservative estimates of the time, between 100,000 and 200,000. The losses of Japanese military would be even higher. The culture of honor over life would have pushed casualties of rock-throwing, sharp-stick-bearing Japanese civilians over 1 million. The absolute horror that was the world's only nuclear attack was very dramatic, but it was the preferable option to the long, drawn out, classical invasion that necessarily would have followed. Pulling the trigger on a lesser horror to prevent one greater; that is war.

That being said, it is completely fallacious to compare today’s atomic arsenal to fat man and little boy. The strength increases of today’s atomic bombs over those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are measured by orders of magnitude. The cold war situation was completely different: mutually assured destruction. The question of whether such a policy was immoral is completely irrelevant. We had no choice. It was either point our weapons back at the USSR, or accept a Soviet empire.

That, perhaps, is what makes war so barbaric: when faced with the enemy, survival must, of necessity, trump any and all morals.

That is my thinking on the bombing of Japan and the cold war. I see no acceptable parallels between those two events and the bombing of Mecca. We bombed Japan to end a war. We threatened to bomb the Soviets to keep one from starting. Bombing Mecca would neither be a deterrent to terrorists, nor a final defeat to Jihad. It would merely be the angry response of a nation gone insane.

24 Comments:

  • No it wouldn't. It would be the angry response of a nation that says, "Fine, you chose how to deal with us, so we'll pay you the respect of dealing the same way with you."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:30 AM  

  • But that's just the point: we wouldn't be retaliating against the terrorists, we'd be retaliating against innocent people who just happened to share their faith.

    We deal with terrorists in a merciless manner, but not innocent civilians just because the happen to be Muslim.

    By Blogger Jonathan C, at 9:45 AM  

  • It is my view that the dynamic in the loss of NYC, LA, and DC for example would be that:

    *Americans would view Muslims and Islam as the problem.
    *The solution would be to simply kill all Muslims and destroy Islam as an ideology and religion.

    We are talking about the death of between 3-10 million people, the NYT, Presidency/Supreme Court/Congress, WaPo, much of CNN/media would simply cease to exist. The moral brakes on our behavior would simply not exist. Bataan and Wake Island and Pearl Harbor and Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima and Tarawa and Okinawa all served to harden the US towards anything that would achieve the goal: elimination of the Japanese military and total unconditional surrender.

    Co-ordinated nuclear attacks that kill millions and decapitate our leadership in all areas would compress that WWII dynamic to a matter of days. It's naive and stupid not to talk about what would happen.

    Bin Laden cannot make nukes on his own, he'll rely on Pakistan or Iran to get them. Letting them know generally that such an attack would result in not only their nations ceasing to exist but also Islam is IMHO the only way to cut short the escalation on the other side.

    Nuclear proliferation cannot be stopped. If nations want nukes the tech is available, and well known. Western and Chinese companies WILL sell to them. The record of the UN and US/Soviets-Russia/China in controlling nukes is miserable failure. However, MAD of which this is another variant can act to deter Iran or Pakistan from arming bin Laden with nukes.

    Yes we would nuke Mecca and Medina and the nuclear armed Islamic countries if attacked in this manner. Islam would cease to exist and hundreds of millions would die who are wholly innocent. To avoid that almost anything is justifiable IMHO.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:33 PM  

  • So, Anonymous, what is that "almost anything"? How do we avoid it?? Doesn't look good, right?

    Michael Reynolds argues (and the argument has been going on at AmbivaBlog too) that we avoid it by threatening to do it, and meaning it. Richard Lawrence Cohen counters that it's a case of "speaking loudly and using a small stick," that "It sounds desperate and shrill . . . Therefore it is actually not a powerful threat."

    I don't know if I feel the war in Iraq was in essence a diversion and a distraction. Democracy and economic dynamism -- sources of earthly hope -- are the only antidotes to the allure of Paradise. I feel badly that the war was so wretchedly mismanaged. It may turn out to have been a great missed opportunity.

    By Blogger amba, at 9:02 PM  

  • anon,

    I believe that the supposition that the only way to stop a nuclear terrorist attack is by threat of retribution against supporting countries is naive. If the terrorists were to obtain nuclear weapons, how are we supposed to know who provided them with the technology? We can't very well say, "if the terrorists bomb us, we will bomb Russia, China, Pakistan, North Korea, and anyone else we feel may have provided them with weapons." Besides, in the doomsday scenario you talked about (which I believe is, in any instance, a gross exaggeration), there would be no CIA, NSA, or DoD to figure out who the actual culprit is.

    And that is just an argument for dealing with the aftermath of an attack. The immediate consequences of threatening Islamic holy sites and any countries we don't trust would, in effect, start another cold war in the name of the War on Terrorism, while not deterring the actual terrorists in the least. What of the long standing allies we have left in this planet? Do you seriously think Europe, East Asia, Israel, and India would really support us on this? Not a chance, we'd be going it alone. Even Tony Blair, the most pragmatic and clearheaded of our allies, would see what a fallacy this is and abandon us.

    Richard Cohen, when posting on amba's blog, was right. It is implicit threat of force that persuades, not mindless and reactionary squawking. If we want to stop a nuclear terrorist threat, we need to go after the terrorists. We need to go after them at their bases, at their suppliers, at their labs, at their remote outposts, and finally at our borders and in our cities.

    Threatening our allies (yes, believe it or not, we’re on good terms with Russia, China, and even Pakistan) is not an effective way to achieve this goal. Threatening the world-wide symbol of one of the largest earthly religions is even worse.

    By Blogger Jonathan C, at 9:14 AM  

  • lolita chin
    lolitas 13
    lolitas kid
    free anal sex
    lolita picture
    lolita suck
    lolita cp terra loltobbs ftp lol
    lolita vip lolitas virgins bbs
    lolita lolly fuck movie children
    [url=http://shelterland.com/index.shtml]lolita chin[/url]
    [url=http://shelterland.com/index1.shtml]lolitas 13[/url]
    [url=http://shelterland.com/index2.shtml]lolitas kid[/url]
    [url=http://shelterland.com/index3.shtml]free anal sex[/url]
    [url=http://shelterland.com/index4.shtml]lolita picture[/url]
    [url=http://shelterland.com/index5.shtml]lolita suck[/url]
    [url=http://shelterland.com/index6.shtml]lolita cp terra loltobbs ftp lol[/url]
    [url=http://shelterland.com/index7.shtml]lolita vip lolitas virgins bbs[/url]
    [url=http://shelterland.com/index8.shtml]lolita lolly fuck movie children[/url]

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:39 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:56 AM  

  • I gathered a couple of pillows and put them under my head and chest and raised my butt up.
    It didn't take us long to get into position and he was soon sliding himself into me very slowly.
    He was right, his ukraine top child was touching some places it missed when we did it with him lying on top of me.
    When he had himself buried he began long slow thrusts while pulling me back to him with a hand on each of my hips.
    A few minutes of that and he let one hand go and reached around and gently massaged a nipple.
    Between his young model driving deep inside of me and his fingers on my breast I knew I was going to explode quickly. "Don, I'm going to preteen model
    "Honey, see if you can hold back a bit and maybe we can puss pedo at the same time.""I'll try."
    I felt him stroking the shaft of his lolita while the head was in me and moving it in and out of me ever so slowly.
    I could see what he was doing.
    He was getting himself aroused with jacking himself off with only part of his preteen bbs in me so he could try and free teen porn at the same time as I would.
    I could feel the heat rising in me and I threw my ass back at him and drove his preteen sample video all the way in as I felt my orgasm come over me. "Don I'm coming."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:36 AM  

  • Best regards from NY! »

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:54 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:13 AM  

  • I knew my mom was hot from the time I hit puberty. As soon as I began masturbating I was fantasizing about her. And later, in high school all the guys were always over to use my pool in the summer, hoping she would be home from work or be tanning on the weekends. Mom rarely disappointed too, sunning herself in a modest two-piece on the weekends while all my male friends gawked at her. If she ever knew she was the neighborhood hot mom she never gave any indication.
    The older I got the more I thought about mom and every girl I dated was compared to her. I had a steady girlfriend through high school, but a careful eye would have seen that she was just a younger version of my mom and when I was with my girlfriend I often imagined she was my Mom. Not that she needed a younger version of herself. Mom was twenty-two when she had me, so when I was in high school she was in her thirties and looked like she could have been in her twenties. Mom had been a beauty queen in high school and the years hadnÒt diminished her looks one bit. Her long, sunny blond hair still fell past her shoulders, I used to play with it all the time when I was little, and her eyes still sparkled blue. And Mom has kept her amazing body. Seeing old pictures I think it got better after she had two kids. Her ass is rounder and plumper than when she was a teen and her breasts look heavier, theyÒre 36CÒs, I know from checking out her bras in the laundry, too. Sometimes thinking about Mom just makes my cock ach
    e.
    So anyway, IÒm twenty-two now, the same age that Mom was when she had me and sheÒs been my lover for over two years now. I found a way to make my fantasies come true when I was nineteen and away at college. They say that the meeting of all those different cultures and ideas is good. I know it was for me. Some of you may think what I did to get my Mom was wrong, but I canÒt say I have any regrets. HereÒs my story.
    My freshman year at college I met this exchange student from India named free erotic sex stories. Saji was a great guy and we decided that we would be roommates during our sophomore year. When we became roommates we became the best of friends and I took him back home for a weekend. He stayed in the guest room and we had a great time. And I could tell by the way he looked at my Mom that free french very young 16 yrs old wanted her just as much as all my friends always had. But Saji was different. He actually said something. We were drinking in the dorm one night.
    Dude, would you get pissed if I told you something? free galleri teen porn asked, taking a swig of his beer.
    I donÒt think so. Try me. I replied.
    Well, I have not been able to stop thinking about your mother. She is such a hottie.
    I didnÒt know what to say, so I agreed.
    She came to check on me the first night, she was standing in the doorway and I could see right through her nightgown. I felt really bad about thinking of your mother that way, but I couldnÒt help it.
    I knew just the nightgown he was talking about. It always drove me crazy too. I tried to make him feel better, and maybe me too a little. If you think you feel bad, think how I feel. IÒm her son!
    What? You think your mother is hot too? free gay anal was very surprised.
    I had told him a little so I didnÒt see what there was to loose by telling him the rest. Dude, IÒve been fantasizing about my mom since I was a kid. How could I not? SheÒs like a goddess. free gay sex nodded his agreement. Sometimes I think I am doomed to never be completely happy with another girl.
    So would you? You knowÅ I thought I knew what he meant, but didnÒt say anything. If you could, Saji continued, would you be with her?
    IÅIÅuh, hell, of course I would. As weird as thatÒs supposed to be, I would in a heartbeat. Just thinking about it got me hard. But dude, there is no way she would ever even think about it. She loves my dad way too much. That part was true. My parents acted like they were as in love as the day they met. My dad worked hard and that meant being on business trips a few days every month, going to some regional office or another and every time he came back I would be able to hear my parents making love from down the hallway. My mother was so loud every time she came. Believe me, that had provided more fodder for fantasy than a hundred pornos could. And anyway, she would probably hate me, think I am some disgusting little freak if she knew how I feel.
    There was a glint in SajiÒs eyes now. What if I could do something to help you? If I could make your fantasy come true, would you do it then?
    I had no idea what he was talking about. It was all academic, so I said, Sure.
    Then this is your lucky day, friend. free incest hentai went on to tell me how back in India his family was well-regarded herbalists and medicine men and that when his father came to this country he brought much of his knowledge with him. Saji had been studying with his father for as far back as he could remember his father had been mixing up elixirs that healed the family far faster than western medicine had to offer. But what Saji had to help me was not a medicine, he said. It was something his father would not teach him and Saji had only been able to learn by sneaking into his fatherÒs journals. What was it? Now that Saji had teased me I had to know what he was talking about. There was a mixture of powdered herbs that when combined acted like a psychotropic agent. What the hell was that, I asked him. Saji smiled and simply said, Mind control.
    YouÒre out of your mind. What, am I going to hypnotize my mother into sleeping with me? I snorted.
    No, itÒs nothing as clumsy as you would see in a movie, Saji told me. This, he said, worked over time. Several weeks to a month, depending on how strong-willed the subject was. Well, I knew Mom was pretty strong-willed. The subject did not turn into a zombie and best of all they had no idea what was happening. As far as the subject was concerned all of their thoughts and feelings were coming from them.
    So why are you offering me this ancient family secret? I asked. There had to be a catch.
    Because youÒre the only person here whoÒs truly been a friend to me. And, obviously I expect you to tell me every detail.
    I donÒt know why I made the show of struggling over my decision, but I did. After a few minutes of silence I told Saji, Okay, what do I have to do?
    When Saji went home for Spring Break he mixed up some of the herbs. Of course he wouldnÒt tell me what was in the mixture he brought back, but he assured me that it wouldnÒt do anything to hurt my mother. He handed me a big ziplock baggie of something that looked like green tea, but ground up more finely, and some written instructions, along with a vial of an amber oil. Saji said it had a very slight, bitter taste, but depending on what I slipped it into she would never notice. The oil was the activator. It was to be used after the herbs had softened Mom up. Lucky for me Mom has a cup of tea every evening after dinner, Saji said that should work perfectly because it would probably start kicking in when she was ready for bed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:32 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:15 AM  

  • Hi all!

    [URL=http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/dept/nak/Buttons/d/1/]tramadol[/URL]
    tramadol

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:34 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:56 PM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:17 PM  

  • Vey nice site! If you wanna get money please visit my site:

    soma

    buy soma

    If you want unsubscribe your site from my list plz write me fash10n_b0y@yahoo.com
    Beforehand thanks!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:32 PM  

  • Vey nice site! If you wanna get money please visit my site:

    xanax

    cheap xanax


    If you want unsubscribe your site from my list plz write me fash10n_b0y@yahoo.com
    Beforehand thanks!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:47 AM  

  • If you want unsubscribe your site from my list plz write me fash10n_b0y@yahoo.com
    Dont forget write your URL! Beforehand thanks!

    levitrabuy levitracialis levitracheap levitralevitra onlinebuy levitra onlineorder levitrageneric levitra

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:37 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:53 PM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:26 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:30 PM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:32 AM  

  • tramadol
    tramadol
    http://comp.uark.edu/~comm2/d/tramadol/new.html tramadol

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:43 AM  

  • You have an outstanding good and well structured site. I enjoyed browsing through it »

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:20 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home