|15A048 Our Nuclear Weapon by Jim Davies, 8/11/2015
A quarter century after 45 years of the Cold War ended, nuclear weapons are back on the table of public discussion. Clearly, governments have learned nothing. Equally clearly, those wanting them to vanish have an extra reason to get busy with the only process designed to bring about their disappearance: some time, somewhere, perhaps by accident, those weapons will eventually get used. Again.
The "Iran Deal" is the occasion for this renewed debate, and Eric Margolis wrote an excellent piece on it in mid-July: Iran Paroled from Jail. There, he reminded us of a few facts about Israel which, strangely, seem never to get mentioned in the mainstream media: "Israel has an indestructible nuclear triad: missiles, aircraft, and most lately German-supplied submarines with nuclear-armed missiles on station in the Arabian and Red Seas. If Iran attacked Israel, its nuclear forces would wipe Iran’s 70 million people off the map. The idea promoted by Israel that fanatical mullahs in Tehran would commit nuclear hara-kiri just to attack Israel is absurd."
The discussion was extended by PBS' News Hour, which asked whether US nuclear subs need to be replaced, and if so by how many. My take on that was that since there is no ethical standard under which tens of millions of human beings should be vaporized either in a first strike or in a second (retaliatory, vengeance) strike, the answers are no, and zero.
One interesting response was to enquire whether that means it's immoral for a State to kill with conventional weapons also; he expected "No" but got "Yes." I favor the abolition of war, not just nuclear war; and if you want to abolish war, you have to abolish governments; for every war in history was waged by government.
Another noted that a government with a nuclear capability can blackmail one without; for example, if the US had none, Russia might demand a free hand in the Baltics as the price of sparing San Francisco from being turned into radioactive dust. It's worth pursuing the logic of that, for I know of no limit to the evil that governments may do.
In that situation if the FedGov still existed but had foresworn nukes, it would be in a pickle. No idea how it would proceed, for it has encircled the globe with treaties and the "loss" of the Baltics would deeply offend its imperial pride. But if E-Day had come and gone and there was nobody in D.C. to pick up the phone, the problem would lie instead with the Kremlin boys. Imagine: Comrade President, all I could hear was "The number you dialed has been disconnected. Please check the number and dial again."
What, then, would prevent the Russian government marching in to take over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania again? - nothing. It would be tragic. But governments have been trampling on people for 10,000 years, and for as long as they survive it will continue. The only thing to be done by good folk in the Former USA would be to help get TOLFA translated into Estonian so that, as here, the government there (whether Russian or home-grown) would evaporate for want of anyone to work for it.
Although my argument on the PBS forum centered on the immorality of killing millions, there is another good one against having a nuclear arsenal: it's useless. To employ it even against a helpless "enemy" would bring no advantage to the aggressor government. The population would be dead so there would be nobody for the victor to rule (and ruling people is all that government people live for) and little or no territory to exploit, for it will emit deadly radiation for decades or longer.
But, but... what about ISIS? - suppose a few years hence these suicidal fanatics build a caliphate and acquire nukes and then start blackmailing less uncivilized governments. To the Turks: surrender to our control, or we'll take out Istanbul. To Iran, likewise for Teheran. The problem would be that being fanatics it seems they would be content to eliminate such countries almost as much as to they wish to rule them; and that they have no fear of being nuked themselves for they have already proven their willingness to die for their cause. So they differ from all other kinds of government.
That's how it seems. But is it true? I'm less than certain, but think it's not. These people are certainly more ruthless than other goverment people - but they do love to govern. They may be motivated as much by religious fervor as by personal ambition. They express the deep frustration of Muslims that, while holding true to the world's "only true religion" they have been sidetracked from human progress for five hundred years or more; they plan to recover territory Islam once held, including Turkey, Spain and the Balkans, so as to rule it, in the name of the Prophet. So when we get down to it, I'm not sure they are so different from all other governments.
And if that is true, they can be countered the same way as all other governments, as I reasoned in Is IS Islamic? Like all the others, they depend totally on the willingness of employees - "grunts", particularly - to work for them. When that willingness disppears, so will they.
The way to remove it is for each of us to find one friend a year to take the freedom course in TOLFA, or an even better school if one arises, so that the number of people educated to quit government employ doubles annually, in exponential growth. That is far more powerful a weapon than even nuclear bombs. In fact, coincidentally, the process is precisely the same as is used in nuclear fission; an atom divides into two, emitting neutrons that cause neighbors also to divide, and transforming a small amount of mass into a vast amount of energy.
That's our nuclear weapon. It will change history.