Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Thank Heavens For Small Favors

Well, here's a spot of good news. It looks like the U.S. has dropped plans for research and the development of new classes of nuclear weapons. The plan had been to develop smaller, lower yield nukes, attach them to warheads designed to penetrate the Earth, and destroy underground bunkers (like the ones that dot North Korea).

I know concerns over nuclear weapons seem so remote, so very 80's, but this was some scary shite! The goal was to create a series of nuclear weapons that would some how be more palatable. I mean, we'd only be making very small glass parking lots. Now combine that with the Bush Doctrine (an idea that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, has the same gravitas as The Carrot Top Doctrine) of preemption and you've got a recipe for one scary goulash. Basicaly the idea was "Let's make it easier to start nuclear war!"

On one level, it makes a lot of sense. The nuclear threat provided lots of great entertainment. Who can forget such classic made for TV movies as The Day After or my personal favorite Damnation Alley (Jan-Michael Vincent was such a hunk!)? And what about the big screen? Without a nuclear winter there would be no summers with Mad Max, no The Road Warrior, no Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and, saddest of all, no one to run Bartertown and without all of these things, Christ would probably never have seen his passion reach the silver screen (Slightly off topic, if you read the Gnostic Gospels, you'll find that Christ was a man of many passions, being tortured on the cross was but one of them. He was also a serious fisherman, was a wine aficionado, and was apparently hell on wheels when it came to backgammon.).

Beyond that, the nuclear threat is way more productive as a societal bugaboo than car bombers and anthrax mailings (Remember those? Scary!). I mean, if you live in fear of terrorists, you might not go to the movies, or Disney World or that pro democracy rally. That's bad for the economy. A good healthy fear of nuclear annihilation on the other hand, that's something we, as a nation, can get behind. Where are you not going to go? You're never going to hear, "It was horrible, the nuclear weapon hit the theater but luckily I was safe across the street in the Bed, Bath & Beyond!" No reason to change your day's plans. Simply go about them with a vague toothache like terror.

Maybe I should rethink my nuclear non-proliferation stance.

Anyhoo, I think it's a good sign. With all the body blows the administration is taking, they seem to be giving up on some of these psychotic side projects (I've always considered Social Security reform as GW's Wings). Of course, the very idea, the hubris, the unmitigated gall and other huge words that essentialy mean brass balls behind this push to open a new arms race (with whom?) is at the very core of this administrations ideals. Embarking on this course meant violating treaties and agreements This Nation had agreed to and stood by, in some cases for decades. In the same spirit that didn't bring us the Kyoto Accords "The Buck Stops Here," has been replaced by "The Buck Starts Here and Stops Else Where, Hopefully On The Head Of Some Expendable Underling."


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