Thursday, December 08, 2011


History, n.: An account, mostly false, of events,
mostly unimportant,
which are brought about by rulers,
mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools
--Ambrose Bierce

We have guided missiles and misguided men

--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Morris was acutely conscious of the truth

of the proposition that the wider the circle

of knowledge the greater

the circumference of ignorance

--Riddle of the Third Mile
, Colin Dexter

A recent Quinnipiac University poll found 36% of American voters say the U.S. should take military action to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. But if economic sanctions fail to deter Iran, 50% would support military action (The Week, 12/9/11).

Nuclear weapons is not a hot topic during election years. The topic is on our mind after reading Jared Diamond (
The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed). Diamond suggests that man's evolution has reached a critical juncture since we now have the capability to put a severe crimp in any further evolutionary initiatives.

Since Ranger grew up with the bomb, the topic has always intrigued him. In school, he and his classmates hid under flimsy desks in the name of "Civil Defense". There were NIKE sites right down the street! High school students were required to read "A Canticle for Liebowitz" and "On the Beach".

When he became a soldier, he and his fellows trained and believed that they could fight, survive and triumph on a tactical battlefield. The Army had a program called ROAD (pron.
Row-ad) that divided the Infantry Division into Pentomic groupings of mobile forces to fight a nuclear-based ground war.

On the strategic level the national policy from around 1953 to the present has been MAD (=Mutually Assured Destruction), a comforting thought to some. In Infantry Officers Advanced Course there were major blocks of instruction
on CBR -- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Operations, which qualified graduates to operated effectively in these modes. In CBR operations in 1974, a 35% civilian collateral damage rate was acceptable.

This is Ranger's Army, that which would destroy Europe to keep the Communists from invading (making the concept of destroying a village to save it in Vietnam a sort of child's play, in comparison.) Fast-forward to 2011 and the U.S. has assumed a state of hysteria over the possibility of Iran gaining a nuclear weapon. Hysteria is not a solid basis on which to launch a war.

Do the folks favoring military action against Iran stop to think before they talk? Do they factor in the fact that the U.S. has fought two wars since 2002 and the country is in a world of hurt; how would we fund such a war?

Undoubtedly, the U.S. has
the nuclear arsenal to kill everybody on earth many times over, yet strangely we oppose Iran's attempt to develop a nuclear weapon. As the originator and main proponent of MAD, the U.S. position seems a strange one. Even if Iran had nuclear weapons, how would that upset the apple cart? Welcome to the world of nuclear weapons-owning nations -- here is how to behave.

If nuclear proliferation is the problem, then why doesn't our government make real efforts to reduce the worldwide inventory of these devices? Even a 50% reduction worldwide is not an answer to the problem.

Instead, we focus our futile angst against Iran.

--by Jim

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Anonymous Blakenator said...

I might remind you, Ranger, the socio/psychopaths who are in charge these days and their supporters have no intention (at least in their minds) of being involved nor of suffering any consequences (again, in their minds) of these forever wars.

Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 1:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

It's Not The End of the World?

Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 7:22:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Brilliant & mighty sarcastic lyrics and vid (I love the war imagery.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 7:27:00 PM GMT-5  

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