Patterico's Pontifications

10/7/2007

We may have Just Missed Armageddon

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 6:10 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

As discussed previously in this post and this post, there seems to be much more than originally thought to the September 6 bombing of Syria by Israel. Now there is a report that a “very senior British ministerial source” says we came “so close to world war three that day.”

From The Spectator:

A meticulously planned, brilliantly executed surgical strike by Israeli jets on a nuclear installation in Syria on 6 September may have saved the world from a devastating threat. The only problem is that no one outside a tight-lipped knot of top Israeli and American officials knows precisely what that threat involved.

Even more curious is that far from pushing the Syrians and Israelis to war, both seem determined to put a lid on the affair. One month after the event, the absence of hard information leads inexorably to the conclusion that the implications must have been enormous.

That was confirmed to The Spectator by a very senior British ministerial source: ‘If people had known how close we came to world war three that day there’d have been mass panic. Never mind the floods or foot-and-mouth — Gordon really would have been dealing with the bloody Book of Revelation and Armageddon.'”

The authors speculate that it must have been nuclear and it must have been big because no one is talking about it – basically a modern-day “dog that didn’t bark” theory:

“The only conceivable explanation for this unprecedented silence is that the event was so huge, and the implications for Israeli national security so great, that no one has dared break the rule of omertà.”

However, there was more than mere speculation. There was also evidence Syria was developing a nuclear facility with assistance from North Korea:

“Meanwhile, the Washington Post noted that the United States had accumulated a growing body of evidence over the past six months — and particularly in the month leading up to the attack — that North Korea was co-operating with Syria on developing a nuclear facility. The evidence, according to the paper, included ‘dramatic satellite imagery that led some US officials to believe the facility could be used to produce material for nuclear weapons’.”

Why the secrecy?

“Why are all sides so reluctant to clarify the details of this extraordinary event? ‘In the Middle East,’ noted Bret Stephens, a senior editorial executive at the Wall Street Journal and an acute observer of the region, ‘that only happens when the interests of prudence and the demands of shame happen to coincide’. He suggested that the ‘least unlikely’ explanation is a partial reprise of the Israeli air strike which destroyed Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981.

Another of the ‘least unlikely’ possibilities is that Syria was planning to supply its terrorist clients with ‘dirty’ bombs, which would have threatened major cities through­out the world. Terrorism is a growth industry in Syria and it is only natural that, emboldened by its Iranian ally, the Syrian regime should seek to remain the market leader by supplying the ultimate weapon to Hezbollah, Hamas and a plethora of Palestinian rejectionist groups who have been given house-room in Damascus.”

Or even this:

“But that does not explain why the consignment was apparently too large to be sent by air. Look deeper and you find an array of other highly plausible explanations. The North Koreans, under intense international pressure, might have chosen to ‘park’ a significant stockpile of nuclear material in Syria in the expectation of retrieving it when the heat was off. They might also have outsourced part of their nuclear development programme — paying the Syrians to enrich their uranium — while an international team of experts continued inspecting and disabling North Korea’s own nuclear facilities. The shipment might even — and this is well within the ‘least unlikely’ explanations — have been intended to assist Syria’s own nuclear weapons programme, which has been on the cards since the mid-1980s.”

Whatever happened and whatever the reason, the authors conclude with this sober evaluation:

WMD and rogue states pose the single greatest threat to world peace. We may have escaped from this incident without war, but if Iran is allowed to continue down the nuclear path, it is hard to believe that we will be so lucky again.”

— DRJ

91 Responses to “We may have Just Missed Armageddon”

  1. I have no idea why the USA doesn’t just launch a preemptive nuclear strike on Iran, Russia, and China. I’m always hoping to wake up and read about that in the paper, but it never happens. Surely with the Stealth capabilities this would net positive military results??

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  2. Uh, Christoph, from one wingnut to another… if you really have “no idea why the USA doesn’t just launch a preemptive nuclear strike on Iran, Russia, and China” – you’re crazy.

    And not in a M.A.D. sort of way, which did have underlying sanity in it; just crazy.

    David Ross (abdf52)

  3. Christoph,

    You’re nuts. If that should happen, you will not “wake up and read about that in the paper”. The odds are that you will not wake up and if you do it will be to die in an agony of radiation burns in a hellish landscape a few hours or few days later.

    nk (6e4f93)

  4. nk, that has been way, way exagerated. Particularly if we take out much of their offensive capability from the get-go.

    The vast majority of people would have survived the initial effects of even a 1985 all-out exchange, and now with reduced warheads, that goes many times over. Radioactivity would cause many times the initial casualties, but not so much we couldn’t achieve victory with a ruthless initial assault.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  5. I’m kidding, by the way (although my analysis is still correct.) I’m even kind of sort of kidding in what I say next (I don’t really hate him… but I think he’s motivated by more Christian decency than common sense).

    Still, emotionally as a short-term gut reaction I mean the following:

    I hate president Bush.

    He’s totally going to tie his military’s hand to appease Gordon Brown. Snatching complications and defeat from the jaws of victory and reducing “diplomatic” pressure at the same time.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  6. Christoph #4,

    Yeaarghh! “A nuclear war can never be won and it must never be fought”.

    nk (6e4f93)

  7. It can be won and I pray it’s not necessary to fight it now or ever.

    Anyway, read the Telegraph article I linked to.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  8. This is an extraordinarily silly thread hijacking, Christoph.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  9. I’m not going to take some Telegraph article’s word over Reagan’s. In any case, I would if I could execute the winners for murdering innocents. Knock it off, Christoph. You don’t really mean it so stop playing devil.

    nk (6e4f93)

  10. The Telegraph article is about a conventional air war with Iran, not about nuclear war. There related insofar as if we don’t prevail there, the odds of the second go up.

    And I do mean that a nuclear war is neither the end of the world nor of human beings. Way way exaggerated, particularly with the reduced quantity of warheads available in the world and if you take most out.

    In no battle have the majority of munitions available been deployed in a short time period and a nuclear war would be no exception. The “overkill” was based on flawed mathematics like pretending the world was at Hiroshima densities and dividing much larger warheads into Hiroshima size payloads and pretended they could be delivered neatly in these concentric circles. And people survived within 300 metres of even that explosion.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  11. I’m pointing out Armageddon is slightly exaggerated. We had more capabilities in the 1980s and we couldn’t have destroyed the entire population in the world had the U.S. and Soviet Union sat down together and planned to deliver their warheads for maximum effect.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  12. The Telegraph article quotes Sy Hersh. That’s enough to end all credibility.

    As for nuclear war, counterforce strategies, etc., Christoph, this isn’t the thread to hijack into that discussion.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  13. It’s a thread about possibly a near-miss on the road to nuclear war. Most people do not have a realistic understanding of the horror of such a war. The biggest surprise to most people is they’ll still be here the next day.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  14. Christoph,

    Did 9/11 seem like a major event to you? Multiply that by 5 or 50 nuclear events and see whether Armageddon sounds right.

    DRJ (d0ada6)

  15. Where’s Alphie when you need him?

    nk (6e4f93)

  16. It also uses a recently retired 4-star general as a source and an unnamed military intelligence official in addition to Sy Hersh. Further, the article describes exactly what I would expect President Bush to do… fight a half-war to keep an ally on board for political cover.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  17. I mean about Christoph not DRJ’s post which is flawless.

    nk (6e4f93)

  18. DRJ, you and everyone hear should read Bryan at Hot Air’s analysis. He speculates Syria is keeping quiet because Assad fears a lethal threat to him in particular.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  19. Nuclear war is the ultimate ‘war of attrition’.

    Between 2 closely matched states, it would be MADD and not worth even pursuing. Between an overmatched foe, a first strike would reduce the chances of retaliation almost to the point of making it worthy.

    Do I promote nuclear war? No, just thinking out loud since you guys are talking about it :)

    I do see a strike on Iran soon, either by US or Israel.

    Lord Nazh© (62fa3b)

  20. With regards to the mother’s, that should be MAD, not MADD ><

    Lord Nazh© (f1a81c)

  21. Lord Nazh, please read the Telegraph article I linked to in comment 5 above. If true, Bush and Brown are planning on fighting an underwhelming air campaign against limited Iranian targets.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  22. “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa .”

    So good, the neocons are recycling it?

    alphie (99bc18)

  23. Christoph,

    I’ve read Bryan’s analysis and I don’t know if he’s right, just like I don’t know if the Spectator article is right. If Assad is worried about assassination, he could bunker-up and use stand-ins the way Saddam did or he could negotiate with the West the way Libya’s Qadhafi did. (Wouldn’t that be nice? But I have a hard time believing Assad is brave enough to do that.)

    As for the West’s plans for Iran, I wouldn’t be surprised if the US limited its actions to tactical air strikes against Iran. It’s also possible that covert US or non-US special forces will infiltrate Iran in connection with tactical strikes. Both of those options are consistent with no significant US ground presence and might be preferable if the goal is to destabilize Iran.

    DRJ (d0ada6)

  24. I don’t know if Bryan is right either. He’s a very smart cookie though and an ex air force officer to boot. Just wanted to broaden your thinking.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  25. Well, thank you, Christoph. Thinking is always a good idea.

    DRJ (d0ada6)

  26. i call bullshit. for a credible threat of armageddon to exist, you need two sides armed with nuclear weapons. there may have been nuclear material in the syrian desert, but there’s no evidence it was ever assembled into a weapon, which takes significant technical mastery, or that a weapon was ever mounted on a delivery system (more technical mastery). this sounds like more of the same hysteria that’s been propagated over the last few years to frighten us and make us more compliant, and i’ve had enough of it.

    assistant devil's advocate (c10e54)

  27. The Israeli air raid was partly a power play to warn Tehran. Iran, after all, has emerged as the main strategic beneficiary of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. The raid also had the unintended consequence of strengthening Syrian-Turkey ties.

    steve (f7db74)

  28. Christoph,

    Bryan is an ex enlisted guy with experience in the audio-visual arena. He may be smart but if it is about nuclear warfare he picked it up through a different avenue than his Air Force career field.

    Let’s look at some of the weaknesses in your assertion.
    (1) Radioactive fallout would poison much of the existing food supply, cattle and agricultural products. Nuclear winter is a possiblity as the atmosphere is blocked from the debris, changing the environment to a much colder one in the winter, killing crops, and the like.
    (2) If a nuclear burst were detonated at a certain altitude above a continent it would completely fry the electrical grid that wasn’t hardened against such an event. That alone would cause much of the world’s infrastructure to collapse. Dams wouldn’t function, air traffic would be completely grounded, communications non-existent. It doesn’t take long for the infrastructure to crumble if not maintained 24/7.
    (3)The amount of nuclear weapons available to the Russians and United States are still capable of destroying the world a few times over.

    You are very misinformed about the effect a nuclear exchange would have on the world.

    voiceofreason (4b44fd)

  29. Bryan = true
    He’s not talking about nuclear war as such.

    1,2,3 total nonsense. But commonly held.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  30. Christoph,
    You are wrong about 1-3 and offer no real facts, just opinion.

    http://www.unitedstatesaction.com/emp-terror.htm

    http://discovermagazine.com/2007/may/return-of-nuclear-winter

    The US and Russia each have 1700-2200 nuclear weapons. Take out the 1700 largest cities of either country and what is really left Christoph?

    voiceofreason (4b44fd)

  31. They would never deploy all their weapons, particularly if the USA struck first. Likewise the reverse.

    Regardless, one weapon does not necessarily “take out” a city. Ask the many survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, most of whom survived no long term effects that, for example, prevented a long life and reproduction.

    The majority of strikes would be air bursts, often several missiles per strategic target (naval yards, missile silos, etc.) to maximize blast damage with resulting small amounts of radiation.

    Warheads with a KT load in excess of 500 even if surface burst would leave little radioactivity because the majority of radiation is vented beyond the troposphere where it takes weeks to return to earth, by which time the roentgen dose is manageable.

    Most population centers would not be struck due to the quantity of cities in the USA. That’s assuming Russia merely struck the USA and other NATO and Sino targets, which is very unlikely.

    Nuclear winter is doubtful (most bursts are air bursts, etc… there have been over 600 above ground nuclear explosions thus far with no noticeable nuclear winter… a slight warming actually) a much smaller threat than disruption of food supplies.

    It would be the worst thing that’s happened to mankind thus far, but when all is said and done the population of the Earth would still be larger than the turn of the century and probably equal to that at the end of WW2 as a worst case scenario.

    Read this entire book (free online) and then we’ll talk.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  32. well at least only one person is suggesting nuke war isnt that bad a thing. i’d be scared if there were more.

    chas (1e9beb)

  33. It’s a horrible thing. So is a bar fight. One is obviously of much greater magnitude than the other. Neither will end life on Earth.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  34. A bit of trivia, voiceofreason:

    There are over 3,000 counties in the USA and according to the US Census Bureau estimates for 2006, there are 701 cities in the United States with populations of 40,000 or more.

    There is no way the Russians would even hit all 701. I doubt they’d try.

    They’d first target America’s nuclear assets, naval assets, land forces, industrial capabilities, and some of the larger population centers. Plus all of NATO, particularly the nuclear powers. They would also try to hold some of their SLBM and rail missile assets in reserve, which we would be hunting.

    It’s likely that whole countries would escape being hit.

    Don’t get me wrong. It would be truly sucky. The U.S. as a superpower may well be over. It may be defeated outright. My point is the “end of life on Earth” stuff is wildly exaggerated. Most people would wake up the next day and go, “Now what?”

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  35. Christoph,
    I have no interest in reading a book that was originally written almost thirty years ago that explained how to survive a nuclear war. The weapons have been improved greatly since then and his material is very out of date.

    “And I do mean that a nuclear war is neither the end of the world nor of human beings. Way way exaggerated, particularly with the reduced quantity of warheads available in the world and if you take most out.”

    Take out the 500 largest cities and you have eliminated half of the US population. Another 500 and you have a couple dozen million left. Not sure what they could survive on for more than a few days, but there you have it.

    “Regardless, one weapon does not necessarily “take out” a city. Ask the many survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, most of whom survived no long term effects that, for example, prevented a long life and reproduction”

    is one of the most irresponsible assertions I have seen from you.

    voiceofreason (4b44fd)

  36. It was last updated in 2001 and was written when there were at least 15 times the current numbers of ready warheads. But don’t read it. Remain dumb.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  37. You couldn’t “take out” 500 of the U.S.’s largest cities and all its inhabitants and accomplish other strategic goals with the amount of warheads they have and the smaller number that would be successfully deployed. Anyway, I’m arguing with a willful ignoramus who calls himself “voiceofreason”.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  38. You tell me to read a book that is out of date but the revised version is only available if you purchase it.
    You keep changing the goalposts. Pointless to discuss. You win Christoph, anything you say is the gospel.

    voiceofreason (4b44fd)

  39. I’ve read both.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  40. But when that book was written, there were more warheads and generally the warheads were larger. Which is a mixed blessing for the radiation reason I stated earlier (smaller warheads leave more radiation in the troposphere where it falls to Earth quicker while still dangerous… assuming a ground or near ground burst, which minimizes blast casualties).

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  41. “Both of those options are consistent with no significant US ground presence and might be preferable if the goal is to destabilize Iran.”

    DRJ, what you’re missing is the ORIGINAL U.S. plan was massive air assault to decapitate the regime, suppress air power, destroy anti-air weapons, and degrade the Iranian military generally with special emphasis on the Quds force.

    The new plan w. Brown’s approval allegedly is not to topple the regime, but merely degrade air and anti-air assets, plus take down the Quds force so it can be sold as an “anti-terrorism” mission. This is a massive difference and the primary goal is NOT to destabilize Iran. That is why I am in disagreement with this new plan. It’s a half measure that’s likely to carry most of the risk with little of the reward except for Bush and Brown’s political cover.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  42. Major T. J. “King” Kong: Well, boys, I reckon this is it – nuclear combat toe to toe with the Roosskies. Now look, boys, I ain’t much of a hand at makin’ speeches, but I got a pretty fair idea that something doggone important is goin’ on back there. And I got a fair idea the kinda personal emotions that some of you fellas may be thinkin’. Heck, I reckon you wouldn’t even be human bein’s if you didn’t have some pretty strong personal feelin’s about nuclear combat. I want you to remember one thing, the folks back home is a-countin’ on you and by golly, we ain’t about to let ’em down. I tell you something else, if this thing turns out to be half as important as I figure it just might be, I’d say that you’re all in line for some important promotions and personal citations when this thing’s over with. That goes for ever’ last one of you regardless of your race, color or your creed. Now let’s get this thing on the hump – we got some flyin’ to do.

    Horatio (7d8b39)

  43. General “Buck” Turgidson: Mr. President, we are rapidly approaching a moment of truth both for ourselves as human beings and for the life of our nation. Now, truth is not always a pleasant thing. But it is necessary now to make a choice, to choose between two admittedly regrettable, but nevertheless *distinguishable*, postwar environments: one where you got twenty million people killed, and the other where you got a hundred and fifty million people killed.

    President Merkin Muffley: You’re talking about mass murder, General, not war!

    General “Buck” Turgidson: Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.

    Horatio (7d8b39)

  44. Major T. J. “King” Kong: Survival kit contents check. In them you’ll find: one forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days’ concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings. Shoot, a fella’ could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.

    Horatio (7d8b39)

  45. I can’t believe I’m actually taking Christoph’s side against nk, but this “nuclear war would destroy the world” idea is nothing but pure Soviet propaganda that was so well spread by useful idiots in the US and Europe that it is still considered indisputable fact by everyone (even anti-Communists) forty years later.

    The main reason for this is, I speculate, that denying that nuclear war is the end of the world is like denying evolution or that HIV causes AIDS. No matter who you are, no matter what your evidence, the moment you say this you lose all respect and all right to a hearing. You will never get to present your evidence because people just will not take you seriously no matter what you say. Whether true or false, these positions are protected by politics and reason has no chance against them.

    For most people who know the truth about nuclear war, it’s just not worth the negative consequences trying to tell people. Of course as someone who is openly skeptical of evolution and of HIV, I don’t have a problem with this…

    Doc Rampage (ebfd7a)

  46. Doc Rampage,

    It might not be the end of the world in the definition that there are still people living but it would certainly mean the end of modern day civilization as we know it.
    Although it seems that Christoph and others (such as the writer he referenced) seem to relish an armageddon where they are the star of the new Mad Max show. Books on surving the attack, living in the post apocalyptic world, and things like that border on cultism.

    voiceofreason (4b44fd)

  47. Stev # 27:

    The Israeli air raid was partly a power play to warn Tehran. Iran, after all, has emerged as the main strategic beneficiary of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. The raid also had the unintended consequence of strengthening Syrian-Turkey ties.

    The most interesting and on-point comment on this thread. In my opinion.

    Itsme (de35ac)

  48. “Although it seems that Christoph and others (such as the writer he referenced) seem to relish an armageddon…”

    voiceofreason, no one on this thread “relishes” the thought of nuclear war as you well know so now I am pointedly accusing you of being a liar.

    The writer I referenced acknowledges in his book you haven’t read, that nuclear war would be the worst tragedy to ever happen to the human race. However, most people would indeed survive the initial affects at least and he’s created a teaching manual based on his work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on how people both collectively and individually can maximize their chances of survival — most won’t have a choice anyway and will in fact be struggling for survival in the event of nuclear war whether informed on how to do so or not.

    In comment #1 I made a black humor joke about a first strike: “read about that in the paper” should have given away the fact I am kidding and if it didn’t, comment #5 where I said, “I’m kidding,” should have. I then go on to say:

    #4: “Radioactivity would cause many times the initial casualties…”
    #7: “…I pray it’s not necessary to fight it now or ever.”
    #13: “Most people do not have a realistic understanding of the horror of such a war. The biggest surprise to most people is they’ll still be here the next day.”
    #31: “It would be the worst thing that’s happened to mankind thus far, but when all is said and done the population of the Earth would still be larger than the turn of the century and probably equal to that at the end of WW2 as a worst case scenario.”
    #33: [Regarding nuclear war] “It’s a horrible thing.”
    #34: “Don’t get me wrong. It would be truly sucky. The U.S. as a superpower may well be over. It may be defeated outright.”

    The last three comments were made when you and I were personally discussing this; therefore, you read them.

    So I repeat. You are intentionally lying.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  49. VOR, the point is

    1. Contra many statements to the contrary, there would be lots of people surviving.

    2. A nuclear war is winnable although at great cost. And with proper preparation, it could be done with minimal civil disruption beyond the deaths directly caused by the war.

    3. Most nuclear bombs won’t take out even one entire city (although there are a few that can).

    Nuclear weapons were made into magical goblins by the Soviets and their allies in the West during the Cold War specifically to harm America’s will to resist.

    Doc Rampage (ebfd7a)

  50. Doc and Christoph,
    Believe what you wish. A survivalist book and two opinions do not the truth make. There is no amount of preparation for an exchange of nuclear weapons, even a few well placed ones.

    See my observations about the infrastructures. Floods, diseases and general anarchy would be the start.
    Maybe you will be the self appointed leaders after the bombs drop.

    voiceofreason (4b44fd)

  51. I second ada’s call of bullshit. DRJ – HOW can you take an article like this seriously? Read the first sentence:

    “A meticulously planned, brilliantly executed surgical strike by Israeli jets on a nuclear installation in Syria on 6 September may have saved the world from a devastating threat.

    What the hell is that? Not objective journalism, that’s for damn sure…

    Leviticus (68eff1)

  52. voiceofreason, I’ve proven you’re a liar. And now you go on to prove you’re, as I mentioned earlier, a willful ignoramus.

    Floods???? (Yes, I assume some dams would be targets, but come on.)

    Disease? For sure. Not enough to wipe out the population of the Earth and “general anarchy” is overstated. Riots and conflicts, to be sure, but generally most people retain civilized values even in the event of wide scale destruction, something Cresson H. Kearny covers in his book, which you’re too lazy to read (even the free version while you whine a recently updated copy might cost actual money).

    “Floods, diseases and general anarchy would be the start.”

    But what you initially said is:

    “The amount of nuclear weapons available to the Russians and United States are still capable of destroying the world a few times over.”

    And you also said:

    The US and Russia each have 1700-2200 nuclear weapons [most of which are in the 200-750 KT range — Christoph].”

    And yet you’ve acknowledged the U.S. is not the only country on Earth which must be targeted, I’ve explained it’s likely some whole countries will escape strikes, I’ve shown many if not most weapons won’t actually be able to be deployed, particularly if there’s a first strike, and some will be held in reserve for post-conflict coercion, which we’ll be hunting, plus air bursts and weapons in excess of 500 KT will vent the majority of their radioactivity in the stratosphere where it will degrade before returning to Earth… and there are over 3000 counties in the U.S. alone with 701 cities with populations of 40,000 plus, most of which won’t be able to be “taken out” with a single modern medium-yield weapon, but then they won’t all be attacked because our enemy would focus several warheads each on strategic military and industrial targets.

    So what you’re saying is you didn’t know what you’re talking about and you’ve learned something on this thread?

    Thanks. And congratulations. You’re welcome.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  53. No Christoph, I simply pointed out your hysterical claims as bogus. An author who suggests you can live 10 feet underground to escape the effects of nukes is dreaming.
    You badly downplay the effect of the infrastructure coming to a screeching halt. A dam that doesn’t work means catastrophic flooding. Diseases running unchecked without a chance of a cure or vaccine being developed will result.
    There are currently 1700-2200 weapons in the Russian and US inventories. If each country threw out 1,000 nukes each most of those cities would be uninhabitable. And unfortunately most would have had the technology and means to solve some of the problems caused by disease.
    As for anarchy, you are smoking crack if you think that after a devastating nuclear exchange people would gather around the fire like they are on “Kid Nation”.
    You are out of your league on this subject buddy and it shows with each post.

    voiceofreason (4b44fd)

  54. The effects would be horrific, as are all wars and this more than any, but you are the one who is hysterical starting with your disproven (by your own numbers) claim about destroying the world a few times over.

    You didn’t even bother to defend against my charge — made twice — that you’re a liar in how you characterized my position since you so clearly are.

    Habitable is a relative term. Immediately lethal radiation levels drop rapidly, hence the 10 feet underground you referred to. (In many areas even that wouldn’t be necessary.) Then, cancer and genetic deformities would increase above baseline levels, but as Nagasaki and Hiroshima proved, would not completely destroy even the local municipal populations.

    Food production and delivery would be an issue and this may cause more deaths than the conflict… but nowhere near your hysterical fact-free nonsense.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  55. Christoph,

    I get it. You picture yourself as Mel Gibson leading his merry band of men round the US picking up the pieces. A little cannabilism here, some frontier justice there, and presto in no time flat you will have reestablished the infrastructure, medical system, and rule of law.
    You are holding up one book as the gospel on all your facts. There are many experts who disagree with him. yet you expect me to say “Oh golly gee whiz, christoph holds up a survivalist handbook as the end all truth, those darned scientists are lying”
    Get real.

    voiceofreason (4b44fd)

  56. “Mr. President, I would not rule out the chance to preserve a nucleus of human specimens. It would be quite easy atthe bottom of some of our deeper mineshafts. The radioactivity would never penetrate a mine some thousands of feet deep. And in a matter of weeks, sufficient improvements in dwelling space could easily be provided.”

    “How long would you have to stay down there?”

    “I would think that uh possibly one hundred years.”

    “You mean, people could actually stay down there for a hundred years?”

    “It would not be difficult mein Fuhrer! Nuclear reactors could, heh… I’m sorry. Mr. President. Nuclear reactors could provide power almost indefinitely. Greenhouses could maintain plantlife. Animals could be bred and slaughtered. A quick survey would have to be made of all the available mine sites in the country. But I would guess… that ah, dwelling space for several hundred thousands of our people could easily be provided.”

    “Well I… I would hate to have to decide who stays up and who goes down.”

    “Well, that would not be necessary Mr. President. It could easily be accomplished with a computer. And a computer could be set and programmed to accept factors from youth, health, sexual fertility, intelligence, and a cross section of necessary skills. Of course it would be absolutely vital that our top government and military men be included to foster and impart the required principles of leadership and tradition. Naturally, they would breed prodigiously, eh? There would bemuch time, and little to do. But ah with the proper breeding techniques and a ratio of say, ten females to each male, I would guess that they could then work their way back to the present gross national product within say, twenty years.”

    – Dr Strangelove & President Merkin Muffley

    Horatio (7d8b39)

  57. “Doctor, you mentioned the ration of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn’t that necessitate the abandonment of the so called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned?”

    “Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious… service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature”

    – General Buck Turgidson & Dr Strangelove

    Horatio (7d8b39)

  58. And this is just what Amadinejad is thinking:

    “If I could just hit Tel Aviv with a big nuke, there would be no response because God would guide my hand and the Zionist arsenal would be destroyed. Allah be praised.”

    And guess what? 100 H-bombs would rain down throughout the mideast, destroying every living thing in Iran, plus any number of Islamic capitals from Syria to Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, all of them dialed up to 11.

    Unlike the US, which could survive a single bomb, Israel cannot, so one bomb or a hundred, they’re all dead. And so are all their enemies.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  59. Reading through this thread there’s one conclusion that’s rather apparent. voiceofreason is the one operating from fantasy and Christoph from facts.

    I’m not taking a position here on the ethical, moral, or societal impact of a nuclear exchange but I call bullshit on these two examples as representative of muddled thinking. There are plenty of others.

    A dam that doesn’t work means catastrophic flooding.

    If it’s hit, it would flood an area. Bad, and locally catastrophic but the staement implies widespread catastrophe. The ones targeted to be hit would be to destroy electrical production not cause flooding and they are a very small percentage of the dams in place for flood control. Most dams have nothing to do with power generation. Why would they not work if it were not hit? This is chicken little stuff.

    Diseases running unchecked without a chance of a cure or vaccine being developed will result.

    This simply doesn’t make sense. It implies new diseases.

    Just Passing Through (ff997a)

  60. VOR, you’ve got me. I want to be Mad Max and that’s the source of my belief that a nuclear war would be survivable. I also want to be an NBA All-star and that’s the source of my belief that my new Rebocks are going to turn me into a super athlete. And I want to be the kind of chick magnet that can snap my fingers at any hot babe I see in the mall and she will follow me home for two solid days of non-stop sex. That’s the source of my belief that Aqua Velva makes me irresistible to women. And I want to be a multi-millionaire. That’s the source of my belief that 23-45-65-9-20 is going to hit the jackpot next time.

    You know, now that I think about it, it’s odd that man like me who believes impossible things just because they stroke my fantasies can even function in the real world. Thanks for making me aware of this. I’m going to have to learn how to be a super genius like you who can watch Cold-War fiction and propaganda and magically intuit the truth from those with none of that messy resorting to actual looking at the actual facts.

    I know! I’ll take some ginseng!

    Doc Rampage (ebfd7a)

  61. You know … there was a guy who survived a two-inch steel bar which went through his head — in one temple and out the other. But even that’s besides the point. If Christoph and Doc can build bombs that only kill men over the age of fifty, they have my vote too. (And BTW, Doc, there’s no reason to be chagrined that you agree with Christoph and not me. Hell, I know that I don’t know nothin’.)

    nk (6e4f93)

  62. Between voiceofreason and Christoph, I’m rooting for mutual destruction.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  63. There’s a theme here that’s important, SPQR. What you have here is Christoph taking what is arguably an unpalatable position because the facts warrant his doing so. You also have voiceofreason taking the opposite side based on what is arguably junk science because he finds Christoph’s position unpalatable. I go with Christoph not because I necessarily agree with his conclusions about whether a nuclear exchange is a reasonable tradeoff under certain (or any) circumstances. I do so because he supports it factually.

    voiceofreason gives the argument away when he dismisses Christoph and others positions as opinions even when repeatedly shown that they are factually based while simultaneously presenting his opinions as fact.

    Just Passing Through (ff997a)

  64. JPT, well I’ve paid attention to the question since Herman Kahn’s book but I found both more confused than not in the discussion frankly, but yes, Christoph is closer to being factually correct.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  65. Agreed. As I said in my first comment, I’m not taking a position here on the ethical, moral, or societal impact of a nuclear exchange. More precisely, I’m not supporting either Christoph’s or voiceofreason’s position. Just making an observation on the relative merits of the way they got there.

    Just Passing Through (ff997a)

  66. JPT,

    “I provided more than opinion in an earlier post.
    http://www.unitedstatesaction.com/emp-terror.htm

    http://discovermagazine.com/2007/may/return-of-nuclear-winter

    The US and Russia each have 1700-2200 nuclear weapons. Take out the 1700 largest cities of either country and what is really left Christoph?”

    As for diseases, if the medical facilities are destroyed and known diseases as well as new ones arise (typhoid, influenza, etc.) there will not be any source of vaccines. Does that make sense now?

    voiceofreason (4b44fd)

  67. “Between voiceofreason and Christoph, I’m rooting for mutual destruction.

    Comment by SPQR — 10/8/2007 @ 4:53 pm”

    Touche

    voiceofreason (4b44fd)

  68. The good counselor tells the king what he should do. The evil counselor tells the king what he can do. When writing “The Jungle”, Upton Sinclair wanted to bring attention to the horrific working conditions in Chicago’s meat-packing factories. Did it result in Occupational Health and Safety laws? Nope. It resulted in the Pure Food and Drug Act. Paraphrasing, Sinclair tried to appeal to people’s hearts and was heard only by their stomachs. My blog-friends, here, may very well be right in ignoring babies becoming shadows on a wall and focusing on survival rates.

    nk (6e4f93)

  69. At first, voiceofreasondeception, I thought you were simply dishonest, as I proved you to be a liar. Now I realize you are in actuality stupid.

    You repeat your canard:

    “Take out the 1700 largest cities of either country and what is really left Christoph?”

    Which, for a variety of reasons I’ve revealed (including, but definitely not limited to weapon payload), wouldn’t happen and wouldn’t be either country’s military strategy anyway. The war would be horrible… and you have no understanding of how it would be fought. Because you’re dumb. Willfully ignorant and with questionable thinking skills.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  70. Give it up Christoph. You repeatedly made the case that an all out nuclear war won’t effectively end the human race. You keep acting like I am saying one nuke can take out 1700 cities when you KNOW that is not what I said.

    Don’t you have to return you Thunderdome rental before 11 p.m.?

    voiceofreason (4b44fd)

  71. You’re definitely a liar (proven) and an idiot (demonstrated repeatedly).

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  72. Let’s look at one of them. And I will add once again the caveat that I am not supporting Christoph’s position, but rather his use of logic, fact, and knowledge base in getting there.

    The US and Russia each have 1700-2200 nuclear weapons. Take out the 1700 largest cities of either country and what is really left Christoph?”

    This implies one weapon per city and that one weapon would take out a city. It’s already been pointed out that this is not a reasonable scenario. There are more reasons than were mentioned that it is not.

    You continually present the most extreme and unsupported scenario as a factual expectation that should be the only concern on the table. More recently global warming advocates have done the same.

    You could make your case without doing this. The fact that you did weakened your position. Which, as I said in comment #59, is why Cristophe presented the better case.

    Just Passing Through (ff997a)

  73. Wrote that before reading posts 69-71.

    Just Passing Through (ff997a)

  74. You gents are into something else here and I’ll leave you to it.

    Just Passing Through (ff997a)

  75. JPT, leave through the door behind me, I’ll cover you.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  76. Thanks for your comments anyway, JPT. I’m sure it’s unseemly for me to lose my temper with VOR, but it is galling to be told you’re advocating for nuclear war when you say it’s horrific, could cause your country or allies to be defeated, would reduce the population of the Earth anywhere from tens of thousands to a couple billion, you are a likely casualty yourself due to your proximity to a major naval base (which will surely attract more than one of VORs 1700 warheads), etc… all because you prefer to understand the facts of a case rather than the logical fallacy of:

    “appeal from reason drawn from the ass”

    … which VOR prefers. Further, he insists on repeating a position he knows or ought to know is untrue. And he also refuses to take an interlude to educate himself, but would instead rather fear monger.

    Some things are true whether one believes in them or not and, at present, human beings do not have the capacity to destroy all human life. We may still get there given our capacity for applying new technology to warfare. When we do, I’ll be sad because I approach it rationally, but VOR will be pleased his negative pessimistic viewpoint is finally born out.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  77. Prediction:
    It will be revealed in the next three years that trolls were paid to post comments like Christoph’s on blogs to discredit them. That is why the MSM intentionally confuses the work of the blogs author with the comments left by the reader when they report on blogs. .

    tyree (130453)

  78. tyree, observation: You don’t know jack shit about the subject matter.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  79. Entirety of Christophs’ post #1:

    I have no idea why the USA doesn’t just launch a preemptive nuclear strike on Iran, Russia, and China. I’m always hoping to wake up and read about that in the paper, but it never happens. Surely with the Stealth capabilities this would net positive military results??

    [lots of humor gold there]

    Entirety of Christophs’ post #71:

    You’re definitely a liar (proven) and an idiot (demonstrated repeatedly).

    [what a charmer!]

    Christophs’ Post #76:

    I’m sure it’s unseemly for me to lose my temper with VOR, but it is galling to be told you’re advocating for nuclear war when you say it’s horrific[…]

    [sobering-up?]

    This seems to form a pattern: say something stupid, get called on it. Then equivocate and parse said original stupid comment, and lastly – become viruently snot-filled when challenged.

    The best tactic is likely not to engage that kind of behavior directly, sort of like one ignores children in order not to encourage them.

    JSinAZ (e2c10c)

  80. JSinAZ, you intellectually dishonest douche.

    The “humor” was at my own expense for allegedly being stupid enough to think I could read just read about a nuclear first strike in the paper the next day as if it’s another story. It was dark humor, maybe not even funny, but therein was the punchline.

    He did lie several times as I showed by saying I support a nuclear war. I didn’t and don’t.

    “Although it seems that Christoph and others (such as the writer he referenced) seem to relish an armageddon…”

    It’s a ludicrous statement and also a slur against the author he was too lazy to read. The author makes the case nuclear war would be the worst thing to happen, ever, as have I several times. Which brings us to “sobering up” @ #76.

    Try #4, 7, 13, 30, 31, 33, and 34, long before the number you disingenuously referred to as if I hadn’t said so before.

    My understanding of this complex issue, while incomplete, is based on facts, data, and informed sources, plus reason and a grasp of just how big the world is. It was always sober.

    Now, leftist loon, why don’t you try picking up a book instead of commenting on things you can’t be bothered to attempt to understand?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  81. Er. nk, it sounds like you are suggesting that since I concurred in Christoph’s factual point that a nuclear war is survivable, that therefore I’m not as concerned about babies dying as you are. That’s not what you meant to imply, is it?

    Doc Rampage (ebfd7a)

  82. It is a bit stupid. It’s precisely because I DO care if babies (and humans generally) survive or not that the facts behind nuclear war survival interest me. It’s astonishing that burying one’s face in the sand and refusing to learn about a threat to one’s own family is a badge of honor to some people.

    I wish us to avoid a war and I don’t want NATO to have such an unrealistic view of it that we fall victim to an attack by an enemy with more data. Fortunately, U.S. military doctrine has built in a strong second strike capability through SLBM and other assets to deter this.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  83. Christoph – it amuses me how much your thread-hijacking resembles that of alphies'; the additional fulminations are classic, repleat with wild-eyed spittle-spraying (“leftist” – what a maroon you are!).

    JSinAZ (e2c10c)

  84. It amuses me how much you criticize me without talking about either nuclear war (one of the topics of this thread insofar as it had “Armageddon” and “nuclear war” in it and you haven’t mentioned any opinion on the other topics of this thread (which I have) like the connection with Syria.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  85. If post #1 had said:

    I have no idea why the USA doesn’t just launch a preemptive nuclear strike on Iran, Russia, and China. I’m always hoping to wake up and read about that in the paper, but it never happens. Surely with the Stealth capabilities this would net positive military results??

    Comment by Christoph Alphie

    you would be in line, rightly, to call the commenter making the comment a troll. At least. Somehow, you expect applause.

    What a jackass!

    JSinAZ (e2c10c)

  86. I don’t expect applause. An intelligent effort to understand — like others have done — and discuss would be appreciated. I’m not waiting with baited breath for you to reach that point.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  87. Please wait with no breath at all.

    JSinAZ (e2c10c)

  88. “JSinAZ, you intellectually dishonest douche.”

    -Christoph

    You sound like Dan Akroyd in a Point-Counterpoint segment.

    Leviticus (68eff1)

  89. By the way Christoph, the phrase is “bated breath”. The use of that homonym suggests that you require mouthwash after breaking fast on worms.

    But hey, what ever floats your tiny bile-filled boat.

    JSinAZ (9e2136)

  90. Boy, this is the most impressive thread-jacking I’ve seen in quite a while………

    Techie (c003f1)

  91. 1. this isn’t a thread-jacking because the thread was about nuclear war

    2. I won’t defend Christoph’s first comment, but overall he has been nothing like Alphie. Alphie almost never presents an argument, just sarcastic innuendo that assumes as fact things that he obviously knows his readers will not agree with. That creates a spate of replies from people who want to explain why his obviously-silly premises are silly, others who react to the innuendo, and others who just attack back with more sarcasm. Alphie’s comments lead to much heat but no light. By contrast, a lot of people reading this thread have learned something.

    Doc Rampage (ebfd7a)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.4034 secs.