The cover story in the October issue of Popular Mechanics cheerily describes tiny, allegedly high-precision first-strike “bunker-buster” nuclear weapons that are currently being developed by U.S. scientists.
Don’t you find that reassuring?
I mean, surely you’re not troubled by the fact that a Princeton physicist quoted in the article believes such devices would “release rather than contain radioactive fallout” -- that is, while most of the material “would remain within the blast area, a radioactive cloud seeping from the crater would release a plume of gases that would irradiate anyone in its path” -- and if such a device “were used to root out terrorists near a major Third World city such as Baghdad, the casualties could be in the hundreds of thousands” (the vast majority of them no doubt civilians). Are you?
And I assume you’re not thinking about the fact that the last wonder weapon we used in the Middle East, the supposedly pinpoint-precise Patriot missile, was not exactly what it was cracked up to be in 1991, right?
And certainly you wouldn’t suggest that our enemies might claim that our development of first-strike theater nukes justifies, in their eyes, more 9/11s, more Balis, and maybe even a secret WMD program or two.
Would you, Mr. Sandal-Wearing, America-Hating Neville Chamberlain?