Thursday, April 20, 2006

My mom, who grew up on a farm, always used to tell the story about how if a dog would kill an animal on the farm they had to “put it down”. “Put it down” is a nice was of saying shoot it in the head. If a dog tasted blood than the farmer knew that the dog would want more blood. So they could no longer trust that dog near their important animals.

I fear humans operate in much the same way. Once they know they have a weapon that has such awful power as to tip the scales on any conflict in their favor. They will not surrender it.

Dave wrote a comment in response to my post about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. He asked so what do we do about Iran having nukes?

I’d like to say that if everyone got rid of their nuclear weapons it would end the problem. I wish it were that simple.

It’s bad enough they were ever developed in the first place.

It’s bad enough that they were used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It’s bad enough that was an arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union where both nations accumulated tens of thousands of nuclear weapons.

It’s bad enough that the know-how has been leaked to the world, allowing anyone with the money and technology to make one or thousands.

How that the dogs of war have tasted nuclear power I fear that they can no longer be trusted. To rid the world of nuclear weapons, including Iran’s, I fear there are only two options. One option is good. One option is awful.

The first would be a change in world leadership where there was more trust than fear. Nations would start working together to eliminate existing nuclear weapons stockpiles and work together to keep anymore from being built. I fear this is not likely, because on June 2nd, 2006 the United States will engage in “Divine Strake”. “Divine Strake” is the test explosion of 700 tons of explosives to test the new nuclear weapons class called an RNEP (Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator). The RNEPs are the so-called “bunker busters” that we may purportedly use in Iran. Why are we testing weapons? Is there some plan we need to know about?

There is a good deal of skepticism about the effectiveness of these RNEPs. Please go watch this animation from the Union of Concerned Scientist. You can watch it here.

If the Unites States with the most powerful military in the history of the world still feels the need to develop new nuclear weapons, then what do you expect from the rest of the world?

The second option though less desirable is the one I fear more likely. Someone is going to use one and cause a disaster of an unimaginable scale. Of course the two nuclear bombs used on Japan to end World War II did little to sour world leaders on nuclear weapons.

But even one of the RNEPs has a payload sixty times more powerful than the bomb used on Hiroshima. So the ensuing disaster would be far worse. If the Union of Concerned Scientists are correct and the use of one RNEP would kill 3 million people, then maybe leaders could be shocked into action. It’s truly horrid that it would take 3 million deaths for leaders to act though.

I hate not to have a good solution to this dilemma. I’m sorry to sound so dire. I sincerely hope and pray I’m wrong. But the dogs of war have been in the nuclear henhouse way too long to be trusted.


Anonymous Dave said...

I also think it likely that the situation with Iran will eventually come to blows. I'm not convinced it will be nuclear action, but can't say it won't be either. I hope not.

I don't see "sanctions" working on Iran, and I don't think they are telling the truth about only applying their work toward nuclear power plants.

I hope to be wrong, but I think it's going to get much worse before it gets any better.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

The downside in a conflict with Iran if it goes nuclear it may never have a chance to get better.

10:01 PM  

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