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Tad Daley: Watered-Down Terror

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Posted on Aug 22, 2006
Nuclear city
Illustration: Karen Spector

By Tad Daley

(Page 2)

NUCLEAR DETERRENCE AND NUCLEAR TERROR

This leads to the second paramount truth about modern terror. The United States, after all, has vast military capabilities, including thousands of nuclear weapons of unimaginable destructive power. So does Great Britain, for that matter. So does Israel, for that matter. Surely, these bristling nuclear arsenals will deter anyone from launching a nuclear attack on these respective countries, won’t they?

Of course not.

Because Al Qaeda is not the agent of any state. Bin Laden does not control any territory. (Paradoxically, this is even more true after we destroyed Al Qaeda’s infrastructure and base of operations in Afghanistan ... and dispersed its leaders and operatives widely.) It is unclear at this hour whether the London liquid bombers were acting under the close direction or merely the inspiration of Al Qaeda, but no one has suggested that they were acting on behalf of any government. These terrorists are non-state actors. And all our military power combined can do nothing, absolutely nothing, to deter a non-state actor.

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This is the crucial difference between someone like Bin Laden and someone like the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. For all the current turmoil about the possibility that Iran might someday acquire a few nuclear warheads, Ahmadinejad could never actually employ a nuclear weapon without committing both personal and national suicide.

But Bin Laden does not face such a constraint. Because there is no place to threaten to retaliate against. There is nothing to rain down any retaliation upon. In the realm of modern terror, traditional theories of deterrence become inapplicable, hollow and meaningless.

Actually, it gets worse. It is not only that our own bloated nuclear armory does nothing to protect us from nuclear terror. Our arsenal of the apocalypse, on the contrary, makes apocalyptic terror much more likely to occur.

Why? Because our nuclear weapons serve continuously as an incitement for others to seek (or to retain) their own nuclear weapons—leading inexorably to a world with 10, 15, 25 nuclear weapon states. Because we will never be able to impose strict controls over the nuclear activities of others if we are not willing to impose any kinds of restrictions on ourselves. And because as long as nuclear weapons exist, it’s only a matter of time before just one ends up in the wrong hands at the wrong place at the wrong time. How many more wakeup calls do we need?

The U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force didn’t protect us on 9/11—nor did they deter the London liquid bombers. Our 13 aircraft carrier battle groups (no other country has even one) didn’t protect us on 9/11—nor did they deter the London liquid bombers. Our more than 10,000 nuclear warheads didn’t protect us on 9/11—nor did they deter the London liquid bombers.

Nor will they deter the nuclear terrorists.

What are we going to do, fire a nuclear cruise missile through the balcony window of their $750-a-month bachelor apartment in Las Vegas?


NUCLEAR TERROR: THE CONSEQUENCES FOR CIVILIZATION

The Los Angeles office of my organization, the Nobel Peace Laureate anti-nuclear group Physicians for Social Responsibility, conducted a study several years ago projecting the results of an atomic warhead the size of the Hiroshima bomb—about 15 kilotons—detonating at noon on a weekday in downtown Los Angeles. We concluded that 117,000 would perish instantly, 15,000 more would die within a few hours and 96,000 would slowly wither away after that,  victims of the deadly radioactive fallout.

Now, on Aug. 15, the RAND Corporation released a new study calculating the consequences of a 10-kiloton device exploding on a pier at Los Angeles/Long Beach harbor, which handles fully a third of America’s imports. They concluded that 60,000 would die at once, 150,000 would be exposed to hazardous radiation, 2 million or 3 million would have to relocate because their homes would be hopelessly contaminated, and vast economic costs would cascade throughout the global economy for years thereafter. (The World Bank concluded that the comparatively minuscule 9/11 attacks cost the world economy $80 billion, and cast no less than 10 million people into poverty. And the Royal Institute of International Affairs, apparently defining “cost” more broadly, found that the burden of 9/11 just on the United States was at least $500 billion.)

If these studies don’t worry you enough, recall that many of the nuclear warheads floating around the planet are far more potent than 10 or 15 kilotons. Like 100 kilotons. Or 1,000 kilotons. Or 10,000 kilotons.

Within days after a nuclear terror attack, all of us would probably see the remorseless imposition of martial law into virtually every sphere of American life—as our government endeavored both to track down the perpetrators and prevent future perpetrations. Would any American politicians muster the temerity to object? For those who worry about the degradation of civil liberties today in the wake of the Patriot Act, Guantanamo and warrantless NSA spying on Americans, only one thing can be said about the nuclear terror scenario: “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

And how might America react in the international sphere? Even if no evidence emerged regarding who was behind the dastardly deed, enraged citizens and demagogic politicians would bay for retaliatory nuclear strikes. Perhaps on Tehran? Perhaps on Damascus? Perhaps on Mecca and Medina? “We’ve got to strike back somewhere, dammit!” It is hard to imagine any American president resisting such pressures indefinitely. And it is hard to fathom the global depths of mass degradation toward which such responses, ultimately, might lead.


PREVENTING NUCLEAR TERROR: AN AGENDA FOR PROGRESSIVES

In our fascination with what one has to concede was a quite ingenious London liquid bomber plot, we dare not divert our attentions from the real threat. The real threat is nuclear. The right wing exploits this threat to whip up support for ever more military dollars here and ever more military actions elsewhere. But we on the left can offer alternative policy prescriptions of our own to forestall the nightmare of nuclear terror.

In the short term, we must make it our top national security priority to keep all nuclear weapons and materials out of the hands of potential terrorists—and, as the London police did, make sure that we get the terrorists before they get us. In the medium term, we might want to consider what it is about our foreign policies that so enrages so many, and whether we might eliminate old enemies and make new friends by demonstrating some humility, empathy and generosity on the world stage. And in the long term, the only sure solution to the threat of nuclear cataclysm is the abolition of nuclear weapons—and universal, verifiable and enforceable controls over all things nuclear. Eventually we must abolish these abominations, before they abolish us.

After the arrests were announced, Paul Stephenson, London’s deputy police chief, claimed the plotters were planning “mass murder on an unimaginable scale.” It’s far too easy to imagine that upon hearing Mr. Stephenson, some young Muslim man, sitting with his compatriots in a sweltering basement—perhaps in Haifa, perhaps in High Wycombe, perhaps in Houston—thought for a moment, smiled villainously and replied to the television screen, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”



Tad Daley is Peace and Disarmament Fellow in the Los Angeles office of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Nobel Laureate anti-nuclear organization. tad@daleyplanet.org


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By Keeith Anndruu Tvoostavr, September 23, 2006 at 1:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

S2006Sep23
28 Sudan St Apt 1
Dorchester, MA 02125

Concerning “Comment #20077 by Evan on 8/25 at 10:12 pm”:

The term “Politically Correct” should be used with great precision:  President George W. Bush finds it politically correct to support the production of nuclear weapons because he is influenced politically and financially by the nuclear power industry and militarily by the United States Air Force, and he expects the politically correct position he has taken to help advance his agenda.  His position is, however, morally wrong:  Nuclear weapons can only be used to kill billions of people.  One detonation of a warhead in L.A. would lead to the deaths of billions of people because the overpressure wave would cause the overpressure-induced ignitions (called sympathetic detonations by Air Force officials) of nearby warheads and nuclear power production facilities, in turn causing the overpressure-induced ignitions of nuclear warheads and facilities across the North American Continent, leading to greater than one hundred million immediate human deaths and an ensuing Nuclear Winter in which all remaining humans would perish within a few months.  A politically correct agenda can be good; the Bush agenda, while politically correct, supports the continued production of plutonium for use in nuclear warheads and is therefore evil.

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By OCPatriot, August 28, 2006 at 10:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Watered down terror?  Of course.  Safer?  Yes and no. How’s that for an answer? The people in Homeland Security finally made the captain’s cabin doors less easy to open, a relatively simple solution that would have severely changed for the better what happened on 9/11, yet the simple act of banning all carry-on luggage hasn’t been considered until AFTER this plot has been “found”. So the rule is, yes, we will take action that makes us safer, but only AFTER some terrible thing has happened. You are watching miserable bureaucratic forces at work, cronies in Homeland Security and entrenched government hacks in such agencies as the FAA, who only move when a sharp object is applied to their rear ends, and the snail’s pace at which they move is breathtaking. Has anyone mentioned honeycombing airline gas tanks to reduce the spreading of fire? And the nuclear threat, don’t even raise it.  There will be no “afterwards” if that occurs.  It is all in the planning, the understanding of the environment that could endanger us, and taking action to protect ourselves.  We can throw billions - yes, billions away on a war in Iraq and virtually a pittance on (quote) Homeland Security (unquote). If you look at the allocation of the Homeland Security dollars, you’ll see how laden with useless “pork” they are.

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By William, August 27, 2006 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just think about this for a brief moment, then consider where the real threat to the end of humanity is.
George W. Bush (I.Q. 90) has his finger on the red button and will for the next couple of years.

Will

P.S.
Don’t forget, he has a direct line to the “higher Father”.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhit

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By Shrapnel, August 26, 2006 at 7:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If anyone is going to nuke us it will be the same criminals who attacked us on 911. 

Are you a real scientist?  Surely you must be aware that the official story of 911 is physically impossible.  Perhaps you are one of those people who knows that the official story is a lie, but pretends to believe it because they are scared of the consequences of exposing the truth.

The London terror plot was a fake.  There is no evidence, aside from the suitcase found “in a wooded area near one of the houses” – an obvious plant.  There are no witnesses, no chemicals, no plane tickets, and most of those arrested don’t even have passports.

This piece is a bit of fear-mongering that would make a neo-con proud.

If you really want to prevent a the next terror attack in the US, then devote your energies to exposing the fraud of the government’s 911 fantasy.

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By Evan, August 25, 2006 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As much as it has been pointed out that the USA or Christians have perpetrated obscene acts of terror in the past and present (which are not defensible) the real enemy is a mindset of illogical, unreasonable, and dogmatic behavior, a classification shared by many people in many places. Unfourtunately, there is a certain group of people who have decided that their god requires them to kill as many people as possible who are not among their faith. The author rightly points out the possibility of them gaining access to a nuclear device, and there is no reason why an extremist group would hesitate to use it. They have no political agenda besides conquering the entire world for themselves, and have not only have no problems with, but actually seek out high collateral damage.

It may not be entirely “Politically Correct” to say it, but people whose goals are as much death as possible (such as Al-Qaeda) are different than people who avoid it (such as, although we might not realize with the news we see, most of the US or Israeli armies, which actally DO attempt to minimize civilian casualties, as bad as they are at it) and the world has a responsibility to prevent and destroy such dogmatic and terrorist dogma, not only in the Middle East or Muslim extremist groups, but in radical political or religious movements everywhere.

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By felicity smith, August 25, 2006 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

During the endless Cold War years, the H-bomb was referred to as something that was omnipotent at the same time as it was impotent.  It was an overwhemingly powerful device but it would never be used for fear of retaliation. You suggest that the bomb, though still omnipotent is no longer impotent.  Can’t disagree with that.

I do, however, believe that the primary aim of the terrorist is to terrorize and killing a lot of people in one fell-swoop is but one means to achieve that end and not necessarily the best or most practical or easiest to pull off means. In the case of 9/11 the targets were chosen because they symbolized American power - something a lot of the world would prefer not being subjected to.  The 3,000 killed were, to use our excuse, merely collateral damage.  I guess what I’m saying is terrorists don’t HAVE to go nuclear and if they did it would not necessarily be to terrorize.  Slaughtering millions would more likely be done out of pure hatred, and that segues neatly into Truth and Reconciliation as the best and perhaps only solution to the survival of our world.

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By Gregory Wright, August 25, 2006 at 8:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tad Daley makes some really important and vital points in Watered-Down Terror.  I especially appreciate this observation:

“We will never be able to impose strict controls over the nuclear activities of others if we are not willing to impose any kinds of restrictions on ourselves.  As long as nuclear weapons exist, it’s only a matter of time before just one ends up in the wrong hands at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Meanwhile, the Bush administration has halved our funding under the Nunn-Lugar ‘Option to Destroy’ program to secure and neutralize the old nuclear weapons of the Former Soviet Union, more than doubling the years until this single-most-important anti-terror activity is finally completed.  The Republicans don’t make us safer, as the conventional political sense suggests everybody thinks and/or is in some inexplicable way true.  No, the GOPsters make the U.S. and the entire world more vulnerable to nuclear terror and the terrible catastrophe that is waiting in some square of the future calendar of days to wreak havoc on our lives and civilization.  Thanks for nothing, GOP.

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By M.Shahin, August 24, 2006 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Do you really expect me to believe that countries outside of the US pose the biggest threat to the world?

We just have to look at the track record of the US: Hiroshima and now Iraq.

What more do I need to say?

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By Ga, August 24, 2006 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The other side of the “Oil” coin—“Arms”.

Don’t forget that beside Oil driving the U.S. manical corporate leadership, there is the insanely massive U.S. Arms deals behind it all as well.

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By sick and tired, August 24, 2006 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

why fear the unknown? besides in todays society of work, fear, family disintegration and materialism, death has no draw backs we could call it permanent vacation

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 23, 2006 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another piece of fearmongering in the service of the neo-Nazis in Washington, D.C. But didn’t the so-democratic U.S. killed something close to 300,000 innocent souls in Hiroshima and Negasaki,in the blink of an eye in 1945. Haven’t they already killed close to 300,000 in Iraq?
Here’s my own documentation of (Christian) Western legacy to humanity in history. I am sure this piece will encroach on the comfort zone of many hypocrites!
================================================
This Day in History: August 25
By Fadel Abdallah

On August 25,1992, the (Christian) Serbian army began shelling the National Library in Sarajevo, on purpose. Over a million books and more than a hundred thousand manuscripts were deliberately destroyed.
Three months earlier, the same army had attacked the Oriental Institute in that city, with its magnificent collection of Islamic and Jewish manuscripts, and over five thousand of these were burned. Well, for some Christian entities, even libraries are strategic military targets; something that speaks volumes against the so-called enlightenment of Western Christianity visa-a-vi Islam.
The savage attacks at the Sarajevan libraries of memories, by the (Christian) Serbian Army, took place for the same reasons that led to the burning of untold numbers of Arabic and Hebrew books in 16th century (Christian) Spain and to the destruction or mutilation of a large number of the memory palaces of Muslim Spain.
This Inquisition against Muslims and Jews and their books, took place only a couple of hundred years after the last (Christian) Crusades against the Muslims ended, leaving on their heals untold massacres and savagery whose wrath even the Middle Eastern Christians were not saved. Another badge of honor for Western Christianity! 
The Libraries Inquisition of 1992 at Sarajevo fell ironically on the five-hundredth anniversary of the capitulation of the last Muslim kingdom of Granada, in 1492, and the expulsion and Inquisition against Muslims and Jews. Was it a coincidence or a deliberate timing? Only the Almighty God knows!
However, a handful of treasures were saved from the terrible destruction of 1992 at Sarajevo. Among the most precious of the surviving items was a famous manuscript called the Sarajevo Haggadah; a famous Jewish prayer book recited during Passover, in remembrance of the Exodus. The story of the survival of this manuscript speaks volumes for the nobility of Muslims in times of crises. Threre is in it a lesson for moderate Jews who should remember that Muslims deserve better than what they’ve been getting at the hands of political Zionism.
This gorgeously illuminated manuscript dates to the late thirteen or early fourteen centuries. The book’s first rescue from the bonfires of oblivion when it was taken out of Spain in the Exodus of 1492 by Sephardic Jews, who then settled in the Islamic Ottoman empire. There the Haggadah was cherished and protected for nearly five hundred years. But then the precious book had to be rescued a second time during World War II. It was well known in intellectual circles that a certain Muslim curator in the library in Sarajevo had saved that Sephardic Haggadah from the atrocities of another savage (Christian) group, known more conveniently for Christians as Nazis.
Some seven years after the book has been saved, on May 2, 1999, the New York Times ran a remarkable piece of true history. The story tells about one woman, out of the thousands of Albanian Muslims who were herded out of Kosovo in early April of 1999, who was able to take with her a document she could not read, but felt it was an important historical one. For her, that document had special sentimental value because her father had once received and had cherished greatly. 
On the other side of the Macedonian border, after a harrowing trip, the woman thought to show her precious paper to the members of the local Jewish community, a group involved in the relief efforts for the Kosovars. She took the document to them because she knew it was Hebrew, and she sensed it might well be the key to some story worth translating at that trying moment. It turned out that the document was the commendation her father had received from the Israeli government for saving not only the Sarajevo Haggadah, but saving many Jews from the (Christian) Nazis. The Muslim librarian, who was a hero in book circles for having rescued that token of hundreds of years of Muslim tolerance from the depredation of twentieth century (Christian) barbarism, had also hidden fellow Sarajevans, Jews, in his apartment during World War II.
The moral of this true story should be clear for living decent Christians and Jews who refuse to take part in their governments’ atrocities against Muslims. I purposely highlighted the word Christian by putting it in parenthesis for two reasons: firstly, because all these atrocities I touched upon are hard historical facts about states that professed Christianity, at least nominally. Secondly, because I wanted to imagine the reaction of good Christians about the atrocities committed in the name of their religion, not just by a bunch of small extreme fringe groups, but by policy of the states that committed these crimes throughout history against the followers of the other two Abrahamic Faiths, Judaism and Islam.
As the news of the alleged Muslim terrorist plot in England surfaced, I was greatly pained by the words of evil (Christian) George Bush who used the expression “fascist Muslims” as a blanket statement. Though some Muslim organizations protested this statement and demanded an apology, he insisted on “standing the course” of his “crusade campaign” against Islam and Muslims. Iraq is the latest charitable act coming from the twenty-first century (Christian) neo-Nazis and Inquisition soldiers who have a leader claiming God talks to him.
My final question here is intended only for people of reason, “Is there a moral equivalent between these horrific historical acts by official states professing Christianity, and the small fringe groups of Muslims committing targeted “terrorist acts” against those they perceive have wronged them?” Much of the future of humanity depends on how honestly or dishonestly we answer this question.

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By SamSnedegar, August 23, 2006 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

only 200,000? What is needed is something which will kill off about 150,000,000 of us so that the ones left have room and resources to survive. If we had a nine eleven every day for the next 20 years, we still wouldn’t have got rid of enough souls to make room for the remaining.

What will eventually destroy the earth won’t be a nuke but a population explosion just EXACTLY like the one we have now. Ron Snotorum and his twelve children; stupid procreators fornicating their way to extinction.

Cut our population in half or to a third, and how much oil would we have to import then? How much unemployment would we have? Look on the bright side of terrorism: the more they do it the better off we will be for having the population thinned out so that the survivors have a chance to live a good and meaningful life.

No, I don’t want to choose who must die and who can live, but if you accept the premise that we are KILLING OURSELVES, you have to thank the terrorists of any political persuasion for making that difficult choice for us. They just aren’t working fast enough.

Back in the sixties there was a group called ZPG, zero population growth. They predicted all sorts of dire consequences if we didn’t heed their warnings, and we ignored them, and all of it is coming to pass now because they failed to impress us with the dangers we faced.

If you are a religious person, you can call it God’s plan . . . flood, famine, fire . . . take your choice, but accept it as what will be.

I don’t expect to look under my bed every night for a nuke hidden there by terrorists, waiting to go off and vaporize me. Que sera sera.

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By Dan Noel, August 23, 2006 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tad reminds us that good government is based on science and reason. A little extra reasonig on the part of the U.S. intelligence community would have foiled 9/11. A light dosis of science and reason at the highest levels of the federal government would have allowed a proper examination of the ruins of the 3 towers that self-demolished on that fateful day, perhaps leading to some clues as to why and how they collapsed. Reason would have put to rest the alleged connection between Saddam and 9/11.

Using reason would have allowed for proper analysis of pros and cons of invading Afghanistan, not to mention Iraq, and selecting strategies to deal with the new dawn of terror…

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By Bukko in Australia, August 23, 2006 at 9:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One small ground for optimism is that it’s not easy to keep a nuclear weapon in firing shape. I forget where I read it, but a few years ago there was a good article about why no Soviet “suitcase bomb” was likely to get us.

For instance, the conventional explosives must be shaped in a precise way to focus the force of their explosion so that it will make the radioactive bits implode. Conventional explosives are chemically unstable—that’s part of what makes them explosive, after all. You drag them around in the heat and/or humidity of a desert or southeast Asian country, they might lose their fizz. Or components will get misaligned so they don’t do the implosive trick.

Same holds true with the nuclear bits. It’s not easy to make them go off. That’s why the U.S. uses tritium as a way of accelerating the nuclear trigger. But tritium loses its radioactivity and has to be replenished. If not, you might wind up with a dud. And the subatomic particles that uranium and plutonium shoot off are damaging to the parts that surround them. That’s why nuclear power plants are dangerous—their works are getting fried constantly and eventually malfunction. Bad for power plants; good for people who don’t want to get blown up.

I’m not arguing we’re out of the woods. It would be easy for a rogue country to sell/give a bomb to a group that would like to cause destruction. My hope is that even madmen act with some elements of sanity. Kim Jong Il wouldn’t want to let slip a bomb that would cause a wholesale collapse of civilisation because then where could he go looking for a handout? (I hope) Iran might talk destructively, but the Persians have been doing the fighting/civilisation thing for way longer than Western civilisation has been in existence. They’re not going to pop off a single device and bring about the death of their entire culture just on a religious “Bring on the mahdi” whim. (I hope.)

What worries me more is what the U.S. might do. That’s the country that’s actually killed people many times with nuclear weapons after all. (Japan 1945, depleted uranium shells too many times to count.) When the Rand Corp. comes out with a study like this, I see it playing into the Republican fear machine. “There are people out there who want to nuke us, so we have to nuke them first.”

Specifically, I think there’s a propaganda campaign on to justify a nuclear attack on Iran. The neo/theo-cons are using the same scare tactics that they did with Iraq. It’s working to persuade fewer people, but the mouth-breathers who watch Fox are convinced, and they’re the only people who count with this administration. If they do nuke Iran, THAT will bring on the collapse of our modern form of civilsation.

Man, am I ever glad I got away to a country that’s off the nuclear target list for either side.

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By Michael Lennick, August 23, 2006 at 8:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

John McPhee wrote of this nightmare scenario in his 1973 book “The Curve of Binding Energy”. One of his leading authorities was Dr. Theodore Taylor, a physicist who had spent much of his career at Los Alamos designing ever-smaller, more powerful weapons. (The so-called “nuclear hand grenade”, which, according to author Sharon “Imaginary Weapons” Weinberger, the Pentagon still wants to deploy, was one of Taylor’s.) McPhee and Taylor outlined numerous scenarios by which a committed terrorist organization could acquire or build a workable nuclear weapon. (As Oppenheimer pointed out in the wake of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the only actual ‘secret’ was that it could be done at all.) Taylor observed, ironically enough,  that even a fizzle yield would be sufficient to bring down the World Trade Center - even then recognized and consistently cited as a likely symbolic target. McPhee and Taylor also cited numerous failures of imagination throughout the nuclear industry that allowed vast amounts of critical material to go missing - a situation that we discovered in researching our own upcoming PBS special “Dr. Teller’s Very Large Bomb”, has not significantly improved. Denial at all levels of government and industry were the major issues three decades ago, though McPhee and Taylor concluded, both accurately and optimistically, that although there were certainly those sufficiently committed to their cause to risk contaminating themselves building a basement nuke without proper facilities, no terrorist group of that era would abandon their central purpose to the worldwide revulsion a nuclear strike would provoke. There was thus a line which even the most committed terrorist group knew not to cross. Tad Daley is exactly right; We have fallen into a terrifying new world in which the risks, means and availability remain, but the virtual ‘non-proliferation treaties’ of the past have vaporized. Unfortunately with tens of thousands of nuclear warheads still very much in existence, more coming, and the working knowledge available with a few keystrokes, dissarmament may not be a viable option. We need to mature as a civilization a lot faster than we’d intended. Attempting to resolve, or at least understand and acknowlege, some of the root causes of this worldwide crisis might be a wise place to start.

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By lee Driver, August 23, 2006 at 7:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Scott has got it right. Three weeks after 9-11 Mr. Bush disappeared from public view by executive order, all the government documents of what Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush 1 and others, had been doing in the Middle East over the last 20 some years. Though it’s not likely we’ll ever see those documments in their unredacted original form, the act of taking them off the table begs the question, Why? For reasons of national security our president said. For reasons of personal security seems more likely. Then after 9-11 began the demonization, “they hate our freedoms” process, portraying the attackers as hate crazed maniacs who came out of the blue, unprovoked, just wanting to kill, kill, kill us for no reason. That was a terrible thing, a terrible day, and I don’t hold with killing for any reason. But is’s not credible that we, by our foreign policy machinations, have done nothing to stir up ire. 

If you don’t know what Truth and Reconciliation is all about, it is the means by which South Africa was able to flip apartied on its face withoug out generations of recriminations and murder all around. A remarkable accomplishment, every bit as pride filling for what we humans can do as was our own civil rights movement, and a lot quicker. A lot of future vengeance that we seem to think cannot be avoided, was. In a nutshell, if the alledged perpetrators of oppressive and inhumane acts told the truth of what they did, they recieved amnesty, if they lied they faced prosecution. The truth came out. People went home and started anew, with a new system, inclusive of all . It’s not all hearts and flowers down there, but it was a very powerful thing they pulled off. An example to us all. We should get on it. Let the Truth and Reconciliation hearings begin, on TV, worldwide. Think about it.

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By Harold Steele, August 23, 2006 at 7:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Even if it were possible to persuade every Nation possessing nuclear weaponry to disarm (it isn’t), there would always be a holdout here or there to pick up the slack.

And when the holdout(s) makes the fateful decision to “get in touch with their bad selves,” what then are we supposed to do by way of a “measured response?”

The sad fact is that the Genie is forevermore out of the bottle and, like Elvis, has already left the building.

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By Sage One, August 23, 2006 at 6:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bali, Madrid, London, 9/11, etc, etc, etc.
Why is it that every one of these have the smell and fingerprints of the MOSSAD???

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By Barbara, August 23, 2006 at 5:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks much for this article, Tad! I have believed for a long time your assertion that the only way to avoid nuclear annihilation is to rid the planet of nuclear bombs…period! No exceptions! However, I have also been very careful about saying that I believe this, usually only to friends and even then with the caveat that “this is a pie in the sky” idea, but…

I have 2 questions that I’d appreciate your thoughts on. (1) How can we bring such like-minded people together? and (2) what might a strategy for achieving such riddance look like?

It would only require that the Neocons do a 180 or that we rewire the human brain! Short of these impossibilities, what might be we do?

Best regards,
Barbara

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By Scott, August 22, 2006 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“In the medium term, we might want to consider what it is about our foreign policies that so enrages so many, and whether we might eliminate old enemies and make new friends by demonstrating some humility, empathy and generosity on the world stage.”

Presumably this would emerge out of a root-cause Truth and Reconciliation process.

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By whistlepigwnc, August 22, 2006 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

you are buying into the disinfo.a little more attention to jim fetzer @ scholars,911truth would clear up your limbaughlogic

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By marlene share, August 22, 2006 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hurray for Tad Daley - he says it in a way that should certainly jar everyone out of any complacency they may have left - like “it won’t REALLY happen.”
Tad - you did it again!
#1 Fan! 
Marlene

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