Photo from IndyBay
The report in yesterday's London Sunday Times Online was alarming, to put it mildly.
Lots of people and media outlets have since issued denials, notably here. I don't know whether I believe the story, or the denials, or both/and -- it horrifies me that anyone thinks it is okay to talk about using nukes as instruments of policy. That is flat out suicidal and the species cannot afford to become comfortable with leaders who throw around such ideas.
This has sharpened my thinking about the 2008 Presidential sweepstakes. I don't expect to like anyone able to win the nomination of either party -- even though I'll probably have to work for the Democrat. But it seems worthwhile to pose this question about candidates: If (when) the U.S. is hit by another terrorist attack, which candidate will be most able to keep retaliation/revenge within somewhat proportional limits?
As an Arab friend said to me after 9/11, the empire was going to have to strike back -- and that led to our little adventure in Hindu Kush which still goes on, mostly with Afghan and non-U.S. casualties. It would have required extraordinary leadership not to use the U.S. military to go smash up somebody's country in order to restore the bruised egos of the testosterone poisoned. Maybe the only President this country has ever had who could have pulled that off was Lincoln. But quite a few of our past Presidents were smart enough and even moral enough not to use the excuse of 9/11 to wantonly make war. Having had a dimwitted President who enjoys waving his dick around and can't accept that he has been stymied, the next incumbent is only going to be under more pressure if (when) an occasion for military retaliation arises.
So how do the names in the hopper rank on a "likely to aim for proportionality of response" scale?
- Clinton: lacking balls, she'd seem dangerously likely to try to prove she had some -- though Bill might know better. Ex-presidents seem to improve with distance from office.
- Obama: maybe we have to hope his religious faith isn't for show. Any genuine connection to any faith tradition might help in such a moment.
- McCain: having fought and lost a war, he ought to know better but a lifetime of pandering for power seems to have robbed him of any sense.
- Edwards: haven't a clue.
- Lots of small-timers. One may break out; don't know much about any of them.