I've been mulling this one for a while now, but I can't sit by and let it pass:
Reuters News Service, April 22, 2008:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton warned Tehran on Tuesday that if she were president, the United States could "totally obliterate" Iran in retaliation for a nuclear strike against Israel.
Yes we could. We really, really could. We've got the goods to do it, just sitting in bins out in New Mexico or wherever.
And, depending on the school you go to, this kinda talk works wonders. Think about how your guts turned to goo when the biggest, toughest kid on the playground threatened to fuck you up. Whatever you were doing to piss him off, you probably stopped doing it in a heck of a hurry.
Statements like this have a uniquely American ring to them. One thinks of Teddy Roosevelt, and JFK declaring himself a Berliner, and Ronald Reagan intoning, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!"
And the wall came tumbling tumbling down. So there's historic precedent for making use of threats of O -- BLUE -- teration.
Candidly, however, I expected a more reasoned response from a female presidential candidate, one who is usually so well-informed in her remarks.
We know from having obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki how a small nuclear strike looks before, during, and after. And we know from the Chernobyl meltdown how a radioactivity leak looks before, during, and after. The thing about this obliterative weaponry is that it is non-discriminitory and can waft on the prevailing winds hither and yon.
Iran nukes Israel, the fallout streams westward. The U.S. nukes Iran, you'll likely have dead babies stretching all the way to Myanmar ... where ... unrelated, I guess ... we're all wondering what we can do to help???
Grand talk of wars and rumors of wars is the hallmark of the Republican Party. Is there any way that a Democratic candidate can get the job done in a different way, perhaps without resort to words like "obliterate?"
I'm sorry, but when I hear that word, the image that comes to mind is Auschwitz. "Obliterate" is a Final Solution kinda word.
As for the possibility that Iran will nuke Israel, we at "The Gods Are Bored" feel pretty strongly that the average Iranian is probably as astonished at his or her bad leadership as many of us are here at home. We can only -- and always -- hope that cooler heads prevail.
Voter in search of a cooler head, I remain,
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS