Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Part 3: We haven't really accepted reality

Newt Gingrich warned that the United States could,
lose two or three cities to nuclear weapons, or more than a million to biological weapons. Freedom as we know it will disappear, and we will become a much grimmer, much more militarized, dictatorial society.

Three nuclear weapons are a second Holocaust. People are greatly underestimating how dangerous the world is becoming. I'll repeat it, three nuclear weapons are a second Holocaust. Our enemies are quite explicit in their desire to destroy us. They say it publicly? We are sleepwalking through this process as though it's only a problem of communication.

Our enemies are fully as determined as Nazi Germany, and more determined that the Soviets. Our enemies will kill us the first chance they get. There is no rational ability to deny that fact. It's very clear that the problems are larger and more immediate than the political systems in Israel or the US are currently capable of dealing with.

Time to come to grips with threat.

We don't have right language, goals, structure, or operating speed, to defeat our enemies. My hope is that being this candid and direct, I could open a dialogue that will force people to come to grips with how serious this is, how real it is, how much we are threatened. If that fails, at least we will be intellectually prepared for the correct results once we have lost one or more cities.

Citizens who do not wake up every morning and think about the possible catastrophic civilian casualties are deluding themselves.

If we knew that tomorrow morning we would lose Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem, what we would do to stop it? If we knew we would tomorrow lose Boston, San Francisco, or Atlanta, what would we do? Today, those threats are probably one, two, five years away? Although you can't be certain when our enemies will break out.

8 comments:

Evan said...

Yeah, and the earth is getting warmer. Ice sheets could melt. And within a relatively short amount of time we could be traveling through New York city like it's Venice. Or, as long as we're looking for things to be affraid of, a meteor could strike the earth or a super volcano could erupt.

There's so much to be affraid of. How can you possibly worry about it all? Newt's fear mongering to get people to obey.

To avoid his scenario, what are we to do? Fight harder in the "war on terrorism?" A war on terror is like a war on greed--a nonsensical waste of time and money and lives. Terrorists have ALWAYS existed. It's another word for marginalized radicals (religious or otherwise) who are either maniacs or have nothing left to lose. It's just that today there are bigger and better weapons. The only way to reliably fight these people would cost us such an astronomical amount that it would bankrupt us of wealth and freedom and probably fling us into an all-out world war.

Honestly, I think it would be easier to track down all the nukes in the world and dismantle or destroy them.

Swamp Fox said...

It's true "Terrorists have ALWAYS existed." What's changed is terrorists exist who either already have, or shortly will have, access to nuclear and biological weapons that can take out a US city.

Think about all of the changes driven by 9-11. Now think about all the changes that will occur if a nuclear device goes off in a US city.

Newt's forecast that, "Freedom as we know it will disappear, and we will become a much grimmer, much more militarized, dictatorial society," is not merely war mongering.

It's not a matter of being afraid. It's a question of being proactive. If there are drug dealers killing our children, we aren't just afraid of the drug dealers, we are proactive against them on multiple fronts.

Newt's question, which is the reality we haven't come to grips with, is what would we do to prevent as US city being taken out, if we truly believed there was a high probability of it happening in our lifetimes?

So why aren't we doing that?

By the way, CO2 in the atmosphere is rising, the earth is getting warmer, and the ice sheets are melting. We aren't coming to grips with that reality either.

We can be very innovative folks, once we truly accept that our mental model of reality is obsolete. That's easy to say, and extremely hard to do. When faced with a radical challenge to how we understand the world, our gut tells us to make the horizon horizontal.

Tom Strange said...

Sorry John, I am not buying into your panic. I am unwilling to surrender freedom today to avoid surrendering it tomorrow. The way to fight terrorists is to fight the terror they desire. If we should lose your three cities, then we learn and move on, much as we did with New Orleans. No clamp down, no martial law, just good common sense and plug the leaks. Frankly, I think many over-estimate the ability of the terrorists to carry out these attacks. But if it is inevitable, then heck, it is inevitable. We win when they fail. But if the only way to stop bickering and act on common sense security measures ALREADY proposed for several years, is to require a second national event, then it must happen. We waste billions on a war that was mistaken on all fronts, while the millions for defense sit stranded, waiting for partisian finger pointing to subside.

Anonymous said...

This is the same paranoia that got us in to a mess called IRAQ.

Handing out flack jackets and closing borders only closes us off to the world and we can not find a peaceful solution to the differences.

Try economics, help people live better lives, be better educated and better health. Its proven that makes better allies and bridges gaps peacefully.

I think Newt and the gang are trying to over look our friends in N.Korea, Iran and Venezlua who seem to be rattling the saber to the pleasure of a growing list of countries tried of a go-it-alone strategy.

Plus was it not communism that was a threat to our very existence too?

Swamp Fox said...

Anonymous

Re: Try economics, help people live better lives, be better educated and better health.

The people that flew those planes into buildings on 911 were all educated and affluent. If they could, they would kill all of us.

I know that's hard for us to get our heads around. What's Newt's saying, that I think is true, is we have to change our paradigm about who the enemy is and what motivates them if we are to be effective in protecting ourselves from them.

We're seeing the data, but we're not interpreting it properly. That's why I started this series with the photographs of Earthrise.

Anonymous said...

Newt is scaring the bejesus out of people, but we seriously need to monitor and keep track of all nuclear material...just saying, hey it's gonna happen anyways is crazy!

And yes, they (Al-Qaeda) would kill us all...but their fight still stems from economic inequality and in the belief of human rights for the Palestinian people. On face value, a noble cause to fight for...but a very cowardly way of enacting it.

Secondly, they are fighting for a greater sense of morality in the world. One only has to read OBL's open letter to America and I GUARANTEE YOU that many people in the US and most of the ultra-religious God-faring people in Greenville would agree to many of OBL's grievances....but alas, this is the United States...you can't go around throwing stones at other peoples' glass houses!

OBL's open letter to America (I'm sure few have read):
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/worldview/story/0,11581,845725,00.html

evan said...

Speaking of freedom...

I'll say it. Religion is the enemy here. When GWB says "our enemies" he's really saying "Islamic terrorists." If you take away the "Islamic" part you remove the glory and guarnteed paradise for martyrdom...the desire to violently evangelize the faith...and the religiously sanctioned jihads. What's left is a legitimate gripe about Palestine and some whining about America's cultural ubiquity.

I'll piss people off by saying it, but religion is a chain letter gone terribly wrong.

Most religions are mutually incompatible with each other. And even if America was 100% religion-neutral, the fundamentalist terrorists (of one religion or another) would want to violently convert (save) us all.

Do they make logic and reason bombs? Those would be powerful weapons against religio-terrorism.

Anonymous said...

bravo, evan....