- Politics and Social Issues
The Merchandise of Mass Destruction
What Isn't On the News?
A shipment of a form of restricted steel is intercepted. A warhead stealthily changes hands. A hundred tons of components are delivered to either produce electricity or, possibly, nuclear bombs, depending upon the degree of uranium enrichment. Certain names known only to the CIA as merchants of death try to satisfy internationally illegal requests from either Iran or Libya or various other rogue states. American scientists design centrifuges intended for export that do not function. Scared English, American, or, for that matter, Malaysian spies, dealing in nuclear merchandise, literally run to an embassy. The idea is to save one's life as well as the lives of loved ones. Nervous agents watch and wait, permitting black market commerce to be conducted as usual. Without overt interference they hope to intervene at just the right time. What is going on?
It is nuclear espionage that has been happening probably for decades. Apparently, it is not that simple. Also, it is not just Iran. What faraway tyrant would not be happy alone in a tent in a desert beside his favorite camel and trusted aids -- assuming he has the bomb? What unites differing nationals who might belong to countries at war with one another, or just mutually biased? Why, anti-Americanism, of course! Ours is a dangerous age. Already a small, otherwise inconsequential country has managed to make the world periodically quake, though by now North Korea has cried wolf at least once too often. It gets respect, which is the main point, because it is armed with weapons of mass destruction.
Peace: Still Possible
Who Wants to Hear About It?
Nobody. Either Saddam Hussein had them and hid them, had them and moved them, or did not have them, but wanted other countries, maybe not the USA, to think that he did. Nuclear arms are invariably accompanied by prestige. Many nations, not just in the Middle East, would like to acquire every single aspect about them, including their production, storage, testing, perfecting, and analysis, as well as faster delivery systems. Here and there, one encounters a nation who refuses nuclear power in any shape or form. It is the rare exception. The scramble for nuclear technology outside public scrutiny is unstoppable and helps to explain in part why there are several geo-political standoffs, awaiting an up in the ante from a leader who, it is widely expected, will blink. The Age of Acquisition has imperceptibly graduated to the Final Temptation.
In other words, conventional arms, however brutal, even supported by unlawful chemicals and gases, are not enough to fully motivate a massive retaliatory action. Waiting in the wings are these horrible cylinders, triangular caps, or what not. Why send in soldiers against deadly bullets a few months or possibly years in advance of a genuinely catastrophic detonation. That is, unless the thinking still obtains, as it did, only a short while ago, that a nuclear confrontation is unthinkable. Not only could there be an arms race in the Middle East but a war as well that will make use of them. Thus, it is pointless to intervene while ISIS rampages, unless it can be dealt a permanent blow, ahead of a coming storm. Half-measures are uncalled for.
Centrifuges At Work
The names of companies suspected of illegal trade in nuclear materials by the IAEA are completely harmless. The names of people who appear to make their livings meeting customers in Dubai or elsewhere over sumptuous meals in sybaritic settings also do not set off alarms. But intelligence follows them all the same, perhaps slowing them down or ultimately frustrating their efforts -- although it is hard to reach conclusions from books and U-Tube visuals. What are individuals supposed to do? Into whose hands should they commend their spirit? In point of fact, no basement logic or officious underground commerce is consonant with Christian theology. But what choice is there if civilized human beings are to survive but to match warhead for warhead and keep ever vigilant?
True enough, the conscientious objector will remain aloof. He or she is right in that no amount -- regardless of the kind -- of fighting will settle anything other than the following. Some will die; others will survive. Our fighting spirit does not necessarily come from above if it ever did. A smarter human race would divest itself of every nuclear device, not waiting for encouragement, a concession, or signatures. God cannot be depended upon to decide the outcome of a nuclear war. Nor can He save us from one, having given us adequate brainpower to not be so destructive. It pays to note, God does not make nuclear weapons. Man alone does. But if a nuclear holocaust must be, my hope is that since Los Alamos started it, if necessary, Los Alamos will finish it, too.
Just Add Clouds
Leave Me Out
I am glad to report that I have nothing to do with this subject other than to perhaps, by writing a hub, stir someone else with greater skill and a wider audience to make persons more aware. The pathetic drift toward nuclear weapons that our former leaders swore would never happen has yielded to a new, more fearless, less reverential generation. I am moved to agree with the present administration's restraint, which prevents our troops from being trapped by nuclear-minded warlords. We do not accurately know at this point in time who has or who has not the type of bomb being discussed. Our soldiers might eliminate ISIS altogether and then travel thereafter, unopposed, to Tehran's front door. But behind it might await a rude surprise. The IAEA knows that Iranians lie. At some point the poker players at the "peace" table will show their hands. Then we will know who has what and for what purpose. There is still time. Why not use it?
Good for Movies, Bad for Life Itself
Pakistan: What Gives?
During the Iraq War, Pakistan became a valuable ally. Later, it was learned, that in Pakistan, Osama Bin Laden had either been given asylum, or was secretly detained. There, he eventually met his death in an American raid. For those of us who are late on the upswing, we are shocked to learn of Abdul Qadeer Khan, already famously known to anyone and everyone keeping pace with nuclear news. His dealings reach deep into the power structures of numerous countries ranging from the Middle East to Europe to China, and North Korea to Libya. They are fascinating -- so much so that it is impossible for the amateur to grasp either the truth about his exploits or whether or not he is being forced to take the fall for others equally deviously employed. My small point is only that Khan, too, comes from Pakistan. Notwithstanding the fact that Muslim Pakistan is locked in a murderous embrace with Hindi India, involving the constant threat of nuclear weapons, their spread from recognizable global arteries into remoter capillaries is quite a chilling matter.