Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Three Nos" don't make a right. Nuclear disarmament means war..

Graham Allison’s logic in “Preventing a nuclear terrorist attack” (Sunday, March 30, 2008) demonstrates the flawed perspective of most ‘experts’ who tend to view problems through a limited area of expertise.

His analysis of the nuclear terrorist “threat” is accurate but his “Doctrine of Three Nos” is lethally flawed. Stopping such an attack won’t “prevent” even larger death tolls likely to result from our global implementation of his doctrine.

Stopping Iran (or any other determined ‘independent’ nation exercising its rights of national sovereignty) from developing nuclear capabilities will eventually require military force. And, any such act of war will have unpredictable consequences. Retaliation by Iran or any other ‘preempted’ nation could take the lives of tens of millions of Americans if they used biological weapons. Or, they could reduce us to Third World economic starvation conditions by targeting our satellites or oil supply using cyber, chemical or even conventional weapons?

Essentially, there can be no security for anyone if some believe they can arm themselves to the teeth and assuredly ‘prevent’ others from doing the same. This is not a new reality. Emery Reves, author of ‘Anatomy of Peace’ detailed this fact nearly 60 years ago when he wrote, “Once the mechanics and the fundamental causes of wars – of all wars – are realized, the futility and childishness of the passionate debates about armament and disarmament must be apparent to all. If human society were organized so that relations between groups and units in contact were regulated by democratically controlled law and legal institutions, then modern science could go ahead, devise and produce the most devastating weapons, and there would be no war. But if we allow sovereign rights to reside in the separate units and groups without regulating their relations by law, then we can prohibit every weapon, even a penknife, and people will beat out each other’s brains with clubs.

These words were made real for me after the Rwandan Genocide when nearly a million people were killed primarily with machetes and clubs.

We could likely “prevent” a million Americans from being incinerated by a nuclear attack? But the ultimate price we pay in American lives, dollars and essential inalienable freedoms will be far more costly.

The only sane path requires abandoning the flawed concept of the supremacy of national sovereignty, not trying to abolish some weapons for some groups.

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