Monday, November 29, 2004

To End the MADness

All right, grownups, back to the real world. The WBAI evening news invited you to spend the weekend with the kiddies and “fageddabahdit” -- the news would not be really new. And it wasn’t. Even the headlines didn’t change…

The main one said Iran maybe would, or maybe wouldn’t. agree to rule out research on dangerous nuclear materials. The talks are being conducted by Europeans, along with the UN atomic agency that kept trying to tell us that Saddam Hussein had no nuclear capacity. Well, even the small amount that Iran might turn up with would be something to worry about, but it’s ridiculous for the US to make noises about it -- since we have more nukes than the rest of the world put together and are actually building new ones and fixing to scatter some around in space. We’re the only country that ever used the bomb, and has threatened flat-out to use it again.

The official policy used to be called MAD, for Mutual Assured Destruction. There was a moment when Ronald Reagan, in the early stages of Ahlzheimer's Disease, agreed in principle with Mikhael Gorbachev to begin getting rid of nukes entirely, but Reagan’s advisers said he didn’t mean it, and Gorbachev’s generals replaced him with a drunk we called a hero because he shot up the Soviet parliament.

Anyway, there’s a huge step that we can now take to improve world security. That is to buy -- for money -- the surplus warheads that are kicking around in the former Soviet empire. At the same time, we can do the same ourselves, and save money. We have enough bombs to destroy all life on earth ten times over. Wouldn’t one time be enough?