Sometimes I forget and go play in the sandbox with the other kids. I try to pride myself on dealing rationally with anyone, but so many times it just seems pointless.
Over at Wizbang, DJ Drummond wrote about Why Nuclear War Can Be Ethical.
Now, the truth is that Murdoc doesn’t really think all-out nuclear war can really be all that ethical. But the starting point of the post is this:
“If you were President of the U.S. and were just informed that we were definitely under a full nuclear attack by a country that’ll destroy most or all our people, would you order a full nuclear counter-attack?”
My belief is that we immediately would do exactly that. And that it’s probably the best option available on a day with no good options on the table.
Like most discussions involving nuclear weapons, the military, politics, or national security, the comments section quickly degenerated into a hodgepodge of, well, podge. One commenter, in particular, took on all comers and seemed intent on disagreeing with almost everyone about almost everything. Unfortunately, he responded to my comment, and I responded, and thus began a monumental waste of time.
Sort of like talking to Aaron (if you remember him), but at least this guy stayed more or less on topic, though he seemed to want to make up his own rules as he went, and the foaming mouth treatment was held in check. Actually, that means it not very much like talking to Aaron at all. Whatever.
If you need a reminder about why to avoid these sorts of internet discussions, go check it out. Plus, the guy insists that some sarcastic, over-the-top, rhetorical anti-NMD talking points I used to illustrate a bit of irony are now actually my official position on NMD whether I like it or not.
Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right.
Anyway, I’d be interested in hearing what MO readers think about this very question.
- Retaliate massively immediately?
- Wait and absorb the hits, then decide what to do?
- Figure that shooting back would just make the environment worse and stand down?
- Decide that hitting back means that we would become what we hate and just give up?
- Hope that National Missile Defense would shoot down all incoming warheads?
- Something else?
Remember that this is a definite full-scale nation-killing attack. Time frame isn’t established, but I figure that it’s either today (NMD won’t stop them all) or in the future (where tech advances in delivery will also mean NMD won’t stop them all). Regardless of NMD, it’s a nation-killing attack, so I read that to mean that stopping them is out.
What would we really do?