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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Know thine enemy

If al Qaeda is the No. 1 threat facing the United States, why do we still have billions of dollars in weapons aimed at destroying a country that hasn't existed in nearly 20 years?

The Globe's look at the Obama administration's review of our nuclear "triad" is a sobering look at the impact of the military-industrial complex that Dwight Eisenhower warned us about almost 50 years ago.

How many billions of dollars are still be spent on a "deterrent" to an "enemy" that no longer poses the end-of-days threat that was all too real to those of us who lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis?

And just how effective are bombers, submarines and land-based missiles in battling the all-to-real threat of terrorism -- foreign and domestic?

But it is a safe assumption that any effort by the administration to trim back the nuclear overkill will be met with cries of "weakness" by today's Strangeloves, Republicans (and Democrats) who have skin in the game as a result of the defense contracts that come to their states.

And how could those billions be better spent? How about for education, health care and other worthwhile domestic programs that are being starved by a military budget whose appetite for tax dollars is way out of control.

Dr. Strangelove

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Blogger Readwriteblue said...

Sadly we still need to spend money on nuclear weapons, we are not at the time when swords are beaten into plow shares, yet. On Tuesday Dec 29, 2009 Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sad that Russia will build new nuclear weapons because we are advancing in our capabilities to defend ourselves from ICBM attack. Russia having rebuilt itself with petro-dollars is acting thuggishly and only a viable deterrence will contain the imperial aspirations of our Russian friends.

Also many of our nuclear weapons are so old as to be of questionable reliability. We should pursue a two pronged strategy of advancing missile defense and modernization of our nuclear arsenal.

We are the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons in war. Because of the old strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction, no other nation thought to cross that line. Now there are more members of the nuclear club than ever before. Nations with ideologies that inspire suicide bombers are not to be deterred by the destruction of them selves if they believe they will be rewarded in the after-life.

I believe that yesterday a strong offense was a strong defense, but today a strong defense requires a missile defense and a missile offense.

January 03, 2010 11:27 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Read, how much overkill is necessary?

January 03, 2010 12:02 PM  
Blogger Readwriteblue said...

As much as it will take to make tyrants recite Chief Joesph's speech and fight no more forever.

January 03, 2010 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Joel Patterson said...

"On Tuesday Dec 29, 2009 Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sad that Russia will build new nuclear weapons because we are advancing in our capabilities to defend ourselves from ICBM attack."

Look at what Readwriteblue wrote.

He wrote that the "missile shield" is causing Russia to build new nukes.

Remove the missile shield, remove the Russian impetus for new nukes.

Removing the missile shield from the US budget is especially good because it will not work. So, while conservatives choose to waste billions on tech that can't work in the circular logic of an arms race, the liberal option of saving money by not spending it on useless tech and thereby using diplomacy to ease tensions is clearly better.

January 03, 2010 1:04 PM  
Blogger Judy Meredith said...

So we have to beat them like the 2000 members of the US Calvary beat Chief Joseph after chasing him 1700 miles into Canada and engaging him and a couple hundred Nez Perce in 13 coventional battles before handing somebody (who exactly?) the whole quote.

"Hear me, my chiefs, I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

Well, I suppose it's a jobs program building, maintaining and testing new nuclear weapons. Can't send those jobs over to India.

January 03, 2010 1:19 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Read- Your astute assertion that some modern adversaries are likely to be undeterred by the prospect of their own destruction is hardly an argument in favor of expanding the nuclear arsenal.

January 03, 2010 9:52 PM  

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