My Cold, Dead Silos

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Memo to Plutonium Addicts: YOU ARE DUMB.

The 80s were, to a large extent, my formative years. And while I wasn't particularly politically aware during that decade, the biggest insight I took away from that time is that nuclear weapons are bad. Hugely destructive, earth-poisoning weapons of last resort that could quite easily destroy civilization as we know it, except for maybe the cockroaches and Jason Robards.

This wasn't an ideological stance. It was generally accepted wisdom across the political spectrum. Ideologues could disagree as to the necessity of the nuclear arsenal, the size necessary, the importance of underground testing, or what have you, but everyone agreed that actually using nuclear weapons was almost unthinkable, and having them around at all was a necessary evil of the atomic age.

Even then, I wasn't completely naive. Projecting my mature phraseology on my adolescent memory, I'm pretty sure I suspected that the only way Ronnie could get it even halfway up for Nancy was to look at footage of launching ICBMs and mushroom clouds. But it wasn't acceptable to act like it in public. In public, you had to act like the only reason you kept building missiles was because the evil Commies made it necessary. Fantasizing about turning the earth into a radioactive cinder with a press of a button was a private thing.

That hasn't been true for a while now, and I realized just how true it had stopped being when Obama went to Prague and laid out his intention to start working toward nuclear disarmament. How long has it been since those two words ended up next to each other in the public discourse? Long enough that I didn't expect an American president to mention it, that's for damn sure. And judging from the collective nervous breakdown people had in response to it, long enough that they'd forgotten our nuclear arsenal isn't actually America's penis. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"The U.S. is going to give up nuclear weapons and be the first country to do so, leaving us vulnerable to attack by any other country. Obama has got to go! Enough already. This man is an idiot and is not interested in the safety and prosperity of this country. He and he alone is going to destroy this once fine nation." - A commenter from, where else, the Star Tribune, in response to a speech in which Obama specifically said this wasn't part of his plan at all, and that the goal might not even be met in his lifetime.

But the last decade has finished the job the military-industrial complex started after World War II - inexorably tying our national self-esteem to our military prowess. So if we disarm, we're weak, and if we're weak, we're worthless. Never mind that this could lead to, oh, I don't know, FUCKING PAKISTAN not having the power to obliterate cities. Yeah, Pakistani nukes are vital to the safety and prosperity of this country. Now thrill as another member of the Strib brain trust chimes in.

"Hey OBAMA you are the President of the United States not the world. Giving up the Nukes and closing Gitmo. Your giving our enemys everything to strike us again. Time to IMPEACH the biggest socialist of our time. And to all of you left wing bunny huggers. Go a head and make your liberal counterparts to my statements. I don't have time for whiners."

I'm afraid I can't provide a "liberal counterpart" to your statements, because I don't have access to a Code Pink member, a shot glass full of mercury, and a defective keyboard. Get a fucking grip. He's not "giving up" nukes. Hell, he hasn't even closed Gitmo yet. For fuck's sake, you moron, you probably can't NAME three of our enemies without humming a Toby Keith song as a mnemonic*, and I'm supposed to trust your incredibly sophisticated analysis of their operational capacity? Please. I'll take my chances with the guy who knows how to contract "you are".

Just one more bit of evidence we live in Crazyland, where someone can step forward and say "maybe the world has too goddamn may ways to destroy itself", and Pigfucker America runs around squealing like he personally cut an inch off all their dicks. And while I understand the fear at not having that much to spare, all the plutonium-tipped phalluses in the world aren't gonna help.

*That's a thing that helps you remember stuff real good, dipshit.