Friday, October 20, 2006

A "Nucular-Free North Korea" and Other Exploded Myths

In this time of heightened international tensions, we might be overlooking something very serious. With Kim Jong Il trying to deal with his severe "overcompensation" issues, and the idea of Iran developing atomic bombs, I'd like to call this question to your attention:

Should we, as a country, allow someone to have the secret codes that can be used to unleash the destruction of part or all of the world via nuclear weapons when he cannot even pronounce the word correctly??

Nobody write in and tell me "It's a regionalism, not a mispronunciation!" No, it isn't. I know people from Texas; they don't say it that way. I know Southern people; they don't say it that way. Face it, Dubya ain't a rocket scientist, and ain't a nuclear scientist, either. Former President Jimmy Carter? Now, he was a Southerner, and an actual nuclear scientist. He called them "Nuclear weapons", and shuddered a bit every time they got mentioned, because he knew his stuff. Check out his Navy service record, he was a nuclear engineer. "Service record", another term with which Dubya isn't well-acquainted.

This brings back memories from my youth, in days when a lot of people who could pronounce the word "nuclear" were playing a game of stare-down with one another with their fingers hovering over buttons that would launch a horrible deathstrike against the enemy, just itching to prove how big their "arsenals" really were. Missiles are phallic symbols. COINCIDENCE??!!

Yet, we were told to relax, because darn it, we were America and we'd WIN! And that we could handle their "much smaller missiles" easily by taking some simple steps. Civil Defense during World War II was a serious business. In the 50s & 60s, they used that mentality against us to try to con us into believing that things were still under control. See, I'm just old enough to remember the totally absurd nonsense they were putting out at the time. I had a keen memory at a very young age. Not quite as keen as my brother's, who as a child swore up and down to people visiting the house that he could remember our parents' wedding. My parents had fewer & fewer people visit over the years.... COINCIDENCE??!!

But, I digress.

People today look back at things like the infamous "duck & cover" commercials and laugh. I hate to be a killjoy, but the scary part is that the government at the time actually thought that people would believe those commercials, take the "information" seriously, and feel reassured because they could act & have some control in a scary period in our history. I'm not sure when they stopped doing it, but we deeply-scarred children of those years remember getting under our desks at school, covering our heads with our hands and squeezing our eyes shut during air raid drills. The US and USSR had enough weapons to kill every person in both countries 16 times over, BUT, don't worry, kids, covering your head was going to save you! "Remember to cover your head with your non-writing hand!" Yah. I still remember "duck and cover", and the moronic commercials with the turtle. My particular favorite was the one that had a family out picnicking, seeing the bright flash of a supposed hydrogen bomb from off-camera, and the beyond-credible idea of getting protection by hiding under their picnic blanket. "Darn it, Meg, those Commies ruined your perfect egg-salad sandwiches! But, hey, look! At least the ants are dead!" Considering how young I was at the time (though always overly inquisitive), when you're grossly insulting the intelligence of a 4 year old, you've gotten down to a level of idiocy that almost, almost, approaches that of the Bush Administration.

Oh, we had acronyms like "WMDs" back then, too, except that they referred to things that you could actually find and see. "MLF" sounds wonderfully dirty, but stands for "Multi-Lateral Force". That meant "Our friends have got nukes, too, and they'll get you five times badder if we don't!" Great Britain was one, of course, but consider how well we were really being protected when I tell you that one of the others was France. Then there was the MAD-ness of "Mutually Assured Destruction". This philosophy, tightly bonded to the term "Overwhelming Nuclear Deterrent", was that both sides built up systems so vast, so varied, and so widespread, that even if they fired everything they had at US, we'd still get enough firepower to land on them to destroy them at least four times over, probably five, and the warning that "If you don't think we're serious, go ahead and try!" was the official United States plan for "defense". Obviously, this was before they'd come up with an effective cure for rabies.

I'm getting a mental image of George C. Scott bellowing: "We'll show you Godless commies! We'll incinerate your asses! THEN, we'll incinerate the ashes! THEN, we'll nuke your burnt ashes so hot, they'll melt into lumpy glass! THEN we'll blast the glass into Kingdom Come! THEN we'll nuke the little teeny particles that got blown into the air! THEN, they'll fuse together again, fall to the ground like a bunch of frozen piles of borscht-guano, and they'll break and fly all over in jagged pieces, which will slice right through the atoms of your shards of your nuke-dusted glassed-over ashes from the FIRST time we incinerated you! And THEN, we're gonna get nasty! And THEN, Jack-ski, you're really gonna be sorry!"

At the time, I believe they called it "Foreign Policy". What's really said is that looking at the insanity of that time, and then comparing it to our "approach" to the rest of the world today?

George C. Scott and the "Duck & Cover" turtle made a lot more sense.

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