Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Nuclear Targets

A reader commenting on the Sound of Silence asks, if the nukes are on the table, where might they aimed? Fair question. At the outset, it should be emphasized that a US nuclear response would represent an extreme outcome, conceivable only in response to a WMD attack of horrible magnitude. America would prefer not to exercise this option and that is why the War on Terror is being fought. That said, the question remains: where might they be aimed?

The Winds of Change provides a partial answer. It notes that the Al Qaeda may now be operating in Iranian sanctuary, although it cites sources to show that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains the AQ's social and financial base. To these two pillars it should have added Pakistan, whose nuclear program may have been shared with Iran, North Korea and Libya. The "Father of the Pakistani Atomic Bomb", Abdul Qadeer Khan is now under virtual arrest and investigation in Pakistan for his role in the nuclear weapons development of the countries mentioned.

If a fission bomb goes off in New York city this Christmas, it will have been deployed from Teheran, paid for by Saudi Arabia and built with the help of Pakistan. Not everyone in these countries will have participated. The majority will be entirely innocent. The bulk of the population of Saudi Arabia consists of overseas workers, Brits, Americans, Koreans, Filipinos, Bangladeshis, etc, performing services beneath the dignity of the Princes. The majority of the population in Iran would probably rush the Mullah's palaces -- and daily attempt it, to their brave cost. And of Pakistan's teeming hundreds of millions only a tiny fraction subscribe to militant Islam. As to North Korea, it can be safely said that the majority are moiling in hideous slave labor camps, under literal starvation conditions, guarded by the darlings of the International Left. These would be the targets of an American nuclear response in extremis and the reason we would be loathe to do it. The French are right in describing the War on Terror as particularly American. No one else would risk so much to spare so many.