an american's perspective on war

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an american's perspective on war

Post by ronws on Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:29 am

In the gnr forum, chez had a thread on America's use of thermonuclear weapons in wartime. As far as I know, America is the only country to use nukes in war. Once on Hiroshima and once on Nagasaki.

The process of an atom bomb is really quite simple. Anyone could make one. The hard part is getting weapons-grade plutonium or uranium. Enriched plutonium is a heavy atom with an unstable isotope, easy to fracture. And, being a heavy atom, it doesn't take a lot of mass to make quite a bang. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima only weighed 500 pounds, including all necessary mechanics and processes. That is, the uranium 235 may have only been 80 percent of the total weight. For the load capacity of the Enola Gay, it was like carrying a feather on your shoulder. The '96 Chevy 1/2 ton Truck I used to own could have carried it. Anyway, the process is to provide an inward force strong enough to cause sub-atomic particles to start impacting each other and causing fractures at the core of each atom. Early functions would have involved a spherical network of shape charges igniting simultaneously inward on all sides and "mashing" the material in on itself. What causes an atom to split is when a neutron impacts hard enough to fracture the atom's nucleus, causing the other neutrons to be freed and go crazy. Modernly, you could simply have a neutron gun firing massive neutrons at lump of plutonium and you will get the same effect. The complexity of modern nukes is not in the functional design but in the security measures to stop accidental or intentional detonations.

The president of the United States is surrounded at all times by a squad of secret service agents. And Hollywood is right on this one. It is their job to take a bullet for the president. One of president Reagan's agents did just that. The first bullet did strike the president and the second struck an agent who literally lept in front of Hinkley's gun and a few more dogpiled on him at great risk to their own lives. Another agent tackled and threw Reagan into the limo and away they went.

The extended security detail (Reagan's shooting taught them a lot) includes a squad of snipers, the best in our military. They can split the hair on a gnat's head at a 1,000 yards, so to speak. More accurately, most are stationed at 600 to 1,000 yards and a few with .50 cal rifles are stationed up to a mile away.

But in the entourage of the president is a guy who is no more than 20 feet away and is always with the president. Cuffed to him is a briefcase called the "football". It's the "button". It contains a computer and launch codes. Should the pres decide to deploy nukes, this is where it comes from.

America became a super-power, at one time, arguably, the biggest in the world. And it wasn't because we make good coffee or elect a person of any ethnicity to power or flirt with socialism. It was because we were the most tenacious on the battlefield. We kick ass and chew bubblegum and we're all out of bubblegum.

It has been argued, I think with some veracity, that we need not have used the atom bomb on Japan. We had blockaded their trade routes and could have possibly won in another month or two. And have drawn criticism for bombing largely civilian targets. Let it also be known that the japanese had two attack plans. One was Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and the other was San Francisco, Ca. They chose Pearl Harbor because it was closer and the weather was better. But they were quite willing to first attack our civilians. As imperialist as we might have been, so were they.

But it also showed the world, and I think this was part of Truman's plan, that we were, in fact, the wrong dog to jack with. We had an uneasy relation with Russia before and wished to ward them off, as well as showing Germany we could also decimate them. Even though there was a breakneck pace in production of a-bombs, we didn't have enough to bomb everyone back then. So, it was a strong bluff from Truman. And it worked.

Then, other nations joined the arms race but we enjoyed stability because of mutually assured destruction. Everyone valued life and prosperity so no one really wanted to pull the trigger, though we were all capable of doing so. However, there is a different mindset with the likes of Al Qaeda. There aim is to enter Heaven. The Koran states that all those not of Islam are infidels and that all infidels must die. Some, such as Al Qaeda, take this literally. In their mindset, if they can't have the world, no one can.

America could very well practice isolationism. Stay out of stuff, which would leave our allies open to invasion. We could adopt the practice of this: if one of your countrymen attacks our soil, we blow your country off the map, with or without "UN" approval. The problem is, not all other people or countries can stay to themselves, likewise. They will try to take over more land and resources. To quote Jesus' easy-to-make prophecy, "there will always be wars and rumors of wars."

Diplomacy works, to an extent. But, now and then, you will get someone that wants a fight. How is that to be dealt with? The UN has been largely unsuccessful in dealing with strife in the world.

If we quit pursuing terrorists, they won't quit pursuing us.

Yemen is becoming the new home of Al Qaeda and thinks they can contain Al Qaeda even though America and the Coalition have been, at best, able to maintain a sense of balance. And they will view any entrance of America as a holy war and declare jihad on America. Take a number, stand in line ...

So, which is going to be? We continue to try and stabilize areas and limit terrorism and strife to some locations or do we step back and let everyone fend for themselves? In the latter, we will take care of ourselves and will be one of the few survivors but where does that leave our allies? If we had any left?

And yet, the pres wants to send more aid money to Yemen. Perhaps we should pull out all together. Pull out advisors and money. And when Yemen falls to a terrorist regime and launches an attack on the US (which is exactly what would happen) we go over and blast them down to a parking lot. Everyone like that better?

9-11 was an act of war on our soil. So, we must define the enemy and all those who support him and defeat them. Otherwise, we are defeated.

Should we have gone into Iraq? We could have just left Hussein alone to continue killing his own people, building WMDs, which he did have and this was from several intelligence agencies, foreign and domestic, and then they would have attacked us more and we would be over there, eventually, doing what we are doing, unless we decided to shit fire and save matches and just nuke the places.
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ronws

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