03 September 2006

What Colour is Your Fallout Shelter?

Welcome to the world of nuclear hyper-proliferation--where nuclear war is a virtual inevitability, sometime. This time the nuclear threat will not be the Soviet Union, whose leaders wished to live every bit as much as the leaders of the free world. This time there will be no deterrence. The weapons, once acquired, will be used. So---what colour is your fallout shelter? Here is more speculation on a possible nuclear threat from Stanley Kurtz:

Once Iran gets the bomb, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are likely to develop their own nuclear weapons, for self-protection, and so as not to allow Iran to take de facto cultural-political control of the Muslim world. (I think you’ve got to at least add Egypt to this list.) With three, four, or more nuclear states in the Muslim Middle East, what becomes of deterrence?

A key to deterrence during the Cold War was our ability to know who had hit whom. With a small number of geographically separated nuclear states, and with the big opponents training satellites and specialized advance-guard radar emplacements on each other, it was relatively easy to know where a missile had come from. But what if a nuclear missile is launched at the United States from somewhere in a fully nuclearized Middle East, in the middle of a war in which, say, Saudi Arabia and Iran are already lobbing conventional missiles at one another? Would we know who had attacked us? Could we actually drop a retaliatory nuclear bomb on someone without being absolutely certain? And as Rosen asks, What if the nuclear blow was delivered against us by an airplane or a cruise missile? It might be almost impossible to trace the attack back to its source with certainty, especially in the midst of an ongoing conventional conflict.

More Terror
We’re familiar with the horror scenario of a Muslim state passing a nuclear bomb to terrorists for use against an American city. But imagine the same scenario in a multi-polar Muslim nuclear world. With several Muslim countries in possession of the bomb, it would be extremely difficult to trace the state source of a nuclear terror strike. In fact, this very difficulty would encourage states (or ill-controlled elements within nuclear states — like Pakistan’s intelligence services or Iran’s Revolutionary Guards) to pass nukes to terrorists. The tougher it is to trace the source of a weapon, the easier it is to give the weapon away. In short, nuclear proliferation to multiple Muslim states greatly increases the chances of a nuclear terror strike.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, worrying about nuclear war was said to be quite common. Students were shown films in school of what to do in the case of a nuclear strike. Thinking and talking about installing a fallout shelter was not seen as extreme in certain locations of North America. Then came detente, and fears of nuclear war subsided significantly. After detente, only extreme survivalists were still talking seriously about fallout and survival shelters.

That was then, this is now. Now there is an end-of-the-world disaster to suit every taste and political/religious persuasion. You say you are an extreme leftist to the point of moonbattery? No problem. Global warming and peak oil are sure to destroy the world economy, triggering wars of survival that will certainly escalate to nuclear exchanges. You had better get your fallout shelter. You say you are an anti-Bush democrat? Better yet. You know that Bush ordered the strike on the WTC towers in NYC, but that only got him so far. Now he needs something more potent. What better than a nuclear strike on a large city in a predominantly Democratic Party controlled area? We take cash or credit cards. But, you say, you are really a religious right wingnut? Excellent! The muslim fanatics will not rest until you are forced into converting to Islam, taken into slavery, or killed. If you refuse, they will simply nuke your cities until you are all dead. Better order your shelter today!

Here is one place to get your shelter, conveniently named bomb-shelter.net. Here is another site for more information. This site provides information about a large group shelter within easy driving distance of Toronto. Here is Wikipedia's Fallout Shelter page. Here is yet another information packed source for the truly anxious.

What cities are likely to be hit? New York City, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles are almost certain to be targets eventually. Several others come to mind, but it is not my wish to trigger a stampede. :-)

I should mention that fallout shelters are not just for nuclear attacks. If you install one that is big enough, you can hold quite a party, and as long as the shelter is buried underground, your neighbors should not complain about anything except perhaps all the cars.

One thing is very likely. If there is a nuclear attack by muslim extremists, it is likely to be an attempt on several cities simultaneously. That means that it will be no small disaster like Hurricane Katrina, and any local city/county/state government that is as incompetent as the Nagin/Blanco team will be out of luck. With federal resources demanded by several sites--all with at least tens of thousands of casualties--there will be no world wide media obsession with one crime-ridden waterlogged city. Every city and country in the entire world will be worried about their own sorry backsides if it ever comes to that point, because all bets will be off.

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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