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(Note to literalists: the Watched column presently contains only a smattering of 'warblogs' because the facilitator of the template-change--Dr. Menlo--is not very familiar with them, and will be adding more as they are sent to him. Also, this blog may contain areas of allusion, satire, subtext, context and possibly even a dash of the surreal: wannabe lit-crits beware.)


[Watch this space for: Pentagon and Petroleum, The Media is only as Liberal as the Corporations Who Own Them, Wash Down With, and Recalcify]


Friday, June 07, 2002


And now for something completely different part two: A nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan. Or: The Larch.

What’s that? Liberals don’t know how to respond to the nuclear exchange according to Victor Davis Hanson? Actually, the prospect of a possible nuclear exchange highlights quite graphically the limitations of bombing and terror campaigns. It also highlights how incredibly banal your average Warblogger’s position on war is. Does it encourage or deter nuclear exchange when the US announces that it will initiate first strikes on its alleged enemies on its own? Does it encourage or deter nuclear exchange when we act unilaterally and kill civilians and then declare victory? Does it encourage or deter nuclear exchange when we withdraw from the World Court (Please explain how this gets Pakistan and India back to the negotiating table?)? In fact, what I’ve found is that the average Warblogger hasn’t commented on this too much because if Pakistan and India were to follow the Warblogger’s mantra—

(Those mantras are, in no particular order: Your opponent is evil and evil only and nothing rational could describe their evil evil evil acts of evil , negotiation is useless (they are, afterall, subhuman and quite evil), there are no root causes to disputes, force works and people don’t mind our civilian casualties because we’re the good guys, blowback doesn’t exist and my favorite: We don’t care what the world thinks. Bombs away and that Ted Rall/Noam Chomsky/Mike Moore he’s no good…)

--then a nuclear war is inevitable. We have to hope that both sides in this dispute are more intelligent and more sensible than Americans and the sillier monarchy worshiping Warbloggers (Figures. During a particulary nasty debate over at Plastic that we had some time back I wondered aloud whether his family was allied with the Shah. I’m still wondering…) amongst us. Of course they can’t quite bear to face up to their own logic, that is: if our policies are encouraging nuclear holocaust wouldn’t it be better for us to change our policies? If, sigh, there was only a Decent Right as Mike Walzer might say. That would mean doing the opposite of what I mentioned earlier and I’ve probably said this before but what could the United States do to prevent nuclear war? Well we could join the World Court enthusiastically and propose an arbitration process for nations if it doesn’t already have one. We could ask that Israel and the PLO immediately join that process and then turn around and ask Pakistan and India to do the same. That would be consistent. We could also ask for United Nations troops in both Kashmir and the Mideast. That would also be consistent.

Speaking of Israel, I have been accused of being anti-semitic because I didn’t approve of the IDF using tanks to roll over homes. To be honest, the reason I don’t approve the Israeli tactics is that I’m firmly of the belief that their use of force creates more problems for them than it solves. But here’s another question for you Warbloggers: is it in the interest of Israel for there to be a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan? I’ve looked at those dispersal patterns and they look like they’re coming awfully close to Israel. Of course, these are wildly optimistic dispersal patterns that don’t include either side developing hydrogen bombs or stores of chemical weapons or what happens when you have multiple nuclear plant explosions or what if China or the Stan countries decide to intervene with their own weapons or in the confusion al-Qaeda gets its hands on a couple of nuclear weapons and aims a plane toward Israel…Well, to me, it just seems a lot simpler to work toward peace.

You could even make a capitalist argument for peace efforts. I know the prospect of 20 million brown people (They're justiable causalties they'll bravely intone.) does nothing to move the hearts of the hardened Warblogger, allegedly safe in his or her comfy chair. (How many of you have enlisted for this noble and just war effort? You’re only 30 Pejman “Never Takes an Israeli War Crime/Atrocity Seriously” Yousefzadeh. When will you sign up?). So try to think of it this way. Nuclear war could be bad for Israel, in that a there may be a Pakistani bomb with their name on it. Nuclear War could turn the mideast oil reserve into a radioactive wasteland—but, in an optimistic silver lining behind every radioactive cloud Glenn Reynolds moment (“I’ll be fine after the nuclear exchange,” sez my strawman Instapundit. “A fellow blogger told me I’d be okay and…Ted Rall sucks!”), I guess we would move toward alternative fuels at last. And, last but not least, nuclear war could be bad for the stock market and that could even hurt the economy."How dreadful" as Andy Sullivan might say in a fit of manly exasperation.

Afterall, what’s more important: choking on your war lust or doing everything you can to prevent the deaths of 20 million people? Wouldn't it be better if the War on Terror, whatever it is these days, be put on hold not just for Israel but for the world? Better not ask the Warbloggers. They’re probably busy stocking up on Iodine and thanks to their administration cohorts we probably should too….

Philip Shropshire

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