Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ok, I feel better. I think.

"Does the United States have the power to eliminate terrorists and the states that support them? In terms of capacity, as opposed to will, the answer is a clear yes.
Think about it. Currently, the U.S. has an arsenal of 18 Ohio class submarines. Just one submarine is loaded with 24 Trident nuclear missiles. Each Trident missile has eight nuclear warheads capable of being independently targeted. That means the U.S. alone has the capacity to wipe out Iran, Syria or any other state that supports terrorist groups or engages in terrorism -- without risking the life of a single soldier."

But Walter Williams doesn't think we have the will to use it. We are too beholden to world opinion he says. He reminds us of history:

"Such an argument would have fallen on deaf ears during World War II when we firebombed cities in Germany and Japan. The loss of lives through saturation bombing far exceeded those lost through the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

After the battle of Midway, and the long string of Japanese defeats in the Pacific, including Guam, Okinawa and the Philippines, had today's Americans been around, they'd be willing to negotiate with Japan for peace, pointing to the additional loss of lives if we continued the war.
More than likely they would have made the same argument in 1945, when German defeat was imminent. Of course, had there been a peace agreement with Japan and Germany, all it would have achieved would have been to give them time to recoup their losses and resume their aggression at a later time, possibly equipped with nuclear weapons.

We might also note that the occupation of Germany and Japan didn't pose the occupation problems we face in Iraq. The reason is we completely demoralized our enemies, leaving them with neither the will nor the means to resist."

He ends with this:

"Anyone who thinks current Western appeasement efforts will get Iran to end its nuclear weapons program and end its desire to eliminate Israel is dumber than dumb. Appeasement will strengthen Iran's hand, and it looks as if the West, including the United States, is willing to be complicit in that strengthening."

He says he isn't suggesting we use our nuclear power, but I'm not sure how we deal with Iran if appeasement won't work. Do we wait for something so dreadful that it is necessary? All I know is that it did make me feel a bit better to read about our nuclear capacity. It's the gun in the closet at our home that we hope to never ever use. But if someone breaks in and tries to attack those we love, we are so very glad we have it.

h/t BigDog