Sunday, November 21, 2004

Terrorists and Nukes

Not long ago a story made the rounds that some Islamic cleric had given “permission” to O/Usama bin Laden to use nuclear weapons against the United States. That is an ominous piece of news, indeed. We know bin Laden is out to kill Americans any way possible, and the prospect of a nuclear explosion on American soil is a chilling scenario.

While an actual “suitcase nuke” or “briefcase nuke” isn’t possible ­– the technology does not yet exist to make a nuke fit in a space that small – it is possible to put one in a container the size of a garbage can. And with the porous northern and southern US borders, this seems a reasonable threat. Our salt-water ports also seem to be easy targets.

So what do we do? Since the only way to defeat terrorism is to meet it head on and and capture or kill those who perpetrate it, the US must do three things:

First, we have to do a much better job of securing the borders and ports, using Coast Guard, National Guard or whatever force of trained and armed personnel we have at our disposal. We have to severely punish those that get through when we catch them, as well as those who are caught trying to get in. These steps will make the job more difficult for the barbarians who would attempt to smuggle a nuke into the US.

Second, we must improve our intelligence operation by increasing the flow of information and improving cooperation between government agencies. We must put more operatives in the field to infiltrate problem nations and terrorist factions around the world. We have to have a much better picture of the world and the evil players in it.

Third, we must let the world know that if terrorists succeed in setting off a nuclear device in the US, Pandora’s box is open, and the nuclear war is on. Using the best intelligence we can find, we will punish the country that allowed this plot to be devised within its borders, and any other country involved in the process, and blow a substantial portion of those countries off the face of the Earth with our own nuclear weapons. These murderous barbarians had better understand that if they first use a nuke, we would follow suit. We’ve got more of them than they have, we’ve got bigger ones, and we’ve got better ways to deliver them than they do.

We will cause them far more pain than they can cause us, and even though we may not know exactly who was behind the attack, we will take out a huge number of their brothers, sisters and children. And we’ll keep doing that until they stop, or until the Middle East is one big radioactive field of rubble.

This last point is sure to send those who believe war is always wrong and those who like to deny the terrorist threat over the edge, of course. They will complain that terrorists would not be after us if we hadn’t attacked Iraq, if we didn’t have a military presence in the Middle East, if we didn’t support Israel, if we have Christians living here, if we didn’t like baseball, eat ham, or any number of other excuses they dream up to blame the United States for the barbaric behavior of radical, rabid Muslim fanatics.

These are the same people who tried to equate the wrongs committed at the Abu Ghraib prison with the crimes of Saddam Hussein’s thugs, who believe the Marine who killed the injured terrorist in the Fallujah mosque should be tried as a war criminal, and think the Bush administration is on a par with the Third Reich.

They are either not rational people, or they don’t understand the severity of the threat of terrorism, so they must be ignored. The United States must continue to defend its way of life against terrorist threats and others that may arise, and to spread freedom across the globe.

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