10 August 2005

Mushrooms in Babel

Love the smell of napalm in the morning.

So with luck we'll be living the Cold War American Dream soon. According to an article published in the August 1 issue of American Conservative, orders stemming from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney have tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan in the event of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. The plan includes "a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons....As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States."

The tactical nuclear option is being pushed because of Iran's numerous (more than 450) major strategic targets, many of which are hardened against conventional weapons or deep underground. Several of the senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of unprovoked nuclear attack, but afraid of retaliation if they voice objections.

Picture them - aging men with good posture greying at the temples, brows more or less permanantly furrowed. The younger ones are middle-aged fathers who run in the mornings and keep freeweights in the basement to stay trim. They will have just enough to retire on if they keep through until their pension comes due. They come home at night from the planning sessions and the sober, calm invocation of the unthinkable to look in at sleeping children from bedroom doors, or call the them on a telephone that sits on an endtable next to a small glass of hard liquor that they sip slowly as darkness falls.

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