(John F. Kennedy, UN address, September 20, 1963)
Am I the only one noticing this?
* Item: The president of the United States - the leader of a country once known as a beacon of democracy to the world - has been the primary advocate for policies which have been (for all intents and purposes) violating the Geneva Convention on teatment of war prisoners - and is now looking for a Congressional stamp of approval for their abuses.
Anyone see any fundamental inconsistencies goin' on here? Or is it just me?
* Item: After the world has watched violence break out all over the world for months over cartoons offensive to the Muslim faith, the LA Times says:
The Pope on Tuesday quoted Manuel II Paleologus, a 14th century Byzantine emperor, saying: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."No kidding. Looks like it worked...
The speech was designed to provoke a theological debate, Vatican officials said.
* Item: Noting, of course, that Muslims everywhere were furious with being represented as violent, evil and inhuman, the LA Times went on to say that Palestinians torched two Christian churches in the West Bank, the second consecutive day of such attacks there. (Yeah, that oughta show 'em...)
But the coup de grace was in my email inbox tonight. As a Time magazine subscriber, I get an "Ahead of TIME" preview of the upcoming issue. And what, do you suppose, is on the cover of this once-prestigious news magazine?
Oh. My. God.
This may sound stupid, but I don't even have to open the magazine to know what war with Iran would look like. In fact, I have every certainty of what war with Iran would look like. It would last about an hour, and it would end like this:
Talk about insanity....whether we are watching Dr. Strangelove or Matthew Broderick's wide-eyed guilt at having set off World War III in WarGames or Jason Robards in The Day After, any one saner than a demented bee knows that there is no such thing as a "limited" response to a nuclear event.
And it is inconceivable that any war effort with Iran would not escalate insanely into a nuclear exchange...regardless whether it was "terrorist" or "governmental" in nature. Anyone who believes otherwise is living in a dangerous fantasy world...
There is no such thing as a "tactical" nuclear weapon, no matter how much any Administration (past and present) claim there to be. There are only small nuclear weapons and big nuclear weapons. And once they are used, even once, that tiny, thin line of sanity will be crossed, and there will be nothing holding anyone back. Once the first nuclear weapon explodes, war becomes a brief round of "well, they hit us first" that only ends in three terrifying letters - MAD.
Mutual Assured Destruction.
We all need to back down from the panic. We need to step away from the table with the sharp knives. The fate of the known world depends on Nancy Reagan's famous motto: "Just say no."
Just say no to violating the very principles that made this nation great. Just say no to saying hurtful things - no matter how intellectually brilliant they might seem in an academic setting. Just say no to picking a fight with people who are surely more fanatical than we are.
Or it will be more than our churches that will burn.
God, help us to back away, gently, from the insanity. Amen...