Mutually assured destruction (a.k.a., MAD). You attack us and we’ll annihilate you. We attack you and you”ll annihilate us. That’s why there hasn’t been a catastrophic world war since the last catastrophic world war: we got nukes, they got nukes. (Arguably, the same reason Israel hasn’t been driven into the sea.) MAD works both on the national and the personal level. If a criminal knows he’ll be annihilated if he attacks an innocent person, he won’t attack. That said . . .
MAD doesn’t apply to jihadis and other people seeking our annihilation. Unfortunately, unlike our multi-platform nuclear defense, there’s no guarantee that an attacking criminal will be destroyed. On the personal level, it’s all about probabilities. But MAD still works well enough and one thing’s for sure: the President of the United States doesn’t get it. Like this [text of speech via nytimes.com]:
We may not be able to eliminate man’s capacity to do evil, so nations and the alliances that we form must possess the means to defend ourselves. But among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them.
We may not realize this goal in my lifetime, but persistent effort can roll back the possibility of catastrophe. We can chart a course that leads to the destruction of these stockpiles. We can stop the spread to new nations and secure deadly materials from fanatics.
And yet that is not enough. For we see around the world today how even the crudest rifles and barrel bombs can serve up violence on a terrible scale. We must change our mind-set about war itself. To prevent conflict through diplomacy and strive to end conflicts after they’ve begun. To see our growing interdependence as a cause for peaceful cooperation and not violent competition. To define our nations not by our capacity to destroy but by what we build. And perhaps, above all, we must reimagine our connection to one another as members of one human race . . .
That is why we come to Hiroshima. So that we might think of people we love. The first smile from our children in the morning. The gentle touch from a spouse over the kitchen table. The comforting embrace of a parent. We can think of those things and know that those same precious moments took place here, 71 years ago.
In short, the President journeyed to Hiroshima to advise the world to put down the nukes, join hands and sing Kumbaya. Unless . . . President Obama is saying that we need to get rid of the nuclear “stockpiles” while letting responsible adults in the nuclear club keep just enough destructive force to keep everyone honest/peaceful.
Given that the President’s call for “common sense gun reform” is nothing more than poorly disguised incrementalism leading toward the goal of total civilian disarmament, I reckon he actually wants a reduction in nuclear capability to lead to total nuclear disarmament, as well.
Silly man. As we know, an armed society is a polite society, both inside and outside its borders. Well, a lot more polite than a disarmed society. Anyway, well done to the CinC for dissing those “crude” rifles. Once again, America’s greatest ever gun salesman shows us how he earned that title. AR’s all around! Nukes? Not to so much. But definitely some.