We’ve Come A Long Way Since the Cold War

Tital Missile

But have we gone in the right direction?

I’ve been spending a lot of time down in Tucson for work lately, and I finally got a chance to do some touristy things a couple of weeks ago. Aside from eating at a great Mexican restaurant that was visited by Bill Clinton back in his heavy eating days, my dad and I decided to visit the Titan Missile Museum just south of town. This ginormous missile, a relic of the Cold War, was designed to pretty much wipe out the face of humanity in a matter of minutes. The idea was that for every population-destroying bomb we had, the Russians had one to match it. These suckers were about 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, so yeah, they’d leave a mark.

Then one fine day in 1982, The Gipper and Gorby decided that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all and coined the phrase, “Can’t we all just get along?” According to our knowledgable tour guide, we blew up all of our silos but this one, and Russia did the same. They used their satellites to confirm that our silos were destroyed and we did the same. I think Reagan and Gorby did some vodka shots after that, but to this day we have to prove to them that the museum is not in fact a live missile pointed at them.

Fast forward about 25-30 years to our present day world. No more nukes? Hah-hardly! What was such a “simple” problem to solve back then is now a very difficult problem to solve. In fact, being the realist that I am, I’d say it’s an impossible problem to solve. It’s too bad that we can’t go back in time to prevent nukes from being invented. Just think of all of the issues that would magically disappear:

U.S.: We’re a super power.
Country X: No we are!
U.S.: Uh-uh.
Country X:Yeah huh!

U.S.: Hey Iran and North Korea, you can’t have nuclear weapons.
Iran: Why? You’ve got them.
U.S.: Yeah, but we promise not to use them unless we really need to.

U.S.: Hey Iraq, we heard from a reliable source that you’re developing nukes.
Iraq: Uh nooo. Mind your own bees wax. Don’t you have some McDonald’s you should be eating or something?
U.S.: How about we just invade you for your oil instead? You should try democracy anyway, it’s fun! We’ll even build you your very own McDonald’s and maybe a Starbucks or two.

Terrorist Bob: Hey look what I made with that stuff that we got from Russia a long time ago! A suitcase bomb! Let’s see if we can smuggle it into Washington DC via Mexico and blow up a few McDonald’s!
U.S.: Uh oh. That’s not good. Time to build a fence!

Well I digress a little. Visiting the Titan Missile Museum was fascinating and really made me think about how complicated the world has become. I just hope that the preparedness of our government for Katrina isn’t any indication of the preparedness of our terror readiness in this city. I really want to believe that we’ve got some super sensors, cameras, and 24-like technology sniffing out the bad guys around here, or at least a few Jack Bauer’s ready to jump into action.

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”

~ Albert Einstein

“What political leaders decide, intelligence services tend to seek to justify.”

~ Henry Kissinger

“I think war is a dangerous place.”

“…the role of the military is to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place.”

~ George W. Bush

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