Jon Spencer wrote:

> I do not believe that you can use the WWII use of nukes as a precedent for
> any action today, unless we were again at that decision point.  It is quite
> clear that the use of nukes in WWII saved many lives, both Japanese and
> American.
> When did we ever issue a real threat to use nukes since WWII?

Since the Cuban crisis (which we've discussed before), I am not aware of the US
making any such threat, but there are two issues that Arab countries in
particular have. The first is one that all non-US countries share: the US's
refusal to forego the "right to first strike," and the one that's unique to the
Middle East is the help that the US has given to Israel, which is a "non-public
nuclear state."  Israel, too, has ignored a number of UN resolutions, and many
Arabs see the US as being hypocritical in this regard.

I'm not saying I necessarily agree with them -- am just pointing out the concern.

> As far as I
> know, other than some rumored clandestine close calls, the only serious
> threat of using nukes occurred in the 60's in the Cuban missile showdown.
> Our dear friend Castro, the same one how was recently cheered in Harlem,
> demanded that the Soviet commander use the tactical nukes.  He supposedly
> almost did, but obviously they were not used.
> This brings up an interesting point, namely, if al Qaeda gets a nuke from
> some rogue country, or one of the floating Soviet nukes, and uses it, whom
> would we retaliate against?  My best guess is that we would not retaliate
> (at least President Bush wouldn't, nor would anyone else currently likely to
> occupy the Presidency).

I think the most imminent threat isn't from a conventional nuke but from
so-called dirty bombs, which are conventional explosives packed with a messy
radioactive substance such as caesium (which is a powder in natural form).

> This is one of the reasons it is so important to (1) get rid of Saddam, (2)
> bring North Korea into line, (3) assist he Russians to make a major effort
> to find all their nukes, (4) aggressively protect our borders, and (5)
> aggressively pursue any and all international terrorist threats.  We do not
> have the luxury of sitting around playing peace.  All of this can be done
> without trampling on what both John and I consider to be inalienable rights.
> I also disagree with your last statement about war.  The Church stays out of
> things like that.  We are obligated to protect ourselves.  We do not need
> direction in all things.  I see nothing in the scriptures which says that we
> should not preemptively defend ourselves, and one has a very difficult time
> comparing Nephites situations to our current situations.  Yes, war is a
> serious issue.  But I will promise you, if there were a group of thugs in
> Cary (the next town over from Apex, where I live), and they were making
> plans to attack me in a manner that I could not defend against, I would
> preemptively move against them.  I fell sorry for anyone who would not.
> Jon
> Mark Gregson wrote:
> >
> > > I believe that sometime soon, someone will use a tactical nuke to take
> out a
> > > carrier battlegroup - they have no other way of doing it.  If we were to
> use
> > > nukes now, then we would create a situation where we had sowed the seeds
> of
> > > our own loss.  We would have the moral low ground when that event
> occurs.
> >
> > Once the nukes start getting tossed around it won't matter who was the
> first to use them because "everyone" will be using them as just another
> conventional weapon.  There won't be any moral high ground, just as there is
> no moral high ground right now in the use of tanks, planes, ships,
> artillery, grenades, rifles and so on.
> >
> > Anyway, the US has already used nukes in war and has also threatened
> further use so the precendent is set.  Anyone using nukes in battle will
> justify themselves on the US precedent.  It won't matter if you agree with
> them or not, they will use that justification.  Not that justification has
> much to do with anything.  The nukes will kill lots of people with or
> without it and the response will be extremely hard to limit.  The genie came
> out of the bottle in about 1939 when the US decided to work on the bomb.
> >
> > (Well, of course the moral high ground is to not wage war except as
> specified by scripture and revelation.)
> /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
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Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick
himself up and continue on” – Winston Churchill

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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