We’re not talking hot dogs.....
These days, when we say nuke, we're probably talking about zapping a couple of hot dogs in the 'ol microwave.
But in the 50's and 60's, "nuke" had a more ominous meaning. For we had seen what the only two A-bombs ever dropped in war did to two major Japanese cities. We say the skin blown off bodies. We saw the festering cancers. And we new that the only thing that seperated mankind from a most terrible coda was one guy in Washington or Moscow having a real bad day.
We thought it was all over in the 80's. After all there was glasnost and the fall of the wall and Putin and the people standing in front of the Russian army.
We thought the nightmare was over.
Could have fooled us.
Quietly, persistantly, under cover of bin Ladin, the Eagle and the Bear have resumed in earnest thier favorite pastime....finding new and more effecient way of blowing away the other's collective ass.
That's assuming they never stopped.
Two stories slipped under the radar. They both come from the Russian news agancy Novasti.
One, I have to thank Drudgie for. It mentioned that the Russians vow to retaliate if weapons were deployed in space (http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070927/81302492.html). But through a link in that story, I read something ever more ominous: Russia and the USA have been developing new bombs under our noses! Russia has been playing with a new vacuum bomb, while the US has been countering with an even more destructive 14-ton super bomb (http://www.en.rian.ru/world/20070913/78518873.html).
This serves as a stark reminder that, while we have been fretting about rank ameteurs piddling around with dirty bombs in Skyway luggage (pull, not carry your destruction!), the professionals who invented the WMD in the first place continue to work on new models that would make the former look like a wet firecracker.
When I was young, during the Cuban crisis, I remember listening to my local Lawton, OK radio station, KSWO, and hearing the top of theo hour newscasts from ABC. I knew that nearby Ft. Sill, a major military training bases now and then, would be a target, and at the tender age of 8, I worried if I was falling asleep for the last time.
It was a nightmare then, something no 8 year old should dream about.
The problem is that, the Mutual Assured Destruction game we were playing depended on onr fragile assumption......both sides had leaders who were sane. We do not have that assurance today.
And so the nightmare continues. Thousands of missles pointed at the US and Russia, poised to be fired at anytime. And while we worry about a dapper madman with an impossible-to-pronounce name and, seemingly, Ann Coulter as a speechwriter, maybe we should worry that our exisitance may stand on the shaky ground on which our "leader" from Texas may have one bad day.
And with that, the nightmares start anew.