The International Herald Tribune describes something that went on in a smoke-free back room.
WASHINGTON: Every week, a group of experts from agencies around the government — including the CIA, the Pentagon, the FBI and the Energy Department — meet to assess Washington’s progress toward solving a grim problem: if a terrorist set off a nuclear bomb in an American city, could the United States determine who detonated it and who provided the nuclear material?
So far, the answer is maybe.
It seems to me that this question is the wrong question to ask. We’re not playing a game of Clue here. We are not channeling Sherlock Holmes. We’re talking about nuclear war being declared against us, and carried out by a Terrorist catspaw of a nuclear armed state. How many Terrorism-sponsoring countries are there? In a nuclear war, all Terrorism-sponsoring countries are guilty until they prove themselves innocent.
Isn’t the whole point of nuclear deterrence that retaliation will not be equal to the first strike but much larger, much more murderous, and immensely terrifying to everyone?
The response to a nuclear attack on US soil should be:
- Shut down the Mexican and Canadian borders.
- Set the White House phone lines on fire with continuous meetings with all the known and suspected nuclear powers plus Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, and Egypt, informing them that the US will punish any of them that does not join in the War against whomever set off the bomb. Leave the meaning of punish fuzzy.
- Pass through private channels an ultimatum that the retaliation against the Terror States of North Korea, Iran, Syria, and the Talibanistan part of Pakistan will be coming quickly and will be overwhelming. Their one chance is to prove their innocence by fingering the culprit.
- Declare War against the Terror States in North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Talibanistan. Seize all their external assets and use them to start paying for the War. Expel all their citizens from the US. Any with dual citizenship can stay if they renounce their non-US citizenship. Ban all private travel to and commerce with them and prosecute violators. Start negotiations with these Terror States to see how quickly they want to surrender and turn over all their assets to be managed by the United States. Nuke military targets in each. Continue to press the negotiations, and continue to bomb them, until they surrender.
This is about planning for a nuclear war, for Pete’s sake! This isn’t about a lawsuit or some kind of criminal trial or a popularity contest. This is about winning a nuclear war as quickly as possible to minimize the total number of civilian casualties on our side. And that requires a brutal calculus that the idiot, leftist peace-mongers of the world will never understand, for their only idea of war is a decade-long smear campaign against George W. Bush in retaliation for Ken Starr’s investigation of Bill and Hillary Clinton. (It sounds ridiculous because it is, and it is because they are so profoundly unserious.)