Nuclear Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall
By: Matt Wisnewski, Daily Toreador (Texas Tech)
October 19, 2006 4:46 PM
(U-WIRE) LUBBOCK, Texas - With confirmation that the North Koreans have successfully achieved membership in the highly exclusive Nuclear Weapons Club, I truly think the world is not safer since Sept. 11.
Three years ago, there was so much hope. Libya voluntarily got rid of its weapons program. The Israelis and Palestinians made substantial progress in their negotiations for peace in the Holy Land. Our hopes were riding high as we had finally achieved freedom for the Iraqi people.
We felt that the words of President Bush were coming true -- Democracy was spreading throughout world. There was so much hope; we had put in so much work. Unfortunately, I report that the fruits of our labor have not been realized. They have been replaced by our deepest fears. The world is not safer since Sept. 11.
I am frightened by these "new kids on the block." These new kids do not play nice. They are compassionless and cold-hearted humans who do not shed a tear as their country's citizens suffer. I point to an example in the Far East: North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il.
It is reported that at his birth, "in a log cabin at his father's guerrilla base on the country's highest mountain -- the event was marked by a double rainbow and a new star in the sky." Fact check -- he was born in Siberia. At four years of age, "He smeared a Japanese map with black ink, and then a stormy rain poured down onto Japan."
Personally, my favorite achievement of his is the 1500 books that he wrote while in college. This man appears to have done no wrong. But believe you me, he has.
While he lives in the lap of luxury, his people are in squalor. The estimated death toll of his country's eight-year famine has reached four million. But even that number is hard to confirm, for much of the reporting on the famine has been based on visual observations by humanitarian workers. The numbers could actually be so much higher. There has to be something we can do.
We have, in fact, been trying. For over twelve years, stretching over two American presidencies, we tried. We wined and dined, we played "good cop/bad cop" and we sought an intervention with five of their neighbors. Each time, each promise, each opportunity was met with another disappointment.
But we never gave up. The fruit of the arm twisting would be avoiding our worst case scenario, a naughty nuclear nemesis. We failed, and there's no turning back.
Now, the world is faced with a diagnosed madman at the helm of a country who could cause instability from Lubbock to Timbuktu. He's no longer someone we can put in a corner; he requires our nation's complete attention.
But there are other quagmires like North Korea's; there are other crazy-heads like Jong Il. And that's what's scary.
We do not have the resources to adequately meet the needs of today's threats upon our nation -- $315 billion later, stability is nonexistent in Iraq. As said by one of the top U.S. generals in Iraq, John Abizaid, "The sectarian violence is probably as bad as I've seen it...If not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move toward a civil war."
We need to start adapting to win, not staying the course. This new course requires more resources -- something our nation does not have.
And then there's Iran.
Our nation's Cold War policies led to the Iranian Revolution, the effects of which we're still experiencing. Their leader is a child of the revolution, a populist radical who lives and breathes the anti-American words preached by Ayatollah Khomeini.
The scary thing is, if you believe it can't get any worse, a nuclear Iran would make Iraq's instability seem like child's play. It could be so, so much worse.
The doom and gloom of today's article is not meant for me to share with you my worst-case scenario, but to share of what I think will be the scenario in Iran. We saw it in Iraq and in North Korea. The talks, the empty threats of our negotiations did not succeed. Our worst-case scenario was realized. And in the wake of this week's news, I cannot help but thinking that history will repeat itself.
What do we do? I do not know. But what I do know is I'm a little afraid that the mighty Atlantic and Pacific will not be able to protect us in the future. Let's hope we are the change the world needs.