A Nuclear Armed Iran; Does it Matter?

Amidst all the controversy, one needs to ask. Growing up in the Baltimore-Washington metro area, I spent most of my life with thousands of Russian ICBMs pointed at my head. I’m still here. So are you. Anyone who grew up in Moscow had the same, but polar opposite, experience. Because a nation is armed with nukes does not, by definition, mean those weapons will be used, whatever their dislike or distrust of the those people at whom the weapons are targeted. Which leads me to the larger question at hand, does the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran in and of itself justify a war, even a limited war, for their removal?

Let’s look at some possible courses of action.

1. The “Iranian Question” is deferred to the UN Security Council (UNSC).

This would seem to be a ratcheting up of the pressure on Iran but it is nothing of the sort. It is deferment. The UNSC has authorized war in only two instances I’m aware of, the North Korean invasion of South Korea and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Deferment to the UNSC is what powers do when they want to appear to be doing something but actually can’t do anything, therefore they opt for the appearance of doing something while doing essentially nothing. (This, of course, is why every aspiring middle power relishes a seat on the UNSC. They appear as a great power, actually calling the shots in the world and all while never actually having to put up and do something really dangerous and expensive. It’s perfect, in other words, for posturing.)

It gets more complicated. The Russians (remember them?) have a seat at the UNSC. Moreover, they are the ones SUPPLYING the Iranians with their nuclear weapons making infrastructure. In addition, they just sold the Iranians nearly a billion dollars of air defense missiles and radars for PROTECTING that infrastructure from air attack. Shall we guess what their vote will be when it the military strike option comes up for a vote?

China, with an economy ever more dependent on oil imports, will not under any circumstances vote for anything that upsets the status quo and makes those imports harder or more expensive to get. The islamists aren’t bothering them; not their problem. To the degree they antagonize and occupy the Americans, well, good.

So forget the UNSC. It’s a society for political posturing, nothing more.

2. A preemptive airstrike by the Israelis.

Ain’t gonna happen. Frankly, this problem is out of their league. This is not like the Osirik reactor in Iraq, which was built above ground, whose location was known and the facilities relatively contained in a small area. These facilities are widely dispersed, often deeply buried, and whose locations are not well known, merely guessed at.

3. Large scale military strikes by a consortium of European powers.

Don’t make me laugh.

4. Large scale military strikes by the USA.

This is probably the only option which might work. It would not be some sort of “surgical” strike however, if there is such a thing. This would mean troops on the ground for weeks at least, maybe months. The facilities would have to be located and demolished.

The political fallout from this would be enormous. There would be no help, no assistance, no view of Americans as “liberators” within Iran. We would be in a full scale war with virtually the entire society. Regionally, we could expect everyone to work against us. No overflight rights, no intel shared, no cooperation. The other major powers would oppose the operation and would seek to cash in on a watershed of anti-American sentiment.

5. Do nothing, militarily.

Doing nothing is always an option that’s often overlooked. Sometimes it’s the sensible option. Would we have been better off fighting a full scale war with the USSR in 1950 when they developed atomic then nuclear weapons? How about China? Should we have attacked them? We were certainly bitter enemies of the Maoist regime and considered them dangerous, expansionist killers of the worst sort. They evolved. And they still have nuclear weapons pointed at us, as we do at them.

I vote for doing nothing, militarily. We should, instead work with those elements who would reform the society. The current leader was not elected on his anti-semitic, anti-western platform. His was an economic platform, as the previous government was seen as elitist and corrupt. I see no evidence for a wide scale death wish among the Iranians or the leadership at large. Any use of those weapons will mean their immediate annihilation as a society. And they know it. And so do we. So let’s calm down and wait this out.

23 thoughts on “A Nuclear Armed Iran; Does it Matter?”

  1. Something that makes the nuke standoff with the Soviets differ in a not insignificant way is that the Soviets, being atheists, had a lot to lose in precipitating a nuclear exchange. They’d be dead dead and whoever survived would have an even worse planet to live with.

    The Iranians are led by a mesianic sub-cult that believes death in the name of vanquishing infidels, and wiping the jews off the map, only leads them to a blessed seat in heaven. A nuclear exchange with anyone can only hurry the day. Now for the obligatory clarifications. I didn’t say all Iranians believe it, only the leaders of Iran who will have control of “the button”.

    The problem with Iran right this moment is not whether they have nukes, rather the problem is the leadership of an Iran with nukes. The longer this Iranian leadership keeps running things the more likely they will try to create the events to herald the mahdi…. The prospect of nukes in the equation is what makes it apocalyptically scary and of great difference between a nuclear Soviet Union or China, and a nuclear Iran… IMO of course.

  2. To get it to work, we would need to move our troops in Iraq out of the cities and into bases near the Iranian border and promote democratic reform from within.

  3. Once they get a nuclear sheild Iran will pick-up its backing of terrorist groups around the world and basically dare anyone to do anything about it.
    Part of the reason that world is overall more peacefull today than 15 years ago, despite our wars, is that the Soviet Union is no longer around to support every nascent revolutionary group in the world.
    Confrontation with Iran will either come at our choosing or theirs. They have made quite clear that they don’t just resolve to sit within their borders and count their oil money one they get a nuclear shield. Instead, they will embark on a project to re-draw the Mid-East

  4. I agree with Eric’s point. People who have an absolute belief in an afterlife, whose lives are indeed dominated by this belief, are likely to look at a nuclear exchange differently from atheists or even from typical religious believers.

    Also: The Marxists were believers in historical inevitability. Why bring history to an end if you believe it is automatically on your side?

    Further: Even the US–Soviet nuclear standoff was a close-run thing. There were several incidents which easily could have led to all-out thermonuclear war.

    If you play Russian Roulette 3 times and come out alive, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to keep playing it.

  5. I think the most effective strategy would be to humiliate the mullas via a series of military “bitch slaps.” We should demonstrate that we can strike at Iran at will and then dare the mullas to do something about it.

    This might sound childish but in a shame and face bound culture like Iran it would be devastating. The fall of the Shah began when Iranians saw him “humiliated” by large scale protest against him when he visited the US. The Mullas have been given a free ride for the last 15 years, free to make any wild statements they wish for internal consumption without fear of any consequence. If we demonstrate that the Mullas are in fact powerless and that the US can strike any place, any time it will seriously undermine their rule.

    The Mullas are not wildly popular in Iran. Their regime is brutal and corrupt. Much of their support springs from either fear or respect for their imagined power. If we show that we neither fear them nor respect their power, I think they will wilt.

  6. I like Shannon’s idea. Face is integral to these nitwits’ self-esteem, but what would you suggest, Shannon?

    At the same time, I’d like to see several TV comedies based on Muslims and their delusions. I’d also like to see TV comedians making comments that get laughs – god knows, it should be easy enough. These people are insufferable bullies and, except in the case of that brave Danish newspaper editor and Denmark’s brave prime minister, they have managed to intimidate people who are 10 times more intelligent and 50 times better thinkers than they are.

    What did you have in mind, Shannon, given that we probably shouldn’t nuke them with even a tiny nuke? So what would you suggest? I would like the headlines in the media following the strike to read, “US bitch slaps Iran”. Excellent. Humiliating in both the deed and the reporting thereof.

  7. Face-Saving culture is a major part why mid-east society is so disfunctional. Truth and reality are compromised. Rationality is often thrown out the window to save face.

    I think that can be a dangerous move. I still think change from within is probably a better option.

  8. aaron – that is not realistic. They live in a theocracy. The word of their god is final. They are not free to moderate it themselves. Other people will have to do it for them.

    The fundamentalist states are not becoming less fundamentalist. The moderate states, however, are becoming less moderate. See my post about Malaysia over on anglosphere.com.

  9. Forget about WMD in Iraq. Many will disagree, but, to me, SL’s argument for “bitch slapping” Iran is the primary reason why Iraq’s invasion was justified and necessary. Culturally, the region was moving toward a dangerous “place”. Iraq was the least common denominator, the most convienient place (politically) to impose some order.

    Sanity and perspective imposed from without may be called for again in the case of Iran (hopefully, as SL speculates, in small doses).

  10. I think the most effective strategy would be to humiliate the mullas via a series of military “bitch slaps.”

    Shannon, that is an amazingly naive idea, and I am stunned that you think it would be effective. You don’t pull a gun on someone unless you truly intend to apply deadly force. Otherwise, you’ll likely find yourself dead.

    You don’t enter warfare a little bit. You blow things up, get people killed, accomplish exactly nothing toward your goal and engender tremendous resentment among those you want to persuade. Warfare needs an end goal, a grand strategy, a “mission accomplished” line item that you point to when done. Otherwise, you’re flailing in a bucket of very bloody molasses.

    Do you know what I see as the end result of the “bitch slapping” strategy? A much more polarized, much more anti-American Muslim world, a much more anti-American world in general, an increase in terrorism worldwide, greater dispersal of Iran’s weapons program and a Shia backlash in Iraq, all of which cold go on for years. You might slow the Iranian program but won’t stop it.

    It’s also possible that Iran will simply purchase nukes from Russia or North Korea and use them immediately on delivery. In short, you may hasten that which you wish to prevent.

    There’re only two roads available: 1) a full scale assault to take down the regime and their weapons program or 2) wait and see. Iran is not, as I’ve pointed out, the first brutal, totalitarian regime to acquire nukes. They won’t be the last.

    I could be persuaded to take course number one if, and only if, it did not do serious damage to the long term interests of the USA and our foreign policy. That will only happen with a large degree of consensus around the world, and I don’t see that happening any time soon, if ever.

    Once they get a nuclear sheild Iran will pick-up its backing of terrorist groups around the world and basically dare anyone to do anything about it.

    I don’t follow that. If the US is attacked by Iranian backed terrorists, we can and should pound the shit out of them, kill their leadship, attack their military facilities, attack their government centers and attack their infrastructure, then dare them to do anything about it. As for terrorists in general, they should be hunted down and killed regardless of who’s backing them.

    that is not realistic. They live in a theocracy. The word of their god is final.

    Actually, death is final, which is what they will be facing should they use their weapons. Notice that terror leaders send the dispirited to immolate themselves. The leadership live in safety and comfort. Whatever they profess in public, their actions and lifestyle betray no deathwish.

    The fundamentalist states are not becoming less fundamentalist. The moderate states, however, are becoming less moderate.

    That’s a judgement call. Is Turkey more or less fundamnendalist? Compared to what baseline? What about Lebanon? Kuwait? Morroco? Algeria? Libya? Egypt? Pakistan?

    How about the US? Europeans consider us Bible thumping fundamentalists, don’t they?

  11. Michael Hiteshew,

    “Do you know what I see as the end result of the “bitch slapping” strategy? A much more polarized, much more anti-American Muslim world”

    That’s what people said about liberating Iraq and it has had the opposite effect.

    Militarist of all stripes gain power and status when they are allowed to mouth off unopposed. The people of Iran and elsewhere interpret the Mullahs extreme and bellicose statements as expressions of real strength. The people reason that if they did not have the power to backup their pronouncements then the US or the “world community” would take action. Simply destroying some nuclear facilities and military bases would reveal the Mullahs as the paper tigers they are.

    A full scale military solution in Iran is not fesible for several reasons. First, the Mullahs have a much stronger base of support in Iran than Saddam had in Iraq. They can count on the support of about 40% of the population instead of Saddam’s 20%. Second, the geography of Iran makes a ground war much more difficult. In order to win, we need to be able to use a strategy much as in Afghanistan by triggering a civil war.

    A necessary pre-condition for triggering a civil war is destroying the aura of power and competence that the Mulluhs currently enjoy. I think they are already teetering. Striking at their nuclear facilities, their intelligence agencies and the facilities of their paramilitary political security apparatus could easily push them over the age.

  12. Michael Hiteshaw – regarding your heartfelt, if misinformed, rave, you asked:

    Is Turkey more or less fundamnendalist? Compared to what baseline? What about Lebanon? Kuwait? Morroco? Algeria? Libya? Egypt? Pakistan?

    Uniform answer: Yes. More. Except in the cases where they were already raving loons. They are all more bonkers today than they were 10 years ago. It’s a regressive disease.

    This isn’t going to be resolved over the negotiating table so beloved of the left – “Why can’t we all just sit round the table (NO WOMEN! NO WOMEN!!!) and have the most boring drink in the world – worse than water – mint tea – and drink everyone into submission?”

  13. That’s what people said about liberating Iraq and it has had the opposite effect.

    Shannon Love, I never said that about Iraq. However, if I support one military venture, must I support them all? After all, all countries and situations are, no doubt, just like Iraq.

    Verity, if anyone raves on the blog, it’s you. And you are obviously not keeping up if think all those countries I named are more fundamentalist (since when, you didn’t say) than they were 10 or 20 years ago. Kuwait and Lebanon have come very far. Turkey has been pouncing on the terrorist/fundamentalist element since 9/11. Turkey, however, has become much more anti-American in the last few years. Algeria and Morocco have had a fundamentalist problem for centuries. It comes and goes in waves there.

    I just can’t see half-assing it (or bitch slapping) in Iran. I also can’t see the US going this alone. It’ll be a disaster, IMO. And the fundamental problem here isn’t that the US just isn’t militaristic enough (for your taste) it’s that the rest of the world is either benefitting directly (Russia, China) or can’t be bothered to get off their collective duff and do anything, anywhere, anytime; namely the Europeans. Aren’t they supposed to be dealing with this?

  14. Michael Hiteshaw – You are right about Kuwait. For the rest – Lebanon? – Lebanon was far more relaxed and westernised 20 years ago than it is today. Lebanon, sadly, has regressed. It was far more relaxed 40 years ago – in ’65 say, than it is today.

    “Turkey, however, has become much more anti-American in the last few years. Algeria and Morocco have had a fundamentalist problem for centuries. It comes and goes in waves there.”

    Your sweeping judgements are absolutely astounding. Do you have any idea what you are lecturing other people about? “It comes and it goes in waves there”??? This is a reasoned argument? Admit it. You haven’t a clue what you’re talking about.

    All Muslim countries, including Turkey and some of those where “it comes and goes in waves” are becoming more fundamentalist with every month that passes. You are trying to persuade us that Algeria and Morocco are moderate – except where it comes and goes in waves? Do you have vaguest notion of the background of N Africa here and Chiraq’s ambitions?

    How lucky you are to feel so relaxed.

  15. That post above was mine. Sorry for it appearing anonymously.

    Michael Hiteshaw, the Turkish ambassador is one of the gang of Muslims who have got their act together and are taking it on the road. There’s around 15 or 20 of them touring the world to explain, in tones of outrages sensibility, why the Danish newspaper, the Jyllands-Posten, should not have been “allowed” to publish cartoons of their prophet. Before they took their act on the road, they – clearly not understanding the power structure in a democracy and thinking the prime minister is the boss of newspaper editors, as in their own countries – demanded a meeting with Anders Rasmussen. He quite rightly refused to meet them, saying he has no power over the free press and nor does he want such power.

    They are jumping up and down in fury because under their law, you’re not supposed to have depictions of Mohammed. They cannot get their rigid flea brains round the fact that we are not bound by their religious rules. They simply do not understand it. They seethe. They’ve complained about the free press in Denmark to the United Nations (where, needless to say, they found a friendly ear). They’re touring the world to explain that Denmark has gone against their god.

    They absolutely cannot accept that they are the only ones who give a toss about their religion. And, in a prime example of infantile desert wiliness, they have added three cartoons of their own to the original 12 in the Jyllands-Posten, and they’re presenting them all as having appeared in the paper.

    We are dealing not with a religion but a pathology.

  16. 2. A preemptive airstrike by the Israelis.

    Agree – a preemptive airstrike is not likely to be successful.

    2a. A preemptive nuclear strike by the Israelis.

    The Israelis are faced with an enemy who says that they must be destroyed, that they have no right to live, and they know that within 3 years the enemy will be able to kill them all. Israel lacks the ability to defend itself using conventional weapons, but Israel has to defend itself. A nuke strike now, against Iranian nuclear production facilities and technical institutes (universites, research labs, etc.), will render Iran unable to threaten Israel.

    Would we have been better off fighting a full scale war with the USSR in 1950 when they developed atomic then nuclear weapons? How about China? Should we have attacked them?

    Neither Russia or China viewed the destruction of America as a holy act.

    And on a practical level the USSR had the most powerful army in the world, its production facilities were hidden behind hundreds of miles of fortified territory and its airforce was bigger than Americas and Britains combined. China had a bigger army than even the Soviets and was allied to the by then a nuclear armed Soviet Union. In comparison Iran is armed with 2 camels and a stick.

  17. Angus, I have got the impression that Iran’s nuclear facilities are hidden. And Iran is a large country with complicated terrain. It’s not like that plant that the Israelis took out 10 years ago.

  18. All the talk about bitch-slapping, and the extremely anti-Muslims views presented by commenters is really troubling because the manner in which they are conducting their debate does nothing but void understanding of a very complex situation. I will not address specific examples, but I’ll assume by those who respond in the same vitrilic tone that they know who they are. To be sure, some people have actually provided pretty good and grounded arguments for their positions not slanted or biased by their ignorance or hatred of Islam and Muslims. That said, I now provide my view.

    I liked the original post because it asked a question I think many other powers are asking themselves. No doubt the Russians, the Chinese and others have asked the question of “Does it matter, given the fact that we know deterrence works?” The answer provided by Michael was argued well and consistently and he does have a point. If the Cold War proved anything, it was that deterrence or MAD worked. It has been revalidated by events in Pakistan and India, where both countries have taken steps to deescalate potential conflicts that would bring them to war.

    To be sure, each situation is different. India and Pakistan share a border and have a “big brother” watching, if you will. The US has made it clear that it would not back either side, and that both have alot more to loose than gain from such an encounter. Likewise the US v USRR conflict mentioned above also had its own distinct characteristics, like the fact that both countries were separated by an ocean on either side, and continued to fight proxy wars throughout the world to either advance or stop each others aims. At one point, for example, the USSR actually believed that because of its size and numerical superiority, it could win a nuclear war, that view however changed gradually as their economic system collapsed and they found they could no longer compete with American military production and innovation. But I digress.

    Back to the main issue in this post, Iran. One of the main things that people have not addressed, but just assumed away is Iran’s need for the bomb.
    First, after 9/11 the US, in response to al Qaeda’s attacks and the Taliban’s refusal to surrender bin Laden or al Qaeda’s leadership to us, invaded and occupied Afghanistan. To be sure, we invaded for that reason, not because we wanted to have an army to the east of Iran, but that also happened. Later, we named Iran, along with Iraq and North Korea part of the Axis of Evil. Since then, we proceeded to invade and occupy Iraq. Again, our main motivation there was not to place an army to the West of Iran, but thanks to the geographic location of Iraq, that is what happened. So then, Iran is looking at a map of the region and sees that there is now an American presence in Afghanistan and in Iraq, or said another way to both its East and West. One of those countries had the distinction of belonging to the Axis of Evil and now is no more. Iran, takes a wider view of the world and sees that the other country named as part of the Axis of Evil was North Korea, but unlike Iran it has a big neighbor and ally to protect it (i.e. China). That leaves Tehran in a very uncomfortable position, it has no friendly, big neighbor (big enough to challenge American supremacy) to protect it, it has American forces to both its East and West, and as a result feels extremely unsafe. Further, if Russia’s actions in Chechnya, China’s in Tianamen Square and Uighur territory taught Iran anything, it is that the US, and the International Community do not attack anyone who has nuclear weapons. The first Gulf War bears this lesson out fully. Iraq was still months away from having a nuclear capability when it invaded Kuwait and as such its actions were reversed promptly. Iran, likely reasoned that in order to ensure its survival (the regime’s survival) it needed something that could provide enough of a deterrence to prevent the United States from scratching the next Axis of Evil member (Iran) off its list; a nuclear bomb. It is classic deterrence, Iran feels insecure so it seeks out a weapon that provides it with an assurance of security, in so doing, it sparks out fears that it is trying to develop it for more sinister ends.

    Additionally, Iran is the natural hegemon in the Persian Gulf, now that India, Pakistan and Israel all have the bomb, it wants in into the club. Because it doesn’t have a weapon that these other regional powers have, it likely feels a diminished power in much the same way the US felt diminished following the first Soviet incursions into space ahead of the US.

    There are many components here which are pushing Iran to pursue a nuclear weapon, after all how can it claim regional leadership when Israel can obliterate it off the map without it being able to respond?

    Yes, many of you are correct that Iran and I am not denying some of your claims. Iran does have a history of support for terrorist groups in the Middle East (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, etc.), they have pledged to destroy Israel (and yet never actually started a war to do so, mainly because they are Shiia and most other muslims between it and Israel are Sunni but more on that on another post), they do have leaders who follow a fundamentalist religious ideology, etc. These are other parts of the equation, but not the only parts, and in many cases not the most important parts. After all, Pakistan has a similar fundamentalist Ideology and a vitrolic hatred of India, yet it has not launched any Nukes in India’s direction. Rather, the opposite has happened. As stated earlier, they’ve begun to work to find ways to ameliorate many of the conflicts that could lead them to a nuclear stand-off. Yes, there are differences and I would be naive or blind to deny them, but deterrence or MAD trumps. Afterall, the Israelis have a second strike capability, so even if hit, they can still ensure that Iran does not. Further, the Israelis also continue under the American nuclear security umbrella, and Iran knows that any such attack would ensure a decapitating blow to Iran (what good is it to prove that you are a true Muslim if there is noone left to reap the benefits, particularly as most of the Muslim world is Sunni and most Shiia are oppressed by the Sunni majority in all Muslims countries except Iraq?

    Well then, can we feasible do nothing? No. I think in this part of the debate, I would side with Thomas Barnett. I will not regurgitate his argument for how to deal with Iran and its nuclear weapons ambition rather I will just link you to the various pieces where he discusses it. Finally, the question I ask about Iran in conclusion is, does Iran getting a nuclear weapon matter to us because we don’t want these weapons to spread to the rest of the world (yet hypocritically allow Israel to get away with having them) or is it merely the fact that we don’t trust those who are currently in power? If so, what procedures, tactics, diplomatic, military, economic can we take to ensure that by the time Iran is able to acquire the capacity to build nuclear weapons (most estimates say 2-3 years) these leaders are no longer in power, but rather others more amenable (read moderate) to the West?

  19. Comments rendered here and on about a dozen other blogs addressing Iran,all have a common thread.

    This is an incredibly complex issue wherein all proposed courses of action (which are all over the board…)seem to lead to varying definitions of: BAD, REALLY BAD or REALLY REALLY BAD!

    This colonel is a Huge Fan of Tom Barnett; a master strategist. But it is not an impossibility that some wingnut in the gap will not wait for A to Z(South Carolina comes to mind as precursor to Civil War).

    I take Amhedinejad at his word. Israel must be rubbed out and the corollery is that nukes are the only means. Rational men cannot impose a MAD deterrence against a MAD man; won`t work.

    The trouble with a Madhi is in his blindness to any consequence of a Jihad!

    Israel`s second strike capacity is kinda moot if there is no Israel anymore.

    IMHO, waiting for internal Iranian reform is utopian; ain`t gonna happen. Additionally, I do not believe anyone knows the timeline to an Iranian operational nuclear weapon.

    In sum: Iran is mountainous, full of hardened underground sites. Surgical anything is out. Conventional would be bad/really bad. Nuclear would be really really bad. Doing nothing would also be really really bad.

    Take your pick……………….

  20. Just because a country needs nuclear weapons is no reason that country should have them. If Iran gets them, then responsible countries like Japan, South Korea, the Republic of China, Singapore, East Timor, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Benelux, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Norway, and of course Lichtenstein, Monaco and Angola, as well as Moldavia, the Check Republic, The Ukraine, and of course all the ‘stans, should have nukes and the missles to deliver them (or at least a special prepaid FEDEX “Nukem” account).

    It would be racist to omit Chad, Liberia, Egypt, Algeria, Moracco, and all those other african countries that change their names faster than i change pajamas.

    And of course Canada, Iceland, Greenland and Quebec. Chavez defenitely needs the bomb in Venezuela and so does Castro, so do the drug lords in Columbia. As well as Haiti, the Cayman Islands, and Puerto Rico.

    I’ve left out the deserving souls in Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand (or whatever they’re called today) as well as Madagascar and Ceylon (o.w.t.c.t.).

    And of course the UN should have nukes too.

    In other words, the time has come to step up to the plate, bite the bullet, and destroy the Iranian nuclear program.

    Of course the US will be roundly condemned by the press, the Democratic party, and every country in the world. BUT, every country in the world will rest easy knowing the nuclear nonproliferation treaty will be enforced.

    Nukes may break our bones but words will never hurt us – and if they do we’ll nuke ’em.

    Why U.S.? Because only U.S. can enforce the Pax Americana. Why Pax Americana? Because the Romans are long gone, the Brits were waylaid by rum, buggery and the whip, the UN is just another Democrat idea that will never work, and there is no latin word for Russia, India, China or Pakistan. And even if there were, as an American I have a gut preference for Pax Americana over one enforced by Pakistanis, or Chinese, or Russians or Indians.

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