Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Eloquent Letter, Part 2

This first generation of WMD is relatively mild in its decimating power. That is, compared to the present-day versions of the weapons that are in many cases smaller and easier to manufacture, and in rarer, but by no means absent cases, much more devastating. Even people in our seemingly impregnable country are seized with fear upon mention of one of our cities being struck with such a weapon.

Examples of the reality of such weapons in our own generation of WMD’s and their use abound. Recently, the arrest and trial of Dhiran Barot in London broke open the story of a terrorist cell that was conspiring to attack specific targets in both the United States and Great Britain ("Briton"). The plan included the use of a “dirty bomb” that would be simple to manufacture, easy to transport, and able to spread enough radioactive material to affect many people in a densely populated area. Though not on the scale of the weapons used against Japan in 1945, the exposure to radiation along with the chaos and confusion that would be caused by the detonation of a dirty bomb in an American city would be like nothing in the countries’ history.

Terrorists like Barot have taken their cues from much more dangerous world leaders such as Saddam Hussein. Hussein’s poison gas attack on the people of his own nation in Halabja in March of 1988 produced images that recalled memories of the Jewish Holocaust or Hiroshima in 1945 ("Saddam's Chemical Weapons"). Many have decried the Clinton and Bush Administrations' policy of unseating this genocidal dictator. I contend that those who would call this action less than noble suffer, at best, from a case of too many years of comfort in a comfortable society and, at worst, from a case of too many ignorant ideas in a worldview filled with ignorance.

Though Hussein is now a deposed despot, his philosophies live on through many disciples. As I write this letter, we are seeing the very real threat of nations such as Iran and North Korea in a relentless pursuit of nuclear capability. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, while forming a plan of nuclear development, has repeatedly called for the complete annihilation of our ally, the State of Israel (Yoong). The unelected Chairman Kim Jong-Il of North Korea already claims their nation's possession of nuclear weapons and an arsenal of ballistic missiles pointed toward our ally, Japan (Ripley). Combine these facts with attacks from "homegrown" terrorist cells in Russia, the United Kingdom, and Spain, and we find ourselves as a free and peace-loving people that may not be far from the terrors of August of 1945.

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