Thursday, April 13, 2006

Billmon on nuclear strike at Iran

Seemingly ordinary adults are seriously discussing the notion of using unclear weapons. Forty years ago such thinking would have been unthinkable. This is progress? Billmon's powerful writing talent takes aim at those whose careless, irresponsible thinking has brought us to this moment. Excellent. I can't think of anything to add.

I mean, what exactly does it take to get a rise out of the media industrial complex these days? A nuclear first strike against a major Middle Eastern oil producer doesn't ring the bell? Must every story have a missing white woman in it before the cable news guys will start taking it seriously?

This is a roller-coaster of a read, covering all the possible scenarios as they might unfold. The sad part is that what he says is plausible. It is entirely within the range of reality that a nuclear stike at Iran is not only a possibility, but that most Americans would react with no more alarm than if their favorite TV series had been cancelled.

I think it's possible that even something as monstrously insane as nuclear war could still be squeezed into the tiny rituals that pass for public debate in this country – the game of dueling TV sound bites that trivializes and then disposes of every issue.

We’ve already seen a lengthy list of war crimes and dictatorial power grabs sink into that electronic compost heap: the WMD disinformation campaign, Abu Ghraib, the torture memos, the de facto repeal of the 4th amendment. Again, why should a nuclear strike be any different? I can easily imagine the same rabid talk show hosts spouting the same jingoistic hate speech, the same bow-tied conservative pundits offering the same recycled talking points, and the same timid Beltway liberals complaining that while nuking Iran was the right thing to do, the White House went about it the wrong way. And I can already hear the same media critics chiding those of us in left Blogostan for blowing the whole thing out of proportion. It’s just a little bunker buster, after all.

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