The sum of all our fears

Tom Clancy’s book, the sum of all our fears, correctly said that the biggest fear to the US is a nuclear bomb being detonated within a major city.

Tom Paine at Silent Running has blogged that he is resigned to this being inevitable. I tend to share his pessimism that within my lifetime there is a reasonable chance of this.

Paine has his solution, to stopping this happening, namely a hard-ass President. To quote Tom:

“I want Darth Vader in the White House. I guess Cheney would do in a pinch, but I want a Dark Lord sitting on his Throne of Blood in the situation room, commanding vast carrier battlegroups, legion after legion of grim-faced troops and waves of aircraft so thick they darken the skies over enemy countries. I want a President who will say things like “I find your lack of faith disturbing, Mr Spanish prime minister” and “You have failed me for the last time Mr Bremer”. I want the President to go on “The Daily Show” so he can toss a drinking cup made from Saddam’s skull into Jon Stewart’s lap, just to laugh at how green Stewart would go. I want the heads of terrorists impaled on stakes at the entrance to Congress. I want the mere prospect of having the President pissed off at them to make Chirac and Schroeder soil their silk underwear.”

Despite the obvious provocative nature of the above, people should read his full post. They key part to me is how we will feel if we ever get that phone call he alludes to, saying turn on CNN now. I know how I felt after September 11, and if terrorists ever do sucessfully nuke a city, we will descend into the depths of barbarity beyond any doubt.

It’s not that I agree with Tom Paine’s solution, but the issues are ones we should be debating more.

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