Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Sputnik of the coming age...

I am a child of the Cold War, as are many of my readers. Many people point to the erection of the Berlin Wall, or the detonation of the USSR's first nuclear test as key factors in the start of the Cold War, but there is one moment in history that well and truly launched the Cold War. That moment was the launch of Sputnik 1. Sputnik was not important because it was the first launch of a man-made satellite, it was important because the Soviets proved that they now had the capability to lob a nuclear warhead to any point on the globe, in under an hour, and do so without any warning or way of stopping it. It pointed out our vulnerability to attack from "The High Ground", space. Fortunately, despite Khrushchev's empassioned outburst, the Soviet leadership were fundamentally a rational people who did not want to run the risk of losing everything they had, including the lives of their loved ones, so they never stepped up to the brink of mass murder-suicide. The same cannot be said for all of the world's nuclear powers. North Korea and Iran are led by leaders that are quite simply, insane. North Korea has an estimated 8 nuclear warheads, and has successfully tested a low yeild device. (We think. It is possible that this was in fact a larger yeild weapon set off in a large underground cavern to "muffle" the shockwave generated.).North Korea's Taepodong-2 missile, the missile expected to be used in it's upcoming "satellite launch" has a range of about 6,700 kilometers with a payload of around 750 lbs. This is plenty of payload and range to put a EMP weapon into LEO. This missile is an advanced two stage version of the missile that Iran launched in February. It is widely thought that Iran and Pakistan have been collaborating with North Korea on both missile and nuclear weapons technology for some time.

Why is this an issue? Because a belligerent nuclear power does not need to blanket the US with city busters to hurt us badly. They can do the job with as few as one nuclear weapon.

Can you imagine what would happen to this country if every single solitary electronic device suddenly stopped working? Tens of Millions would die, not from radiation, but from easily treated medical problems that require a functioning modern medical system, or from chemical poisoning from malfunctioning petrochemical plants. or from a lack of basic sanitation. Transportation would stop because fuel supplies would vanish when cross-country pipeline systems shut down and engine control systems would fail. Airplanes would fall from the sky when their avionics systems failed. Power plants and power grids would fail causing massive blackouts. People would die from either heat exhaustion or freeze to death in thier unheated or un-air-conditioned homes. Then the second wave of deaths would occur due to the sanitary systems being overwhelmed with rotting corpses, rotting food, and contaminated water.

Think about that when our leaders want to "talk" to our enemies instead of acting in this country's best interest.


Anonymous KLT said...

I hope you don't mind me stopping over from Sciguy to post on your blog...but I'm stunned that you gave a voice to exactly the same thoughts which have been crossing my mind too.

Especially after watching the president of Iran's eerie address to the UN in 2007...and after learning how during Russia's conflict with the Democratic Rep of Georgia last year, they discovered how although their first 'old-fashioned' military strategy failed, their second attempt...(sneaking in the back door) worked brilliantly.
Because by disrupting Georgia electronically via the internet, Russia effectively managed to shut down the whole country, the banks, etc, and didn't hesitate to mention that the US would be their next target.

I can't even imagine the chaos and panic that would occur if that were to happen on a large scale in the US...but you described it quite well.

April 01, 2009 2:13 AM  
Blogger JRH said...

The Internet would be bad, but the power grid would be a huge disaster. As fragile as the grid is, the loss of the right two or three facilities could black out most of the country. Can you imagine what would happen when millions of people were without power? If no one knew what had happenned (and without power, how would they?) it wouldn't take long before mass panic set in. The veneer of civility we normally maintain is very thin and what is underneath is very ugly.

April 02, 2009 1:01 AM  
Anonymous KLT said...

I just wanted to add a thought to what JRH mentioned here, "The veneer of civility we normally maintain is very thin and what is underneath is very ugly."

-That is so true. Disasters and terrible circumstances can really bring out the true nature of a person which can be very ugly, but theres also an encouraging 'opposite side' to that reality...that bad circumstances can also bring out the best in others too.

(I hope you don't mind me sharing this) but I wanted to relate these experiences reported by members of my religion living in those countries - (Russia and Korea in particular) which just totally blew me away...because I had no idea what was going on behind the scenes there until just recently within the past year.

Here's a clip of the situation in Korea: http://www.jw-media.org/vnr/5263723221/62734221.htm

And these are news reports out of Russia:

Despite living under such a harsh communist regime, while being persecuted for years, along with losing all their possesions, and being seperated from their family, etc...some people have demonstrated such extraordinary humanity & kindness, all while enduring the hardships of a prisoncamp.
Even in small ways like sharing food packages they received...
-This one man named Mykola Pyatokha (who was imprisoned in one of the Siberian labor camps) was in charge of food distribution, and even a KGB officer remarked, "Give Mykola a piece of candy and he'll find a way to divide it into 50 pieces!"

Its so awesome to know that there really are people out there (regardless of religious beliefs or nationality) who aren't allowing a corrupt government to break their integrity to their principles, and still come thru for others in times of great distress or need.

Its just like it says at Acts 4:32-35 about how the people..."had one heart and soul, and not even one would say that any of the things he possessed was his own; but they had all things in common....there was not one in need among them; for all those who were possessors of fields or houses would sell them and bring the values of the things sold...In turn distribution would be made to each one, just as he would have the need"

How great it would be if more people felt that way (especially during hard economic times), then no matter what happens you'd know that you and your family would be taken care of! =)

April 05, 2009 7:21 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Unfortunately, there are times when countries and individuals are forced to do horrible things in order to prevent a greater harm. Much like a doctor who must give his patient a massive radiation dose or poison the patient with powerful chemotherapy drugs in order to save the patient's life. We must confront and destroy those governments that would threaten the lives of millions with their insanity. Self defense is not murder. This is the key concept that many liberals cannot grasp.

April 05, 2009 8:52 PM  

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