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If Iran is nuked, it's within the realm of possibility that Pakistan would retaliate as punishment for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Muslims. And how much do you want to bet that Pakistan has not already smuggled a few bombs in a warehouse in NY Harbor or Long Beach?

This is all very speculative, but, notwithstanding the intense rivalry between Iran and Arab nations, I see it as unlikely that a US nuclear attack on Iran would not have major geopolitical repercussions with other nuclear powers.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:19:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A nuclear attack anywhere would have major repercussions.

Sane people try to avoid using nukes, by definition, especially in a first strike. Even with exceptional provocation, it's impossible not to consider first use a war crime.

In Bush's case it's just one more to add to the list. And this most supine of so-called Democratic Congresses will very likely stand idly by.

A nuke attack on US soil would be a godsend for Bush. Suddenly it's a real war, which means he gets to suspend the constitution, and the rest.

There's no real down side for him. At worse he gets to blow some shit up. At best he gets to be Dictator in Chief.

Unless someone from the Pentagon marches into the Oval Office with a gun and drags him out, he has nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:36:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure some Democrat somewhere will apologize for pointing this out.

Ah, there might be hope if there actually was an opposition party in the US.

Alas, there isn't.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:03:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not entirely true.

When Congress was controlled by the Republicans Bush got to do everything he wanted as soon as he wanted.  Now that Democrats have the majority they will fret and talk and quibble and then let Bush do what he wants.

The difference is crucial.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 08:38:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would Pakistan want to get wiped off the map?
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:45:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of all the nasty conceivable consequences, I have to say this is the least likely to my mind. The Pakistanis are neither Shia nor Persian. I expect they would be horrified by an attack, but I can't imagine them getting involved.

Also, while they are a nuclear power, they only have an estimated 30-80 warheads. I don't think that is sufficient overkill capacity to let them divert a warhead targeted at, say, Mumbai to park in a U-Store in Long Beach.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:15:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And how much do you want to bet that Pakistan has not already smuggled a few bombs in a warehouse in NY Harbor or Long Beach?

Rather a lot, actually. Unless intended for pretty much immediate use, I would tend to think that such bombs would be more risk than it's worth, due to the risk of them being found. If they are found, the political fallout - you should pardon the expression - will be profound. Thus, if they are to be used as an effective deterrent, the Pakistani government would have to count on them remaining undetected indefinitely. I don't believe that's realistic. Of course, it's possible that the Pakistani government disagrees with some aspect of my assessment...

As for the risk that they might be able to smuggle nukes into the US after the commencement of hostilities, OTOH... Well, unless the US wants to shut off all container-ship imports from the general part of the world, I don't see how it could be prevented.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:55:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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