The Worst.

THERMONUCLEAR THEOCRACIES, SUCH AS PAKISTAN, ARE THE WORST.

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In two sentences: Below is to be found a kaleidoscope of many problems: Pakistan, religious fundamentalism, fascism, nuclear explosives and their technology, quakes, volcanoes, the Middle East… united with the common mood of not looking at the possible catastrophes, as much as one should. The Obama administration has adopted many a correct stance, though.

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Abstract: Pakistan is, by far, the greatest danger in the world at this point. Some people claim there are no dangers, just paranoia, and that what did not happen recently will not happen tomorrow. I have a volcano to show them.

The Obama administration (contrarily to previous US governments) seems aware of the danger posed by Pakistan, and has been doing something about it. Pakistan, a Muslim regime, hence a dissembling fanatical dictatorship, should be defanged (in the Qur’an it is said that lying for the faith is no sin, thus Pakistani shady types lie about everything, including assassinating PM Bhutto, as the UN officially determined). Suicide ready bellicose primitive superstitions detonate best with thermonuclear fuel. Just crashing planes into buildings is amateurish.

A scenario is easily imaginable when the immense disaster of a nuclear war of Pakistan with India, besides having drastic consequences on the climate and environment, worldwide, could well throw the entire world in a nuclear war. So Pakistan needs to be defanged, ASAP.

The nuclear disarmament of Pakistan will have to be entangled with Iran: both have to respect the Non Proliferation Treaty. But then what of India and Israel? Well, a worldwide nuclear disarmament is necessary, but it depends upon a fail-proof monitoring regime (as I have long advocated). The peaceful use of nuclear power will help, both in promoting inspections, and in imposing measures decreasing the stores of dangerous nuclear explosives. Moreover, it is impossible to explode in a bomb, what you have already burned in a reactor: 10% of American nuclear power comes from Soviet nuclear explosives reprocessed into fuel, and quite a bit from American bombs (reprocessed in… France).

What we are talking about here is building a pragmatic, partial form of world government. It is much better than nuclear war.

Pragmatism is the way the European construction works: establish supranational structures, when and where needed, but still keep the entanglements of national safety nets and bilateral, or multinational accords below… as long as they are compatible with the highest supranational system.

This model of integration works magnificently in Europe.

Some obdurate neo conservatives doubt that international accords work. But European construction works, and the absence of all out war, worldwide, in the last 65 years, is due in great part to the respect of international accords. No important international accord was violated in the last 65 years.

The last massive violations of international accords were made by the Nazis, when they violated the Versailles Treaty several times, ultimately attacking powers created by Versailles such as Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland. (They had been encouraged by Great Britain in 1935, and the USA, though…)

However, the Nazis themselves respected international accords in the case of neurotoxic weapons of mass destruction (and millions of surviving Nazis were sure glad, after the war, that so they did… because they would have been annihilated otherwise!)

The Nazis also more or less respected the Geneva Conventions on the western front (but for the occasional savage mass assassination of French and African troops in 1940, and US troops during the Battle of the Bulge). So even fanatical idiots of the worst type can be brought to some international respect. By contrast, the Nazis justified their savagery in the USSR by arguing that the Soviets had not signed the Geneva Conventions.

Let’s notice that international relationships resting on reason can be long lasting: France has been at peace and collaboration with the USA since its creation, and both France and the USA have been in equally good collaborating relations with Britain since 1815. Let’s apply this strategy now to the likes of Pakistan, by forcing them to become our friend, and that means less ready to kill us all.

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YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU EXPECT:

I have advocated the catastrophic calculus instead of the usage of probability on important matters. This is very practical, and the applications go from Pakistan, to building codes, to the so called “climate change” (where “The Economist” just adopted the same exact reasoning in its lead editorial) to what the French state and law call the “Principle of Precaution”.

It is wiser to use the catastrophic calculus rather than standard probability for earthquakes. Buildings are made half as strong in Seattle than in San Francisco. Why? Because earthquakes are half as frequent in Seattle than in San Francisco, the authorities decided Seattle buildings would suffer half the damage, over, say, a century. This is completely stupid. The correct reasoning is so obvious, that one could view this as criminal

The correct catastrophic calculus is, instead, to forget about computing probabilities, and just finding out if there is a plausible catastrophic scenario, and how catastrophic it could get.

In the case of Seattle versus San Francisco, the result is simple. Bad quakes around San Francisco seem to top out at 8 something, Richter. In Seattle: 9 something, Richter. At least 10 times more powerful (this comes from the nature of the faults: horizontally slipping in San Francisco, whereas Cascadia adds a vertical flipping component).

So, instead of making them much less strong, the buildings in Seattle ought to be much stronger. The last mega quake in Seattle was in 1700 CE, causing a giant tsunami which wiped out countless native villages, and struck Japan. This “Cascadia” quake may have been as much as 9.2 Richter. Seattle skyscrapers may collapse.

Thus catastrophic events should be measured by the catastrophe itself first, and not the exact value of the “probability”. Rare events happen because of a conjunction of factors, the probability for each impossible to compute if one did not even imagine it first. Thus the importance of imagining scenarios rather than computing away from trite assumptions.

Another example. Last year I explained that dinosaurs probably died from earth core volcanism, not an asteroid. One of my motivations was to show that injecting SO2 in the atmosphere to cool the planet would be insane.

An example I gave on the way was an eruption in Iceland in 1783, which killed a quarter of Iceland, 250,000 people in Europe, and increased the financial deficit of the French monarchy. Reading this, some could scoff, and say we are not in 1783. But actually massive catastrophes have impacted civilizations in the last 4 millennia, from giant volcano exploding: Crete, to possible cometary impact (or maybe submarine volcano?), under Justinian, to a terrible drought killing the Maya, to the Little Ice Age, etc.

So now we have a volcano erupting in Iceland, and air travel is stopped over Northern Europe. Most expect a momentary inconvenience. But, in truth, all we know for sure is that, someday, a volcanic eruption in Iceland will exterminate most of Northern Europe’s fauna. It clearly smacks of something that ought to have been studied before. Don’t forget that the mid-Atlantic ridge is the most formidable convection feature on earth (with the belt of fire around the Pacific; which drives which is not clear to me).

It is easier to find a scenario allowing Pakistan to get more people killed, though, and pretty soon.

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SERIOUSLY PRESIDING:

President Obama gave a wrap up news conference after the nuclear summit. As required by the seriousness of the matter, he did not smile. His delivery was perfect: highly presidential, sober, well informed and as frank as he could get away with. He had a good answer for everything. He quoted Baker about Palestine and Israel: “You can’t want peace more than they do.” Well, a great part of the Israel-Palestine problem, starting way back during the Roman empire, has been superstitious fanaticism (aka Judeo-Islamism). The Romans, exasperated by Judeo national-tribalism, promoted the word “Palestine”, to help forget about Israel. The Latin Palestina came from the Greek Palaistine (Herodotus), itself from the Hebrew Pelesheth “Philistia, land of the Philistines”. So Palestinians speak Hebrew. Whatever. Anyway, back to more serious, but related, problems.

Obama also pointed out that the Arab-Israeli conflict is a threat to the security of the USA, and had a cost in blood and treasure. Well, same for Europe, and same for the West-Islam conflict, which is partly fed by the Arab-Israeli problem.

A deal could be made: Israel nice, calm and friendly in its box in quid pro quo for literal Islam outlawed (as it was in Egypt in 1300 CE, something the fanatical Islamists know all too well!).

This can all be solved: the European Union and the USA can put Israel in whichever box they please, whenever they want, if they act jointly. Arab countries could get more economic activity from the EU… As long as they accept the mental and intellectual, not to say civilizational, activity that go with it, and a few more things direct from Israel, as the following Saudi prince suggested…

Indeed recently, the Saudi foreign minister was asked about the Iranian nuclear posturing, and he declared soberly that “the introduction of nuclear weapons in the Middle East would be a disaster”. This is superior diplomacy at its best; if the prince had been completely truthful, and less crafty, he would have mentioned instead the official introduction of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Everybody knows, and especially the Arabs, that Israel has plenty of nuclear warheads, around 200, enough to wipe out all the Muslims, and any other contradictor.

Maybe the prince considers Israel to be its implicit nuclear shield against big bad Iran? Iranians and Arabs have detested each other, and this long before they came, through the most violent means, to share hostile variants of Islam.

Rising to the challenge of superior Saudi diplomacy, President Obama said that “the worst” would be a nuclear attack by terrorists. Well, he has to say this, at this point. However, the word “terrorists” could be interpreted with a broader meaning than the usual one, and that is why the US administration, with the European leadership, is insisting so much about the Iranian nuclear problem. Terror states exist: for example, most fascist states turned into terror states.

The Washington conference was centered around bombs terrorists could grab, or contrive, using radioactive materials. Nasty elements wrapped around a simple explosive could cause tremendous damage, by transforming an area inside a city into a mini Chernobyl. More important, though, is the fact that world leaders were brought to admit to the seriousness of nuclear materials. Simply banning them is no panacea, because: 1) it can’t be done. 2) nuclear materials, properly used, may be just what the doctor ordered.

Radioactive elements are the most concentrated energy sources or reservoirs known (liquid fuels are an extremely distant second). Nuclear technologies are the only ones presenting us with new, clean, powerful energy. Contrarily to intuition, they could augment, not decrease, nuclear safety. But they need capital to be developed, and that means that banks will have to stop sending created capital to the netherworld of shadow banking and its derivatives.

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THERMONUCLEAR TERROR; ROASTING BY ARTIFICIAL SUNS:

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The 50 Megatons Tsar Bomba mushroom cloud, towering over the Arctic, 64 kilometers high, 40 kilometers wide. It could have been made, easily and cheaply, much more powerful (see below). The USSR deployed ICBMs equipped with 50 Megatons warheads.

97% of the power of the Tsar Bomba came from thermonuclear fusion, which lasted 40 nanoseconds, during which its output was 1.4% that of the entire sun. It was more than 3,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, and, if exploded over its center, would have completely annihilated the largest megalopolis on earth, all its distant suburbs, all its 30 million inhabitants.

***

ISLAMIST THERMONUCLEAR TERROR, CLEAR AND PRESENT:

The worst man-made danger on earth is posed by Pakistan, a brutal regime founded on exclusion, hell bent towards stuffing itself with nuclear weapons (it is building a new reactor designed to make 50 Plutonium “pits” a year, i.e. 50 bombs).

OK, Pakistan’s military dictatorship is presently masquerading as a democracy, because the Obama administration insisted to talk about “AfPak” (“Afghanistan-Pakistan”) instead of just “Afghanistan”.

Even before the Afghan war started, even before the first defense treaty between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union, “Muslim” terrorist teams were sent into Afghanistan by the Pakistani dictatorship (it long did the same with India, and persists to this day).

Pakistan never signed the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

India and Israel did not sign the NPT either, but, at least, they are democracies, and democracies are rarely outrageously aggressive to the point of suicide (at least in the onset of a conflict, because Athens became outrageously aggressive during its war with Sparta, and so did the Roman republic later, and in modern times, democracies such as France, Britain and the USA, when seriously attacked, were of an awesome ferocity).

Pakistan is a theocratic dictatorship masquerading as an Islamist “republic”, a contradiction in adjecto. Moreover, as a result of its long financing of the Taliban, and organizing Al Qaeda through its own Muslim fundamentalist “Inter Service Intelligence“, Pakistan is completely perfused with fanatics. Islamism is not Buddhism, a would be supine religion. Islamism was designed as a war machine against Westerners and authentic Persians. As long as Pakistani rockets cannot reach Europe and America, Pakistan is subdued. This will not last.

Per its unstable and intrinsically mock religious nature, Pakistan ought to be deprived of its thermonuclear fangs, ASAP.

Pakistan’s dangerousness is accentuated by its long frontier with India. India is the world’s largest democracy, and it is a secular, religiously tolerant republic. Now, when you put a fascist, self delusional, superstitious regime next to a secular democracy, the former, being secretly persuaded, while fully in official denial, about the latter’s superiority, is ready to detonate.

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FASCISM AND DEMOCRACY IN CLOSE PROXIMITY, DETONATE:

We have seen that situation many times before. We saw it between Macedonia and the Greek cities. Between Rome and Carthage. Between Rome and Greece. The most famous recent case occurred when the fascist German “kingdoms” (“Reich”) were sitting next to republican democratic France, putting both on a war footing, for decades (just as Pakistan and India in the last few decades). Finally the German fascists cracked, and attacked, because it was their last chance (the way they looked at it).

Notice that, at the outset, the odds of winning, for fascist Germany, were very low. The Prussian generals attacked both in the west and in the east, simultaneously. In the east was democratizing Russia, developing at blazing speed, propelled by French money. In the west was the French republic, heading an empire of 100 million men. As it turned out the Africans in that army played a crucial role, starting with the first battle of the Marne.

The French army was formidable, state of the art, and the Russian army was gigantic. The German commandment massed nearly all its forces to crash through (neutral) Belgium into France, around the French defenses, hoping to stall the Russians (which did not quite happen). All this, because the Prussian generals had decided that Britain would betray her “Entente Cordiale” with France and her status of guarantor of Belgium’s safety. Maybe they remembered too much when Britain used to bankroll German forces against France in the Seven Year war, 160 years before .

As it happened, the Prussian generals had not breathed the air of the times. Britain declared war to Germany within two days, and the French army, after mightily retreating for four weeks, helped by the African army holding Paris, and the British Expeditionary Force, counter attacked and nearly destroyed the entire German army, while the Russians put East Prussia in peril. Thus, within weeks, Germany had lost the war, and the fact that it was not a democracy, and that it started the war, guaranteed that a huge coalition would rise against it, as did (Italy soon joined France and Britain).

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WHY FASCISTS ARE MAD:

So here you have it: generals, left to themselves, tend to be delusional. They miscompute. They are brutal; as they moved through neutral Belgium nearly two million armed men, the Prussian generals threatened the population, and, when they got shot at, or so they said, they engaged in large scale, deliberate, ordered-from-the-top, atrocities.

Democratically supervised armies (US, all the British commonwealth, Italy, France, etc.) were never caught in the blatant atrocities the fascist supervised army engaged in Belgium in August 1914 (from there to what happened with the Nazis is just continuity: more of the same).

Fascism is intrinsically unpredictable, because only a few men from a small clique take all the decisions, or, more generally, the interpretation of a small exclusionary ideology (such as Islam as a governmental system) is the pretext used for arbitrary decisions. Since such a regime rests on military force inside, it is natural for it to attack outside (hence the attack of various German fascist regimes on Europe, or the attack of the Argentinean dictators on Britain, fascist Italy upon Ethiopia and Greece, the USSR onto Finland, etc…).

Fascist regimes are paranoiac because, resting on force, nothing holds them up, except more force; they are standing on one leg, and a single leg can kick, that is what legs do. (By contrast, democratic regimes rest, and are inserted in various democratic institutions and authorities, which buttress them in many ways, but also restrain them.)

Why are fascists mad? Because fascism is a human instinct, but to be used only in the case of war, when stress and combat hormones are sky high. Living day in, day out, with those stress hormones decay brains, both in the submitting and the submitted. Moreover, human brains are best when free, so the mental performance of fascism is second rate (as demonstrated by the German attack on the rest of Europe in 1914: it was hare brained). That, in turn, creates further problems, with further stress, increasing the combativeness and further stupidity resulting from it.

Unchained fascism rests on the metapsychology of ultimate violence, it lives by it. The top guys, and their underlings, reign by force, so they fear force, and use even more, to make sure they stay on top. Thus they advocate the metaphysics of force, and learn to justify it as an ultimate good, day in, day out, so, in the end, they are anxious to prove how omnipresent force is, and they are drawn to prove it, by visiting it upon themselves, because it’s all they know. (This analysis translates to plutocrats and their Wall Street.)

This is why the Nazis kept on fighting against all odds, against several vengeful military powers, each of them able to eradicate them, from German city to German city, each of them completely destroyed, in the last five months of the war. By fostering their own destruction, the fascists justify the core of what made their rule possible, thus, they justify themselves, to themselves.

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PAKISTAN-INDIA COULD NUCLEARLY DETONATE CHINA-INDIA:

Thus Pakistan presents an extreme danger, much greater than Iran (The fifty years old Pakistan has a history of aggression, whereas Iran has a much longer history of being attacked, but not striking out, in the last few centuries).

All of this makes a nuclear attack of a fanatical, Islamized, fascist and paranoiac Pakistan onto India probable, in the fullness of time (15 years or so).

As I said, we have seen that movie before: as Pakistan sinks, and a democratic India blossoms ever more, next door, the rage and fear in Pakistan’s leadership can only grow. It does not matter that Pakistan would become a radioactive hell, and would be utterly destroyed, if it attacked India. It only compounds the attractiveness. Fascism is attracted by the bitter end, like the butterfly by the flame.

 

As Russian artillery barrages could be heard in the distance, the Nazi elite went to listen religiously to Wagner’s Gotterdammerung in the Berlin opera house, complete with holed roof. Fascists live like Gods, giving death arbitrarily, thus they want their dusk of the Gods. 

 

After a nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India killing 100 million people or so, India would come out swinging, with a bloodied, but very powerful military, resting on a very stern, determined, aggrieved population, little inclined to be pushed around by fascism again.

 

And guess what, speaking of non democratic regime? China sits next door, arguably occupying territories it does not really own historically. Moreover China was Pakistan’s ally, in those times not so long ago, when it, and China, were at war with India .

Thus, China could well be blinded by the contempt for democracy fascist regimes are inclined to feel, and feed (it would be similar to the contempt the Nazis had for the Western democracies; fascists believe only them can take tough decisions, because they do not know that the very concept of fascism was invented by a democratic republic, Rome, during her best days).

Thus a future somewhat fascist, or, let’s say, insufficiently democratic governmental structure in China, could well decide to strike victorious (but heavily mauled) India, as it mops up Pakistan. Then the West would have to threaten China unambiguously. And, if need be, go to war against China.

This scenario, is, by far, the most probable of the most dangerous scenarios on earth. And it looks more likely than not.

Not only would a nuclear war between India and Pakistan turn China crazy. It may well turn the rest of the planet pretty crazy too: a nuclear war, by exploding thermonuclear fission-fusion-fission devices over cities would nearly guarantee a nuclear winter, and a radioactive one at that. For a scientific study on this, see:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=local-nuclear-war.

It is probable that, should such a scenario rise above the horizon, many countries’ military would scream for their own nuclear arsenal. To maintain an edge the present military nuclear powers would then engage in an all out arms’ race. This time, instead of a duopoly USA-USSR, it would be a many body problem (as physicists call it). In such a problem, there is guaranteed long term instability (it’s a mathematical theorem). In other words, guaranteed generalized nuclear war. Thus: No NPT = Armageddon.

On the good side, nuclear Armageddon would save the biosphere, because human civilization would collapse, perhaps not to be seen again. Indeed, civilization’s rise depended upon cheap and abundant crucial minerals such as copper, and iron, and coal and oil. They used to lie thereabout, but now we can only extract them by spending first enormous energy. Cut the availability of that energy, and the bronze age will be remembered as El Dorado. Rarely again will the whale have to fear the steel point of the harpoon, as the last iron rusts away.

On the bad side, well, Earth would join the countless planets, in this galaxy alone, where intelligence failed for this, that, or the other reason. A forever Paleolithic mankind may well ultimately be wiped out by the many cosmic disasters that Earth has so far avoided, by sheer luck.

So Obama is right: something has to be done to set up a worldwide nuclear monitoring regime.

***

NUCLEAR MUSLIM FUNDAMENTALISM NO GOOD:

In the past, the USA ruled by dividing, and Muslim fundamentalism was found very handy that way. Now we should rule by superior reasoning, as in the past.

9/11 has demonstrated, even to the obdurate American leaders, the unpleasant side of the strategy of encouraging brutal criminals of the fanatical type. Bush was all confused about it, but Obama’s insistence to deal with “AfPak” as a single entity seems to exhibit a deep understanding of the tragedy in waiting, should one do nothing.

Under the clueless Bush, the USA funded part of the nuclear weapons program of Pakistan. Besides being insane, that was, supposedly, under the pretext of helping with nuclear safeguards. Obama expressed his confidence in the latter, which, with all due respect, is about as smart as trusting the Nazi government in 1933. (But, once again, Obama has to be diplomatic… and I don’t.)

Pakistan was a long favored by American diplomacy. This theocracy was considered to be a counter balance to India, which was viewed as too socialist, too friendly to the USSR, too inimical to Western plutocracy. Pakistan was part of the general American strategy, started under president FDR, to use Muslim fundamentalism against democracy.

Time to correct all this. Forcing Pakistan to nuclearly disarm ought to be the number one priority, before North Korea, before Iran, before Israel…

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WHY IRAN IS SO IRREVERENT:

So what of Iran in all this? Iran is a theocracy, a religious “republic” giving even more place to Islam than Pakistan does. So it is paranoiac, and preoccupied with preoccupying the people with exterior conflicts, to justify its military rule upon it. It also has the suicidal component of fascist psychology.

Iran, although an oil exporter (in particular, to thirsty China) is incapable of having enough refineries, and imports the gasoline it needs.

A complicating factor in Iranian psychology, is that Iran is not just a country with a 4,000 year old history, it was, for many millennia, one of the most important civilizations. In particular the old religion of Persia, was refurbished by Zoroaster maybe 3,300 years ago, with a very advanced philosophy which obviously impacted Greek thought, Judaism, and, later, Christianism and Islam.

The last 13 centuries have not been fun and games in Iran. After the Muslim invaders took control of Sassanid Persia, a sad defeat, a severe civil war erupted between Muhammad’s family and some of his generals. The generals won, Muhammad’s family members were either defeated or assassinated, creating the schism between Sunni and Shiite, with the later severely mauled. Persia followed the Shiites, sad defeat, multiplied by the violent death in combat and assassination of Ali’s sons, who led the Shia, another sad defeat. Revenge followed soon after, as the Syrian-Arab Caliphate, exsanguinous after three catastrophic invasions of Francia which had shredded its military capability, fell to the Persians, who moved the Muslim capital to Baghdad.

Then the Mongols came around, wrecking nearly everything, snuffing Baghdad, destroying the elites. The elites got replaced by superstitious low quality leaders who had hidden in the wilds. Finally, in the 20C, Palahvi Senior, following the lead of Ataturk, took severe measures against superstition (maybe inspired by similar, but even more severe measures taken in Russia against superstitious religion by Czar Peter the Great).

In recent decades, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq attacked Iran, after the later turned Shiite fundamentalist. The perfidious Euro-Americans incited Hussein to do so, helping him with all sorts of military capabilities, from dual use chemicals (of German origin, handy to gas Kurds and Iranians), to outright battle planning operations with satellite data, courtesy of the USA, taking into account Iraqi chemical attacks, and advanced supersonic interceptors (French Mirages) and bombers (French Exocet armed Super Etendards to block Iranian oil exports; it is said that some particularly difficult missions were flown by French pilots).

Meanwhile, Reagan was selling American weapons to Iran secretly, for his pocket change. The capitals of Iran and Iraq got bombed by rockets, and the war killed about a million people. No wonder Iranians are a bit leery of the West’s lenifying discourses.

But, of course, Iran is a signatory of the NPT, whose spirit is not just to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, but eradicating them in the long run.

***

OUT AND ABOUT:

So what to do with existing nuclear weapons? Well there are still thousands around, mostly in the USA and Russia. They ought to be reduced ASAP. Global zero nuclear weapons ought to be the aim, and, in theory, it is the aim of the NPT.

However, nuclear reduction towards zero can proceed if, and only if, absolutely certain monitoring can be established. Only crisscrossing the world with military inspectors, of the diverse powers, both in one on one more or less standardized bilateral treaties, and, independently, from UN inspectors, can insure this. Maybe a global nuclear weapons transparency treaty ought to be signed by all powers, and enforced at will, by any signatory. During the transition, the wasting asset of the nuclear striking capability of the five permanent members would insure encouragement, enforcement, and dissuasion.

Rabid neo-conservatives, but also much wiser people may be genuinely worried about quitting an obvious equilibrium point in military terror. Indeed, there was no major war since 1945, at the cost of a Berlin blockade, firing general Mc Arthur, etc… It is plausible that this happened because of nuclear terror, but other factors were in play: the three largest powers, the USA, the USSR and China, could not believe their luck to be masters of the world, and one does not see why they would attack further. Both China and the USSR has suffered huge losses (20 to 30 million killed), and the USA reigned over the rest of the world like the fully stuffed fox over the chicken coop.

The fact remains that one single strategic nuclear sub of the type made by France, the USA and Russia, can annihilate a large part of the population of any country. This is exemplary of the power of nuclear weapons. One single powerful nuclear bomb could annihilate any city on earth, if it was cheaply boosted as a fission-fusion-fission device.

Of course, the present permanent members of the Security Council have zero interest to get into a nuclear war.

Peaceful nuclear energy can help, because it could burn the offensive materials, while concentrating on non weaponizable technologies, which have been little developed so far, but which do exist (such as the Thorium technology, or fusion-fission thermonuclear reactors, which are perfectly feasible, NOW).

A few nuclear bombs ought to be kept at the ready, using the Security Council, to handle the odd extravagant terror threat (probably deep underground), or the odd comet. I know some studies have claimed fusion bombs would ineffective against comets, but that is simply a ridiculous statement: if we have 72 months, that is what it will take, and nothing else would do it. And a fortiori, if it is just 72 hours. Remember, with thermonuclear fusion, we have the power of the sun at our disposal. No comet can resist a fireball 10 kilometers across.

***

THERMONUCLEAR FIREBALLS

Tsar Bomba detonated over the gigantic Novaya Zemlya island of the Arctic ocean. Soviet scientists did not used the cheap trick of wrapping it in inexpensive and abundant Uranium 238 (U 238 fissions when bombarded by fast neutrons produced in immense quantities by thermonuclear fusion, just as U 235 fissions under slow neutrons). Wrapping Czar Bomba with U 238 would have boosted its power to 100 Megatons, half the energy of the Krakatoa’s main explosion. It would also have caused gigantic radioactive pollution, that is why Soviet scientists did not do it. But of course, nuclear terrorists, especially of the bin Laden persuasion, do not have to show as much restraint.

In conclusion, here is the Tsar Bomba’s fireball, measuring 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) in diameter, licking the ground, and nearly reaching the altitude of the deploying Tu-95 bomber.

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On the positive side, no comet could resist that.

***

PA

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