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How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Mullahs and Embrace The Bomb

| 57 Comments | 3 TrackBacks
Nuclear airburst
by "Dr. Strangelove," a.k.a. Mark Buehner

Why We Must Nuke Iran; or
How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Mullahs and Embrace The Bomb

American foreign policy is approaching a crisis more catastrophic than any since at least World War 2. According to some sources, the terrorist nation of Iran has already acquired an unknown number of nuclear weapons of at least the Hiroshima variety. Trent Telenko has written about the high likelihood of Iran being in possession of nuclear weapons, and the "certainty of nuclear war" should we attempt to divest them of these weapons via a bombing campaign as some have suggested. Ladies and Gentlemen, this evidence is impossible to ignore. Even if by some unlikely quirk our Intelligence Services prove incorrect about Iran’s current state of nuclear readiness, it is still only a matter of time before the Mullahs retain a full nuclear arsenal, perhaps rivaling our own. Perhaps soon.

As glorious as the halcyon days of the Cold War proved to be, with our shining bombers and prowling submarines on constant standby to shower our enemies with American ingenuity, those days are gone forever. A standoff with Iran will prove to be a messy affair of dirty bombs and irradiated oil wells, hardly worthy of our bravest warriors and finest minds. The Mullahs have shown themselves to be mad religious zealots eager to martyr themselves and as many of their flock as possible, as quickly as possible. We would do well to send them on their way.

Thomas Holsinger provides other underpinnings for why it is intolerable for Iran to possess nuclear weapons in his The Case for Invading Iran, also agreeing that any course short of invasion will be disastrous:

"Half-measures in war only make things worse. If we really want to find out how much Iran’s mullah regime can hurt us, and relearn the lessons of Vietnam, we need only bomb without invading. That will maximize our losses. Those who advocate mere bombing have not considered that Iran might already have some nuclear weapons."

Needless to say, those who advocate invasion would do well to consider that Iran might have nuclear weapons as well. If a bombing campaign will provoke a nuclear retaliation, an invasion would be certain to. Holsinger addresses this point:

"Consider also, that, if small numbers of Iranian nuclear weapons are enough of a threat to seriously menace an American invasion, they are enough of a threat to merit pre-emptive attack with American nuclear weapons. Get real - our nukes are bigger than theirs, and we have lots more than they do. And if Iranian nuclear weapons aren’t enough of a threat to merit pre-emptive use of our own, they’re not a reason to avoid invading."

Some would argue these two arguments seem irreconcilable, but my only quibble is that Holsinger doesn’t take his argument seriously enough. If air strikes will provoke a nuclear response, surely a physical invasion of the Iranian homeland aiming to kill or apprehend the leadership in control of the nuclear weapons will invoke the same response. Either way nuclear war is in the offing.

If we believe these reports (and prudence dictates we must), simple logic leads us to several inevitable conclusions:

  • Iran must be disarmed. This is imperative to all of our safety from nuclear attack.
  • Pragmatically, we must assume Iran already has nuclear weapons. To do otherwise is either recklessly naïve or playing into the Mullahs hands (take your pick).
  • In order to conventionally disarm Iran with effective certainty, we must invade. We know this because we are told so.
  • Invasion will compel Iran to use their nuclear weapons. We have established that the Mullahs have been dreaming of using their nuclear weapons against the Great Satan. They will not miss their big chance.
  • We will be forced to retaliate. To do otherwise would expose our entire MAD doctrine as a fraud, and invite China and Russia to launch a first strike against us, destroying the United States. This is unacceptable from a National Security standpoint.

Military theory and International Law are in agreement on this point: when under threat of immanent attack, it is not only legal, but morally imperative to preempt the enemy. It is of critical importance that Iran is brought to heel for this, not only to avenge the future deaths of our brave troops/ civilians/ oil fields, but more importantly to send a clear message to other rogue nations around the globe. It is simply a case of good fortune that this course of action will lead to the victims of Iranian nuclear aggression never dying in the first place. Make of that what you will, but some might call it providence.

As sound as the rationales for attack may be, this campaign will not be without its critics. Moreover, before engaging in any bold course of action it is important to identify potential downsides and attempt to mitigate any negative repercussions where possible.

International Condemnation:
Even our closest allies will find it difficult to applaud a full scale multi-megaton thermo-nuclear bombardment against Iran before diplomacy has ‘run its course’. Yet, this seems to be a given in any force scenario on the table. Since we have already established that international opinion cannot be allowed to dissuade us from the disarming a rogue nation, we can hardly allow it to dissuade us from defending ourselves against impending nuclear attack from same. In other words if we will not cave to international pressure to prevent us from eliminating a potential threat, we can certainly not waver in the face of that which is manifest. In the end, our allies will thank us (and our enemies fear us).

A nuclear strike will incite other dubious nations to pursue their own nuclear deterrent.
In fact, the opposite is true. If Iran’s nuclear arsenal did not protect her from American preemption, why would an arsenal in Syria or Venezuela? Moreover, our only other option at this point (as we have said) is a conventional invasion. This would certainly be a threat rogue nations would be compelled to defend themselves from, and nuclear weapons could provide that security if we were to set an example in Iran by not using our own. It is not using nuclear weapons that will provide incentive to develop nuclear weapons. One could argue that the best way to prevent nuclear weapons from being used in the future is to use ours now.

A nuclear exchange is highly likely in any event. It would be better to invade first and nuke later.
It would be unconscionable to sacrifice our soldiers in a conventional war that we fully know will go nuclear. I see no upside to this scenario. To advocate such a course puts unnecessary blood on our hands.

It is immoral to use strategic nuclear weapons against civilians.
The demonization of thermo-nuclear weapons has been a great triumph for the appeasers and apologists of the Western World. Untold billions of dollars and sweat from the brows of the most brilliant of scientists and engineers have gone into crafting these awe-inspiring weapons. Of course, like any tool the nuclear bomb has its advantages and certain unavoidable drawbacks. Weapons inflict collateral damage, it is in their nature. But we do not blame the hammer when it bends a faulty nail. It was the deliberate choice of the Iranian Mullahs to have brazenly and malevolently chosen to secret their nuclear facilities and leadership posts inside heavily populated areas. This is unfortunate. Ultimately, the Iranian leaders must be held responsible for the impending nuclear fire we must rain down upon their citizens. But what choice do we have? The sad truth is that the best hope we can offer the beset Iranian people for a democratic future is by visiting a comprehensive thermonuclear attack upon their population centers. What children survive will surely thank us for it.

It is immoral to use nuclear weapons in a first strike under any circumstance.
This will be the most prevalent criticism from ‘certain quarters’. But is it valid? No. First we much question why we possess nuclear weapons to begin with. Obviously we must have them to defend ourselves from other nuclear nations, but that is only the first reason. Despite the negative connotations associated with them, nuclear weapons are useful tools in the American arsenal. After all, it is illogical to build weapons not meant to be used. If we have assembled an array of nuclear weapons for the sole purpose of avenging ourselves in the event of a nuclear strike, what are we but murderers? Vengeance is not a moral rationale for violence. If we are to maintain a nuclear arsenal, and prudence demands that we should, it is important to provide a role for these weapons. Can anyone think of a more appropriate cause than defending United States interests from the likes of the Islamo-fascist Mullahs? I, for one, cannot.

In conclusion, the evidence is clear that Iran is a clear and present threat to the American way of life, and is now in possession of nuclear weapons. This is an intolerable state that will be addressed in the immediate future. Thousands of American lives now depend on the decisions we make in how to disarm the Iranian regime. At the end of the day, the most effective, direct, and perhaps humane solution is a thorough nuclear first strike against Iran which must be sure to eliminate all WMDs as well as the Iranian leadership responsible for pursuing them.

It may not be the most universally embraced of decisions, but it is the correct one for the American people and for the good of the world. Let us all learn to love The Bomb.

3 TrackBacks

Tracked: March 24, 2006 8:30 PM
Excerpt: Hummer Deathtraps Suck "The bad news is that despite the armor improvements, the HMMWV remains trapped in 1980s thinking." Six-Wheel Hummers Wow. (Via J-Walk) "Darth...
Tracked: March 24, 2006 10:22 PM
Excerpt: Courtesy of Winds of Change: by “Dr. Strangelove,” a.k.a. Mark Buehner Why We Must Nuke Iran; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Mullahs and Embrace The Bomb American foreign policy is approaching a crisis more catastrophic than an...
Tracked: March 25, 2006 10:53 AM
Excerpt: Read this very carefully, twice. Then tell me it wouldn't be any big deal if Iran got nukes.

57 Comments

Other than focusing on counter-force targets.... I'm with you 100%.

Welcome to team America.

We have to deal with what is... not what is wished of.

We can't afford to let those nukes get through.

The mullahs have signaled eight ways from Sunday... make that Friday... that they've already got the bomb. They are shooting for total breakout BEFORE the November elections. They figure Bush & Co is unable to protect America in this season.

That is another idea that needs to die... fast. Otherwise, every even year this nation is 'in season'.

BTW posting is totally tortured right now. It takes eight attemps to post.

Mark, you've outdone yourself.

I disagree on a number of issues.

I believe if fully unleashed our conventional forces could with airpower prevent Iran's counter-attack with nukes; and our ground forces move so rapidly (as even Saddam did at first) that we could over-run the Mullah's strategic nuclear forces.

SPEED is essential, we are fast and they are not, but yes I do think the Iraq War shows that the US forces even against Iran's can win decisively as long as they keep in constant motion and never relent. For Iran to keep control over their nukes (and not let some faction use it internally or free-lancing) they must necessarily keep them close to hand. They don't have anything like the 60's command and control we had let alone what we have now.

Will people die in this sort of attack (rapid conventional forces including JDAM bombing regardless of civilian casualties)?

Yes but far less than nuclear weapons. Under such a scenario nuclear conflict would be avoided and the most dangerous regimes would learn to avoid provoking the US with nuclear weapons.

No one worries about Brazil, Israel, South Africa, and their nukes. They will only be used as a last ditch resort. It's the Irans and Libyas and Iraqs and Saudis and Egyptians we all worry about.

It is my fear however that the peace at any price party has won the day. We will NOT attack Iran under any circumstances, until the Iranians try and repeat Yamamoto's decapitation strikes, and try to kill enough Americans on strikes against our cities that they can "deter" any counter-response and drive us out from the ME to form the new Persian Empire.

In that case of course it is obvious that a strategic level of nuclear war would be the only outcome, anyone in the West can see it but hardly anyone in the Muslim world. They forget about our strategic forces because they don't see them, and have seized on terror and the like as a magic sword the way the Japanese were convinced "just enough" losses would deter the Americans from counter-attacking in the Pacific and allow them to retain their Empire.

As you say, once nukes are used against us we HAVE to respond, massively, or get nuked by other hostile, nuclear powers.

How ironic that the end of the Cold War leads to nuclear weapons, used first on us, then on the enemy. Of course a post-nuked America would be a vastly different place. One unlikely to allow the peace camp much social space.

But for now ANY military action is simply unsupportable, politically. The Press, Dems, and activists would stage violent political actions to remove the President, and are already floating impeachment for both the President and Vice President (and thus, effectively, Congressional Rule and a defacto Parliamentary system) for Iraq much less Iran.

[The impeachment of Clinton was a bad idea right from the start. It got Congressional Dems the idea of a Parliamentary system and has thus hamstrung the Presidency, likely permanently.]

Given the President's milquetoast attitudes towards Iran, and it's nukes, and it's provocations, he's unlikely to do anything at all. Dems who could win an absolute majority in Congress handily refuse to run to his right and offer a "terrible swift sword" to pre-empt Iran's pending nuclear attack on us. Instead we hear how Iran's nukes are justified or "liveable." That we instead should give up our nukes to show we are good people.

When one party is simply INSANE on national defense there is nothing to be done but wait for the blow, and strike back terribly.

Excellent satire. Kudos.

[The impeachment of Clinton was a bad idea right from the start. It got Congressional Dems the idea of a Parliamentary system and has thus hamstrung the Presidency, likely permanently.]

I assume, by this, you don't mean to imply that the impeachment was a bad idea in and of itself, but rather that it was ill-advised only because the Democrats were certain, in retrospect, to imitate the tactic?

It is a shame that the Dems could not take their drubbing like men, and get over it. Clinton's impeachment was justified by his real, serious, nation-endangering crimes. This 'torture' and 'illegal wiretapping' nonsense is pure fluff that only the worst partisans would care about. It's petty revenge by sore losers, pure and simple.

I don't see why we don't co-opt some fanatical Wahabbis and talk them into suicidal assassinations of the Shia Mad Mullahs.

Ah, c'mon. The simple fact is: WE don't have a clue. This is altogether way too much like young gorillas thumping their chests.

Even the serious intel guys are trying to cobble together a realistic picture based -- at best -- on maybe 1% of the data.

The bigger picture is this. In 1912 caravans in Mongolia often rode with a Union Jack at the front and another at the back. The bad guys left them alone, for in that era a company or two of Tommies could absolutely waste thousands of what passed for the bad guys. The discrepancy between the forces of order and those of disorder was massive and well known.

Like it or not, that equation has changed. A generation ago a bunch of bad guys (or were they good guys?) with maybe a Grade III education pretty well shut down the USSR in Afghanistan with point-and-click missiles. This sort of distortion of "monopoly of violence" equations changed the geopolitical equation significantly.

It is now far easier for the forces of dis-order to stymie those of order and reason than it has been in a long time.

That this comes at a time when substantial minorities of Americans have transferred their distorted hatred of their own fathers -- and therefore any successful father figure -- to the US itself is particularly unfortunate and presents political complications unimaginable only two generations ago.

If you haven't read Stauss & Howe's 'Fourth Turning' on the rapidly approaching crisis era I strongly suggest you do. They point out that every crisis era for hundreds of years has culminated in total war using every weapon available.

A decade ago Strauss & Howe fingered 2005 as the transition year between the Unravelling and the Crisis. Will Iran be the trigger? We simply don't know, and chest thumping changes nothing.

The forces of history are coalescing around us, whether we like it or not. And Crisis eras are always triggered by the unwillingness (and even inability) of Unravelling era powers to confront the obviously rising threats.

It will soon enough be our turn to address the forces of history. We won't like it, but we'll have no choice, and there's absolutely no guarantee things will turn out well.

So the answer to Iranian nukes is preemptive surrender?

How very French.

The biggest and most profound change after an open Iranian nuclear break out will the the rapid proliferation of nukes in the 3rd world.

If Iran gets them, so will Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey in short order. From there the sky is the limit. Or, more likely, Hell.

The thought of the world learning of the latest 3rd world coup via a US military GPS satellite detecting a nuclear flash in a 3rd world capitol will become a feared but semi-regular event.

The first time that happens, or there is an ISO container nuke set off anywhere, the world will suffer a massive depression afterwards as the major Democratic states in the Americas and Europe demand their governments inspect 100% of all incoming shipping containers, planes and semi-tractor trailer trucks. Preferably outside the territory of the state being traded with.

The NIMBY effects after one of those events will set back world trade 50 years. ISO container ports will be less welcome than nuclear power plants.

The Mullahs do not set off the bombs, it is the generals in the army who do. These generals can have a future in a post mullah Iran and would not like to see Iran nor themselves reduced to radioactive cinders.

It's very hard to know what the US is doing behind the scenes and therefore it is really not possible for those of us outside looking in to know what the right thing to do is. We do not have all the information.

A much better plan is to have a military coup already waiting in the wings to start on cue during the confusion of an intense bombing campaign. The mullahs are not popular.

The idea of nuking Iran is the plan of an inferior general. A reasonably skilled strategist should be able to come up with something much better.

Please skip the first two lines in #9 above. That posted before I could complete my edit.

(Note to self, never put in the post code before the post inc ompleted)

This is the rest of the post I was trying to complete:

If America does go for a preemptive nuclear attack, the survivors in Iran will never rest until they had enough nukes to deture another such attack from the USA. This is a case of the solution causing more problems than it solves.

Preemptive nuclear strikes on Iran, absent America getting struck first with a WMD, are not justified, and not moral, if we have other means to remove those weapons.

More than that, it is flat evil.

We do have an option.

It is called military regime change with the ground forces of the US military.

It will take presidential leadership to invoke the national will, I would prefer it with a real Congressional declaration of war, but it can be done.

Mark, er, “Doctor”, it's not going to happen. Not because of the merits of the action but because it's politically impossible. What's politically impossible is impossible, period.

Here's what will happen if we attack Iran preemptively, particularly with nuclear weapons. There are just enough fence-sitters in enough districts and in enough states who will be horrified by the action that the House and the Senate will go to the Democrats. If they go to the Democrats, Bush will be impeached and removed from office. This will be true regardless of whether the Democratic leadership agree with the practical necessity of the actions or not. It will be an irresistible opportunity and they will seize it.

Bush and his advisors know very well that that's what will happen. Every Republican leader in the House or Senate will try to talk him out of it. Bush just won't do it. He wants to keep his job. If he didn't want the job, he wouldn't have run for it in the first place.

At the end of the day, the most effective, direct, and perhaps humane solution is a thorough nuclear first strike against Iran which must be sure to eliminate all WMDs as well as the Iranian leadership responsible for pursuing them.

1. You would make a good Dalek.

2. Similar proposals have been advanced in the past for dealing with China or Russia when their nuclear programs were at an early stage. From a strict casualty standpoint, nuclear war at these points would have seemed to be a good idea -- a few hundred thousand nuke fatalities doesn't look so bad compared to, for example, the Cultural Revolution.

Should nuclear war, in fact, have occurred at these points? Discuss.

If America does go for a preemptive nuclear attack, the survivors in Iran will never rest until they had enough nukes to deture another such attack from the USA. This is a case of the solution causing more problems than it solves.

I'm pretty sure that after the first round of nuking their industrial capacity will be so thoroughly crippled that it would take years for them to recover the capacity to manufacture a deterrent regardless of desire. Perhaps a little preventative nuking every couple of years might keep the situation manageable -- sort of like dusting your house. Nukes are relatively cheap.

Mark:

The thing I can't get past concerning the assumption that Iran has nukes is: If that's true why aren't they using that fact as a deterrent now? Deterrence would seem the first and foremost reason to have them, and there's no deterrent effect unless we know they have them.

Per comment #5, I think this post is meant as A Modest Proposal, looking to promote additional discussion of strategic options.

I sure hope that the jaunty tone and the repeated use of euphemisms to describe the killing, wounding, and maiming of millions isn't meant to be taken at face value.

As a practical matter, some reflection will show that the cure of pre-emptive nuclear war is far, far worse than the disease it sets out to cure. In many ways.

Author Mark Buehner, given how readily parody on web-logs is misconstrued and misinterpreted, please tell your readership: satire or policy prescription?

#11 (Note to self, never put in the post code before the post inc ompleted)

Oog!

Alright, the text writing is done in Word from now on.

I realize that there's a lot more going on here than my post will acrue, but don't you find this situation ironic?

We're so worried about the use of a nuclear bomb by a crazy goverment that could use nukes, that our immediate response is to slaughter them with nukes at the slightest possibility of threat....

Thanks for the compliments folks. I think the first rule of parody is never admitting to anything. At any rate there is a kernel of debate that is definately very real, that being

if you really believe:
-Iran has an active nuclear deterrant already
-We must disarm them regardless
-we should hence invade

why then wouldnt you advocate nuclear weapons? If this situation is serious enough to flout allied (much less world) opinion, kill a whole bunch of people and break a bunch of stuff, and expose our troops to a nuclear reprisal, isnt it serious enough to cut out the middle man and put all the casualties on the Iranian side? If we are going to play the realist game to the point of invasion, doesnt the logic carry it further? In other words if we are willing to go to war to prevent an Iranian nuclear attack in the future, arent we willing to use every weapon at our disposal to prevent a certain nuclear retaliation against our troops? And if not, is perhaps the situation not yet as grave as the advocates would have us think?

#18: Ah.

"Mark:

The thing I can't get past concerning the assumption that Iran has nukes is: If that's true why aren't they using that fact as a deterrent now? "

An excellent question. A deterrent is useless if it isnt acknowledged. To quote the 'real' Strangelove, "Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost, if you keep it a secret!"
That being said, i've referred to high stakes international intrigue like this as more like hold em than chess. Everyone knows that in po-ker you shouldnt take a persons behavior at face value. Amateurs act weak when they are strong and vice-versa. Professionals mix their play and profile. The real question is, what are we dealing with in Iran? If we dont have a satisfactory to that, its exceedingly dangerous to assume anything about Iranian behavior.

Mark,
Please tell me this was some sort of sick and twisted satire and not the way you really feel. What you're suggesting is murder plain and simple. There's no way to use nukes to "disarm" Iran and destroy its leadership without also murdering millions, and possibly tens of millions of people.

It's really cute calling people Islamofascists when you're advocating a crime as heinous in its scale as what Hitler did to the Jews and Slavs during WWII.

~Jon

why then wouldnt you advocate nuclear weapons?

Because we are different from them. Because we believe that even an infidel's life has value (Muslims being infidel's to a Christian, of course)

If we have a normal invasion, there are 30,000 people killed - 20,000 Iranian troops, 7,000 Iranian civilians, and 3,000 American troops (+-10,000 American civilians, if they do in fact set off a bomb). If we have a nuclear war, we have 250,000 to a couple million Iranians dead. The first option is better to us, because we value Iranians at about the same level as Americans. If our positions were reversed, presumably a devout muslim would choose the second option - it is written in the Koran that an infidels life is worth far less than a muslim's.

This imbalance really is the heart of this war between civilizations. As long as muslims feel that they are superior to others, there will not be peace. Really, the best coorelary is the Japanese before the end of World War II - they still (as a culture) believe that they are superior to everyone, but the Americans beat them. That inconsistancy allows them to function, converted them to peace, etc. My real question is why isn't there a "General McArthur" for Iraq - he is universally hated and loved by the Japanese, but there is no doubt that he converted a warior culture with no love of life into a modern culture with one of the highest regard for life.

We didn't get that by letting them re-elect the Emporer - which they certainly would have done rather than create a real democracy.

One time, I ate a chunk of shit.

The fact that not everyone immediately recognized this as satire scares me. Immensely.

The fact that not everyone immediately recognized this as satire scares me. Immensely.

That's what happens with the very best satire.

My real question is why isn't there a "General McArthur" for Iraq - he is universally hated and loved by the Japanese, but there is no doubt that he converted a warior culture with no love of life into a modern culture with one of the highest regard for life.

Look, if George W. Bush had stated at the beginning of this whole adventure that he had sent Federal Necromancers to West Point to resurrect MacArthur so he could command this whole Iraq exercise, my opinion about the situation would be rather different.

Me: You sendin' the Doug?
Bush: Oh, you feel better. mother&%$%?
Me: &^$, ^&$!, that's all you had to say!

I think MacArthur would have been onboard this proposal.

Don't be that put out, you know there are a fair few people arguing this for real. He almost had me until he cracked that one about the surviving kids thanking us for it.

The title was a give-away, but Mark suckered lots of people anyway. Good job.

Doug was quite against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but had use for nukes during the Korean war.

When the war issue revolves around the possession of nuclear weapons: it’s a nuclear war with or without their use.

Plainly, what is to come is a war with an expansive power sitting astride the worlds transportation energy who is already at DefCon2, and has been for months.

Jim Rockford:

Their primitive command and control systems guarantee impulsive use; they have a hair trigger.

To one and all: the mullahs are not for turning. Period.

The war of words has already been launched.

To allow the mullahs to dictate the timing supposes that we can even withstand the blow. Their every stratagem is to make that not so.

Most WOC posters hold that this is manageable by someone somewhere.

The dynamic is already out of control.

The idea that fast moving American forces can bob and weave around nuclear mines and martyr pilots: absurd.

Nuclear weapons used counter-force are likely the only way to pre-empt hair trigger retaliation.

War is being delivered. You can’t stop that.

Expect the Iranians to cleanly drop out of the NPT the minute it loses advantage: any time now.

Heavy water production since 1995 means plenty of converters tunneled under the countryside.

The idea that Iranians are retards who can’t achieve in decades what every other player has done in five years: racism, bigotry.

The idea that the government has access to such superior information that they can figure the correct solution outside the keen of civilians: big brother tells all knows nothing.

Look at the revelations from Saddam’s ‘diaries’. You know, the ones that the all-knowing government hasn’t yet translated 30 months on. Translation and analysis are performed on a non-governmental ad hoc basis right now. Overnight, many widely argued assumptions are being over turned. Folks, even when the evidence to prove their case WAS IN THEIR HANDS they couldn’t find it.

It’s been sixty years on since Germany coughed up the Kriegsmarine Dairies. They’re so staggeringly huge that NO ONE has ever plowed their way through. Team written by a hefty staff, it'd take another staff just to analyze them. Since the Kriegsmarine recorded effectively all Wehrmacht activities in great detail… it’s a project for a lifetime.

A similar situation occurs at NSA, but a billion times worse. NSA can’t possibly analyze all of the stuff they get their hands on. Ditto for FBI, CIA ….

The mullahs delight in your dithering. It’s in their game plan.

How many times must it be said: Iran can’t dare demonstrate nuclear capability without triggering Bush release. No, they intend to follow the Israeli example: build very many… NEVER test.

BTW, Iran ALREADY considers America deterred. She can raise unholy hell even against our Gulf buddies with suicide troops. They get the picture, even if you don’t.

To recap: nukes are in the mix regardless of your sentiments. The enemy has a vote… and it’s for nukes.

The idea that the west is going to finesse this: they will… just like they finessed Adolf… just like FDR finessed Stalin… just like you’d negotiate away a street mugger.

( BTW, the last street mugger I knew of knocked my buddy out cold and then started negotiating.)

Wishful thinking ought not be confused with deep thought.

Mark, I think you left off the "A Modest Proposal For..." that might have clued more people in.

I'm worried that people are taking this seriously - you didn't mean it seriously, did you?

A.L.

The unresolved question is who it's meant for.

Is this a satire of the liberals who believe conservatives are all in favor of this sort of thinking?

Or is it a satire of the conservatives who are?

omm, omm, omm...

The problem with satires like this is that sometimes marginal members of the audience take them seriously, and some of them might go out and do something about it. (Attacking Iran with nuclear weapons presumably being outside their capability, but goading the talk-show circuit could have some effect, probably bad.)

It's a bit like how it's hard to make a really good satire of a country-and-western song without making a hit country-and-western song. Except here we're talking about foam-at-the-mouth wannabe militarists.

[Let me rush to say that people with real military experience tend to be responsible, restrained folks, not like the wannabes.]

Halcyon -- no Impeachment to my mind was not warranted. Bill Clinton deserved censure, not impeachment. His conduct though reprehensible was not to me high crimes and misdemeanors. Yes he committed perjury on a civil suit matter. For that he deserved Censure.

The President as executive must be given both freedom to act, and be held accountable when his actions fail or he fails to act. That judgment properly IMHO comes from re-election, Congressional funding of his budget, and only in extremes impeachment. If the President is subject to impeachment merely for being unpopular then you have a prescription for Parliamentary control and it's just as bad when Republicans inevitably engage in it.

alk -- IMHO you are projecting Western models of military to Iran. Iran (and also Iraq, most third world countries) have carefully constructed militaries that are not very effective but are very coup-resistant. The Mullahs DIRECTLY through the Iranian Revolutionary Guard organizations (there are many competing ones) control both the nuclear effort (begun in 1979) and the facilities. The rhetoric of Ahmadinejad is both sudden and Mullah-approved. It makes no sense if they have no nuclear weapons, great sense if they have a few and wish to gain status from openly defying the US on the way to attacking it (don't forget they are rivals of bin Laden in gaining support of Muslims world-wide as the true representative of Islam).

The latest revelations (Russians sold our war plans to Saddam) along with Afghanistan inevitably murdering the Christian convert (the populace want this) means the NRO "hwth" groups have ample ammo in persuading the populace for the need of unilateral American action. Most Americans have hated and loathed Iran since the Embassy invasion. But something akin to 65% of Democrats want UN approval before any US action (as Jim Geraghty notes in NRO, that's the "fool test.") As Geraghty says, about 40% of Americans want the Tooth Fairy to deal with the problem. Because they can't conceive of a world where an entire nation might want a man dead for converting to another religion.

This means IMHO political reality will paralyze any action until we get nuked, and then we'll have a massive strategic retaliation instead of timely and limited conventional action. Worst of all worlds.

blert -- conventional action I think offers us the opportunity to get at the nukes while they are still in Iran. As you say their C-n-C are primitive, which is likely why they are close to hand. Which makes their existing nukes vulnerable to a JDAM dropped down on them.

Hmmm ... didn't see that as satire. Unfortunately the issue is so serious that it's hard to spot. According to Colin Powell the JCS seriously considered nuking Afghanistan after 9/11. Which ought to give everyone pause.

I've read every single comment taking insight and gleaning information where I can, basically I see a "self sustaining circlejerk of postulation tm". Many of you are repeat offenders, ie, "repeat posters". I find this debate using delusional personal ideology and nonfactual evidence a complete waste of time and mental resources. The best answer 99% of the time is the simplest, "look at the way everything in your country runs, simpletons". These 85 "or so" comments were not needed "why?" because you are arguing, you cannot argue when you don't have facts, "especially the most important ones". It's like arguing that a fictional cartoon character that has never been seen is transgendered, now I can understand that part of the reason you are arguing amongst yourselves is because 99% of you are mentally unexceptional "hey, I don't make the statistics" "actually I do", and the other 1% of you are convinced of your mental superiority and want to impose your views/personal opinions/ideologies "without FACTS mind you". Let's get at the core of the issue shall we, let's look at the president of Iran, he said something about killing every jew/israeli in one statement and things of that nature directed to other countries in other statements. If you think about it that's a good thing, "bear with me" why? because he is being open, honest and vocal, "now we know exactly his intentions" smarter people "me for instance" would never had divulged any details of anything "unsavory" thereby giving me the upper hand. What he said may sound like genocide and mass culling of humans as though they are animals, but it seems quite obvious that those things can be said on levels anywhere from individual to leader of a nation on a world stage without punity "I will join the choir of verbal misgivings shortly ;)"
So he said that, what else? you say. Well the part about nuclear weapons, this is the issue as his intent is REAL and FORTHCOMING that will not change. There is a real simple solution to this problem and here it is, any country/nation that does not offer full transparancy with nuclear watchdog authorities should be invaded and/or destroyed and have a regime change. Nuclear endeavors/materials/weapons are one of if not the most important and dire issues facing our world today.The corruption in the world is monumental, failures in respect to all things nuclear seem to be systemic, If the world wants every nation/country/religious faction having nuclear weapons than just say so, don't stall, I want all out nuclear war right now, otherwise adhere to the rules/safeguards/watchdogs put in place, one or the other. Personally I see where this is going, every nation in the world is an example starting with the U.S and Russia, this is a trend which may lead to our destruction "hopefully" as I foreseen, everyone wants "the bomb" call it penis envy, a fashion accessory, what have you.
I've given the solutions to the current problems, whichever way the coin flips I will be happy, I am a desert storm veteran, and I love death/destruction. The U.S thought nothing of incinerating japanese women/children, the same for vietnamese, what makes you think they or other nations care about innocents. There's a time for killing and 0 hour is so near I can taste the charred flesh. Enjoy the lives you collective animals have made for yourselves well I watch the nuclear rain fall down upon the.
The oil you purchase funds IRAN AND TERRORISM, Drugs don't fund it like those fancy commercials of not long ago would have you believe.
What an idiotic civilization, and why hasn't the "IAEA" done anything? simple, IRAN IS PAYIING THEM OFF< EV! CAN BE BOUGHT NOWADAYS< SO POO POO ON YOU

on a new clear day all you can see is imbeciles

I've read every single comment taking insight and gleaning information where I can, basically I see a "self sustaining circlejerk of postulation tm". Many of you are repeat offenders, ie, "repeat posters". I find this debate using delusional personal ideology and nonfactual evidence a complete waste of time and mental resources. The best answer 99% of the time is the simplest, "look at the way everything in your country runs, simpletons". These 85 "or so" comments were not needed "why?" because you are arguing, you cannot argue when you don't have facts, "especially the most important ones". It's like arguing that a fictional cartoon character that has never been seen is transgendered, now I can understand that part of the reason you are arguing amongst yourselves is because 99% of you are mentally unexceptional "hey, I don't make the statistics" "actually I do", and the other 1% of you are convinced of your mental superiority and want to impose your views/personal opinions/ideologies "without FACTS mind you". Let's get at the core of the issue shall we, let's look at the president of Iran, he said something about killing every jew/israeli in one statement and things of that nature directed to other countries in other statements. If you think about it that's a good thing, "bear with me" why? because he is being open, honest and vocal, "now we know exactly his intentions" smarter people "me for instance" would never had divulged any details of anything "unsavory" thereby giving me the upper hand. What he said may sound like genocide and mass culling of humans as though they are animals, but it seems quite obvious that those things can be said on levels anywhere from individual to leader of a nation on a world stage without punity "I will join the choir of verbal misgivings shortly ;)"
So he said that, what else? you say. Well the part about nuclear weapons, this is the issue as his intent is REAL and FORTHCOMING that will not change. There is a real simple solution to this problem and here it is, any country/nation that does not offer full transparancy with nuclear watchdog authorities should be invaded and/or destroyed and have a regime change. Nuclear endeavors/materials/weapons are one of if not the most important and dire issues facing our world today.The corruption in the world is monumental, failures in respect to all things nuclear seem to be systemic, If the world wants every nation/country/religious faction having nuclear weapons than just say so, don't stall, I want all out nuclear war right now, otherwise adhere to the rules/safeguards/watchdogs put in place, one or the other. Personally I see where this is going, every nation in the world is an example starting with the U.S and Russia, this is a trend which may lead to our destruction "hopefully" as I foreseen, everyone wants "the bomb" call it penis envy, a fashion accessory, what have you.
I've given the solutions to the current problems, whichever way the coin flips I will be happy, I am a desert storm veteran, and I love death/destruction. The U.S thought nothing of incinerating japanese women/children, the same for vietnamese, what makes you think they or other nations care about innocents. There's a time for killing and 0 hour is so near I can taste the charred flesh. Enjoy the lives you collective animals have made for yourselves well I watch the nuclear rain fall down upon the.
The oil you purchase funds IRAN AND TERRORISM, Drugs don't fund it like those fancy commercials of not long ago would have you believe.
What an idiotic civilization, and why hasn't the "IAEA" done anything? simple, IRAN IS PAYIING THEM OFFI've read every single comment taking insight and gleaning information where I can, basically I see a "self sustaining circlejerk of postulation tm". Many of you are repeat offenders, ie, "repeat posters". I find this debate using delusional personal ideology and nonfactual evidence a complete waste of time and mental resources. The best answer 99% of the time is the simplest, "look at the way everything in your country runs, simpletons". These 85 "or so" comments were not needed "why?" because you are arguing, you cannot argue when you don't have facts, "especially the most important ones". It's like arguing that a fictional cartoon character that has never been seen is transgendered, now I can understand that part of the reason you are arguing amongst yourselves is because 99% of you are mentally unexceptional "hey, I don't make the statistics" "actually I do", and the other 1% of you are convinced of your mental superiority and want to impose your views/personal opinions/ideologies "without FACTS mind you". Let's get at the core of the issue shall we, let's look at the president of Iran, he said something about killing every jew/israeli in one statement and things of that nature directed to other countries in other statements. If you think about it that's a good thing, "bear with me" why? because he is being open, honest and vocal, "now we know exactly his intentions" smarter people "me for instance" would never had divulged any details of anything "unsavory" thereby giving me the upper hand. What he said may sound like genocide and mass culling of humans as though they are animals, but it seems quite obvious that those things can be said on levels anywhere from individual to leader of a nation on a world stage without punity "I will join the choir of verbal misgivings shortly ;)"
So he said that, what else? you say. Well the part about nuclear weapons, this is the issue as his intent is REAL and FORTHCOMING that will not change. There is a real simple solution to this problem and here it is, any country/nation that does not offer full transparancy with nuclear watchdog authorities should be invaded and/or destroyed and have a regime change. Nuclear endeavors/materials/weapons are one of if not the most important and dire issues facing our world today.The corruption in the world is monumental, failures in respect to all things nuclear seem to be systemic, If the world wants every nation/country/religious faction having nuclear weapons than just say so, don't stall, I want all out nuclear war right now, otherwise adhere to the rules/safeguards/watchdogs put in place, one or the other. Personally I see where this is going, every nation in the world is an example starting with the U.S and Russia, this is a trend which may lead to our destruction "hopefully" as I foreseen, everyone wants "the bomb" call it penis envy, a fashion accessory, what have you.
I've given the solutions to the current problems, whichever way the coin flips I will be happy, I am a desert storm veteran, and I love death/destruction. The U.S thought nothing of incinerating japanese women/children, the same for vietnamese, what makes you think they or other nations care about innocents. There's a time for killing and 0 hour is so near I can taste the charred flesh. Enjoy the lives you collective animals have made for yourselves well I watch the nuclear rain fall down upon the.
The oil you purchase funds IRAN AND TERRORISM, Drugs don't fund it like those fancy commercials of not long ago would have you believe.
What an idiotic civilization, and why hasn't the "IAEA" done anything? simple, IRAN IS PAYIING THEM OFF< EV1 CAN BE BOUGHT NOWADAYS< SO POO POO ON YOU

on a new clear day all you can see is imbeciles

Mohammed Elbaradei "IAEA" FAILED THE ENTIRE WORLD>
SHAME ON HIM> I wonder where he is living now? I would give a very heartfelt present if I only knew, maybe I will play his little game of hide and go seek hmmm?

Let's not forget that I AM a nobel peace prize winner and a very highly regarded/profficient scholar with numerous degrees, ah thank you.

"scratches head" doublyuh em dee? what's that?

The good news is,,,,, They hate Israel more than the U.S.
"yes, but I don't see them ending every school day with> Death to Israel<now do I"
hmmmmmmmm

This is a satire, and apologies to anyone that didnt catch that (and thanks to Joe Katzman for his editorial genius, or matters would have been even worse).

I agree with Matt that we are disturbingly far down this road when the idea of nuking 68 million people to preempt preemption is taken as serious policy initiative.

The one place I hope I have succeeded to some degree is displaying how a seemingly logical progression of thought can take us off into extreme solutions. At that point the rationalizations pretty much create themselves.

If this was a parody of anything, it was a parody of those who advocate invasion based on (in my opinion) the same thought processes. Any number of assumptions are built into these arguments and treated as facts (because their implications are too grave to ignore). Well, take that train of thought to its logical conclusion. If Iran is dangerous enough that invasion is preordained at any cost, it is too dangerous to risk the uncertainty of conventional arms as well. If those that advocate an air campaign as a last resort (like myself) are told we arent treating the threat to US security (or existance) seriously enough, well touche- i'll argue those that advocate invasion instead of nuclear assault arent serious enough either.

Beard,

The whole point of satires like this is the fun of watching people take them seriously. That's why I didn't say a word until Mark admitted it was a satire. It would have been impolite to spoil his fun.

Matt,

Your No. 3 almost did spoil it.

The problem with satire, as with sarcasm, is that you can never be sure it'll be understood as such by any given recipient. I'm bemused at the sophisticated backpatting going on here.

I have no problem admitting that I took it at face value -- as a mixed communication, and thereby troubling. I predict that some others will do so in the future. The consequence(s)? Who knows -- it's only blogging, after all.

I hope Mark's fun was worth it {shrug}. In my view, this post degrades -- however minuscule the degradation -- the value I have previously found in this blog. This is not an indictment, merely an observation. If I found this situation less depressing, I might blog about it myself -- on my blog whose b l o g s p o t URL offends this blog's blacklist. Another matter that brings me negative joy.

Sadly,

Nort

PS to Mark Buehner: Iowahawk does this sort of thing broadly enough to be less misunderstood; plus, it's part of his "brand". You might study him.

Addendum:

Here's one from the vaults. Emphasis mine:

One of the characteristic weaknesses of democracy is an inability to carry out complicated long-term programs in a steadfast and competent way.... One way to do this is to make a serious attempt to lift the level of discussion. I believe it can be done, but only if there is on the one hand some self-restraint on the part of those who are trying to facilitate a program by the adept use of language and, on the other hand, much more savage criticism and punishment for those who are caught confusing or oversimplifying issues when it is inappropriate.

The cure will not and cannot be complete.

--On Thermonuclear War, H. Kahn, 2nd ed w/index, Princeton U Press, 1961, P. 343

If Mark's item and consequent thread raises the level of discussion, well and good. If it fractionally turns WoC into LGF... sigh

From some of the posts in the thread (in the #40s), I get a bad feeling that bad posts are driving out good. I'm probably making too much of this.

I'd have thought between the title and the author reading 'Dr Strangelove' would have been enough- that being the case im not sure adding a nod A Modest Proposal would have flipped on any more lights.

In my opinion stamping SATIRE in bright red letters across the page ruins any shot at literary beauty the peice could have, quite aside from being rather insulting to the reader.

Again, maybe this says more about how far the conversation has gone than the nature of satire. Or maybe you are correct and it just wasnt well crafted, i can accept that.

For the record, I didnt write this for shock value and I dont think it would have gotten posted as such. The only fun i've gotten out of it is whatever debate it stirs up, and admittedly a good visceral response can stir some excellent and honest debate... and isn't that ultimately the point of satire? If it has succeeded on that level i gladly stand by it.

Thanks for the Herman Kahn quote, Nortius.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kahn a number of times around 1970-1973 or so - his daughter was a friend of mine during our undergrad days. For all that he got branded with the Strangelove accusation - especially for On Thermonuclear War, but also Thinking about the Unthinkable - he struck me as being about as level headed and clear eyed as one can be in discussing strategic nuclear weapons.

My biggest takeaway on that point was his insistence (against those who said it was immoral even to talk about their use) that it was those who refused to think clearly about nuclear weapons who were most likely, during some crisis, to demand their use.

Mark, I think that some similar dyamic accounts for why we might be disturbingly far down this road when the idea of nuking 68 million people to preempt preemption is taken as serious policy initiative. In the 90s many felt it was immoral or unethical even to talk about military issues or the role of the US in world affairs, except in treacly and/or apologetic terms.

As a result, now that we are seeing the chaotic, possibly promising but definitely dangerous breakup of the remaining cold war power structures around the world - and the exploitation of the resulting tensions by e.g. Iran - it's not surprising to see people respond with emotional panic and call for nuking 'em till they glow.

Herman's worth re-reading from time to time, if only to argue with.

#22

You raise excellent points; but, I would question the analogy to Japan, or a 'General McArthur' for Iraq.

I lived in Japan for a number of years, and have learned a great dealabout their history and culture.

I am only now learning of the ME (Pipes, Lewis, Yertsin: the Prize, Lots of blogs such as this etc.,), and, from what I know, I think the cultures between Japan and Iraq are so completely different, that it would be hard for someone to control/rule Iraq the way General McArthur did Japan.

Japan is a very homogenous country; 2nd only to Iceland. Their history, culture, power structure, values, etc., are different.

The type of 'General McArthur' for Iraq? Iraq is an artifical country. He would need a solid understanding of that region with all of the different tribes/groups. How would he rule?

Demoracy seems to be an interesting gamble. Bernard Lewis wrote that Iraq was unique in that this just might work, less than 50/50 he thought, but still a good chance.

I'd like to believe this. From what I gather from the various sources on Iraq - particularly the message coming out from our troops, I still do.

All your other points, I agree with.

Cheers

#31

"The idea that fast moving American forces can bob and weave around nuclear mines and martyr pilots: absurd."

Why?

"BTW, Iran ALREADY considers America deterred. She can raise unholy hell even against our Gulf buddies with suicide troops. They get the picture, even if you don’t."

Do you think Iran has that many willing 'suicide troops' (I am not talking about children sent to clear mines - horrible country). How many were snt to Iraq that our troops are dealing with? My basic question is how is recruitment these days for suicide missions? Or for that matter, how many does it take?

"just like FDR finessed Stalin," I agree with your premise surrounding the quote I extracted this from, but I am not sold on this particular example. FDR was able to keep Stalin at war with Germany - the fighting and weakening to the German military was done on the Eastern Front long before we came on board. God bless him (FDR) for doing this because at the end of the day, it saved American lives. I thinkf FDR was shrewed. Coming to close of WWII, he could have done better foreseeing the outcome of dealing with Stalin, but he was sick and accomplished much.

On a scale of 1 - 10, I'd rate him pretty high.

Here's an idea. What if we would have taken the trillion dollars we used to wage a war that has only made things worse- we took that money and used it to develop an oil alternative? (If we can't come up with a lucrative oil alternative with a trillion bucks worth of investment then we got far bigger problems then the huge one in the middle east now.) Then we can leave the Islamofacists to wallow in their own dung and let them attack each other instead of us. If the US neocons weren't bread out of the oil'agarchy of America this would have been there agenda. But instead thousands have died and thousands of more will just because our oil is under their soil. WE WILL NEVER WIN THIS- BOTH SIDES (left and right) AGREE IT IS UNWINABLE. SO NOW WHAT? ARE WE BRAVE ENOUGH TO THINK AND ACT DIFFERENTLY? OR SHOULD WE TRY TO TOUCH THE HOT STOVE ONE MORE TIME AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS? Do let me know will you?

Rick: somewhere in there, you have a point I mostly agree with. But it's so enveloped in bile (or something even less savory) that it's hard for me to embrace. Being brave enough to think and act differently cuts both ways.

Regards,

Nort

#50,

A trillion dollars might develop an alternative to oil in 5 or 10 years.

Another 100 trillion to deploy.

So far it looks like war is possible in a reasonable budget. Changing the American energy system on a crash basis is not.

In any case while the alternative is developing and deploying you still will need the half trillion a year for defence/offence.

The reasons that the entire discussion above is irrelevant:

1. Man has not used nukes in sixty years, despite tens of thousands of the devices and the ease of manufacture. This is conclusive proof of some kind of intervention that will not permit another homicidal nuclear explosion.

2. The electronic voting system has thwarted democracy.

"1. Man has not used nukes in sixty years, despite tens of thousands of the devices and the ease of manufacture. This is conclusive proof of some kind of intervention that will not permit another homicidal nuclear explosion."

Just try to poke a hole in that logic! We havent put a man on the moon in 50 years either, is that conclusive proof some kind of intervention will not permit it?

"2. The electronic voting system has thwarted democracy."

Im sure the same argument was made when the paper ballot was invented. Democracy cant be thwarted, only temporarilly impeded. Its all sausage making- if people knew how many screw ups and fraud there was in any given election they would be horrified, but it all tends to even out statistically at the end of the day.

Put down your coffee. For safety reasons. Then go here:

http://conservativebuys.com/cgi-bin/shop/shop/tshirtcrusade/tshirtcrusade/1165108/2

It sells T-shirts, buttons, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, greeting cards, etc., all emblazoned with the words:
"NUKE IRAN"
This is Buehner's fault.

Its also Buehner's fault that Winds has now attracted comment parodies (#53).

"It sells T-shirts, buttons, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, greeting cards, etc., all emblazoned with the words:
"NUKE IRAN"
This is Buehner's fault."

And I expect a cut.

"Its also Buehner's fault that Winds has now attracted comment parodies (#53)."

And I fell for it! Oh irony, how sharp thine sword is!

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