Tag: WMD

A Tale of Three Nukes


Maps of Ukraine, Libya, North KoreaI recently urged “Don’t Say You Want a Revolution,” reviewing the sad and terrible consequences of American presidents talking up “regime change” or “revolution” in other countries. As the people of 1956 Hungary and 1991 Iraq discovered, the United States does not back up such talk with our own blood and treasure, even when local people put their own fortunes, sacred honor, and lives on the line. Now let us shift perspective, from the people to the governing elite.

What lessons should Kim Jong-Un draw from recent history? Does U.S. policy, as it has actually played out, cut against North Korean denuclearization? What of the Khomeinist regime in Iran? Consider Libya and Ukraine as cautionary tales for other governments considering what to do with their own weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs.

Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was only very technically not “targeted” by a bomb dropped on one of his residences on orders from President Reagan. Gaddafi was briefly chastened and then proceeded to develop both chemical and nuclear weapons programs. These programs were the subject of much international posturing by so-called arms control agencies and various governments. Then President George W. Bush sent the full might of the United States military crashing down on Saddam Hussein, on the claim that he had been defying arms control programs and had some really bad weapons of mass destruction. Gaddafi suddenly became entirely compliant and opened Libya to arms control inspectors:

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Richard Epstein weighs the merits of President Trump’s decision to strike Syria after the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons.

Jeb’s Verbal Misfire and Revising History


Jeb Bush seems to be following the plan he laid out months ago, when he mused about how he wanted to win the presidency: By threading the needle between the base and the establishment Republicans to narrowly win the nomination, then running toward the center against a Hillary pulled to the Left by her own base. Agree or disagree with him, by most accounts his speeches have been substantive, and thoughtful. But he had a misstep on Monday, when he responded to a question that he expected to be asked instead of the one that was actually asked:

Asked on Fox News (in an interview to be aired tonight) if he would have authorized the invasion of Iraq, knowing what the world now knows, Jeb Bush replied: “I would have and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got.”

The Invisible Gorilla, Nuclear Edition


One of my favorite psychological parlor tricks is the Invisible Gorilla. A subject is shown a video in which a few people pass around a ball. The subject is told to count the number of passes. In the process of counting, the subject completely misses the fact that a man in a gorilla suit walks through the frame. The phenomenon is called “inattentional blindness”. When you focus your attention on one thing in particular, it can blind you to significant things that occur right in front of your nose.

Keep your eye on the ball: We must be evenhanded in pursuing Middle East peace. Via the Daily Caller: