Essay / Politics

Hewitt Symposium Continues

Kerry’s fear of nuclear weapons as opposed to “conventional” weapons is either irrational or motivated by an implicit pacifism.Bombs kill people and it does not matter to the people being killed whether they die from a “conventional” or nuclear weapon. Small nuclear weapons are in theory no more dangerous than conventional bombs and might (under some circumstances) be morally preferable. For example, the word “nuclear” causes such an irrational fear in many people that deploying one such weapon might cause panic and make using any other weapons unnecessary. Since the goal of a just war is to win as quickly as possible, with as few casualties as possible, such a thing might be allowable. Irrational fear of one type of weapon (small scale nuclear devices) unmatched by science is a sign that something else is up.Kerry is hoping people conflate bunker busters with ICBM weapons.The truth is that John Kerry does not like the military. He has not supported it in twenty years in the Senate. He has rarely found a US action he finds just on the fields. Only the UN can sanctify our use of force and then only in infinite “police actions.” It seems that dying one at a time in an ineffectual police action under a baby blue helmet is better from Kerry’s point of view that winning using bunker busters. Kerry can safely (he thinks!) oppose nuclear bunker busters, because of the magic word “nuclear.” So he does.

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