Thursday, April 13, 2006

Real men don't use nukes

Seymour Hersh on NPR's Fresh Air, 12 April 2006
"In order to successfully bomb that (Iranian underground bunker complex), the president was told, we can guarantee 100% destruction with a tac-nuke. That was in a paper.

A few weeks or so afterwards, the Joint Chiefs realizing that this is, you know, perhaps even all along knowing, that was just an option, and whacko -- you don't want to start using nuclear weapons in the Middle East against a Muslim country -- went back to the White House and said, let's get this out of our plan. They tried to walk it back out. The White House then said, no, you, you [proposed] it; let's keep it in there.

At this point there was a lot of tension among some generals and admirals -- I can't say everybody, but among some -- about this, simply because they do not want the nuclear option in the package ...

Among many military people it's, believe it or not, real men don't use nukes. You know, we go out and get 'em hand to hand, or whatever.


If the president still insisted on keeping the nuclear option in the planning, guys were saying they would resign...

In all of the conversations I've had about this in the last three months -- more than that -- hundreds, and all of the talking, the one thing nobody's ever suggested is that there was any official reckoning or accounting or estimate of how many civilian casualties would result if we did an all-out bombing or even a partial bombing of Iran, a country with 80 million people, most of them instinctively pro-American and anti-cleric. That seems to be just a dreadful, dreadful fact."
... his soul was mad. Being alone in the wilderness, it had looked within itself, and, by heavens! I tell you, it had gone mad. I had--for my sins, I suppose--to go through the ordeal of looking into it myself. No eloquence could have been so withering to one's belief in mankind as his final burst of sincerity. He struggled with himself, too. I saw it--I heard it.

The horror! The horror!

-- Joseph Conrad

No comments: