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Mar 13, 2005 5:34 pm


Some Noted Things ...



Tim Burke,"At the Checkpoint," Easily Distracted, 9 March 2005. David Brooks has been a bad boy and Burke takes him to the woodshed for the flogging he deserves. Actually, the subject is Brooks's praise of Paul Wolfowitz and Burke flogs Christopher Hitchens and Michael Totten, too, while he's at it. In"Burke on Wolfowitz and War," Caleb McDaniel suggests that, if anything, Burke has focussed his criticism too narrowly.

David Greenberg,"History for Dummies," Slate, 11 March 2005. Greenberg's is yet another devastating review of Thomas E. Woods's The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Given its notices, I find it difficult to understand how Woods's neo-Confederate and paleo-conservative take on American history can have been on the New York Times list of best-sellers and can remain on Amazon's list of top 300 books in sales.

William Grimes,"When the King of New York Was the King of Corruption," New York Times, 11 March 2005. Grimes invites us to take another look at New York City's Boss Tweed. Of course, he was corrupt, but it was a corruption that grew naturally from all that had gone before him. Our new crew contrives new mechanisms for corruption on a much grander scale.

Harvey Mansfield,"The Manliness of Theodore Roosevelt," New Criterion, March 2005. In some ways, TR defines what is now called"political incorrect," yet Mansfield argues that rethinking Roosevelt might help us confront our current situation."Teddy Roosevelt was more a philosopher than he knew," says Mansfield.

His advocacy of manliness reflects the difficulties of pragmatism and tells us something about our situation today. We have abandoned—not reason for manliness like the pragmatists, nor manliness for reason like their tender-minded opponents—but both reason and manliness. We want progress without a rational justification and without the manliness needed to supply the lack of a justification.
Uzi Mahnaimi,"Revealed: Israel Plans Strike on Iranian Nuclear Plant," Sunday Times-World, 13 March 2005. I understand that the threat of a nuclear first strike has been a part of diplomatic baggage at least since Harry Truman and Henry Kissinger. But I need some expert advice here. If you do a non-nuclear strike on a nuclear plant, does it also cause a"nuclear winter"? And how wide-spread is that damage? And are the United States and Israel prepared to take moral and financial responsibility for that first strike action?

Finally, thanks to David Beito at Liberty and Power for the link to my"The Signifyin' Scholar" about flaws in Henry Louis Gates's scholarship, to Randy Barnett at The Volokh Conspiracy for the link to Jonathan Dresner's"Fact-Checking Cuts Both Ways" about David Horowitz's reckless use of evidence; and to Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit for links to both"The Signifyin' Scholar" and to Jonathan Dresner's"Fact-checking Cuts Both Ways." Now, if we could only get Gates and Horowitz to account for themselves ...

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chris l pettit - 3/13/2005

I know you aren't asking about the illegality of the act, so I won't get into it, although it is blatant. I would recommend the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, who has as its president David Krieger, for some of the answers. To balance it out, the IAEA also has some interesting reports on just the question you ask...I will try to dig them out.

In dealing with a country like Iran, where, as far as we know, the nuclear facilities are not as well protected and insulated (not that ours are by any means), even if they are located underground, the possibility of a severe radiation leak or massive spread of waste materials is quite high. This is not to say that any sort of "nuclear" explosion would take place or even be necessary...as you well know, a conventional weapon would be enough to cause widespread damage and contamination. What is interesting are the ramifications of making a strike with a depleted uranium weapon, ramifications that have not seriously been investigated and dealt with, as the interaction between the weapons and the targets may prove to have side effects not thought of. There is very little in the way of research on the issue, and it seems to something that has been pretty widely overlooked.

Anyway...hope that gets you started...more as i locate some of my files that are stored away somewhere...

CP

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