Crazy as it sounds

Those of us who were alive and sentient in the1960’s remember Senator Barry Goldwater (R) as one scary dude who proposed a nuclear end to the Cold War:

“Let’s lob one into the men’s room at the Kremlin.”

A hawk with a capital “H-E-Double-L,” the Arizona senator

…advocated that field commanders in Vietnam and Europe should be given the authority to use tactical nuclear weapons (which he called “small conventional nuclear weapons”) without presidential confirmation.

Dangerous as he sounded, Goldwater was orating mostly for effect, secure in the knowledge that both the U.S. and the Soviet Union shared an understanding of  “mutually assured destruction.”

Although we all feared that an “accident” could happen and unleash a terrible chain of consequence, this governing principle held both parties somewhat in check.

But that was then and this is now…

Apparently borrowing a page from his bellicose Republican ancestor, Arkansas Senator Jason Rapert says he thinks it would be a good idea to nuke ISIS.

“With ISIS spreading all over the Middle East and Africa and Islamic extremists carrying out violence in Europe, the United Kingdom and even in the United States, I wonder why the civilized world just sits by when we have weapons that could wipe out these barbarians where they are concentrated?” …Rapert went on to write, “a strategically placed nuclear weapon would save the lives of our soldiers and quickly turn things around.”

When this message went out on social media and was met with the predictable response from sane people, Rapert quickly back-pedalled a bit, saying something about targetting just the bad guys with a bunker buster device.

Mr. Rapert has made decisions as an Arizona Senator since 2011, but hasn’t gained even the most basic understanding of the widespread and asymmetric nature of the ISIS threat, which one may appreciate simply by picking up a newspaper.

He actually seems to imagine some central command that can be decapitated and thereby neutralized in a single spectacular explosion.

I suspect too many “Star Wars” sequels and not enough homework in this guy’s past.

It’s truly frightening to think that, on a federal level, his party now controls both the Senate and the House!

About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

6 thoughts on “Crazy as it sounds

  1. This guy is an AR state senator.  He doesn’t serve in the US Senate. John Boozman took Blanche Lincoln’s seat in 2010, and Tom Cotton took David Pryor’s last November.  They’re the 2 US senators from AR. (And plenty scary enough!)

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