Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Keystone of Our Nuclear Balance of Peace

For some five decades now, our world has been living on the edge of destruction. Our world was and still is at every moment an hour away from the end of the world as we know it. And yet, we have had a tenable peace. The closest we've come so far was the Cuban Missile Crisis. So how have we avoided our destruction by nuclear arms?

It's quite simple. Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD for short. For example, if the Soviet Union had attacked us, we would have launched missiles back taking them out along with us, and vice versa. Hence the nuclear arms race: To avoid any side from gaining the ability to wipe out the other side's armament, we had to keep enough weapons to be able to survive a first strike attack and fire back. Otherwise, deterrence would be gone and peace would have been far more unlikely.

MAD is why its okay for a country like the US to have nuclear arms, and a country like Iraq, Iran, or North Korea to not have them. This question is often asked, and the answer is really quite simple. The US would never use our weapons unless we had too, since our destruction would be assured if we became aggressive. But, when you have rogue states with regimes who don't even care about their people to the point of killing their own people, then MAD breaks down. If they don't particularly want their people to survive, then why would they care if they're wiped out if they attacked us. Now of course it would be preferable if we could turn the clock back and never know how to build nuclear bombs. But its too late for that, the knowledge is out there and even if we disarm all our nuclear arms, that knowledge will still be out there and completely disarming will only leave us vulnerable and worse off. Pandora's Box has been open and can't be closed.

So what is the key to this nuclear balance of peace? Its having people in charge of our nuclear arms who will attack back with nuclear arms when attacked by them. Take the Cuban Missile Crisis. President Kennedy said "It shall be the policy of this Nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union." So to keep a relative peace as far as nuclear arms are concerned, it is necessary that the United States respond in kind to any attacks. Otherwise, if we didn't retaliate, no one would have any problem using weapons of mass destruction against us, as the fear of their own destruction would be gone. Fear of destruction keeps sane states from using nuclear arms.

Now as that power rests in the hands of the President, that means that our President must be willing to unhesitantly retaliate, undoubtedly killing millions of innocent people in the process. So my question is, can one as a Christian be President and actually go through with killing several million using nuclear warheads. One is Christian first and a citizen second, and a Christian president, if they are indeed Christian, must be a Christian first as well. Of course, a big difference between the president ordering an attack and a regular person doing so is that the government bears the sword to maintain justice and regular citizens do not. But does that make from a Christian point of view the killing of millions in defense of the country an acceptable act, or is it egregious sin?
If is not acceptable for a Christian to do so, then I would put forth we really shouldn't elect Christian presidents. And, Christians shouldn't run for President, if they truly are Christian and not just claiming to be to get votes. Because, it is absolutely essential that we have a President who will do this if put in that unfortunate situation, and if that has to be a non-believer, so be it. So, I'm interested in a response (meaning comments) to the question, can a Christian be the President and make the decision to actually use nuclear arms in retaliation?

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