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Coercive diplomacy
Amongst the articles about the US threatening to nuke Iran, or not, depending on who you ask, I saw one of the best examples of Orwellian phrasing it has been my discomfort to encounter in a while: "coercive diplomacy". Is that the new way of saying "strong arm tactics"? To me it sounds like thugs shaking down a shop owner for protection money. "C'mon, you want to be our friend, don't you? You don't want to cause us any trouble, right? Sure hate for something to happen to the nice shopcountry you have here." *sigh*

And when the nukes start flying, the handy coordinates in my location field will make targeting me a breeze. ;-)

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Current Location: 42.30894N 71.79531W
I am: tired tired
Current Media: quiet

z_gryphon From: z_gryphon Date: April 11th, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
It's a very Rooseveltian approach. I've noted this before, I think - the way both the presidents Bush have occasionally had these moments where they think they're Theodore Roosevelt. Unfortunately, they're not Theodore Roosevelt, so it usually ends up going wrong in the end.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: April 11th, 2006 09:25 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
True. "You want us to build a canal here, right?"

Teddy had more style. Plus the world was a bigger place - what we did in Panama could stay in the region.

Toppling governments and installing puppets hasn't worked so well for us in more recent decades. Perhaps the Shah was one of the first major failures there. Oh yeah, he ruled Iran didn't he... ;-)
frustratedpilot From: frustratedpilot Date: April 11th, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
And the bigger problem is that once one party starts being coercive, everybody else feels the need to join in.

North Korea vows to "prevent" a U.S. first strike by launching a first strike of their own. No provocation necessary.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: April 11th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I have to admit the very dark and macabre bit of my soul is darkly amused by the world sliding into chaos and potential anihilation.

A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with my boss at work about what terrorists could do with one nuke, and where I'd use it if I were them.

Forget NYC, etc - that's a show target.

I'd nuke the port of Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA. The busiest, most important port in the US. What happened to the economy post 9/11 would look like a joke compared to what would happen if the port got closed down for any length of time, destroying what goods and ships are there would just be a bonus.
osmium_ocelot From: osmium_ocelot Date: April 11th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I think it was "New Scientist" (though my memory could be wrong) that had an article about the ramifications of a Low Earth Orbit nuclear detonation. This was all supported by the high altitude tests done by the US and USSR before atmospheric testing bans. Basically, if you detonated a nuke at the right altitude, you'd overload the Earth's natural radiation belts and the mostly radiation free safe zone that most commercial satellites orbit in would be innundated with hard radiation, destroying them. I'm not sure how dependent we are on satellite communication (in other words could we get along with cables), but I'd dare say it might run a close second for damage.

Wish I could cite the specific article for you, but I think it's in the storage locker.