Friday, March 10, 2006

Credible Threat

Just something I want to point out. During WW II, a little over sixty-five Japanese cities were utterly destroyed, including Tokyo and Kobe. Blasted from the skies. Not with bombs, but with incendiary bombs. The weapon was not explosives, but fire. Fire. Or rather, firestorm. Oh, and a couple more cities were destroyed with nukes. As much energy can be released in ten minutes of firestorm, as in the bright moment of a Little Boy or a Fat Man.

This coming mid April will mark the Centenary of the Great San Francisco Earthquake ... and Fire. Earthquake and Firestorm, I should say. The Great London Firestorm. The Great Chicago Firestorm. And then all those deliberate firestorms of war – the calculated destruction of, say, Hamburg (the fire reached a height of 2000 meters), or Dresden (over 200,000 Germans killed in that one). Not an unknown phenomenon, then.

The flames leap from block to block, isolated fires joining like streams into rivers. Temperatures get hot enough to melt glass - to melt iron. Canals catch fire. Fleeing people sink into boiling asphalt like sloths into tar pits. Winds grow to hurricane forces as cool air is dragged in along the ground to replace the air blasting up with the heat - trees are knocked over like reeds. Roofs are torn from their joists and combust in midair, to rain down as flaming ash, spreading more havoc. Fire climbs stone walls, crosses tile roofs and pours down chimneys like kerosene down a gopher hole. Most casualties come not from the flames, but from poisonous gases, from asphyxiation, from distant heat.

My point? There isn’t a city in the world that the US couldn’t utterly destroy at will. Without any recourse to nukes. And with much, much less political fallout. The precedent is there, after all. Fire is natural, after all. And after all, the really evil thing about nukes is the radiation – not a problem, with firestorm.

Even total warfare need not be nuclear. This should be a comfort to all of us.


1 comment:

Ymarsakar said...

Fuel Air Bomb Explosives