Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thought for this week regarding WMD

I'll be dealing with the following question or statement this week. It is a meaty subject with lots of potential. I hope to have something substantial by Sunday. If you have a thought one way or another, maybe I'll include your thoughts in the final draft. Here is the question/statement:

Nuclear WMD Are Not Likely in Our Times to Be Used, But Illegal Drugs Comprise WMD When Measured in Devastation


  1. In my opinion the premise of the statement is flawed; the two are not comparable regardless of the number of lives lost, or potentially lost. WMD are used with the specific intent of killing and destroying on a massive scale. Illegal drugs are used with the specific intent of satisfying basic human drives. Regardless of whether those drives are greed, pleasure or something else entirely, the individuals involved, from the end user to the top supplier, and even the secondarily involved people such as law enforcement are involved of their own volition. Almost all of those that suffer negative consequences do so at their own choosing. Those that suffer from the use of WMDs have little or no influence in their usage. The affects of one are imposed on innocent people, whereas the affects of the other are a consequence of deliberate choices made by the person affected.

  2. I would agree with you when we look at this from an effects viewpoint. The two events produce entire different kinds of effects and they affect people in markedly different ways. However, when we apply a measure of probability coupled with the cumulative cost in terms of direct dollars, collateral dollars, direct lives, and collateral lives, I wonder if the premise of the statement does have merit. The probability of a WMD event is dramatically lower than the probability of the use of illicit drugs. Even if a WMD event occurs and produces x-number of casualties, that number may still pale in comparison to the cumulative number of drug casualties.

  3. Focusing on suffrage and specifically that involved with the use of WMD’s, I wonder if “reverse” suffrage would be a factor. If the United States employed a WMD in Sarkham (The Ugly American…), it’s true that the people of Sarkham would suffer greatly, but what about the people of the United States? Reverse suffrage? Although the decision to utilize WMD would fall on the shoulders of a very small number of people, wouldn’t the resulting scrutiny and hatred be bestowed upon America in general? Just as “all” Arabs and even Indians have seen the effects of 9/11, all Americans would most likely suffer a similar fate in the eyes of the world if we employed WMDs.

    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf… and because we have the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Although Americans would be looked at unfairly if a WMD was used, we still want them. Would we feel safe and secure as a nuclear-free nation when countries like Pakistan and North Korea have nuclear capabilities? What if Yemen, Syria, or groups like the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah, Jaish-e-Mohammed, or the Lashkar-e-Taiba got their hands on WMDs? We wouldn’t feel safe and secure. Both sides would suffer from the use of a WMD, but we still want and need the safety net that it provides.

    Illegal drugs may not be used with the intent of killing someone, but the dangers are known whether you are Noriega or a crack-head off the street. Nonetheless, a bi-product of the illegal drug trade is not only death, but murder. You can’t open the paper or the internet without reading about a murder/s or assassination in Mexico related to drug trade.

    Furthermore, the common link in both WMDs and the illegal drug trade is power. Nuclear nations and drug lords are powerful, known and feared. Those that fall prey to either are simply statistics.

  4. Norwich University?

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Thank you for commenting. I appreciate your interest in the topic. It adds a little more to how we understand our world.