, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
One more clarification here, somewhat related to the Warren-Cheney dustup. And that is the difference between "preemption" and "prevention." We have NEVER had a "preventive" #nuclear strategy. If that's what Cheney is arguing for, we're in a whole new world of crazy. /1
As I said yesterday, we don't even have a "preemptive" nuclear strategy, which would be a shade faster than "launch on warning." "Preventive" strikes are a whole other animal. That's attacking your enemy because it's just a good day to do it. Like, Monday. Because why not. /2
As mathematician John Von Neumann said in the 50s: "If you say why not bomb them tomorrow, I say why not today? If you say today at 5 o'clock, I say why not 1 o' clock?" Take out your enemy as a child, as Don Ciccio says in Godfather II, before they grow up and seek revenge. /3
USAF Gen. Anderson in 1950: "Give me the order to do it and I can break up Russia’s five A-bomb nests in a week! And when I went up to Christ, I think I could explain to him why I wanted to do it, now, before it's too late...I could explain that I had saved civilization." /4
We were urged to do this when the Soviets got nukes, and JFK's admin thought about it when China was about to get them (when we called it "strangling the [nuclear] baby in the cradle.") It means going to war because you think it's just a propitious time to do it. /5
We rejected all these ideas - Truman even fired Anderson over it, calling such war "the weapon of dictators, not of free democratic countries like the United States." We decided we're not the country that will pioneer the murderously crazy idea of a nuclear Pearl Harbor. /6
There *are* people making that case for attacking NK or IR, but they're pretty fringey (for now). But the people going after Warren seem to be walking that edge pretty closely.
Again: Warren was repeating U.S. policy since about 1960.
What Cheney is implying is... I dunno. /7x
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