Ok I have a confession. I live in Mumbai and I want to leave. Not just because this city is so overwhelmingly full of people, filth and vehicles, but because if at all our fickle and volatile neighbor collapses into Islamic extremism, Mumbai is then screwed.
My ominous prediction (or unfounded, stupid fear) may not appeal to all of you, but what the hell : Mumbai has borne the brunt of terror attacks in India, hasn’t it?
If Pakistan collapses to Islamic fundamentalists (which itself is a worst case scenario), then those very people could use Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal against India and Mumbai’s going to be right up there in the crazy persons list of “targets”.
I don’t want that.
I particularly don’t want that because of two reasons :
1. Nuclear weapons suck. I assume that when they detonate, I’ll just vaporize. That’s such a freaking painful way to die. I don’t want to burn and watch myself evaporate. Hell no.
2. If I survive, the radiation will kill me. If that doesn’t happen, I could get a plethora of diseases. Again, HELL NO.
And lets not look at all this crap with just me in the picture. Mumbai has twenty million people. All of them will be killed or maimed and that is just too horrible to even write about or think about. That’s also why this picture is an all time favorite of mine :
Seriously, imagine how cool it would be if nuclear weapons did not exist. Would I worry about this? No. You have one blog post less to bore the hell out of you.
But they do. And therefore are an entire branch of politics on their own : Nuclear politics.
Of course, the recent comments by either the Army chief or the Air Force chief (I don’t know properly) that “If Pakistan uses nuclear weapons unilaterally, then we will inflict unacceptable levels of damage in retaliation.” did not soothe me one bit.
It freaks me out.
So here’s a little background story : India, like China, has a public “No First-Use” policy. That basically means in case of a conventional war (where soldiers from opposing sides kill each other/every war ever.), India will not use nuclear weapons. Our policy is, is that our nuclear weapons exist purely for deterrence.
Also, if they don’t get deterred, then we won’t be humane. That’s basically what the Army/Air Force chief said.
Pakistan has no such policy.
Let me put forth a hypothetical situation : Pakistani-based militants come and (God forbid) attack a miscellaneous Indian city. Our politicians/leaders finally move off their full-of-money asses and, as per our Cold Start doctrine, prepare for war with Pakistan in 2 days.
Note : Cold Start is basically a policy that attempts to reduce the time (to 2-3 days) it takes for military assembly in case of a war-like situation. This came after it took the military a full month to get their act right after the Parliament attacks in 2001.
Pakistan freaks out and launches a nuclear missile at a miscellaneous location in India. This provokes the Indian military to retaliate by “causing unacceptable levels of damage” using nuclear weapons on Pakistan before they can say “Sup”.
But let’s pause from all this freaky drama and look at the real cost : People evaporate. I’ll reiterate that, because that’s exactly what will happen. People evaporate. Both in India and Pakistan. Normal people, like me and you. They just become gas or melt away, both of which are just so fucked up.
So it actually and seriously doesn’t matter who wins in a nuclear war (no one), because a lot of people lose. Once shit goes nuclear, everybody dies.
That’s why politics influenced by nuclear weapons is fucked up. That’s why India kept its mouth shut after 26/11 and shoved Cold Start doctrine deep into one of those piles of useless files you see in Government offices.
Because we were afraid. We were deterred by Pakistan’s nuclear weapons when they had the audacity and the balls to train and send militants to Mumbai to kill innocent people. They pulled it off successfully. Those stupid bastards.
What’s my point? Take nuclear weapons out of the fucking equation and finish those terrorist fuckers off. If there were no nuclear weapons, what could possibly stop India from just finishing off Hafiz Saeed even now? Then we won’t have to see his stupid, bearded and insane grin on TV.
A situation that is slightly worse exists in the Korean peninsula, where North Korea frequently acts like a really, really spoiled child and kills South Korean soldiers. The South Koreans can’t even do anything because :
1. Seoul (the capital of South Korea) is super close to the border : The De-militarized zone.
2. North Korea may/not have nuclear weapons. Why take a chance?
And it gets weird in the Middle East.
Israel has a policy of “Nuclear Opacity”, which basically means they won’t tell anyone if they have nuclear weapons or not and this policy influences how enemy countries (note : everyone surrounding Israel) form their policies on Israel.
They also have the “Samson Option”, which is similar to our “No First Use” policy. Samson was this Jew (I think) who was captured by Philistines. In order to save himself from humiliation and also destroy a few Philistines, he pushed apart some pillars where he was held and..died and killed enemies in the process.
So the Samson Option is basically Israels way of saying “If I’m going down, I’m taking you with me fuckhead”. They will exercise this option with nuclear weapons if :
1. Israel’s Air force is destroyed.
2. The enemies reach areas that are at pre-1967 levels. Israel has had numerous changes to its border, for those of you not interested in History unlike me.
3. Chemical/biological/nuclear attacks are carried out on Israeli settlements.
And you know neighbors who are capable of doing such things to Israel? Iran (and possibly Syria). That’s why Israel is SO paranoid about Iran that its media has an entire section dedicated to the Iranians.
Also, Israel has threatened to destroy Iran if the United States doesn’t do so first, because it’s simply convinced the Iranians are making nuclear weapons to destroy Israel. President Ahmedinejad of Iran hasn’t really contradicted this, with his frequent “the Holocaust is a rumor” and “Israel must be wiped off the map” rants.
It would be weird to note that India is really close to Israel (secretly), Palestine (openly) AND Iran (historically).
Now imagine you just removed nuclear weapons completely from every single equation there. What prevents South Korea from retaliation against the North? What stops the Israelis from attacking Iran? What stops the Arab states from attacking Israel?
Nothing. It will be all out war, and as with all wars, it will end with massive and catastrophic damage and tremendous loss of human life. But hell, atleast it won’t end the world or permanently pollute it.
I should make it perfectly clear that I don’t advocate war for anything. But humans are anthropologically violent and territorial (like every animal). And from two evils : nuclear war and conventional war, I choose the “lesser” evil, if I may.
I seriously hate nuclear politics because it’s just so..complicated? There’s absolutely no solution I can think of to any of these crises. Can you?