by Jon Worley
We're going to war with Iraq. The Prez said so yesterday. Well, what he said was that with or without support from the "international community" (or "meddlin' furriners," as Bush Administration insiders prefer to call such people) the United States was gonna "go git" Saddam Hussein.
Never mind the fact that most Americans think such an action is a bad idea. The Prez believes that true leadership is doing the wrong thing despite the fact that everyone says he shouldn't. Who am I to question such sterling thought?
What I will question are the official reasons to "git" Hussein. The main ones seem to be that he has acquired the knowledge to create atomic weapons and that he has a stockpile of chemical weapons.
It's not like he's the only one. I mean, I know how to make an atomic bomb. And like just most Americans, I have a stockpile of chemical weapons in my house.
First, the atomic question. I'll admit I'm better read than some people, but it takes just a basic knowledge of physics and weaponry to figure out how to build an atomic bomb. There are literally hundreds of books in the library which describe in great detail the inner workings of atomic weaponry. The best one I've read is The Making of the Atomic Bomb, a real heavy tome which won the Pulitzer some years back. The book is more about the people and the politics involved in the Manhattan Project, but the book also describes quite intimately the schematics of the two bombs dropped on Japan.
In any case, here's one way (there are literally thousands) to build an atomic bomb: Take a cup of properly-prepared fissionable material (enriched uranium will suffice) and form it into a perfect sphere. Pack a sizable quantity of explosives around the inner core, retaining the perfect sphere. Rig the explosives to fire at the exact same instant, thus exerting massive pressure on the unstable core.
Boom. Great big firecracker.
It helps to detonate the bomb at altitude, and all of that "perfect" and "exact same instant" stuff is not exactly easy to perfect. The most difficult part, however, is acquiring the enriched uranium. There are many ways to do this, but they're all quite expensive and time consuming. And anyway, by all accounts (including those from the Prez), Hussein is years away from getting the necessary cupful of material for his bomb.
As for chemical weapons, any fun-loving anarchist will tell you that mixing chlorine bleach and ammonia is a great way to off a few of your least-liked acquaintances. Want to waft a cloud of deadly chlorine gas into a crowd? Take two water balloons, fill one with bleach and one with ammonia and then wrap the filled balloons in plastic wrap. Heave the puppies wherever you like and run like hell. When the balloons break and the liquids combine, the reaction will create chlorine gas and lots of people will get sick. Quite possibly a decent number of them will die.
Of course, this method of constructing such a chemical weapon is fraught with danger for the perpetrator, as water balloons and plastic wrap aren't exactly the most stable containers. But the fact of the matter is that most chemical weapons require very little know-how and are astonishingly cheap to produce. Look at the Oklahoma City bombing. A couple barrels of fertilizer destroyed an entire building. The same stuff that blesses our crops can be used for mass murder, whether it is used for explosives or chemical contamination.
Let's review. I have knowledge of the atomic bomb and I have the ability to create truly nasty chemical weapons. In addition to those sins, back in 1992 I passed out innumerable Lick Bush bumper stickers and dressed up as a chicken, dancing around Kansas City and Independence (in front of a statue of Harry Truman, no less) in an attempt to mock the Prez father. Good reasons for a family grudge, I figure. So how come the Prez hasn't activated a vicious "git Jon" campaign, complete with threats to destroy my modest domicile and remove me from my powerful position as SUIT columnist?
You got me. But hell, if it would ensure domestic and international tranquillity and keep the Prez from acting the fool, I'd be happy to face the wrath of a moron scorned. My house and my column are small prices to pay for the future well-being of our nation.