As we’ve admitted on previous occasions, the DO is located in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. Being ten minutes from the Pentagon and the White House may be convenient, but it also puts us at Ground Zero.

We’ll explain the concept of Ground Zero for those of you who were being home-schooled when elementary schools were making students hide under their desks as part of nuclear raid drills.

Ground Zero is the area where, in the event of a nuclear explosion, one instantly goes to Nirvana or Dante’s Inferno, as the case may be. (The truly evil end up on a perpetual talk show.) No time to wave goodbye to Mom; no time for melancholy reminiscences; no time to cancel your credit cards. Instant immolation.

As DO readers have pointed out on previous occasions, a nuke strike against Washington could actually work to the overall benefit of the rest of America. We can’t argue with the advantages of ridding the country of 40,000 lawyers, countless bureaucrats, and a thousand or so politicians. We might even start to enjoy our walks around the mall.

But we’re sentimental here at the DO. For all the advantages that a nuclear strike might bring, we’d miss one or two of our fellow Washingtonians. Plus, some of the golden retrievers might not make it out in time. So, all in all, we’d really prefer the Big One pass us by.

For those of you who think that our worries are unfounded, let us recount the following incident for you. In early January of 1995, Norway informed Russian authorities that the former planned on sending a missile off the island of Andoya into high altitude. The missile was part of Norway’s scientific exploration of the Northern Lights.

Those familiar with the workings of the Russian government, or any government for that matter, won’t be surprised to learn that the routine notice never got transmitted from the lower-level Russian bureaucrats to their superiors.

Thus, it came to be that on January 25, 1995, Russian military technicians were surprised, and alarmed, to see a blip suddenly appear on their radar screens. The technicians feared the worst — that the missile was a nuke that could scatter eight nuclear bombs over Moscow within 15 minutes.

The technicians immediately informed their superiors, who in turn immediately alerted Russian President Boris Yeltsin. For the first time ever, Yeltsin activated his “nuclear briefcase” to prepare for a Russian nuclear counterattack against the U.S.

The Russians tensely watched the radar screens as the missile multiple rocket stages created the impression that not one, but several, missiles were flying towards Moscow. Just a few minutes short of the procedural deadline for ordering a response, senior Russian military commanders determined the missile was heading out to sea, and posed no danger. Whew!

As the Soviet system has collapsed, so has control over nuclear weapons. In February of this year the military unit that operates Russia’s nuclear control systems went on strike to protest lack of pay and lack of money to upgrade their control systems. Russia’s defense minister said at the time, “If the shortage of funds persist…Russia may soon approach a threshold beyond which its missiles and nuclear systems become uncontrollable.”

But if you want to be REALLY outraged, or just plain terrified, think of Saddam Hussein of Iraq or Kim Chong-il of North Korea with nuclear weapons at THEIR disposal. Scary.

We guess we shouldn’t be too concerned. As anyone can see from reading The Outrage Librarys, the powers-that-be are nothing if not vigilant and brilliant. We’re sure we can count on the judgment of the wise sages that make up our government to protect us. But, then again, we’ve always heard that Central Idaho was beautiful.

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0 thoughts on “GROUND ZERO!

  1. usa is the best and will never give up and will kill who do di the 9-1-1 att

    Time: 11/19/97 (10:58:36)

    One small, little bone of contention.

    You live in Virginia, but you say that in the event of a nuclear strike, you would miss one or two of your “fellow” Washingtonians.

    Being that you do not live in DC, you are not a Washingtonian, contrary to popular suburban belief.

    Not saying that you would not be toasted by a nuke strike here, but nonetheless …

    Keep up the good work.

    Time: 11/19/97 (7:55:23)

    Well, one thing for certain …. Given the tendency of those in the DC area to believe that only things occurring within the Beltway are worthy of consideration – a genuine case of oomphaloskepsis if I ever heard one! – a suitably placed nuke could only have a salutary effect.

    Time: 11/18/97 (14:44:35)

    Central Idaho IS beautiful.

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