Thursday, February 12, 2004


OK, one of my guilty pleasures is watching the West Wing. You know, the fantasy TV show with the liberal Democrat as President. It used to be well-written and quite entertaining if you're a political junkie. It's not as good as it used to be, but I still watch.

Anyway, last night's episode started with an intelligence satellite detecting an atmospheric detonation of a nuclear weapon in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Who did it? North Korea? Pakistan? India? Iran? Everyone thought Iran and the Pres scrambled B-2s to take out Iran's enrichment facilities, until the Vice President remembered that when he was on a junket, a drunken Israeli politician commented that another drunken Israeli politician who was puking over the side of a yacht might be puking on "their submarine".

So they decided that the nuke test was done from an Israeli submarine that nobody knew existed. The President (Martin Sheen) called in the Israeli PM to ream him out. His response was Israel needed a "second strike" capability in case the homeland was attacked. Made sense to me. Their version of M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction, the US - USSR doctrine during the Cold War).

It made for dramatic TV but it was factually bogus.

Israel does have nukes on subs. Really good ones. And it is public knowledge. And the US supplied the goods. And the tests actually occurred in the Indian Ocean in 2000. OK, they didn't pop the cork, but they tested the missles. I'm assuming everyone believes the reliablity of the warheads is such that an actual detonation wasn't necessary.

So, assuming I know this, why did the producers of this show create this silly fiction -- just to try to cast aspersions on Israel? Do you think??


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