Newt has raised Cold War-style paranoia to an art form

Here’s a somewhat funny article from Gizmodo that points out Newt’s misplaced fear of a EMP attack from Iran, North Korea or some other member of the Axis of Evil. (Saudi Arabia, the brutal Islamist dictatorship, which recently began talking about getting nukes, doesn’t count since the dictators are BFFs with the Bush family.)

The theoretical possibility of an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack will be familiar to people who keep a 1955 Chevy and a Faraday cage in the back yard “just in case”, although few people sit up nights about it since the actual threat is virtually non-existent. Except in the mind of Newt Gingrich.

Newt’s paranoia reminds me of a portion of Errol Flynn’s interview with Robert McNamara in The Fog of War. McNamara points out that the US in the early 1960s began to call for nuclear arms limitation deals. The US had a huge advantage in nuclear arms at the time (and still does), and the US figured it could keep that advantage by putting in place a limit or ban on the testing of nuclear arms. McNamara noted that the hawks in the administration were dead-set against any limitations because the Soviets would cheat by secretly testing nuclear bombs. Hiding nuclear explosions is somewhat difficult to do, so the hawks were asked just exactly HOW the Soviets would cheat.

Their response: “They’ll test nukes behind the moon.”

Even the warmonger McNamara found such a contention to be beyond the pale of Cutis LeMay-style nuclear paranoia. Newt, on the other hand, makes people like McNamara seem reasonable.

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