Thursday, December 16, 2010

Operation Golden Phoenix: Nuclear Attack "A Survivable Event"

The following article about nuclear attacks is getting play in the news today; this item appeared in newspapers across the country:
L.A. dry run shows urban nuke attack 'a survivable event' -
Al-Qaeda played no part in planning the July 28 attack. The conspirators were the leaders of a dozen state, local and federal agencies who were taking part in a simulated L.A. County security exercise code-named Operation Golden Phoenix. Their mission: to assure that if a terrorist does detonate a nuke in Los Angeles, first responders will be prepared to wade into the devastation and rescue survivors suffering from traumatic injuries, radiation sickness, shock and flash-blindness.
This item appeared in our local paper, as well as everywhere else. They really want to get this message out. Jim and I both had the same reaction to this when we read it this morning: that "they" (you know, "them") want us to feel comfortable and accepting of a war like, catastrophic event, like a nuclear attack, as the following quote illustrates. Why, and why now? It seems these little memes of attacks and alerts and warnings increase around the holidays, particularly Christmas.
"This is a survivable event," says Brendan Applegate, of the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Asymmetric Warfare, who helped design and carry out the exercise. "L.A. isn't going to fall into the ocean and be gone forever. It will be a really bad day, but we need everyone to show up to work and save lives."
"It will be a really bad day?!"

After reminding us that staying indoors, staying put, is the only safe thing to do during a nuclear attack, (Shelter in place . . . It runs counter to your basic instinct to get away and reunite with family members. If their kids are in school or in day care, that's where they should stay," he says. . . Stay indoors. Wait for news. . . Stay in, stay safe. Wait for instructions.) the deep subtext of the following comment begins to reveal itself:
"When we talk about resiliency, we're not talking about how to be resilient against a flood," he says. "It's a question of how do we, as a nation, preserve constitutional government if an event like this occurs."

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