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SeaTac is not located in Seattle proper.

Posted by joykiller | August 14, 2008 12:04 PM

Give in! Give in! LEt them have Georgia! Georgia started it, so it's okay if the Riussians invade with bombs and tanks and minefields.

Oh here's the Ukraine, too. And why not take back Estonia, while you're at it.

And Poland. Can't have any democracy there, that would taunt the bear!

Posted by PC | August 14, 2008 12:05 PM

@2 you would want the United States to get into a horrible shooting/nuclear war with the russians over estonia or latvia? Really? Are you fucking insane?

Posted by aarons | August 14, 2008 12:08 PM

I doubt Estonia would be so stupid.

Besides, they're an EU country, which changes the situation a bit.

Posted by Abby | August 14, 2008 12:15 PM

A belligerent oil company with nukes, ones with gods knows how much (or little) control over.

Shall We Play A Game?

Posted by Andy Niable | August 14, 2008 12:17 PM

Kramer and Newman are on a subway car, the Risk board sits on their laps.

Newman: Are you sure you know where the impound yard is?

Kramer: Oh, stop stalling. Come on.

Newman: I can't think, there's all this noise.

Kramer: Or is it because I've built a stronghold around Greenland? I've driven
you out of Western Europe and I've left you teetering on the brink of complete

Newman: I'm not beaten yet. I still have armies in the Ukraine.

This comment perks up the ears of what appears to be a Russian immigrant.

Kramer: Ha ha, the Ukraine. Do you know what the Ukraine is? It's a sitting
duck. A road apple, Newman. The Ukraine is weak. It's feeble. I think it's
time to put the hurt on the Ukraine.

Ukrainian: I come from Ukraine. You not say Ukraine weak.

Kramer: Yeah, well we're playing a game here, pal.

Ukrainian: Ukraine is game to you?! Howbout I take your little board and smash

The Ukrainian pounds the game board, destroying it and sending army pieces

Posted by The Artist Formely Known As Sigourney Beaver | August 14, 2008 12:20 PM

Sweet - I'd be vaporized instantly and wouldn't have to help clean up!

Posted by Ziggity | August 14, 2008 12:21 PM

Georgia is not Poland. No one is invading Poland, or Latvia -- or even Georgia, when it comes down to it. They're going to stamp out Georgia's little weekend adventure -- harshly, because that's what they do -- and then they're going to stop.

This is even worse than your usual drivel, PC. why do you have a hardon for the Georgians? Why not the Chechens too? You're a pig-ignorant twat who learned everything you know from the last ten minutes of Fox News. But hey, keep beating that drum. Pig. Fuckhead.

Posted by Fnarf | August 14, 2008 12:23 PM

Being Ground Zero may explain why Georgetown is still semi-affordable.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | August 14, 2008 12:27 PM

Jesus--War is amusing-ain't it. Hey fellow sloggers lets all search the web for the most gruesome photo we can find of a maimed or dead kid and then add a snarky caption to it. Everything is fair game here at the SLOG. We are the hip kids We are the coll kids. Let's rock!

Don't forget to post your photo and witty captuion here at the Slog where anything goes.

Posted by Dan the man | August 14, 2008 12:30 PM

@10: We all deal with the imminence of mortality in different ways.

Some of us choose to have a sense of humor about it.

Some people actually do something to prevent atrocities, like volunteer or work in public service.

Some people bitch and moan and take themselves so fucking seriously that they think everyone should live in misery and quiet fear of death and destruction, lest we provoke one another and napalm each others villages into kingdom come. If it's too soon for you to have a joke at the expense of belligerent twats halfway around the world who cried wolf and got spanked, then go back the fuck into your fallout shelter and we'll call you when the party's over.

Posted by Ziggity | August 14, 2008 12:36 PM

If we let Georgia fall, then we will let all of Asia fall, and then the world! We have to stop Russia now or else a disastrous domino effect will ensue. American prestige is at stake! [Stop me if you've heard this one before.] And Senator McCain loves it. Finally, he can play on familiar playing ground: the Cold War.

Posted by Bub | August 14, 2008 12:37 PM

McCain loves him some black and white, that's for sure. Just like his TV.

Posted by Fnarf | August 14, 2008 12:44 PM


I'm not in favor of clumsy responses. Surely you recognize this'll take some subtlety and that subtlety isn't W's strongest point.

The slightest veil of multilateralism would help here. For example, during the Cuban Missile Crisis Kennedy went to lengths to get the OAS behind the "quarantine" of Cuba.

If we just barreled ahead and invaded Cuba, the Russians would've invaded Berlin and well... we probably wouldn't be chatting on Al's internets.

Georgia's much more successful PR war is probably the best response of all. If one of the major motivations for Russia is pride, repeated public embarrassment might be the most effective retaliation.

Posted by Jonathan Golob | August 14, 2008 12:51 PM

Giuliani encouraged Albanian protesters outside Serb midnight Easter 1999 service while McCain had airmen write Happy Easter on bombs, both paid by Dioguardi's heroin lobby paid. Brzezinski and Buchanan are winking anti-Semitic votes for Obama, deliver USA to Pope's feudal basket of Bamana Republics. Talal got Pontifical medal as Fatima mandates Catholic-Muslim union against Jews (Francis Johnson, Great Sign, 1979, p. 126), Catholic Roger Taney wrote Dred Scott decision. John Wilkes Booth, Tammany Hall and Joe McCarthy were Catholics. Now Catholic majority Supreme Court. NYC top drop outs: Hispanic 32%, Black 25%, Italian 20%. NYC top illegals: Ecuadorean, Italian, Polish. Ate glis-glis but blamed plague on others, now lettuce coli. Kosovo is Aztlan precedent. Their bigotry most encouraged terror yet they reap most security funds. Rabbi circumcizes lower, Pope upper brain. Tort explosion by glib casuistry. Bazelya 1992 case proves PLO-IRA-KLA links.

Posted by Nikos Tanrousses | August 14, 2008 1:05 PM

Those wacky Russians and their ethnic enclaves!

We need the pipeline. We'll let the Russians do what they want until their threaten the oil.

Posted by six shooter | August 14, 2008 1:08 PM

Why do commenters even respond to PC and treat her as some kind of human being capable of actual thought?

Also, Matthew Broderick has got to be the most soulless, unconvincing "actor" ever in movies. His only believable performance was in "Election", as the egotistical black hole of a husband and teacher.

Posted by Just Sayin' | August 14, 2008 1:21 PM

Wow, Nikos, you're completely insane. Well done!

Posted by Fnarf | August 14, 2008 1:38 PM
The University of Washington main campus, Boeing Field, Seattle Center and Seatac Airport.

Seattle Center?

Posted by Judah | August 14, 2008 1:39 PM

Clearly they aren't aware that they've already decided to destroy the Fun Forest.

Posted by leek | August 14, 2008 1:44 PM

@19 - Good point. What do those monsters have against the Space Needle?

Posted by Ramdu | August 14, 2008 1:46 PM
On that cheerful note, do you know the four primary nuclear warhead targets for the city of Seattle proper?

Actually, you're wrong. We're targetted in order of military bases, airports, naval docks, rail transhipments, and then interstate highways. The UW campus is about eighth on the list, Seattle Center is about 20th on the list, but the two airports are in the top 4. Those nice orange cranes you see out your window are why we'll glow until the end of time.

Unless you think Iran (hah) will attack us with non-existent nuclear warheads delivered by non-existent MIRVs when they can't even reach Germany with a single warhead if they had any ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 14, 2008 1:51 PM

Hahaha -- its name is Joshua.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | August 14, 2008 2:01 PM

The four target profile is just another way to try to scare the bejeebuz out of folks (and if you want to get technical, Bremertan Shipyards, Bangor Sub Base, Ft. Lewis & McChord AFB are also primary targets, as are probably any of the Boeing plants - counting is fun!).

In reality, a single 25 megaton air-burst say 1,500 feet directly above the Space Needle would be more than sufficient to essentially obliterate most of Seattle, from Greenlake to the north end of Boeing Field and practically everything within the blast zone between Puget Sound and Lake Washington. And that's just the blast force; thermal, radioactive and debris fallout would be more than sufficient to either outright kill, maim, or cause severe injury to everyone within a 30+ mile radius. Say, 200,000 casualties from a single detonation. Drop a second 25 MT over Sea-Tac Airport, and you effectively cut a swath of death and destruction all the way down the I-5 corridor from South Everett to Tacoma.

Dropping a half-dozen more warheads in the 17 - 25 MT range on the other targets cited above would literally be "overkill". But, what the heck, Russia has "only" about 6,700 active warheads in their nuclear arsenal, so they can probably afford to engage in multiple-targeting, if only to assure they flatten things good and proper.

Contrast this to the fact that the U.S. currently holds about 5,900 warheads in its active strategic arsenal (under the terms of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, this number will drop to about 2,200 by 2012)
and it's pretty clear both sides have enough firepower to obliterate each other several times over; which is sort of the point. If you can't knock out enough of the other guy's missiles in a surprise first-strike to avoid overwhelming retaliation, then you're a lot less likely to undertake one in the first place, hence the rationale behind the principle of "Mutually Assured Destruction" (MAD).


Hey, he was pretty good in "The Freshman"!


I got one for you - I'll let you guess how gruesome it is from the snarky caption: "Look Ma, no hands!"

Posted by COMTE | August 14, 2008 2:09 PM

@ 22:
wow, will, you learned us good. thanks for the self important and pointless info, it adds so much. about eight on the list? hmm, really? about 20th? you don't say?!?, the top 4? geez, thats nice to know. your knowledge is asstounding.

Posted by point x point synopsis | August 14, 2008 2:16 PM


From my cited reference (see Will, I cite evidence to back up my statements):

Delta-IV submarines carry 16 missiles. Each missile is armed with four 100-kt warheads and has a range of 8300 km, which is sufficient to reach almost any part of the continental United States from typical launch stations in the Barents Sea.34,35 These missiles are believed to be aimed at "soft" targets, usually in or near American cities, whereas the more accurate silo-based missiles would attack U.S. military installations.36 Although a number of targeting strategies are possible for any particular Delta-IV, it is plausible that two of its missiles are assigned to attack war-supporting targets in each of eight U.S. urban areas. If 4 of the 16 missiles failed to reach their destinations because of malfunctions before or after the launch, then 12 missiles carrying a total of 48 warheads would reach their targets. ...

We assume that eight U.S. urban areas are hit: four with four warheads and four with eight warheads. We also assume that the targets have been selected according to standard military priorities: industrial, financial, and transportation sites and other components of the infrastructure that are essential for supporting or recovering from war. Since low-altitude bursts are required to ensure the destruction of structures such as docks, concrete runways, steel-reinforced buildings, and underground facilities, most if not all detonations will cause substantial early fallout.

And agreed. Any sort of nuclear exchange involving the US or Russia would be so horrific the details don't really matter. And that is why it is so unlikely to occur, intentionally at least.

The (ten year old now) NEJM paper is a good read, worthy of your time, mostly discussing how the antiquated control systems make an unintentional nuclear exchange more likely than it should be.

Posted by Jonathan Golob | August 14, 2008 2:34 PM
In reality, a single 25 megaton air-burst say 1,500 feet directly above the Space Needle would be more than sufficient to essentially obliterate most of Seattle

Uh-huh. You know there are practically no production warheads in this range, right? And that the ones that do exist would almost all have to be delivered by heavy bombers that wouldn't have a hope in hell of penetrating our airspace. Most nuclear warheads -- particularly the kind delivered by missiles -- are in the 100-500 kiloton range. And the hilly topography in Western Washington limits the effectiveness of nuclear warheads significantly. The hills form a series of bowls that would deflect blast shockwaves into the sky, rather than allowing them to travel out horizontally from the blastpoint.

Also, modern buildings are typically taller and stronger than the construction that nuclear weapons have generally been tested against. For example, Seattle is made of much sterner stuff than most of the Hiroshima was when we bombed there. So the destruction would tend not to be as complete, or as extensive, since the surviving buildings would break up and slow the expanding shockwave.

None of which is to say that being bombed wouldn't end life as we know it. But neither is it an unqualified apocalypse.

Posted by Judah | August 14, 2008 2:50 PM

@19 - Wasn't the Center House an armory way back in the day? Maybe the enemy has old intel.

Posted by Mahtli69 | August 14, 2008 3:06 PM

Nukes are nothing more than a deterrent to sabre-rattle with, to any nation. No one, absolutely no one, not even the battest shittest craziest of chicken hawks, seriously wants to start a nuclear war because they know the only end result is the extinction of the human race.

Posted by Gomez | August 14, 2008 3:34 PM

Good post @24 Comte.

It's all in the fire blast, actually. Unless you live on the other side of Mount Rainier, you're gonna be toast.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 14, 2008 3:36 PM

And if you don't like them apples, why the heck aren't you living in Wisconsin?

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 14, 2008 3:39 PM

You can't hug a child with nuclear arms. We should drop love bombs over Georgia. What if the Air Force had to raise funds with a bake sale...aww, whatever. All I know is that the EU would seriously love to mix it up with Putin if given a smidgen of excuse and/or opportunity.

Posted by laterite | August 14, 2008 4:01 PM


It was my understanding that the Russians had at least 50 and probably closer to 90 R-36's on hot standby, each of which is capable of carrying a warhead in the 17 - 25 MT range.

Now, granted these would most likely be used against military "hard targets", while as Jonathan states, much smaller yield sub-launched ICBM's would probably be used against civilian "soft targets" as part of a second-wave strike.

But, we don't really know for certain WHERE the russkies have their nukes pointed, so it's not entirely inconceivable someone over their might consider a single high-yield strike against a tight grouping of secondary targets as a more efficient use of limited first-strike resources.

Either way, though yeah, we're fucked if it comes down to that; doesn't really matter if it's one BIG boom, or several smaller booms, it all means the same thing - KABLOOIE!

Posted by COMTE | August 14, 2008 4:37 PM

I always thought the large FAA control center in the auburn/pig hill area was a primary target. Seems more important than the seattle center.

Posted by drew | August 14, 2008 4:42 PM

Laterite, no they wouldn't. The EU is terrified of Russia, because Russia controls almost all their oil and gas. They can turn that tap off tonight if they want to. Without oil and gas there isn't going to be any war; what do you think shut down the Nazis? Russia's leverage over the EU is near-total; it's stronger than China's leverage over us.

Posted by Fnarf | August 14, 2008 5:10 PM

"We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when..."

Posted by Vince | August 14, 2008 6:11 PM

You're my favorite writer on the staff.

Posted by jackie treehorn | August 14, 2008 10:03 PM

Well... Russia does tolerate NATO right next door, and borders with five NATO members.

Latvia, Estonia, and Norway have borders with Russia's Baltic and northern regions. Poland and Lithuania (two more NATO members) border the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

(Technically, even the US borders Russia-- it's just a few miles across the Bering Strait. But that's really missing the point, eh?)

Posted by Sodo Dan | August 14, 2008 10:22 PM

Although I guess it would be fair to point out that Russia also needs our CASH as much as we need their OIL, so we do have a bit of leverage in that regard.

It's sort of like two obese people on a teeter-totter; at the moment it's somewhat equally balanced. But, each one fears the other will hop off first and send them crashing to the ground, while at the same time each is plotting the odds of being able to get off first without having the board come up and whack them under the chin.

Posted by COMTE | August 15, 2008 9:50 AM

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