Karl just shook his head.
"All right!" said Tony to Karl. "Granted, everything that you propose to build works to perfection and can actually be build with our presently available means, and the building can begin today, the fact remains, the time for producing those wonder weapons to save the world has already run out. It ran out five days ago. By the margin of a single minute all life on this planet might have come to a halt. We were lucky this time. We saw the missile coming and had the resources at our fingertips to deal with it. The fact remains; this thing could have been launched from any freighter, from any private yacht, from any shrimp boat, or from any submarine from any nation, against any target. Which nation would the military retaliate against if this happened? They would instantly unleash the fury of their arsenals against all of their favorite targets and destroy the world in the process. We have to de-escalate the tensions, Karl, before it goes that far. We have to become human again. The SDI is obsolete, my friend. Its day is over. In fact, its ghost still stands in the way of restoring sanity. The only way the SDI can be build is in total cooperation with all the nations on the planet. Of course, if this happened, we won't need any defense-shield anymore, would we?"
Karl stood up and left the breakfast table like somebody who had been deeply wounded by his friends.
"But how can you forget the Ogarkov Plan," Karl shouted back to us as he entered the elevator. "The Soviets are committed to destroying Western Europe in a fast nuclear blitzkrieg, and the US to boot, as a security risk..."
The elevator doors closed and cut off the rest of what he was saying.
While we stood there nursing our injury by his rudeness, with Steve saying that it really hurt being treated in this manner by someone he had long admired, a woman in a red dress approached us from a group standing nearby. "You are both wrong," she said to Steve. "The SDI is obsolete for a different reason. The reason is that the game has already changed. Fire engines are useless when the real danger is flooding. Karl doesn't realize this either. A new type of nuclear war is in the making. The age of the DU War is beginning."
Steve shook his head.
"Join me for a drink and I'll tell you about it," she said. "Allow me to ruin your vacation with a truth that you don't want to hear."
We did join her, and the warning was justified. "The DU War is the 4th generation nuclear war," she said while we were seated in the far corner of the hotel's bar that war surprisingly busy for the early hour. "The acronym DU stands for depleted uranium, which is essentially a misnomer," she said quietly. "DU is essentially natural uranium that has its isotope U235 removed that makes up 0.7% of it. What remains is U238 that's not fissionable, but can become immensely dangerous when used in bombs and munitions. Uranium is ideal for certain types of weapons. It is extremely heavy and brittle, and burns with an immensely high temperature when ignited. Because of these qualities uranium can flow through steel like a hot knife through butter in a high-velocity impact environment. Uranium munitions can penetrate tanks with ease and burn anyone inside to a crisp. The heat from a uranium explosion is so intense that in one case when children were playing close by, they had their close instantly burnt off and their skin too. But this is not where the big danger lies. The danger just begins here. By the immense heat of the uranium explosion, the uranium itself becomes vaporized into sub-microscopic particles of uranium oxide. The shrapnel are so small, that they are smaller than the wavelength of light, whereby they become invisible and can only be seen with sophisticated electron microscopes. Being as small as they are, they become dispersed into the air like a gas and become widely distributed with the air currents. They literally become a part of the air we breathe. That's where the danger begins, because their uranium component makes them radioactive. Uranium U238 emits alpha particles in the form of nucleonic clusters of protons and neutrons. Normally, alpha radiation is considered low-level stuff, because its radiating particles don't penetrate far. Alpha radiation typically doesn't penetrate a person's skin. But if the emitting uranium is inhaled with the air, from where it is distributed through the blood stream and enters into the cells, the tiny uranium 'cannons' can shoot off their nucleonic clusters at close distances where they can cause enormous damage to the DNA located in the cells. The end result is that a vast variety of cancers are beginning to develop, and related diseases, and the most horrendous birth defects that one can imagine. What makes this nuclear gas-war the most dangerous form of nuclear war, is the simple fact that uranium remains radioactive forever. It has a half life of 4.5 billion years, which means that it decays so slowly that it is still half as deadly after all of this long time frame. Once this stuff is dispersed, there is no physical defense against it possible, especially in close proximity. Neither can the war itself be deterred, because it is no longer necessary for the masters of empire to attack a targeted country directly. The current plan is to explode seventy million kilograms of uranium in the course of an attack on North Korea, and several hundred million kilograms during an attack on Iran, with the actual target for the operation being Russia, India, and China."
Steve put his hand over his face and muttered something that sounded like, "my God."
"Say no more," Steve added moments later to the woman when he let his hands drop. "I know what this means. Mankind's hope for defeating the masters of empire presently lies with uniting Russia, China, and India, with a sobered-up USA, into a four-power pact. With all four powers cooperating, the rule of empire can be stopped for all times to come. And this is precisely what they are targeting."
"If you draw a wide enough circle around North Korea and Iran, like with a thousand-mile radius, the circles will extend across the most populous areas of Russia and China and overlap across India," said the woman. "The politics can be arranged to enable a simultaneous attack on both Iran and North Korea at will. With NATO running the bombing, and the USA being a part of NATO, would Russia, China, and India dare to interfere and use force to stop the bombing?"
"They wouldn't have the resources to stop the bombing," interjected Tony. "Russia, China, and India, combined, can't muster the needed air force to stop a joint NATO and American attack."
"Neither can Russia afford not to respond," said Steve. "It would be suicide on their part if they didn't. Their only option for survival would be to eradicate the USA as a means for stopping the bombing. They would have to do this, even if the outcome would mean nuclear war."
"Starting a nuclear war would be their ticket for survival," said the woman. "And they would have to do this swiftly to save mankind. The global fallout from a nuclear war would be far less damaging in the long run than the currently intended uranium gas war. The fallout from a nuclear war decays much more rapidly. After a couple of Ice Age cycles, some 200,000 years from now, a new civilization might become possible again, after a nuclear war, which wouldn't likely be possible after a uranium gas war. This is why you must surrender the SDI," added the woman. "You must make it possible for Russia to eradicate the USA with a nuclear strike if it becomes necessary to do this in order to stop the DU gas war that no life might survive on this planet."
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