Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Push-Polling, Anyone?

I found an article in The Independent about a poll that Greenpeace had commissioned in the UK regarding the upgrading of their SSBN program (the Brits have essentially all of their nukes on submarines). This is an outstanding example of the "push-poll", where the pollsters ask leading questions designed to get the responses their looking for, and maybe even convince the poll-takers to change their minds. (Example: "If you knew Candidate A had not denied continuing to beat his wife, would that change your mind about who to vote for?")

Anyway, one response really stood out to me, and convinced me that the poll really wasn't on the "up-and-up"; to wit:

"When asked whether they approved of the Government using nuclear weapons against a country we were at war with but had not deployed its nuclear force, 72 per cent of respondents disapproved, a clear rejection of the "first-strike" principle to which the Government is wed. The figure rises to 84 per cent in relation to countries which do not have nuclear weapons. Only in the case of a country which has used nuclear weapons against Britain does a slim majority - 53 per cent - approve, with a significant 37 per cent still disapproving."

Let me get this straight -- 47% of Britons would be against, or are unsure about, retalitating with nuclear weapons against a country that had used nuclear weapons against Britain? As they once said on one of my favorite TV shows: "That does not make sense". I mean, I knew some Brits could be weenies, but... jeez!

Going deep...


Anonymous Don Cox said...

I can see the logic of refusing to retaliate. It is the same logic that says we should not torture prisoners even though the terrorists will torture any of our side that they capture. Suppose the Russians nuke Britain and kill thirty million people. Does it really make things better to kill thirty million Russians as well? Or should the aim be to keep the total deaths in such a war to the minimum? Even if you ignore Jesus' teachings about turning the other cheek, the moral logic of nuclear warfare is not so simple as for a traditional armies-and-battles war.

10/26/2005 7:12 AM

Anonymous Byron Audler said...

Don, war has an economy of it's own. It's not just the numbers of people that you's the portion of the nation that you cause to cease to exist, and the reduction of that nations ability to wage war or conduct itself as a government.

In basic school yard terms, a bully exists only in a state of fear. He will continue to intimidate those around him, only so long as the cost to himself is low. Should one of his victims decide to inflict some serious pain on the bully, the bully will seek other, less expensive victims.

In the nuclear world, you can either be a victim, or you can be safe. There is no alternative.

10/26/2005 11:13 AM


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