Thursday, February 24, 2011
February 11th, 2040
Portland, Oregon – Pacific Northwest States
We’ve had snow most of this winter. Clean snow. I promised I’d get back to that.
In ’13, when Romney’s government was thrashing around with the legacy of over thirty years of economic fuckery, the rest of the world wasn’t exactly standing still. Most of the Middle East was in the process of throwing off fifty or more years of dictatorships; the Afghans stepped up every form of resistance, to the point where there were thirty or more Americans dying every damn day over there, with no end in sight.
Late in the year, we had to come to grips with the fact that a group of irregular troops armed in a lot of cases with ‘70’s-era Soviet weapons had forced the nation with the world’s strongest military to up and leave. Even the Joint Chiefs were finally forced to admit it: The damn thing just wasn’t winnable. There was no talk of an ‘honorable peace’ this time, like what happened with Nixon and Vietnam so many years ago; we just packed up, and went home.
As I said earlier, when President Romney used his State of the Union address to announce that the troops were going to come home in a staged-withdrawal, we had most of everyone in the National Guard over in Iraq and Afghanistan at a frightful cost. There was no one here to keep order if things got out of line, and that’s just what happened when California defaulted.
While we were going through our own problems, the first of the troops came home – and, as I mentioned, a lot of ‘em came home crazy. We had our hands full just trying to process all of this when Syria and Egypt threw eight divisions across the Israeli border a week after California’s default, preceded by a combined airstrike which took out most of Israel’s airbases and weapons-storage facilities.
Back in 1973, Egypt’s ruler at the time (a fellow named Sadat) came up with a plan to take out Israel, once and for all. His plan would’ve worked if he’d had the military, which he didn’t. Well, that, and the fact that the Israelis were supported by tons of American military hardware and a whole mess of our money.
That wasn’t the case in early ’14, and most of the Arab nations knew it. That’s why they moved on Israel when they did.
The Israelis learned damn fast that they weren’t beating up on largely-defenseless Palestinian civilians for sport this time – the Egyptians took out two Israeli armored divisions in the Sinai and the Syrians were through the Golan and headed to Jerusalem before the Israelis used the one weapon they swore they didn’t have – tactical nukes.
The first word of it came from surviving Syrian troops, who managed to get word out the next day; it turned out we’d known the moment it happened by way of satellite imagery; we confirmed it with spy-plane overflights armed with cameras and sensing equipment – the photographs of the destruction on the ground, plus the background-radiation readings confirmed the worst.
The same day, most of the Arab nations declared war on Israel.
It was over in a week – Amman; Cairo; Damascus – they were all hit by Israeli nukes within a few hours of the tactical strike; Jordanian troops were nuked before they crossed the border – then Iran entered the conflict.
Eighteen divisions of Iranian troops crossed a very pliant Iraq behind an air strike by Iranian MiG’s – the few American troops left as advisors in Iraq found their bases surrounded by Iraqi troops, with a stern warning to stay put – the Israelis tried to move troops to defend their eastern border, but engaged as they were by Syrians to the north and Egyptians to the south and west, the most they could muster were parts of two armored divisions. On Day Five, they hit Tehran with two megaton-sized missiles, and hit the advancing Iranian army on Iraqi and Jordanian soil with six tactical nukes. Still, four Iranian divisions managed to come through more or less unscathed – they rolled right through Jordan - and then stopped, right near the border, with orders not to move an inch.
On Day Six, the Iranians launched two nukes by offshore cruise-missile on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. That’s why the Iranian army called a halt – they’d played Rope-A-Dope on the Israeli army in advance of the missiles.
On Day Seven, the Third Arab-Israeli War was over.
There wasn’t ever an official ‘surrender’ – there was no one left outside of minor officials in cities like Ashqelon over on the Western coast; Nazareth and Haifa were in Syrian hands; most of the southern part of the country was held by the Egyptians – and the Iranians rolled right in and disarmed what was left.
The Palestinians who weren’t affected cheered like no tomorrow – and what happened afterward isn’t really fit to discuss. Let’s just say that when the bullets ran out, they solved the rest with knives. The few Israeli citizens who were left were granted safe passage out of the country – I understand that Europe took most of ‘em; some went to friendly nations like South Africa; others managed to make it to the U.S. How they made out is another story; I really don’t know.
For a couple of decades, the whole region was a ‘hot zone’ – some of the Arab countries took in the Palestinians and others who had no direct affiliation with the former Israeli government; it was only about ten years ago that they began to rebuild the cities and put the place back together.
I’ve often wondered why the U.S. and the U.N. didn’t get more involved – but I’ve a feeling that if the official stuff ever gets released, it’ll boil down to the fact that the U.S. was broke and sick of war, and the U.N. secretly was glad the whole thing was over with. Regardless, Romney sat this one out, while the U.N. postured, and did nothing.
It was still winter in the U.S. when the war ended. Rain and snow was falling over much of the country still; it wasn’t enough that we had to deal with the aftermath of California; we had to deal with real-time nuclear fallout. Thankfully, it wasn't as bad as we thought it'd be.
Most of the weapons used were subkiloton nukes; they didn’t kick up much sand at all – the four megaton-sized weapons used on both Tehran and the Israelis settled back down rather quickly; the most we had to worry about was background-radiation, and the Northwest got the least of it. Still, for two decades after, people were warned to tell their kids not to eat the snow. We didn’t have a ‘nuclear winter’ – not enough stuff reached the upper atmosphere to cause anything other than some spectacular sunsets for a few months.
I’ve always filtered my water up here, so I didn’t have anything to worry about in that regard - and for the price of a small radiation-detector (not much different than the Radon-kits they used to sell to homeowners), I was able to determine that my garden wasn’t affected any more than normal. I sometimes wonder if I’ve ‘eaten my dose’ – but hell; I’m eighty-five. I don’t suppose anyone’s going to ask ‘why’ when I don’t wake up some morning. I beat all the odds, years ago, and then some.
Anyhow, the snow’s clean now.