Nuclear Winter Averted

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I’m not sure I buy the theory that the Bush administration has been weakened beyond all repair thanks to the botched Miers nomination, Fitzgerald’s investigation, the Katrina response, and whatever else. The Republican Party’s capacity for harm and destruction is near-infinite, and only an election that sweeps them out of power will ever stop that. Nevertheless, in a bit of surprisingly good news this week, the administration decided to back down from pursuing “bunker buster” nuclear weapons. These weapons are, by all accounts, frivolous—bunker busting can be done perfectly adequately using conventional weapons, as the administration is now admitting—and only lowers the bar for the use of nuclear weapons. Compared to Libby’s fibs, this was a very big deal, and whether a sign that Bush if flailing or not, it’s very good news that the opposition carried the day.

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