Opening shots between Russia and Ukraine may have started, and I'm having uncomfortable flashbacks to my youth

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Martin Blank
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Opening shots between Russia and Ukraine may have started, and I'm having uncomfortable flashbacks to my youth

Post by Martin Blank » Sun Feb 20, 2022 3:17 am

I grew up in SoCal in the '70s and '80s. There were seven major military bases, two sea ports, four major airports, and a dozen small airports that could host short takeoff aircraft within 30 miles of where I lived, not to mention a bunch of aerospace and military contractors. There were monthly tests of the air raid sirens, and I was really fatalistic about my odds if the US and USSR decided to find out who would be left standing.

Not so much anymore. I haven't thought this much about an escalation and potential nuclear exchange in decades. I have two young children now (started in my early 40s) and live close enough to a major city to be directly affected by loss of services but probably not within a blast zone.

DFW Airport and its seven runways is another matter. According NukeMap, run by nuclear weapons historian Dr. Alex Wellerstein, we're just outside of the 1psi range (enough to shatter windows) for an 800 kT warhead from an SS-25, presuming that it detonates dead-center. A bit off, and we might have a different set of problems (but it is a pretty accurate warhead). Maybe it won't be so bad if it's 'just' a 150 kT warhead from a Bulava SLBM.

This past Christmas, I was playing Weird Al's "Christmas at Ground Zero" (like you do) and my 5-year-old asked, "What's 'ground zero'?" I struggled to explain the concept of a bomb that could destroy a city, and it hit me then that I have not even begun to think about some of the most difficult talks ahead of us. I've pondered The Talk since before he was born, but I hadn't considered having to talk about, say, nuclear maelstroms. I also hadn't considered having to talk about slavery, lynchings, or the Holocaust, either, but those are also on the list as of recent. I've been occasionally thinking lately that maybe I won't have to worry about those, though, and sometimes that makes it hard to sleep.
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Re: Opening shots between Russia and Ukraine may have started, and I'm having uncomfortable flashbacks to my youth

Post by Deacon » Sun Feb 20, 2022 11:17 pm

It’s weird, because Europe and the US have taken the avenues of convenience and economic expediency that while China remains an authoritarian nightmare Russia is slowly reforming the Union and daring anyone to do anything about it. I guess Europe is still addicted to the pipelines coming from Russia and doesn’t seem to have been interested in shoring up their defense resources enough to muzzle Putin with his own largely successful autocratic aims. I don’t know if the developed world has the stomach to do anything about it, and I’m sure China is looking on with keen interest. That we ourselves were slipping toward the brink of our own autocracy doesn’t get the eye-widening it deserved. Now what?
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Martin Blank
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Re: Opening shots between Russia and Ukraine may have started, and I'm having uncomfortable flashbacks to my youth

Post by Martin Blank » Tue Feb 22, 2022 6:00 am

And now Russian forces are moving in to the self-proclaimed (and now Russian-recognized) Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics.

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting, chaired by the current UNSC president, Russia. Several nations spoke, including Russia. While the Russian ambassador said things like, "I thank the representative of German for her statement" following most ambassadors who spoke, he said this of Ukraine: "I, as the president of the Security Council, am obliged to say this: I thank the representative of Ukraine for his statement."

Just had to be a dick about it.
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Re: Opening shots between Russia and Ukraine may have started, and I'm having uncomfortable flashbacks to my youth

Post by Seir » Sat Sep 17, 2022 3:25 pm

Never thought Russia would end up getting exposed this badly.
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