Re: Mideast wars [was Re: Fears of nanotech]

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Tue, 07 Sep 1999 14:53:47 -0500

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> If the U.S. hadn't worked *very* hard to restrain Isreal, it could
> have come down like this. Israel is receiving large losses due
> to bio/chem toxic weapons, Saddam has therefore violated the Geneva
> convention against the use of such weapons. Israel issues a
> warning to cease & desist or suffer the consequences. Saddam
> continues. Israel takes Bagdad out. I don't think any countries,
> including Japan, would raise strong objections in that situation.

The UN passes resolutions condemning Israel for sunspots! Dropping a nuclear bomb would probably result in a UN resolution to declare the entire Israeli government guilty of crimes against humanity, maybe even revoke their legitimacy outright - after all, if the UN can grant Israel sovereignty, doesn't it follow that it can take it away?

> Even if they did, so what? I is extraordinarly unlikely that
> the war would have continued at that point.

Once Israel used the Bomb against an Arab country, the Arabs would declare a true religious jihad and they wouldn't stop coming until the last one had died. The populace would massacre their own leaders if they tried to do otherwise.

> I doubt the Arabs would consider dropping a bomb (if they
> had one) on Jerusalem due to its religious significance, but
> on the other hand, Mecca would certainly not be off the list.
> I don't see how the Arabs can win playing the game.

Looking over the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, I would have to say that I would characterize neither side as being controlled by calm, consequences-evaluating chess players.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
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