Joe Biden: An Essay Concerning the Extent of Human Stupidity
Against such stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain. — Friedrich Schiller
I expected Joe Biden to be as stupid as he sounded and acted during the Vice presidential debate last Thursday; I just never expected him to be so brazenly infantile and condescending. While Mitt Romney beat Obama with a temperament of graciousness and coolness of character bolstered by a remarkable set of sound arguments, Biden attempted to beat Ryan by means of serial interruptions and infantile character assassinations. No one knows who won the debate because there was no debate. Having instead been subjected to an extravagant display of indolence and hand waiving, sputtering and laughing, much like a nursery school, perplexity settled over the crowd. There has been much talk of this pathetic excuse for a debate being a “Rorschach Test” of political fealty, allowing us to fall neatly into categories of an ideological caste system; if you like Obama-Biden, you saw Biden win; if you like Romney-Ryan, you saw Ryan win; but given that Biden lied openly about Benghazi and then, more incredibly, failed to explain the Iranian situation with any sign of competence, revealing that either his reading and verbal comprehension skills are severely compromised, or that he is dangerously ignorant of everything, I would suggest that anyone who walked away confident that Biden should continue to be mere heart palpitations away from the presidency is suffering from a form of mental and moral delirium that the aforementioned test is incapable of assessing. However, the tragedy in Libya is so infuriating and failure ridden that it needs an article of its own, if not a book, which I promise is forthcoming. Instead, we will here traverse down the road of stupidity that Biden so blithely blazed in regards to Iran, which no one appears to have seen or mentioned. Everyone is still worried about big bird I suppose
Anyone who has read or knows anything about Benjamin Netanyahu knows that he is infinitely more intelligent than the cumulative faculties of the entire Obama administration. The man is a statesman; Obama and his pals are demagogic rhetoricians, sophists, if not sorcerers; remember, the seas were supposed to recede. This inequality is undoubtedly one of the reasons Obama has refused to meet with him on several occasions, even when Netanyahu has been in the United States, as he was recently during the U.N. convention. Obama, though, decided that heads of state were too laborious, preferring to wax and indulge his ego by means of a fawning audience on the View and Letterman. There Obama was certainly in like company. Netanyahu, however, scares the hell out of Obama because Bibi breaks down Obama’s own ego-psychological myths and then throws them to the fire.
After word got around that Obama refused to meet with Bibi, an impromptu phone conversation supposedly took place between he and the Israeli Prime Minister. Bibi then went on to give his speech at the U.N., which was one of the most perfectly executed speeches in recent history. He did not use Teleprompters; he had a few notes. In the speech Netanyahu said the following:
“At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs. That’s by placing a clear red line on Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Red lines don’t lead to war; red lines prevent war.
Look at NATO’s charter: it made clear that an attack on one member country would be considered an attack on all. NATO’s red line helped keep the peace in Europe for nearly half a century.
President Kennedy set a red line during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That red line also prevented war and helped preserve the peace for decades. In fact, it’s the failure to place red lines that has often invited aggression. If the Western powers had drawn clear red lines during the 1930s, I believe they would have stopped Nazi aggression and World War II might have been avoided. In 1990, if Saddam Hussein had been clearly told that his conquest of Kuwait would cross a red line, the first Gulf War might have been avoided. Clear red lines have also worked with Iran.
Earlier this year, Iran threatened to close the Straits of Hormouz. The United States drew a clear red line and Iran backed off. Red lines could be drawn in different parts of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But to be credible, a red line must be drawn first and foremost in one vital part of their program: on Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium. Now let me explain why:
Basically, any bomb consists of explosive material and a mechanism to ignite it.The simplest example is gunpowder and a fuse. That is, you light the fuse and set off the gunpowder.
In the case of Iran’s plans to build a nuclear weapon, the gunpowder is enriched uranium. The fuse is a nuclear detonator.For Iran, amassing enough enriched uranium is far more difficult than producing the nuclear fuse. For a country like Iran, it takes many, many years to enrich uranium for a bomb. That requires thousands of centrifuges spinning in tandem in very big industrial plants. Those Iranian plants are visible and they’re still vulnerable.
In contrast, Iran could produce the nuclear detonator – the fuse – in a lot less time, maybe under a year, maybe only a few months.
The detonator can be made in a small workshop the size of a classroom. It may be very difficult to find and target that workshop, especially in Iran.
That’s a country that’s bigger than France, Germany, Italy and Britain combined. The same is true for the small facility in which they could assemble a warhead or a nuclear device that could be placed in a container ship. Chances are you won’t find that facility either.So in fact the only way that you can credibly prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, is to prevent Iran from amassing enough enriched uranium for a bomb.”
His reference to “red lines” is a counter-punch to the Obama administrations candid admission that it will not be setting any red lines for Iran as it regards its nuclear enrichment process. During the VP debate, Joe Biden said this about Netanyahu and his statements:
“What Bibi held up there was when they get to the point where they can enrich uranium enough to put into a weapon. They don’t have a weapon to put it into.”
Just so Joe, but the problem is that you have failed to grasp the argument. What Bibi was explaining is that a detonator is an easy and quick project that one competent technician could assemble in a shepherd’s barn in the middle of the Iranian desert. Netanyahu was arguing that we need to draw a red line on enrichment. Biden either didn’t listen to Bibi, or he is a completely inept.
A nuclear weapon is essentially a conventional explosive with an added ingredient, enriched uranium. Since it is uranium that they are enriching, my knowledge of the subject allows me to conclude that the Iranians are pursuing a fission bomb. The fission detonator is easily constructed once the uranium is enriched. There are two design methods. One is called a gun triggered fission bomb; the other is known as an implosion triggered fission bomb.
In the gun triggered configuration, two sub-critical masses are separated, one in the form of the “bullet” and the other as the receiver, which is larger. An explosive charge behind the bullet of uranium detonates and fires it into the larger sub-critical mass. With the aid of a fission generator, a small pellet of polonium and beryllium separated by foil within the fissionable fuel core, when the sub-critical masses come together, creating a critical mass, alpha particles then collide with beryllium-9 to produce beryllium-8 and free neutrons. The neutrons then initiate fission and you have yourself a nuclear explosion. The Iranians could have already designed and tested this with un-enriched uranium and be merely waiting for the centrifuges to spin out something more Islamically revolutionary.
Now, the other method, implosion, has less moving parts but is a little trickier. Essentially, a sphere of uranium at critical mass is encapsulated in an explosive sheath. Upon detonation, the conventional explosives exert inward pressure on the uranium which then sets of the chain reaction. The reason it is trickier is because the design has to be able to produce uniform pressure over the surface. This is not a large hurdle to jump. It, unfortunately, is an agility test that has been perfected by years of testing and use.
Let’s return to Joe, Ryan and Bibi’s Dialogue; all statements are taken from the debate and the U.N. speech:
Ryan: They are (the Iranians) four years closer to a nuclear weapon.
Biden: They are not four years closer to a nuclear weapon.
Bibi: According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, during the last year alone, Iran has doubled the number of centrifuges in its underground nuclear facility in Qom.
Biden: (Okay, uh, )…they’re—they’re closer to being able to get enough fissile material to put in a weapon if they had a weapon.”
Bibi: The detonator (Biden’s weapon) can be made in a small workshop the size of a classroom. It may be very difficult to find and target that workshop, especially in Iran. That’s a country that’s bigger than France, Germany, Italy and Britain combined. The same is true for the small facility in which they could assemble a warhead or a nuclear device that could be placed in a container ship. Chances are you won’t find that facility either. So in fact the only way that you can credibly prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, is to prevent Iran from amassing enough enriched uranium for a bomb. The relevant question is not when Iran will get the bomb. The relevant question is at what stage can we(sic( no longer stop Iran from getting the bomb. The red line must be drawn on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target.
Biden: Both the Israelis and we know — we’ll know when they start the process of building a weapon.
Bibi: Look, no one appreciates our intelligence agencies more than the Prime Minister of Israel. All these leading intelligence agencies are superb, including ours. They’ve foiled many attacks. They’ve saved many lives. But they are not foolproof. For over two years, our intelligence agencies didn’t know that Iran was building a huge nuclear enrichment plant under a mountain. Do we want to risk the security of the world on the assumption that we would find in time a small workshop in a country half the size of Europe?
Biden: The Israeli’s and the United States, our military intelligence communities are absolutely in the exact same place in terms of how close— they are to getting a weapon. They are a good way away. There is no difference between our view and theirs.
Bibi: Now they are well into the second stage (of enrichment). By next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage. From there it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks, before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Biden: Well, what are you— you’re going to go to war?
Ryan: We want to prevent war.
Bibi: At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs. That’s by placing a clear red line on Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Red lines don’t lead to war; red lines prevent war. (Nota Bene: Who is closer in terms of agreement?)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: No red lines.
Biden: Iran is more isolated(by sanctions) today than when we took office.
Bibi: I want to thank the governments represented here that have joined in this effort(sanctions). It’s had an effect. Oil exports have been curbed and the Iranian economy has been hit hard. It’s had an effect on the economy, but we must face the truth. Sanctions have not stopped Iran’s nuclear program either.
Biden: Let’s all calm down a little here.
Bibi: Each day, that point is getting closer. That’s why I speak today with such a sense of urgency. And that’s why everyone should have a sense of urgency.
Biden: This is so much stuff.
Bibi: Hey Ryan, who the hell is this guy, and what is he talking about?
Ryan: Dude, that’s Joe Biden. He is a walking refutation of democracy. When Winston Churchill said “democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried” he was referring to Joe Biden as democracy at its worst. He was prescient like that.
Bibi: My God, if he was leading your country in the 30’s, Israel wouldn’t exist, and German would be the lingua franca rather than English.
Like I said, Joe Biden is either inept and can’t reason or comprehend the things that are said and read to him, or he just doesn’t care and is more concerned with re-election and placating the Taliban as our friendly partners — even though last month they destroyed more aircraft in Afghanistan than we have lost in the last 50 years — than he is concerned with the security of the world in general and the State of Israel in particular. I will close with another quote from Schiller:
Resplendent daughter of the head divine,
Wise foundress of the system of the world,
Guide of the stars, who art thou then if thou,
Bound to the tail of folly’s uncurbed steed,
Must, vainly shrieking with the drunken crowd,
Eyes open, plunge down headlong in the abyss.
Accursed, who striveth after noble ends,
And with deliberate wisdom forms his plans!
To the fool-king belongs the world.