President Obama turned from the domestic third rail issue of health care to the internationally radioactive subject of dirty bomb terrorism by hosting a nuclear summit in DC, convincing the leaders of 47 countries to attend. The summit included Presidents and Prime Ministers, Kings and Queens, and a couple of expendable pawns. (No bishops were in attendance. They have their own problems these days.)
Pretty much all the cogs in the atomic machine showed up except North Korea and Iran, which admittedly is like holding a steroids conference without Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire, but hey, it's a START.
The focus was on security, an encouraging sign since the global stockpile of bomb-making materials is now large enough for 120,000 suitcase nukes, which, most experts agree, is about 120,000 too many. It wasn't a total Potemkin summit. Everyone agreed that terrorism is bad and nuclear terrorism is real bad; working with one another is good and they should all meet again in South Korea in 2012 if the Mayans aren't right.
It took 60 years to assemble this pile of mutually assured destruction so it's going to take at least a couple of meetings to get rid of it. There are only 9 members in the nuclear club right now, but a lot of wannabees. And since you can't tell your nuclear players apart without a Nuclear Players Scorecard, here they are, with my official Threat Level grading.
WILL DURST NUCLEAR PLAYERS SCORECARD
United States. Have weapons. Duh. But we're not the problem because we're the good guys. TL: Dove of peace flying under the rainbow of international co-operation.
Russia. Have weapons and big problem. Leakier than a tinfoil sieve after 3 days of target practice on a 50mm range and the world's largest source of loose nukes. TL: Giant Bear with flame thrower, roaming woods while being chewed on by Balkan squirrels.
China. Have weapons. Concerned only with economic strength. Need to convince them an irradiated consumer is not a repeat consumer. TL: Drunken Panda staggering through a shopping mall with a fistful of short fused flares.
United Kingdom. Have weapons. Not quite positive where they are. In the garden shed of their lake country home perhaps. TL: Your Aunt Gertrude with a bagful of knitting needles on the subway.
Pakistan. Have weapons and worried we pay too much attention to India. As stable as a two- legged stool. TL: Swarm of angry wasps inside a papier mache tent on fire.
India. Have weapons and worried we pay too much attention to Pakistan. Don't you hate lovers' spats? TL: Sacred bull in a china shop full of crystal decanters stoppered to the rim with nitro.
Germany. No nuclear weapons. But if they really need some all they have to do is knock on France's door and ask to borrow a couple. TL: A domesticated wolf on an ankle bracelet, but a wolf nonetheless.
France. Have weapons, but more interested in discovering ways to use them to braise lamb. TL: Carnivorous escargot in a mine field.
Israel. Everybody knows they have weapons, but they won't admit it and haven't tested any. Making a scary situation scarier. TL: Tasmanian Devil tethered to a water soluble stake in the rain.
North Korea. Have weapons. But delivery system is a team of musk oxes. TL: Electric Cuckoo Clock made out of C-4 with faulty wiring.
Iran. No weapons, but definitely in the market for a fixer-upper. TL: Cigar smoking pit bull headed straight for the fireworks factory.
Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comic who often writes, this being a glaring example. Catch him hosting Showtime's "The Green Collar Comedy Show" starting Thursday April 22nd at 9pm. And don't forget his new CD, "Raging Moderate" from Stand-Up Records now available on both iTunes and Amazon.