Every baby boomer remembers those ridiculous civil defense drills designed to keep us safe if a nuclear attack occurred. Americans sure were naive back then. Naive in thinking our government had a survival strategy and naive in believing one could actually survive a nuclear attack by covering your eyes and hiding under a school desk. I was born seven years after Hiroshima, grew out of diapers during the Red Scare, Iron Curtain, freezing Cold War and acquired a lifelong distrust of anything nuclear while mechanically practicing drop and cover drills at P.S. 119 in Brooklyn, New York.
The increasing likelihood of a nuclear Iran with a capacity to make nuclear weapons is frightening and unacceptable. This would be a huge blow to whatever stability exists in the region and no "drop and cover" drills will sooth Iran's neighbors. The Israelis take their civil defense seriously. They have a national distribution of gas masks every time hostilities with their neighbor/s move toward crossing their red line. Israelis also live in homes equipped with bomb shelter bunkers. But even their more sophisticated and too often tested defense system is nothing more than a "drop and cover" drill when measured up against the unforgiving devastation that would come from a nuclear bomb. Prime Minister Netanyahu keeps pushing the world to see the imminent color of Iran's red line crossing. The Obama team talks about red lines but is asking for patience to give diplomacy a chance. They are also asking Israelis to be patient with assurances that the U.S. will prevent any external threats against Israel. Israelis have no naivety over this and understand how little the U.S. could actually do to stop a nuclear attack. No way would it be acceptable for us to place our security in the hands of promises from an ally if confronted with a hostile neighbor on record as advocating our demise was about to join the nuclear club. Pressure is mounting on a weakened President Obama to play hard. His foreign policy decisions of late have not measured up to his rhetoric. Netanyahu must feel as though he were tossed under a New York taxi.
Despite Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's recent goodwill visit to New York and the United Nations creating a moment of optimism, as of today, it appears Rouhani has played a drop and cover game on Team Obama. There needs to be a resolve beyond the shifting Middle Eastern sands of diplomatic rhetoric to prevent any growth in the nuclear club. Rouhani should not be allowed to lobby with smiles, handshakes, and acting like a freshman rushing a fraternity club. Please, no new nuclear neighbors, no more naive drop and cover games. The risks are too grave.