My nephew, Mandrake, asked me why North Korea was aiming missiles with atomic warheads at us.
“To keep up with their neighbors, Mandrake. If the Singhs next door got a large canon, it would make sense for us to buy one too.”
“So we could shoot them, huh?” asked Mandrake.
“Only as a last resort. The Singhs are our neighbors. We depend on them. It’s the same way with countries — they depend on each other but just in case something goes wrong, then you have to be prepared to vaporize several hundred million people in the family next door.”
“I think it’s awful that anyone has a big bomb like that,” said Mandrake.
“I agree with you but on the bright side North Korea is a young nuclear power. I doubt if you could find a dozen thermonuclear weapons in their entire country.”
“One atomic bomb can zap a city.”
“I wouldn’t worry about a few shopping malls half way around the world,” I said.
“What if North Korea brought one of their bombs to North America?” asked Mandrake.
“Then we would take some of their bombs to their neck of the woods. We have 50,000 thermonuclear devices just in California alone,” I said.
“Americans are great, aren’t they?”
Yes, indeed,” I said. “While other countries might be able to vaporize us once, Uncle Sam could vaporize every person on earth five hundred and twenty-two times. That’s why people respect America.”
“We live in a frightening world, don’t we?” asked my nephew.
“Not really. The more bombs we have the safer the world is. Only a madman or a madwoman would start a war with thermonuclear devices.”
Mandrake considered this for a moment and then asked if there was a chance that a madman or a madwoman might come to power and bomb us back to the Ice Age.
“What you’re fretting about, Mandrake is called a Nuclear Winter. It simply won’t happen.”
“The United Nations protects us from thermonuclear wars, ozone, and eating whale meat. They also make certain that people in underdeveloped countries can immigrate to the wealthy nations.”
“And how do they do that?” I asked.
“They have a peacekeeping army. When countries get out of line, the peacekeepers from the UN kill everyone.”
“Then how come The Americans don’t support the United Nations?” asked Mandrake.
“They do. They let them have that UN Building in New York.”
“But they haven’t paid their dues,” said Mandrake.
“George Bush simply forgot to get a receipt. It was just a bookkeeping error. President Obama made things rights. After all, Mandrake, it’s because the United Nations exists that we don’t have thermonuclear wars any more.”
“We’ve never had a thermonuclear war,” said Mandrake.
“You’re right. I guess vaporizing a couple of cities in Japan wasn’t really a war. More like a skirmish, although it did help to end a minor conflict long before you were born.”
“What was the conflict called?”
“World War II,” I said.
“Maybe because the Americans dropped the atomic bomb first, they have bad karma and one day we’ll all end up getting clobbered,” said Mandrake.
“In the old days that would have been true, but you see, Mandrake, we have an open door policy to the world. America is a huge melting pot.
We welcome people from under developed countries. They all come from nations that are just starting to develop thermonuclear weapons. Now if those people attacked us they’d likely vaporize their family members who have immigrated to North America.”
“I get it,” beamed Mandrake. “We’ll be safe as long as we continue to allow immigrants.”
“Right. Next week I’ll explain to you how to build a small thermonuclear device to deal with the Singhs who just let their dog defecate in our flower garden.”
“We’re going to blast them?” asked Mandrake.
“I hope we don’t have to. However, we have to be prepared to illustrate that we won’t take crap from anyone.”