the stats about the # of warheads and missiles, including range, came from Jane's and IIRC are from 2004 or 2006....the info is not readily available to me right now or on this machine or I would throw up the link.

I'm never gonna stop regarding him as a novelist, but poet might be a stretch unless he's some right to a mulligan for this blotting of the copy book

Here's two other poems........ rank them with GG's and tell us which is best.

What is Liquid?

Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle

All that doth flow we cannot liquid name
Or else would fire and water be the same;
But that is liquid which is moist and wet
Fire that property can never get.
Then 'tis not cold that doth the fire put out
But 'tis the wet that makes it die, no doubt.


Attempted Assassination of the Queen

William McGonagall

God prosper long our noble Queen,
And long may she reign!
Maclean he tried to shoot her,
But it was all in vain.
For God He turned the ball aside
Maclean aimed at her head;
And he felt very angry
Because he didn't shoot her dead.

There's a divinity that hedges a king,
And so it does seem,
And my opinion is, it has hedged
Our most gracious Queen.

Maclean must be a madman,
Which is obvious to be seen,
Or else he wouldn't have tried to shoot
Our most beloved Queen.

Victoria is a good Queen,
Which all her subjects know,
And for that God has protected her
From all her deadly foes.

She is noble and generous,
Her subjects must confess;
There hasn't been her equal
Since the days of good Queen Bess.

Long may she be spared to roam
Among the bonnie Highland floral,
And spend many a happy day
In the palace of Balmoral.

Because she is very kind
To the old women there,
And allows them bread, tea, and sugar,
And each one get a share.

And when they know of her coming,
Their hearts feel overjoy'd,
Because, in general, she finds work
For men that's unemploy'd.

And she also gives the gipsies money
While at Balmoral, I've been told,
And, mind ye, seldom silver,
But very often gold.

I hope God will protect her
By night and by day,
At home and abroad,
When she's far away.

May He be as a hedge around her,
As he's been all along,
And let her live and die in peace
Is the end of my song.

You know it's not merely about Iran and Israel, don't you,

Where you getting your specs on the warheads and the missiles they're mounted on? Do we know how accurate they are? Have they been proven?

Don't really know exactly how the Israelis contemplate using their triad. Could be they just want to keep people guessing. Could be the Iranians aren't the only ones they want to have a "minimum credible deterrent" against... now or 10 years from now.

I forgive a poet for not exercising frog-like vigilance and skepticism regarding what he's read in any of several hoity-toity mags from Beaver-y analysts about what the subs are for. Could be the mags are wrong.

As I've been saying, he's not a defense analyst, or a pundit. He's a writer crying out with his "last ink."

and again, why would it be better to launch a first strike from a sub rather than home. they already can easily reach any part of Iran with the 50+ warheads mounted on 5000km range missiles. the subs slightly augment the capability for a nuclear first-strike and complicates the problem of providing a defense.

AFAIK they're more likely to add to a non-nuclear strike capability.

but I don't really know my elbow from a rubber biscuit.

if only a complete and happy Kid would opine.

Old crap that we've been through over and over again before. One more time, neither threatened to "use the bomb." Neither has ever had the capacity to "use the bomb": Neither was in possession of "the bomb," or possessed the power to order the "use" of "the bomb" that they didn't and don't have. The bomb that they might possibly be in a position to "use" doesn't have the uses attributed to it.

It's a toxic cocktail that combines a tiny portion of sensible concern with multiple parts propaganda, paranoia, and self-fulfilling prophecy - enough to drive... 84-year-old Germans to publish anti-poetic poems and take the punishment.

Except one needs to consider the context, the continuum from Rafsanjani to Ahmadinejad who have threatened to use the bomb in one way or another,

With the purchase of two more German-made Dolphin submarines capable of carrying nuclear warheads, military experts say Israel is sending a clear message to Iran that it can strike back if attacked by nuclear weapons.

The purchases come at a time when Iran is refusing to bow to growing Western demands to halt its nuclear program, and after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

The new submarines, built at a cost of $1.3 billion with Germany footing one-third of the bill, have diesel-electric propulsion systems that allow them to remain submerged for longer periods of time than the three nuclear arms-capable submarines already in Israel's fleet, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The latest submarines not only would be able to carry out a first strike should Israel choose to do so, but they also would provide Israel with crucial second-strike capabilities, said Paul Beaver, a London-based independent defense analyst.

Don't know nuthin bout no Paul Beavers, but what he is said to have said stands to reason, as I've already explained: Any weapon good enough to hold in reserve for a 2nd Strike is pretty darn terrific for a wide range of other purposes.

If you want to track them down, there are more references in the footnotes at the Wikipedia article on Dolphin class subs:

The general understanding is that the subs at a minimum give the Izzys a potential or theoretical expanded sub-launched nuke capacity - certainly a lot closer to a "real" capacity than, say, the NorK threat to the U.S. West Coast or the theoretical Iranian threat to the ME and Europe for bombs it doesn't yet have to be turned into warheads it may be able to manufacture possibly to be affixed to missiles that may work.

Four of the tubes have a 650mm diameter, which can launch larger cruise missiles, but are also useful for launching commandos in swimmer delivery vehicles (SDVs).

Don't remember where I read it, but the Israelis supposedly had the Germans modify the the launching systems to handle missiles that could deliver large, presumably nuclear warheads. There are further indications to the effect that the subs are intended as second strike platforms ("launch cruise missiles deep into Iran," nuclear-related "rumors") in the piece you link.

"Are going"? No, not anyone with meaningful cred-shreds.

But a "nuclear first strike" is usually targeted on forces, not populations and economies and bases of civilizations, though sometimes populations and economies and bases of civilizations kinda get in the way, especially if things don't stay nicely contained.

You didn't answer my question. What do you presume the second strike, assuming everyone plays by the rules, is supposed to entail?

Has anyone had anything certain to say about the intended use of this additional sub or are we merely assuming that it's meant to tote nukes?

can you think of anybody at all with any shred of cred who has speculated that the Israelis are going to stage a nuclear first-strike to wipe out Iran?

Can you think of an Israeli pundit or official, or an American with some credibility on the issues, who has speculated in any detail about the nature of an Israeli "second strike"?

miggs, whaaaaa ? how many airplanes do you need to drop nukes????? you think that warheads on long-range ballistic missiles, of which Israel has at least 50, have gone out of fashion?

Yes, but only a tiny compliment are nuc lear capable, Grass has been known for saying stupid things, since the 80s, more than Heinrich Boll, less than Rolf Hochhuth,

miggs, the Israelis have two or three hundred F-16s of one type or another and that ain't insignificant.

Israel doesn't have a significant air compliment, like the US has with the B-52s, so the subs would supposedly provide the advantage, the Iranians have Russian Kilos; which are better than whatever the Germans are handing out.

Decapitation strike is one theoretical form for a first strike to take, or to include, but the main target of a first strike is typically the other side's main capacity.

So, back in the good ol' Cold War days, it would always be pointed out that having a massive second strike capacity meant that, if you could get away with a first counterforce strike, you would retain the capacity to deter the other side with an implicit counterpopulation or extended strike in case, with whatever remnant capacity they had left, they decided to retaliate. The way it often worked out in war games and other scenarios is that in a crisis situation the escalation would occur via stages, in which the theoretical First and Second Strike weapons would instead be fired off tit for tat and in dribs and drabs until finally someone reached the use-it or lose-it or give-in stage. And the forces were supposedly designed to convince the other side that you absolutely would retaliate even if there was nothing in it for you at all except revenge. For some extended period both sides were claiming that they were ready to wipe out each other out and put the very survival of civilization in doubt - just to make a VERY IMPORTANT point. We were supposedly even going to risk it on behalf of our allies... That's part of what made it all so MAD.

And so even GG garbles some stuff, I think there's justification for him to recoil against the insanity of his country playing a role in bringing all of THAT and moreto the ME.

Yes, it reads better in German. All of the translations that I've seen are marked by some rather bizarre interpretations that make his views seem even more peculiar than they are.

I think you're wrong about submarine-borne warheads being useful exclusively in the second strike scenario of classic deterrence theory, not that the basic morality of deterrence theory, as well as the sanity of it, isn't highly questionable anyway.

I understand very well that the idea is that the missiles would never have to be used. I'm old enough to have frequently imbibed whole 12-packs of deterrence theory in a single sitting, back when it was a topic of seemingly pressing importance in re the USSR. The fact remains that submarine-borne nuclear missiles are incredibly fearsome weapons in themselves, and all the more if deployed with the intention of doing maximum damage to soldiers and children and other living things. With a mere handful of relatively low yield nuclear warheads set to detonate simultaneously over a relatively large area, you can in theory produce the same effect as a much higher yield detonation - since the energy of intersecting blasts is additive: I don't know if anyone, the Soviets maybe, ever actually carried out the experiment, but it's very impressive on paper, and would be very impressive over some enemy population center.

So I understand that the idea is that the subs supposedly protect against a possible first strike by preserving a capacity for some form of "massive retaliation" - including some version of wiping out the enemy nation-state, at least militarily and administratively, possibly as a functioning entity at all, almost certainly with very high civilian casualties and immense damage.

Since a classic "first strike" remains far beyond the likely capacity of Iran, maybe the justification can be taken as "deter anyone from even thinking of trying to develop a first strike capacity." Unfortunately, the existence of nuclear capacities seem to have the precise opposite effect: It seems to convince "rogue" or "outsider" or "recalcitrant" smaller powers that having even a small nuclear capacity can be very worthwhile, in a number of ways.

Yet, again, whatever the strategic assumptions and calculations, the weapons themselves remain platforms for the delivery of mass-destructive/murderous warheads - in this case being provided by one very particular country to another very particular country, the latter in the "region occupied by madness." The German government and others seem to presume that no one would ever conceive of some other use - potential or kinetic - for them, that they will remain under the control in perpetuity of the kind of people worthy of trust. From a certain perspective, people in general have not earned such trust.

Besides his memoir, he hasn't been particularly active, since he wrote this, in 2002

And you're right, subs are a second strike weapon, after a decapitation strike,

does this thing read any better in German?

it's an absurdity on every level in the linked translation.

maybe you ought to accept the common understanding of nuclear subs, CK. there's no advantage to having them as a first-strike option......

[...] Beinart (whose book is on my list) gets at another aspect of the fear or premonition that, as I was just suggesting, must be heard in Grass’s poem: Zionism has not always been a consensus position in American [...]

That means it sucks. Show in jeopardy..

Yes, a tube out it. You're reading of it is what made it great.

Infantile pique or something else? This baby seems to do a lot of acting out.

Salman Rushdie

OK to dislike, even be disgusted by #GünterGrass poem, but to ban him is infantile pique. The answer to words must always be other words.

(tho probly not til after taxes, and assuming I'm not scrambling too hard to win my daily bread)

Maybe in poetic time (related to what my folk used to call Jewish Standard TIme, I think). If I can find it, and can stand it, maybe I'll make a 'tube out of it.

let's see Peculiar

not v likely

If you were willing to come out and play you could see if it's slamming for yourself. Maybe you should come and read one of your old poems. "Peculiar" was my favorite.

A bookend with Lenin's 'What is to be Done' in Iskra.

Don't know what you're planning, of course, but be careful: Strikes me as kind of a "flat affect" sort of poem, not usually what people call "slammin."

I'm going to read some parts of this at a poetry slam Friday night. Naturally, you will quoted.