Among the trove of unpublished works in my captain's trunk is a novella in which the former United States is ruled in nuclear winter by President Gingrich -- called "Eft" in my story.
Without imposing the burden of further details (there's a reason these things didn't get published), I simply want to raise the worrisome thought that that part of the novella may have been prophetic.
Even as South Carolina Republicans cast their primary ballots today, there is evidence of a last-minute Gingrich surge that will end the Romney candidacy and leave the Grand Old Party with a choice among Newt, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul.
Paul Craig Roberts, a former Nixon administration official turned pundit, recently devised a scenario in which the U.S.-Israel belligerence toward Iran inevitably leads to war, which ensnarls China, and leads to the Nuclear Option. Roberts, who is always more right than wrong, does tend toward extremism to make some of his points, and I thought that was the case with this scenario.
Now I'm not so sure. With a President Obama, the Roberts scenario seems possible -- remotely. With a President Gingrich? Big bang!
The mainstream media are already neck-deep in another Iraq-style Big Muddy. The New York Times has been in Judith Miller mode for several weeks. Whether the CIA is in cahoots with the Israelis in the targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists is immaterial. Consent, tacit or active, is still consent. The drums of war are beating and for the nonce, only Obama's desperation for re-election can mute them. He'd rather not have more American blood spilling in a new venue when America goes to the polls next November.
But if Newt's the Republican nominee, the contest for the presidency will be a far different horse race than Obama v. Romney. The Mittster is simply less bellicose -- much, much less bellicose -- than Newt, and would be far less likely to nudge Dr. Kidglove into another ill-advised war during the campaign.
Afterward, I doubt that a President Romney would risk the horrors of Nuclear Holocaust. Same for a re-elected President Obama.
In my unpublished novella, President Eft bullies his weapons scientists until they develop a heat-seeking, guided, bullet-sized projectile to target individuals in combat. * It leaves a very small entry hole, destroys the target's inner organs and leaves an intact body "so there'll be no more Unknown Soldiers," as President Eft puts it. In the novella, he baits his rival for power into the open, then orders the military to use it to kill the guy.
Just imagine what a President Newt could do with all those lovely drones.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- (AP) -- Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories say they have developed an inexpensive, miniature guidance system for a bullet that directs itself like a tiny guided missile and can hit a target more than a mile away.