[extropy-chat] In Fond Remembrence of Curtis LeMay

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sat Apr 28 20:43:15 UTC 2007

Despite the questionable practice of leveling Japanese cities with 
incediaries---which may or may not have saved lives, may or may
not have shortened the war---the *real* legacy of General Curtis
E. LeMay was his leadership of SAC, the very pronunciation of
which terrorized the Russian leadership.

In the early days of the cold war, when Soviet bomber fleets and
American bomber fleets threatened to implement their government's
policies of total nuclear war, the Soviets, in part thanks to their very
effective spy network, knew that the Americans still held the edge

It was at this time that Curtis LeMay uttered the immortal words:

"If I see 'em massing for an attack, I'm going to knock the shit out
of 'em."

Notice that he did not say "we", or "the U.S.", but rather "I will
knock" said shit out of the Soviets.

It was the cold knowledge on the other side that there were a number
of Americans in very high places  that very probably staved off 
total war. Anyone who cannot understand this evidently cannot 
understand incentives in the context of brinksmanship, and such
people puzzle me greatly:  how can they understand and anticipate
others' behavior in other contexts, such as labor/management
negotiations, or game theory, or even when buying a used car?


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