Re: The Genie is Out of the Bottle

Robert S. Thau (
Thu, 28 May 1998 10:55:50 -0400 (EDT)

Ah, the more things change, the more things stay the same. Tom Lehrer
wrote a little ditty on this subject in the '60s. (For those who don't
know, he was kind of like Mark Russell, except he wrote some of his own
tunes and he was actually funny). Strange how we haven't heard much about
Indonesia in this connection... lately. Now sing along, folks:

First we got the bomb, and that was good,
'Cause we love peace and motherhood.
Then Russia got the bomb, but that's okay,
'Cause the balance of power's maintained that way.
Who's next?

France got the bomb, but don't you grieve,
'Cause they're on our side (I believe).
China got the bomb, but have no fears,
They can't wipe us out for at least five years.
Who's next?

Then Indonesia claimed that they
Were gonna get one any day.
South Africa wants two, that's right:
One for the black and one for the white.
Who's next?

Egypt's gonna get one too,
Just to use on you know who.
So Israel's getting tense.
Wants one in self defense.
"The Lord's our shepherd," says the psalm,
But just in case, we better get a bomb.
Who's next?

Luxembourg is next to go,
And (who knows?) maybe Monaco.
We'll try to stay serene and calm
When Alabama gets the bomb.
Who's next?

Now, ev'rybody... [whoops. That's Gravity's Rainbow...]

Seriously, I can't see why everybody is getting so worked up over
either of these countries demonstrating technology that everyone knew
they had anyway. Particularly when they're both sitting next to China,
which not only has the bomb, but also has a much more aggressive posture
towards disputed territorial claims, and which is apparently selling the

(One of the arguments which was reportedly made to Pakistan about
why they shouldn't test is that they didn't have to --- they had bought
China's proven designs. So which country really presents the danger of
further proliferation? Not the one getting sanctioned, it seems to me...
but hey, I'm not getting campaign contributions funneled from a Chinese
general through Johnny Chung while giving the general's kid souvenir
shots with me in my office...).