Jeffrey LewisDual Launched Regimes

What is the President talking about? Seriously, I am not even making fun. I have no idea:

And, finally, we talked about how we can enhance mutual security issues. And there’s no better symbol of our desire to work for peace and security than working on a missile defense system—a missile defense system that would provide security for Europe from single or dual-launched regimes that may emanate from parts of the world where leaders don’t particularly care for our way of life, and/or in the process of trying to develop serious weapons of mass destruction.

(Hat tip: You know who you are.)

I also appreciate his admonition to defend against those leaders developing “serious weapons of mass destruction”—serious WMD are, presumably, distinguished from the frivolous ones that Saddam was acquiring. (Now I am making fun.)

So, that’s the challenge to you dear readers: Submit your Top 10 “Frivolous” Weapons of Mass Destruction.

I’ll start you off: The Paris Hilton album.


  1. Doug Shaw (History)

    I don’t know about “frivolous,” but I would characterize the Technology and Development Directorate of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s inclusion of radiological and even high explosive weapons in their 2001 definition of WMD to be erosive of the usefulness of the term. I’m with Cirincione, Wolfstahl and Rajkumar in agreeing that “Though used widely by officials and the media, [WMD] conflates very different threats from weapons that differ greatly in lethality, consequence of use, and the availability of measures that can protect against them.” Richard Falkenrath did us all a great service with his three criteria of accessibility, portability, and intense lethality, but I suspect the term may have outlived its useful life in intense and sustained exposure to popular culture. I’m less and less sure I know what anyone means by WMD anymore—and I am sure I don’t know what the President is talking about.

    But in the spirit of the question, I’d like to nominate the “list” of alleged “DC Madam” Deborah Jeane Palfrey and its associated delivery system, the list of the top ten most “ho friendly” DC hotels (available at: ).

  2. Max Postman (History)

    Two-way tie between the “gay bomb” and the M28 120mm Atomic Battle Group Delivery System, also known as the nuclear bazooka.

  3. crafty (History)

    Bill O’Reilly’s falafel.

  4. johnwbragg (History)

    Most likely the President misspoke. Maybe “dual-launched” doesn’t go with “regime.” Maybe they’re blue-skying an idea where we station a Patriot battery next to a Russian ABM battery, with either superpower having launch authorization??

  5. Robot Economist (History)

    Two words: Glam rock

  6. m

    hafnium handgrenades

  7. Allen Thomson

    > ”[WMD] conflates very different threats from weapons that differ greatly in lethality, consequence of use, and the availability of measures that can protect against them”

    In US law and practice—as in people have been convicted and sent to prison and in at least one case executed for it—WMD is very well defined—see 18 USC 2332a and the referenced section of Title 18.

    Of course, it makes hand grenades and pipe bombs WMD, but it is precise.

    One notes that each and every IED exploded in Iraq would be a WMD under US law.

  8. Muskrat


  9. Arrigo (History)

    Surely McDonald’s sleeper cells installed throughout the world waiting for the orders from “le BigMac” at the White House!

  10. Doug Shaw (History)

    Gratefully conceding the precision of the domestic legal definition of WMD, I reserve my right to remain confused by its widespread inconsistency of use in important contexts. As a category, NBCRHE has important purposes for criminal prosecution, but I am even more confused by the President’s dual-launched regime if it’s directed against hand grenades.

  11. xxx


  12. asdf (History)

    I would say anything developed in a country where chasing a girl on horseback for a kiss, while she fends you of with a horsewhip is a national sport?

    But harpers has a post on a westinghouse/toshiba sale to Kazakhstan. Borat`s bomb is getting to serious for some.

    Whats the official ACW line on this? Especially in light of rumors of hex problems in the country that keeps finding ways to buy airplane parts from the US? Some would expect an uproar not unlike the Dubai ports deal. Dubai of course being the new home of the whole of Halliburton, not like previously when it was just home of the subsidiary that drills in Iran.

    The funny thing is, before reading this article I had just gone down the list of traditional competitions on horseback in Kyrgyzstan.There girl chasing comes after picking up a coin from the ground in full gallop, and something similar to polo, only with contact rules not unlike rugby… and a goat carcass for a “ball”. The goals are also bigger. I remember seeing this on TV on time. In fact, I don`t think I will soon forget seeing this on TV…

  13. yathrib

    Buzkashi, the “goat carcass game”, is like the national pastime in Afghanistan.

    We’ll know we won the war when Afghanis and Iraqis start playing baseball. Maybe in 50 years, they’ll send their Ichiro Suzuki to play over here.