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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

The Doomsday Machine

Russian Ambassador Alexei de Sadesky: "The doomsday machine."

President Merkin Muffley: "The doomsday machine? What is that?"

Russian Ambassador: "A device which will destroy all human and animal life on earth."

President Merkin Muffley: I'm afraid I don't understand something, Alexei. Is the Premier threatening to explode this if our planes carry out their attack?

Russian Ambassador Alexei de Sadesky: No, sir! It is not a thing a sane man would do. The doomsday machine is designed to trigger itself automatically.

Muffley: But surely you can disarm it somehow.

Russian Ambassador: No, it is designed to explode if any attempt is ever made to untrigger it.

Turgidson: It's an obvious Commie trick, Mr. President. We are wasting valuable time! (stumbles) Look at the big board, they're getting ready to clobber us!

Muffley: But this is absolute madness, Ambassador. Why on earth would you build such a thing?

Russian Ambassador: There were those of us who fought against this. But in the end, we could not keep up with the expense involved in the arms race, the space race, and the peace race. And at the same time, our people grumbled for more nylons and washing machines. Our Doomsday scheme cost us just a small fraction of what we'd been spending on defense in a single year. But the deciding factor was when we learned that your country was working along similar lines, and we were afraid of a Doomsday gap.

Muffley: This is preposterous! I've never approved of anything like that!

Russian Ambassador: Our source was the New York Times.

Muffley: "Dr. Strangelove, do we have anything like that in the works?"

Strangelove: "Under the authority granted me as director of weapons research and development, I commissioned last year a study of this project by the Bland corporation. Based on the findings of the report, my conclusion was that this idea was not a practical deterrent, for reasons which, at this moment, must be all too obvious"

Muffley: "But, how is it possible for this thing to be triggered automatically, and at the same time impossible to untrigger?"

Strangelove: "Mr. President, it is not only possible, it is essential. That is the whole idea of this machine, you know. Deterrence is the art of producing in the mind of the enemy... the fear to attack. And so, because of the automated and irrevocable decision making process which rules out human meddling, the doomsday machine is terrifying. It's simple to understand. And completely credible, and convincing. Based on the findings of the report, my conclusion was that this idea was not a practical deterrent for reasons which at this moment must be all too obvious."

Strangelove: "Yes, but the whole point of the doomsday machine is lost if you keep it a secret! Why didn't you tell the world?"

Russian Ambassador: "It was to be announced at the Party Congress on Monday. As you know, the Premier loves surprises."

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Page last modified: 09-07-2018 13:10:30 ZULU