Why not nuke Belgium?
Bouncing through the mind it seemed a preposterous proposition. But spoken aloud by the Chief of Staff at the height of the crisis there was some logic to it.
The war room debated the issue under duress. Armed warheads were flying across the Bering Strait as they were speaking, half of them towards the commies, the other half bound for the American mainland. Time to find a solution for the accidental stand-off was running out. And so the rank and file gave the option of Belgian annihilation due attention.
Would it persuade the Soviets to break off their counterattack? The answer, they all agreed on, would be a resounding yes. NATO had its headquarters in Brussels so the red party leader would be able to sell it as a great victory against the capitalist pigs.
But how would the West react? Would Belgium be considered an appropriate sacrifice for the American cock-up that had led to this conundrum? If we vaguely inform them of the circumstances the world will comprehend, the Secretary of State concluded. During international summits he had found that most of the world leaders didn’t even know Belgium existed. And those who did thought it was either part of France or found it to be an annoying little shithole. There would be some people’s protests, but they should be quelled by going to war with Vietnam, an operation that was in the pipeline anyway and this way would gain some much-needed legitimacy.
The President was the lone hold-out. He was an avid Tintin fan and feared the irreparable loss of cultural heritage. Then again, how much would be lost if both New York and Moscow were wiped out?
“Mister party leader,” he finally spoke into the red telephone. “I have a suggestion.”
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