By MIKE VINSON
Editor's Note: Former President Bill Clinton read an original draft of this article and responded in the form of a letter to Mike Vinson.
It could be that, as of this very moment, you're sitting in your favorite restaurant having lunch with your best friend. Well, hurry up and wolf down everything on your plate before reading the following, because what you're about to read could spoil your appetite: It's a matter of life and death!
Several decades ago, as an active duty member of the U.S. Army, I attended a two-week NBC school at Wiesbaden Air Base, located in Wiesbaden, West Germany. NBC stood for: Nuclear-Biological-Chemical. (For the record, back in those days, Germany still was divided into West Germany and East Germany, as opposed to the reunified Germany it is today.) During the course of that NBC school, students were lectured and tested on the hazards of nuclear, biological, and chemical agents/toxins/poisons that could be issued by enemy forces, and, further, how to successfully defend against those same hazards. Though somewhat archaic when compared to today's advanced military technology, terms such as nerve gas, mustard gas, MOPP, M-8 Alarm System, M-30 Alarm System, "downwind," and others come to mind
(NOTE: MOPP is an acronym that stands for: Mission Oriented Protective Posture. MOPP refers to a soldier donning protective gear--mask, pants, gloves, and boots--when under nuclear, biological, or chemical attack.)
Best I recall, that particular NBC class started out with just over thirty students, a mix of noncommissioned officers (enlisted), warrant officers, and commissioned officers. Fewer than twenty graduated. With help from above, I did manage to pass said NBC course ... by the skin of my teeth! To this day, it absolutely is the most difficult academic challenge I've faced. What normally was an MOS course spread out over a six-month period was crammed into ten 8-hour days.
(NOTE: MOS is an acronym that stands for: Main Occupational Specialty. Soldiers are sent to school to learn a skill set that will be his/her primary job upon completion of school and assignment to a military unit.)
These days, the threat of a nuclear, biological, or chemical attack by "enemies of the state" is a major concern for any responsible American. Pick up and read any mainstream newspaper or magazine, listen to any mainstream radio or television channel, or scan the Net, and, likely, you will hear or read about the imminent threat of a nuclear, biological, or chemical attack against the United States by hostile forces. The term most often used when the subject matter is high-tech nuclear, biological, and chemical (and radiological) missiles/warheads is "weapons of mass destruction"/WMD.
A major concern is Iran. Regardless of intelligence uncertainties about Iran's nuclear weapons and missile programs, the United States knows enough now to logically conclude Iran should be regarded by national security decision makers as a nuclear missile state capable of posing a "real threat" to the United States, such as a launched nuclear warhead reaching American soil.
And possibly the country who poses the biggest nuclear threat against the U.S. is North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong-un, he of bad hairdo. Jong-un has stated he will not hesitate to use North Korea's nuclear capability against the U.S.
Of course, it would be borderline insane to dismiss terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and ISIS as posing nuclear threats against us.
However, fellow Americans, I fear we are suffering from impaired vision: While, indeed, we have opened wide our eyes to the real and pending threat of nuclear, biological, or chemical attack by an enemy nation, of some affiliate terrorist group, we have closed our eyes to the weapons of mass destruction that already are in place all over America, causing death and destruction with each tick of the clock.
These weapons of mass destruction are responsible for just about any and every type of injury and disease found in a medical dictionary: blindness, loss of limb, kidney disorder, lung disorder, heart condition, and, yes, death! Sadly enough, you associate with these victims--family, friends, co-workers--on a daily basis. In fact, if you're in a public place, just take a look around and, more than likely, the majority of those you see are victims of these catastrophic WMD.
Albeit, there is hope! And the reason there is hope is that with enough discipline and dedication you can help control these WMD without having to call on U.S. armed forces for backup. So, exactly, where does one find these weapons of mass destruction? Put down the remote; get up off the couch; walk into your kitchen, and there you will find the weapons of mass destruction to which I'm referring: fork, spoon, knife, and plate.
Indeed, we are a nation overfed and undernourished. It is a BIG problem in America, and, arguably, poses a BIGGER threat than a WMD attack.