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Divine Strake—Find another name . . . or Give It Up

By Fritz Rudi  Posted by Vin LoPresti (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
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Calling a US military test of explosive mayhem""thermodynamic chaos""by the nomenclature "Divine Strake" forces one to wonder, "is there something strange, here?" The easy explanation is that such names are derived from a complicated computerized code-word algorithm devised by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (called NICKA) (see William Arkin's April 4, WP article available at, and this time, the algorithm came up with "Divine." As Arkin points out: "it makes no sense, given the gigantic universe of words available, to have an entire test series devoted to weapons of mass destruction testing that uses the 'Divine' moniker?"

For those of you still puzzled, I refer to a conventional explosion of almost 600 tons TNT equivalent scheduled to occur in the Nevada desert on June 2. The test, "Divine Strake," is a simulation of the energy required by a nuclear device that might be used to preemptively strike a country (like Iran) with, purportedly, underground uranium enrichment operations.

And to echo Arkin, is there anyone "over there" in the US Defense agencies who realizes the irony implicit in calling destructive energy "divine," an insult (or at minimum a vast display of insensitivity) to spiritual Americans of all creeds?

The second word for a given test operation is a random word selected by the relevant agency. Why "strake"? It's simply not all that clear. According to Wikipedia, there are three meanings of "strake": 1. a strip of planking between them on the turn of the bilge; 2. a device for controlling air flow over an aircraft; and 3. a tool for tamping down and leveling semi-fluid materials into a mould (such as poured concrete, for example). If we assume the third meaning as most likely, perhaps this test is a "godlike tool for tamping-down a plot of earth (under which there is subterranean target, presumably an Iranian uranium-enrichment operation).

This insulting insensitivity quite aptly illustrates the fundamental value discrepancy of our current crop of "leaders." For all their so-called "Christian values," they are nonetheless willing to allow an algorithm to dictate this absurd nomenclature. While Divine Strake implies that Divine power comprises fear and destruction""death, separation, and dismemberment""spiritual Americans of my acquaintance espouse the quite converse view that Love""a healing force, the quintessential opposite of destructiveness""is the nature of divine power.

"Please ask the algorithm to come up with something more neutral," might have been an appropriate request. But it gets even worse: Arkin points out that we've not seen the last of the "Divine" moniker. In addition to Divine Strake, tests and experiments are planned with the nomenclature, Divine Buffalo, Divine Invader, Divine Helcat, Divine Kingfisher, Divine Umpire, Divine Zorro, Divine Warhawk, Divine Albatross, and even, Divine Hates.

One feels compelled to plead with our "Christian" leaders to cease committing a bastardization of the message of the Bible and other sacred texts. In the Bhagavad Gita of Hinduism, Krishna asks: " . . . how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the progressive values of life." The progressive values alluded to are those of the Spirit, not of materialism, and certainly not the materialism of thermodynamic destructiveness. For Buddhists, divine power is the quantity by which one obtains self-realization. And in the Sufi tradition, "His (God's) mercy and grace flow through all His powers, without distinction of friend or foe." A Course in Miracles advises, " . . . the spirit, and not the body, is the altar of Truth. This is the recognition that leads to the healing power of the miracle." And, of course, in the Bible, Jesus tells us, in Matthew 10:1, "And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease; and in John 4:18, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love."

It is bad enough that we observe our leaders flaunting the power of America in the person of its destructive ability to provoke fear in its "enemies." To then use nomenclature coupling that fearful, destructive attitude to Divine power adds insult to injury, completely denigrating values that truly spiritual Americans hold dear. So please, find another name. Or even better""cancel it; just forget about it entirely.

It is notable that a group of preeminent physicists have already voiced their opposition. Let us all follow their lead. Take action. their lead. Take action.
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Vin has a PhD in molecular biology, taught college science in Boston, and currently writes about science for various venues. His passion is the evolution of the US healthcare system far beyond its current oversimplistic (more...)
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