SWITZERLAND: "We will do everything in our power to prevent this asteroid from hitting Earth. Unless that means doing something. In that case, we'd prefer to stay out of it."
On September 21, 1987, President Ronald Reagan spoke before the United Nations. "Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond," he said. "I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask you, is not an alien force already among us? What could be more alien to the universal aspirations of our peoples than war and the threat of war?"
It was a nice sentiment, but Reagan was mistaken. The UN would not be able to get together over something as simple and universal as the threat of an asteroid striking our planet. They would quarrel and babble; they might send a slightly perturbed radio message to the asteroid. And, in the end, the asteroid would nail us.
What hope, then, for the UN actually coming together to mitigate the threat of war by hemming in aggressive and hostile countries like Iran and Syria? The probability that one of the two nations will foment major acts of terrorism is far higher than 1 in 45,000. Yet the UN will do nothing.
The good news: We have 29 more years before we have to worry about the asteroid. The bad news: We don't have anywhere near that kind of time with our earthly foes.
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