The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 5, Episode 13 - The Warfare of Genghis Khan - full transcript

A nuclear missile is tested in the Indian Ocean, but none of the known nuclear powers will claim responsibility, leading to the possibility of a terrorist group holding missile tests. Vice President Russell, heretofore dismissed by west wing staff as a joke, a four-term congressman alleged to be securely in the pocket of a large Colorado mining company, recalls a junket he'd taken early in his political career in which a drunken Israeli statesman confessed to secret missile tests. Russell visits the sit. room and puts the military and national security leaders at ease, leading the president and Leo to reassess the man's political gravitas. Bartlet then drags the Israeli p.m. to the White House, where they debate the power of the U.S. to dictate which states should have nuclear capabilities.

Previously on The West Wing:

- Ben on five. Is he really a park ranger?
- Don't talk to him.

- Put him on hold and find me if he calls.
- lf?

Russell comes out of the gate
as a seltzer-bottle-squirting partisan.

The happy warrior. The guy who puts
the fun back in Democratic politics.

The speaker is "propulgating" a tax bill.
We're never gonna get budgets passed.

You guys are asking me to groom
a backwater congressman. I can't.

We didn't ask you to groom Russell
for a presidential run. He asked you.

- He was chosen by the president.
- He was chosen by the Republicans!

Yes. Please.

Yeah, Leo.


- Good morning.
- Good morning, sir.

Or whatever 3 a.m. is.


Let's have a look.


Over the north-central
Indian Ocean, sir.

Not near anything.

- You're sure?
- It's the telltale double flash.

All atmospheric detonations produce
that unique signature, sir.

Initial one-millisecond flash,
the fireball...

...which is then overtaken and obscured
by the expanding shock front.

- So it couldn't be anything else.
- No.

And no false alarms have
ever been ascribed to the NDS.

- Other sensors?
- Still being analyzed...

...but both the x-ray
and the EMP detectors... readings consistent
to atmospheric detonations.

Who else knows?

- Sir?
- Who else in the world.

The Russians and the Chinese have
satellite detection capability for NUDET.

- Nuclear detonation, sir.
- Sir... test was scheduled or reported... the other six
declared nuclear powers.


There's a new member of the club.

The mess isn't open. This is from
the Secret Service command post.

- lf it's too hot, they wrestle it.
- CIA director is held up...

I'm here.

Sorry. Construction on Lee.

- They do it at night.
- Avoid snarling traffic.

- That's the theory.
- We just started.

Thanks, Charlie.

- We talk to Russia and China?
- They agree about keeping this quiet.

Whoever this was knew we'd pick it up.

- Likely suspects?
- North Koreans or Iran.

- Yeah.
- They've been heading down this road.

- We didn't know either got this far.
- We were sure about Korea.

"Sure" is a word we don't
throw around at Langley.

There've been indications
the North has nuclear weapons.

- What about Iran?
- The intel is sketchy.

- We know they've been working on it.
- There's that other word.

- "Know."
- What we know...

...and are sure of is this happened.

We're gonna need to focus less
on semantic distinctions...

...and more on how this caught us
so completely by surprise.

We need to make contact.
The Chinese for Korea?

- Iran?
- Usually the Italians or the Swiss.

- No good. Don't want them in the loop.
- The Russians, then.

We can assume Moscow's not crazy
about the idea of another nuclear state... their neighborhood.
- Sir, what if this wasn't a state?

- A terror group?
- No terrorists have the capability...

...for a test on this scale.

Their nuclear event will be a
suitcase bomb detonated in Manhattan.

Or Pennsylvania Avenue.

- Thank you, everyone.
- Thank you.

- Thank you, sir.
- Thank you.

- Rough with the director.
- I'll send him a lollipop.

You want your intelligence head
focused, at his best.

Guy couldn't find a clear route in
at 4 a.m.

I'm not over-brimming with confidence.

- This is the nightmare.
- Yeah.

I thought when the Soviet Union fell,
we could actually have disarmament.

You go from trying to get rid
of these weapons... holding your breath
one doesn't go off.

Strike another goal off the list.

We find out who this was, then what?

We'll have to do something.

I want a defense briefing
on contingency plans.

- We act, we'll need a statement.
- Toby.

- Sooner is better.
- Okay. Oh, God.

- What?
- The vice president.

Yeah. I'll brief him.

Apologize. Tell him...

I don't know what the hell to tell him.

- Hey.
- Morning.

- So this meeting's a breakfast.
- Okay.

- So you have to eat.
- I already ate.

- Or else it's rude.
- I'm not hungry.

Or else it's rude.

This order, soon as I get back. Why am
I meeting with geeks from NASA?

I'm sure they're not geeks.
They're not all geeks.

And it's to discuss the
administration's space priorities.

- Do we even have any space priorities?
- Exactly.

- Morning.
- Good morning.

You have nametags.

Haven't been here much
these years. Thought it'd help.

Right. Carl.

I recommend the scones.

- They're...
- Out of this world?

- Leo.
- Mr. Vice President.

- Please.
- Thank you.

What's up?

Sir, this is to be kept
in the strictest confidence.

At approximately 2: 17 a.m.
Eastern Time...

...a nuclear detonation was detected... a DSP satellite
over the Indian Ocean.

Pakistan's attacked India.

No, sir. This was a test.

Pakistan being provocative.
Shot-across-the-bow thing.

It wasn't Pakistan. If you'll let me finish.
No nation claimed credit.

We're trying to ascertain
who was responsible...

...but it appears there's a new player
on the nuclear stage.

Is India mobilizing?

It was 1200 miles from India.
India has no idea that it happened.

- I don't...
- Let me start again.

Hang on.

- It's him again.
- Him, who?

- Ben. Take a message.
- Gets more persistent...

...they're gonna open a case.

- Can I tell him you're not worth it?
- We used to date. He knows better.

Feeling frisky?

- Remembrance of things past.
- The briefing. Two things to deflect.

New Israeli settlement activity
in the West Bank. You can do it.

We discourage new settlements,
deplore terror...

...balance but not too much,
no moral equivalence.

- Greatest hits.
- Golden oldies. Second.

- RINOs.
- Endangered, powdered horn...

...considered an aphrodisiac.

- That where "horny" comes from?
- Not precisely.

It's... These aren't the animals.

- It's Republicans in Name Only.
- RINOs. Adorable.

Right wing's new name for
GOP members who voted with us.

They're being targeted in the primaries.

We're happy to stay out
of that slap fight in the schoolyard.

Make it "sandbox."

Thanks, Leo. Don't hesitate to call
on me if I can be useful in any way.

Be sure to let you know, sir.

Leo. Anything I need to be aware of?

I've been thinking,
to build the VP's issue profile...

...I wonder if there's some policy
the administration could give.

- Such as?
- I have some notions, certainly.

- Take it up with Toby.
- Yeah.

- He and l...
- With him. That's what he does.

If you two have problems, work
them out. I'm not a couples therapist.


A probe must launch by then to use...

...Jupiter's gravitational field
as a slingshot.

The data gathered about Kuiper Belt
objects would be invaluable.

Listen, I appreciate your coming in...

...but you may be meeting
with the wrong guy.

My knowledge is like the old joke about
the official announcing a new program.

He says, "We're gonna go
where no one's been.

We're gonna land on the Sun."

Reporter says, "But, sir, the Sun's
a burning mass of fire."

Official replies, "Thought of that.
That's why we're gonna go at night."

What I know is politics.
Public perception.

And the image of NASA is not good.

Telescopes launched that can't focus.

Planetary probes that crash because
engineers mixed up meters and feet.

The only time NASA makes
the front page anymore... when something goes wrong.
You need to get off the front page.

This administration has only one space
priority: that you guys stop screwing up.

Thanks for your time.

Will's gonna come to you about
a policy brief for the vice president.

Unfortunately, everything we have
we actually care about.

- Give him something.
- What can he handle?

- Potholes.
- Infrastructure?

No, I mean actual potholes.

On, I don't know, the interstate.

Come up with something
low profile and easy.

Keep him out from underfoot.

There's another thing.

We got trouble, Toby.

DPS satellite noted
an atmospheric nuclear detonation...

...this morning at 2: 17 a.m.

You go see the vice president?

When I briefed him,
he kind of tilted his head...

- I'll update him after.
- Sir?

Everyone's here.

You can come in.

Where are we?

Chinese have no indication
Korea did this.

Beijing feels comfortable
ruling out North Korea.

- What do we think?
- Good and bad.

We think North Korea's got two bombs.

- Probably more.
- Please let that be the bad news.

We also believe their technology's
so advanced they don't need tests.

Why does the good news
make me feel worse?

- Iran.
- Moscow doesn't think so.

They might be covering their own ass.

There's rumors about three missing
warheads from Kazakhstan...

...that supposedly wound up in Iran.


Persistent ones.
That I get from your people.

The IAEA report said Iran's had a secret
nuclear program for the past 18 years.

It makes more geographic sense.

The Korean peninsula's 4000 miles
from the blast site.

What it's near is Iran.

Sir, given the volatility of the region...

...a secret test would be
how Iran would proceed.

All right, put our cards on the table.

What helped keep the Cold War cold...

...was a sense of restraint that
these weapons were too terrible to use.

That won't exist in jihadists...

...who strap bombs to their chests
and enter nightclubs.

There are moderate elements
on the ascendancy in Iran.

"In the Koran, God commanded
to kill the wicked...

...and those who do not see
the rights of the oppressed.

If we abide by the Koran,
all of us should mobilize to kill."

Televised address by President Alijani.


Mr. Slattery, have the Iranian
ambassador to the U.N. fly down...

...and meet with you
at the Swiss embassy.

- Thank you, Mr. President.
- Thank you.

- Thank you, sir.
- Thank you.

- Lyle.
- What's the reaction... the announcement
of new Israeli settlements?

Our position remains that
we discourage such activities.

Are you contemplating
more forceful disapproval?

We urge all parties in the region
to take every step to reduce tensions.

- Steve.
- Do you have a response to Taylor Reid?

That's hard to say, never having
heard of... Is it him or her?

On his new cable show last night,
you were named Chicken of the Week.

- Sorry?
- His designation...

...for the person who he says
refuses to appear on his show.

It's hard to refuse something
you've never heard of.

- You'd be willing to go on?
- I have no idea...

...though what girl can resist
being referred to as poultry? Gail.

What about going to the U.N.?

It will be discussed.

Isn't that what it's there for?


But this isn't the room
where you talk about that.

Follow-up confirms
it was a nuclear blast?

Yes, sir. We're still gathering data
on precise yield and type.

Options, general?

North Korea's nuclear facilities
and weapons...

...are stored in tunnels a half mile
underground, unreachable by air.

They've threatened retaliation
in the event of attack...

...presumably against the South, but
conceivably against Australia or Japan.

Or us. They've tested a missile
that could possibly reach the U.S.

- And Iran?
- There are nuclear targets for air strikes.

The downside is a potential
retaliatory nuclear strike at Israel.

Mr. Lyman?

Alex Moreau, assistant administrator,
NASA. I was at the breakfast.

You were hardly there long enough
to take any of us in.

You're wrong about us getting on
the front page when we screw up.

Hubble images make page one
all the time.

- You're sending up a new telescope.
- The Webb, yes. Past the moon.

Every news story noted it'll be
too far out for the shuttle to fix...

...if it's all screwed up
like the Hubble was.

I prepare even for meetings
that I don't wanna go to.

I wasn't improvising.
You guys are lost in space.

Well, I agree with you.

But NASA's problem isn't getting off
the front page, it's getting back on.

The Times never published a larger
headline than Armstrong on the Moon.

Only, you don't do that anymore.

It's launches to the pointless
International Space Station...

...which should be rechristened
the SS Good Money After Bad.

It's all low Earth orbits.
It's like if 30 years after Columbus...

...Spain expected people to get hot
over a trip to Mallorca.

- Why we need to do this.
- What's this?

Mars or bust. We want the government
to commit to a manned mission to Mars.

There aren't 20 votes for it in Congress.
You couldn't get funding for buttons.

The Republican Congress
isn't the problem. It's liberals.

Yeah, because we like
to use government money..., I don't know, help people.

Space travel's inspirational.
That doesn't help?

- Not like feeding them or getting jobs.
- You have to feed the soul too.

Ever look through a telescope?

In school, a guy on my floor
liked to aim one at the women's dorm.

What are you doing tonight?

Until you get a good look at what's up
there, you only think you're prepared.

Pick you up at 8.

Donna, cancel my dinner
with Breakstone tonight.


You were listening?

I'm right outside.

Would you be going
if she weren't attractive?

We'll never know.

- Did you...?
- I spoke to Leo.

- I got the vice president a policy focus.
- Great.

Good government.

Not that chestnut.

"Reducing bureaucracy.
Rewriting regulations into plain English."

- Extremely important.
- Incredibly boring.

As is the vice president.
Match made in heaven.

I don't think theologians would stipulate
Toby Ziegler's office as heaven.

You asked and ye hath received.

And yet my joy is less than full.

- "Revoking the franking privilege."
- I have work to do.

Close the door.

- Lovely room.
- The Swiss like nice things.

You can afford them when you
don't have to pay for a national defense.

- Mr. Ambassador.
- Mr. McGarry.

- Do you require anything else?
- No, thank you.

National Security Advisor McNally.

Assistant Secretary of State Slattery.

I hope the trip down
wasn't too inconvenient.

- The summons was a bit abrupt.
- Please.

We'd like to discuss
your nuclear program.

We have agreed to IAEA inspections,
suspended production...

...on enriched uranium.
- Temporarily.

Your 40-megawatt
heavy-water reactor at Arak.

It's a size too small for electricity
generation and larger than for research.

The type that provides fuel for
nuclear weapons in India and Pakistan.

And Israel. I understand.

The Iranian exile organization, NCR...

...has identified other
secret enrichment facilities.

The Lashkar-Abad site near Hashtgerd,
a site near Ramandeh village.

- Why are you enriching uranium?
- For reactor fuel.

For power generation.

As our European friends acknowledge,
it's our sovereign right.

Power you don't need,
with your oil and gas reserves.

It is necessary because of rising
domestic consumption rates...

...and our desire to preserve oil
to generate foreign currency.

You displayed the Shehab-3 missile.
The only purpose...

...for such a long-range weapon
is to carry a nuclear payload.

And we enjoy stable relations...

...with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan,
Turkey, Afghanistan.

These are the nations within range.

And Israel. I understand.

Sir, we believe your country has been
engaged in developing nuclear weapons.

The ayatollah has decreed
their production to be haraam...

...prohibited on religious grounds.

We consider the development and use
of such weapons to be immoral...

...inhumane and against
our basic Islamic beliefs.

In contrast to the U. S...

...which is not merely the only nation
to ever employ such weapons...

...twice, but also brought the world
to the brink of nuclear holocaust...

...with the Cuban missile crisis.

The United States will not tolerate
these weapons' further proliferation.

It is disconcerting to be dictated to by
the only transgressor in human history.

Let me make myself plain,
Mr. Ambassador.

Evidence that Iran possesses
or has tested a nuclear weapon...

...will be greeted by the United States
as a matter of gravest consequence.

Are we finished?

I know what terrifies you.

- An Islamic bomb.
- And I know what concerns Iran.

A Jewish bomb.

Einstein, Oppenheimer, Teller.

They're all Jewish bombs.

You all right? You look tired.

- I've been tired five years.
- Tired-er.

One of those days.

- So I had this meeting with NASA...
- What a waste since the Moon.

My generation never got
the future it was promised.

- What?
- Thirty-five years later..., air travel's exactly the same.
We don't have the Concorde anymore.

Technology stopped.

The personal computer?

A more efficient delivery system
for gossip and pornography?

Where's my jet pack?
My colonies on the Moon?

Just a waste.

Chris Aldrich of the Sun
wants 10 minutes...

...and Danny Concanon left
a message.

- And it is?
- I'm not sure I can do it justice.

- Carol.
- Okay, it's:

Chicken noises.
This Taylor Reid show thing.

Chicken of the Week.

Get me a copy of the show.

- Latest intel?
- Combing through spy satellite data...

...analyzing for any suspicious
presence in the blast zone.

U-2s are over Iran and North Korea,
monitoring for unusual activity.

Any conclusions?

No smoking gun.


- lf it's North Korea?
- It's not.

- Chinese don't think so, the CIA...
- We can't say definitively.

But, no, it doesn't appear likely
it was the Koreans.

Iran, then.

- General?
- Surgical air strikes on enrichment sites.

- Which ones?
- All five.

- In for a penny.
- And if they retaliate?

They'll regret it.

- Get the B-2s in the air, general.
- Yes, sir.

We go the minute, and I mean the
minute, we're certain. Thank you, all.

- Thank you, sir.
- Thank you, Mr. President.

- Good government.
- Curtailing Congressional junkets...

...shuttering archaic
agricultural field offices.

- You don't think I should do it.
- It buries you in minutiae.

The public's for it,
but they'd rather chug sewage...

...than hear it discussed.

It's easy to characterize junkets
as vacations at taxpayers' expense...

...but they serve a purpose.

Contacts get made,
frank exchanges take place...

...that would never happen
in Washington.

Reason enough to beg off.

You don't fully agree
with the administration's stance.


Will you excuse me?

Yeah, of course, sir.

When you work for a man
like the president...

... who 's got what you could characterize
as a casual relationship with the truth...

... when your job is to go out
and to be his spokesperson...

... the question that naturally arises is:

How can you justify lying for your
boss the way C.J. Cregg has to?

And if Ms. Cregg isn 't a liar, then
the only obvious conclusion to draw...

... is that she's gullible, an idiot...

... or so completely out of the loop
she shouldn 't be drawing a salary.

I wanna see where he calls
you a chicken. But can wait.

- I want a piece of that twerp.
- Can't win.

I'd mop the floor with him, smirk first.

You'd just keep it alive.
Old newspaper adage:

Never pick a fight with someone
who buys ink by the barrel.

- I gotta go.
- Something going on?

I'll see you in the morning.

Excuse me, sir.

I know, I gotta get dressed
for the HHS thing.

Mr. President, you should cancel.

It's been a long day, sir.

I'll be fine.

You should get some rest.

I'm not sure I could sleep.

I'm gonna get dressed.

Yes, Mr. President.

- Yeah.
- Shut the door.

B-2s have taken off. Their targets are
five uranium enrichment sites in Iran.

We've confirmed it was them?

- It's not a go till we're sure.
- Is this the room?

- What?
- Where we talk about the U.N.

- So far I'm the only one bringing it up.
- The U.N. doesn't want this.

They wanna wring their hands
and censure us after...

...but they expect us to take care
of things like this.

And after they've exhausted themselves
calling us warmongers and imperialists...

...they'll go home and quietly
drink toasts to their relief.

Unilateral air strikes.

Have a statement ready.

I have a political question.

The theory of democracy is
people have direct connection... officials at the most local level.

Everyone can name the president, but no
one knows who their assemblyman is.


Who knows.

It's like asking why the sky is blue.

The colors of light
have different wavelengths.

The shortest wavelength, blue,
is most easily dispersed.

So when sunlight hits the Earth's
atmosphere, blue gets scattered most.

Why the sky is blue.


Can this wait till tomorrow?

Put him on.

Yes, Mr. Vice President.

This is good.

- Here. Could you...?
- You want me to carry that?

Yes, please.


When you said... I thought we were
going to some big observatory.

No, you're not ready for that.

You need the experience...

...9- year-olds are having
all across the country tonight.

Are they ruining their shoes too?

Amazing once you get away
from the city lights.

There's one named after me up there.
The Josh and Linda star.

The International Star Registry.


Name something that's there
for years...

...after two people who won't
be speaking in six months.

Alex and Guillermo.

- Guillermo?
- Yeah, Chilean. Long story.

Sexy. Player. Dumped you.

Okay, not such a long story.

Go ahead.


The dots on either side
are the four Galilean moons.

You're seeing what Galileo
saw 400 years ago.

Yeah, I remember studying Jupiter.
It has 13 moons.

Yeah, it has 61.



- Wow, what is that?
- The Orion Nebula.

Gas and dust. Stars are born in that.

Well, born and die, actually.

Everything, every atom in our bodies
comes from exploding stars.

I guess Joni Mitchell was right.
We are stardust.

Or put another way, nuclear waste.

- Is that...?
- Mars.

Because it's near its closest point... are getting the best look
anyone's had at it in 60,000 years.


- Everyone.
- Good evening, sir.

One thing about this job, it's hard
to unobtrusively slip out of a party.

Mr. Vice President, would you tell
everyone what you told me.

I was on a Congressional junket
to the Mideast last year.

Wound up on a boat
cruising the Mediterranean.

The combination of jet lag, booze
and choppy seas made some guests sick.

As they leaned over the rail, one
of our high-level government hosts...

...came up to me
and drunkenly mused he hoped...

...they weren't puking
on one of their nuclear subs.

He winked and lurched off,
and the official's country...

...was Israel.

He was talking about
nuclear-powered subs.

- Israeli subs are diesel-powered.
- Guy was drunk.

Israel's nuclear capability
has been an open secret for years.

Why would they perform a test now?

Getting warheads
on submarine-based missiles...

...requires miniaturization technology
that could need to be tested.

- Could.
- I know, that's not a word...'re fond of at Langley.
Let the man talk.

Israel's developing advanced
fusion-boosted weapons.

This technology is extremely difficult and
requires testing to produce warheads...

...capable of being shrunk
to the size needed... be placed on submarine-based
cruise missiles.

- Where are the bombers?
- Three hours out of Missouri.

They'll be over their targets
in Iran in 14 hours.

Tell the Israeli ambassador to get
his prime minister on a plane.

- I want him in the Oval Office by noon.
- Yes, sir.

- General? Put a hold on the bombers.
- Yes, sir.

Leo, Mr. Vice President.

- Thank you all.
- Thank you, Mr. President.

We'll need a cover story for the visit.

Brief Toby. Have him
get with C.J. right away.

Thank you, Bob.

I'm sure Leo's wondering how
it is I know so much about all this.

All those jokes about me being...

...the congressman
from Western Colorado Mining.

Colorado Plateau is this country's
leading source of uranium.

Good night, Mr. President.


Okay, it's not gonna happen, but...

Tell me about going to Mars.

Right here?

The plan is called Mars Direct.

What'll it cost?

Thirty, 40 billion.

Over 10 years.

- It's the cost of one weapons system.
- Go on.

We launch a crew directly there,
like we went to the Moon...

...and use the resources found
on Mars to make the fuel to get back.

- Is that doable?
- It's 19th-century chemistry.

It's all doable now.

All we lack is the ambition
and political will.

The Israeli prime minister's flying in... discuss their new
settlement activity.

The thing you had me shrug off
yesterday as a nonstory?

- That was yesterday.
- I'm trying to decide...

...if I'm gullible, an idiot or just being
completely kept out of the loop.


- Mr. Vice President.
- I've been thinking about this thing.

Speak to the president about
your reasons for not going along.

No. I'm gonna do their bidding on this.

Due respect, it's not a serious policy.

You have to get the West Wing
to treat you with respect.

I'm a team player. I do what's asked.

And, Will, for the record, I'm not worried
about having the president's respect.

Thanks for your concern yesterday.

- Did you get some sleep, sir?
- Not much.

Some terrible choices have
had to be made in this room...

...none more agonizing
than Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

- I can't imagine.
- When you sit here, you have to.

Would you have made
the same decision Truman made?

On Okinawa, the Japanese knew
they couldn't win... they killed as many
Americans as possible.

There were 110,000
Japanese troops...

...and a quarter of a million people
died there, including Japanese civilians.

To defend Japan itself...

...they'd mobilized
2 and a half million...

...with a civilian militia
of 30 million more...

...pressed into service
just to die for the emperor.

So you could claim the bombings
actually saved lives.

That's one argument.
Another is that after Potsdam...

...Truman wanted Stalin to know we had
the bomb and we were willing to use it.

But would you have done it, sir?



- How long have you been there?
- Long enough.

I need a breakdown of NASA funding... a percentage
of discretionary spending... five-year increments,
starting in 1969.

Wanna hear something cool?

Voyager 1 just crossed the termination
shock, 8 billion miles away.

First humanmade object
to leave the solar system.

Funny, I'm going through
a little termination shock myself.

- What?
- Suddenly this interest in space...

...because some NASA administrator
batted eyes at you?

- You hate that I'm interested.
- What was your first hint?

That's perfect. Sit down.

Sit. I need to play out an argument.

- Everyone hates us.
- Inspiring start.

We're the most dominant nation
on Earth...

...but too often, the face
of our economic superiority...

... is corporate imperialism.

Our technological dominance shown
by smart bombs and Predator drones.

We could do something else.

Something generous
and uplifting for all humankind.

We could send the first representatives
from Earth to walk on another planet.

We could land people on Mars.

Needs work.

Needs something.

Yeah, that inspiration thing.

Voyager, in case it's ever
encountered by extraterrestrials...

... is carrying photos of life on Earth,
greetings in 55 languages...

... and a collection of music,
from Gregorian chants to Chuck Berry.

Including "Dark Was the Night
(Cold Was the Ground)"... '20s bluesman
Blind Willie Johnson...

...whose stepmother blinded him
at 7 by throwing lye in his eyes...

...after his father beat her
for being with another man.

He died, penniless, of pneumonia...

...after sleeping
bundled in wet newspapers... the ruins of his house
that burned down.

But his music just left the solar system.

Okay. That got me.

Thank you for coming,
Mr. Prime Minister.

You've had a long flight,
and I've had a long last day and a half.

Let's not waste any time with
veiled questions and coy answers.

Your government conducted
an atmospheric nuclear test...

...over the Indian Ocean 36 hours ago.

This action poses enormous problems
for the region, for the world.

- And for the U.S.
- Yes.

It undercuts our
counter-proliferation policy...

...and makes us look, at best, biased
and, at worst, like outright hypocrites.

You do not look hypocritical
espousing nonproliferation...

...while funding research on a new
generation of tactical nuclear bombs?

This is not my view.

The U.S. is merely looking after
its national interest... Israel has a right to do.

Proliferation breeds proliferation.

China's bomb produced India's,
India's begat Pakistan's.

The United States' ideal number
of nuclear-weapons states is one.

No matter if it's merited or arrogant,
it's irrelevant.

Our chief of military intelligence

...that if Iran completes
its enrichment program... will be able to produce
nuclear weapons within one year.

No one disputes Israel lives
under threat.


We are 6 million surrounded
by 200 million who wish us obliterated.

For Israel, deterrence is not an option
but an imperative.

There's a fine line between
deterrence and provocation.

We model our approach
on America's during the Cold War.

Mutual assured destruction.

There's a reason its acronym was MAD.

It succeeded entirely in keeping
the world safe.

Iran will become a nuclear state.

I mean, what difference if it takes one
year or five or 10? What difference?

We can stop them.
By force, if it comes to that.

But should this fail, all that would stand
in the way of an Iranian first strike... an assured
second-strike capability.

Submarines armed with nuclear missiles.

Mr. President, this is essential...

...for Israel's survival.

Your argument boils down to asking
that the world trust you.

As does America's.

It's telling that the physicists involved
with the creation of these weapons...

...became the most fervid opponents
of their use.

Einstein, Oppenheimer, Szilard.

Hans Bethe wrote, "If we fight
a war and win it with H-bombs...

...what history will remember is
not the ideals we were fighting for...

...but the methods used
to accomplish them.

These methods will be compared
to the warfare of Genghis Khan...

...who brutally killed every last
inhabitant of Persia."


It's over.

It was the Israelis.

The bombers have turned back.

That's a hell of a dress rehearsal.

This is our plan.

This is our nuanced, reasoned...

We bomb, then they nuke,
then we nuke.

This is the best we've gamed this out?

The fate of the world hung
on a Bingo Bob brainstorm.

You wanna live by those odds?

As opposed to sanctions, inspections
and never-ending talks...

...while a Hezbollah martyr leads
a donkey cart packed with plutonium...

...smack into downtown Tel Aviv.

It's not over.

And we need a better plan.