What to make of this "whoopsie I pushed the wrong button" fiasco in the Hawaii?

Human error resulted in a message being sent out saying "Ballistic Missile Threat Inbound to Hawaii, seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill".

It would be laughable if it weren't for the utter panic that induced. Can you imagine it?

Sirens wailing, cars in gridlock, people freaking out wondering if their lives were about to end, others hunkering down in their bath tubs - 38 whole minutes of terror.


Human error started it but apparently it was the technology that meant it took so long to cancel it. I guess if you were looking for silver linings we can be somewhat relieved that a) it was a false alarm and b) that it wasn't caused by hackers or terrorists.

But what a stuff up. Some guy clicked two buttons in error - two buttons! Basically the "send to all" and the "are you sure" was all it took to send a whole state into meltdown.

If that's not a slight flaw in the system I don't know what is.

What it also revealed - what with everyone is running around frantically looking for shelter - is there's nothing most people could do because it's not as if everyone has a nuclear bunker next to every corner dairy. What would have happened if it were the real deal this weekend almost doesn't bear thinking about.

But we HAVE to think about it because if the tit-for-tat "my nuclear button sits on my desk and is bigger than your nuclear button that sits on your desk" rubbish gets out of hand it could actually happen.

It reminds me of talking to my stepdad as a kid about the Cold War and the Cuban missile crisis. He talked of looking up at the sky, wondering if the end of the world was nigh, wondering if the Americans and the Russians were about to end the world as he knew it.

And if you remember the inadvertent downing of Korean Airlines Flight 007 by the Soviet's back in 1983, then you'll know how quickly mistakes can escalate. Perhaps we can be grateful that Trump wasn't sitting at his desk with his finger on the button.

An intercontinental ballistic missile, they reckon, could cover the 9000 or so kilometres from North Korea to Hawaii in about 30 minutes flat. So, once the alert goes out you'd have about 12 minutes to figure out what to do.


Basically, the warning is futile - there isn't much that can be done once things get to that point. The is not to end up there.

So sure, this was mistaken alert was far from ideal, but I don't think there should be too much hand-wringing and calls for heads to roll as the result of this mistake.

Investigations and system changes - sure.

But to me this is simply a reminder that America has put the diplomacy and the nuclear codes in the hands of a man who is temperamental at best - and at worst, an egotistical maniac, who is goading another madmen who also has nuclear power and a vendetta against America.

Cheery, isn't it?