Sure, Snake shuts down Earth is a badass act to say screw you to the president, but with this one act, Snake possibly kills millions of people. Picture this: where are electronics most vital? Hospitals where people are in ICU or getting treated, as well other stuff to help people like pacemakers or iron lungs. What the fucking hell, Snake?
"Millions" is being fairly conservative- billions would likely perish without the electricity needed to run water treatment plants, sustain modern agriculture, produce and distribute vaccines or simply move anything at a pace faster than an a horse.
Hell, forget about hospitals and pacemakers. Imagine the cooling systems of every freakin' nuclear power plant on this planet failing simultaneously, with absolutely no chance of emergency cooling whatsoever. Imagine Fukushima times… hundreds?
It's still a ridiculously extreme move, given that like at least 80% of the world he shut down had nothing to do with the plot.
If there was some way he could have shut down both the US and The Shining Path, and spared innocents at the same time, he may have gone with that. Wasn't an option, unfortunately.
Maybe less than half of that. The Shining Path is stated to be as much Mexican as it is Middle Eastern(Mexico Called; They Want Texas Back) and if they have the resources to launch a trans-Atlantic invasion via Miami they're not worried about getting hit by the UK, China or Russia, either because the Path conquered them or because they're part of the Path. And if that much of the world is under the control of fundies or terrorists, the hanger-ons are next once one side falls. Snake saved them, too.
Most government buildings have Faraday Cages and are completely protected from EMPs, at best you would turn the lights off for a few minutes and then the generators would kick in. Second, why was their no failsafe for this doomsday device nor a secondary controller in-case the first one gets damaged? Lastly, why didn't they just invade L.A? In Escape from New York they try, but the gangs threaten to kill the president, displaying a severed finger as proof. In Escape from LA the president makes it clear that he doesn't care if Utopia lives or dies and would actually prefer her killed; he's even disappointed when she survives, remarking that Snake "didn't finish the mission."
The President didn't care about Utopia. However, Cuervo Jones had the Sword of Damocles and could have shut down all of America if angered and even threatens to do so during his broadcast if he sees any US military forces approach LA.
Not important, but where are movies produced now that LA is out of the picture?
Banning premarital sex is one thing, but smoking or red meat? Are those the kind of things a die-hard Southern conservative, steeped in proud traditions of tobacco-growing and barbecue, is likely to prohibit?
I always figured the President didn't really care about any of that and just wanted to control people.
If the "virus" Snake was infected with was just a bluff, why did Mission Control keep monitoring the timer so carefully all through the movie? Even if they were only interested in when the time ran out because that's when Snake would quit working for them, all that would've meant was that it was time to shove anotherBoxed Crook into the same scenario, not that they were beaten outright.
For that matter, the whole fast acting flu thing is pretty stupid. Yeah, let's send in this badass black-ops/infiltration specialits to do our job for us while we make sure that he's far from his best physically and mentally. Just for that, they deserved the shut-down at the end.
At the end of the film, Snake uses the Sword of Damocles to shut down the entire world's supply of electricity, killing at least millions of people. The code to do so is "666." Even operating on logic along the lines of "We assume no one with malicious intent will get their hands on the device," how much sense does it make for the code to be such an easy-to-remember number? Not only is it an extremely well-known biblical reference (which means that many people in the now-theocratic America probably know of it— is that Fridge Brilliance or Logic?), but it's only three digits. Currently, nations across the world have stricter verification systems for nuclear codes whose use wouldn't end the world like in the movie (or at least aren't designed to).
It actually makes sense that the code for the Sword of Damocles is the Number of the Beast. At the end, it's shown that the President's ego is so overinflated that he twists one of the most famous verses in the Bible to put himself in God's place. If he's so egomaniacal to consider himself close to God, it can be assumed that he would believe that he has the power to end the world, just like a god. Setting the code to 666 is a show of how insanely megalomaniacal he is. Security? He doesn't care about security.