03 September 2006

So far, so good.

Today has been decent, so far. Went to the Catholic service, but unfortunately this is that Chaplain's last day in theater. It's going to be hard finding anyone else to argue papal monarchy and filioque over dinner with.

Between Jen's blog and some suggestions in my email box, I've got the bones of a post.

To wit, Israel should nuke Iran.

Further, as a corollary, if the United States does not exercise effective hegemony, Americans should get used to things like that happening.

As I've been saying for years, and this Article with dorky title repeats, the reason there is an Arab Question is that the Israelis are fundamentally decent folks. They don't want to eradicate another culture out of anger or frustration. They are, by their nature, incapable of working seriously to make the Arabs or Iranians or anyone else go away as long as they are capable of defending themselves by other means.

An alleged quote from an unidentified IDF officer is,

"Ahmadinejad, conducts foreign policy like Iranians drive cars" the general continued. "The only way you can get him or them to back down is for them to be convinced the other driver confronting them won't back down.
"That's why our intention to turn Bushehr and Iran's other nuclear facilities into radioactive glass has to be absolutely credible. We have to be willing to do this for real, with no doubts or hesitation."

Israel is now in a position where the stakes are the survival of Israel and its entire population.

One Jewish blogger isn't willing to go that far this week, but his Sampson Option is for Israel to be ready to do so at the drop of a Katyushka. He's pissed about the IDF's performance. He does raise the very valid point that the great days of the IDF predated significant American aid. In the wars before 1970, the IDF kicked Arab ass with second-hand French and British tanks, and US material from WWII which was bought third-hand and refurbished by the Israelis, frequently with French components. The backbone of the IAF was the Mirage series of French fighters, etc. etc. So he wants to scrap US aid and most of the IDF, and rely primarily on a explicit threat of nuclear retaliation. Personally, I don't think the Muslims would get that threat unless it was demonstrated in a way that no one could mistake. But that's coming back to the idea of nuking Iran now.

Here's another excellent point tying this to what I said about America having to get used to this sort of thing. The Liberal Left accuses the United States of acting as a hegemon like that's a perjorative term. A World Without Power explores the consequences of the United States NOT acting like a hegemon. A lot of smaller states in precarious situations would have to fend for themselves, and Israel resorting to nukes would be only one of many consequences.


Anonymous cmad said...

Fortunately, the people who can design and build nuclear weapons are not as trigger happy as soldiers or politicians.

As you develop the scientific and engineering judgment necessary to make advanced weapons happen, you necessarily lose simple us-vs.-them worldviews (ok, maybe you develop a matter-vs.-antimatter worldview, but that puts everyone on Earth on the same side).

There's enough of a chance that the Iranians who can give the politicians nuclear capabilities are just as incapable of doing it as Heisenberg was to give it to Hitler and cronies
that you don't want to strike preemptively.

By the way, there's one former POTUS who has the education to actually design a nuke. Any idea which one that is?

9:57 PM  
Anonymous auxdarastrix said...

CMAD, there is no such thing as a monolithic entity called "education" that has a singular and predictable effect on geopolitical views. Compare Victor Hanson to Edward Said, for example. Neither can claim to be any more educated than the other, yet they have very conflicting world views.

Furthermore, the type of education that leads to an expert knowledge of the physical sciences rarely includes an adequete study of history, political science, culture, religion, economics, sociology, pschology, or just about any of the other human studies that are relevent to discussions of geopolitics.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous cmad said...

Yep. Some call it the "fragmentation of science".

There's a nice chapter in "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!", Is Electricity Fire?, pp. 279-287 in the Norton Paperback edition, that discusses the issue, among other things (just in case you have that in your book collection).

The chapter also explains why I tend to exclaim, half jokingly, "Oh the humantities!" when I look at references to Victor Hanson, or to what Edward said.

While others discuss the relevence [relevance?] of adequete [adequate??] studies of all sorts of highly specialized sciences to be able to join an authoritative discussion of geopolitics, I tend to get lost in technical details, e.g., Jerusalem from Below.

5:36 AM  
Anonymous cmad said...

Those who don't have access to a printed copy of "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!" may want to look here.

[Just for the record, I strongly endorse that you buy the printed book, unless you happen to be stuck in a camp in the midst of Bavarians, or some such.]

5:48 AM  
Anonymous nerdasaaurus said...

Responding to the gist of Johns post. Nuclear deterrance--that known as Mutual Assured Destruction, or MAD--worked for so long as both sides (fUSSR & US) were sane--that the leadership on both sides thought that massive death on either/BOTH sides of a nuclear conflict was a Bad Thing!(tm).

I am not convinced that the mullahs who who really run Iran are sane. That is, AFAICT, they are nucking futz.

Amenejad (or however you spell his name) is like Zaphod Breeblebrox, the President of the Universe in the Hitchiker's Guide books. He isn't there so much as to utilize political power as he is to draw attention away from the people who really do use it.
He is nucking futz, and the people behind him are even nuttier. The loons are running the joint.

Israel's best bet is not to nuke Iran, but to foment revolution there TODAY, NOW. It will probably cost less but only the guys at the top die, as opposed to a couple of million.

Barring such a event, Israel obviously CAN nuke Iran. If they could design a bomb that would merely politically decapitate the joint, they would have used it already. So, Iran is between Iraq and a hard place.....

12:18 PM  
Anonymous cmad said...

Israel's best bet is not to nuke Iran, but to foment revolution there TODAY, NOW.

What makes this more difficult for Israel than it needs to be is that the US government has failed to realize that America's moral equivalent to Trotsky as agent of the permanent revolution are Walt Disney and McDonald's, not the armed forces.

Kosher matzos just don't have the same appeal.

12:12 AM  
Blogger sophia said...

Hey John,
They are in the midst of putting the icons up right now. On the back wall of the balcony, they had put up the dormition. Along the sides in the front above the altar they had the nativity, ephiphany, crucifixion, and resurrection icons. Along the back wall of the nave, on the left side was a larger than life size St Seraphim, Helen, Constantine and Alexios. On the right side was: St Anastasios, Sophia, and Katherine. The Platytera which is to go in the Apse was lying in the Narthex. So, there are no pictures yet, but maybe Theophan will put some on the church website. I'll ask him about it. If not, I can take some pics and post them on my blog. Maybe I'll do that regardless! Take care of yourself. Sophia

10:41 PM  

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