Sunday, March 25, 2012

Guaranteed Loser 

"The Obama government was discussing options with the Afghans including a warrant-based approach or possibly allowing Afghan judges to review raids before they took place, the U.S. official said on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations." The foregoing quote is from an article in the Chicago Tribune on March 20.

Roger Kimball at PJ Media commented on this in a post that ran March 22, titled "How to lose a war, Afghan desk". In it he posits a couple of alternative scenarios of how this might work, neither of which is good for the US effort. They're actually a bit funny, in a morbidly cynical way. I agree with his conclusion. You should go read it--it's only five short paragraphs.

I'm reminded of this quote, which you can find in the left sidebar if you scroll down: "People who try to be sensitive in a war have a tendency to die, and to take their nations with them." -- Steven Den Beste, 21 Sept 2002. It was true then, is true now, and will be for eons to come.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

More Tea Leaves 

Galrahn at Information Dissemination blog reports that the US and China, among others, are stockpiling crude oil, even though, in the case of China, demand and supply are in balance, and in the US there is not enough refinery capacity to process the 11 supertankers full of crude that Saudi Arabia is sending here over the next 2 months. He has noted that the US Navy is moving equipment and ships to the Persian Gulf that would be used against Iran if hostilities were to begin.

Galrahn's analysis (and he is much better informed than I) tends to validate my theory that we will probably be at war with Iran before election day. He thinks the flash point will be reached if and when Israel determines that the current sanctions on Iran, which will take 3 to 6 months to show any effect, aren't working.

I have no reason to disagree.

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Matthews as Frank? 

Is it just me, or is Chris Matthews sounding more and more like Barney Frank?

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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Obama vs. Netanyahu 

President Obama said this weekend that the United States "will always have Israel's back" in connection with Iran.

I don't believe that to be an operational statement, and I don't think Prime Minister Netanyahu does either. Else why would Netanyahu emphasize Israel's right to defend itself and be "master of its own fate".

In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if Obama ordered the US military to interdict any Israeli strike against Iran and I don't think it would surprise Netanyahu either. Else why would Israel, perhaps one of the US's closest allies anywhere, state that they won't warn the U.S. ahead of time of a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

There's too much in Obama's past behavior that suggests his attitude towards Iran is, er, less aggressive than previous administrations for Netanyahu to be able to rely on US support against Iran. And let's face it, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

I think Obama's statement is pure political campaigning, because he's afraid American Jews, who have for a very long time been solid Democrat voters, are beginning to have second thoughts about him. Not to mention the millions of other Americans who realize that Israel is the only reliable ally the US has in the Middle East, and may be the only ally there, period.

As I said last week, I expect that the US will be at war with Iran by Election Day, although I wouldn't care to guess what will set the conflict off. I can appreciate Obama needing to walk a tightrope without either increasing the likelihood of such a conflict, on the one hand, or making Israel feel that his administration is abandoning them, on the other, but the elephant in the room is that Iran continues to act in ways that scream it is bent on acquiring nuclear weapons, irrespective of what Khameini and Ahmadinejad say for consumption by the gullible. There is much danger in facing that fact too late.

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