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    The Will to Create

    Entries in Iran (44)

    Saturday
    Jan072012

    Defense cuts...no, I mean real defense cuts

    The current proposals for modest defense cuts have caused controversy. Hawks never want to cut anything fron defense. Hawks want a defense budget capaple of operating 4 wars at a time, plus the ability to destroy the planet 2000 times over, because 1000 times over is not enough.

    I've had it with the hawks who immediately smear anyone who believes we should cut out all unnecessary defense spending. I can only speak for myself, but I want a strong, capable and superior national defense, but "defense" is the operative word. The current justification for more defense spending and no cuts is that Iran is threatening us, and Iran might get a nuclear weapon in the near future. Those who claim that Iran presents the greatest threat to our national security, have a lot of 'splaining to do. If we are to believe that a nuclear Iran could arm terrorists with nuclear weapons, then we also have to be as concerned with that posssibility regarding North Korea, Pakistan, China and Russia. I'm not comparing all these countries, but a scenario can be built for each which has them arming terrorists in a struggle to destroy America or gain control of America. Whether it's a fanatical religious motivation, a political motivation or an economic motivation, how are we to feel secure, going along with the hawks' logic, if these countries possess nuclear weapons?

    Even if we believe that Russia and China have more rational leaders in control, Pakistan and N. Korea both are unstable countries with unstable, unpredictable and unscrupulous leaders. Are we going to destroy the nuclear capacity of Pakistan and N. Korea, and, if not, then why Iran? And if Russian and Chinese leaders are more rational, this doesn't mean that their rationality won't guide them to use subterfuge, arm terrorists to attack us, and break us financially. Either country could look at our financial condition and calculate that another expensive, extended response to terrorism will bring us closer to financial collapse. If either country was disposed to do so, they could put in motion a plan based on a nuclear attack which would break us and shift global power to either country. These are all good scenarios for military strategists and novelists and movie producers to consider, but they aren't realistic, because none of the countries mentioned above would risk mutual annihilation, and, besides, each of these countries are dependent on other countries economically, and such a disruption in the global market, if it didn't end in annihilation, would result in financial disaster for everyone involved, thus, risking revolt from a suffering, angry population.

    But even if the hawks say, yes, all these scenarios can happen, then we're left with the conclusion that America must eliminate nuclear weapons in all countries which can possibly do us harm. It seems arbitrary to pick Iran out of all the possibilities. I'm sure a smart hawk can develope many special justifications for why Iran is a special case, with the possibility of an attack on Israel being one, but Israel has greater nuclear capacity and expertise than Iran, so I don't buy this justification. No special case can be made for Iran.

    Iran obviously wants to gain more prominence and influence in the mideast, and they might even want to create a regional alliance to become a major world power. Iran certainly won't be the first in the mideast to attempt such an alliance, but as the always shaky Ottoman Empire revealed, such alliances in the mideast aren't very likely. Europe's alliance is even shaky. Solidarity has taken a back seat to plurality all around the world. America's united states are at risk of losing unity. Centralized power is failing everywhere, and economic concerns are growing more urgent.

    Too much is at stake to make World War and schemes of Wold Domination viable in the 21st century -- the destruction would be too devastating to make the enterpises worthwhile. No one can win. So, why are we rattling sabers over a blustering, weak and shaky Iran? Why do we have military bases in Europe and Asia? Why are we in Afghanistan, for Heaven's sake, going on decade?

    There's a huge amount of American wealth which can stay in the private sector and go toward productive use leading to good jobs, if only we can lose our 20th century, fearful, hawkish mindset and join the 21st century global market. Yes, there are dangers in the world and always will be, but, with our technological and communications superiority regarding national defense, we can deal with these dangers in more creative and less deadly and wasteful ways going forward -- we need not be afraid to cut defense spending which is no longer necessary.

    Tuesday
    Jan032012

    War drums and hyperbole

    When someone on the Right goes too far with slippery slope arguments and has us all under communist rule in a few years if Obamacare is not repealed, they are castigated and ridiculed by more reasonable and sober thinkers -- however, this morning, Romney was asked what he will do about Iran, and Romney went from Iran's blustering to Hamas and al Qaeda with nuclear weapons threatening America. Patriotic warriors and progressive hawks do this all the time, and hardly anyone calls them on the hyperbole, yet Ron Paul is called an extremist because he does call the hawks on the hyperbole and takes a more reasonable, sober approach.

    If Iran developes a nuclear bomb, will they arm Hamas and al Qaeda with nuclear bombs, and will these terrorist groups obliterate Israel and attack America with nuclear weapons? What do you have to believe to accept this scenario as viable? First, you have to believe that Iran is going to create a nuclear and delivery capacity necessary to be a real threat to our national security, then you have to believe that Iran would arm terrorists with the weapons and delivery mechanisms, then you have to believe that the terrorist groups would use the nuclear weapons against Israel or the US.

    Who in the world stands to gain from a nuclear attack on Israel or the US? No one. Also, Israel has the nuclear capacity to deter attack through assured mutual destruction. Given this fact, the hawks' whole argument is predicated on terrorist insanity -- we have to believe that at the leadership levels, there are insane men who will destroy themselves, their families, their countries and their religion just to bomb Israel or the US. If Iran arms the terrorists and has led the nuclear attacks, Iran will be destroyed. Who would even back the idea of Iran attempting to destroy Israel and the US? Not China, because China depends on our economy being strong in order to sell us their goods -- the same with Russia, India and many other nations. Europe certainly wouldn't stand by, fearing they are next. It would be beyond insanity for Iran to put itself in a position against the world to start with, but if they actually launched an attack, Iran would be nothing but a memory.

    These scenarios are fantastical, and it's easier to believe that America could turn red. Seriously, these hawkish nightmare scenarios are just as kooky and extreme as the rightwing fear of Obamacare creating communist rule. America doesn't have to live in fear -- we're better, more reasonable and courageous than that. The hawks are simply justifying expanded military intervention for other purposes, but national defense is not one of those purposes. 

    Wednesday
    Dec282011

    Iran's bluster might be Obama's good fortune

    Iran is threatening to close the Strait of Homuz, cutting off needed oil. Hawks will rattle their sabors as a gift of war-justification is presented in timely fashion. What better holiday gift than Iran asking for a military strike? Then while we're at it, we can bomb their nukes. Nah, not now boys -- settle down.

    I doubt Iran is serious. This could be a gift for Obama, though, if he plays his cards right and is not the fanatic environmentalist he wants his green supporters to believe. In two months Obama will have to make a decision on the Keystone pipeline, and the Iran situation gives him a way to approve the pipeline. We can't depend on Iran not acting insanely, Obama can say, so out of necessity for short-term energy realities, he must approve the pipeline project. Obama can give his approval grudgingly and blame the crazy Iranian leaders, but who cares, as long he approves it.

    Odds are that Obama wants to approve the pipeline, if for no other reason than to prevent union displeasure, and this is a very good rationalization to do so.

     

    Friday
    Dec162011

    Republicans falling into Iran trap

    Republicans are making a serious mistake by taking a hawkish position on Iran. Republican candidates and their supporters are using Ron Paul's non-interventionist position to frame him as weak on national defense, but this is a non-conservative, anti-limited government direction that's headed to nowhere. The public is looking for honesty and less government intervention, not another entanglement in the mideast. If we continue wasting resources we don't have in the mideast, we're going to collapse like the British Empire and the USSR collapsed when they became entangled in foreign affairs to the point of economic destruction.

    I find it difficult to believe that the Republican candidates actually believe Iran presents a serious military threat to the US. We can destroy Iran many times over, and the last thing Iran wants is an attack from an America that's truly terrified of nuclear attack. Enough experts have testified that Iran is not the threat that many hawks have made it out to be, so I'm sure inside the Pentagon there's similar information showing Iran as a minor irritant. The Pentagon and the military/industrial complex, including big defense contractors, need Iran to represent a threat, though, to avoid cuts to defense, and to justify more military build-up. The military/industrial complex, after a decade of wars, is out of control, far more powerful than any true conservative should be comfortable with. Ron Paul is levelling with the American people. The other Republican candidates are pandering to an electorate they think loves tough talk and military bravado.

    A nuclear Iran is no more of a military threat to the US than North Korea or Pakistan. Iran spends about 60 billion a year on defense while the US spends around 650 billion. What a nuclear Iran will threaten is our control of oil in the mideast, but this is a different threat. If we had a sane energy policy, we wouldn't have to worry about mideast oil, so, as Paul suggests, we need to go in a different direction. Bombing Iran right now would be insane, so the Republican candidates who heat up the rhetoric toward Iran are courting disaster. Yet, they make Paul out as the crank, the extremist who will put us at risk.

    Iran is not going to bomb Israel either, because to do so would destroy Iran. Iran is blustering to gain influence in the mideast, but that's not our concern. The mideast will have to work out their problems. Our interference will only make things worse for everyone. We should be closing military bases and closing down Afghanistan operations, bringing our troops and our money home where they're both needed. Then we should create a free market for energy and close the book on the mideast. The countries of the mideast and every rag-tag terrorist operation know that if we are attacked again, nothing but destruction will follow. We have nothing to prove militarily -- the leaders of every country in the world know what we can do miltarily. That's enough.

    Friday
    Dec162011

    Morning Joe 12/16/2011 -- Fundamental problems vs symptomatic problems

    On Morning Joe today, after doing a little Newt Trashing, the conversation touched on many symptomatic problems in America, from healthcare, to lack of economic growth, to foreign entanglements, to demand vs stimulus, to government investment in the economy to education to spending and entitlements.

    I can't address all these, but I'll touch on a few. The guests were Jeffrey Sachs, Donnie Deutsche, Julia Reed, Michael Steele, David Gregory, Eugene Robinson, Thomas Friedman and a probably a few other leftists I can't remember. Thank God Michael Steele was there for a different perspective. Yeah.

    Scarborough, like many Republicans who have put up a faux anti-neocon position, showed his true colors as he criticized Ron Paul for his position on Iran in last night's Republican debate. The Republican insiders are taking off the gloves to attack Paul, now that they think Gingrich will fade, and because they think the public is on their side regarding Iran. Perhaps a majority of the public has been scared by the government campaign to make Iran our next devil to fight.

    I remember in 2001, Leonard Piekoff on Bill OReilly's show was stating that Iran was at the center of terrorist beehive agitation -- O'Reilly called him a kook. The US sold Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda as the devils we had to attack, and a military response to 9/11 was certainly called for -- however, a decade later, after al Qaeda has been scattered and weakened, the US military/industrial complex gears up for a new devil, Iran. Scarborough has called for an end to the quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan, but now he has serious concerns with Iran, and he believes Ron Paul is irresponsible when Paul says we shouldn't intervene and become entangled with Iran.

    Neocons, conservatives of all stripes and progressive hawks say that Iran's nuclear program is now the most serious threat in the mideast. All the Republican candidates, except Paul, say we must stop the nuclear developement. How? Some are suggesting military strikes, but none have said what should actually be done about Iran. They say Iran's leaders are unpredictable and dangerous. If Iran used nuclear weapons, they'd be wiped out, and the crazy men theory doesn't hold water. North Korea's leader and the leaders of Pakistan are just as crazy and dangerous. What about China and Russia? Why are we focusing on Iran? If Israel is concerned with Iran's nuclear development, then Israel has the capability to deal with the problem. How is America's national security threatened by Iran? Does anyone think that Iran can develope the military capability to threaten US security? What would Iran gain from attacking the US?

    I understand the American people's relationship to our military and the desire for a strong national defense, but we have the greatest defense system in the world. Any nuclear attack on the US is an act of suicide for the attacker. We've been blackmailed by mideast countries from the beginning of our country, and we've failed in almost every attempt to push our will on that region. These countries have learned how to threaten, lie and manipulate until they get what they want from us. We've supported ruthless dictators, we've gone to war, we've given aid and technical training, we've bought their oil -- we've done everything but leave them alone to deal with their own problems. If we think bombing Iran's nuclear facilities will creat more security for the US, we're as delusional as we've always been when it comes to foreign policy. We'll start playing whack a mole as China and Russia support one mideast nation after another, keeping us in the no-win power games in that region. We're being led along by countries who would love to see us decline and collapse. They are draining us of resources, and we're going along with the plan. Paul is right -- get out of the mideast and stay out. No one in the mideast is crazy enough to attack America with nuclear weapons. But because our government always keeps that possibility floating, we allow the State to expand its power, and that power bleeds over into other areas as we give up freedom after freedom. When we get to the point the State says it has to suspend all our freedoms to deal with the threats from even crazier countries or terrorist groups, don't say that Paul and others didn't warn you.

    If Republicans continue to ignore our Founders' warnings about foreign entanglements, we'll stay bogged down in the mideast, and it will drain us dry.

    Later, Jeffrey Sachs and Tom Friedman talked about fundamental solutions to restore the weakened American economy. Friedman said, and Scarborough agreed, we need a long term plan to deal with spending coupled with a short-term stimulus effort to spur demand. Sachs said that stimulus and dealing with Medicare are not comprehensive solutions-- Sachs says we have to address the entire healthcare system, raise taxes, fix education and to invest in America. In other words, Sachs wants government to control healthcare, redistribute wealth, guide the direction of infrastructure and industry, through more regulation, and gain more control over education to make sure the right kind of education is offered. No one on the panel suggested allowing healthcare to work in a free market, abolishing capital gains taxes, removing regulations which hurt small businesses and protect large corporations, and allow private solutions to address our failed State education system. Hardly anyone in the political class, outside libertarians like Paul, is looking to really limit government power and create a free market, despite the rhetoric from Republicans. The question is whether the American people are learning enough to understand the need to limit government power and can connect the welfare/warfare State with lose of freedom and the creation of economic stagnation and decline. If the people can directly connect the welfare/warfare State machine with economic decline, high persistent unemployment, failed education, rising healthcare costs, small business suppression and crippling national debt, then the public will look for representatives who will roll back statist advancements, bring our military home to protect our borders, and then hold the representatives' feet to the fire.

    The media campaign to focus on the problems with Republican primary candidates diverts attention away from the current, continuing, statist path of the government and the continuing damage done the the economy and our freedoms. There wasn't one word on Morning Joe during the part I watched about the law that will allow government to hold an American citizen in detention indefinitely with no trial. There was no talk about Corzine and his government connections. There was nothing about Fast and Furious or government investments in failed green energy companies or the Fed's continuing manipulation of money or the failure of statism in Europe or China's growing bubble from the kind of "investment" Sachs is recommending. But, you can be sure that Gingrich was talked about, and Paul was dismissed as a crank, and they all laughed at the clown show in the Republican primary race, and they said if only Mitch Daniels would run! Yep, that's we need -- Mitch Daniels. It's so simple. I love how the Left and the Centrists advise the Republican Party -- it's nice of them to want to help those poor Republicans. I'm not a Republican or a Democrat, but I do know that Republicans aren't the only ones who need help.

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