Tag Archives: Iran

Iran Deal –False Choices

The guy in the white house claims that we either accept his horrendous proposal and complete surrender to Iran or we face the prospect of immediate all out war with the mad mullahs.  The assertion is that this deal is good because it…..well exactly what do we get out of it?   He asserts that Iran will not be developing any nukes for at least 1o years but history with Iran and other terror organizations around the world clearly indicate that such an assertion is childish at best and out right treasonous at worst.  He puts out nation and our important allies in harms way only to fulfill some delusional and narcissistic impulse to be remembered as a great diplomat.   After all he won the Noble Peace prize his first month in office, could we expect anything less.

The comparisons to Neville Chamberlain are astounding.   He also assured the world that old Hitler had been brought to heel and proudly waved the copy of the agreement from Munich and claimed we had “peace in our time’.   Well, guess it depended on how long you defined “time”.  It turned out to be a little over one year.  He is all about himself and that legacy.  He’ll have a legacy alright and it will live in infamy.

What would have been so bad about leaving everything exactly where they were and letting Iran suffer the consequences of the sanctions?   They are going to do what they want to do toward building a nuke either way.  Could any thoughtful and thinking person doubt otherwise?   They lie and do it often and brazenly.  They will only ramp up their mischief in the entire Middle East with the extra funding of billions they will get immediately from this deal.   A few billion here and there to Al Queada, Nusra, in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon can cause untold grief, death and misery to millions and advance their ideology at the same time.  They have no incentive to refrain from that course of action.

We have many military options besides putting 200,000 soldiers on the ground in an invasion of Iran which is the clear false choice presented by the current white house occupant.  Unfortunately many who do not know history and get their news from TMZ will buy into that sophistry.  The are many degrees of military action that could be taken and be very effective.  How about using our Navy and air power to destroy the Iranian navy. That would be doable and as wars go pretty low risk but a painful blow to our adversary.   Further we could impose a complete blockade on Iran in addition to sanctions and cripple what economy they have which in turn would greatly diminish their capacity to spread terror with money and arms and even troops throughout the Middle East.  If that wasn’t enough we could also take down their air force entirely.   Yes, it would cost some money but how much will be spending anyway under the Iran Deal?  We would have to spend mony to fight the terrorists the export and those they supply.   And also yes it would have casualties.   All wars do sadly but would we be safer with a defanged Iran?

Lastly, many would argue tha Iran would retaliate.  So, they already are as fast as they can throughout the Middle East and North Africa.   With a blockade, sanctions and no navy or air force it would be that much harder for them to export terrorism rather than the free hand they have under the Administration’s plan.   For those who would argue that Russia or China would take action against us if we pursued that course of action, please think that scenario through.  They would huff and puff but why would they really care that much in the end.   Russia would see stronger oil prices and the diminishment of a competitor and China would have one less rival in that region of the world.  Neither of them would attack the U. S. on behalf of Iran.  How could we be worse off than  the road we are heading down right now?   Iran is evil just as Stalin was evil.  You never go wrong fighting evil and always do when accommodating it.   The Call to prayer might be the sweetest sound Barack ever heard but we need to heed the righteous call to arms for our Western way of life.

“There is a time for war and a time for peace”  Proverbs.  oldranky.wordpress.com









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Ron Paul And Iran

I have watched several of the Republican debates in the last couple of months and have listened to Ron Paul talk about how it is understandable that Iran would hate us because we went in there and overthrew their democratically elected government in 1954.   That overstates the actual facts but we did in fact work covertly to install another government in 1954.  The effort had begun in 1953.  Unfortunately his statement without any background completely mis-characterizes the actions of the US at that time and the necessity or lack thereof  for that action.  It is always a mistake to have people take matters out of a context and use them to create a false impression of history.  As any experienced journalist knows all too well you can write a story that true facts in it but still give the slanted impression you want with the use of language and the omission of other facts equally true.

In 1953 we were at the height of the Cold War and indeed it was a war.  It continued on for another three plus decades.  Stalin didn’t die until 1953 and the usual mystery surrounding the power brokers in the Kremlin prevailed.   The Soviets had just developed their H-Bomb at that time.  The Iron Curtain was firmly in place across all of Eastern Europe.   The Rosenbergs had just given away our secret regarding the bombs to the Commies.  Alger Hiss had been exposed for what he was as a secret agent for the Soviets.   Even that dolt and drunk McCarthy had his run at exposing the Commies in our government.  Just because he was a boor, brute and crude didn’t make him wrong about his basic allegations.  There were in fact Commies in the State Department and other governmental agencies just not as many as he alleged.  But the ones there were bad enough. 

Poland, Hungary, Austria and Berlin and other areas of Eastern Europe were under the oppressive thumb of the Kremlin and the trials and the Gulag were in full flower.  The Commies never hesitated to achieve their goals at the blunt end of a gun.  Oh, don’t forget that little exercise in Korea.  It had just ended.  The Soviets had helped along with their then brothers in cause, the Chicoms.   Soviets advisors were all over Korea along with their MIG aircraft to shoot down our planes.

The Commies were on the march everywhere throughout the world during this period and stated their overt intention to dominate the world with their policies and their actual rule.  All our Presidents and leaders for decades believed it was the right and proper course to oppose this Communist assault.  Truman in Greece and the Truman Doctrine.  Eisenhower with our European troops in place, Kennedy at Cuba and Viet Nam, Johnson in Viet Nam and all of Asia are only some of the examples.

In the early ’50’s Iran was still primitive.  The notion of them having a “democratic” election during that era is laughable.  The Communists were pushing hard in that area just as they were in Tibet and India for greater control, influence and outright dominion.  Remember every country that had a communist party in place did in fact follow exactly the dictates from Moscow or Beijing as the case may be.  Iran was ripe for the picking at this time for Moscow and they were pushing for it.

I have heard Paul people say we went there with our covert operations to gain oil.  Again their historical facts are phony.   In the early 1950’s the US was still energy independent.  We didn’t need their damn oil.  We were just beginning our Gulf Coast offshore development and had onshore supplies plus Mexico and Venezuela.   Iran didn’t have that much in proven reserves at that time in any event.  We could have bought oil cheap if we wanted it or needed it from that area from Saudi Arabia.  We didn’t take our covert action in Iran to get oil but to counter a move by a real enemy–the Communists. 

Lastly, it way overstates the case to say our covert actions in fact caused the change in government.  People always think that covert action of a political nature is more effective at the moment than it really is.  Heck, if covert action only would work to change governments we wouldn’t have had to endure the Communists in Russia for so many decades.  Lord, knows we tried hard enough to change that regime covertly and otherwise.  When all is said and done the people of Iran wanted that change or it wouldn’t have happened.  All they had to do was stand up and say no and it would not have occurred.   Those in the intelligence community have debated how effective our effort was there after the event.  Many believe it was not very influential other than to put a guy forward for the Iranians to accept or reject.  They accepted him.

This isn’t a commentary about Paul’s candidacy as such but only about his allegations.  He paints a picture that the US just woke up one fine morning and decided to go over throw another government and did so for oil.   That picture is completely wrong.  All are invited to do your own research on this topic you don’t have to accept my word for anything. 

“We will bury you.” Nikita Khrushev.  www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

We all just wrapped up one year and are embarking anew with a fresh calendar so here are the thoughts from the past and ones for the conjectures of the future.

Sure be glad when the Iowa caucuses are done.   Enjoy staying up with the political arena but it has gone on long enough.  Besides my memory is that the winner of the Iowa votes have had very mixed results down the road in other primaries.   It is no better predictor of future nominees than general public speculation.

It always seems like a lot more work taking down all those Christmas decorations than it does when you are putting them up around the house.

It took the European Union about 10 years to put together the Euro and have it finally launch as a real world currency.  One wonders if it will take them that long to undo that currency agreement?  

Interesting that concern and worry over a renewed and powerful Germany in Europe gave rise to NATO , the very idea of the European Union and so many other agreements over the decades since the end of WWII.   The French in particular have been very wary of a revitalized Germany.  But here we are and Germany is the dominant player in the European Union.  Sacre Bleu!

With Iran stepping up its military presence in the Straits of Hormuz you have to wonder how bad things would be if there was another accident like 20 something years ago when we shot down that airliner by accident thinking it was taking hostile action against our fleet.   Such an incident right now would really ratchet up the tensions which are already high enough.  Here’s hoping all those Bluejackets are staying alert and that gunnery officers are on their toes.

In the old west during the days of the cattle drives the cook was far more than the guy who did the cooking.  He was the doctor more often than not and he was also the blacksmith to mend tools and equipment and he was the farrier for the horses.  Next to the boss he was the number two man and brooked no disagreement with anyone.

In case you have forgotten don’t forget the tax increases due next year.  One I guess should assume that the FICA taxes will be reduced again this year by 2% but then go back up next year.  I mean they can’t keep the “holiday” going very long or Social Security will be an even more endangered species of entitlement.  On top of that don’t forget the 3.2% increase on most dividends, capital gains etc.  and there is the surcharge for high earners on Medicare withholding.  All in all a pretty steep increase in taxes for one year.  Of course there is the concern like always that tax increases of any sort will produce the inevitable drag on the economy.  As the date looms closer next fall it will receive more attention or at least one would think so.

As always it is amazing and amusing how easily people can get misled on topics broached by politicians.  Gringrich’s thoughts about reining in the judiciary have been denounced by some as radical or unconstitutional.  I only offer the thought that you read the Constitution for yourself.  The idea of eliminating certain courts is not revolutionary because it is an idea embedded in the Constitution itself.  Article Three has from day one provided that Congress can create “such inferior courts”  blah blah blah.  Other than the Supreme Court all other courts exist at the pleasure of Congress and always have.   Thomas Jefferson for one had tremendous fights with the judiciary and considered eliminating District Courts and the removal of some US Marshalls considered too political and/or corrupt.

How many moms gave a big sigh of relief this morning?   Much as they love their little munchkins they all started back to school today for the spring semester and mom will have a few hours to herself for the first time since they got out of school for Christmas.

At the same time that Europe has been touting its “union” it is interesting to note that there has also been a serious move for regionalism or separatism in their bailiwick.  Belgium is a good example.  Since European Union got up an on-going those Belgians have been quite busy splitting up the power and authority of central government.  Flanders has it own parliament as does Wallonia and then there are special assemblies for linguistics groups along the lines of the Dutch speaking and the French speaking.  Even their executive functions in Brussels require two each of Dutch speakers and French speakers.  And for good measure they even have local self government for the handful of German speakers along the eastern border of Wallonia.  They love the welfare state but just don’t trust the central authority as much as advertised if you only followed the headline news.  Of course all those separate entities also have their own administrative personnel, bureaucrats.  Similar events have occurred in Spain (Catalonia, Basques country) , in the Tyrol region, northern Italy and of course we all know that Czechoslovakia is now two countries.  There are more examples.  Read and research yourself.  Always look a little beyond just the title of the Chapter when reading the book.

No man is an island unless he is asking for a loan from you.   www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Drip, Drip, Drip Into War

Just yesterday it was reported that the Iranians had used one of their jets to “buzz” one of our aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf.  It reportedly came within 100 yards of the ship.  That is almost landing on the darn thing.   Apparently, and hopefully, we had it on our radar tracking system for a long time before it approached that close.  It has been the accepted custom on the high seas for a long time that any encounter between forces that come that close are considered a hostile act.  More often than not such a close pass by would result in opening fire on the intruder.   This is a stark reminder to the most lazy mind that we are dealing with a very dangerous and volatile situation in the Mid East.

We used to send our SAC bombers to the Soviet border regularly to test their systems and they did the same.  These events normally occurred in the Artic Ocean or the  Bering Sea area.  Such events have happened often but always with danger.  Usually the intruding party would pull back before they got too close to a border or ship to avoid a hostile reaction.  Many times such intrusions were for gathering intelligence on a broader scale.  You may recall the famous incident with Gary Francis Powers and the U-2 spy plane in 1960.  Our intellignece folks had assured the military that the Soviets didn’t have any rockets capable of reaching the spy plance because it could fly at altitudes of over 75,000 feet.  Another example of intelligence gone wrong.  They did have one and it shot him down and resulted in great embarrassment to the US and loss of prestige on the world stage.

Militaries often position their forces in locations to demonstrate to a potential enemy that they are there and ready to engage if necessary.  Usually it is ships off a coast or conducting “training exercises” of someone’s coast.  Just as the Iranians are doing now in the Gulf.   As Iran continues its development of a nuclear bomb we should all watch with horror as they flex their muscles and beat their chest.  The likelihood of nuclear confrontation with Israel is a danger of the first magnitude.  Israel has never officially acknowledged that they have a nuclear weapon(s) but everyone certainly assumes that they do.  Several decades ago when Israel was very close diplomatically with South Africa during the apartheid regime there were report of a nuclear explosion in South Africa but it was never made clear if this was an Israelis or South African device.  The nuclear device is the Israeli version of the castle keep.  Where they retreat in the last instance to preserve their existence.  It is very foolish to assume they won’t use such a device the moment they feel that their existence as a nation is on the brink.  Likewise, the Iranians have made clear their intention to bring Isarel low, very low.  It is a holy crusade for them and they don’t mind the loss of lives, even of their own citizens, 

Israel has no doubt war gamed the various scenarios under which they might launch a preemptive strike to neutralize the Iranian progress with a bomb.  Many have written about the difficulties they will face trying to make such an attack without incurring the wrath of the US or other neighboring countries by using their air space for the attack.  Yes, that will be of some concern but in the grand scheme of things it will be minor.  If you are launching an attack on Iran the dipolmatic fallout will be insignificant compared to the real dangers on the ground.  The Israelis will have to make more than one strike most likely.  Supposedly the Iranians have dispersed they facilities around the country which would be logical and prudent to avoid having everything wiped out in one attack.  It makes it harder for the attacking force.  I would think the Isarelis will ultimately take the route they deem most effective militarily and to maximize the results of the attack and diplomacy be damned.   They will be in a fight for their lives at that point. 

Geography and history tell you exactly where the Iranians will attack.  It will be Tel Aviv and mayby one or two other coastal areas. Jerusalem has too many Arabs and Muslim holy places to attack there.  Almost anyplace else would harm more Arabs than Jews.  They might go for the Golan Heights also because of its strategic location.   To prevent this the Israelis when they feel painted into a corner will strike first as they have in the past in ’73 and in Lebanon in the ’80’s.  The Iranians will make an attempt to close the Straits of Hormuz to the flow of oil but shouldn’t be successful with that in the long run.   They simply don’t have the military capability.  It would not be like the Battle of the Atlantic during WWII when we faced a real danger the German U-boats could cut off the logistical lifeline to England.  That is if “we” strike back hard at them.  The we would likely be the US and Israel and some of the western allies whether they like it or not.  It will be very messy and will roil the international markets for some time.  But the Israelis can force our hand and what else can we do?  Complete surrender is out of the question politically at home.   What President could watch Israel be destroyed and survive?   We will have to take out all the military of Iran that can threaten either Israel or the Persian Gulf area.  That means at a minimum their air force and all navy forces.  Whether we are enthusiastic or not we will have to strike a follow-up blow decisively and forcefully and quickly or else a tragedy will become an Armageddon.

Take a look at the numbers and you will see that the debt crisis of the US will be the same as Greece before this decade is out.  Don’t believe me, check it for yourself, it is a mathematical fact.  They have a welfare and socialist state that provides well for everyone but the problem is there aren’t enough workers in the “real” economy there to support it, thus the debt.  Our government grows by the year, oh dear me.   www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Eradicate Iran?–Then What?

The constant concern about the nuclear program and threats from Iran and the current turmoil on the streets there keep that country in the headlines and rightly so.   From all available  information Iran is on track to develop its own nuclear capacity for atomic weapons in a matter of a couple of years at most.  It is not only that they are developing that potential nuclear arsenal but their announced intentions about the possible use of that weapon that cause concern.  Virtually every nuclear power except for Iran and North Korea is very circumspect with regard to any comment about the possible use of such a weapon.  Indeed all those countries say that they have no intention to ever use such a weapon and that they exist only for defensive purposes to ensure the continued existence of their respective nations.   You never read of the US, Great Britain, France or Russia or the Ukraine making any threats remotely implying the use of any nuclear devices.  Even Pakistan and India when at loggerheads, which is often, don’t make threats of such a use againt each other.  The Chinese never issue public statements rattling the nuclear sword against anyone.  Ah, but the Iranis are in a class by themselves (well, maby North Korea shares a desk in that classroom with them).   The Iranian authorities and leaders regularly threaten the existence of Israel and others they perceive to be their allies or supporters with anniliation, nuclear or otherwise.   Are those threats enough to justify a pre-emptive strike against Iran by the US or Israel or any other nation?

Let’s start by looking at the map.  As the real estate salesmen would say everything is location, location, location.   Yes, Iran does have some oil production but it is not essential to the general welfare of the world.  They have operated their oil fields so incompetently for years now that the production is far below what it could be with improved technology and procedures.  Their current production of about 2 million barrels a day is significant but if it was terminated completely it would not adversely affect the world supply that greatly.  Heck, it might even be a good thing and make the US look  more closely at using the abundant natural gas reserves we have for vehicle fuel.  Iran is important because of where it is, not what it can produce.  It sits right below the Caspian Sea and stretches from there all the way to the Persian Gulf and in fact the entire eastern shore of that Gulf is Iranian territory, over 600 miles of coastline  is Iranian.  It straddles the land and coastal routes between the Asian lands, (India, Indonesia, etc.) and the near Mid East lands of Iraq, Israel, Turkey and Syria.   An irrational and hostile Iran can foment troubles out of proportion to its size or military power or economic power because it touches so many important areas or is close enough to influence those areas.   The fact that it is Shia also carries tremendous weight in the Muslim world that adheres to those doctrines.   It is the largest by far of those Shia lands.

The other major problem with Iran is the fact that it is a theocracy.  That is such a foreign concept to the Western world.  I like James Dobson and think he is a great guy with wonderful ideas but I would not want him to be in complete charge of the US.  By its very nature a theological agenda is not rational because it is based on faith and beliefs that go beyond the rational.   When objective reality clashes with religious beliefs the beliefs more often prevail in such a society.  Hence the suicide bombers.  Do we need more evidence than that?   The religious leaders of Iran and the secular leaders to the extent there is any such thing there all rattle the sword constantly and threaten war and destruction on those they believe to be infidels.  I think we should take people at their word.  The mistake the world made with Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin was not taking them at their word.  When they get the nuclear weapons they will use them.  We should accept that as a fact.  They say that is what they will do and we ignore their announced intentions at our own peril.   

It would the be the height of stupidity to simply sit by and watch your confirmed enemy build their weapons to destroy you.   They are not developing those weapons for defense but offense.  There is no rational basis that they can posit that nuclear weapons are needed to defend Iran from attack.  Who the hell is hell is going to attack them? 
They are on a jihad and religious mission and that doesn’t comport well with traditional diplomacy.   It would be wonderful if diplomacy could be used to deter their goals but alas that is the classic pipe dream.  Read all you want about the various proposals for dealing with them and show me just one strategy that has a chance of success.   We or the Israelis should destroy their nuclear capabilities now while there is time.  Once they have them everything will freeze up until the Iranis decide to deploy their weapon. It will be the classic sword of Damacles hanging over the head of the world.  At the same time we should take out their entire air force and naval forces.  We should not even attempt to invade the place.  They would be left with their sizable army to defend themselves against their neighbors.  There would be no regime change imposed by the West.  They could do as they like with their country except to develop those weapons that would destroy hundreds of thousands or millions.  I know many would say such a course of action will only create more Islamist terrorists because of the desire for revenge the Iranians would want.  Maybe so.  But is that alternative any worse than them using 2 or 3 nuclear weapons on selected targets in the Mid East or elsewhere?    The latter is what they say they will do and there is nothing to indicate they don’t mean exactly what they say.  Destroying the potential threat is the highest priority.   Such an action would casue trouble but so would the use of their weapons.  Some nations would get all mad but the bottom line is no one would come to their rescue and no nation would go to war over Iran if all we did was take the course of action outlined here.   Behind closed doors most of the world would breathe a sigh of relief.

The recent riots in the streets and election disputes don’t change anything even if that Mousavi fellow were to prevail.  Remember he was vetted and approved by the Aytollah or he would never have been on the ballot in the first place and he has made no denounciation of the nuclear program or the national goal of eliminationg Israel.  That would only change the horse but not the destination that Iran is pursuing. www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Reduced Nukes–Nirvana or Increased Danger?

Again the idea of a reduction in the number and quality of nuclear weapons has been pushed to the fore by the recent announcement of the new guy that he will negotiate anew with the Russians over a mutual reduction in nuclear weapons.  That sounds like a really good idea in principle and on paper.  I mean who wants to get blown apart  with a force like a blast of TNT or zapped to a crisp like overdone bacon in the microwave?   We do need to proceed quite carefully however.  You don’t want to end up being the guy that brings a knife to a gun fight.  

So many today don’t appreciate the sense of dread and fear that loomed over the world for decades during the Cold War.  The thought of a nuclear missile flashing out of the sky suddenly or a flight of high altitude bombers was quite real.  I even recall in the early ’60’s when we had a  most stunning display from a meteor that fell in our area.  The flash and brillance of the disintergrating “falling star” was spectacular.  I was a witness that evening but sheer chance along with thousands of others.  I remember distinctly that the immediate thought that went through my mind was that the  Soviets had made a launch and I was watching the last thing I would see on this earth.  Within seconds I realized what it was but the instantaneous reaction was of nuclear attack.  That was the atmosphere of the times.

The Soviets made  threats of nuclear attack often enough and tensions were escalated and then abated during every conflict around the world where the Soviets or their puppets were facing off against any friend or even perceived friend of the West.  The Soviets made a point of displaying their prowess every May Day parade.  The most publicized event was the Cuban missile crisis but there were many others over those decades that didn’t receive the same notice–more than once we went to a higher alert over conflicts in the middle east involving Israel for example.   How many movies were made and how many books written about this topic from 1950 to about 1990?  “On the Beach” by N. Shute was probably the most famous.  It was a great story but terrible on the science. 

Recall that when the first nuclear explosion was tested at White Sands that the scientists were dealing with a known/unknown.  They knew the explosion would occur if the engineering was correct.  They even had a pretty good estimate of its power but the exact dimensions of it were speculative.   We advanced our knowledge of the nukes tremendously over the following years.  Several of those later experiments were even televized live in the early ’50’s.   I remember as a teenager getting up very early in the morning to watch the explosions on TV with the breathless voice of a commentator giving the blow by blow.   Radioactivity is very dangerous.  It can kill silently.  Just ask Madame Curie.  But it does not last foever from a nuclear bomb.  So many of the early commentators and protesters used terrible science to justify their opposition to nukes that myths arose in the public mind about what nukes do in fact.   We were told that the land under a nuclear attack would be a “dead zone” for centuries because of the half-life of the nuclear material.  Well you can go to White Sands today and you won’t die a few weeks later.  Same is true with Hiroshima.   In fact the bombs are made “cleaner” than every before.  That doesn’t make them safe or a warm fuzzy.  A nuclear war would be a mass destruction on a scale we can’t even  imagine.  But the world would not die.  Even in the targeted countries most people would survive.   They might not like what they see out their window but they would survive.  Many of the modern nukes are specially designed to accomplish specific missions.  Such as those for creating EMP’s, electro-magnetic pulse, emissions that would destroy all modern devices that use electricity or the electro-magnetic spectrum to function–computers, cars, and almost every conceivable piece of equipment used for a modern society.  Only those devices with special protection would survive and even then the protections are mostly guess work; we don’t know how effective they would be.

If we are to be involved in a nuclear disarming program it must have 100% fail safe verification programs.  We should not do it at all if it is only us and Russia.  The risks to the US are too high.  The French must take a seat at the table and join the program.  The Brits we can trust and they have a modest nuclear program, if any such program can be decribed as modest.   The French have been as active as we have over the decades developing their nuclear capabilities and it is quite formidable.   They conducted the last of the above ground testing in the West, in the far reaches of the South Pacific.   The Israelis are going to be a problem also.  Understandably they believe the nukes are their last line of defense against the
Arabs and Muslims who threaten to eliminate them on a regular basis.  If there is to be meaningful disarmament then they have to at least agree to strict conditions about the use of those weapons and verification. 

With regard to Iran and N. Korea we should enter into agreements with the other nuclear powers that make it clear to them that they are both No. 1 on our target lists.  They are going to develop those nukes.  To assume otherwise is naive.  A balance of terror is the realpolitik strategy with them.   If they every activate their weapons they should know that they won’t be able to launch because they will be struck first.  Yes, that would result in the deaths of millions of people.  But their launch would also result in the death of millions.  Sometimes you have to make hard choices in this world.  I would rather it be them than others around the world.  That action would produce very difficult and unpleasant consequences but so would a successful launch by either of those two.  I would rather deal with the results of our eliminating their weapons than their strikes on California, Israel, Japan or even Eastern Europe.  I think our allies would agree.  You can rest assured the French would.  There is no country on earth more attuned to the concept of realpolitik than the French.  That has been true at least since the days of Tallyrand if not earlier.

Let’s all hope for the safety of our progeny that we move carefully in any nuclear stand down agreement.  It can’t be unilateral or even bi-lateral with Russia.   Those other major powers have to be involved for it to truly promote a safer world.

The latest is that Government, Inc. is going to convert some of its debt into stock in GM.  Not surprising and means of course that the US will be not just the de facto owner of GM but de jure.  It also means that Ford will have to compete with Government, Inc. who will subsidize any losses to protect union jobs for how long?   As long as there are politicians seeking union votes.

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