Archive for the 'world war III, or maybe IV' Category

How far are we willing to go? (Updated)

August 28, 2013

OK, so there’s this:

There is a chorus of criticism over the pending action from those who argue that it will not resolve the conflict in Syria and fear that any action taken will lead to the kind of protracted on-the-ground involvement that has proved so costly and fruitless in Iraq and Afghanistan. These critiques are misguided. There is no reason why targeted and carefully proscribed, but nonetheless potent, air attacks could not effectively deliver a message to Assad that these abuses must stop. His air defenses can be targeted. His weapons stores can be targeted. Economic assets associated with his closest associates, upon which his regime depends, can be targeted. This last approach — targeting the financial backers and cutting off money stream — is what ultimately proved to tip the scales most effectively in the former Yugoslavia during the 1999 bombings known within NATO as Operation Allied Force. This was an example of successful but limited use of air power without ground support that advanced a specific goal — in that case, the withdrawal of Yugoslav forces from Kosovo. (Ironically, tellingly, the rationale President Bill Clinton’s administration gave for the bombing included the fear that failing to undertake it could be a disaster in Kosovo that could claim some 100,000 lives — the same total lost to date in Syria.)

So to be clear, we can bomb them and then they will know that we can bomb them. Some more. Agreed. That is what they will know. Also, Syria is not Yugoslavia. The Serbians didn’t have a defense system meant to counter the Israeli air force.

What is really breaking my brain right now is reading people I respect make the American Exceptionist case:

If it is true that the regime killed hundreds of civilians with nerve gas in a Damascus suburb last week — and Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Monday that the use of chemical weapons is “undeniable” — then Obama has no choice. Such use cannot be tolerated, and any government or group that employs chemical weapons must be made to suffer real consequences. Obama should uphold this principle by destroying some of Assad’s military assets with cruise missiles.

This is a case in which somebody has to be the world’s policeman.

Says who sir? You?

But, what if in being bombed, that is, they become desperate because, well, we just bombed them, and so in desperation they use that pile of chemical weapons we are told they have. I mean, why the hell not at that point?

How far are we willing to go? Once we drop bombs we are fully committed. As is stated above, anything can be targeted. Never mind that those targets include human beings, that collateral damage thing we occasionally hear about.

Where do we draw the red line on our own actions? If the civil war continues to worsen, we will be expected to escalate our response. We will already ‘be there’.

Once we jump into this we are in. Into a civil war that can more accurately be described as chaos. We would be bombing amongst other things targets that would weaken the capabilities of a regime on the side of Russia, China, Hezbollah and Iran, which would have the effect of allowing a highly fractured, and increasingly radicalized, rebel force to, um, suddenly shit a collective rainbow and get along?

I am starting to have flashbacks. I am pretty sure we went through this fairly recently. Has one person actually came out and said there is conclusive proof of these chemical attacks? Or who perpetuated them?

And let’s say they did happen, and the Assad regime committed these crimes. OK. Now what? We bomb, then maybe bomb again. The regime retreats to the coast, doing what ever it takes to get there. Possibly. Then what? Do we sit by and let more ethnic cleansing happen? You think it won’t?

Never mind the battles between rebel forces already happening, never mind that no one seems to know how to deal with the massive refugee issue that is surely to arise from our actions as they intensify. And they will.

Or that no matter what we do we will still be hated even more in the region. Somehow our actions will be used to recruit more terrorists.

Will Russia, China, Hezbollah, and Iran respond? In what ways? Again, how far are we willing to go? And for that matter what concessions are we willing to make to ensure they don’t?

If we do this, we have to acknowledge the fact that we may very well become bogged down, that we will be on the hook for more support, possibly ground troops regardless of what anyone says right now. We have to accept that we will have to help rebuild, and we haven’t proven successful in that endeavor as of late.

Or we don’t, and end up looking like dicks for blowing up their infrastructure, which anyone will need to rebuild.

So what’s our commitment? Drop a few bombs? Make a point? What point exactly? That we can?

Then what? I highly doubt Assad has any plans to surrender. So we are in this till when exactly? And if other countries decide to back him, what is our game plan? And most importantly, what imminent threat does all this pose to the US?

Well, that’s my peace. I would hope it doesn’t happen but I am tired of being disappointed.

Update – Here is a lot more background on the groups involved in Syria.

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The End gets a little nearer

January 19, 2007

Time

It’s springtime for anti-satellite missiles — again — now that China has fired a missile into space and destroyed an aging weather satellite orbiting 500 miles above the earth. The James Bond-style exercise left a several-hundred- meter-wide cloud of scrap metal floating around in space. Some of the debris could pose a threat to spacecraft passing through the region, scientists say, and will remain a problem for hundreds of years to come. And there will be repercussions on Earth, too.

Protests and expressions of concern were lodged over the test by the U.S., Japan, Canada, South Korea and Australia, but Beijing has so far refused to comment on the issue or even confirm the test took place. “The brazenness of this is a bit frightening,” says Mike Green, former senior Bush Administration Asia adviser. “It shows that the Peoples Liberation Army has considerable leeway — a great deal of influence if not autonomy — to increase their capacity even at considerable diplomatic cost.”

The obvious irony of anyone from the US criticizing the Chinese military for not playing nice aside, what really freaks out the US government is:

The Dr. Strangelovian angle on what the Pentagon calls ASAT — anti-satellite — weapons is that a foe could use them to blind key U.S. spy satellites as the first punch in a massive war. While such a notion carried some weight during the Cold War, such a war seems markedly less likely in today’s world, some U.S. officials believe. Still, developing its anti-satellite capability is only one of a series of steps China is taking aimed at leveling out the playing field in case of a clash with the U.S. Other examples include the training of units designed to hack into military computers, and the development of massive shore-to-ship missile batteries that would make it very difficult for U.S. carrier groups to approach China’s coast. The U.S. dependence on its technological edge is considerable: Green explains that in recent joint exercises held with the Indian Air Force, less technologically advanced Russian Sukhoi jets defeated American F-15s when the latter were deprived of support from satellite and AWACs systems.

And the escalation continues. The fear of war drives the creation of bigger, better weapons. Mutual destruction is not a policy, it is insanity.

Quick Post on SCO

September 30, 2006

I don’t have a lot of time this morning because I have to get to the Democrat candidate function at UTA today (I’m on camera duty for annatopia), so I’m posting the hearing transcript in full on the SCO (see last post). Also, here is a link to a blog by one of the panelists. I will post my critique tomorrow.

More below the fold…..

Read the rest of this entry »

A Superpower Awakens

September 23, 2006

While we in the US argue about immigration, Iraq and torture, there are far more important issues being over looked by the media, the political parties and the populace. The reality of the world we live in today is that energy resources, not terrorism, not religion, not the spread of democracy, may very well lead to the next world war.

The US media is too busy to notice, or too controlled by corporations and the government to talk about, what is really at stake in an invasion of Iran and with the growing influence of the Shanghia Cooperation Organization.

Russia and China are fully aware that the US is slipping in it’s ability to control international politics. Thanks to the shortsighted misadventure in Iraq, along with long overdue revolutions against Western imperialism around the globe, the US is increasingly viewed as an agressor nation bent on domination by a growing majority of the world population. US aggression is leading many nations to seek protection through regional cooperation.

South America is doing such through the Social Democracy movement. But in East Asia, the SCO is gaining ground. And what gives the SCO power is control of energy resources, from oil and natural gas of members Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to deals with Venezuela, Sudan, West Africa, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Canada being set up by China.

What we are seeing is two things: first China is seeking to become the economic superpower of the world. Meanwhile Russia is vying to become the world’s energy superpower. Now these two things may seem to be independant, but in reality what is happening is that Russia needs customers and China needs suppliers. And by combining resources, both objectives can, and are, being achieved.

So what is it about this relationship that makes it so dangerous to Western powers, especially the US, and why are these two former rivals combining resources in the first place? Consider this: China is producing pretty much anything and everything, and sees new markets everywhere from Africa, to Europe to South America. Russia is seeking to regain it’s former glory on the world stage. Only instead of competing with China through production of goods, Russia is instead focusing on energy resources. It’s a perfect matchup. China gets to reap the profits of consumer goods while Russia gets to reap the profits of the world’s appetite for energy.

What makes this really interesing is that China is playing the field by going outside of the SCO, making deals with countries like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Canada. But the Chinese don’t play the old Cold War games of pushing their way into anyone else’s government like the Soviets used to do (and the US is still doing). So they come out as the good guys. Russia on the other hand is playing the part of the bully, pushing it’s weight around in the old Soviet block nations. With anger against the US growing and countries like India, Pakistan and Mongolia, not to mention Iran, courting the SCO, look for other countries to start considering closer relationships, both economical and militarily, with SCO nations.

But what does this have to do with the West? Well, for starters, Russia is cutting the US off at the knees in the Caspian Sea, undercutting pipeline deals that the West thought they had wrapped up. Second, the SCO is starting to come together more and more on energy issues while at the same time holding joint military exercises together. And guess where the SCO is looking to hold it’s unified defense coming out party; Iran.

Now, this doesn’t mean that everything is going smoothly for the SCO. Far from it. China is more concerned about it’s own prosperity then it is with it’s relationship with Russia. But a US invasion of Iran could very well be the incident that convinces both sides they really need each other in order to counter the West.

The EU is stuck in the middle of all this. They don’t want Russia to gain more power over their energy resources, which makes them more dependant on Iranian oil. But US enforced sanctions would put Russia in the driver’s seat of the EU’s fuel resoures as winter approaches. So it is in the EU’s best interests that Iranian oil keeps flowing. In the mean time, the SCO has already agreed to letting Iran in, putting it at odds with US invasion plans.

If there was a different group running Washington right now, I wouldn’t be so worried about war. But with this current regime and their lust for blowing things up, I am afraid they will drop bombs, including the bomb, in Iran. And if they don’t do it themselves, Israel will do it for them. And if that happens all bets are off. The SCO will not only be compelled to respond, I think it will have to in order to save face if it wants to prove it’s really a counter to US influence in the region and across the globe.

Personally, I’m very interested in what comes out of this.

Whatever

September 10, 2006

It’s the day before September 11th, on what is the 5th anniversary of the day that “changed everything”. The news channels seem all abuzz about Bin Laden, calling him the “world’s most wanted man”. Even the President has decided to mention Bin Laden’s name again. Documentaries on 9/11 are on every channel. I even saw a clip on ESPN this morning talking about the decision to resume sports after 9/11. Of course if you really need a 9/11 fix just go to September 11 News.com.

I pretty much expected all the 9/11 coverage and rememberences. And the President is bringing up Bin Laden to stir up fear and war support with the mid-term elections drawing near, although it does seem odd that President Bush would mention Bin Laden considering how the US has failed to capture him.

So, to the news media, who still to this day has failed to dig and push for the truth of what happened 5 years ago, I say whatever. Go ahead and capitalize on the deaths, the destruction and the drama. And be sure to charge plenty for those commercials wedged in between the images of planes hitting the World Trade Center towers and their eventual collapse.

And the same goes for all the documentaries, whatever. Close-ups of people crying, dust covered survivors running and engineers arguing the structural integrity of beams don’t explain how it happened or why.

And to the American people, who have not demanded the truth and who took the bait for the invasion of Iraq hook, line and sinker, whatever. They even re-elected the bastard and put his party in power.

And to the President most of all, WHATEVER. September 11, 2001 was the greatest thing to happen to George Bush and his cabal of neo-cons. With the collapse of the towers they were able to push forward their agenda of perpetual war. The President squandered the world’s sympathy with his wet dream that is Iraq, and no doubt Iran. He will stand at the World Trade Center site tomorrow and circle jerk with his cronies on the Constitution and the dead.

We will probably never know the truth of what led up to the attacks because everyone, from the people, to the media, to the government seems to be either hiding, or hiding from, the truth.

The day everything changed. Whatever. Nothing changed.

The Next Superpower?

January 23, 2006

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, consisting of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, is the next rising power in the world. The organization is basically trying to build economic and security related ties in Asia. And with India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan signed on as observers, with possible membership later, what we have is half the world’s population coming together. This article does a great job of summing up the group as it stands now:

The overall thrust of geopolitics in Central Asia in 2005 is most clearly illustrated by the evolution of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which now includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan as members and India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan as observers. The SCO was increasingly active in 2005, leading some analysts to see the emergence of a potentially powerful regional grouping serving the interests of its heavyweight members, China and Russia. A summit of SCO leaders in Kazakhstan in early July appeared to confirm this, issuing a declaration with a call for the U.S.-led antiterrorism coalition to provide a timeframe for withdrawal from military facilities on SCO territory, a thinly veiled reference to the U.S. bases in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

Subsequent events showed that the SCO remains more of a forum than a force, however.

The author sees the group as not completely connected. However, as US foriegn policy continues to spiral downward to more wars, I think the group will grow in strength to counter the west.

Washington is making enemies everyday around the world, and as with South America, other governments are looking to unite against the US. Uzbekistan already kicked the US out, Russia is working to reign in its neighbors, China is looking for superpower status, and Iran needs friends in a bad way right now.

Remember Bush’s trip to Asia recently, the one where he stopped over in Mongolia? It had to do with this. He needs a base of operation in the area.

China is also in this game because they need the oil and gas the smaller countries have. As does India. I wonder if Pakistan and India could overcome their issues and unite in the SCO. Russia wants to be a player internationally again. I think other countries in the area will want to join if things work out between the current members. So far, the SCO is taking it slow, but I still feel a lot depends on future US agression in the region.