Tuesday, October 07, 2008


The Deadly Dreadfully Dull Second Debate

Who won? Not us, we all lost about 84 minutes of irretrievable time to recycled stump speeches. I'm going to talk about just one or two things Obama said. If our ally Pakistan (and they have been our ally, they lost about as many guys fighting al Qaeda/Taliban types in the ungovernable border provinces as we did in Iraq) cannot or will not attack Osama bin Laden, when located (I'm almost sure he's dead but no matter), then President Obama will attack him in Pakistan, borders be damned. "Of course you know," to paraphrase Buggs Bunny, echoing Groucho in Duck Soup, "that would mean war." A new one. With our former ally, nuclear weapon armed Pakistan. If we believed Obama for a second, this position, alone, would be sufficient to disqualify him for the Presidency. He wasn't finished being butch.

We can't allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. OK, how are you going to stop them? To paraphrase Frost in Aliens, "What do you want us to use, harsh language?"

I actually don't endorse an airstrike on Iran, not just now at least. Nor should we help Israel do it, just yet. For an oil rich nation, Iran is ridiculously vulnerable to attack on its oil refining industry, which is bunched up and creaky. Indeed, a single cellulose housed bomb could bring the whole house of cards down with only a remote chance of detection. But my point is getting away from me. Israel, if it has the nerve (a very big question lately) will have to concentrate eventually on another part of the Iranian energy industry and not just bomb, but occupy the sites and search, like they did with the 'whatever it was' in Syria a few months ago. That will be difficult and very risky. We ought to think about helping them when the time, eventually, comes. Just not now.

McCain's point about not telegraphing your punch was good, sound and lost on the great majority, I fear.

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1. We are already attacking Taliban and Al Qaeda assets in Pakistan. A tactic w/ which I find myself agreeing.

2. If we wish to cripple Iran--and I think I must give Newt Gingrich credit here as I believe I first heard the idea from him--bomb the sole Iranian gasoline refinery.

I have to say that I find it fascinating to watch all those people who screamed about our "illegal invasion of Cambodia" evincing such sincere support for an invasion of Pakistan under pretty much exactly the same circumstances. The difference, of course, is that Pakistan is actually a better ally (which is not to say a "good" ally) than Cambodia was during the Viet Nam war, so invading them is entirely justified.

Or something.
T, we attack in Pakistan at, at least, the cost of a show of protest from the Pakistani leadership. I, for one, can't tell if they are serious or not. Of they are not, then we still make ourselves unpopular with the populace. Let's assume they are and we do damage to the alliance every time we attack across the border. Ultimately a bad thing then. It is a tempting target there in Iran. All the eggs in one basket, as it were.

Logical consistency is not the strength of the once and future party in power. Doug.
D and R,

The Cambodia aspect bothers me. I mean these guys are like Pancho Villa, crossing th eborder at will, trying to wreck havoc, then retreating and thumbing their noses at us.

My initial thought is that unlike the NVA, these guys are just criminals, so perhaps the comparison to Cambodia is less apt than I first thought.

To change the subject. Doug, what are your thoughts about the Nobel prizes for sciences so far?

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