View 728 Thursday, June 14, 2012
Happy Birthday Roberta!
We were awakened early today by a call from our son Richard, to announce the birth of our grandson. That makes for a great birthday present for Roberta.
This says it all so I don’t have to:
Spengler says Forget Syria — Neutralize Iran:
“There is a strong analogy between today’s civil war in Syria and the 1936-1939 civil war in Spain, as my PJ Media colleague Barry Rubin argued recently. The analogy may be even stronger than he suggests. Spain became a proxy war between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and the West had no interest in the victory of either side. Syria is a proxy war between Sunnis and Shi’ites, and (to quote then Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir’s delicious line) we want them both to win.” <snip>
“The greatest strategic risk to the West in the Syrian conflict is the possibility that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards might intervene with the blessing of the beleaguered Assad regime and get control of the country’s chemical weapons stockpile, reportedly the world’s largest. That would change the strategic equation in the Middle East: Iran would have a WMD second-strike capability against Israel.” Hmm. I wonder where Mr. Goldman’s sympathies lie?
Then he quotes Daniel Pipes, here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/12/stay-out-of-the-syrian-morass/
Quoting Mr. Pipes directly:
“If Sunni governments – notably those of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar – choose to intervene on behalf of fellow Sunnis against Alawis, that is their prerogative, but Western states have no dog in this fight. . . . [P]rotracted conflict in Syria offers some geopolitical advantages:
“It lessens the chances of Damascus starting a war with Israel or reoccupying Lebanon.
“It increases the chances that Iranians, living under the thumb of the mullahs who are Assad’s key ally, will draw inspiration from the Syrian uprising and likewise rebel against their rulers.
“It inspires greater Sunni Arab anger at Tehran, especially as the Islamic Republic of Iran has been providing arms, finance and technology to help repress Syrians.
“It relieves the pressure on non-Muslims. Indicative of the new thinking, Jordanian Salafi leader Abou Mohamad Tahawi recently stated, “The Alawi and Shia coalition is currently the biggest threat to Sunnis, even more than the Israelis.”
“It foments Middle Eastern rage at Moscow and Beijing for supporting the Assad regime. Western interests suggest staying out of the Syrian morass.”
Spengler finishes with this: “In the case of Syria, whatever happens in that miserable ethnic patchwork of a country, the changeling brat of colonial cartographers, makes little difference to us–unless, of course, Iran is able to use Syria’s WMD for its own purposes. Iran is the threat, not Syria.”
John Quincy Adams, as Secretary of State under Monroe, said that our policy was to be the friends of liberty everywhere but the guardians only of our own. We do not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. The result was what became known as the Monroe Doctrine which guided US foreign policy until it was in essence abandoned by John Kennedy. (Note)
The interests of the United States are wider than they were in the time of President Monroe, and our capabilities are far greater. We have assumed greater international burdens. Even so, it would be well to consider what Adams said. The Monroe Doctrine was in part cutting our cloak to the measure of our cloth, but it also made sense then and now. Involvement in land wars in the Near and Middle East have not bee greatly profitable for the US, either in money, or in prestige, or in projection of power, or in safeguarding of national interests. But then I’ve been saying that since the first invasion of Iraq in the Kuwait affair, in which we restored the Kuwaiti Royal Family to power rather than establishing a Constitutional Democracy in the one place where we had the power to do it If ever we sought a monster to destroy… But that was in another time.
Do understand: in both Gulf Wars I was against commitment of ground troops, and in favor of heavy investment in development of our own energy resources: development of US energy would have allowed us to look at the Middle East in terms of our own interests, not as desperate seekers of oil. Of course once we committed the troops I was in favor of giving them the resources to win: the US does not have expendable Foreign Legions whose mission is to die but not win. But that too is long over.
“The first of the brothers was often called Jack,
Who almost saved Cuber but then gave it back,
Along with a doctrine we got from Monroe,
Defending an outpost is non-U you know…”
From the Ballad of Ted Kennedy, by Poul Anderson
And I find this of interest.
I thought you may be interested in this study of climate change research data and modeling.
National Post <http://www.nationalpost.com/>
Junk Science Week: Climate models fail reality test <http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/06/13/junk-science-week-climate-models-fail-reality-test/>
Special to Financial Post, Financial Post Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Computer models utterly fail to predict climate changes in regions By Ross McKitrick A few years ago a biologist I know looked at how climate change might affect the spread of a particular invasive insect species. He obtained climate-model projections for North America under standard greenhouse-gas scenarios from two modelling labs, and then tried to …
I can only say, See, I told you so…
I was looking for an exact quote of John Quincy Adams on being friends of liberty everywhere but guardians only of our own, and one reference Google turned up was http://www.jerrypournelle.com/archives2/archives2mail/mail173.html which is the mail for the week of October 1 – 7, 2001. I had to read darned near the whole week before I found out that the only source for the Adams quote in there was me, but it was an interesting read, considering that we had not yet invaded Iraq, and we were still discussing long range strategic notions. Of course it was all done a while ago. There’s a pretty good analysis by the late Joel Rosenberg on the Middle East at the time, and it is all more relevant to the current situation in Syria/Iran than you might think. Or not. It’s long, But it does remind me of why I have a mail bag for this site. Some good stuff in there.
This just in. A court in Egypt has in essence restored power to the Mamelukes, claiming that previous elections including the one that established Parliament were unconstitutional. Of course this will be taken to the streets; the question now is whom will the army obey? I don’t have any special sources, but we can speculate. The Mamelukes will have the support of Mossad, but of course no one will admit that. Most of the minorities including the Christians will probably be in favor of the Mamelukes; better the old guard which doesn’t want war with Israel than the new firebrands who do.
I have no predictions in this matter; but it is something to pay a lot of attention to.
© 2012, jerrypournelle. All rights reserved.