Saturday, November 6, 2010

Israel v Iran: The ultimate popcorn war (Part I)

Yes, there are a shitload of hypothetical contenders for every one's favourite future war. I mean who wouldn't want to grab the popcorn and watch a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan? Obviously, no sane person. That's why potential regional nuclear wars are not that much fun. All the fun war stuff happens before the last resort nukes get launched. Those fancy infantry maneuvers, tank thrusts, strategic interdiction by air forces, all that good stuff gets nullified when the generals start losing and resort to the big red button on their Strangelove desks. Wiping out a few million civilians in major population centers is a pretty shitty way to win an otherwise 'fair war'. Personally, I prefer something with a little more panache, you know, that war we all crave that's got old school Rommel maneuvers like Arras or Gazala. But pure war like that just doesn't happen much anymore.

To make my favourite war list it must be global and realistically has to involve the US or Europe for true wargasm. Obviously, the best hypothetical war that never happened is the clash between the Soviets and NATO in the Fulda gap in 1988. I was a teenager back then and shat my pants going to bed every night wondering if it would ever happen. The Berlin Wall fell a year later and the world got all misty eyed. We were supposed to believe that a world without war was possible from then on because the Russians had run out of money. Stupid humans thought a new war free age had dawned and the human habit of killing themselves for fun and profit had gone away. That vicious rumor lasted about a year and then Gulf War I happened.

So what's my favourite war that hasn't happened yet?

Here's a hint. It's a war that starts in the Middle East. I hear you laughing. Yeah I know, every major future war is going to start in the Middle East. Well this one will be US/Israel v Iran. It's the most fun war that could happen right now. It's got so much potential. Though this war will lack cool panzer battles and will involve no ground campaign at all (except perhaps for an Israeli 'defensive' attack on Southern Lebanon against Iranian proxy Hezbollah), this war will initially be an air campaign followed up quickly by all sorts of asymmetrical goodness that has the potential to spread like wildfire, destroy what's left of the world economy through oil supply disruption and possibly ignite WWIII.

Before we examine all the fun war stuff, let's take a quick look at the history of the two potential combatants.

Israel's history is pretty much well known since 1948. After the Nazi horror the world's Jews finally had gained enough political clout and enough world sympathy to undo the diaspora started by Vespasian's legions when Rome sent him to break up the Jewish revolt in 66 CE. I could give a shit about questioning the politics of who owns the land the Romans once called Judea. The fact is that the world has agreed to call a small swath of the Mediterranean coast 'Israel' and that is good enough for me. I only care about the fireworks.

Speaking of which, the Israelis own some serious military hardware. I mean for a population of 7.5 million, the Israelis are ranked 11th in world military strength. That's serious overachieving. They've got mandatory military service for men and women and, I suppose, who wouldn't when you're surrounded by a few hundred million Arabs who'd like to Zyklon B your ass. Also, the Israelis have 200+ nukes which makes them non 'invadable' and gives them regional 'theatre dominance' in any potential conflict with their Arab neighbors. If the useless Syrians and Jordanians and Egyptians all tried a rerun of 1967, and, by some stretch of the imagination overran Israel by acting in concert, that would force the Israeli generals fingers to the single red button of "win" that wipes out Cairo, Damascus and Amman.

Actually, that's the crux of the problem for the Israelis and why they don't like Iran. It's all about 'theater dominance'. Iran wants their very own big red button of win. Why must there be a war in this region? Because the Iranians, a country of 72 million people, are working like fuck to centrifuge enough uranium into fissionable goodness. They need that red button fast and for pretty good reasons. The Iranians have noticed that when you get named a member country of the "Axis of Evil" possibly the best way to maintain sovereignty is to fast track some uranium into something blowable. It worked for North Korea. Iran figures, since it's surrounded on all sides by Americans, maybe the only route to autonomy and stopping the Americans grabbing all your oil is a nuke.

They are being sanctioned to shit for daring to think this way.

Currently, American foreign policy is to support Israel. That includes filling out her air force with F-16s, F-15s and a secured future order of over 100 stealthy F-35 Lightnings. The Israelis also have a nice amount of American Apache helos but these are obviously useless for any campaign against Iran.

There's also a time factor built into this equation. The Iranians are probably at most 2 years away from having enough gunk cobbled together to set off their very own big one. If and when they do, Israel will have to play ball and get serious about giving the Palestinians a fair deal. That's what happens when you lose theater dominance. You end up having to negotiate.

Also, I'm sick of hearing the argument that Ahmajinidad is a madman and that as soon as he mints his first nuke he'll launch it and turn Tel Aviv to glass. That doesn't even make sense and would be the quickest way for him to turn 5000 years of Persian history into toilet paper. The Iranians aren't stupid. The Israeli response would be 200+ nukes reducing Iran to a post apocalyptic wasteland. Iran just needs that nuke for insurance. For deterrence.

And that's why Israel will have to decide pretty soon if it's going to attack. Because theater equalization dawns the second the Iranians detonate their first underground nuke.

I'll talk about the juicy Israeli attack in part II.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bin Laden's Mountain Fortress: Newsflash from 2001! People actually believed this.

I bet there are a lot of people out there thinking I just pulled this picture out of my ass. Maybe I shopped this up after downing a bottle of vodka because I realized a sudden need to regain all those lost taxpayer dollars the US Government air dropped over the 'Graveyard of Empires'.

Well no. This shit actually happened.

In 2001.

They actually made Bin Laden into a Bond villain complete with his own high tech secret lair. You couldn't make this shit up. But they did. And people actually believed it.

Something you slowly realize as you get older is that people your own age eventually start running the world. Knowledge evolves slowly but arrives suddenly in a hammer smash before you are really ready to hear it. It becomes hard to reconcile the fact that the guy who you remember shitting his pants in your classroom when you were five is now the minister of whatever in some government job. That idiot from school is now starting wars.

Here's Rumsfeld selling the bullshit package to government spokesman Tim Russert.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween... When the World swaps masks!

I'm a liberal.

I was at the rally in Washington and it was awesome. The turnout defeated Glenn Beck's corporate sponsered rally in attendance figures and that was something that touched my heart. No really! I'm not laughing into my glass of vodka at 5AM on Sunday morning. Actually I am. But it was something that got me all misty, especially at the end when John Stewert gave his heartfelt speech. I mean, who could not oppose a rally to 'restore sanity' to America?

I mean the whole world is behind the idea that America should be sane. Right?

Unfortunately, the whole world is a comedy show. Despite all those good and honest people showing up, 99% of which I'm sure I could sit down with in a bar and enter new realities with while agreeing on everything, there is still a shortcoming. All my new found rally friends would agree that there are things most Americans don't often get to see within the bubble of their own media, and that is the fucking military lock down that America has on most of the world's landmass.
Look at this shit.

Take a look at the map. Just imagine how the rest of the world 'feels'. Not to whip out my pussy but you see there's a big difference between intention and fucking reality. The reality is that the world is under existential siege by an American military machine that has a yearly budget greater than the rest of the world's militaries combined. Don't believe me? Let me citation that shit!

So you see how the rest of the world looks at the 'Restore Sanity" reality. Don't get me wrong, it's awesome to see you guys represent. To witness a sea of sane people in Washington is awesome. The rest of the world was impressed. But not really. Because, despite this rally, you people have no power and it's kind of awkward because the rest of the world realized this years ago. I hate to tell you that you have no power to affect change.

On a lighter note.

It's Halloween.

Now that's a date I remember in 2002.

One million people turned out on London streets protesting the Iraq War on that date. You see, I'm a fucking screaming liberal in case there is any doubt. The fact that I like to watch the bloodshed from my basement is my own fucking business. The fact that I like jerking off to war in my basement is my own fucking business. I'm dysfunctional and schizophrenic and so am I.

One million people instinctively knew the premise for war was bullshit. Fucking WMD bullshit was hilarious. Huge numbers turned out on American streets in subsequent protests. To no avail. They fucking grabbed that landmass no matter what. WMDs were the interim function to deny China and Russia of that easily extractable oil. In the global chessgame, the US made its move. What I find kinda sad, what makes be down another vodka, is seeing all those reasonable people, 215,000 American citizens, good people, reasonable people, intelligent people, all assembled in Washington for basically a reason that will be forgotten about in 30 days. Also, the assembly is arguing for things that those who run the country find contemptable. And I'm not talking Obama. I'm talking about the people who actually run the country!

You want a global analysis?

Well you're getting one anyway. Here's my dump...

Iran: basically scared shitless because they're surrounded by Americans; in the west by Iraqi Americans and to the east and north by Afghanistan Americans. The Indian Ocean has two US Carrier Groups doing circles off the Iranian coast, basically doing a dance and showing how much they could fuck you if they really wanted to.  If I lived in Iran, I'd be shitting myself as a citizen. As a young person I'm pissed at the fucking failure of the green revolution and stolen elections but most of my protest was begging the nutjobs in charge of Iran to just be a little more friendly so the rest of the world stops hating us. Hopefully before we all get nuked! The only response from threatened people... After some thought... Nuclear program engage! It's the only way to not get bombed by the foreign haters! A logical move on our part, right?

Take the Chinese next,

Savvy intelligent fuckers run by totalitarian top down capitalistic engineers. They are surrounded by the US Okinawa base in Japan to the east, a nice dose of Aegis Cruisers between the mainland and Taiwan to the southeast, a nuclear pact with India on their Southern border, Afghanistan in the Southwest and a shitload of oil deals with the other 'stans below their immediate borders south and east of the Himalayas. China sees the Americans as dumbfucks with military superiority but declining economic power. From their point of view in the global chess game, it's easier to sit back, avoid confrontation and let the US destroy itself all by itself. A glimpse at their internal politics and John Boehner's tan means these people are already fucked.

The Russians:

Russia views the John Stewert rally as a lollercaust. Putin would have long ago had someone put bullets in Stewer'ts head in his building's elevator. Clean like. When the media goes shitstorm you stare in the camera and say you had nothing to do with it and then go kill a bear Russia style. Fucking brass balls. Having as many nukes as the Americans gives the Russians serious leverage. Just because the Soviet shit collapsed doesn't mean Russia feels any the less. Capitalism is dodgy and America's banking crisis and treasury rape proves it. Meanwhile, we Russians have shitloads of oil and natural gas. The US under Bush gets all snotty by planting missile intercept bases in our former buffer territories like Poland and Czech Republic? Fine, we are weaker now and you call it liberty, but we're coming for you in the long run. When your Middle East buddies run out of oil, you will come running to us and that is how we will extract our revenge. Fucking Russians are boiling quietly, you rally going Americans need to be aware of that shit.

A rally to restore sanity...

What Americans don't understand or agree on is what a global definition of 'sanity' is.

And that's why the rest of the world is subdued. What possible change can you have? Many tried it by voting for Obama but it turns out that all that change was corporate manipulation. He was bought and paid for just like every politician is today in American politics. No mention of this at the 'rally'. No mention of how elections are funded. No call for a true light shined on how decision making is made in the world's only military superpower. No mention of what corporation owns Comedy Central and therefore gave the greenlight for this rally to even happen in the first place (with ads running in the bottom bar of my Comedy Central feed).

Sadly, the whole rally achieved no purpose. I dare you to remember it in two months time and show me what it achieved.

I'm a fucking downer. I hate my life. I hate the fact that I notice this shit. But it's not my fault.

The whole world is subtley at war, gently and kindly but mostly economically.

The 'Rally for Sanity' made my day, but as far as the rest of the world is concerned, it's some strange blip, highlighting the dichotomy of what many liberal Americans believe they are about and what the rest of the world sees as their kindly inability to halt the runaway imperialist juggernaut.

Liberalism, fair dealing and calls to power to act reasonably get you nowhere in modern America politics. Neither does 215,000 people assembling in front of the Capitol. None of it will affect the mid term elections. The powers that be don't give a shit. They privately own mass media. They privately select and elect candidates based on the money they input into elections.

Democracy is a quaint idea for ancient Greeks.

Meanwhile, the powers that be know not to give a shit about rallys and public displays of reasonableness.

They own the cops and the armed forces and history says that violence is the only thing that ever changes the world.

Anyone want to go wreck some shit?