Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Doomsday Scenario: A nuke in a major world city.

   I got to thinking the other day of global doomsday scenarios.

   Yeah, I'm that miserable.

   And I'm not talking ancient Mayan calender 2012 galactic alignment bullshit either. If this world goes belly up, it'll be entirely our own doing. Asteroid impacts and super volcanoes have a habit of taking too long. And let's face it, doomsday forecasting is a pretty common hobby these days. Especially in Western economies where we're all looking around and wondering what the fuck happened? Europe and the US are going through an existential crisis right now. With 50 million people on food stamps in the US and the Euro currency on the brink of implosion, it's logical that there are a whole lot more plebs willing to wander outside their comfort zones and don a figurative and funky hand drawn cardboard "The End is Nigh" sign on the doorstep of their local supermarket. The global elite stole all the cash. Tragic and criminal, but not exactly a full on Domesday Book. At least not yet.

    I've got a Doomsday scenario which I'm pretty much convinced is written into the DNA of the 21st century. It just has to happen. From the moment Oppenheimer marvelled at his 'destroyer of worlds' fireworks in the Nevadan desert in 1945 and us upright apes stumbled across fission, a Fat Man going off in a world city sometime in the future was pretty much written into the narrative. It's a simple numbers game. In the long run, the probability of nuclear disaster goes to 100%. The fewer people who have the bomb, the longer that event will take to occur. That's the whole philosophy behind the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    Postponing D-Day.

    But really, it's just a matter of where and when. That's just how we humans roll. What good is inventing a super weapon anyway if it never gets used? The time interval between Hiroshima and a rogue nuke blast in a major world city will be seen by future historians as a mere blip because once it happens, you'll be able to skip all the mediocre history in between.

    It will be the event that will change everything.

   And yeah, I'm aware that I'm sounding like the guy with the cardboard sign outside the supermarket. Doomsday forecasting is a pretty shitty enterprise because you are always wrong up until the time you are right. And by the time you are right, nobody gives a shit anymore because they're too busy looting the local 7-11 for canned goods.

   How will it happen?

   For one thing, it won't be a nation state affair. The Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) paradigm has worked out pretty well for the last sixty years and I don't see that changing anytime soon. When the event comes, it won't be the major powers trading ICBMs. At least not at the beginning. No, when the big one goes off in New York, Los Angeles or London (or, just as likely, a smaller but significant world city near you) it won't be because China or Russia sanctioned it. That'd just be insane on every body's part and invoke a "take us back to the Stone Age" war. No, when the fireworks come, the nuke will be 'rogue', some low yield, low tech piece of shit lifted from an arms depot in Pakistan, traded on the black market in some Albanian dive bar and detonated by a bunch of whack job religious freaks with some beef against your version of what god you'll meet after you die. (If any).

   Sure, the 'War on Terror' is bullshit designed to stake a claim on Mesopotamia's oil reserves but that doesn't mean there are not a whole bunch of people out there who hate the West's guts and very willing to press the red button. In fact, there's easily enough seething animosity at current Western Mid East policy that enlists no shortage of reactionaries willing to let loose the Unforgettable Fire for whatever eschatological reason you want to choose from. The 21st century corpo techno dystopia we're all living in means it's only a matter of time before nukes fall out of the hands of nation states and into the hands of a genuine Bond villain.

   Source number one?


   That's right, America's ally from hell.

   Pakistan is the country in the world right now that gets zero media attention versus its time bomb weight in international affairs. Sure, US military doctrine is all about surrounding Iran and engaging in proxy resource wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but the true energy wars are still a decade away. There's an old saying in military generalship circles when embarking on any campaign that goes "always plan for the unexpected." That sure holds true today. Especially for Western intel outfits who are scared shitless behind the scenes of the real 'event' that would make 9/11 seem minor. These days, the War on Terror is like a trench coated flasher showing up at your eight year old's birthday party. Sure it's fucked up but it isn't actual physical contact. It's only a view that results in psychological damage. Nobody actually got raped. World media right now adheres to the same consolatory 'it could be worse' paradigm. Shit's bad, we're broke and global resource wars are about to get kickstarted but so what, the supermarkets are still full and there's still gas in your car. Accept the inappropriate view of flasher dick.

    A 'rogue' nuke will shatter all that.

    Here's how.

    In the US right now, you can't get on an aeroplane without having some mouth breather feel up your nut sack for an underwear bomb. Meanwhile, uninspected cargo ships roll in and out of the world's ports everyday. Millions of steel containers get unloaded and any of them could contain the rogue nuke from hell. And the politicians don't give a shit. They're so busy fighting the last decade's "terrorism war" that they miss the point every time in favor of the ease of global commerce. Free flow of capital trumps everything. Bagging cash defeats logic. Future generations in the post apocalyptic wasteland will hate us and yeah, Mad Max II is an awesome movie but who wants to live there?

    I'm not saying enhance the police state already created for citizens since 9/11. I'm saying ditch the TSA and put all those guys to work in the world's ports. That's where the real threat lies if you really give a shit about "terrorism". In fact, getting your nutsack felt up before you board a plane is pretty much proof that the "terrorists" have already won. If you buy the idea that they "hated us for our freedom", then today's lockdown dystopia is proof that the metaphoric bad guys are already high fiving like crazy and snorting lines off hooker tits. We today have created a lockdown sci fi dystopia that would make Orwell shit bricks. The "good" cop's house got raided. The whistleblower is 'illegal'. A public assembly to redress grievances needs a 'protest permit'. Cops pepper spray your face for pitching a tent on the sidewalk because you occupy some space and wonder what the fuck is going on.

Nukes. In the 50s, they were a spectator sport. Go figure that shit.

   Let's get to the serious stuff, the rogue doomsday nuke itself.

    Pakistan sure is a fun zone if you like studying nations on the precipice of failure. But you know what the CIA, Mossad, Russia's intel services (former KGB) and the hodge podge UN (IAEA) really care about? Pakistan's nukes. So let's examine those for a minute. Pakistan is critical to Western interests because they are so scary. You remember that drooling guy on the playground when you were a kid? You know, the one who stole your lunch money? The one that was dangerous when you were nine but is now forty and living in a trailer park addicted to meth. Pakistan is that guy. Only today he's still the bully in his prime and stealing US lunch money because no Pentagon intel report knows how far the crazy will go. Obama's drone strikes on those Pashtun fucktards inside Pakistan are not exactly helping to cool shit down either. Hell, that's probably why they had no problem letting Bin Laden kick back and watch himself on TV in a compound a mile from a major military base.

    Let's face it, the West's bad guy number one was a hero over there.

    That says everything you need to know.

    Pakistan hates the US right now. And the sleazy Pakistani politicians who have a tenuous hold on the seething time bomb over there like the pay off money the US provides. The US dumps $2 billion a year into the Pakistani military and even that extortion cash buys them nothing. The Pakistani political system is barely functional. The Pakistani secret service (ISI) sponsers jihadi groups who attack US troops in Afghanistan. Those same Jihadis have infiltrated the Paki military and nobody knows how many generals are symapathetic to the fundamentalists or are fundies themselves and, for a small donation, might pull a sick day for a whole regiment while a bunch of loons drive off base with a kiloton yield sky god bomb stashed in the back of a U-Haul truck.

      Let's face it, the more Pakistan destabilizes, the more the chances of my doomsday scenario happening sky rocket. Next up, it's a simple matter of loading the bomb onto some rusty Panamanian freighter with dodgy paperwork and then it's time to set sail for a port city near you. Meanwhile, some sleazy ISI guy calls up the whack jobs on board and releases the launch codes and signs off with a friendly 'Allah Ackbar'. A week later, the vessel approaches a Western City, let's say San Francisco, and rolls into the harbor unchecked. Meanwhile, the TSA are searching your WWII vet grand dad to see if he's a closet terrorist. What kind of defense plan is that? It's so shit it's the reason I know the War on Terror is a media event and not real. If it were real, intelligent guys would be fighting it and ditching the hyperbole.

    So, D-Day happens and a square mile of San Francisco is ashes.

    What next?

    For one thing, we've just entered a Brave New World.

    Every human on the planet is shitting themselves wondering what the Pentagon's next move will be and the world's nuke arsenals are on high alert. Meanwhile, Western countries have turned overnight into police states. Only kidding, they're already police states but I'm talking full on no holes barred shit like checkpoints every where, the National Guard roaming around in military trucks doing random searches of your grandma's bra. The TSA will quadruple in size and be everywhere. X-Ray scanner vans will drive around city streets, laughing at your naked fat ass and checking what kind of merch you bought at Home Depot.

    The interesting thing is that every nuke blast is traceable to the source uranium. So within hours, the US will know it came from Pakistan. So does the US nuke Pakistan back to the Stone Age for the actions of a small bunch of organized religous freaks? That's the most interesting question in modern warfare right now. Do you punish 170 million people (most of them illiterate peasants) for the actions of a small group of Islamic crazies? How do you respond? Millions in Afghanistan and Iraq got killed or displaced because of the actions of nineteen Saudi Arabian terrorists. Hell, Bin Laden family relatives got a free flight out of the country after 9/11 when the air space was in lock down.

    At some point, you've got to admit, we today are living in a dystopian sci fi novel and nobody realizes it because there are so many ways to escape reality. It's a scary world and as the energy depletes and the population passes 7 billion, you have to switch off the TV and face some scary truths.

    That guy with the sign outside the supermarket might not be a whack job.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why Israel wants to attack Iran.

   If Israel attacks Iran, it won't just be because they fear a Shia nuke.

   Sure, a big red button of win on the Ayatollah's desk would be a credible check on Israeli power and would certainly start an arms race in the Middle East (the Saudi's too would race to centrifuge some yellow cake into something blowable) but this is not what Israel really fears. Besides, Israel has 200+ nukes of its own and is not a signer of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. They know an Iranian nuke would be merely 'theater balancing'. If the Iranians ever used it, Israel would glass them back to the Stone Age. That's the fun thing about nukes. They're really only useful when they never get used. In fact, nukes are the greatest peace keeping weapons ever invented.

   And that's a problem for Israeli expansionist right wingers.

   The real reason Israel wants a war with Iran has little to do with nukes and a whole lot more to do with the current political and military situation in Israel's own back yard. The recent Palestinian UNESCO vote at the UN was pretty much a slap across the face to Israel. Israel knows the rest of the world hates their guts for not making a peace deal with the Palestinians. And the UNESCO vote was no empty gesture either. Since UNESCO was a general assembly vote it could not be vetoed by Israel via AIPAC via the US. Sure, you might think UNESCO is just an educational, scientific and cultural organization but the fun part mixed up in all the fine print is that the vote allows the Palestinians to join the International Criminal Court. So soon, you could have international arrest warrants out for Israeli leaders who like to bust out the white phosphorous after some fucktard Gazan goat herder launches a home made rocket at a school bus.

   In truth, Israeli right wingers are getting extra twitchy.

   The Palestinians have finally realized they cannot win their war with Israel militarily. So they've gotten smart and changed tactics. They're now aiming for a political and moral victory. And that's a war right wing politicians in Israel can't send the mighty IDF to win. In fact, it's a war the Israelis think they might lose. Especially when they themselves score major PR failures like the raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmera which seriously pissed off the rest of the world and especially Turkey, a major NATO power in the region. In truth, the Israeli right cannot get what it wants (more land and settlements) through peace and negotiation.

   The Israelis can at best delay the Iranian nuke program with a bombing mission but the truth is, the Iranian nuke program is diversified enough that nothing is gonna stop a Shia nuke in the long run. Uranium enrichment and warhead design is tricky but nothing the Iranian mathematicians can't work out with a pencil given enough time. If Israel attacks Iran they're playing a different game then the one advertised on TV. It's about delaying Iran while neutralizing Southern Lebanon.

   So it might soon be time to grab the popcorn folks.

   If Israel attacks Iran's nuke sites it'll be because they want to provoke an Iranian response in their own backyard that'll allow them to finally settle their Lebensraum and 'illegal' settlement problem once and for all. Since the pesky Persians have no air force capable of conducting a reciprocal strike, they'll have to rely on their asymmetrical forces. And Iran sure has plenty of these. The Iranians basically have a proxy army right next door to Israel in Southern Lebanon and as soon as this war goes live (if it ever does and hopefully not), you can expect Hezbollah, the al-Aqsa martyr brigades, al-Qassam and all the other Iranian funded proxies to launch everything they've got at Tel Aviv.

   This will be the open invitation Israel needs to finally take the gloves off and do what they've been itching to do since the IDF got its nose bloodied by Shia heavy infantry in Lebanon in 2006. The forces there are no joke either. Entrenched and well equipped with rocket artillery, mainly consisting of 122mm Katyushas (range 30km), they also have Syrian made BM-21s, Iranian Arash and maybe 100 Fajr-5 (range Tel Aviv) and also a nice spectrum of modern anti tank weapons including the RPG-32, (the Israelis lost 30 of their supposedly invincible Merkeva tanks to them in 2006). This pesky Iranian proxy army next door is not going to be defeated unless the Israeli military goes total war on their asses. And a war with Iran will be all the justification they need to get the ball rolling.

   The Israeli right wants more territory and they are not going to get it by entering peaceful negotiations with the Palestinians. That strategy is for wimps. All that more peace talks will buy is some good Israeli PR in the minds of a foreign public with the collective memory of a goldfish. And that's worth jack shit in the regional power play and won't deliver the needed real estate. A walled in Palestinian state will only be desirable to the Israelis after they've chopped it all up into small manageable chunks linked by roads and water supplies they control. That annexation isn't complete yet. And with the way the Palestinian question is playing on the world stage right now, the Israelis are seeing problems brewing with their ongoing annexation policy. They're also nervous about fighting a growing demographic time bomb at home where Israeli Arabs and Palestinians are fucking like jack rabbits creating a voting bloc which could skew things away from the distinctly Jewish state they've been expanding since 1948.

   So is total war the solution?

   Of course it fucking is. It always is for us upright apes. Total war will solve a whole bunch of Israeli problems but start a whole set of new ones for the wider world. By attacking Iran and provoking an Iranian proxy response against Israel, the IDF will finally get to settle the Southern Lebanon, Gaza, Golan Heights and illegal settlement problem once and for all. All with the added bonus of setting back Iran's shitty nuke program a few years. Sure, the Iranian's will launch some of their semi accurate Shahab 3s back at Israel, maybe even aiming for the Israeli nuke facility at Dimona in the hopes of whipping up some Geiger counter juice of their own.

   Will Israel need US support? Sure. But they won't get that by simply asking. Even if the answer is "no", Netanyahu knows he can just act and drag the Americans in by default. He knows the Iranian response to an attack will be to use every tactic in the playbook once the pew-pew starts and Natanz is burning. One tactic will be mining the shallow waters of the Gulf and, quite possibly, firing Chinese Silkworm missiles at all those fat oil tankers lumbering off the Iranian coast with 40% of seaborne world oil supply in their bellies. Oil prices will shoot through the roof overnight, the brittle American and Euro economies will crash dive and the US will be forced into this thing in a big way.

   Sure, the Chinese and Russians will be pissed but will they get involved in the shooting and kick start WWIII? Probably not. It'll be more fun for them to just sit back and watch the death spasms of American superpower. I'll admit that I've said before that WWIII is on the table but the Russkis and Chinese will probably just play the waiting game and supply Iran with fucktons of weaponry while issuing angry protests at the UN and secretly laughing their asses off. That's the smart move. They can win this thing just by sitting back and watching the fireworks. Sure, the world economy will tank but Russian and Chinese populations are better suited to austerity than all the spoiled assholes in Western countries who'll shit a brick when they can't afford a new flatscreen.

   Thing is, the Iranian threat to Gulf shipping will be very hard to counter without filling the skies over Iran with drones and aircraft and even then, how do you stop hundreds of Iranian speedboats dropping mines into the Straits of Hormuz? And, more interestingly, how do you pay for it all? Just the theoretical threat of mines in the Gulf is enough to push insurance rates on tankers through the roof. There goes your cheap commute from suburbia! Limited ground invasion? Western boots on the ground in Iran (if it played out like that) could be considered a proxy resource war too far by the Russkis and Chinese, especially since Iran is sitting on the 4th largest oil deposit on the planet.

   Let's face it, this war is scary as hell.

   In fact, it's so scary, I can't believe it will actually happen. I'm sure the US is pressuring Israel behind the scenes not to go ahead with their dream strike. Sure, the air waves in the US and Europe are getting flooded right now with Iranian nuke bullshit, preparing the public for the possibility of war by making it seem like Iran will soon have a multiple stage ICBM capable of raining down mega tonnage on New York City. And the average Fox News viewer probably believes it too. After all, the dumb fuck public are still scared by a bunch of idiots doing that monkey bar training thing, footage the media roll out every time they want you to be scared of bad guys in some foreign desert somewhere.

   But the scariest caveat in all of this is the shaky financial status of Western economies.

   Major powers going broke is historically a war creating environment.

  With Occupy Wall Street protests everywhere, small but worrying to the Western oligarchy, and Europe and the US teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, the scariest part is that total wars are handy ways to wipe financial slates clean, clear the streets of 'unpatriotic' long hairs and grab the resources you need to fund the extravagant life styles people in the West have grown used to. If this war does happen, that'll be pretty much confirmation that the Western oligarchy has run out of ideas on how to solve its insolvency and bankruptcy problem.

   Stockpile popcorn. Stay tuned. I still believe this war can't happen but of course, that's assuming we're living in a world run by rational men and I'm not so sure anymore, if we live in that world.