Friday, August 22, 2008

What do you do?

Let's consider a hypothetical situation: A really scary dude who has a history of making his enemies disappear gets into a violent disagreement with a friend of yours. Then, the guy threatens to kill your little brother, who would have little chance of defending himself. Do you try to reason with the potential killer? Do you ask his friends to intervene? Or do you take the risk of trying to catch the guy in a dark alley and remove him with "extreme prejudice"?
Now, let's move to a real-world scenario: A clearly provoked Russia invades Georgia, a country friendly to the United States. It thumbs its nose at the rest of the world when the action is condemned. Then, it raises the specter of a nuclear attack on Poland, which has agreed to be the site of a U.S.-built missile defense system. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, above, increasingly seems to be a guy who is a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Only he knows how serious the threat is. But what do we do about it? Do we try to reason with him? Do we ask China to do our bidding? Now, what about this: If we have reasonable certainty that we could annihilate Russia with our various weapons systems, most of which probably aren't even known to us, and that we could protect our own country from an annihilating response, should we consider a first-strike, pre-emptive "nuclear option"? We attacked Iraq when it really posed no threat to us whatsoever. Here is a country that is rattling sabers regarding use of nuclear weapons against a nation we have pledged to defend. And Russia has plenty of nuclear weapons that it could fire our way if Putin decides we are standing in the way of his plans for world domination. What's your plan for dealing with him?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I first saw that photo of Putin I thought it was Hunter S. Thompson!

--Brad Hundt

August 22, 2008 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Thank heavens Hunter didn't have access to nukes.

August 22, 2008 at 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the way we reacted to 9/11, we'd need real cojones to try a pre-emptive strike on Russia, who probably has enough firepower out of our reach to wipe out a good portion of the US. I never bought the US rationale for limiting nukes to us and our buddies. Do we really want to be the ones responsible for putting the Statue of Liberty's head on the beach, ala "Planet of the Apes?"

August 22, 2008 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

It's funny how we decided that it's OK for Israel to have nukes (they won't confirm it, but everyone knows they have them), but none of their neighbors qualify. Israel has done things over the years that if they were done by anyone else, we would have been screaming to the United Nations Security Council. But no politician in this country who has aspirations or advancement or a long career is going to risk offending Jewish voters here, so they continue to kiss Israel's a$$.

August 22, 2008 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Sorry about the typo. It's "of" advancement.

August 22, 2008 at 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's simple-- Israel is on OUR SIDE. I think half the people in this country --Christian or not -- believe that anyone who sides against "God's chosen people" will get cummuppance. Every time there was a Middle East conflict while she was alive, my mother would throw out this logic. There's also a large Jewish voting block to be dealt with.

August 23, 2008 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

The numbers get fuzzy on religion, but the jewish population of the US is between 4 and 6 million (I think)... which is actually pretty close to estimates about the muslim population of the US (around 4 million). Not really a number worth pandering to...

I really don't understand the whole israel thing... our support, the muslim vs jew conflict, etc...

And as far as nukes are concerned... I don't think human beings have ever been able to prevent useful technology from becoming ubiquitous. We aren't doing all that good with nukes... and we have only been trying to keep the lid on for 60 years. By then end of this century, you will be able to buy them at Wal-Mart for 37.99.


August 24, 2008 at 7:39 AM  
Blogger Park Burroughs said...

Let's see... you have a power drunk leader who sends his forces into another country, starts demanding that that country's leader has to go, thumbs his nose at the rest of the world when they complain, then says he'll withdraw his troops but doesn't. And then, 5 years later, Russian invades Georgia.

August 25, 2008 at 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one thinks Georgia asked for this?

August 26, 2008 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I think Georgia was incredibly stupid and/or naive in its actions. You don't poke the bear. If you mess with the bull you get the horns. Etc. They essentially gave Russia the opening it needed, and Russia realizes that we are not going to do anything significant in response to its actions. Does anyone really think Putin gives a diddly-damn about world condemnation?

August 26, 2008 at 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you can condemn one building and drive a tank through another... which building suffered a consequence?


August 26, 2008 at 5:55 PM  

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