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Friday, December 23, 2016

Pearl Clutching Amidst a "New Arms Race"

Russian leader Vladimir Putin declared that Russia would seek to boost its military potential including its nuclear weapons. Not long after President-elect Trump announced that the US should do so, too, and that, furthermore, if Russia or anybody else wants to get into an arms race with us, so be it (N.B.: pun on "Soviet," I know, I know). We can outlast anybody in such a race.

As those of you who bother to dip into the progressive swimming pool can attest, the mainstream media and the chatterers are getting the vapors over the thought of a Third World War! Trump has really done it now! His finger is on the button!

All this reminds me of the 1984 election when every morning I would leave my house in northern Virginia, and see my neighbor's car plastered with stickers that read, "Reagan '84, World War 85." I guess I missed the nuclear holocaust that befell us because I spent most of the 1980's overseas.

Once again, the progs demonstrate either their deep hatred for America or their incredible naiveté when it comes to global affairs. They do not understand, apparently, the concept of peace through strength.

You know who does? Putin does.

A few hours after Trump's announcements, Putin was downplaying the issue, saying he looked forward to visiting Washington. He even sent Trump a Christmas card.

Putin knows, as did his Soviet predecessors, that it does no good for his country to get into that sort of a confrontation with the United States (and the West) when the US is presided over by a determined patriot who understands power and negotiations.

I am going to go out on a limb here and make a bold prediction: there will be no war with Russia in 2017. In fact, we have an opportunity, unless it's ruined by US domestic politics, to get Russian cooperation in the war against terror. As a Jewish former US diplomat, I would love to see the world's two most powerful Christian countries work together to defeat the jihadis and counterbalance China's global pretensions.

Merry Christmas to one and all.

18 comments:

  1. Mr. Amselem: As a Sinophile, I actually share your hope that Russia and the USA might mend fences. I have a great deal of love and respect for the Han people and their cultural achievement, and was probably somewhat assimilated to them during my years of teaching in Taiwan. But I have absolutely no illusions about the Communist regime in Beijing.

    And, being a "Mischling" (hint as to what kind of Jewish ancestry I have), one of the biggest shocks I ever had whilst an FSO was when I met my chief clerk in Guangzhou, had to explain that my "strange" last name came from a German-born grandfather, and then heard, "Oh, I think Hitler was a very great man." I tried to get it through her thick skull that my German ancestry was Jewish, and our thoughts about Hitler were probably angrier than her thoughts about the Japanese troops who slaughtered and raped in Nanjing, and that Hitler killed a small town's worth of Pop's Old Country kin. Further, if German-Americans had any WWII "ethnic hero", it was Eisenhower. "But, isn't that a small price to pay for pulling the nation together?" The poor dear had no idea about General Ironcutter, so I thought it probably prudent to refrain from telling her that if her masters (we could not hire our own FSN's in China) weren't careful, they'd find China under the military occupation of an American general surnamed Huang or Li.

    When I heard that the official Chinese press disparaged Amb. (former gov.) Locke a "banana", I figured I had further proof that Mainland China is still gripped by a rigid kind of nationalism that just can't fathom how the USA can make an American out of just about anybody.

    For all of Beijing's former posturing as the champion of the oppressed non-White masses, the East is Racist. I am sure that to them, the appointment of Locke seemed at first that we were sending tribute through a long-lost son whom they could use, and then that got transmogrified into shock at getting someone who probably didn't have a 20th of the command of Chinese possessed by some pumpkinheaded J.O. "Gui Lao" working the visa line. Official China would probably think that an African-American Ambassador, even if from the cream of the cream of the Foreign Service, or even a Hispanic darker than Senator Cruz, would be an utter insult (why can't they send us a REAL American?)

    These are among the reasons I think that Beijing is more than a bit dangerous--not because it's eating our economic lunch and growing able to project power, but because it is still a pitiful spiritual colony of the worst that Hohenzollern Germany, whether Right or Left, had to offer.

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  2. Since both India and China have major problems with radical Islamists ... can they join this club too?

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  3. Dip, did you listen to Rush today? He was exactly on your wavelength. He thought it hilarious how the media instantly equated 'new arms race' with 'WWIII next week'. Because for liberals, all the animosity in the world is our fault, for which we must continually apologize and weaken ourselves. So the liberals are freaking out, just like they did over Reagan and Star Wars in the 1980s.

    Even better was the fact that Trump phoned Morning Joe and said this to Mika himself.

    Trump is just sending signals all over the place that 'You know this old stale game you all play in DC, where GOP pols treat you media guys like legitimate arbiters of information, and try to appease you even as you eviscerate them? Guess what? I'm not playing that game. I don't need you, you need me. Now follow my rallies and tweets around to fill your news programs!'

    It's so funny.

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    1. What I find even more thrilling, is that's he's bashing them over the head with none other than that 'new bastion of liberalism', Twitter.
      I'm sure Twitter would have cut him off long ago if doing so wouldn't completely sink what's left of their business.

      - reader #1482

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  4. One serendipitous effect of the recent campaign was the rather clear evidence of press bias, and of the willingness of politicians to say anything to get elected. For the American electorate it may have been... a teaching moment. At least, I hope so.

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  5. One of the items on Trump's list should be a resumption of nuclear testing. As things stand, our devices are "tested" using computer simulations. That's all well and good, and I like good simulation as much as the next guy (been paid for building several), but relying on simulation is no way to run a railroad, much less a nuclear deterrent program.

    At some point, the output of the simulations must be tested, ie "calibrated", against material reality. Even von Neumann and Ulam, the "inventors" of computer simulation for the Manhattan Project, understood this.

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    1. For perhaps the clearest example of how 'far off' we probably are, the National Ignition Facility failed to trigger 'ignition' with $10B and 20 years worth of massive scale cluster compute time. That whole laser was intended to simulate the processes of a fusion bomb (to calibrate and validate simulation models) *and* achieve a very expensive 'ignition' of an inertial confinement fusion target.
      But it's extremely unclear whether this simulation (NIF is a lab-scale simulation of a nuclear bomb, and the computer codes are effectively a simulation of *that* simulation) has any value at all at this point.

      So agreed, we're not going to know much about the effect of the decay of fissile materials and other degradation-over-time processes on our nuclear stockpile without.. well.. lighting some off.
      Maybe we're okay not knowing. But we probably shouldn't claim to know if we don't.

      - reader #1482

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  6. Oh yeah, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all.

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  7. Oh, and I've been informed by my betters that some prefer Joyous End of Fiscal Year.

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  8. I hope you will comment on Obama's UN abstention. My thought is that he might have just killed the UN. It is a useless debating society with a small military arm that specializes in mass rape in Africa. Why do we fund them ? That building in New York would make a nice condo development and I know just the guys to do it.

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    1. I am absolutely livid over that stunt. People will die because of it. Trump's job has been much and unnecessarily harder. It furthers the lie that somehow Jews don't belong in "Palestine" even in the old Jewish quarter of Jerusalem. It fixes the ambiguous status of Jerusalem and makes it technically illegal, for example, for the US to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It will lead to court cases all over Europe and at the ICC as Israelis are haled into court for living in non-approved areas. UNSC resolutions have the status of international law. The only solution I can see is for Trump to announce that we do not accept the validity of the resolution, we exempt ourselves from it as we "only" abstained," and begin the process of pulling out of the UN unless it's revoked. UNEXIT. I will be posting about this soon.

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    2. Good. I can see a multi-step process. One-defund. Two withdraw, Three-kick them out of NYC. Europe will soon be Islamist so the EU consequences may be moot.

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    3. And here--in full, from date to tripple hashmark--is AIPAC's press release, with its very best searing indictment of Obama and his actions. (Formatting removed.)

      December 23, 2016

      AIPAC Statement on U.S. Abstention from UNSC Resolution Vote

      AIPAC is deeply disturbed by the failure of the Obama Administration to exercise its veto to prevent a destructive, one-sided, anti-Israel resolution from being enacted by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). In the past, this administration and past administrations have rejected this type of biased resolution since it undermines prospects for peace.

      It is particularly regrettable, in his last month in office, that the president has taken an action at odds with the bipartisan consensus in Congress and America’s long history of standing with Israel at the United Nations. AIPAC expresses its appreciation to President-elect Trump and the many Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who urged a veto of this resolution.

      By adopting this resolution, the United Nations has once again served as an open forum to isolate and delegitimize Israel—America’s lone stable, democratic ally in the Middle East. The Palestinian leadership has refused to return to talks with Israel and has continued to incite violence. Today’s destructive UNSC resolution only rewards this negative strategy and undermines efforts to truly pursue a lasting peace.

      The best way to further the peace process with the goal of a two-state solution—which we support—would have been for the international community to do everything in its power to persuade the Palestinians to return to direct, bilateral negotiations without preconditions with Israel. Unfortunately, the UNSC today irresponsibly adopted a ruinous resolution that can only make the goal of peace even more elusive.


      ###

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    4. "US out of the UN, UN out of the US.".

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    5. I'm rather surprised that Russia didn't swoop in to pick up Israel as an ally. Considering America's abandonment, why wouldn't they take that opportunity? Is it possible that this was unexpected by everybody?

      - reader #1482

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  9. Obama has once again displayed his deep and pathological hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. One cannot even speculate as to motivation. He has been an incredible destructive force.

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  10. Obama is doing everything he can to put roadblocks into Trumps path...even to the point of remaining in DC (and open to the press). It would not surprise me a bit if Obama grants a blanket Pardon to any individual found to be in the US illegally...then challenge Trump in Court over such a broad (infinite) interpretation of that Presidential Power.
    Noting such an action would also Pardon any terrorist who happened to be in the US also.

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