A Political Age
Reader Comments (1)


Alex (via Michael)

Again, I've been sent stellar comments personally and given permission to post them. Here's the inimitable Mr Huckleblein in response:

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Hmmm...interesting stuff. Here are my (slightly drunken :-) reactions:

1) WRT the war in Iraq - the real issue isn't whether we're winning the war or not (we are), the issue is that we're bleeding money to the tune of $200B+ / year and pretty much nobody else in the world is helping out in any material way. The American people aren't going to give up on freedom in Iraq from a moral perspective, but they *will* give up from an economic perspective. Last week consumer confidence hit its lowest level since 1982. Oil hit $109 / barrel. Moral convictions will give way to economic convictions very, very rapidly.

2) I think that the US should stay out of the Darfur thing completely, unless the UN begs us to get involved (and even then our initial response should be "nah...screw you guys...we're going home"). Our military simply cannot handle another conflict that doesn't involve us just going in and blowing the whole place up. We can blow shit up all day long, but playing peacekeeper is decidedly more difficult.

3) To me, the Israel / Iran thing is is pretty much a non-issue. I'm not saying that the world should ignore it, but Iran will never get nuclear weapons, much less thermonuclear weapons (and the latter is what matters). A single B2 stealth bomber or one low-yield (say, 30 kiloton) nuclear tipped Tomahawk cruise missile would end Iran's nuclear weapons dreams in a hurry. There's a reason that their nuclear weapons facilities are in the middle of nowhere. Their leaders are not stupid people (misguided as hell, yes...but not stupid) Their nuclear ambitions are nothing more than a gambit to get us to start an international incident. It's just a bargaining chip because they know that we have Nimitz-class aircraft carrier battle groups and Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines sitting right on their doorstep, just waiting to launch a virtually undetectable nuclear strike the minute they get too close to success. That's why I like cruise missiles so much...you can't see them until it's too late, you can't defend against them, and the nuclear-tipped versions leave no fingerprints. As H. said the other night when I showed her the YouTube video of that new shotgun with the 30-round grenade clip where the grenades come out of the shell and sprout spring-loaded fins for better accuracy: "Why would anyone *fuck* with us?" Exactly.

4) WRT China: I've said this before, I'll say it again, and you'll get tired of hearing me say it after a while: WWIII will be fought against the Chinese. In a conventional war, we can take on the likes of Iran, Iraq, North Korea, etc. with one properly-equipped CVBG (and God help any anyone that messes with us when we start taking delivery of the naval variant of the new F-35 fighter / bomber in 2012 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-35_Lightning_II#F-35C ). But China, just like Russia once was, is a completely different story. I know a lot of Chinese people (in China) and overall they're a very nice lot - really hard-working, humble, and quite intelligent people. But their government is a completely different animal. I think that American investors forget this when they seek higher yields in the Chinese stock market, but THEY'RE FUCKING COMMUNISTS! Hello? All that anyone is doing when they put capital into China is supporting a government that oppresses it's people (and neighboring people like those in Tibet), deprives them of critical information, and generally screws everyone that doesn't believe in their crazy-ass politics. Why would any capitalist with a long-term view of the future do so? Because, despite everything my economics and finance professors taught me in MBA school, MARKETS ARE NOT RATIONAL PAST A CERTAIN TIME HORIZON. And that time horizon inches ever closer towards us every single day...

I'm just going to stop writing now because I'm tired of typing and I want to go to the pool and work on my tan (it's 84 degrees Fahrenheit here in sunny...well, Sunnyvale today).

- A




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