Saturday, May 5, 2007

This one is for posterity and the "missing the point" chronicles

I wish the rest of the world would stop with setting their locks alight over Iran and nukes. Nukes aren’t chocolate chip cookies. Development takes time. Here is how Iran is going to work, if George doesn’t lose what’s left of his mind: Nukes will take longer to develop than the Bush administration can possibly last. As soon as there is a sane American president, the Mullahs will ditch Ahmedinejad and the overtures will start. Given the amount of time it takes to develop nukes, the least-bad option is to let the Iranians proceed. Not ideal, certainly nothing I would have settled for seven years ago, back when we had a President and a functioning State Department, but to the extent that George Bush has fucked up his Middle-East wet-dream, it’s probably the best we can hope for. Sorry 'bout the reality.

Now – If you want to get nervous about something, I have something for you to think about that ought to shrivel your nut-sack. China is expanding it’s Navy. Right now, I do not consider China an imminent threat militarily (economically is another story) because they don’t have any functioning modern aircraft carriers. They have two floating dilapidated recruiting centers and military themed amusement parks, purchased from the remnants of the Red Navy.

If that changes, teach the kids Mandarin.

I would guess that the Chinese will have carrier groups five full years before the Iranians can possibly have nukes. Aircraft carriers are one of the three things that define a superpower. A blue-water, high-seas navy is the other prong of a superpower, and China already has nuclear weapons, and they are holding the note on a lot of foreign debt, giving them nearly unchecked economic power, far more economic power than they would need to qualify. (In fact, economically, China is in what is know as "the Catbirds Seat.")

Rear Admiral James Kelly, the commander of US naval forces in Japan, said the strategic shift would see China developing a "blue water navy" capable of projecting Chinese power well beyond its shores.

He said the shift had become apparent in October last year when a Chinese submarine surfaced near a US carrier group in international waters off Japan.

Kelly was speaking in the Australian capital, Canberra, where he is on a visit to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea in World War II.

Commenting on the expansion of Chinese naval power her said there was a heightened need for transparency between the world's navies "so we don't have a misinterpretation of something out on the high seas."

I don’t just find this news troubling. I mean, I find it extremely troubling. But I find the fact that the national security beat isn’t reporting this and I have to go to the international press to get real information even more troubling.

Those who control the flow of information are missing the lede all over the place these days. They ignore the compromised state of national security – in favor of titillation and fear.

If you think the DC Madam story is about sex, and that an Iranian nuke is the biggest threat we face…well…I’m not sure I even know where to start with your education. Both are mere distractions from the real story that is being ignored in favor of massages and mythical mushroom clouds.

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