Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Comment on the Belmont Club:
"Global Zero"

Lucky for the Club-K missile people that they ripped off their music from the story of Elsa the Lioness. That film was made by what is now a unit of Columbia. If they had tried to do that to the Disney organization they would be in real trouble.

The missile in a container seems like a dubious asset for a nation threatened by an aggressive neighbor to turn to. If conventionally armed it would be of little use against a sizable invading army. For countering a seaborne assault mines delivered by small merchants or small combatants would be more cost effective. Against a sophisticated foe a system dependent on a satellite link could prove vulnerable. That is a potential weakness the US also needs to consider.

Many years ago Mad Magazine, the most serious intellectual journal around in its heyday, had a parody of Kipling's "If" that included something about "If you can hit a truck driver with your jalopy and convince him that he indeed was at fault ... Then you are a man my son" accompanied by some befuddled neanderthal schmoo staring at a guy waving a pointer at a portable slide screen, this was before the computer age, covered with statistical formulas. Obama not only views the American public as a collection of rubes ripe for the plucking, an opinion that based on his success until recently he had some reason to believe and which the Iranians and many others share, but he may even think that practiced thugs like the leaders of Iran and Russia can also be easily duped.

The Chicago model of politics practiced by the Daleys and its offspring of Community Organizer shakedowns as pioneered by Jesse Jackson and Saul Alinksy and then polished by Obama depend on a productive and benign host willing to tolerate and buy off the ethnic interests. The Daleys were always very careful not to threaten the Golden Goose. Old fashioned Daley style machine politics could view itself as an essentially benign, if less than optimally efficient, part of the city's social and economic fabric. Services were delivered, the peace was generally kept, and some sense of potential economic progress was offered to supporters seeking upward mobility. The Obama model is a failure domestically because in its unconstrained success it threatens to kill its host while achieving none of the goals at least sought by the old Democratic machine in return for preserving the wealth generating elements of society.

On an international level the Obama model has proven unable to pass the weak and uncritical inspection of the Europeans and the International Olympic Committee. That is a low standard he fails to meet since the Europeans are hoping that the Russians intend to preserve them as cash cows subject to occasional bluster and bullying, the same way the Daleys preserved the financiers and industrialists of Chicagoland. The Russians, Chinese and other serious players of power politics will look at Obama's handful of super conventional missiles the way a school bully looks at the geeky kid demonstrating all his ninja movie kung-fu moves. They will be tempted to reach out and pound him.

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