Friday, August 29, 2014

The Sky Is Falling!

Chicken Little!

Everybody is always predicting disaster, yes. But sometimes they're right. I think the potential danger to the US of the whole ISIS/ISIL thing is largely overblown; Mr. & Mrs. Middle America generally don't care if the wogs* kill each other in boxcar lots, so long as they do it over there someplace foreign and don't disrupt gas prices too much. I am keeping a weather eye on the situation in eastern Ukraine, though, as that plate appears to be wobbling on its stick and could fly off with more force than anybody is really expecting.

A lot of big wars have started with the expectation that the other side would back down or acquiesce.


*Which, I'll remind you, start at Calais.
.

23 comments:

The Jack said...

European Strongmen getting froggy with national borders does have a history of getting... exciting.

At least Ukraine isn't in Nato, though if a Nato nation is next (or jumps in) then things get interesting. As does the value of US pledges (don't develop nukes and we'll protect you) on the international stage.

And part of me wonders how much of ISIL being overblown is an over-correction to how under-blown it was.

Though ISIL is a prime example of "It bleeds it leads" and that's not even getting into those folks who find them romantic in that revolutionary chic.

billf said...

A lot of big wars have started...etc.,yes,and a lot of big wars have started by some random guy shooting a random Archduke and things like that.Kerry has been spending a lot of jet-time in the area,and I can't help but wonder what we would do if an errant hand held missle happened to take out a senior US diplomat.Just sayin,there are still too many hawks in DC that would say that's the last straw-and (I think) we shouldn't even be there currently in the first place.

Charles Lee Scudder said...

So who's up for a good old fashion inventory check?

Lewis said...

The parenthetical (end-note?) comment made my day.

og said...

You can practically hear the strains of Sabre Dance.

Fred2 said...

You know, i'd be all over cooperating with the Syrians, Kurds, et al.. to get the ISIS crazies all concentrated around something they think *really really* want.

And then having a couple of B52's unload full bomb bays all around that object of desire from 45,000 feet. I'm thinking with smart bombs you could create a kill zone around a known position that would, uhm, leave no stone unturned.

I know, wishful thinking.

Jenny said...

I can certainly see ISIS/L getting their hands on NBC stuff and managing to deploy it here. Not existential, but probably more life changing than 9/11.

... personally, I don't see how that region ends up as anything but hot glass eventually.


Don't even want to think about the Ser... Ukrainian matter. :/

mikee said...

Tam's point if valid, however these days most civilized countries, and even the French, disdain the idea of actually following through with action when a strongly worded rebuke can be substituted for the rolling of tanks.

If anyone thinks Obama is going to raise a finger to save Iraq, let alone a place like Ukraine, I have some nice oceanfront land in Taiwan you might be interested in buying.

armedlaughing said...

@The Jack

"froggy"
Is that a jibe at the French?

Good for you!
:-)

gfa

Jack Spadoni said...

Just read this: Putin's speaking at the pro-Kremlin Seliger youth camp. He's just said "The Russian and Ukrainian peoples are one people". Crowd applauds.

For some reason the word 'Sudetenland' just popped into my head.

Anonymous said...

What is a worry about ISIS is at last estimate there are 120+ Canadian passport holders. They are learning guerrilla warfare and could return to Canada. If they were then to slip across the border and obtain false ID they could pass for American citizens and go wherever they wanted. Hopefully CSIS has got an eye on them.

Re your wogs comment.
"Fog in Channel, continent cut off."

Al_in_Ottawa

Steve C said...

Perhaps if we feed the crocodile, he will eat us last.

NAVIGATOR said...

"WOG" WAS ORIGINALLY AN ACRONYM FROM THE MID 19TH CENTURY OPIUM WARS THE ROYAL NAVY USED TO DENOTE IN THE DECK LOG "WORTHY ORIENTAL GENTLEMEN" AS IN "24 WOGS IN IRONS BROUGHT ABOARD UNDER GUARD"

"WOGS" DEVOLVED TO MEAN ANY SUBJUGATED PEOPLES OF THE EMPIRE

"THE TOLERANT ENGLISHMAN DESCRIBED WOGDOM BEGINS AT NAPOLI THE INTOLERANT ONE SAYS THAT WOGDOM STARTS AT CALAIS"

BRITANNIA ONCE RULED THE WAVES
NOW IT ONLY WAIVES RULES

CHEERS !

Its Time to Live said...

It all worries me. And, our own lack of spine.

Don M said...

Isn't this why we were going to build the Missile Defense system?

Russia has historically built nuclear missiles as negative deterrence: To prevent use of nuclear weapons against them, while they used their conventional forces.

US has historically attempted to use nuclear missiles as positive deterrence.

Rob said...

Gotta love false etymologies SHOUTED IN ALL CAPS.

phlegmfatale said...

WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!

Anonymous said...

Al,

There are supposedly 15 Somali men from Minnesota in Syria with ISIS/ISIL. There were another roughly 20 that went back to Somalia several years ago.

I hope the FBI are tracking them if they return. But after the Tsarnev fiasco, I am doubtful. I mean if the Russians warn you about someone, you should probably take it seriously.

Ted said...

I thought I heard and read (radio/intertubes) that there was currently talk of Ukraine joining NATO.

Which is sort of like buying fire insurance while your house is on fire.

Firehand said...

Ran across this a bit earlier:
In the past few days, Russian troops bearing the flag of a previously unknown country, Novorossiya, have marched across the border of southeastern Ukraine. The Russian Academy of Sciences recently announced it will publish a history of Novorossiya this autumn, presumably tracing its origins back to Catherine the Great. Various maps of Novorossiya are said to be circulating in Moscow. Some include Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk, cities that are still hundreds of miles away from the fighting. Some place Novorossiya along the coast, so that it connects Russia to Crimea and eventually to Transnistria, the Russian-occupied province of Moldova. Even if it starts out as an unrecognized rump state — Abkhazia and South Ossetia, “states” that Russia carved out of Georgia, are the models here — Novorossiya can grow larger over time.
and
Novorossiya will not be stable as long as it is inhabited by Ukrainians who want it to stay Ukrainian. There is a familiar solution to this, too. A few days ago, Alexander Dugin, an extreme nationalist whose views have helped shape those of the Russian president, issued an extraordinary statement. “Ukraine must be cleansed of idiots,” he wrote — and then called for the “genocide” of the “race of bastards.”

So you wind up with
Nutcases Putin uses because they scare people?
Nutcases who have Putins' ear?
and
At what point do you start saying "Holy shit, the bastards mean it, does everybody have a basic load?" or something along those lines.

Steve Skubinna said...

Navigator, as a general rule if a word origin claims to be an acronym, and predates WWII, then it's bogus. That goes for such standbys as "posh," "cop," "wog" and "shit."

No kidding, I've had people tell me, straight faced, that crates of guano were labeled "Stow High In Transit," or commonly the abbreviation, because of offgassing. Such people are obviously unaware of the ancient Saxon origins of that word.

World War Two brought military acronyms into common usage. Prior to that they were so rare as to be nonexistent.

ASM826 said...

I think ISIS is here, probably coming in easily in the chaos at the southern border. Weapons as well. Expect them to make as big a splash as possible.

Should have dealt with it after Beirut in '83.

Gregory Poniatowski said...

It is however certainly worth recalling that although earlier this year Turkey declined to call for NATO assistance, it could at any time if the situation should continue to deteriorate, invoke Article 5. (invoked it should be said for the first and only time when last we were attacked by terrorists.) In such a case the options for the western powers are all fairly unattractive. Such a call if it were ignored, would likely shatter the moribund alliance in one go, and it is potentially one of the few things which keeps Putin from driving further into Eastern Europe. If we were to honor our commitment, Putin would still retain the option of opening a second front in Eastern Europe by fully committing his forces. That he has not done so is probably due to the fact that he is waiting for an opportune time. Since a conflict with Ukraine is likely to be costly for him. If he really wanted to up the ante he could always toss a couple of tactical nuclear weapons into the mix and then keep on rolling into the other former satellite states. The real problem is that Obama has so consistently lacked a spine in these matters that everyone is betting on it by now, and if he were to ever change his mind and decide to intervene it would probably be at the worst possible moment. Much like Austria's decision to stall an invasion of Serbia gave the Russians time to commit to a guarantee of their independence and marshal its reserves, kicking off the First World War.