The fuss about Iran joining the nuclear powers goes on but few seem to care. President Obama does not seem to care; he’s presiding over a pro-forma dialogue with that country while it continues its lengthy pursuit of nukes. Even a significant portion of Israelis seem not to care; that country appears split over preemptive attacks on Iran. What are we to think?
We aren’t sure that “think” is the operative word here; the number of interested folk seems pretty small. The majority view seems to emulate the old Chinese dragon story: The villagers, hearing that a dragon had entered their area, met to decide what to do. Some advocated flight, others wanted to fight. But in the end, they decided to ignore it, in the hope that then, it might go away.
That very typically human political attitude doesn’t work with nukes, either, especially when you can attach them to anonymous cruise missiles fired from even more anonymous submarines under water. Iran for instance, that has publicly sworn to destroy Israel, has submarines and cruise missiles as do increasing numbers of others. To which we add the submarines built by the drug gangs for delivery of their product.
The illusion of nuke control and public safety was blown by the acquisitions of Pakistan and North Korea; after those, anyone feeling secure has overindulged in his dinner wine ration. Or beer, as the case may be.
The U.S. has largely ordered the world alone since 1991 when the illusory Soviet economy collapsed. Now the illusory U.S. economy is collapsing too, of the same sort of mismanagement, along with much of the rest of the world. America, broke, will find a challenge defending itself; the oceans are no longer a free bulwark against enemies.
When the top dog goes to sleep, the lesser dogs come out to play, as Mr. Putin makes clear and China underlines in Tibet and the China Sea. But their finances are no more healthy than America’s.
It is becoming a dog-eat-dog world, with growing numbers of submarines, missiles and yes, nukes. And Murphy presides … Of what value will be America’s vaunted aircraft carriers in this? Today, one missile accounts for one carrier … and the missiles are a both more numerous and a lot cheaper.
Once there is a military standoff, the only route to dominance is commercial. American government policy drives U.S. costs above the world levels; that is why so much heretofore U.S. industry is now Chinese. You can’t compete as the highest-cost producer. America has been and remains, the wealthiest place on earth. So for a while, was Rome.