History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Thursday, May 25, 2006

    Civil War in the Middle East

    And no, its not in Iraq.

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz decided on Thursday, in accordance to defense establishment recommendations, to allow the transfer of weapons and ammunition from Israel to supporters of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

    The amount of weapons to be transferred was limited, and came out of concern for Abbas' life and position at the head of the PA, security officials said.

    Translation: We would rather deal with Abbas than Hamas, and keeping Abbas alive at this point requires our assistance. Perhaps what the Israelis are hoping for is a Palestinian Civil War. But transfering weapons is a dangerous proposition, as it gives Hamas grounds to call Abbas an Israeli puppet. They likely will anyways, but this gives such a charge some ground to stand on. Its quite clear that Hamas is more popular now. My personal take is that Israel should let Hamas run as freely as they dare... in order for Hamas to demonstrate itself as just as incompetent and corrupt as Fatah.


    Wednesday, May 24, 2006

    Operation (Insert Name Here)

    Trent Telenko is back on Windsofchange, advocating the invasion of Iran at the moment. It seems he does this every other month or so. What is perhaps different in this piece is this tidbit by StrategyPage:
    May 23, 2006: There was another test of the Shahab 3 ballistic missile. This version of the missile, with a range of 2,000 kilometers can reach Southern Europe, as well as Israel. Testing now is mainly for the guidance system. Chinese and Russian technology is believed to have been obtained to build a workable nuclear warhead.
    Now, this is quite important, in so far that it means that if Iran does indeed have Russian and Chinese nuclear technology, then the only limiting factor for their program is fissile material. Now if Iran was planning on using its nuke(s) right away, then it makes much more sense for them to try and get the material on the black market. I am sure that enough could be obtained, especially if they were truly desparate. However, I don't think this fits in with Iran's plans. Iran doesn't want a nuke to lob or sneak into Tel Aviv. That isn't enough for the Mullahs. They want a full out program, to act as a deterent, a wall, so that it can carry out a much more aggressive foreign policy. This policy is/will be centered around the displacement of Sunni Islam as the primary sect of Islam by Shi'ite Islam, and more specifically the Khomeinist philosophy that Iran currently follows. In my opinion, this is far more dangerous than the possibility of a nuke or two being lobbed about, because it could easily lead to a global war within Islam that could spiral out of control and destablize much of the world for decades.


    Monday, May 22, 2006

    Conspiracy Theories 101

    Since I shut down my other blog, I haven't payed Debka much mind. However, there are two stories there that I find of interest at the moment.

    The first is this:
    DEBKAfile reports: Bush is expected to offer the mighty BIG-BLU bunker buster bomb to Israel and Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia
    I find this report interesting in that it would seem to indicate that the US is not prepared to actively curtail the Iranian nuclear program itself, at least, not right away. Rather, this seems to indicate a possible effort at containment is underway. By arming US allies in the region, and some who aren't exactly friends either, the US is making it clear that Iran isn't just facing the US and Israel in this matter.

    The second bit was the fact that the Jordanian Ambassador's driver was killed in Gaza. The "given" cause of death was a firefight between Hamas and Fatah. However, I find this interesting:
    The Jordanian citizen was shot dead in an official embassy car marked with royal emblems outside the Palestinian legislature in Gaza.
    The conspiracist in me says this wasn't an accidental shooting from a gang fight gone bad, but rather a coordinated assassination attempt against the Jordanian Ambassador, who was presumed to be in the vehicle. Either the assassins had bad intell, or they "jumped the gun", so to speak. The fight itself between Hamas and Fatah gunmen would have been used as cover. As for who would want the Jordanian Ambassador dead... well, I think Al Qaeda is pretty high up on the list. Perhaps reports of their infiltration of the Gaza strip should be taken seriously.


    Friday, May 19, 2006

    Items of Interest

    There are few people I respect more than Michael Totten. Here is an example of why.
    (Did I just end a sentence with a preposition?)

    Wretchard has a host of good posts up.

    Will and Grace has apparently ended. Never watched a single show before, and I doubt I ever will. Those of you who are interested can find the final episode here, via parent company NBC.

    The FAA is hurting US efforts to secure the border.


    Thursday, May 18, 2006

    For those who might be interested...

    The Senate is debating and voting on Amendments to the Immigration Bill at the moment.

    Given that an amendment was just passed that essentially made English the national language, something which I believe has been thwarted many a time before, I suspect that Poison Pills will prevent the bill from being passed.

    Update: C-SPAN feed found here.


    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    Instability in the Gap

    This time in Brazil. The real problem is when instability in one country spreads to other countries. This doesn't look to be the case with the Brazilian violence, but it does show how lucky we are in the US.


    Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    Google Trends

    Apparently, like Michael, I too missed Google Trends somehow. However, now that I know it exists, I am keen to find a good use for it. Somehow.

    Update: Apparently, only the Anglosphere (plus Germany) is inclined to search for neoconservatism, but Zionism is apparently big in Iran at the moment.


    Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder...

    At least, that is how I think it goes. Sorry for the prolonged absence, but blogging simply lost its appeal to me for the longest time. In fact, the net did in general. I needed some time to turn inward, a time for self-examination.

    However, this has ended, for the time being at least. The immigration issue has convinced me to get my head out of history books and to start blogging again.

    Perhaps the most important aspect of the debate is how it is in a way revitalizing the conservative base of the Republican Party. While Democrats who oppose lenient immigration laws are plentiful, they are not nearly as motivated as Republicans with similar views. Right now there is some question as to whether or not the immigration issue will split the Republican Party. I agree with John at Powerline:
    For purposes of 2006, I'm not convinced that the party will take a big hit due to the immigration issue. There is no national race. Each Republican will take the position that makes sense to him or her (presumably balancing political and policy preference considerations in some fashion). In doing so, Republican candidates will make some voters angry, but individual Democratic candidates will face the same dilemma.
    His views on the '06 mid-terms are similar to mine. Mid-term elections are almost always localist in nature, rarely are they national. Hence, immigration will be an issue, but it will not be nearly as divisive for the GOP as some may fear. It probably won't affect the Democrats terribly much either, they have issues far more important to most of them to debate on.

    What about '08? I am going on a limb here, and will say that immigration will be one of the biggest issues in the Presidential election for '08. In fact, it may be the biggest issue in the Republican primaries, and I doubt it will have no impact on the Democratic primaries as well. My personal hunch is that the GOP will not nominate a candidate who is perceived, openly at least, as "soft" on immigration. That doesn't mean that the nominee won't pretend to be "hard" but in reality be "soft", but I just don't see it as likely that an openly soft candidate will make it through the primaries and emerge the winner at the convention.

    It would be interesting to see just how much impact there will be on the Democratic party. I have no good guesses there. The most likely instance of immigration greatly impacting the Democrats will be if a strong Labor candidate runs with a Populist bent, calling for stronger immigration enforcement. I don't see such a candidate winning, but it would likely impact the platform some.

    As for action in Congress, I don't see anything passsing before the mid-terms. There is too much to be gained for holding off on any major votes, and too much to lose by committing yourself early, and giving opponents room to outflank you.

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