Truest Headline of the Day

“Even Worse Odds Than in 2008 for Mideast Deal” — AP

One of the things I liked best about President Obama’s first term was his basically walking away from trying to broker a Mideast peace deal.  He seemed to have gotten the message that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  I’ve never been a fan of John Kerry’s, and these new talks aren’t make me feel more warm and fuzzy toward him.  I hate to think of my tax dollars spent on hosting yet another exercise in futility.

When the Israelis and the Arabs are ready to make peace, they will.  Until then, we should stay the hell out of it.

At the same time, I strongly believe that we should engage on our own behalf not just with our friends, but with our enemies and frenemies.  It drives me crazy that we haven’t had an ambassador to Iran since 1979.  I believe that when things are bad, you withdraw your ambassador for a time to express your displeasure, but you can’t do that unless you have an ambassador there to begin with.  I’d have an embassy in North Korea as well.

I believe in direct face-to-face talks between world leaders.  I hate this notion that you have to have some breakthrough or major deal to announce or talks can’t be held.  Presidents Obama and Putin should meet regularly to lay out their positions and simply discuss where we have common interests and where we don’t.  Even if they don’t change or resolve anything, they can at least make sure there are no misunderstandings and each side can explain its rationales.  That isn’t weakness, that’s wisdom.  I’m disappointed that Obama cancelled his meeting in Moscow with Putin.  If he’s schlepping all the way to St. Petersburg, he should make the short trip to Moscow and have a sit-down with Vlad.

MOPping Up in Iran

The Defense Department has upgraded its “bunker buster” bombs to the point that it is confident we would not just damage, but destroy Iran’s underground nuclear complex at Fordow. *  These 30,000 pound bombs are Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOPs).

We have shared video with the Israelis to convince them that we can now destroy the site .  Israel could merely damage the complex, probably setting Iran back a couple of years or so.  Israel doesn’t have MOPs or the aircraft to deliver them.

The main issue with Israel is not convincing them we can destroy Fordow, but that we will.

Our intention is to wait until after Iran’s elections in June, to see if they will lead to diplomatic progress.  I don’t see the point of this — it’s not as if the elections will be free and fair, they will be fixed just like previous elections.  I don’t see what’s going to change.

The MOPs would also be very useful against North Korea.  I’m not looking for war, but neither Iran nor North Korea is looking for peace.  We never should have allowed North Korea to get nuclear weapons, and we can’t allow Iran.

“U. S. bulks Up to Combat Iran,” Adam Entous and Julian E. Barnes, WSJ

 

Last Thought If Hit by a North Korean Missile

Anybody who gets killed by a North Korean missile should know that their death was either an accident or pure dumb luck.  While the North Koreans (we think, with “moderate” certainty) can put a nuclear warhead on a missile, their ability to aim the thing is “low.”

So chances are, they were actually trying to kill somebody else.

Why Do We Always Over-Correct?

Ok, so Dick Cheney was wrong about a lot on foreign and defense policy.

But that doesn’t make Rand Paul right.  He’s as misguided as Cheney, just in the opposite direction.

Too little engagement is as bad — worse? — than too much.

I want to get out of Afghanistan yesterday, but I want to continue our drone program, including against Americans if they choose to join the terrorists, and I want to make sure that Iran doesn’t get nuclear weapons.  We should have stopped Pakistan and North Korea, but too late now.  Let’s not add Iran to that list of mistakes, which, aside from the threat to Israel, would set off disastrous nuclear proliferation throughout the Middle East.

Both the White House and the GOP have handled Rand Paul clumsily.  I hope they’ve each learned a lesson.

 

Mitt Should Keep His Mouth Shut

This is a challenging moment in our relations with China.  We have been getting cooperation from them on Iran, Syria, North Korea, and the valuation of their currency.  Now, relations are strained because of dissident Chen Guangcheng’s escape from house arrest and flight to the U. S. embassy in Beijing.  The Obama Administration wants to help Mr. Chen and his family without derailing the progress we have made with China on vital national security issues.

The timing is especially bad, given that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner are on their way to China for long-scheduled meetings.

So when he should just shut up and let the President handle this crisis (which some are calling the most serious with China since Tiananmen Square back in 1989), Mitt Romney jumps in to declare that we must confront the Chinese on their one-child policy.  The President is in a delicate diplomatic situation, and Mitt uses the moment for a purely political shout-out to the pro-life Republican base.

Great pandering, Mitt!  Leadership?  Statesmanship?  Not so much.

While Chris Christie Is Tired of the Crazies, Mitt Romney Is Terrified of Them

Watching a clip of Mitt “I’m Also Unemployed” Romney meeting with the editorial board of the Union Leader reinforced why he troubles me so much.  He doesn’t have the guts to be our commander in chief.

Asked about the booing of the gay soldier who asked a question in the last debate, Mitt, unlike other GOP candidates, refused to criticize that booing because he doesn’t have the courage to stand up to the homophobes in his party.

Plus he got all “deer in the headlights” when asked about it.  Aside from being a phony and a flip-flopper, he is simply too timid for the job.

While Chris Christie refused to kowtow to the Islamophobes in the GOP, saying he was tired of the crazies, Mitt kowtows to the homophobes because he is terrified of the crazies.

If Mitt is so visibly shaken by a softball question from some newspaper editors, how is he going to react to a sudden dramatic crisis with Iran or North Korea?  I am really afraid of Mitt Romney because he himself is too afraid to lead.