Friday, August 31, 2007

The Return of the Silver Blaze

Mitt Romney says if America is nuked, he will nuke back. Once upon a time a declaration like this wouldn't be news. The fact that it is, and likely to be criticized, is the interesting news in itself.

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Holmes: "That was the curious incident."

Nothing follows.


Blogger Charles said...

this is a media balance for obama's brave talk about going into pakistan to take out bin laden. obama needed to talk tough to push off from hillary because he's down and the tide is turning in iraq.

but why did romney bark? romney too is down and a winning president makes a blue state republican less likely,

8/31/2007 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Why did Romney Bark?

Elementary my Dear Charles.

Rudy's main strength is he'll be tough on Islam and Muslims. See his drop-kick of Saudi Prince bin Talal after 9/11 when the latter gave him a check for 9/11 and a lecture about how it was all America's fault. Or Rudy's speeches about how he'll be tough on terrorists and so on.

Rudy *IS* in some respects: Amnesty, Gay Marriage, Abortion, a Blue State Republican.

But unlike McCain (and this is why McCain is total toast) Rudy is tough on all aspects of the war against Jihad. McCain by contrast has over-solicitation for the civil rights of terrorists and wants legalism for listening to terrorists abroad.

McCain might have stayed afloat had he been unreservedly tough on Jihad. He's only partially tough: civil rights for Osama and KSM are not popular among Republican voters.

Romney and Rudy are battling it out for who will be the more tough-on-Jihad choice.

Rudy's lead is primarily due to his perceived toughness. Hence Romney making it clear: he'll nuke back.

Of course, political judo: Dems condemn the remarks and they throw away any chance in the general election. Don't and they lose their nutroots votes which dominate Dems.

8/31/2007 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

"the tide is turning in iraq." are you kidding me ?

charles - I have some Northern Ontario Swamp land that just might go up in value are you interested?

8/31/2007 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Bill --

The tide is turning as far as the idea of being defeated in Iraq by AQ and Iran, and Iran taking over (like Ahmadinejad said he would after we leave) is political suicide for any party peddling it.

The tide is turning also in the idea that ground-up alliance building is working, and can bypass the Baghdad government with people directly dependent on the US military ... who are plugged in to the AQ and Iranian terror networks.

Iraq as a source of intel on various attacks is not worth throwing away. Seeing as we have nothing else in the way of intel anywhere else. Even Shrillary can see that.

8/31/2007 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Good lord, when a Frenchman is making pugnacious remarks, a stout American can NOT allow them to stand as an example without trumping them.

Putin's stomping around bare-chested, Sarko's coming perilously close to waving French nukes around ... next the Brits might get annoyed enough to spank their Muslims for their explosive misbehavior.

An American Presidential candidate *must* stand up as a leader before the manly behavior of the rest of the world.

8/31/2007 11:16:00 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Charles don’t get me wrong, I have no love for the insurgents the Taliban or Al-Qaeda but I suspect the tide will never turn completely. When all has been done, all battles fought, and the dust clears in the middle east there will be one tough old Arab tribesman sitting on top of a pile of bodies with a bloody rock.

Historically has any country ever been able to hold sway in that unforgiving part of the world?

8/31/2007 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger Panday said...



But the Romans were a tougher, less apologetic lot than we Americans.

9/01/2007 03:38:00 AM  
Blogger Christopher Jamison said...

I understand, mostly, why Mitt is making this statement. That does not means it is smart. It is a precarious position with too far a fall from the slightest of breezes.

Question for Mitt: Terrorists with links to Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria succeed in detonating a nuclear device in Los Angeles. All three countries immediately condemn the action and vow to cooperate with the US to bring the "criminals" to justice.

Who do you Nuke? All of them? None of them? Mixed bag?
Do the actions of one person condemn an entire country?
Do you do nothing thereby showing your enemy that while you can talk the talk, you fail to walk the walk?

This is exactly the problem we face in Iraq now. We take fire from a building, we return fire and clear the building killing those inside, possibly innocent women and children (albeit intentioally set-up by the insurgents). We are accused of indiscriminately killing non-combatants.

It's a matter of scale. I think most people could accept the second example; Very few the first.

In his rush for bravado, Mitt painted himself into a corner.
Balls:1 Brains:0

9/01/2007 04:24:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Somehow, with all those sons of his not deciding to join our military makes me think ole Mitt the Mormon knows how to talk a talk, and he just might be trying out some new shoes to see if he can really walk the walk.

I'll wait and see what Newt plans, you know, Bill Clinton's older brother.

9/01/2007 04:34:00 AM  
Blogger buck smith said...

Lots of people have said that deterrence will not work against the jihadis, but I am not so sure. A recent post by our host suggested that the core financial supporters of jihad might be doing it for reasons more racist than religious - "because it is fun and cool to kill Westerners." Maybe such men can be deterred. I think the presidential campaign will drive both candidates to take Romney's position. If I were a candidate I would be about targets - tribal regions of Pakistan is a good place to start. I also would pledge not use nukes - we can do more damage with fire bombs.

9/01/2007 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

I have no problem with a Presidential candidate who makes a statement about his resolve to hold up a deterrence posture. It has been asked, "Who do you nuke?" We have a pretty fair idea where the heart and soul of recrudescent Islamic jihad is: Pakistan, Mecca, Medina, Damascus, Cairo, Tehran, and Qom. Have I presented a pretty good target list of places located within the terror-sponsoring Islamic states?

Yes, the Romans had the right idea. Our handwringing posture does not serve our survival needs very well. There were fewer lawyers in Rome to tie the hands of the Roman High Command when the savages attacked Roman citizens and their allies in the far flung provinces. If you messed with Rome, it brought a ruthless hammer down on you and finished you off. Hard to argue with the results. Only when, for a variety of reasons, did Roman government take the appeasement and bribe tack did the deterrence break down.

9/01/2007 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

What Mitt actually said was a little silly. But other candidates could formulate it into a real doctrine -- call it Unilateral Assured Destruction.

If the US is hit with a terrorist nuke, three governments will be removed from the face of the Earth approximately 90 minutes later -- Iran, North Korea, & Pakistan. No discussion about guilt or innocence. Simply death from the skies.

There would have been a fourth country on that list until recently, but Libya decided to divest itself of nuclear weapons. If the leaders of Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan don't want to be held responsible for nuclear terror attacks on the US, they know what to do. If they choose to keep the nukes, then they know the consequences.

Why not put the governments of India, Israel, Russia on the list? Because we trust them not to feed nukes to terrorists.

9/01/2007 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Christopher --

The answer is NUKE THEM ALL.

You'll get to that anyway. Show the world you can be nuked with impunity and you'll get nuke. With impunity. Weakness invites beating. This is reality.

MAD works both ways. A nuclear shield might protect Pakistan. But being tied to a nuclear attack guarantees retaliation to the point of total destruction. Just as Kennedy's MAD policy held the USSR responsible for Cuban actions against states other than America.

Yes you NUKE THEM ALL. It's the only way to protect your cities. Unless your values put the lives of foreigners over your own people. A call most Dems would make. Most Americans would probably make a different call.

Mitt is smart.

9/01/2007 04:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as Islamic nuclear terrorist attacks are concerned, the result would be catastrophic for the Islamic world whether America retaliates or not. Nuclear weapons (unlike microbial weapons) require large institutional apparatuses, therefore a nuclear terrorist attack will be state-sponsored. This blog actually touched upon this in two posts.

9/01/2007 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Boyd said...

Q: "Historically has any country ever been able to hold sway in that unforgiving part of the world?"

A: "Rome. But the Romans were a tougher, less apologetic lot than we Americans."

... and a lot of others if this - - animated map is correct. I suggest the insurmountable Middle Eastern tenacity is of a kind with the insurmountable Afghan winter - just not that big a deal when the chips are down. Some of these empires went on for centuries. That should be enough time to change some minds about Jihad or at least make it less dangerous. So... are we willing to play the empire card? If the nukes start taking out our cities I suspect the answer will be much clearer than it is now.

9/02/2007 07:28:00 AM  

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