Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Risk and Reward

There are days when it has to feel good to be alive, Secretary Supertanker, and in Washington.

Look, a scant ten years ago, Kindasleezy Rice's specialty looked to be obsolete. Really, who needed an expert on the Great Game with Russia? They were finally our allies.

After 7 years of hard work, it looks like Kindasleezy's remedied that with the help of her Dear Leader.

Simon Jenkins at The Guardian:

...When Keynes returned from Versailles in 1919 he wrote an attack on the treaty that ended the first world war. In The Economic Consequences of the Peace he warned that punishing Germany and demanding crippling reparations would jeopardise Europe's stability and the building of German democracy. He confronted politicians, on both sides of the Atlantic, puffed up with the vanity of victory and convinced that the German menace had been laid to rest. He was right and they were wrong.

For the past six years Washington's whirling dervishes have reduced Anglo-American foreign policy to a frenzy of bullying hatred of anyone to whom they take a dislike. One half of this neoconservative agenda is heading for the rocks, American dominance in the Middle East following a stunning victory over a Muslim state. But the other half is alive and well, pushing ahead with the missile defence system bequeathed by the Reagan administration.

This so-called star wars is militarily unproven and, with the end of the cold war, of no apparent urgency. But it is astronomically expensive and, as such, has powerful support within America's industry-led defence community. When Dick Cheney was finding George Bush a defence secretary in 2000, Donald Rumsfeld's chief qualification was his enthusiasm for space-based defence. Hence America's 2002 renunciation of the anti-ballistic missile treaty. Hence the installation of defence systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, in defiance of what was promised to Russia at the end of the cold war. Hence Rumsfeld's frequent jibes against old Europe in favour of "new".

Vladimir Putin's reactive threat this week to retarget his missiles at west Europe was reckless and stupid. Just when nuclear disarmament is again a live issue and his old enemy, Nato, faces defeat in Afghanistan, he tossed red meat to the Pentagon (and Whitehall) hawks. He strengthened the case for a new British Trident and encouraged an arms race that he knows his own country can ill afford, just as it can ill afford to send Europe frantically seeking alternative energy supplies...

Silly. The issue isn't what Russia- or America- can afford. The issue's the Game, and the fortunes to be made or lost by people like Secretary Supertanker who play it.

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