Friday, February 11, 2005

Race for time Race for time

Yesterday, it was announced that the North Koreans had finally admitted that they had nuclear weapons. Another success for the Clinton foreign policy, that traded aid, etc., for nonproliferation. Looked good on paper, but....

But I am not that worried about the North Koreans. Sure, in a while, they may have a delivery system that could let them target the United States. But by then, we should have a rudimentary anti-missle shield in place. And with that, sure, we cannot guarantee that none of their missles will get through. But, most importantly, thcy can't guarantee that any would. And we still have enough (in the thousands) of nuclear weapons available to us. I am sure that a small number of them already target N. Korea, and others could be retargeted there in short order. If they launch against us, expect Mr. Bush to turn the country in a radioactive parking lot. And meanwhile, if they do get a couple of missles through, those are Blue States anyway, except for Alaska, which has the lowest density of popluation in this country (only rivaled by Siberia to the west).

No, the two countries that are more worrisome to me are China and Iran. China, of course, already has nuclear weapons. But it is worrisome because if it continues to grow at the rate that it is growing, it will ultimately be able to challenge us geopolitically. Probably the most likely country to do so in the forseeable future.

The race for time is that they are rapidly urbanizing and turning capitalistic. But they are trying to maintain their Communism. The problem, as compared with Russian Communism, is that theirs is based on the rural peasants, while Russian Communism was based on the proletariat. But the rural peasantry is precisely the group that is rapidly disappearing in China, as they move to the cities and get (relatively, in comparison to their country cousins) rich. If the Chinese were to go to war with us, it would probably have to be before the percentage of the populace that is economically tied to us gets too big to ignore. But they can't do it right now because they don't, yet, have the financial might to take us on milarily. We shall see which trend moves fastest - their financial might, or their integration into the world economy and the conversion of their rural peasantry to the middle class. I think money will ultimately win out, but not positive enough to put money on it.

The second race for time is Iran. They, too, are trying for nuclear weapons. But they are also facing increasing pressure to democracize, esp. with the recent elections in both Iraq and Afghanistan, two big Moslem countries on their borders. The young in that country are getting increasingly restive. The budding revolution is being ever more brutally suppressed. The country is getting ready to explode.

And the pressure is going to continue to mount. Afghanistan is already stabilizing. But Iraq is going to bring even more pressure on Iran, as they, for the most part, share the Shia brand of Islam. Instead of Iranians trying to forment insurrection in Iraq, as we are seeing right now, expect to see the opposite, Iraqi Shites formenting revolution in Iran.

I expect, again, to win this one. Probably more likely than with China. And I think that I can attribute this to Mr. Bush. If Mr. Gore had won in 2000, or even Mr. Kerry in 2004, I don't think that this would be true. But with all the press and the rest of the left harping on that Mr. Bush lied about WMD in Iraq, it remains that if we had not invaded and beaten Iraq, there would be much less pressure on the Iranians for democracy, and thus, much more likely that we lose this race against time.

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