Monday, February 28, 2011

Peas in our time

The middle east is imploding!  Oh dear mohammed (peas be upon him) what should we do????

Item #1:  These folks (Egyptians/Lybians/Bahrainians etc.) don't want our help.  They certainly don't want an occupation force of Americans to come and sully the place up.

Item #2:  The American Military, if you've not been paying attention, is pretty damn busy right now.  Granted, we've scaled back the number of troops in Iraq, and politicians have never been very serious about sending the troops we need to Afghanistan, but we are as busy as we've ever been.  Not a good time to start putting penny packets of troops out on a very tenuous logistics thread.

Item #3:  Some people have brought up the idea of "owning the skies" or "No Fly Zones" over places like Lybia.  That's a great idea.  We have all sorts of Aircraft Carriers, planes, and pilots with nothing but time on their hands, our airframes have all just come off the assembly line and have all sorts of time left on their airframes and engines.  They haven't been doing continuous patrols in Iraq and Afghanistan, making sure that there is always someone nearby with a JDAM when you need it, or back home in the US, training for the next deployment.  We could, of course, just park some Aegis Guided Missile Cruisers in the Gulf of Sidra and control the skies that way.  That worked out well in the Straights of Hormuz, right? 

Item # 4:  During our own revolution, we received aid from France (thank god they didn't send troops, or we'd all be speaking English now.)  We received money and weapons.  I would wager that in all of the countries we're talking about, it isn't very hard to come across an AK, and it seems they have a fresh supply of money right under the sand.  So what can we offer them in terms of support?

I think the best thing we can do for them is to offer safe haven to all of the heads of their governments.  Tell them that they can come here, we'll grant them refugee/political assylum etc., they can bring their families and their assets, and we'll give them estates in whichever state they would like to live in.  This is prettymuch what we did with the Shah of Iran and with Ferdinand Markos, so it isn't like this is a new idea.

Then, once the revolution is over, the people have established new governments, and peace has returned to their nations, we box up said dictators and ship them back home in chains.  (Hey, we said we'd grant assylum--just not forever.)  We work all this out with the leaders of the revolution through whichever agency is able to handle sneaky things without getting their hands caught in the cookie jar.  Under our terms, they can make noises about us being bad for taking these dictators away from "justice," but not too much noise, maybe even thank the US for cutting the cancer out of their country, and giving them the chance to breathe free.  Once they've made the effort to recognize our benevolence in defusing the violence, they get back their dictator and his assets and family to use as guillotine fodder.

I realize that isn't going to happen.  What we will do is rattle a saber or two with the military, prepare to send in our troops for humaintarian aid missions (which cost $Billion$, and are second only to Peace Keeping as things nobody enlists to do) and eventually come out looking like we were supporting the wrong side, whichever side wins. 

This is a zero chance of success game.  Democracy and Freedom will not suddemly erupt in the Middle East. They are going to either replace what they have in their countries (in the case of a tryant, I'm betting on a Theocracy or Communist government; in the case of Monarchy, I'd bet on a constitutional Monarchy or Theocracy) or install more of the same--a revolutionary leader will step up, kill off his enemies, and make himself the new president for life.  No way, no how will these people a) love the US b) stop looking at Israel as the root of all evil c) stop trying to harm our economy by screwing with oil prices d) stop supporting terrorism.

Here's the funny thing:  in any country where revolution fails, I would bet a paycheck that Israel gets blamed for starting the revolution by the government, and the US gets blamed by the people for not helping them.  In any revolution that succeeds, the US will get blamed for supporting the old regime, or not supporting the revolutions enough, and Israel will get blamed for existing.


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