Archive for the ‘war’ category

On the Blast of Trumpet of Jericho Depends U.S. Prestige

June 18, 2012

I’m republishing the following piece that was written on October 2007 for the readers of this blog.

Bush not the only problem
By Owen Harris, On Line Opinion, October 26, 2007

A reply by Con George-Kotzabasis

The respectable Australian commentantor on international affairs Owen Harris writes, “the US and the American people are experiencing a crisis of confidence” and “anti-Americanism is at all times high”. In my opinion the first issues from the US’s involvement in the war of Iraq and due to the initial serious tactical errors committed by it in the aftermath of the fall of the Saddam regime and on the up till now irresolution of the war. This “crisis of confidence” however, is momentary because it’s precisely related to the unresolved war. And the signs are favorable. As Americans have corrected their mistakes and are implementing a new strategy under their capable commander General Petraeus they seem to be winning the war—as I always believed that they would—and according from reports on the ground are “crippling al Qaeda”. Hence, the restoration of “respect and credibility” to the US depends on the defeat of the insurgency in Iraq.

The second issue, anti-Americanism is not new. It was always there although in a milder form—it goes with the trappings of being the sole superpower—and it was exacerbated as a result of the “mishandling” of the war and the bad publicity of the liberal media against the Bush administration.

To be respected and credible a superpower must implement its foreign policy with wisdom and resolve and undeviatingly from the main threat it faces. The US has not lost the capacity to do so. Once the powerful blast of the trumpets of US power flatten the walls of Jericho, the Iraqi insurgency, the benign prestigious hegemony of America will continue to play its historical role as the axis of world order and peace.

I rest on my oars: your turn now…

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Left is Wrong Deterrence Will not Work

May 6, 2012

By Con George-Kotzabasis April 3, 2012

A reply to: Right is Wrong: Deterrence Will Work by Fareed Zakaria

The Australian March 20, 2012

The American political commentator, Fareed Zakaria argues in the above titled article in The Australian that even if sanctions against Iran fail to prevent the latter from acquiring a nuclear arsenal, it can be deterred from using it by the preponderance of the U.S.A. in the firepower of its own nuclear weapons. Therefore, such a policy, according to Zakaria is better and safer than a policy of preventative military action with all the imponderable dangers that would stem from it. And he ridicules and is scornful of the conservative right, such as The Heritage Foundation and The American Enterprise Institute, for arguing of the ineffectiveness and futility of deterrence against the regime of the Mullahs, and, therefore, proposes a major military strike to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. In support of his policy of deterrence he quotes the conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, from an article the latter wrote in The New Republic in the eighties—while making fun of him since Krauthammer now is in favour of a military strike–that “deterrence, like old age, is intolerable until one considers the alternative.” Topping up his argument or should I rather say bottoming it down, Zakaria alleges that a strike against Iran would only delay its nuclear programme by only “a few years while driving up domestic support for the government in Tehran.” And he sedately poses the question that “if deterrence does not work then why are we not preparing preventative war against Russia which still has a fearsome arsenal of nuclear weapons?”

Zakaria completely disregards the fact that Russia today is not a deadly enemy of the West as it was in the past, unlike the Theocracy of Iran which clearly is. Further, as a serious commentator surprisingly he does not make a distinction between attacking a country that is fully armed with nuclear weapons that would open the doors of the MAD house to both combatants as such attack would lead to their Mutual Assured Destruction, and a country that lacks a nuclear stockpile as Iran at this stage is. It was precisely this mutual annihilation hovering like a Damocles Sword over the heads of the two rational superpowers that prevented them from attacking each other during the cold war. And the Cuban crisis was a limpid illustration of how both superpowers withdrew from the brink of this mutual destruction. But in the case of a nuclear armed Iran, one would have to be highly optimistic against the grim fact that the animus of a religious fanatic leadership, whose aim is to set up the new Caliphate of the twelfth imam Mahdi, would be supplanted by the dictates of reason and would desist, either directly or through its terrorist proxies, to launch a nuclear attack.

Moreover, Zakaria is oblivious of two substantial factors that make incomparable the situation existing during the cold war and the present situation of the hot war of multi-franchised ‘anarchic’ terror, in regards to deterrence. One of them is technological and the other is the strategically unidentifiable non-recognizable enemy until the moment he acts. Advanced technological knowhow is being easily accessed through the internet by the masses giving any individual with rudimentary knowledge the ability to construct lethal weapons, and, indeed, nuclear ones once their components are provided by rogue states, and has at the same time opened variable avenues to their portability to the countries against which they can be used. The second factor is the ample supply of Islamist mujahedin martyrs, in their ardent chase of the seventy-two virgins, camouflaged in civilian clothes, has also opened innumerable strategically invisible conduits for the delivery of these lethal weapons that can be used by any Islamist regime against the ‘Great Satan’, America, and its offspring in the West. Iran therefore can use stealthily these terrorists as ‘rocket launchers’ laden with nuclear weapons against any Western country it wishes to attack without identifying itself as the culprit that would immediately trigger a counterattack by the West. In such a situation therefore deterrence is totally a futile and ineffective strategy, and most dangerous to boot, in preventing an Islamist regime to launch a nuclear attack on America or on any other Western country. How can anyone deter fanatics from becoming nuclear weapon carriers in their pursuit of God-given paradisiac boudoirs? How can anyone deter the Islamist theocracy of Iran, with its virile libido dominandi to be the dominant power in the region and the paramount leader of Islam, from recruiting terrorists, with the cult of death as their banner, and ‘donning’ them with a panoply of nuclear weapons to be used against the infidels of the West? Or use them directly against Israel and thus fulfil its Godly agenda in annihilating the Jews? Zakaria by not seeing, and even not contemplating, this changed war milieu that exists presently in comparison to the cold war, makes his strategy of deterrence against Iran a folly of unprecedented magnitude in the annals of strategic thinking.

As to his comment, that a strike against Iran would only delay its nuclear programme while lending support to the Mullahcratic regime, he is blind to the great potential that such a surgical strike, whose target will not only be its nuclear facilities but also will have in its scope to effectively destroy the hated leadership of Tehran and the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, the Quds Force, contrary to his dire prediction, could bring on its heel a regime change by ushering the Opposition in power that would be friendly and amicable to the West and would accept and conform to the requests of the latter to stop all Iran’s activities toward developing nuclear weapons in the future. Another great danger, of which Zakaria appears to be unconcerned, is that the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran would start a nuclear race by other nations in the region to acquire them too and hence would augment the probability of a nuclear war either by deliberation or by accident. No deterrence could nullify the calculus of probability based on increasing numbers. The acquisition of nuclear weapons by a greater number of nations would lead with mathematical precision to a first strike by a nuclear device. Zakaria’s proposal of deterrence as an effective strategic instrument against Iran is not worthy of consideration by serious policymakers.

I rest on my oars: your turn now…

Debate between American Australian and Norwegian what to Do about Somali Piracy

March 24, 2012

I’m republishing the following debate that took place on October 7, 2009, in view of the American and European present decision to attack Somali pirates on  land by special forces, which was the proposal I suggested in my contribution to the debate.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Somali piracy needs speedy, decisive, and relentless action by the U.S. and its European allies. To wait for the ability of Somalis “to police their own territory” and Somali leaders “to take action against pirates,” to quote Secretary Clinton, involved in the only highly profitable enterprise in a poor country, is to fly in the face of reality. In the event that Somali leaders were willing to do so, their military capacity to achieve this would take years to consummate.

Further, an increase of U.S., European, and Asian vessels and a better coordination between them is totally inadequate to police such a huge “expanse of ocean” as Secretary Clinton herself remarks. To pursue such a policy as Secretary Clinton delineates in her speech is to pursue a chimera. What the U.S. and its allies must do is to attack by relentless means, i.e., by air and commando raids the Somali towns from which piracy stems, and at the same time placing the requisite armaments on merchant ships that will protect them from any approaching pirate vessels. No amount of “carrots” will dissuade the pirates to desist and stop them, repeat, from such lucrative business in such impoverished country. Only their decisive military defeat will persuade them to do so.

Dan Kervick says,

I agree in part with C-G Kotzabasis’s assessment. We certainly can’t wait for the restoration of the ability (and inclination) of Somalis to police their own territory and to take action against pirates. Somalia is the most failed and dysfunctional of failed states. I also agree that the linchpin of the problem is that piracy in that part of the world is extremely lucrative. The piracy won’t end until piracy is made an ill bargain for the pirates.

But, given that assessment, I have a different view on the best means for addressing the problem, and the chances of success of a coordinated international response.

Yes, the area to be policed is very large. But this isn’t a matter of just sailing around hoping to encounter pirate ships, or hoping to be in the right place at the right time. I assume we have the ability to identify and track most of the ships belonging to these pirates, to share the needed information (though not the sources and methods) with merchant vessels, and to direct force where it is needed in a timely way, especially if we have a larger multinational force of ships in the area. I am also assuming that some of the tagging and tracking means available are clandestine, and are unlikely to be discussed in public.

I also suspect that the economic and other hurdles that need to be cleared so that merchant ships can better defend themselves can be cleared quickly with vigorous, multinational government involvement.

I am somewhat shocked that Kotzabasis would recommend air raids on the home towns of the Somali pirates. No honorable man would defend the intentional killing of the women and children of one’s adversaries as a means of deterring those adversaries. I thought C-G was more chivalrous than that.

Maybe it’s an old-fashioned American outlook based on too many cowboy movies, but I was brought up to believe there were certain acceptable and unacceptable ways of handling these kinds of problems with banditry. Arming and funding more people to ride shotgun on the stagecoach is certainly called for. And sending out posses to track and engage the bandits, and either apprehend or kill them, is also appropriate and in bounds. But sending people to shoot up the towns and encampments where the bandits’ families are located? Not OK.

Kotzabasis says,

Dan Kervick

Thanks for your intellectually amicable and positive response to my post. I’m however surprised that you so facilely assume that these raids will intentionally be killing women and children. The latter will be killed only if the pirates adopt the tactics of the terrorists and use women and children as human shields. So if there is no intentional killing my ‘honor’ and ‘chivalry’ are not besmirched.

Moreover, if you are prepared to put ‘stagecoach shotguns’ and send “out posses to track and engage the bandits” then you have to go the whole hog. You cannot exterminate the scourge of piracy by half measures or by chivalric ones.

Posted by Paul Norheim, Apr 16 2009, 7:54PM – Link

A comment to the exchange between Kotzabasis and Dan Kervick.

Kotzabasis says:

“I’m however surprised that you so facilely assume that these raids will intentionally be killing women and children. The latter will be killed only if the pirates adopt the tactics of the terrorists and use women and children as human shields.”.

Of course no single innocent human being will be killed intentionally by the Americans (that would be bad PR). But if you attack by “relentless means, i.e., by air and commando raids the Somali towns from which piracy stems”, much more innocent civilians are likely to die than those killed by pirates.

This is an excellent illustration of a certain paradox, namely between those “irregular” elements who target non-combatants (or, in direct terrorist operations: civilians), and a regular army targeting the enemy in ways that inevitably kill a lot of civilians, not because they are targets, but because the regular army decides to target the enemy by means that often, and inevitably, kill more civilians than the irregular elements (pirates/terrorists) do.

When you look at the tactics and outcome of some recent events (like the Israeli attack in Gaza, and the Sri Lanka`n army against the Tamil Tigers), it is indeed very difficult to distinguish between “terrorists (who) use women and children as human shields”, and states who send their armies to kill indiscriminately. If you look at statistics regarding the percentage of civilians killed in wars during the last hundred years, you would come to the conclusion that the respect for civilian lives seem to have diminished drastically – regardless of terrorists, guerillas, or pirates. The regular armies and the politicians behind them have their significant share in this development.

There is no point in mentioning Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki to prove that: Iraq is a fresh example.

How many innocent civilians did Saddam Hussein kill? And how many innocent civilians did Clinton and Bush kill – unintentionally?

To me it`s always been difficult to distinguish between terrorist methods and Kotzabasis`”relentless means”. For poor, innocent women and children, hit unintentionally, I would imagine that this distinction would make no sense.

Posted by Dan Kervick, Apr 16 2009, 9:49PM – Link

Kotzabasis,

I may have misinterpreted you. There are some people who have recently advocated the *intentional* targeting of the pirates’ towns and kin in order to teach the pirates a lesson. You instead seem to be advocating going after the pirates themselves, and regard whatever happens to the communities around them as collateral damage brought on by the pirates decision to live among other people.

I appreciate that when you talk about “exterminating the scourge of piracy”, you are only logically implying that it is the scourge that must be exterminated, not the people. I hope that’s all you mean. Because as for the people themselves, I think experience with banditry shows that it is by no means necessary to exterminate all the bandits – even if such a thing were possible – in order the deter them from banditry. It is only necessary to change the cost-benefit analysis with which they operate. When it becomes to hard to profit from banditry, and too risky, the banditry ends.

This isn’t a half-measure. It is just a question on of re-asserting the rule of law without inflicting more death and pain on our fellow human beings than is necessary.

Unlike the case with some terrorists perhaps, the pirates do not hide continually among civilian populations plotting their crimes. They frequently float around in boats on the open ocean. Thus, if they are to be targeted for attack, there is no excuse for not targeting them when they are out there on the high seas, away from innocent people. If one can kill or apprehend some transgressor in a way that doesn’t risk the lives of innocents, then one should do so. It is not relevant whether we can pin the “fault” for the innocent deaths on the wrongdoer. What is relevant is that we avoid causing absolutely unnecessary deaths, whom ever is to be assigned the ultimate fault for those deaths.

Let’s not build these bandits up into something more than they are. What is needed now is stepped-up global policing of international shipping lanes, and that calls for increased levels of economic, manpower and intelligence commitment. The pirates are not an army, and civilization isn’t crumbling. We just need to invest more resources than we have previously.

Posted by kotzabasis, Apr 17 2009, 1:18AM – Link

Dan Kervick

Of course you don’t have “to exterminate all the bandits,” and your “cost-benefit analysis” is a perfect measure that would end such banditry. But to reach that measure that would deter the pirates from practicing their deadly enterprise one cannot do it by “half-measures.” It would be a half-measure to draw the gun and not shoot at your enemy. However, your “rule of law” is not a half-measure but no measure at all. These are lawless people that no law will ever restrain their actions.

I’m afraid you are too well- intentioned and too replete with humane genes that disqualify you from being a pragmatic strategist in deadly conflicts. No war has ever being fought clinically without the spilling of innocent blood. The price of freedom and the continuation of a civilized society at times is quite high. Nothing of great value is costless. The question always is whether people have the sagacity, the will, and mettle to pay the price.

Paul Norheim

This is a ‘straitjacket’ detachment from reality Paul. An “excellent illustration” that totally destroys your fabricated “paradox” is Iraq that by indisputable statistics shows that more civilians were killed by “irregular elements” i.e., by terrorists, than by the regular army of the U.S. and its allies. And to infer, sarcastically, that Americans don’t kill intentionally because that would give them “bad PR,” is to denigrate shamefully U.S. armed personnel who have been trained not to kill civilians, unlike the terrorists who are trained to kill them deliberately. .

Posted by Dan Kervick, Apr 17 2009, 7:37AM – Link

“These are lawless people that no law will ever restrain their actions.”

You seem to be confusing enforcement of the rule of law with respect for the law, Kotzabasis. Obviously, these pirates have no motivation to obey the law simply because it is the law. They are not law-abiding people.

For such people, reassertion of the rule of law always requires the imposition of harsh, credible penalties. Some percentage might be deterred by the mere credible threat of these penalties. But others will only be prevented from violating the rules of the road on the high seas by the actual infliction of the penalties.

I didn’t say that we should draw the gun and not use it. I said that in this case it seems likely that whatever force needs to be applied can be applied away from land, and away from innocent people. Yes, sometimes innocent people are killed in justifiable actions. But we shouldn’t recklessly endanger innocent lives just to prove our “will” or “mettle”, not when we can bring the required force to bear without endangering those innocents.

While the pirates aren’t motivated by respect for international rules, they are, as you have pointed out, motivated by profit. As it becomes less and less likely for the pirates that they will profit from attempted acts of piracy, and more and more likely that they will lose their lives or liberty, their banditry will be brought to an end.

Posted by kotzabasis, Apr 17 2009, 9:45AM – Link

Dan Kervick

Lawless people are not concerned with what MIGHT HAPPEN to them if they break the law, but, as you correctly say, by the “actual infliction of the harsh penalties’ imposed upon them, and I would add in this case wherever they are, on sea or land. It would be strategically foolish and inutile to confine one’s tactical operations solely on the “high seas” as well as reveal one’s tactics to one’s enemy. Just a thought experiment. If one had credible intelligence of a high concentration of pirates on land that by hitting them one would have inflicted upon them a devastating blow from which they could never recover, it would be utterly doltish not to use such an opportunity that would shorten the war and overall casualties just because it could entail that some innocent people would be killed.

I used the “draw of the gun” figuratively, not that you said it, in response to your “stagecoach” post, that if you draw it you have to shoot your deadly foe wherever he is, even in a ‘crowded street.’

War has too many imponderables to compute them beforehand with algorithmic precision. McNamara’s “fog of war” is the constant condition. That is why people, and even professional soldiers, avoid it justifiably like the plague. But once one has decided to ‘unsheathe the sword’ then like the “feudal knights one has to make “literal mincemeat of one’s enemies, leaving the clergy to handle the morals,” to quote the great Austrian writer Robert Musil.

Posted by Dan Kervick, Apr 17 2009, 10:25AM – Link

“Just a thought experiment. If one had credible intelligence of a high concentration of pirates on land that by hitting them one would have inflicted upon them a devastating blow from which they could never recover, it would be utterly doltish not to use such an opportunity that would shorten the war and overall casualties just because it could entail that some innocent people would be killed.”

This sort of scenario paints an unrealistic picture of the pirates as some kind of “pirate army” that is best countered by attrition of their numbers until they surrender. I don’t think it works that way. The pirates are fishermen, who have taken to using their fishing trawlers to mount pirate attacks. Piracy in the Gulf of Aden has become a lucrative profession, and people will continue to pursue that profession as long as it remains lucrative. There is no fixed supply of pirates, just as there is no fixed supply of investment bankers. There is no pirate army to defeat.

We can’t bomb all the fishermen in Somalia, nor would that make sense. There is simply no need for this kind of overkill. The pirates attacked a US-flagged ship earlier this month, and that mistake resulted in an extended nuisance, the rescue of the captain, a week of media pants-wetting, three dead pirates and one captured pirate. This outcome is going to have a deterrent effect, and the pirates were dealt with out on the water. With stepped up resources and commitment, we can turn this piracy business into a non-viable enterprise.

Posted by kotzabasis, Apr 18 2009, 12:22AM – Link

It was a thought experiment and you missed its point.

You are digressing into ‘softer areas’ from your previous posts and I’ve nothing to add. Piracy now has become to you an ‘economic’ issue and merely an “extended nuisance” and an entertaining vaudevillian play, “media-pants wetting.”

Join the debate

War Cannot be Won if its Commanders are Hostages to Politics

March 12, 2012

Dear readers of  this new blog,

I’m republishing this proposal sent to President Bush as Washington politicians are presently attempting to micro-manage the war.

Con George-Kotzabasis

The following was written on April 11, 2004 and was sent to President Bush on the same date. It’s republished now, as the Bush administration is forging a new strategy for Iraq that hopefully will be victorious against the murderous insurgents.

Dear Mr. President,

The present armed insurgency, threatening to become a general insurgency against your forces in Iraq, unless its momentum is promptly nipped in the bud, of Shiites and Sunnis against the Coalition, threatens to put off balance your whole strategic project for Iraq and the Middle East in general, which would have tremendously negative effects on the war against global terror. Needless to say therefore, the stakes are infinitely high.

At the present moment these fanatic thugs are fighting your forces under the misperception that they have the “upper hand” in this confrontation. It is for this reason therefore, that any conciliatory move your Authority in Iraq will be making toward the insurgents will be perceived by them to be a sign of weakness by your side. A current example of this is the ceasefire in Fallujah, that Paul Bremer was probably compelled to declare as a result of pressures put upon him by some members of the Interim Governing Council (IGC). This was done to presumably give the opportunity to diplomatic palaver to resolve some of the issues that are contested between, in my judgement, irreconcilable opponents. These talks are bound to fail, as you will confront the hardened positions of these fanatics, which arise from their false belief that they will be bargaining from a strong position, that will be totally incompatible with your military plans against the insurgents, and therefore will be rejected by your side.

It is neither surprising nor unreasonable, that some members of the IGC have condemned your military actions in Fallujah and have opted for negotiations with the insurgents. What is unreasonable however, about the stand of the IGC – which apparently does not have political and military strategists among its members – is the futility, except as a public relations stunt of doubtful value, of these negotiations on the core issues between the belligerents, and the loss of valuable time that could be expended instead by your military commanders in putting, urgently and immediately, a stop to the momentum of the insurgency that threatens to engulf the whole country.

Paul Bremer therefore, has the responsibility to awaken these members of the IGC from their somnambulistic illusions, and spell out to them the high stakes involved, which can only be resolved by the use of major military force by the Coalition. However, despite these negative aspects of the ceasefire in Fallujah, it can be used positively by enabling women and children to evacuate the town, hence saving them from becoming collateral casualties from a future attack by your forces.

The paradigm of Vietnam has shown conclusively that your brave commanders and troops could not win a war that was politically restrained, as to the appropriate kind of weapons used against their enemies, by the hands of “micro-politicians”. In any major critical military engagement, military considerations should have the upper hand over political considerations. Certainly, the overwhelming military response of your forces against the insurgents will have local and international repercussions and will spark a “wildfire” of protests against your Administration. But despite this, the priority of the military over the political must not be modified and must prevail. It is the price that statesmanship must pay.

Moreover, what is of the utmost importance in this conflict is to inflict such a deadly blow on the insurgents in selected towns of Iraq, from which they will never be able to recover. It is not enough to capture or kill them in small numbers, but to do so in the largest number possible. Their capture or killing en masse, will have a powerful psychological effect upon other insurgents in other towns, and will irreparably breakdown their morale and their fighting spirit. To achieve this goal, you Mr. President, as Commander-in- Chief, must direct your commanders on the ground to use the weapons that would inflict this devastating blow on the insurgents. That means that incendiary bombs, and the “daisies cutter” be used as a last resort against the insurgents, whose total defeat is so pivotal to your historic project in Iraq and to the war against global terror.

Sure enough, as I said above, there will be multiple political repercussions on a world scale. But one has to be reminded that wars are won or lost by military actions not by political repercussions. It is a terrible situation to be in for a Commander-in-Chief, but the question for free, open, and civilized societies, is to be or not to be. It is by such tragic and historic burdens that your leadership and Tony Blair’s are weighed with presently. But the mantle of statesmanship falls on Churchillian shoulders.

National Sovereignty during the War on Terror Becomes Strategically Onerous

October 9, 2011

I’m republishing this short piece in the face of the U.S. navy seals entering and breaching the national sovereignty of Pakistan for the purpose of killing Osama bin Laden.

Turkey Bombs, the U.S. Applauds

By William M. Arkin

 Washington Post, columns & blogs, December 18, 2007

 A brief response by Con George-Kotzabasis

William Arkin by the title of his column expresses both moral irritation and surprise at the U.S reaction to the “Turkey Bombs”. But he is blind to the fact that sovereignty as an absolute legal norm has been throughout our modern period an absolute illusion. In the Age of Terror, it has been transformed into an illusionary fiction. No nation led by prudent political leaders can allow terrorists who attack it to find a safe haven, support, and replenishment of their armaments across its borders.

The U.S. applaud is consistent and in conformity with an unbroken strategic rule. Once one identifies an indefatigable irreconcilable deadly foe that threatens one’s national interests, one has to pursue and destroy this enemy wherever he happens to be. And for contemporary American strategists in the Pentagon it might have a greater strategic meaning. As the incursion into Iraq by Turkey might be a most welcomed dress rehearsal by the U.S. and a warning to its enemy Iran, that it might be fully staged on Iran’s soil by an American ‘impresario’.

Defection of Gaddafi’s Foreign Minister Presages Collapse of Regime

August 23, 2011
The following short piece that was written on April 1, 2011, predicted the present collapse of the Gaddafi regime.
 
 NATO in Libya Fraught with Peril April 01, 2011

By Sean Kay The Washington Note

A short reply by Con George-Kotzabasis

Sean Kay’s NATO in Libya Fraught with Peril, is politically inept and has already been overcome by events. As we had predicted, the end result of a decisive military intervention by Western powers would be to bring the collapse of the Gaddafi regime. Now the degringolade of the regime is imminent. This is clearly foreshadowed by the defection of foreign minister Moussa Koussa, a close collaborator of Gaddafi and a former director of Libyan Intelligence to boot, that sets the example for other high officials of the regime to follow.

 Who would be a better qualified person than a former director of Intelligence to read correctly the vibes and disposition of the Libyan people toward the regime, and more importantly, the latter’s inability to suppress the bouleversement against it, and hence induce Mr. Koussa, for these reasons, to abandon the doomed sinking ship of Gaddafi?

Labor Government’s Abolition of Nuclear Weapons a Decision in Cuckooland

August 7, 2011

 By Con George-Kotzabasis

If the reason for the abolition of nuclear weapons is flawed because the latter are the “poor man’s defense” against the preeminence of the U.S. in conventional weapons of “prompt global strike” by which the U.S. will continue to dominate the world by the threat of their use against its deadly rivals and enemies, such as N. Korea and Iran as Marko Beljak implies, then the other reason is that in the age of millenarian movements the abolition of nuclear weapons is also flawed as rogue states bristling in their apocalyptic beards, like Iran, could produce stealthily nuclear weapons. In such a situation to set up an International Commission for nuclear disarmament, as Prime Minister Rudd proposes to do, is the ultimate stupidity that any one could suggest. And in the aftermath of 9/11, the magnitude of such stupidity takes astronomical dimensions. Just imagine that countries such as America, Britain, France, and especially, Israel, which could be the targets of a nuclear attack by an Islamist state or by proxies of the latter, would even consider their nuclear disarmament in such a dangerous context.

Rudd’s proposal limpidly illustrates that Australia does not have a statesman at the helm of the government but a political dilettante and a populist to boot who is more concerned to ingratiate himself with the celestial wishes of its liberal minded naively pacifist constituency than to deal with the geopolitical realities.

Moreover, what is rather surprising and amusing is to see that Gareth Evans is willing to underwrite such political buffoonery by accepting the chair of the International Commission for nuclear disarmament. It seems that his Tasmanian “Biggles” days are not over.

Also, the “amelioration of security” by diplomatic means and international institutions, such as PALME, in the age of millenarian movements with irrational actors, is also a flawed conception. In such circumstances nuclear or conventional disarmament is a most dangerous illusion. Only a benign superpower or a coalition of states can keep the order of the world by a combination of sticks and carrots. And in our times the United States relatively is the only such benign power.