TCS Daily

Summer Opportunities

By Austin Bay - August 10, 2006 12:00 AM

July 2006 may prove to be a signal, era-shaping month in 21st-century history.

Sensationalists, fear mongers, defeatists and terrorists prefer predictions of catastrophe and disaster. On the surface, last month looks like a violent disaster, an August 1914, with this July's missiles, rockets and improvised explosive devices replacing the guns of that terrible August.

August 1914 began World War I. World War I seeded World War II, which lingered as the Cold War.

However, instead of starting a global conflagration, July 2006 exposed or made explicit key elements of and trends in an ongoing war with global, regional and very local dimensions.

Exposure and definition of problems and problematic actors create diplomatic, political and military opportunities -- the chance to forge a genuine, more resilient peace.

But let's give the sensationalists and defeatists their due.

Recall the first week of July: North Korea's surprise missile volley jolted Asia and North America. One of the first responses to Pyongyang's missile tantrum certainly sent a chill through China and other Asian capitals: Japanese leaders suggested reconfiguring Japan's military for offensive operations, to include acquiring offensive missiles capable of destroying North Korea's ballistic missile sites and nuclear weapons program.

The mass terror attack in Mumbai, India, was the big story of week two. 7/11's bombs left 200 dead and 800 wounded in the economic capital of the world's biggest democracy.

The Israel-Hezbollah war erased North Korea and Mumbai as the top headlines. Hezbollah's rockets continue to hammer Israel; Israeli bombs strike targets throughout Lebanon. Israel now fights a two-front war, against Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

Iran, Hezbollah's financier, continued to dodge diplomatic attempts to end its quest for nuclear weapons.

In Iraq, terrorists and sectarian militias continued the mass slaughter of civilians with an IED and car bomb campaign centered on Baghdad. Iraqi security forces required U.S. and coalition reinforcements in neighborhoods the Iraqi government thought it had secured.

Venezuela's Castro-wannabe, Hugo Chavez, claimed common political cause with Iran's President Ahmadinejad.

So why any optimism?

Take the last first. Chavez is an armed nuisance inflated by petrodollars -- which makes him a poster boy for everyone advocating diversified, alternative energy sources and fuel efficiency. "Chavismo" and Khomeinism link in only one place: the oil market.

Now consider China's and Russia's response to North Korea's missiles. China and Russia approved UN sanctions on North Korea. Those sanctions, tentative as they are, establish a "no go line" for rogue behavior -- ultimately applicable to Iran as well.

No doubt North Korea embarrassed China, but Japan's increasing willingness to share Asian defense burdens with the U.S. tells China it must make some choices. Will Beijing play a mature, responsible role in protecting the global trading system? China's pro-sanctions vote says at crunch time it will.

What do the terrorists have to offer the Third World? Mumbai answered the question for 1 billion Indians: only mass murder. As a political message that's a historical loser. Anarchism and nihilism do not build wealth. In fact, wealth defeats them. Within a week Mumbai was back to work. It will take decades to stop them, but Mumbai demonstrates why terrorists fail.

At least terrorists without nuclear weapons, which brings us to Hezbollah and Iran. The Israel-Hezbollah war reveals Iran and Syria as actively engaged in hijacking an Arab country (Lebanon) as well as firing short-range ballistic missiles at Israel. In the long term, arming and funding Hezbollah will increase at least tacit international support for regime change in Damascus and Tehran. Tyrants use terrorists, and tyrants pursue nuclear weapons. The Lebanon-destroying shenanigans of Iran and Syria's Hezbollah puppet ultimately put the puppeteers at risk.

July also offered a lesson in timelines for democratic change. Sixteen years ago (Aug. 2, 1990), Saddam invaded Kuwait. Between 1990 and his overthrow in 2003, Saddam killed an estimated 250,000 people (mostly Kurds and Shia Arabs). Would anyone in 1990 or in March 2003 have predicted a freely elected Iraqi prime minister would appear before the U.S. Congress and thank America for giving his country the opportunity to create a democracy?

"Iraqis are your allies in the war on terror," Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told a joint session of Congress.

That happened on July 26, 2006.

Austin Bay is a syndicated columnist and TCS Daily contributing writer.



Good column, but more optimistic that I will agree with
These little "proofs" can be undone. The terrorists must be stopped, begginning in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran and N. Korea. Again and again, we **** around with this BS countries and tin dictators instead of stomping them out for good.

It is time to quit playing and bring out the big guns. I say we agree to arm Japan if N.Korea is not forced into the fold by China. We destroy Iran's Nuke game right now. We take care of business in Iraq and Afghanistan and help Israel finish the job in Lebanon.

An issue of willpower.
I grin in my sleep when I dream of nuking all of the little terrorist nations that want to mess with us, but when I wake up I know I was dreaming.

Strength requires both the ability to project force and the will to do so.

Unfortunately, you are totally correct. We do not have the will to destroy these fascist little barbarians. Ann Coulter had an interesting columnn today in Human Events Online ( She notes that, in response to the aagree/disagree questions:

1) Is America basically a fair and decent country?
2) Would the rest of the world be better off if they were more like us?

Coulter reports the results as follows:
"Republicans agreed that America is generally fair and decent, 83 percent to 7 percent. Eighty-one percent agreed that the world would be a better place if more countries were like the United States.

By contrast, Democrats were nearly split, with only 46 percent agreeing that America is generally a fair and decent country, and with 37 percent saying America is not a generally fair and decent country. Only 48 percent of Democrats said they thought that the world would be a better place if more countries were like the United States."

If they hate their own country that much, why would they be willing to risk lives for it?

So right on
And it make you want to cry from the frustration.

Nuke 'e 'til the glow; it makes it easier to shoot them in the dark!! ;)

Summer Opportunities
Does the writer, really believe that Iraq was liberated by the US?
Iraq was invaded, illegally, by the US.
The current Iraqi administration is a sham. Nothing but a stooge, to keep an eye on the oil fortunes of Iraq for the Israeli-US interests.

Can the writer verify how he came up with the 250,000 number of dead, apparently killed by Saddam between 1990 and 2003? Does that figure take into consideration the Iraqi' citizens killed by the US airstrikes from 1990 through 2003 [including Clintons (or Killing-ton's) Golden years]. The number of dead in Iraq, as a result of the US agression against the former, legitimate Iraqi government, under Saddam through 2006 July puts the 250,000 number to shame.

The US government are genocidiaires.

Get your facts straight at least
I'm sure your Imam is proud of you. Yes, tell all the infidels how Americas is evil and all Americas should commit suicide to atone for their evil ways.

IBC, the best and most neutral site on the issue of dead in Iraq says between 40,000 and 44,600 have been killed. That number includes all deaths since the invasion began, not just those caused by direct coalition actions.

Let's see, we should surpass 250,000 by 2020 at the present rate.

Yes, the U.S. is so genocidal

You are obviously not American, so where are you from?
When did al Qaeda register a screenname here?

Or is Saddam himself allowed access from the internet?

I tend to guess that you are from France. The word "genocidiaires" sounds a little too French to be a mistake by an English speaker...

Saddam Hussein invaded three of his neighbors, and bombed a fourth; gassed and committed actual genocide against both the Kurds in the North and the Shi'a in the South; set up prisons for the children of dissidents; owned a plastic shredder (or woodchipper) in to which he used to feed people feet-first for the purpose of execution; tried to assassinate the first president Bush; and, in general, imprisoned, tortured and executed many tens of thousands of his own people. You can find this on your own by searching for "Saddam Hussein and Human Rights." If you don't have nightmares after reading it, then you are probably related to that murdering b*st*rd. In addition, Saddam Hussein offered many millions of dollars worth of support to terrorist groups, and even more valuable training and safe-havens.

US aggression?

There are powerful anti-psychotics out there. Look in to them.


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