Thursday, September 28, 2006


ter·ror·ism (tr-rzm)
The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

Our government is about to pass a law that will suspend Habeas Corpus. It also has an illegal wiretapping program, and officially tortures captured enemy fighters.

Oh, we citizens should not be surprised. It was fear that led us to support a bogus war against a false threat. We showed how scared we were last fall, we didn't stand up for our freedom of speech when it was being challenged by threats of violence. And even now, we pre-censor artistic expression because of threats that have yet to even materialize!

So why shouldn't the government suspend Habeas Corpus? The citizens of this country have shown that they don't care about their rights anyways. The government might as well get rid of them and make the job of fighting terrorists a little bit easier. Screw the moral high ground.

We are a bunch of scared, intimidated sheep. Embarrassing.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My, how things change.

Iraqis want us to stay.

It isn't a surprise that the Kurds want us to remain in Iraq. US forces have essentially given the Kurds their own country for the last 15 years. Without US troops, Kurds would be vulnerable to subjugation by Turkey, Iran, or Arab Iraqis. Further, the Kurds were worst off under Saddam's rule, so they were most excited to see us invade in the first place.

The interesting change is that now Sunni Arab Iraqis want US troops to hang around. Only a year or two ago, Sunni Arabs were in full revolt against the US occupation. They claimed that the insurgency was soley designed to get the "occupier" out of Iraq. Obviously that was BS; they wanted us out of Iraq so they could take over again. Now that the Shias have gained power, the Sunnis realize they can't win a civil war and aren't so quick to see us leave them to the mercy of the vengeful Shia death squads.

You'll notice that the Shia want us around still, too; otherwise their PM would have asked us to leave. All three groups want us to stay around; the reason is because no group in Iraq has a winning hand yet. If one thought they had the power to take over the rest, they'd be trying to get us to leave.

This is a potentially very dangerous situation, but there is an opportunity here. There are three apparently equally matched competitors; that would make for a really nasty civil war (worse than whats going on now, anyway). Alternatively, it also means that the US has some enormous diplomatic leverage since it could easily tip the balance and determine the winner. Why aren't we using that leverage to broker a peace?

And there is a reason I havent posted much. Medschool is a pain in the ass. But I'm enjoying it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

No censorship!

The founder of Wikipedia (my favorite website) is my hero. He has refused to censor politically sensitive articles at request of the Chinese government. This man has stood for what is right where others have sold out (Google being the largest example).

We should make it as difficult as possible for governments to control what their people see and hear...that is our best hope for the future. Hats off to Jimmy Wales for making the world a better place.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Lieberman is no longer a Democrat. Get over it. And, why Iran cant have nukes.

There are all sorts of liberals that are whining that Joe Lieberman "betrayed" the party. They complain that he won't campaign for any of them, endorse any of them, et cetera, and therefore he is disloyal and selfish. Who betrayed who? Those on the left turned on Lieberman because he wouldn't march foot in step with the rest of the party? Because he thought for himself instead of having someone else think for him?

Well, how are they surprised that he won't help Dems now? Lieberman is an Independent, not a Democrat; he owes Dems nothing. How ironic that the people that are making the loudest noise about Joe's "betrayal" are the same ones that catalyzed his primary defeat to an opportunist millionaire.

And it is equally funny to watch leftists scream and yell that the Republicans aren't supporting their candidate in Connecticut. Of course they arent! He sucks! The Republicans realize that their man has no chance of getting elected, and that Lieberman is far better than Lamont. So they figure if all of the republicans vote or Joe, plus moderates, plus some Dems who will still respect the name, Lieberman has a great shot at winning the general election. I really really hope he does win =).


There is something else that is on my mind. It is simply mind boggling that people can be in a panic about looming threats such as global warming, and yet be totally ambivalent about the prospect of Iran getting nuclear weapons. I even feel like some (on the left) would actually prefer it if Iran got nukes. This thinking is so dangerous and so stupid, it is mind boggling.

In essence, we are dealing with a game of probabilities here. Nobody knows for sure whether global warming will be no problem, a small problem, or a big problem. However, it would be reasonable to place statistics on such scenarios. Some claim that even if Iran got nukes, it would never use them. Perhaps; but we can again look at statistics and claim that if Iran gets nukes, the probability of a nuclear war increases in the near future. How much of an increase are we prepared to accept? How much of an increase (in the chance of war) will there be? Consider:

-When one nation acquires nuclear weapons, then its major rival(s) feel extreme amounts of pressure to do so as well. Otherwise the balance of power is extremely upset in the favor of the nuclear armed nation. The result is a nuclear arms race; such a race greatly increase the probability of nuclear war. So when the US got nuclear weapons, you can bet that Stalin had his scientists working overtime to catch up. And they did, quickly.

Britain, being another rival of the Soviets, gained their nuclear weapons. The Chinese were rivals to both the US and USSR (in fact, China and the Soviets almost went to war); they acquired their nuclear weapons. And the French got them too, because they are French and wanted to feel significant.

But after all of the members of the UN security council had nukes, they agreed to try to stop their spread through the non-proliferation treaty. It should be very obvious - the more countries that have nukes, the greater the probability of accidental or intentional nuclear war. The world recognized this, and so most countries agreed and signed the treaty. Including other powerful nations, like Japan and Germany. The second and third largest economies in the world have decided to sign away their right to nuclear weapons because it was the right thing to do.

Look what happened after India tested its first nuke in 74. Its main rival, Pakistan, developed one as well. The probability of nuclear war drastically increased because there was a new arms race between two new nuclear armed nations. These two nations had already fought multiple conventional wars against each other...will a nuclear war be next? Probably not. Given that both of these nations are at least fairly stable, we can *hope* that MAD prevents a war from breaking out. But the thought of a nuclear armed India and Pakistan still makes me nervous. What happens if the Pakistani government is overthrown? What happens if rogue elements in the government steal a nuke? It is obvious; the probability of a nuclear war has greatly increased due to this extra proliferation.

So I am about to write about Iran, knowing that North Korea probably has nukes. Why am I not as concerned with North Korea? The main reason is because North Korea has no real rivals. Nobody is about to engage in a conventional war with the North. Think of it another way: essentially nobody in the world likes North Korea, not even China really, so their rivals are everyone, but nobody in particular. So a nuclear armed North Korea isn't something I like, but theres nothing we can do about it at this point, and it isnt going to start an arms race. Its more of a localized, one-time issue.

So why is Iran such a problem? Iran is a problem because Iran has a LOT of rivals. For starters, every Arabic country in the Middle East, save Syria (which has a temporary alliance of convenience with Iran). Keep in mind that Arabic countries are Arab Sunni Muslim dominated, while the Iranians are Shias and Persian. They dont get along. Heck, even Sunni Arabs and Shia Arabs dont get along; look at Iraq. And now add the ethnic variable to the equation, and they're (Iran/Arabs) about as opposite as anyone can be.

Dont believe me? Think back to when the war between Hezbollah and Israel broke out. What was the initial response from Arabic countries, such as Saudi Arabia? It was to condemn Hezbollah. Thats right, the Saudis and some other Arabic countries condemned a Muslim Arabic militia (granted, a Shiite one) instead of condemning Israel. That is absolutely unprecedented.

Of course, they had to backtrack eventually because their populations got so pissed off at Israel. But the lesson is clear. Arab Sunnis are very nervous about Iran. If Iran gets nukes, it will very possibly start an arms race in the Middle East. The Saudis will want them. The Egyptians will, too. You can bet if Israel has them, it will make it known (as to deter Iranian attack) and build a hell of a lot more of them. Then Syria might want them if Israel shows they have them. God knows what Iraq will be doing. I'm sorry, but does anyone think an arms race in the middle east is a good idea?

Arms race aside, there is also the risk of Iran directly arming a group like Hezbollah with a nuclear warhead. They've given Hezbollah thousands of missiles. The Iranian leadership believes the apocalypse is coming soon; they've openly called for Israel to be wiped off the map. Why wouldn't they pass off nukes to terrorists?

The probability of a nuclear war breaking out amongst stable nations that are permanent members of the UN security council is low, but not low enough. Those odds have greatly gone up since India and Pakistan have both become nuclear armed. If Iran gets nukes, and sparks an arms race in the middle east, the probability of a nuclear war happening in the near future is good.

Those on the far left will scream and yell about the off chance that global warming could cause some flooding and droughts a century from now, when there might be an exponentially greater chance of a nuclear war a decade from now. Its absolutely nuts. Its nuts that the left, including the homosexual community, would not see the danger in a nation like Iran, who just a year ago publicly hung two gay teenagers for being such. Opposition to Bush no matter what is the message here. Its a common theme in this country, that frankly I am sick and tired of. I'm tired of ideology and party loyalty over common sense. This applies to everyone, but I personally think those on the left are more guilty of it, because theoretically they should know better.

Bah. Now I'm all riled up...I'm never going to get to sleep.