Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday In The News

Putin To Travel To Iran For Nuclear Strategy Talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted Iran’s invitation to visit Tehran to work out a strategy for the Islamic regime’s nuclear program, Fars News Agency reported Saturday. The West believes the Iranian program is a front for developing nuclear weapons.

Putin, seen by Iran’s clerical establishment as a strong opponent to America and the West — especially after his successful political play on averting a U.S. missile strike on Syria — was approached by Iran to protect the Islamic regime in the face of continued pressure by the West over its illicit nuclear program. Russia and the U.S. reached agreement Saturday to take control of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal by mid-2014.
Fars, the media outlet run by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said Putin will soon travel to Tehran, although details of the trip have yet to be announced. Fars said Iranian President Hassan Rowhani issued the invitation to Putin on Friday while both leaders were attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the Russian president accepted.

[This article provides a fascinating look into Russia today and what is shaping their new role in the world]

In the strangest twist of history, it is Obama the radical leftist who is now acting as the destabilizing warmonger in the Middle East, while Vladimir Putin may be emerging as a stabilizing  peacemaker.
Nobody can figure out whether Obama is the most hapless bumbler in history, or whether there is some sinister purpose behind it all.
It could be both.
But just as big a surprise is Putin's emerging role as a peacemaker.
Last week, we saw the first step in that process, when Putin and Assad agreed to allow supervised surrender of Syria's chemical weapons.  We can assume that Putin also assured Assad of his continuing support against American-supported al-Qaeda rebels, which makes the rebellion unwinnable.
Meanwhile, Egypt's new military ruler, General Al Sisi, is reaching out to Putin to help stabilize his position against the Muslim Brotherhood, the war fanatics whom Obama has been aiding.
The Saudis, seeing Iranian mullahs with nukes emerging 50 miles from their shores, are also looking to make a deal with Putin.  They have a lot of oil and money, and they cannot trust their American ally anymore.
If America bugs out, Russia is the obvious nuclear protector for the Saudis.  In international affairs, survival comes first.

Putin knows all about pushover liberals.  He rose in the Soviet KGB to become the head of the East German arm of Soviet intelligence.  The Soviets studied Western politics and penetrated West Germany at the highest levels of government.  Our Democrats are useful idiots in Lenin's meaning of that term, and they are not mysterious to Putin.  They can be rolled.  To hardnosed KGB thugs they are ridiculously easy to manipulate.
That makes Vladimir Putin potentially the most powerful player in the Middle East.  If the Saudis come to an arrangement with him, he can protect them against Iran.  One possibility is for the Saudis to coordinate oil prices with Russia, to their mutual benefit.
Putin is a Russian nationalist, like the tsars.  Russian rulers have long been nationalistic tyrants.  The tsars were also the heads of the Russian Orthodox Church, in exactly the way Queen Elizabeth is still the titular head of the Church of England.  The Tsars were religious tyrants.
Russia needs a unifying ideology, and if it's not Communism, it has to be its ancient form of orthodox Christianity.  The Soviets tried to extirpate the Orthodox Church for seventy years and failed. 
To understand Putin the Peacemaker, consider two more facts.
1. Historically, all the Orthodox Christian churches were shaped by more than a thousand years of warfare against Muslim aggressors.  Putin does not have to learn about Muslim aggression -- unlike Obama, who can't seem to get what everybody else understands.  When Muslim terrorists attacked a full theater in Moscow and an elementary school in Beslan, Putin took a terrible revenge in Chechnya.  The liberal media never covered that war, but you can look it up.  Muslims fear Putin.  He takes no prisoners.
2. Like the English royals, the Russian tsars styled themselves as the protectors of Christians in their own country and abroad.  When Putin therefore expresses official Russian concern about vicious Muslim persecution of Christians in the Middle East, this is not just a shrewd political move.  It is also a signal that everybody understands.  The Orthodox Churches have ancient ties to Jerusalem, Damascus, and Istanbul, to name just three famous capital cities.
Putin is therefore adopting a traditional Russian approach to the world.  He is a realist who plays big-power politics.

History is full of amazing twists and turns.  The fall of the Soviet Union came as a surprise.  The takeover of America by the radical left was a surprise.  The miraculous coincidence of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II came as a surprise.  The Islamist-radical left alliance is still a big surprise, even after five years of Obama.
Nobody expected the rise of Putin's Russia in its old historical role.
In politics, surprise is the rule.

Putin's Letter To America

It is indeed strange for America and the world to receive a message on the value of both caution and international law from Russian President Vladimir Putin. After all, if there is anything Russia is known for, it is taking decisive and strong action, irrespective of international law. Any country on the receiving end of a Russian energy pipeline knows this all too well. And Georgia, which sought to build a competitive pipeline, learned this by staring down the muzzles of Russian tanks and being the victims of military brutality.

But before we dismiss Putin's hypocrisy, there is much we can learn from hisNew York Times opinion piece. Even if Putin would never follow the advice he is willing to give to America, there is too much truth in it to ignore. The world has turned upside down. President Obama speaks of UN "hocus pocus," and Putin speaks of the value of international law.
In the end, of course, it is about using appropriate symbols for a nation's interest. But international law now sustains Putin's interests, while ignoring it buttresses Obama's. Who is the bigger hypocrite?
Putin is quite right when he says that violating international law and bypassing the United Nations undermines the international system. Yes, international law is often practiced in the breach and when it is, the international community suffers for it.

Of course, nothing happens in the Middle East that does not ultimately involve energy. The Russians want the pipeline coming out of Qatar to terminate in the Syrian port of Tartus, where Russia holds leases, rather than somewhere in NATO-aligned Turkey. The same is true of the new pipelines coming out of Iraq and Iran. America wants these pipelines to end in Turkey and the Russians want them to end in an Assad-controlled Syria.
One could say that is the basis of the conflict. Everything else is distraction.
Nonetheless, if America is to be different from Russia, it is necessary to pursue its interests the right way, not through a wholesale disrespect of the international community. American "exceptionalism" means nothing if it only serves as a justification for the ruthless pursuit of American interests.
As Vladimir Putin ironically lectures us on international law, it certainly looks like Obama has embraced American exceptionalism as a rationale for imperialism. Obama recklessly brought us to the brink of war, and Putin, picking up on an offhand comment by John Kerry forged it into a face-saving policy.
Still, the real issue is energy. How many of our young men and women and innocents abroad will die for the perverse Obama environmental base that never saw an oil well that should be drilled, a pipeline that should be built, or a fuel that should be burned? The Middle East is only important because of energy. If we can exploit our own resources more efficiently, we have the ability to ignore the quagmire that is the Middle East and the political cesspool created by the disastrous transfer of wealth from one part of the globe to the other. In the meantime, there is no war in Syria that requires our attention or is vital to our interests. Let's follow Putin's lead, hypocritical or not; it is time for diplomacy, not for missiles. 

The Real Problem …

The fact that the Fukushima reactors have been leaking huge amounts of radioactive water ever since the 2011 earthquake is certainly newsworthy.  As are the facts that:
But the real problem is that the idiots who caused this mess are probably about to cause a much biggerproblem.
Specifically, the greatest short-term threat to humanity is from the fuel pools at Fukushima.
If one of the pools collapsed or caught fire, it could have severe adverse impacts not only on Japan … but the rest of the world, including the United States.   Indeed, a Senator called it a national security concern for the U.S.:
The radiation caused by the failure of the spent fuel pools in the event of another earthquake could reach the West Coast within days. That absolutely makes the safe containment and protection of this spent fuel a security issue for the United States.
Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen and physician Helen Caldicott have both said that people should evacuate the Northern Hemisphere if one of the Fukushima fuel pools collapses. Gundersen said:
Move south of the equator if that ever happened, I think that’s probably the lesson there.
Former U.N. adviser Akio Matsumura calls removing the radioactive materials from the Fukushima fuel pools “an issue of human survival”.
So the stakes in decommissioning the fuel pools are high, indeed.
But in 2 months, Tepco – the knuckleheads who caused the accident – are going to start doing this very difficult operation on their own.
The New York Times reports:
Thousands of workers and a small fleet of cranes are preparing for one of the latest efforts to avoid a deepening environmental disaster that has China and other neighbors increasingly worried: removing spent fuel rods from the damaged No. 4 reactor building and storing them in a safer place.
The Telegraph notes:
Tom Snitch, a senior professor at the University of Maryland and with more than 30 years’ experience in nuclear issues, said  “[Japan officials] need to address the real problems, the spent fuel rods in Unit 4 and the leaking pressure vessels,” he said. “There has been too much work done wiping down walls and duct work in the reactors for any other reason then to do something….  This is a critical global issue and Japan must step up.”
The Japan Times writes:
In November, Tepco plans to begin the delicate operation of removing spent fuel from Reactor No. 4 [with] radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. …. It remains vulnerable to any further shocks, and is also at risk from ground liquefaction. Removing its spent fuel, which contains deadly plutonium, is an urgent task…. The consequences could be far more severe than any nuclear accident the world has ever seen. If a fuel rod is dropped, breaks or becomes entangled while being removed, possible worst case scenarios include a big explosion, a meltdown in the pool, or a large fire. Any of these situations could lead to massive releases of deadly radionuclides into the atmosphere, putting much of Japan — including Tokyo and Yokohama — and even neighboring countries at serious risk.


Robin said...

Wow, Scott . . .i was particularly caught off guard by the American Thinker piece you linked to. I hadn't realized before now, how Putin is using the Orthodox Church to unite Russia and mediate "peace". I got chills as I read that article, noting the undertones of what could very well be, the beginning of the rise of the AC.

WVBORN56 said...

The Fukishima disaster tells me the tribulation could be just around the corner. If things go badly for the Tepco cleanup the article indicates the whole northern hemisphere will be in jeopardy.

Stephen said...

and yet, despite all the prophecies
from sources that MAY OR MAY NOT
be trusted, re OCT 2013....

one thing is sure.

stocks are WAY UP tonite, up well
over 100 on the dow.

I will have to assume that BULLS are back in full control.

we are going to records.

and we could go up a LONG LONG time.

Stephen >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>