Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Because We're All Talking About It!




I have made it a point throughout my life to never date astronauts.

Over the years, some acquaintances were quick to deride my orthodox, astronaut-avoiding dating habits (Everybody dates women who work at Parisian's, or BAMM,
Wilsonizer; why don't you do something wild and, say, ask an astronaut out?"); others thought my exclusion of astronauts from the black book another manifestation of ingrained New England snobbery. But regardless of what people thought or said, I stayed the hell away from that astronaut stuff, and I've never looked back. Until today, that is.

Hopefully the readers of this blog, who respect the approach taken when discussing issues of foreign policy and military affairs, will heed this prescriptive advice: don't mess around with astronauts, especially the chicks! They take it all seriously, and they play for keeps.

There's my advice to you, beloved readers, and I hope you stay on the righteous path like the Wilsonizer, lest some diaper wearing, field grade, middle-aged, Nasa-certified, space trucking female decides you've wronged her, and that no matter what the odds she is going to make you pay.

UPDATE: Wonkette has more, and apologies to my readers if I just can't find any seriousness in this topic; psycho astronaut stories on every cable news channel all day long are like bigfoot sightings; you've got to make the most of them while they last, and rejoice when they're not proven to be a hoax!

UPDATE 2: Questions of the story's staying power over at Freakonomics.

5 comments:

2164th said...

Damn good post Bob. Good stuff.

2164th said...

From a previous psot at the Elephnat Bar:


Bob W. said...
Esteemed commenters at the Bar,

You all rock, as always! I have been absent of late, but I have been working really long hours getting ready to head out.

Productivity over at my blog has been sporadic and slightly less refined over the past few weeks, but I continue to lurk here, there and everywhere!

I remain the contrarian, minority optimist here in the Elephant Bar commentary section, it would seem.

I am not ready to throw in the towel and start saying things like "After Iraq collapses we will then be forced to. . ." because I still do not believe that utter failure is a foregone conclusion.

I am curious to see what impact General Petraeus has on the Iraq equation, and I recognize that any policy or activity changes will not
impact the system over night.

Darting to another subject, Deuce, don't you think that Iran's possession of nuclear weapon technology represents, at the bare minimum, a cumulative threat increase to the United States??

The more nations (especially "rogue" type nations) that possess nuclear technology, the greater the chance of this technology landing in the hands of an individual/organization intent on disrupting the world order, as it were?

Another glass of wine, then bed for me, I think!

Tue Feb 06, 09:23:00 PM EST



2164th said...
Bob, I do not think Iran having a nuclear weapon is a good thing. I think it is a catastrophic thing. I feel the same way about North Korea and Pakistan. The relevant question are what should be done to discourage them from getting them and what to do if they make the choice?

My biases are based on my experience. Having spent some significant time in the USAF and having specialized in the detection, surveillance and analysis of Soviet nuclear missile capabilities and intent, I developed what I believe to be reasonable levels of expectations on the doable. The US and her allies contained the Soviet and then Chinese nuclear threat. I remember being on duty the night the Chinese set off a nuclear test at Lop Nor. Our detection capabilities misinterpreted this event as a multiple missile launch of an indeterminate number. Common sense and good analysis prevailed, and in short time the error was noticed and a disaster averted.

Technology changes as do threats but human behavior does not. There was never any assurance that it would be possible to overwhelm the Soviets with a preemptive nuclear exchange. There were some who thought it could be done at an acceptable cost. They were from the existentialist school. There are those today that still adhere to the same thinking mainly as it applies to Israel and Iran. It is technically possible for the US or Israel to remove or reduce Iranian nuclear capabilities. It would be a tactical success and a strategic disaster. For the cost of 19 dead, AQ caused the US one trillion dollars in damage, killed three thousand plus, plus, plus.

I respect the ingenuity and determination of my enemies. Attacking Iran would strengthen the jihad, not weaken it. Air warfare is remarkably inefficient as a strategic weapon. It was used to get Saddam and it failed. It was used to get bin laden and to date, no one knows. It was used in Serbia and we hit the Chinese embassy. It never stopped the North Vietnamese from achieving their strategic goal of controlling all of Viet Nam.

Air warfare comes with huge diplomatic and political liabilities. It has a use and is an awesome deterrent, but it is an augmentation to warfare. The US does not have the political sustainable ambition and the endurance and necessity to destroy Iran. It has the technical ability, but it will not use it, no more than we did in Viet Nam or Iraq. Viet Nam and Iraq did not make the US look stronger or smarter. Iran would be no different.

Iran is no existential threat to anyone except Iran. Recent military events for Israel and the US should be enough to chasten some of the firebrands in both governments.

Wed Feb 07, 02:15:00 AM EST

Luis FIGUEROA said...

Yes, indeed. Cheers!

Bob W. said...

Gracias, Luis!

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