Saturday, April 4, 2015


If the agreement with Iran is a genuine step towards normalization of relations, all of us should hope the process proceeds apace.  Iran is not the bogey-man, it is a modern state no more in the thrall of religious power bases than Saudi Arabia, and not all that much worse than the USofA.  The more diplomacy becomes possible in this screwed-up world, the less likely ordinary human beings trapped in conflict areas are to suffer.

In my last post, I proclaimed that it was "all about oil."  Maybe I'll walk that back a little, and leave a little space for testosterone.  It looks like King Salman might not be ruling Saudi Arabia*, given that he's vested most of his power in his son, Mohammed bin Salman — a thirty-year-old spared the "softening" influences of any European education.  He's the one who sent the warplanes off to Yemen, and has been saber-rattling about ground forces.  Yes, he wants us to know he's tough.

Another possible victim of testosterone is Bibi Netanyahu, albeit the testosterone may be more that of young settlers and Hasidim than his own.  As evidenced in the run-op to the recent election, Likud stays in power by tapping into fear.  Is Israel justified in fearing the Islamic world, especially Iran?  Maybe, but the fear is overblown.  As I've mentioned in the past, I'm certain that it would make no difference if Iran had a nuke, because it wouldn't be used.  The last estimate I read gives Israel over two-hundred nuclear warheads, mostly based on submarines.  Nobody is going to nuke Israel.

Frankly, it wouldn't hurt to "normalize" our relationship with Israel.  For many years, Israel has been America's spoiled child, accustomed to getting its way no matter what the consequences for we doting parents.  It's time for a little tough love.

*Right after he ascended to the throne, there was talk about Salman being in the early stages of dementia, but the talkers got their mouths zipped with all due dispatch.

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