A little more than half of the U.S. population lives in 75
metropolitan areas. Russia has 4,399 nuclear warheads deployed.
Except for 624 to be carried by bombers, they are all land-based
and submarine missiles.
Furthermore, this past week Russia test-fired a land-based
missile, the RSM54, and a submarine-launched missile. Both were
intercontinental. Both hit their targets dead-on. The sub launch
was, by the way, the sixth such test-firing conducted this year.
In the meantime, Iran has no nuclear weapons and no intercontinental
ballistic missiles or long-range bombers. North Korea might
have two or three nuclear missiles. Yet the administration,
and most of America's news media, seems obsessed with Iran,
no doubt because Israel is obsessed with Iran. A story by the
Jewish Telegraph Agency reported that the American Israel Public
Affairs Committee played a lobbying role in deleting a provision
in the defense bill that would have required the president to
get Congress' OK before launching a war against Iran.
So what's my point? First, when assessing threats, all but
fools look at capability, not intentions or rhetoric. Russia
has the capability of wiping us out. Iran would be hard-pressed
to sink one destroyer. Therefore, it would behoove us to put
good relations with Russia very high on a diplomatic agenda.
Yet, on the contrary, the Bush administration goes out of its
way to insult Russia and to interfere in what Russia sees as
its internal affairs.
Secondly, because of the cowardice of Congress, the U.S. government
has allowed a little country in the Middle East to distort our
priorities. Our first priority should be getting along with
Russia. Iran is a small country we can squash anytime. Russia
is not small, and it can squash us anytime. How darn stupid
does one have to be not to realize that?
We've already blundered by not seizing the opportunity of the
collapse of the Soviet Union to disband NATO and seriously pursue
helping Russia join the West. Instead, we sent some financial
sharpies in to help a few Russians steal most of the country's
wealth. Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, is 100 percent correct
to go after the oligarchs who bought up the state's resources
for pennies on the dollar and became overnight billionaires.
One is in jail, another fled to England, and several others
have sought refuge in Israel.
When you hear Putin being maligned by people in the West, whether
they're in government, journalism or academia, just remember
that money buys whores, and whores service their customers.
Future historians may view the failure to bring Russia into
the West, when the opportunity was there, as one of history's
all-time strategic blunders.
The only legitimate interest we have in the Middle East is
access to oil. Notice I said access, not control. It doesn't
matter who controls it, because whoever does will be willing
to sell it, since oil is inedible. Other than that, we have
no – I repeat, no – legitimate interests, national
or otherwise, in that region of the world.
American politicians need to get over their fear of the Israeli
lobby and attend to America's business. Israel is a sovereign
state with one of the world's most powerful military machines
and a higher per-capita gross domestic product than some of
our NATO allies. We should cut the strings, stop the tax giveaways,
repeal all of the special legislation and tell the Israelis
they are on their own.
But, as John Wayne once said, that'll be the day.