Closing Thought–07Jun18

I wrote a couple of decades ago about the entertainment of Americans and how it has gotten more and more bloodthirsty….

Boxing could be bloody but for the most part was a good sport….then came wrestling…this was a spectacle and the bloodier it got the more popular it got……then the birth of MMA (Mixed Martial Artist) fighting which again was bloody and the more so the more it was in demand.

I wrote back in the day that we were slowly moving to a new age of gladiatorial fighting for entertainment….the more blood the better the ratings.

Over last weekend I feel that we are moving ever closer to those games where gladiators fight and draw blood for the masses entertainment.

Now we have an old sport that has not been done since 1889……

In what is being called a first since 1889, a large-scale, government sanctioned bare-knuckle boxing event took place in Wyoming on Saturday night and things got bloody. Per USA Today, a sold out crowd of 2,000 people in Cheyenne watched as 10 bouts played out before them with fighters protected only by a little gauze around the palm. An even larger audience likely tuned in via pay-per-view to see the fights, including four heavyweight bouts. Fighters came from several backgrounds including boxing, UFC and MMA. The quickest knockout occurred when Sam Shewmaker used one punch to send Eric Prindle to the canvas 18 seconds into their heavyweight bout. “It felt like hitting a home run,” Shewmaker told the AP., a fourth-generation stone mason from the tiny central Missouri town of Gravois Mills. “I didn’t think I would be able to catch him that early, but luckily I did.”

In the only female fight of the night, 29-year-old Bec Rawlings from Brisbane, Australia stopped Alma Garcia with a TKO in the second round. Rawlings and her fellow combatants were all eager to become the first to take off the gloves for a large-scale event since July 8, 1889, when John L. Sullivan went 75 rounds to beat Jake Kilrain. Even that event was illegal and had to be staged under the cover of secrecy as most states had outlawed the non-gloved version of boxing. Fighting was forced underground until 2011, when a Yavapai Nation sanctioned a match that drew more than a million viewers. The promoter of that event and Saturday’s, David Feldman, realized there was a hungry market for bare-knuckle fights. Wyoming has since become the first state to sanction and regulate the sport.

Are we drawing ever closer to the old “Fight to the death” sport?

Is there a line between entertainment and criminal intent?

Was That A Bribe?

AS I was doing my morning reading and research I came across a bold headline that caught my attention……”Poland Offers US $2 Billion”…….after that title I had to breakdown and read the article……

Poland has long expressed interest in securing a permanent deployment of foreign troops from a NATO member nation. The Polish Defense Ministry has confirmed that they are willing to pay the US up to $2 billion if it is an American base.

Defense Ministry officials say that there is a “clear and present need” for Poland to have a permanent US armored division in their country, and that they are willing to help defray the cost of deployment with the money. They say this will make the deployment more “cost effective.”

In reality Poland, like most developing countries, sees a US base as both a guarantee of more US military support, and an economic boon for the surrounding area. They seem to be assuming that President Trump’s long insistence that NATO nations pay a “fair share” will make him amenable to this proposal

Okay Poland wants a permanent base, why?

We already have those bases in Germany and Poland is not that far away so why does Poland want the base….for protection?  Why?

There is a “NO” side to this situation…….

What makes NATO the most successful military alliance in history is the cohesion of its members. Any policy that risks undermining that should be examined with a highly critical eye.

Establishing a permanent U.S. military presence in Poland, as has been reportedly requested by the Polish government, is exactly one of those cases. Such a move should only be taken if consensus can be achieved among all our allies that it would enhance deterrence and improve the overall security situation for NATO.

That is unlikely to happen — and with good reason.

I agree……… I do not see the need for another base in Poland….plus I do not like the idea of a bribe to  influence our foreign policy……as bad as it is these days.

Should the US accept the bribe and put a permanent deployment of American troops in Poland?

Operation Opera

That time again for your history lesson….since I started the day with post on Israel and nukes….I decided to continue along those lines…..

On this day in 1981 Israel launched Operation Opera……a plan to destroy an alleged nuclear reactor being built in Iraq……

It is the world’s first air strike against a nuclear plant.

An undisclosed number of F-15 interceptors and F-16 fighter bombers destroyed the Osirak reactor 18 miles south of Baghdad, on the orders of Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

The army command said all the Israeli planes returned safely.

And now the story is that Israel is helping an Arab neighbor with their hopes for a nuclear reactor… how times change……or do they?

June seems to be the magic month of Israel’s military adventurism… the news after all this is June…..

Your history lesson is complete…..thanx for stopping by……

Israel And Nukes

First of all, Israel has never admitted that they have nukes… we go along pretending that they are just spectators…..

They are not and they have a strategy for nukes… is part one and two explaining their strategy……

By definition, as long as particular countries regard their nuclear status as an asset, every state that is a member of the so-called nuclear club is a direct beneficiary of the Cold War. This is because all core elements of any national nuclear strategy, whether actual or still-contemplated, were originally conceptualized, shaped, and even codified within the earlier bipolar struggles of post World War II international relations.[1] Nonetheless, as the world now enters into a more-or-less resurrected form of this initial struggle the strategic postures of each extant nuclear weapons state are being modified within the still-developing parameters of Cold War II.

These parameters, it follows, warrant very careful further study by both scholars and policy makers. Already, they are in constant flux, transient, changing in both foreseeable and prospectively unseen ways. Among other things, such critical parameters or boundaries will become increasingly vital and potentially even determinative. In this regard, a great deal will depend upon the precise manner in which this reborn bipolar rivalry impacts the various basic elements and circumstances of nuclear deterrence postures.

and then there is Part Two…….

This article will continue the examination of Israel’s nuclear strategy begun with “Israel’s Nuclear Strategy: Enhancing Deterrence in the new Cold War.” Specifically, Part II will address Israel’s core nuclear deterrence posture. In Part I, we posited the prospective importance of any re-born superpower rivalry upon this posture. Most critically, Israel’s nuclear strategy will depend, in meaningful measure, upon the expected rationality and irrationality of its friends and foes, and upon a broad variety of plausible synergies between allied and adversarial actions. Recalling Thomas Hobbes’ 17th-century prophetic description of a “state of war” not just “actual fighting,” but also a “known disposition thereto,” Part I ended with specific and informed references to certain considered modifications of Israel’s deliberate nuclear ambiguity, and also to its need for further expansion and codification of formal nuclear military doctrine.

Now that we have looked into Israel’s nuke strategy is there a good reason to have done so……

Let’s back up a bit….a few months ago there were stories about the Trump admin wanting to help the Saudis develop their nuke energy program……the problem is and I wrote about it when I heard this plan…that they were more interested in weapons than energy….

Then I read something disturbing…….

 The Israeli government has begun selling the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia information on how to develop nuclear weapons, according to a senior official at the Israeli military organization iHLS (Israel’s Homeland Security). Ami Dor-on, a senior nuclear commentator at the organization — which is partially funded by U.S. weapons-giant Raytheon – came forward because of his concern over the emerging nuclear arms race in the region. The cooperation between the two countries in helping the Saudis to develop a nuclear weapons program is just the latest sign of their warming relationship, with Israel recently calling the Saudi crown prince “a partner of Israel.”

Israel has been a nuclear power for decades, though its nuclear arsenal is undeclared and the country has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Estimates of its arsenal vary, with most suggesting that Israel possesses from 100 to 200 nuclear weapons. Israel was aided in the development of its nuclear program by Western powers, particularly France. Much of the Western “help” Israel received, however, was the result of covert thefts of nuclear material from countries such as the United States and Belgium.

Are the Saudis playing a dangerous game?  Some, like myself, think they are indeed…….

After months of relative silence from Saudi Arabia, this was a noisy weekend. For the second time since he was named heir to the throne last June, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced a major Cabinet reshuffle, this time focusing on ministries related to culture, Islamic life and social development. Just one day earlier, French newspaper Le Monde reported that the crown prince had sent a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron threatening to attack Qatar, the target of last year’s Saudi-led blockade, if Doha acquired Russian-made S-400 air defense systems. Last but not least, Israeli news site News1 published an article about Saudi Arabia’s plans to develop nuclear weapons capabilities, potentially with help from Pakistan or Israel.

This news should worry anyone interested in the Middle East…..the Saudis are developing and Iran has tried to give up their ambitions…..this could change the dynamics of any negotiations around the nukes in the Middle East.

This will not escape my scrutiny……how soon before friends become enemies?