The Iran – Israel Crisis: Part 1, The Stakes

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F16 jet swirl

How long till war?

All eyes are on Iran and its nuclear program.  The Iranian government has stated that it pursues only peaceful ends in its new-found interest in uranium enrichment.  Israel and the United States have accused Iran of building nuclear WMDs.  In this article, Part 1, we will review how Israel and Iran are igniting the next world war and how conventional methods of defusing this situation have failed.  In Part 2, we will examine the diplomatic failures which have allowed this situation to persist and worsen.  In Part 3 we will review unlikely alternatives which might be able to prevent the United States from being dragged into a 21st century Vietnam.

Why are Iran and Israel Moving Towards War?

Iran and Israel have the keys to peace or war in the Middle East; they both choose war. we can see the rational explanation behind this absurd decision by looking into game theory and the Prisoners’ Dilemma. Both sides have the option of backing down; however, if either side took enacted peaceful measures it would open itself for attack from the opposition.  Without mutual trust or a shared allied superpower to help negotiate a thawing of relations these nations are locked onto the war path.

How Will the War Begin on Our Current Course?

Israel has talked openly about a preemptive strike.  With a surprise attack Israeli fighter jets plan to cripple the Iranian nuclear program beyond repair.  Iran will doubtlessly strike back; igniting a regional war against Israel.  The United States will most likely be dragged into the conflict with the inevitable Iranian retaliations.  In an American military war-game codenamed Internal Look, which played out many possible scenarios following an Israeli preemptive strike,  United States ships were attacked by Iranian planes attempting to intercept the retreating Israel fighters.  This is one of dozens of possibilities which could throw American into a pan-Arabian war in one of the world’s most volatile and important regions,

Why is It Important to Prevent War?

Life and energy.

It is of primary importance to maintain peace to prevent wholesale slaughter on a scale not seen since the end of World War Two.  Iran uses human waves of millions of loyalists to crush enemies while Israel decimates invaders with overwhelming air power and possibly nuclear.  A conflict would kill thousands; if there is an alternative, it must be pursued

Second, oil is something critical to the Middle Oil flow will slow to a trickle if war explodes across the Persian Gulf; either blockades of the Straits of Hormuz or wholesale destruction of regional oil tankers could cut off the world’s energy supply.  International blackouts would cause unprecedented chaos.

The question becomes that if war would be so disastrous why would the powers that be allowed it to deteriorate to this strained point?  Find the answer in Part 2; it will be up tomorrow.

All comments are appreciated and will be answered promptly.

Made in China (For Now): Manufacturing’s Slow Return to America, Case Study

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made in china

Made in China (for now)

Outsourcing is the bane of American manufacturing… except for in a little town in Michigan named Saginaw.  The great wrecks of the rest belt dot the town.  Meanwhile one Nexteer Automotive is adding jobs by the dozens.

Who is injecting money into the American economy?  If you were to follow the money trail your answer would be “China.”

In 2010 the national Chinese firm Aviation Industry Corporation bought the factory from General Motors.  The previous owners had been determined to sell the plant or demolish it.  The Chinese are determined to make a profit.  I believe the Chinese are correct in this case, otherwise they would not be investing in new machinery, technology, and above all workers at the same plant that General Motors had given up on.

The lynch pin in the success of the factory under its new leadership has been a stellar relationship with the factory’s union. Careful and respectful negotiations were made concerning wages.  Bloated union contracts were watered down; however, the terms were still generous for the plant’s union.  New employees are paid less than half of what they would have been paid ten years ago.  This matters little to the workers whom are just happy to be employed.  Over 600 hundred jobs have been added to the factory in the last two years.  More are on the way.

Many workers had apprehensions about the foreign acquisition of Nexteer Automotive.  Some worried the firm would be liquidated.  Others were concerned the experience and technological knowledge of the employees would be sponged from the plant and the factory itself would be leveled.  These fears have been unfounded.  Rather than taking away from the plant the Chinese have pledged to invest over 15 billion over the next couple of years.  Nexteer Automotive is quickly putting in cutting edge systems to secure the factory’s future.  The only criticism Aviation Industry Corporation has of Nexteer Automotive is the factory is not expanding fast enough.

While General Motors, the previous owner of the Nexteer Automotive, had seem only a money pit Aviation Industry Corporation found a gem.  The American worker is second to none; it is a proven fact that on average Americans work more diligently and with greater output than any other country in the world.  The Chinese are simply cashing in on this hard-won fact.  In addition, the highly developed infrastructure throughout American and the sunk costs of existing factories means that future developers will also invest in America.  We are the best and most economic choice. In virtually every industry American leads the way with a culture of intrepid determination, it is only right manufacturing is coming back to America.

Cookie-Cutter Politics: The Uniform (Failure) of America’s Two-Party System

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Republican Elephant & Democratic Donkey - Icons

Cookie-Cutter Politics

I must confess; this November will be the first time I will vote in the Presidential Elections.

In previous elections I viciously debated which candidate I should support.  The rugged individualism of the Republicans spurred my dreams while the sound theories and progressive stance of the Democrats captured my earthly pragmatism.  As each Election Day came I dithered back and forth.  I could never decide, I never voted.  I may not have voted because I was distressed by the increasingly polarized extremes of the two-party system.  I may also not have voted because I was underage.  We may never know.

This year the debate is between Obama and Romney.  I can already hear the next year of commentary, with regular exclamations of “I wish there was a third-party to vote for!”  This is a legitimate issue.  America’s polarized politics have grouped large coalitions of values into strange alliances.  This is the only way each side can garner enough support to pass any laws.  It makes all politicians seem a little too uniform.  Why do Democrats always advocate for gun control?  Why do Republicans always oppose weakening any immigration laws?

The simple answer is politicians have no alternative.

The Two-Party system strong arms politicians on both sides of the aisle into a cookie-cutter mold.  Only moderates, those who make everyone happy by fitting the textbook description of the Democrat/Republican are legitimate candidates because only they fit all the values of each of their respective parties and win the crucial nominations.  Radicals, who could make world-changing reforms, are hedged out by the system which eliminates anyone with even one misaligned value.  I imagine there are plenty of Democrats who support gun rights and Republicans who would be willing to welcome immigrants.  These men will never see office because they do not fit the mold and there is no alternative.

The American Two-Party dilemma is only those who cannot reform are elected into office.  Those with flexible ideology, who could make real reform, are shunned because they will always have at least one taboo.  It is support of the entire party or no support at all in our polarized system.  We are left with similar men with the same ideas, the same convictions, and the same restraints.

Perhaps I was right to dither; both answers were always partially wrong for me.  I feel this is the issue every American has.

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