Skip to main content

#13 - ILLIAH AND ILLYA / CHAMBERLAIN, HITLER, AND IRAN

ILLIAH AND ILLYA
One lives with us and we're glad that she does. The other doesn't and we wouldn't mind if he did.




















For the children in the audience, that's David McCallum. You know, Ducky on NCIS. Illya Kuryakin was the role he played in Man From U.N.C.L.E. back in the day when TV was steam-powered.

CHAMBERLAIN, HITLER, AND IRAN
History has not been kind to Neville Chamberlain. But that's beginning to change. Folks are beginning to realize that Chamberlain did exactly what needed to be done given the lay of the land at the time. Read and learn.

England came out of WWI dazed and confused. The war had been brutal beyond imagining. Those men and women who survived and came home were forever changed. The social structures upon which British society was based were crumbling. Britain was not prepared physically, emotionally, or materially to take the steps necessary to thwart Hitler's European ambitions. Under the circumstances, the best that Chamberlain could do was to stall, to give his country time to take a deep breath, see the situation clearly, and make preparations to face the coming storm. That's what Chamberlain did, a thankless task as demonstrated by the inaccurate judgement of history that he facilitated Hitler's conquests. Rather, what Chamberlain did was to give his country just enough time to prepare, to endure, and finally to retaliate and win.

Iran is a different issue entirely but people who mistakenly accept the discredited view of Chamberlain are equally mistaken about the prospective nuclear agreement.

What are America's options?

1. Do nothing? Keep the sanctions in place, even tighten them? So what? All that means is that Iran, if it really was working on The Bomb, gets to continue working on The Bomb. From the initial round of sanctions in the 70s to their expansion in the 90s to the 'crippling' sanctions imposed in 2006, Iran has continued its slow march toward nuclear capability. The simple fact is that any country sufficiently large with sufficient brain power and sufficient will can develop The Bomb. Blueprints are on the web. Do nothing? Bad idea.
2. Bomb Iran? Really? How well has the idea that bombing settles things in the Middle East worked out so far? Is Iraq stable? Is ISIS on the run? Heck, has Israel managed to pacify tiny little Gaza through military action? Do we really want Iran - and probably Israel as well - actively engaged in all-out warfare in the region instead of working through surrogates. They're making enough mischief as it is. Bomb Iran? Bad idea.
3. Engage and negotiate? Let's look at two countries in Asia with which the United States has been at war - North Korea and North Vietnam. We are technically still at war with North Korea though we've beaten them back behind barbed wire. China, their only real friend, hasn't exactly been happy with them lately. They are an international pariah, isolated and alone. And they developed The Bomb. North Vietnam, on the other hand, chased us out and thumbed their noses at us. But now, after what hardly counts as a decent interval, they are a cruise ship stop and a trading partner. Barbed wire and isolation versus engagement and negotiation? Which approach has the better outcome in modern times?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

GRAND CAFE OCCITAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

  We made our way to a new restaurant the other day, up toward the hills past La Liviniere in the small town of Felines-Minervois. None of our party had been there before, but a friend had visited and said that she'd enjoyed it. She's a vegetarian. First clue. Now don't get me wrong. I have no gripe with those who choose to go meatless. I understand the environmental concerns and I understand the horrors of factory farming. But I also understand that form follows function in the design of tools, in the design of appliances, and in the design of human teeth. Our incisors and canines did not develop over the course of hundreds of thousands of years to rend the flesh of a fresh-caught broccoli. We are omnivores by design, Darwinian design. And I enjoy eating omni. Enough preamble... I never went inside the Grand Cafe Occitan. A young lady who would be our server met us at the front door of the nicely pointed old stone house, leading us to a pebble-covered courtyard on the side

Kreuz Market vs. Smitty’s Market: Texas Barbecue in Lockhart

I was born and raised in New Jersey. I didn’t taste Texas barbecue until I was twenty-two years old. What the hell do I know about barbecue? And what could I add to the millions of words that have been written on the subject? Well, I know a bit about food. I’ve managed to check out a few of the finer joints in Texas – Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse in Dallas, Joe Cotton’s in Robstown before the fire, the dear departed Williams Smokehouse in Houston, and the incomparable New Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Huntsville . So I can speak from a reasonably wide experience. This will not be a comprehensive discussion of the relative merits of Texas barbecue as opposed to the fare available in places like Memphis or the Carolinas. It’s simply a take on our recent visits to Lockhart and the relative merits of Smitty’s versus Kreuz from our point of view. I’ll get all over academic in a later post. On our way out to the ranch in Crystal City, we stopped at Smitty’s. You have to look

RESTAURANT TEN, UZES: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Ten sits just off the market square in Uzes, one of the prettiest villages in southern France. The newly renovated space is airy and comfortable with tables of sufficient size and sufficiently spaced to provide for a pleasant dining experience. Service was cheerful, fully bilingual, and attentive without being overbearing. The food presented well to both eye and tongue. And the rate of approximately 30 € per person for a party of five included starters, mains, a dessert or two, two bottles of local wine, and coffees at the finish. Reasonable if not cheap eats.  So why am I hesitant to give an unqualified thumbs up?  It took me a while to figure it out. Uzes is a quintessentially French village in a quintessentially French region of southern France. There are those who will say that the Languedoc is just as beautiful but less crowded and less expensive than its eastern neighbors. I know. I'm one of those people. But the fact remains that for many people, villages like Uzes are t