Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, January 16, 2006

Two New Cold Wars

I missed the $1 billion agreement signed last year between the mad Mullahs in Iran and the crazed Communist in Venezuela, but according to the Iranian news agency MEHR, the Iranians have promised to build Venezuela 10,000 housing units and several manufacturing plants.

What kind of factories? Well, a tractor plant and a cement plant, and ... what? No details, but the mind wanders. Munitions? Uranium processing?

We do know who's going to build them: Iranian "professionals." Is that military professionals? Nuclear professionals? Terrorist professionals?

All this is in Mary Anastasia O'Grady's crrent Americas column in the WSJ.

It feels like Cold War II, only more complicated. Unlike the US-Russia confrontation that dominated the last half of the last century, now we have two very different enemies: Iran and China. Both are busy building up their own respective axes. There's a lot of cross-over, but the countries and their motivations are very different.

With Iran, we are in a race not dissimilar to the one Reagan ran against the Soviets. If we can hold out long enough, the regime might crumble and allies may take power. Iran's economy and human rights environment is appalling, and many of its citizens are growing increasingly uneasy with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's end-time politics.

Ditto in Venezuela, where there are food shortages, infrastructure collapse, problems in the oil biz and worries over Chavez' internationalism and anti-Semitism.

Pressure from without and within could collapse this bubble, and hopefully the CIA and State are working on both, and not expecting much help from the UN.

China's a different matter, since its economy isn't going to go bust. There our best bet is capitalism and consumerism, and with it, the softening of the people's will to war. Our weakness could be theirs ... but China's military is entrenched, radical and driving the nation's hunger for oil.

h/t RCP