The Long View 2003-03-12: Regime Changes

This post of John's reminds me of one of my favorite stories about Jerry Pournelle, as related by Steve Sailer:

Jerry should know because back in 1967, Jerry, Stefan Possony, and then-Crown Prince in Exile Leka (or Laika) organized an invasion of Albania by exiles to overthrow Communist dictator Enver Hoxha. King Hussein of Jordan agreed to provide air cover to wipe out the small Albanian air force to allow the invaders to cross the channel from Corfu, where they were training in the King Constantine of Greece's palace. Jerry spent a lot of time in Jordan training their pilots on how to pull off a sneak attack and wipe out the Albanian planes on the ground. Then, in June 1967, the Israelis pulled off their own sneak attack and wiped out the Jordanian air force on the ground, so the liberation of Albania had to be called off.

Decades later, Jerry met the President of Israel, Ezer Weizman, who had been in charge of the Israeli Air Force in 1967. Jerry explained how Weizman had wrecked his invasion of Albania. Weizman exclaimed to the effect that You were that foreigner who was training the Jordanians how to pull of a sneak attack? We thought you were a Russian training the Jordanians to attack us!

When is Jerry going to write his autobiography?

Regime Changes
spelling reformNorth Korea
The problem with North Korea, of course, is that Tokyo or Seattle can be nuked in the course of a morning, too. Even barring anything so drastic, the odds that the regime will try to sell nuclear materials or devices before it falls are quite bright. This is the sort of situation that really could be handled with an international embargo. This is the sort of thing the United Nations was designed to do.
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That would be one way to go, but it's not the one the Bush Administration has taken. I don't think that the point has quite sunk in that the president is neither dismissing the UN nor trying to save its reputation. Rather, in insisting that the Security Council vote on an ultimatum for Iraq, he is using the UN to hold the governments on the Council responsible before their own publics. The president is wildly unpopular in Europe these days, but the oppostion parties could quickly reverse that, provided the outcome of a war paints the Iraqi government in a sufficiently bad light.
launch value
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special conference
Britain was already committed when she had to step down in November, 1990. The choice of a new prime minister did not affect the course of the war. This time, the point of a party revolt would be to derail the war, or at least Britain's participation in it.
Unlike in 1990, the main opposition party, such as it is, is stronger for the war than is the government's party. It is thus possible to imagine the Blair Government staying in power long enough to conduct the war in large part with Conservative support. This would work only if the government does not have to do anything until the dust settles.
National ReviewimpeachThe Washington Postbest response
So will we now have a two-year presidential cycle, where we just elect 'em and then the other party tries to impeach 'em?
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And what do I think of GWB's chances in 2004? I think that he has no serious domestic policy. On the other hand, I also think the economy will be doing quite well once the current uncertainty lifts. He should have no trouble being reelected, provided he stops talking about tax reduction.
Copyright © 2003 by John J. Reilly
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