Taking a brief break from "Catastrophe,." let me cover a few misc items.
1. Some good comments from folks. I enjoyed the site about the Fermi Paradox and Extinction-by-Singularity, at http://www.faughnan.com/setifail.html even though half the terminology the guy uses came from my 1983 "Great Silence" paper... which he never cites!
2. (politics) ....... I have long bemoaned the trend for many liberals to simplistically call themselves "anti war" instead of "anti-Stoooopidwar". Why deliberately accept Karl Rove's "wimpy" label when you can point to recent examples of America acting toug, bold and forceful in ways that are both good and smart?
The best alternative to today's insanity in Iraq was not to leave Saddam in power. (THAT choice had already been made, in 1991, by these same morons.) No, the best alternative was to pay our debt to the Iraqi people by removing Saddam calmly and professionally, the way we helped remove tyrants in the Balkans and Afghanistan. (See a detailed comparison of two diametrically opposite sets of diplomatic and military doctrines at http://www.davidbrin.com/neocons.html.)
Now there is a fascinating article on the GLOBALIST web site, that shows just how successful Bill Clinton's Balkans intervention really was. Yes, he took his time intervening, trying every possible avenue of diplomacy first -- as should be the way for a decent and mature and modern Pax Americana (which all decent people hope will eventually be the last empire.) Especially, Clinton gave the Europeans every opportunity to take leadership in solving a crisis in their own yard. The people of Bosnia and Kosovo and Serbia are deeply aware of how the EU screwed this up. Their gratitude to Clinton is manifest in posters and pictures and American flags (even in Serbia) as well as in public opinion polls.
(Imagine that. An intervention that leave people grateful and glad that we came? One that left our alliances bolstered, instead of in tatters? That cost almost nothing, in dollars or US lives? That left our readiness completely unimpaired?)
Clearcut goals, diplomacy-first, detailed and farsighted planning, then fierce but scalpel-precise application of overwhelming force while capably leveraging local coalitions, followed by professional and careful execution of a goal-centered aftermath, while minimizing both civilian and US force casualties.... (not a single US soldier was lost to enemy action in the Balkans Campaign)... this approach not only worked in creating a New Europe, at peace for the first time in 4,000 years...
... but it is the same set of doctrines that made the Afghanistan Intervention a tentative but astounding success (so far). To be clear, George W. Bush did nothing to plan (or meddle in) the Afghanistan endeavor. Clinton-era plans were already in place -- he had time only to say "go!"
Drop in on the GLOBALIST article at http://www.theglobalist.com/storyid.aspx?StoryId=4869 And spread word to your liberal friends that there is, at present, no lawful alternative to American Power in this world. That may change (work for it?) But meanwhile, the thing we should seek is not some wimpy isolationism that plays into Karl Rove's game plan. Rather, our goal should be to learn what is the right way to use that power during the rest of this transition era. Ways that are both good and smart. To make America's unavoidable role (and obligation) a blessing to the world, instead of a curse.
To ensure that our service men and women continue their evolution into overwhelmingly skilled problem-solvers and rescuers, instead of the capricious playthings of morons, who treat our brave soldiers as their personal toys.