No Interest in NBA Playoffs

Since both the Lakers (what a bummer) and Knicks are out, I’ve lost a lot of interest in the NBA playoffs. I just don’t want Miami to win. I’m thinking the Bulls are going to win the championship this year. I’m not feeling the Mavs or Thunder. And that leaves the Grizzlies but I think OKC is going to win. I guess by default I’m rooting for the Bulls since they’re playing Miami. Although I don’t like Dallas, I guess Dirk deserves a ring. But I don’t think they can beat Chicago. Eh, whatever.

No Escape Plan for Bin Laden?

I find it really strange that someone like Bin Laden didn’t have some type of rapid escape plan for exactly the type of raid the United States conducted that ended with his death. You would assume the most wanted fugitive on the planet would expect that some day the U.S. might figure out where he is and go in after him. So maybe some type of underground tunnel or something. I mean they even built that whole compound he was living in. The fact that he did not have such contingencies makes it seem like he felt safe there, which would indicate the Pakistani government or elements in the government and its intelligence agencies knew he was there and and were providing safe haven for him. Something tells me the Pakistanis didn’t really believe the U.S. would go in unilaterally or at least would notify Pakistan beforehand, giving them time to warn Bin Laden.

But of course, this is all speculation and conspiracy theory stuff. Just wondering out loud. For Bin Laden to be surprised in the middle of the night with just 3 men with him, he must have felt relatively safe and did not expect a raid like that to happen. Very odd.

Osama Bin Laden Killed by U.S.

Wow. Well 10 years later, we finally got Osama Bin Laden, the founder/leader of Al Qaeda, responsible for the 9/11 attacks. By most accounts, in recent years he had very little operational control of Al Qaeda and its affiliates, but nevertheless he’s major symbol in the war on terror. This is what happens when you put pressure where you should be putting pressure on. Not to be a cynic, but Afghanistan is turning into a unwinnable scenario. Think of all the resources we wasted in Iraq that could’ve been put into Afghanistan, we probably would’ve caught bin Laden years ago.

Having lived in NYC practically my whole life, the 9/11 attacks hit home, literally. I still remember vividly rushing back from math class freshman year at Cornell to watch the news and call (or try to call) everyone back home to make sure everyone was okay. It’s never a good thing to celebrate someone’s death but at least all those who lost loved ones back then can feel some type of closure knowing that this evil man responsible for the attacks is now gone.

P.S. You know what’s weird? Just a night before Obama and Gates were laughing at a joke by Seth Meyers about no one noticing that Bin Laden hosts a show on C-SPAN. While unknowingly to the public, an operation had been going on for 8 months and at that point Obama had already given the go-ahead to capture/kill Osama Bin Laden. I don’t know, the juxtaposition of the events is eerie.

What’s Good #1

New random post series on random topics, also randomly called “What’s Good” which may or may not have a #2. Yes, ok.

Man, can’t believe the Spurs actually got eliminated.. Grizzlies even took Game 1 from Thunder today.

Donald Trump got humiliated at the Correpondents’ Dinner. Seriously, Obama roasted him real good and Seth Meyers finished him off. Damn, it felt like his presidential aspirations were killed right then and there. What made it so funny was that what they said weren’t really exaggerations because Donald Trump is a freaking caricature. I don’t know how any intelligent person with any common sense could possibly consider him a good presidential candidate. Oh wait, this is America.

Here’s one line from Seth Meyers: “Donald Trump has been saying that he’ll run for President as a Republican, which is surprising, since I just assumed he was running as a joke.” BURN! I thought the same thing.

Syrian Troops Open Fire on Protesters in Several Cities

NY Times: Syrian Troops Open Fire on Protesters in Several Cities. We don’t particularly like Syria either. Say the protests escalate as protesters arm themselves. Syrian military clashes with civilians and responds the same way Libya did. Do we also start bombing Syria? If so, when does it stop exactly? What about Yemen too? You can see why Defense Secretary Gates is opposed to further intervention in the Middle East. Things are never simple and it’s a slippery slope. Why not bomb Laurent Gbagbo’s force over in the Ivory Coast while we’re at it?

I’ll leave you with this, countries like Yemen, Syria, Ivory Coast, don’t have the same vast oil reserves as Libya. The United States has a strategic interest in a Libyan government that is favorable towards us. Like I said before, no country does something major without its own self interests in mind. Sure, we partially do want to protect Libyan civilians, but are they somehow more important than civilians being gunned down by their government in other countries?

Happy Friday and have a good weekend. Over and out.

Intervention in Libya? No.

I read articles like Discord Fills Washington on Possible Libya Intervention and I think to myself, “why the hell do we think we have the right to intervene in another sovereign country’s internal affairs?” Yes, we are the lone superpower and consume a disproportionate amount of the world’s natural resources. So that comes with a certain responsibility to the world (i.e. our Navy essentially polices the seas, enabling secure shipping routes).

But Libya is in civil war, its people want to overthrow the regime. I don’t think we have any place taking sides and intervening, no matter what we think of Qaddafi. Most Libyans don’t even want our help or foreign intervention. Yes, some of them want the UN to impose a no-fly zone but that’s multilateral action by the UN. Not unilateral action by the United States. This is exactly why we’re hated by many in the Middle East. We meddle. And no matter what is said publicly about freedom or whatever, no country makes major moves without its own self interests at heart.

That fact that the conversation is even framed as “should we or not?” is troubling. We don’t own the world. I read something interesting a long time ago that basically said all US foreign policy is based on the underlying opinion that we rule the world. Except that’s not true. We’re just continuing to overstretch ourselves at a time of great fiscal distress. We’ve been at war for the last 10 years!

Do people realize enforcing a no-fly zone involves destroying all of Libya’s anti-air defenses? This means actually ATTACKING them – bombing military installations in Libya. It’s not as neutral or non-violent as it’s made to sound.

Humanitarian relief? Okay. Military intervention? No way.

[Australia Open 2011] Federer v. Simon

I should’ve gone to bed earlier but I had about 2 hours before I got up at 5am to watch this match. It looked like I could sneak in some more sleep after The Mighty Fed dominated Simon in the first 2 sets. But it just had to go 5 sets. Sheesh.

Before that match I was nervous because Simon is 2-0 against Fed. He runs really well and his counter-punching game bothers Federer. But after those first 2 sets, I never expected this. Boy, it was nerve-wrenching in the 5th set. Whew, but Federer pulled it out. It’s a good test for Fed. Now he’ll just need to rest and recuperate. Actually I need that too.