Skip to content

For the records, a few facts

1) The width of the Bering Strait at it’s narrowest point is around 53 miles. Of course the distance between the Diomede islands at 2.4 miles is much less, but they are very sparsely populated (146 people on the U.S. held Little Diomede according to the 2000 Census), and their populations have traditionally worked together against the cold and harsh environment even during the cold war.

2) The farthest an unaided human eye can see at sea level is about 16 miles. While the human eye can see much, much further in a vacuum or in clear and very dry air (moon, earth from space, mountain top to mountain top), at sea level; the curvature of the earth and moisture in the air work against clarity of vision and effective range is about 16 miles.

3) Russia, even with it’s nuclear arsenal, is far more at risk from American intervention than America is from Russian intervention. The scare tactics of the fear-mongers aside, both nations would sustain staggering losses in a war between them; and therefor a direct confrontation has no winner. Once you leave aside the silliness of direct full scale conflict, there are possibilities for limited actions in territories controlled by neither side (Georgia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Korea, etc), but most of those, the United States enjoys a staggering advantage in freedom of action, ability to project power, economic backing, world opinion and support, and technology. We have more to fear from certain governors with a penchant for telling tall tales and senators that engage in hostile rhetoric than we do from the nation of Russia. Has Russia ever invaded U.S. soil? The United States has invaded Russia (1918-1920 to fight against the Bolsheviks); we often forget that little detail when trying to use Russia as a bug-bear to scare our children into cooperating with our authoritarian choices… but the truth is, they have far more reason to fear us than us them.

4) Sarah Palin and John McCain trying to claim that she has foreign policy credentials because she was within eye sight of Russia is absolutely ludicrous. Wasilla is perhaps a thousand miles from Little Diamede (unable to quickly determine, anyone know?), and the capitol of Alaska is even further from the Russian border. Of course the whole argument is non-sense, as simply seeing some geography does not qualify anyone for foreign policy credentials… but then neither does being a prisoner of war or a computer programmer.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *