Monday, January 08, 2007

Monday Morning Quarterback 1/8/07...and More

Monday Morning Quarterback

Scores can be deceiving

After a football season loaded with surprises and upsets week after week, the first weekend of the playoffs provided competitive games with no upsets. In fact each game was close for at least three and a half quarters.

The game everyone is still talking about is Seattle and Dallas. With under two minutes to go, it had appeared the Cowboys where in position to simply run out the clock, kick an easy field goal and head to Chicago or New Orleans. Not so fast. An official replay review and a dropped field goal snap changed the outcome of the game and now Seattle is on their way to Chicago and Dallas is clearing out their lockers in Irving. The score showed a great game, but neither team played that well.

Who would of ever guessed the Colts defense would have to save QB Peyton Manning. That's exactly what happened as Manning threw three interceptions, but still pulled out a win on the backs of his defense which held Chiefs RB Larry Johnson to 32 yards. Indianapolis shouldn't be celebrating so quickly. Their offense has lost their consistent spark and their defense stopped a Chiefs team that hasn't played well since mid season. The only bright spot for the Indy offense is RB Joseph Addai who has become a force to reckon with in the NFL. Unfortunately for Indy, it's one game and out as they will loose to the Ravens in Baltimore this weekend. Once again no Big Dance for Indy.

How about them Jets? Oh I know they lost, but they went to New England and played the Patiots tough for 54 minutes laying the ground work for next season. The Jets are undoubtedly one of the most improved teams in the NFL and will be a powerhouse to contend with next year. The Patriots and QB Tom Brady continue to show they are one team you don't want to face in the playoffs. Expect a great game next week in San Diego against a superb Chargers club.

Last and to an extent least the Giants as expected lost to the Eagles. This was one game that may of ended with a last play field goal, but if you watched the game you never got the feeling the Eagles would loose. New York QB Eli Manning continues his quest to be a bust, while Philadelphia, who didn't play as well as they could, still prevailed and will be a tough opponent next week against the Saints in New Orleans.

Four great games to watch, but not necessarily played that well. Don't expect any of these winners to be in the Superbowl, but I sure don't envy San Diego and New Orleans because their opponents are very capable of the upset. Then again you can add the Bears to that mix. It has nothing to do with them playing Seattle, simply put you never know these days if the Bears defense will show up or which Rex Grossman will be taking the snaps. It's exciting and frustrating being a Bears fan these days.


...and More

Israel to attack Iran?

Yesterday's edition of Britain's Sunday Times reported that Israel has developed a plan and is training two air-force squadrons to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities. The article discloses in detail how Israel will go about destroying Iran's nuclear capability, which include using tactical nuclear weapons that have approximately 1/15th the power of the bombs dropped on Japan to end WWII.

After reading the article the first thing that came to mind was how reliable are the sources? According to the writers they received their information from "several Israeli military sources." This can mean the poor schmuck who cleans the washroom at IDF Headquarters, heavily involved pilots or high administration officials. In other words, anyone who receives a paycheck from the government of Israel. My next thought is simply, why would Israel permit such highly classified information to be leaked? Remember we are dealing with the Israeli's not the Bush administration. The obvious answer is that Israel wants the world to know what is on the horizon. This tactic has been around since the Roman Empire. Governments often leak information to analyze world reaction and to take away the initial shock of an event which is expected to have world-wide condemnation.

What about the obvious mistake of letting your enemy know your intentions? It is very possible that Israel doesn't believe Iran can stop them. Truth is that Iran is undoubtedly on a heightened alert and most likely cannot be more prepared than they are now. Some will say that Israel is trying to scare Iran by publicly explaining how they can achieve their goal of destroying Iran's nuclear facilities. Finally it should be noted that the Iranian people recently voiced their disapproval of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by overwhelmingly supporting candidates he campaigned against in recent elections. It's no secret that the United States as well as other Western interests have been stepping up their support to revolutionary groups in Iran. The idea that Ahmadinejad policies could force another country to attack them causing civilian casualties may help these revolutionary groups. I do not subscribe in the least to this particular thought, but others may.

Does the reasons really matter? The Harsh reality is that we live in a world that refuses to learn from the past. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently said "the year is 1938 and Iran is Germany." The Likud Party Chairman is right, but what makes the situation worse is that the world attitude reflects that of Neville Chamberlain in 1938, not Winston Churchill. Appeasement continues to be the attitude of Europe and too many American politicians. Today we make believe we are confronting the enemies of the world with Economic sanctions. The United Nations pats itself on the back thinking they are doing something, but then countries such as France and Russia sell goods and services through back channels bringing in billions and voiding any punishing affects that could come from sanctions. The United States and Israel live in the real world, so an attack is imminent.

Last April I wrote that Israel and the United States where justified in attacking Iran. When Iran proclaimed to the world that Israel should be wiped off the map and their determination to make it happen, they justified any attack against them. At some point soon justice will have to be served.

Paulie

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