April 18, 2003


Interesting cloak-and-dagger stuff going on around North Korea these days. About 20 top NK officials have defected to the US since last October. The defectors include Kyong Won-ha, top man in Kim's nuclear program. Rather than regurgitate the story, here's a snippet:

A SWATH of North Korea's military and scientific elite, among them key nuclear specialists, has defected to the US and its allies through a highly secret smuggling operation involving the tiny Pacific island of Nauru.

The defections have taken place since last October and have been made possible through the help of 11 countries that agreed to provide consular protection to smuggle the targets from neighbouring China, according to sources close to the operation, which has now been wound up.

Some countries also agreed to act as transit points for up to 30 days once the defectors left China, the sources claim.

Among those now believed to be in a safe house in the West is the father of North Korea's nuclear program, Kyong Won-ha, who left his homeland late last year with the help of Spanish officials. Debriefings of Mr Kyong are said to have given intelligence officials an unprecedented insight into North Korea's nuclear capabilities, particularly at the feared reactor number one in the southern city of Yongbyon.

The operation – dubbed Weasel – has been largely facilitated through non-government organisations and private citizens from South Korea, the US and its allies. It has deliberately been kept at arm's length from any government.

Operation Weasel? Don't tell me Scappleface's bit has gotten that far.

Humor aside, this is a great coup but I'm a bit disturbed to find it in the press. Perhaps we're signalling to Kim just how precarious his position is right now. Maybe we're trying to create a few cracks in his regime, casting doubt as to whom he can trust. China has been helping smuggle some of these people out--Kim can't like that development. One thing is for sure--Weasel must have been one of the reasons North Korea's nuclear program slowed down this year. It's difficult to maintain a nuclear weapons program when its chief scientists switches teams.
Posted by B. Preston at 05:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Assad's Syria signals it will hand over some of those Iraqi officials who were never in Syria in the first place.

That's a good start, Bashar. Now how 'bout those Iraqi weapons?
Posted by B. Preston at 03:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


As much as it pains me, tortures me, nearly kills me to write this, honesty forces my hands: Josh Marshall was right. There is a conspiracy of neocons bent on influencing American foreign policy. One of the neocon insiders has broken ranks with his fellow cabalists and exposed the shocking truth!
Posted by B. Preston at 03:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


The US left shoots about as straight as the Iraqi army these days. You've got Bill "victory envy" Clinton whining about Bush and his 73% approval rating every ten seconds, you've got Sen. John Kerry calling for regime change in the US but not in Iraq, or Cuba, or anywhere else that dangerous regimes actually need changing. And across the net and blogosphere, the left reacted to the fall of Saddam with....silence. Even sadness. Even anger--"Oh no! This will help Bush!" Not making that up, unfortunately.

Noemie Emery has the depressing roundup.

(thanks to Hanks)
Posted by B. Preston at 02:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Late to the front on Castro and ever relunctant to condemn him for his repression, his gulags, his murders and his long-winded speeches, elements of the left have finally come up with a petition of sorts that will be delivered to the Cuban mission to the UN as well as a few lefty publications. It's a token effort--petitioning a dictator will have no effect beyond making the signatories feel good--but at least it's a start. Here's the text:

We are women and men of the democratic left, united by our commitment to human rights, democratic government and social justice, in our own nations and around the world. In solidarity with the people of Cuba, we condemn the Cuban state's current repression of independent thinkers and writers, human rights activists and democrats. For "crimes" such as the authorship of essays critical of the government and meeting with delegations of foreign political leaders, some 80 non-violent political dissidents have been arrested, summarily tried in a closed court, without adequate notice or counsel, convicted, and given cruel, harsh sentences of decades of imprisonment. These are violations of the most elementary norms of due process of law, reminiscent of the Moscow trials of the Soviet Union under the rule of Stalin.

The democratic left worldwide has opposed the US embargo on Cuba as counterproductive, more harmful to the interests of the Cuban people than helpful to political democratization. The Cuban state's current repression of political dissidents amounts to collaboration with the most reactionary elements of the US administration in their efforts to maintain sanctions and to institute even more punitive measures against Cuba.

The only conclusion that we can draw from this brute repression is that Cuban government does not trust the Cuban people to distinguish truth from falsehood, fact from disinformation. A government of the left must have the support of the people: it must guarantee human rights and champion the widest possible democracy, including the right to dissent, as well as promote social justice. By its actions, the Cuban state declares that it is not a government of the left, despite its claims of social progress in education and health care, but just one more dictatorship, concerned with maintaining its monopoly of power above all else.

Take a look at the second paragraph. These lefties, statists all, link Castro's repression to "collaboration with the most reactionary elements of the US administration" on the question of sanctions. The same sanctions that the notorious "reactionary" Bill Clinton, and George H. W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan, and Jimmah Carter, and Ford and Nixon and Johnson and Kennedy all left in effect. Today's lefties can't even bring themselves to castigate Castro without somehow condemning George W. Bush as well. All roads lead to Bush. They're positively obsessed with the man.

Then they say that Castro can't be a lefty because he's repressive. Lefties can't be dictators? Tell that to Stalin, and Pol Pot, and Ho Chi Min, and Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega and a zillion other leftists who ran or are on the process of establishing tyrannies. To say nothing of Hitler's National Socialists.... What's more interesting about the petition is who hasn't signed it. Jimmah Carter, Jesse Jackson, John Conyers...men only too happy to hug Castro and condemn America for opposing him.

The American left just can't get anything right.

(via InstaPundit)

UPDATE: The linked site includes a comments section, and most readers are delivering a proper trashing to the Castro petition. I joined in with the following:

I have two problems with this petition. First, it's weak and tries to link Castro and Bush with that "amounts to collaboration" nonsense. If you want to find actual collaboration with Castro, look no further than the left wing of the Democrat party. Hollywood and media elites, Ron Dellums, Jesse Jackson, Jimmy Carter et al have spent decades coddling Castro. The GOP has been solidly against Castro and Communism for decades. Second, what is this petition supposed to accomplish other than making the signatories feel good about themselves? Is even one person languishing under Castro's thumb helped one bit by this thing? Is there any chance at all that any of them will be? All this petition does is give lefties some fig leaf to hide behind while they denounce any and every action the Bush administration does or does not undertake to counter Castro and free Cuba.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I have a Good Friday rumination up over at The Department of Theology, University of Blogistan, where I've been an absent faculty member for some time.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Iraqi antiquities, stolen in a apparent inside job heist amid the post-Saddam looting of Baghdad, are turning up in Paris.

(via Hanks & Reynolds)
Posted by B. Preston at 08:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 17, 2003


I never knew that Fidel Castro was a grandmother, and UK's Queen Consort. That beard must hide more than I thought.
Posted by B. Preston at 05:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Fox News' Fox & Friends has out-rated the CBS' The Early Show for the second straight week. Fox still isn't in as many homes as CNN, yet something like 46 of the top 50 cable news shows are on Fox.
Posted by B. Preston at 05:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Jacques Chirac is set to open up a new front in his war against America. He's using the UN to counter us diplomatically, the EU to counter us politically, economically and (perhaps) militarily, and now wants his own 24 hour news channel, presumably to kiss more tyrant arse than CNN. And to correct what the French don't like about the US media.

Not friends of ours, these people. Not yet enemies, but certainly not friends.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


...the scourge of Augusta, and shill for terrorists. The groups backing her back Hamas, among others:

Burk’s National Council of Women’s Organizations, includes:

· Equality Now—Equality Now serves as the U.S. mouthpiece for an organization that sponsors the rebuilding of homes and buildings used to facilitate Palestinian terrorism.

Equality Now sent out press releases and organized press conferences for Bat Shalom, a feminist group which supports a boycotts of some Israeli products and sponsors and runs ads on its website for the rebuilding of Palestinian houses destroyed by the Israeli Army. According to Ha’Aretz, these houses are either homes of homicide bombers and other terrorists, or abandoned structures on the border of Gaza and Egypt, used to camouflage tunnels through which explosives and bombs are smuggled to Palestinian terrorists. The campaign to rebuild the homes lists Palestinian-American activist Rania Masri as a donor. Masri enthusiastically shared the stage on several occasions with indicted Islamic Jihad chief Sami Al-Arian.

In May, 2002, Equality Now sent a letter to President Bush, signed by Martha Burk, Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, Alanis Morisette, and sundry other notorious feminists, accusing Bush of “betrayal” and endangerment of Afghani women for not expanding peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan. Call me misinformed, but wasn’t it Bush who liberated the women of Afghanistan? Burk’s website gives that credit to Burk and her NCWO.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Mike Hersch is shocked and dismayed that Saddam is gone. His whole take is insulting, illogical, emotional and sick. Here's the kicker:

My pain for the Iraqis keeps growing. Their country destroyed and they could do nothing about it. Bush and his people thought this up, and then they actually carried it out. So far millions of Americans support it, but they should know better. We lost 3,000 on 9/11. We should know what it means to lose 10,000 or more, all the infrastructure. How should these poor people feel? Liberated? Is revenge allowed?

"...their country destroyed and they could do nothing about it." From 1968 to last week, perhaps, but Hersch is talking about the three-war of liberation as "destroying" Iraq. "Bush and his people thought this up..." And good for them. It's about time tyrants got a wake-up call from the free world. "We should know what it means to lose 10,000..." He's calling for more terrorism, on a greater scale, on American soil. And calling for revenge, for Iraqis, against us. I don't know where to start with that one.

(via Democrats.com, which is touting Hersch's screed today)
Posted by B. Preston at 11:43 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Not for us. We don't buy much Iraqi oil, and aren't staking any claim to sell it. But we do want to let the new Iraq get out from under the UN disarmament sanctions, so that Iraq can sell its oil freely again, to help get the country back on its own feet as fast as possible.

It makes sense. Saddam is gone. Iraq has been defanged and will soon be disarmed of WMDs. So what purpose do the UN sanctions now serve?

Only one--the sanctions keep Iraqi oil from competing with Russian oil for market share. And because of this, the Russians want to keep the sanctions in effect. Those post-Commie bastards want to keep starving the Iraqis, just to keep their own position in the world oil markets.

As much as things changed superficially in Russia after the collapse of the USSR, it seems not that much changed beneath the surface. The KGB still pretty much runs things--in the form of Putin, the criminal gangs that control most of the corporate sphere, and so forth. And Russia still has one of the most amoral foreign policies on earth.

UPDATE: Political murder in Moscow? The victim was an opponent of Putin.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Very well said, Josh.

(via InstaPundit)
Posted by B. Preston at 10:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


If US forces unearth credible intelligence that Saddam Hussein is hiding out in Syrian territory, they are apparently authorized to cross into Syria to nab him. Whether the Syrians authorize it or not. The JYB first proposed invoking hot pursuit just yesterday. Advantage, JYB!

Right now it's limited to Saddam Hussein only, but don't expect that limit to last. If we heard that one of his sons was in Syria, or that Syria had taken possession of Iraqi nuclear materials, we would expand hot pursuit to include them. For some reason, the British don't get the point and have turned French on the idea:

AMERICAN commanders have promised to launch a “snatch-and-shoot” raid for Saddam Hussein if they track him to a hiding place in Syria.

The proposal, which will fuel tensions between Washington and Damascus, was condemned by British military officers as a breach of international law that would add to regional instability.

Somebody needs to take the entire continent of Europe to chess school. Or teach them how to play the old world-conquest game Risk. Have these people never heard of a feint?

First, the French-German-Russian cabal of spinelessness made the Iraq war unavoidable. Now the Brits may force us to invade Syria. With allies like these...

The point of invoking hot pursuit isn't necessarily to actually cross the border into Syria in actual pursuit of a suspect. Sure, you might have to do that once as a demonstration that you're willing to. But the real point of announcing hot pursuit is so that you don't have to actually pursue anyone. It's to get the Syrians to cough up what they have. If we announce that we'll pursue any Iraqi officials into Syria or wherever we believe they're hiding, we're doing two things. First, we're demonstrating how serious the situation really is. We want these people, and anyone harboring them is endangering themselves in doing so. We're also seeking to force cooperation. We have no love for the Syrians; they have no love for us. We're not natural allies. But, having paved Iraq in less than a month, we've shown that we're more than talk. If we say we're going to do something, we do it. And well. If we have info that puts Iraqi officials in Syria, we first confront Syria directly and request a handover. When Syria fails to cooperate, we announce hot pursuit is in force and let the Syrians know that we'll have Special Forces operating inside Syrian territory to get the suspects ourselves. Hopefully this will force Syria's hand, and it will give up the suspects. If not, we actually go in and get one, making sure to prove that we got them inside Syria, thus implicating Assad's government (it's a police state, and nothing as big as harboring Iraqi fugitivies happens without Assad's knowledge). Then Syria can decide to play ball and give up the rest, or we escalate our incursions, always taking care to prove that the suspects are being nabbed in Syrian territory. Internationally, Syria is on the defensive. We're just cleaning up the Saddamite mess wherever it spreads.

Somebody needs to brief the Brits. If they keep condemning hot pursuit it won't work, and we'll either have to let Syria get away with its crimes or we'll have to invade to correct the situation. Neither choice is particularly attractive, and both are avoidable--if we play hot pursuit correctly.

UPDATE: Thom Friedman says the right approach to Syria isn't military engagement or French-style appeasement, but aggressive engagement. Sounds good to me--and it can include hot pursuit. In fact, I suspect the Bush team has already decided that this type of approach has the best chance of success. (via Sasha Castel-Dodge)
Posted by B. Preston at 09:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 16, 2003


In San Francisco, they're picketing their local NPR station--for being too pro-war.

In Athens, they're hurling Molotov cocktails at the EU summit.

Martha Burk and Howell Raines can't manage to muster more than 40 people to protest Augusta National.

And the New York Observer is accusing National Review of anti-Semitism because a headline used the word "shyster." The attack is amusing for its obscurity:

Take, for example, the word "shyster." According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word is of "obscure origin," but its meaning is hardly obscure. Rooted in the German scatological term scheisser, it’s a deplorable and demeaning word which has traditionally been loaded with anti-Semitism. You’d think the editors of the National Review would have thought twice before using the word in a headline. Apparently not: In the magazine’s April 21 issue, a review of Walter K. Olson’s book, The Rule of Lawyers, was entitled "Shyster Heaven." No doubt the editors found this clever and amusing. It was nothing of the sort—it was either an insensitive oversight or anti-Semitic innuendo.

Surely the National Review staff were aware of the word’s bigoted associations. Some etymologists believe "shyster" is a derivative of Shakespeare’s character Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, used to describe a devious, scheming person of Jewish background who will try any scam in the book to make a buck. In 1895, Funk’s Standard Dictionary defined a shyster as "a lawyer who practices in an unprofessional or tricky manner; especially one who haunts the prisons and lower courts to prey on petty criminals." In Shakespeare’s play, other characters call Shylock a "currish Jew" whose "desires are wolvish, bloody, starved, and ravenous"; he is accused of being "the devil … in the likeness of a Jew."

Whatever the formal etymology of the offending word, the ignorant people who employ it are not referring to silver-haired patricians at white-shoe law firms. When they mutter the word "shyster," they’re talking about Jewish lawyers who in their minds are no different from the scheming, devious Shylock.

Yeah, those crafty Jew-haters at National Review, always supporting Israel so they can use debatable anti-Semitic jargon on the sly. I hear Jonah Goldberg is actually an Episcopalean.

Whoever wrote that Observer piece is a putz.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:32 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


Hollywood whack-job Oliver Stone (a whack-job even by Hollywood standards) made a fawning "documentary" about Cuban strongman Fidel Castro that was set to air on HBO in May. Castro decided now was as good a time as any to go on a rampage of abuse and despotism. HBO has pulled the documentary from its schedule.

Good for them.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Yes, face-to-face, for the first time since Kim Jong-Il's move to restart his nuke programs and withdraw from relevant treaties. But the talks are taking place in China, which also promises to fully engage in the sessions. So Kim Jong-Il isn't getting the one-on-one talks with the US that he has demanded for months.

It's another win for Bush, and another loss for his critics, who remain strangely silent.

While the Japanese, South Koreans and Russians won't be in on the talks, China's presence is crucial. China holds Kim's leash, in the form of energy and other assistance; China can yank that leash. China's hosting of the talks and its presence at them signals at least a willingness to do so.

Further, the US has reserved the right to bring the South Koreans and Japanese into the talks if it becomes desirable or necessary. That's another layer of loss for Kim (and Bush's critics).

Interestingly, the format and location for the talks solidified before the war in Iraq began. The Bush administration made this happen by one very simple tactic: truth combined with principle:

As described by officials from the United States, Japan and South Korea today, the outlines of the agreement for next week's talks were struck before the war in Iraq started. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell traveled on Feb. 24 to Beijing, where the Chinese tried to persuade him to engage in one-on-one talks with North Korea. At a second meeting at the United Nations, on March 7, "we persuaded the Chinese" that Mr. Bush would never agree to those conditions, the American official said.

The next day, a very senior Chinese official — it is unclear who — told North Korea's leaders that they had no choice but to accede to Mr. Bush's demands, several officials said.

In other words, it pays to have a president who's a straight shooter.

We're not out of the woods yet on North Korea. Kim Jong-Il is still very much one of the maddest rulers on the planet, and could still decide that war is in his interests. The Bush team could still screw it up. But thus far, the Bush team has handled him brilliantly, and with no help from the so-called loyal opposition here at home. No help at all.

In fact, the North Korean situation makes me wonder just how stupid the Democrats can be. Throughout the past two years, they have repeatedly set themselves up so that they must hope for American disaster to lift their own political fortunes. When the economy tanked in 2000, they blamed President Bush (though he had yet to take office when the downward trend started), thereby setting themselves up to have to root for continued economic misery to help them gain political traction. When the diplomacy leading up to the Iraq war got derailed by the duplicitous French, Germans and Russians, the Democrats sided with those states against Bush, again setting themselves up against American policy. Many Dems opposed the war and predicted disaster in Iraq, and questioned the war strategy a scant 10 days into the war, and once it was won shifted immediately to decrying the looting and other relatively minor after effects of the otherwise amazing and overwhelming victory. And throughout the North Korea crisis, the Democrats have advocated caving in to Kim's demands for bilateral talks, and basically doing whatever he wants us to do. In doing so, they have for all intents and purposes sided with Kim Jong-Il and against George W. Bush. This is not a strategy for winning the hearts and minds of American voters, nor of securing our nation against rogue states. It's a craven strategy of naked oppositionism without principle. And it's just plain stupid to pin your hopes on a nut like Kim.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


`Tooms,' `Fuji,' summoned for secret mission that targeted Saddam's compound, marked war's start

How 3 Weeks of War in Iraq Looked From the Oval Office

The Secret War: The key to success was what we didn't see

Marine POW Rescuers Nearly Called Mission Off

Saddam's missing billions looted before the fall, may have gone to terrorists

The postwar campaign to deprogram the children of Saddam's cult

Not a comprehensive list, but a good start.
Posted by Chris Regan at 06:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


After hearing Chris Matthews say this lucid comment on Leno:

I gotta hand it to the generals. Everybody criticized their plan. Their plan was masterful. . . . This war is definitely a good thing for the Iraqis.

I think the feeling in this country is: we were hit hard at home, by people who came here to kill us -- kill thousands of us. And this is about that, this emotion, the sense that something had to be done about it. That's why Bush is so popular. He's a very basic guy. He's not complicated. He's not like some strange, psycho, crazy guy like Clinton, you can't figure out any day of the week. [audience applauds, not a single boo]

Then we get this nutty comment from Bill Clinton:

Our paradigm now seems to be: something terrible happened to us on September 11, and that gives us the right to interpret all future events in a way that everyone else in the world must agree with us, and if they don't, they can go straight to hell. . . .

We can't run, if you got an interdependent world, and you cannot kill, jail or occupy all your adversaries, sooner or later you have to make a deal.

A deal?? He clearly means appeasement to go with his post-9/11 moral relativism. We can infer this from his comments because he dismisses Bush's successful diplomatic deals to pull this war off with the "first" unanimous UN resolution, and to bring Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen into line against terror for now. Bush has tried to do the same, using just the stick, with Iran, Libya, Syria and North Korea to the extent possible with pure terror states. We're accepting whatever good-faith cooperation they give us in an effort to allow them a chance before we put them on any military hit list. North Korea and Iran have shown some positive signs lately, but Syria may have chosen to follow the path of Iraq and Afghanistan. That path leads strait to hell for their regime, as Clinton put it. That's their choice, not ours, and it results in their people being free from tyranny, while the world becomes more free from terror. Don't forget, we bent over backwards for all these rogue nations for an entire decade at least, but that's not good enough for Bill Clinton. He will only be satisfied with pure appeasement.

After his recent dangerous comments on North Korea, and now this stuff, Hillary may need to help us all out by having her reckless man involuntarily committed for the protection of America. Remember, some Democrats are still hoping to repeal the 22nd amendment so he can run for President again. That can't make Hillary too happy.

UPDATE: Newt Gingrich says Clinton is acting out of "victory envy." Hehehe.
Posted by Chris Regan at 05:00 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


What's next for Syria? War with the US and UK, or more likely, just the US? Economic sanctions, either US-only or directed (improbably) by the UN?

Fat chance. Syria's on the frickin' UN Security Council, remember? Jacques Chirac has already been toadying up to the baby Assad. France will play its usual double games and kill off any peaceful attempt to get justice. And besides, sanctions have little chance of doing any good. A decade of sanctions did little to keep Saddam from lining his toilets with gold, but did help him starve and repress his own people and shame many in the West into wanting to kiss and make up with the brute. So sanctions are out, at least if you actually want to do any good.

But we have to do something about Syria's recent behavior. If the Bush administration isn't blowing smoke, Syria essentially sided up with Saddam once the war broke out. Syria may be harboring Saddamite cronies that we want. Scarier still, Syria may have taken possession of Saddam's illicit weapons, with the possible intent of either keeping them permanently or handing them off to one of Syria's well-trained and well-financed terror operations. If all of this is true, it cannot stand. Syria must either willingly change its behavior, or be forced to change its behavior.

But without sanctions and short of war, how do we do this?

By going in hot pursuit.

Hot pursuit, the way I understand it, is a legal idea that allows forces or authorities pursuing a fugitive from justice to cross borders--state or provincial borders within a nation, or even international borders--if the fugitive is believed to have crossed from one jurisdiction to another. Hot pursuit usually includes cooperation on both sides of the border crossed, but not always. The US famously pursued Mexican outlaw Pancho Villa deep into Mexican territory after he menaced American border towns back in the early 1900s. The US also tossed out the possibility of hot pursuit in the Afghanistan hunt for Osama bin Laden back in 2001, though the pursuits often run into trouble at the Afghan-Pakistan border. Pakistan isn't too keen on Americans running across its tribal territories, where the Paks' ISI may in fact be helping al Qaeda operatives hide.

In Syria, hot pursuit may allow the US to claim legal rights to hunt down Iraqi fugitives without resorting to all-out war. It may also send Bashar Assad an impolite message: Cough up the people and items we want, or you can expect US troops to have free reign in your country to look for them. Oppose those troops with your troops, and we'll have the 4th Infantry at your doorstep in a day or two, and if we're really irritated we'll throw in a Marine expeditionary division too. It's also in its own way a reciprocal strategy to those usually employed by terror-supporting states like Syria--they send terrorists to kill us, we send in Special Forces to challenge them on their own turf. Facing a form of terror for the first time on his own soil, Assad may decide to adopt a more conciliatory stance. Or his people might sense weakness and take him down themselves.

It will be dangerous work for those US forces. Syria is a den of terrorists from one end to the other. But we can't just let Assad get away with spiriting away some of the most potentially dangerous people on the planet--people we have spent billions trying to knock from power and capture--and the WMDs that were the casus belli in the first place. We can't yet just attack him outright--that may inflame the Middle East in a way that Iraq never could have. Not that we couldn't take on all of the backward Arab armies at the same time if we had to--we could. But prudence says you pick your battles more wisely. One war at a time, if you can.

So hot pursuit may be in the cards if Syria doesn't change its behavior, and soon.

(thanks to Chris for planting the seeds that became this post)


The key to using the Right (or Doctrine) of Hot Pursuit is establishing that we're acting in self-defense due to the ongoing terrorism and destabilization threat from ex-regime members, now in Syria, who already made the critical legal mistake of cross-border deployment of Syrian terrorists in the current war. -- Chris R.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:39 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 15, 2003


Those 11 suspect boxes and truck recently found by the 101st have turned out to be related to conventional weapons, but not WMDs.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Where did infamous terrorist Abu Nidal die in mysterious circumstances?

Where did al Qaeda offshoot Ansar al-Islam operate until its destruction by US and Kurdish forces?

What country paid Palestinian terrorists between $1.5 and 2 million a month to kill Israeli civilians?

Where did notorious terrorist Abu Abbas hide for 18 years after masterminding the Achille Lauro hijacking, and where was he eventually arrested?

The answer to all of these is "Saddam Hussein's Iraq."
Posted by B. Preston at 11:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I think it's interesting, and more than a little revealing, that amid all the events of the last few weeks Josh Marshall has found time to try and re-create a Lott moment out of Rep. Barbara Cubin's recent weird remarks--which she didn't even finish--but hasn't found the time to return to discussing North Korea and his insistence that Bush has been wrong from the start in his approach there.

Cubin is a back-bencher in the House; North Korea is a dangerous rogue state on the precipice of attaining nuclear status. Cubin never actually finished what she started to say; North Korea has made its intentions quite clear.

Which issue is more important in the grand scheme of things? Which issue should attract the attentions of "credible" liberals like Mr. Marshall? Why isn't Marshall addressing how he got North Korea so wrong, so often, so consistently? And if we're going down the road of parsing out every little word uttered by every politician, why hasn't Josh taken the obvious meaning of Sen. John Kerry's "regime change" remarks to task? Oh, he did--I see that he defended them, and jumped on the "those evil Republicans are attacking Kerry's patriotism" bandwagon.

Josh Marshall isn't a serious person. He's an idiotarian hack, a partisan shill blinded by his utter hatred for Republicans. It's that simple.
Posted by B. Preston at 05:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


The Palestinian terror-mongers are now in search of a new cash source. The war in Iraq seems to have put a stop to the $1.5 to 2 million monthly cash pipeline connecting Baghdad to the West Bank.

If memory serves, Bashar Assad also pumps quite a bit of cash into the terrorists' bank accounts...
Posted by B. Preston at 05:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I never liked KISS. I always thought they were the least talented band to ever make it big and stay big. I never liked their music, their gimmickry, their ethos or anything else about them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some soft-headed type that only listens to classical, jazz, whatever. I like the heavy stuff, just not KISS. They're musically awful and banal.

But, their politics may be worth looking at. Check out these lines from Gene Simmons' web site, which is otherwise about what you'd expect from him:

Woke up this morning to the site of Saddam Hussein's head, torn from its metallic statue base, in downtown Baghdad, being ridden by Iraqi's!!! I saw Iraqi's running through the streets waving American flags.

I also watched with interest how the UN was insisting it had to play the major role in rebuilding Iraq.

And, of course, the French/Chirac led government and, I might add the German government (who only last week on CNN strongly urged that Hussein be removed -- without so much as lifting a finger to do anything about it), insisted that they be allowed to be involved in the rebuilding of Iraq.


My heart goes out to people who suffer. And, although "Might makes Right" does not necessarily follow, in this case it does. Better the good guys be Mighty, than the bad guys.

As for being a Liberal. I am!!! I believe in equality -- for everyone. I believe prejudice is the bane of mankind's existence.

The whole world would have become a Communist World, if American didn't stand up to Russia...don't kid yourself.

And, I believe if you don't have the guts to stand up to injustice, where ever it exists (and that means stopping the Germans, the Japanese and the Italians in WW I and WW II...or the Albanian Serbs in Bosnia...or the tragedies that keep on occurring in Africa...or even the Viet Nam War....Panama...North Korea...the list goes on and on)...

One thing in common with all these events: AMERICA.

America didn't stay and "conquer" ANY OF THESE COUNTRIES.

And, the UN??? It's a sham. It can't even decide what to do about UNANIMOUSLY VOTING THAT HUSSEIN be punished.

Me??? I'm ashamed to be surrounded by people calling themselves Liberal who are, in my opinion, spitting on the graves of brave American soldiers who gave their life to fight a war that wasn't theirs...in a country they've never been to...simply to liberate the people therein.

I haven't said very much politically, because talk is cheap (yours and mine). But the answer to any doubters lies in watching Iraq's people dancing in the streets.

Simmons has instructions for hard core lefties who continue to protest the war that has now ended in victory. They are what you might expect the lead singer of KISS to say to people for whom he has no patience.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


I love this, not because a liberal is seeing the light and pondering becoming a Republican, but because it's evidence that truth can take seed in a mind and heart that are willing to accept it and have the courage to confront it. For those of us who've been rock-ribbed righties for years, Sheila's turn is a reminder that we shouldn't just write off our political opposites. Truth works. It's also a reminder to us to keep honestly critiquing ourselves and our allies, to keep our own side honest and sincerely dedicated to liberty.

And to Sheila, welcome. Whether you ultimately stay away from the hard left for a day or a lifetime, welcome.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:41 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


I don't know. Could be--it largely depends on the choices Bashar Assad makes in the next few days. He could choose wisely and be spared. He could choose poorly, and find any one of three US divisions barreling toward Damascus. Whether he finds himself facing the battle-tested 3rd Infantry Division, the battle-tested Marine 1st Expeditionary or the fresh and very high-tech 4th Infantry Division--or a some combination of those units, all of which are in theatre--his defeat would only be a matter of time. And not much time at that.

Choosing wisely in this context would constitute handing over any Iraqis who've fled to Syria, and handing over any WMDs the Iraqis had shipped his way at any time before or during the war. What will he do? History suggests he won't choose wisely.

Former UN Chief Weapons Inspector Richard Butler says Syria probably helped Saddam hide his illicit stashes throughout the 90s.

Mr Butler said he had seen intelligence during his time as chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1997 until 1999 which seemed to indicate Syria had helped keep Iraq's weapons of mass destruction hidden.

"I was shown some intelligence information, from overhead imagery and so on, that the Iraqis had moved some containers of stuff across the border into Syria," he told ABC Radio.

"We had reason to believe that those were containers of chemical weapons and perhaps some other weapons.

"I don't believe the Iraqis wanted to give them to Syria, but I think they just wanted to get them out of the territory, out of the range of our inspections.

That fits the Iraqi MO, too. Just prior to Gulf War I, Saddam ordered most of his jets to fly to Iran for safe-keeping. His plan was to save them during the war, and bring them back afterward. The Iranians had other ideas, and got themselves a new air force, free of charge. It's possible Assad has done the same thing with Saddam's WMDs.

UPDATE: Michael Ledeen says Syria has chosen poorly, and has embarked with Iran on a terrorist campaign to turn Iraq into a "second Lebanon." If he's right, Assad is toast.

UPDATE: Choosing poorly. Anyone doubt that the UN serves as a fig-leaf for tyrants at the expense of democracies? Get a load of the Syrian envoy's actual response to US charges:

He was speaking a day after senior U.S. officials threatened sanctions over charges that Damascus supported terrorism, was harboring Iraqi leaders and developing chemical weapons.

"It's an insult to my country, an insult to a country that is a member of the U.N. Security Council and an insult to a peaceful country that is struggling and working for a lasting peace in the Middle East," the ambassador, Mohsen Bilal, told Spain's Cadena Ser radio.

Serving on the UNSC is, for the 10 non-permanent members, purely luck of the draw (and for France, an accident of history). It has nothing to do with any government's legitimacy or its international standing, but does serve as a convenient diplo-speak shield for bad eggs. We should replace the UN with an international body composed entirely of democracies.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:14 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


You have to read them to appreciate why Iraqis were so relunctant to cheer on the allied troops a couple of weeks ago. Not only were they probably suffering from a form of Stockholm syndrome, they had also been fed tales of "Superman Saddam" since 1979. Here's a sample of the cult of Saddam's doctrine:

As one tale would have it, that's because of the gem in his arm, which some say is red but others believe is blue. It is said to have been tested on a chicken, which lost just a few feathers when shot at point-blank range.

"I first heard about it around the time he took power," says retiree Jasim Waay, 54, thinking back to Saddam's takeover of the ruling Baath party in 1979.

"Is it strong enough to work against the British and American military? Only God knows for sure."

A mother's love — and her ability to weave powerful spells — has protected Saddam with a magic aura, another legend goes.

"He's in touch with the occult," says Saad Abdel Reda, a 19-year-old farmer. "And he has fortune tellers tap into the spirit world and tell him when people are trying to kill him."

Other bits of folklore bolster Saddam's reputation for brutality and cunning.

In one, a soldier standing five rows behind the president attempted to kill him, but his gun jammed. Saddam calmly walked over to the soldier, grabbed the weapon and said: "This is how you do it." Then, he shot the soldier dead.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 14, 2003


Last week we all watched via satellite as many Iraqis, with a little help from the US Marines, toppled a hollow statue of Saddam Hussein in central Baghdad, symbolically killing off the Ba'athist regime that had held Iraq in its grip since 1968. People who love freedom and despise tyranny around the world celebrated, and rightly so--we'd just seen the end of a madman's reign over millions of people.

But not everyone celebrated. Indymedia immediately put out a conspiracy theory, which was promptly debunked at OxBlog.

Now, Democrats.com has taken up the story. The group that counts among its founders a former Clinton administration official, and that has close ties to the more rabid wing of the Democrat party (think James Carville, Sid Blumenthal et al), and is even supported by Clinton himself, is in for the new lie. In today's email newsletter, Democrats.com has this to say:

__Fake 'Dancing In The Streets' - Free Iraqi Forces Get Around

Was the toppling of Saddam's statue a staged media event? There were only 150
celebrating Iraqis. Most curious is that one of the cheering Iraqis looks a
heck-of-a-lot like a member of Ahmed Chalabi's 'Free Iraqi Forces' militia.

That number--150--has already been shot out by OxBlog so I won't go into that here. There were many, many more than 150 Iraqis on hand to help knock that statue down, and dismember it, and drag its head through the streets. The Dems.com newsletter links to this picture, which includes the debunked IndyMedia shot along with some mug shot of a Iraqi National Congress person, which Dems.com alleges showed up at the toppling. This, to Dems.com's furtile imagination, locks the toppling as a propaganda ploy.

The proper response, supposing that it is the same person in both photos (a big "if"), is "And your point is?" INC activists have been Iraq for weeks prior to the war. In fact, many of them never left Iraq--they've been there all the time. Ahmed Chalabi, the head of the INC, only left in 1996 when the Clinton administration idiotically allowed Iraqi troops to mass against his forces in northern Iraq and blast them with tanks and artillery. In fact, the Clinton administration has a rather shaky history with Iraq and opposition leaders and groups. It just about got Chalabi killed in '96, and did get a couple of Saddam Hussein's son-in-laws killed after mishandling their defections in the mid-90s. But that's a story for another time.

For this time, is it unreasonable to expect INC folks to show up at the momentous toppling of Saddam's statue in Baghdad? Does their presence, supposing it's even true, at that event automatically mean there's some sort of dark conspiracy behind the whole thing? The answer to both questions is of course not. INC activists have been working for the end of Saddam's regime for years; some have been working from within Iraq for a long time. You'd expect them to show up when Saddam's statue fell--that's the day they've been pining for for years. Where else would one expect them to be--shopping for loo-rolls with Robert Fisk?

What this little episode shows, more than anything else, is that the left prefers to make up and believe lies rather than accept the truth--that their political opposites are capable of doing good work around the world without them, and even in spite of them. Having castigated Bush as "Hitler," they can't accept the fact that Bush just killed a Hitler off without their support. It's too jarring to their self-righteous and self-centered view of the world, so they comfort themselves with conspiracies.

Next thing you know, missing former Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf will show up in Washington to work as the DNC's communication chief.
Posted by B. Preston at 03:21 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


That little phrase just keeps turning up--on missiles, silverware, on radios, even underwear--throughout Iraq. It's not just a sign that Iraqis have an affinity for French goods. It's evidence that France and fellow weasel nation Germany have profited by slipping past the UN sanctions regime in place since Gulf War I:

LT. GREG HOLMES, a tactical intelligence officer with the Third Infantry Division, told NEWSWEEK that U.S. forces discovered 51 Roland-2 missiles, made by a partnership of French and German arms manufacturers, in two military compounds at Baghdad International Airport. One of the missiles he examined was labeled 05-11 KND 2002, which he took to mean that the missile was manufactured last year. The charred remains of a more modern Roland-3 launcher was found just down the road from the arms cache. According to a mortar specialist with the same unit, radios used by many Iraqi military trucks brandished MADE IN FRANCE labels and looked brand new. RPG night sights stamped with the number 2002 and French labels also turned up. And a new Nissan pickup truck driven by a surrendering Iraqi officer was manufactured in France as well.

Yeah, sanctions would have worked given enough time...sure they would have.
Posted by B. Preston at 02:52 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Nov. 26th, 2000

Katherine Harris declares George W. Bush the winner in Florida by 537 votes.

Nov. 27th, 2000

an [Iraqi] agent signing himself "SAB" says that the Russians have passed him a detailed list of killers. The letter does not describe any assignments that the assassins might be given but it indicates just how much Moscow was prepared to share with Baghdad.

We bark, you decide.

Here's a good review of Saddam's assassination attempt on Bush-41 and family. It also shows Bill Clinton's role in starting the dangerous myth that Bush Administration policy toward Saddam was a personal grudge. Former KGB official Vladimir Putin had to know that Saddam's history and the perverse power of the Clinton myth would mean the newly elected President of the United States was a top target. So Russia was at least looking the other way when they gave Saddam the fresh list of assassins in the West. More recently, Iraqi terrorists were discovered in Mexico with over $300 million, hoping to get across the border to Bush's Crawford ranch in Texas.
Posted by Chris Regan at 01:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


This isn't a post about Iraq and CNN's "Access of Evil." That's been covered well all week, and further in the linked WSJ article. But, far too little has been said in the last week about CNN's Havana bureau and their pro-Castro bias. Their original approval in 1996 to be Castro's official U.S. news provider from Cuba was celebrated by CNN first by hiding that fact from the world for political reasons:

Castro's approval was "a huge breakthrough," says Eason Jordan, CNN International's executive vice president. After a long campaign, the network got authorization from Cuba back in August, but didn't publicize it until November in order to prevent the issue from being "politicized" before the U.S. election.

Think that's outrageous? CNN's obfuscator-in-chief Eason Jordan thinks you're outrageous. How dare you challenge CNN's integrity.
Mariela Ferretti, spokeswoman for the anti-Castro Cuban American National Foundation, based in Miami, says that Castro's approval of CNN's entry is a positive step, but thinks precedent doesn't bode well for objective reporting from the island: she believes CNN's pre-bureau coverage of Cuba "stinks."

CNN's Jordan finds such worries "outrageous." He says Castro has promised CNN unconditional access, and that the network - with twenty-one international bureaus from Nairobi [to Baghdad] to Jakarta and a reach into 180 million homes worldwide - will uphold its high journalistic standards.

In fact, CNN actually used criticism of their pre-bureau coverage as the very reason they needed to have a bureau in Havana:
Ros-Lehtinen said the two legislators criticized CNN’s past Cuba coverage for being ``liberally partial to [President] Fidel Castro.’’ CNN reports ``exaggerate the [Cuban] government’s cosmetic reforms . . . never tell about political prisoners, and ignore dissidents,’’ she said.

Johnson defended CNN but said that more could be done.

``I categorically reject the notion that we are soft in our reporting, but there are many stories about Cuba that need to be covered and that’s why we hope to have a permanent bureau there,’’ he said

So what was the result? Here's some examples from their record covering March 1997 to March 1992:

CNN practically ignored Cuba’s lack of democracy, a topic that was featured in only four stories (or just under two percent). One of those reports, in January 1998, consisted of Lucia Newman trumpeting Cuba’s rigged election as superior to those in the U.S. because they have “no dubious campaign spending” and “no mud slinging.”

Much of CNN’s Cuba coverage focused on the tiniest slices of everyday life, which created the sense that Cuba was basically a normal country, not one in the grip of a dictatorship’s secret security apparatus. Instead of focusing on the regime’s human rights abuses, CNN showed Cubans waiting for ice cream cones, profiled a promising young ballerina, and interviewed a 94-year old guitar player.

On CNN, Castro was treated more as a celebrity than a tyrant. Rather than revealing the dirty secrets of his dictatorship to the world, CNN reported on Castro’s 73rd birthday celebrations and, in February 2000, featured the dictator’s office in the “Cool Digs” segment of CNN’s Newsstand.

Surprised about the last one? You shouldn't be. The American Left is so absolutely smitten with Fidel Castro that Richard Cohen can't even stand it. He tells it strait in the spirit of Michael Kelly.

If the valiant Michael Kelly had not been killed in Iraq, he surely would have returned to whacking liberals and liberalism in his newspaper column. . .

I talked with someone who had just visited Castro as part of a Hollywood contingent. I had to listen once again to how erudite the Cuban dictator is and how, of course, he has established a first-class health system. No doubt Castro has read his Gabriel Garcia Marquez and no doubt he cares about medical treatment. But he also runs a regime a shade worse than China's, according to Freedom House.

If my Hollywood friend was some sort of aberration, I would not have given him a second thought. But he is fairly typical of many American liberals. They seem to think that any regime targeted by the United States is, ipso facto, an innocent victim. Some of that sentiment once attached to the Soviet Union -- remember how the Cold War was the fault of an insensitive America? -- and more recently to Saddam Hussein and Iraq. From some of what was said from the left, you would think that the current war is really about oil or imperialism or revenge -- and not for a moment about the sort of regime Hussein runs.

. . .when [Michael Kelly] roundhoused the left for something like its soft spot for certain tyrants. He was on to something -- and it is something that liberals will have to deal with, or else be dealt out of the game entirely.

Expect the latter. There is no way liberals will abandon their Dalai Lama of Havana. If you want the truth, you'll have to get it from the latest State Dept report via alternative media: Cuba a Communist Hellhole, State Department Reveals
Posted by Chris Regan at 12:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Funny, they didn't invite the party most aggrieved by Euro-stupidity--namely, the US--to its upcoming summit in Greece. Greece, by the way, holds the EU's rotating presidency--an unelected post that skips from country to country like clockwork. The more I learn about the EU, the more I understand Monty Python's target in The Holy Grail:

Arthur: How do you do, good lady. I am Arthur, king of the Britons. Whose castle is that?

Woman: King of the 'oo?

Arthur: King of the Britons.

Woman: 'Oo are the Britons?

Arthur: Well we all are! We are all Britons! And I am your king.

Woman: I didn't know we 'ad a king! I thought we were autonomous collective.

Man: (mad) You're fooling yourself! We're living in a dictatorship! A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes--

Woman: There you go, bringing class into it again...

Man: That's what it's all about! If only people would--

Arthur: Please, *please*, good people, I am in haste! WHO lives in that castle?

Woman: No one lives there.

Arthur: Then who is your lord?

Woman: We don't have a lord!

Arthur: (spurised) What??

Man: I *told* you! We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune! We're taking turns to act as a sort of executive-officer-for-the-week--

Arthur: (uninterested) Yes...

Man: But all the decisions *of* that officer 'ave to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting--

Arthur: (perturbed) Yes I see!

Man: By a simple majority, in the case of purely internal affairs--

Arthur: (mad) Be quiet!

Man: But by a two-thirds majority, in the case of more major--

Arthur: (very angry) BE QUIET! I *order* you to be quiet!

Woman: "Order", eh, 'oo does 'e think 'e is?

Arthur: I am your king!

Woman: Well I didn't vote for you!

Let's hope the Brits maintain their skepticism of Europe's autonamous collective.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


From 1994 to 2002, North Korea said one thing but did another. It signed a deal between itself, the US, South Korea and Japan, promising to halt its nuclear weapons program in exchange for fuel, food and technology. But it renegged on that deal, re-starting its weapons program sometime between 1994 and 1998. It launched missiles over Japan, threatened war on a regular basis, and continued its policy of belittling the South Korean government in an effort to delegitimize it.

The Bush administration came into power in January 2001, reviewed standing US North Korean policy, and change little. But it kept an eye on reports that North Korea's nuclear program was back up and running. Some of those reports were fresh, others came during the administration's transition into power. In other words, the Clinton administration which had signed on to the Jimmy Carter deal to end North Korea's nuclear program had information that that very program was continuing unabated.

In January 2002, President Bush included North Korea in an "axis of evil"--states that possess or are developing weapons of mass destruction, and have ties to terrorist groups, and have the desire to threaten world peace. In October 2002, Bush administration officials confronted North Korea with irrefutable evidence that Pyongyang was in violation of its agreement not to develop nuclear weapons, and North Korea admitted its cheating. Months of bellicose rhetoric from North Korea followed, along with demands that the issue be settled in bilateral talks between North Korea and Washington. Essentially North Korea hoped to corner the US into giving up more aid, and belittle the South at the same time. Bilateral talks were a strategic gambit aimed at creating fissures in the US-ROK-Japan alliance. South Korea fell for it. Japan stayed neutral. Bush's critics in the US bought the North Korean strategem hook, line and sinker. But the Bush team apparently saw through it.

The Bush administration repeatedly denied this request for bilateral talks, much to the bewilderment and consternation of its domestic critics, who wanted it to enter back into the 1994 deal--a deal that had already failed. These critics warned that the Bush administration was mishandling the situation, and would likely end up causing war in Korea. Notably, though these critics cited North Korea's evil and mendacity, they never seemed to take into account that its demands couldn't and shouldn't be met if the US truly sought peace. They never saw the strategy behind Kim Jong-Il's apparently innocuous request for bilateral talks. The critics wanted the Bush team to do what the Clinton team had done in 1994--appease North Korea in the form of trinkets. They just wanted to make it all go away, presumably so they could resume talking about pill giveaways as though that were the most important issue on earth.

South Korea, long engaged in its "sunshine policy" that essentially denied problems existed, distanced itself from the US position, triangulating the peninsula to the point that the US and North Korea became the direct belligerents and the South became the mediator. That was an illogical and untenable policy, as the Korean War and subsequent non-peace stemmed from the North's invasion of the South in 1950; the US was merely present to keep the North from invading again. The US critics continued to carp, and insist that the Bush administration return to the 1994 deal, or at least hold bilateral talks with the North.

The Bush administration stood firm: No bilateral talks. North Korea's nuclear program is a regional problem, and should be dealt with in a way that includes all of the region's major players. Where are we today?

Japan is launching its own spy satellites, so that it can monitor North Korean missile tests. It's not re-arming yet, but is moving to elevate its self-defense forces to cabinet status, a pre-cursor move before upgrading its military to include pre-emptive and offensive capabilities. A stronger, more vigorously engaged Japan is a good thing for the US, and the region. US-Japanese relations have seldom been closer, or more a matter of mutual trust in the area of common defense, than they are today.

South Korea, emerging from its collaborationist "sunshine policy," sent troops to Iraq and is now fully in the US camp in the peninsula's nuclear dialogue. Former President Kim Dae-Jung, leader of the "sunshine policy," is under investigation for funneling $500 million to Kim Jong-Il. No longer in triangulation mode, South Korea favors multilateral talks to end the nuclear standoff.

China has recently engaged in the attention-getting move of briefly cutting off North Korea's fuel supply. North Korea gets between 70 and 80 percent of its fuel from China. China yanked the chain on its vicious pet's collar, and may do so again if Kim continues to act up. China may be an upstart on the world stage, and it may be unhappy with the US triumph in Iraq, but it knows that a nuclear North Korea could bring American troops its doorstep, and that would be a bad thing for China. So it may yet cooperate more fully to help disarm Kim.

And now, North Korea is softening its stance on bilateral talks with the US regarding its illegal nuclear program. Pyongyang is hinting that multilateral talks are possible, the first time it has said so in about a year.

No war, yet, but a softening of rhetoric. Multilateral talks are possible, and regional players are aligning more solidly with the US.

Where are Bush's accusers now? Still insisting that he's mishandling North Korea?

UPDATE: More evidence that the South Koreans "get" the war in Iraq, the war on terror, and its connection to North Korea quite well--and better than US Democrats.

Seoul's national security adviser Ra Jong-yil was quoted by South Korea's Yonhap news agency as saying North Korea seemed to be adopting a more flexible attitude.

"It appears that the war in Iraq set an important precedent in determining the geopolitical landscape," he added.

Pyongyang's change of tone came within three days of the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad - a development North Korea has yet to comment on.

It's a cliche, but actions do speak louder than words--our actions, and North Korea's.

UPDATE: Rich Lowry has a quick rundown of the prominent Dems who, in calling North Korea wrong, essentially look Kim Jong-Il's side against the Bush stance.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Remember Information Minister Mohammed Said al-Sahhaf? Hilariously wrong and defiant on-air as Baghdad fell, the Saddamite henchman had a violent response to a Jordanian journalist:

AMMAN, Jordan, April 14 (UPI) -- A Jordanian journalist said Monday that Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Said al-Sahhaf threatened to cut off his hands over a report on the advance of U.S. forces on Baghdad.

Majed Abdel Hadi, a correspondent for the Qatari al-Jazeera television, told United Press International that al-Sahhaf, who has vanished since American troops entered Baghdad last week, stormed the channel's offices in Baghdad and threatened to cut off his hands and dump him in the desert if he kept on reporting that the U.S. forces were approaching the Iraqi capital.

Abdel Hadi said al-Sahhaf "accused me of being a U.S. agent and asked me to deny the content of my reports."

Abdel Hadi arrived in Amman a few days ago with the body of his colleague Tarek Ayyoub who was killed last Tuesday during the U.S. bombing of al-Jazeera office in Baghdad.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack