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Friday, October 13, 2006
 
Meanwhile,
Staff Sgt. Daniel Isshak
Lance Cpl. Edward M. Garvin
Cpl. Benjamin S. Rosales
Cpl. Fernando D. Robinson
Staff Sgt. James D. Ellis
Spc. Raymond S. Armijo
Spc. Justin R. Jarrett
Spc. Kristofer C. Walker
Pfc. Dean R. Bright
Spc. Timothy R. Burke
Staff Sgt. Christopher O. Moudry
Spc. George R. Obourn Jr
Cpl. Carl W. Johnson II
Cpl. Nicholas A. Arvanitis
Pfc. Shane R. Austin
Sgt. Lawrence L. Parrish
Spec. John E. Wood
Sgt. Brandon S. Asbury
Spec. Timothy A. Fulkerson
Pfc. Phillip B. Williams
Sgt. Julian M. Arechaga
Lance Cpl. Jon E. Bowman
Pfc. Shelby J. Feniello
Lance Cpl. John E. Hale
Lance Cpl. Stephen F. Johnson
Cpl. Bradford H. Payne
Lance Cpl. Derek W. Jones
Lance Cpl. Jeremy S. Sandvick Monroe
Capt. Robert M. Secher
 
Thursday, October 12, 2006
 
"It's not appeasement to talk to your enemies."
That recent quote from James Baker is included in this essay by Jimmy Carter, who has more brains in his little finger than the last three Republican administrations combined.
 
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
 
Treason
Adam Yahiye Gadahn is a total asshat who could no doubt be charged with a few crimes related to terrorist activity, but is he a traitor? Ponder the meaning of Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution and consider the following list of every single person ever convicted of treason (and not overturned on appeal) in the entire history of the United States (excerpted from Wikipedia):
  1. John Brown
  2. Iva Toguri D'Aquino, "Tokyo Rose"
  3. Governor Thomas Dorr
  4. Mildred Gillars, "Axis Sally"
  5. Hans Max Haupt
  6. Tomoya Kawakita
  7. Two unnamed Whiskey Rebellion participants

That's it. The whole list. And the Bush Justice Department wants to add Adam Fucknut Gadahn, with a million dollar bounty on his head for his appearance in al Qaeda's "We're Gonna Kill You Suckers" video series. Are you scared enough to vote Republican, yet?

 
 
Compare and Contrast
In the run up to the Iraq invasion, the Bush administration was very concerned about Saddam's nuclear program. Not only that, but Iraq reputedly had the means to deliver WMD to the shores of the US.

Do you recall what North Korea was doing during this time?
 
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
 
Holy poop.
I really want this to be totally wrong. But if it's not, that would be like, two hundred twenty-five 9/11 attacks. Have I mentioned that the Iraqis didn't have anything to do with that?
 
 
Oh, by the way...
There isn't much doubt that the GOP House leadership spent more time worrying about the political consequences of Foley's behavior than about the pages that he was harassing. There isn't much doubt that North Korea is a dangerously unpredictable country that possesses nuclear material, even if they can't quite get it to properly explode. These things have occupied quite a bit of front page real estate and evening news time slots for the last few days.

The good news is that the American public appears to be wising up as to who is responsible for these messes (hint: not Clinton). The bad news is the disappearance of the massive, crushing, central failure of this Administration and its congressional enablers from the front pages. One of the curious phenomena of our media-driven America is that if it isn't in the paper or on the news, then it didn't happen.

Iraq is a long-term event; it doesn't fit into the 24 hour news cycle that we have adapted our attention spans to. The ongoing and slowly increasing carnage that occurs there every single day is no longer enough to merit special mention by the Commercial Media, but make no mistake; in spite of Saddam's murderous habits, these people would not be dying if we had acted more responsibly. At the current rate, ordinary Iraqi moms, dads and kids are dying in numbers that equal our 9/11 death toll every 45 days.

The people of the United States are giving Iraqi citizens, people who had nothing to do with the attacks on our country, the equivalent of eight 9/11's every year. People who don't surf for news on the internet won't be able to tell you how many died in Iraq yesterday, although they can no doubt tell you that Foley is a perv and North Korea is bad. It's nice that NBC has a blog where you can get a feel for the unbelievable horror show that Iraq has become, but how many Americans read blogs buried deep inside Commercial News sites? (Answer: Not many.) We bear a huge and terrible national responsibility for this, and it should be at the forefront of our collective consciousness every single day.

But those who control our national dialog have other ideas.
 
Monday, October 09, 2006
 
Fizzle?
Maybe. There are some interesting comments further down.
 
 
Here it comes
As soon as the President said that the US was "committed to diplomacy" in his speech this morning, you knew what would happen. The rationale for this will be that there's no time to lose. From the standpoint of nuclear weapons research and development that would be nonsense, but from the standpoint of the Bush administration, it's absolutely true.

For these guys, there's no time to lose, and no options left.
 
 
Let's talk nukes.
It now appears that the Bush administration has their figurative mushroom cloud just in time for the fall elections. So far, all of the statements regarding the event have been predictable. Bush is threatening. Everyone else is condemning. North Korea is trumpeting amazing success.

Yawn.

Without getting into possibly classified details about how these things work and their physical characteristics, let me make the following points:


The DPRK is stirring the pot, nothing more. They have had all of this material since the US pulled out of the Agreed Framework. Their device has probably been complete for some time. I can think of only two scenarios where the insane leadership of the DPRK could convert this development into a serious threat:


Based on the degree of scrutiny that they will be subjected to as a result of their success, I think it very unlikely that they will be able to do either one of these things. China and Russia have both been embarrassed by this; they won't permit this thing to cross their borders. The only way to transport it is by sea. We have the technology and the seapower to detect and prevent that; all it will take is a minimal level of competence from the administration to set up the program.

Um, maybe we have something to worry about, after all.
 
Sunday, October 08, 2006
 
Told you so.
It's hard to figure out who's egging who on when two irrational regimes, desperate to hold onto power are throwing feces at each other.
 
 
North Korea
Once upon a time, all of North Korea's plutonium laden, spent fuel rods were safely locked away under IAEA seal . That was negotiated under the "Agreed Framework" during the Clinton administration. The tradeoff was that we would help them build light-water reactors for power, which would be quite unsuitable for clandestine weapons programs.

Upon taking office, Bush administration immediately began to pursue a policy of confrontation with the North Koreans, culminating in the collapse of the Agreed Framework after we "discovered" that they were attempting to start a secret uranium enrichment project. Keep in mind that a production scale uranium enrichment operation is a huge undertaking which is impossible to hide and takes many years just to ramp up. There was time to negotiate, to attempt to salvage some of the protections of the Clinton era; but no.

The Bush administration immediatley shut down talks, stopped the reactor projects and withdrew aid. The North Koreans predictably removed the seals from their fuel rods, extracted the plutonium and by most estimates, now have at least several nuclear weapons which are likely to work. Good job, Bush administration.

Now, it is 30 days before a US election that the GOP is likely to lose on a national level and the North Koreans have announced that they would be willing to forgo their first nuclear weapons test, but only if the US is willing to "talk". This is the October Surprise that Karl Rove promised the GOP faithful last month. Keep in mind that everything is political in this administration. Everything. World safety and stability are not part of the equation for these people.

Will they negotiate with the North Koreans and trumpet success in reaching a new Agreed Framework? Or will they rebuff them with strident rhetoric and egg them on to their test, producing a lovely mushroom cloud to use in GOP campaign ads for the last week before the election?

You know what they'll do.
 
Shouting into the closet to inform and entertain the 10 people who actually read this thing. In our new format as an online magazine, we take pride in our reporting and opinions. Please leave reader feedback on our online magazine message board so that we can better serve you.

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz

Cost of the War in Iraq
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