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    12 October 2006

    The Bush answer

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    [h/t CtB]

    Posted by Geoff

    Conservative: Bush and 'stay the course' is a result of cynicism

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    Why then does [the White House] insist on "staying the course" at a casualty[*] rate of more than one thousand Americans per month? The answer is breathtaking in its cynicism: so the retreat from Iraq happens on the next President's watch. That is why we still fight.

    Yep, it's now all about George. Anyone who thinks that is too low, too mean, too despicable even for this bunch does not understand the meaning of the adjective "Rovian." Would they let thousands more young Americans get killed or wounded just so George W. does not have to face the consequences of his own folly? In a heartbeat.

    Not that it’s going to help. When history finally lifts it leg on the Bush administration, it will wash all such tricks away, leaving only the hubris and the incompetence. Jeffrey Hart, who with Russell Kirk gone is probably the top intellectual in the conservative movement, has already written that George W. Bush is the worst President America ever had. I think the honor still belongs to the sainted Woodrow, but if Bush attacks Iran, he may yet earn the prize. That third and final act in the Bush tragicomedy is waiting in the wings. [link]
    * Casualty, not fatality for those of you not familiar with proper jargon.

    This is the work of William S. Lind, look him up.

    He spends the next paragraph bashing the Dems "vacuity" in foreign policy. I agree. There are volumes of progressive views and ideas just waiting for some Dem to publicly consider them. But I think the real reason that the Dems have remained mum on the topic of alternative plans is that it is politically expedient; and that makes me sick, it's on the short list of problems with democracy, everything has a timetable. In our case it's a two-year timetable.

    Rest assured that in the unlikely chance that Dems take either chamber next month, they will have plans. We've seen a variety of plans from this administration that you could drive a truck through. In truth, there is no perfect plan. So in Dem land they are thinking why give the Republicans ammo now? If they did they would find the holes and rip it to shreds. Instead the Dems will wait till after the election in hopes that the balance of power shifts enough to allow for an actual constructive debate on Iraq, Afghanistan, and -- more importantly -- the War on Terror. Not nonbinding resolutions and nationalism stoking rhetoric as we've gotten from the current Congress.

    A note to Democrats: This wave of support will not last forever. If you fail to put forth one or a combination of the many options available to you, but instead hope to blame the previous guy as cover, then your 'wave' will crash down upon you harder than it has on the Republicans. And you'll deserve it.

    I don’t think you’ll be this dense.

    Posted by Geoff

    11 October 2006

    North Korea: Success and Failure

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    "Failure" =1994-2002 -- Era of Clinton 'Agreed Framework': No plutonium production. All existing plutonium under international inspection. No bomb.

    "Success" = 2002-2006 -- Bush Policy Era: Active plutonium production. No international inspections of plutonium stocks. Nuclear warhead detonated.

    Well, we don't know if it was an actual nuke or not, but you get the idea.

    Posted by Geoff

    10 October 2006

    America: "Bush Knew"

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    Question: Do you think that George W. Bush personally knew before September 11th, 2001 about intelligence reports that warned of possible terrorist attacks against the United States using airplanes, or not?

    Answer in 2002: 41% thought he knew, 43% didn't.

    Answer now: 57% think he "[p]ersonally knew" and 33% haven't been reading the paper.

    Here is a brief post on what may have pushed this poll so far to the 'he knew' side.
    Posted by Geoff

    09 October 2006

    More thoughts on NK's 'nuke'

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    So was this a failed test?

    In the description below I noted that this was (estimated at) a half-kiloton detonation. Now it wasn't an earthquake because the depth of the event (see image in link above, or this image) was at the surface. There are no volcanoes in the area so this was, in all likelihood, a manmade detonation.

    Initially I worried about the size of the device which must have been quite small. Think of the bombs we used on Japan. The resultant force of NK's device was something like 1/24 the size of those primitive devices, in terms of yield. So you can see with modern innovation, these could be used in conventional warheads, perhaps, or in a suitcase bomb. Frightening.

    However, this could have been a device thought to be capable of typical yields, our first five successful detonations were in the range 15-25 kilotons I think. Our madness in the Cold War brought us up to around 15 megatons and the Russians to ~45 megatons I believe. (We humans are nuts). In those days we were breaking new ground, and the deterrence factor weighed into our calculations heavily. We wanted the Russians to feel our new power. Now that nuclear fission is a basic, easily replicated phenomenon, the deterrence factor has all but gone away. So maybe this was meant to be small for test purposes. But somewhere in the fission process, could the North Korean nuke have failed? This will certainly be used as the MO for our foreign policy geniuses; it allows them not to acknowledge NK as a nuclear state, which is the stated plan in the event that NK does go nuclear. And they may be right, at this point

    Posted by Geoff

    N Korea joins nuclear block; time to attack Iran?

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    That would be the logical conclusion… using Bush logic.

    Today North Korea announced that it had detonated a half-kiloton nuclear device underground. So far I've read that South Korea and Australia have observed seismic activity in the upper Northeastern region of North Korea in the same area that Pyongyang claims the test was carried out. If one is to trust my little seismic widget (see pic below) and assume its getting its info from the US Geological survey - or whatever - then it's safe to assume we've seen/felt the detonation as well.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    [UPDATE] US confirms.

    Now assuming the reports are true, the logical conclusion from Bush country is to attack the lesser threat; at this point Iran. Using the fact that after we designated Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as the axis of evil, we then proceeded to attack the country that possessed the lesser threat to the US and little to any of our regional allies (even if you believed the WMD sham or eminent threat BS). Now North Korea may have nuclear capabilities, Iran does not. Bush Doctrine 101: Attack Iran.

    Watch out Tehran, get ready for a dose of democratic reform, American style!

    OK, snarks aside... this is bad news for East Asia.

    Posted by Geoff


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