There Are Those…

…who are criticizing Bill Clinton for his recent mission to free two hostages from North Korea. I am most emphatically not one of them. Instead, my reaction is, “Thank God”. You done good this time, Bill…you done good…

Sorry For The Long Break…

It can kill a blog to go dark for extended periods, so forgive my considerable absence.  It signifies nothing more than a need for a break – but perhaps I should have at least delivered a head’s-up. The three big stories for me right now are the Sotomayor nomination, the pending GM bankruptcy, and the [...]

What’s The Rush?

Looks like SOMEBODY’s got a guilty conscience: New commercial satellite photos show that a Syrian site believed to have been attacked by Israel last month no longer bears any obvious traces of what some analysts said appeared to have been a partly built nuclear reactor. Two photos, taken Wednesday from space by rival companies, show [...]

The Syrian Target Was A Nuclear Reactor

I think we can finally lay this one to rest.  The NY Times becomes the latest media outlet to add to what by now appears to be all but official: Syria was seeking a nuclear program, backed by North Korea. Israel’s air attack on Syria last month was directed against a site that Israeli and [...]

A Welcome Sign…If You Read Between The Lines

Why is further confirmation from ABC News that the Israeli air strike on Syria was against a nuclear facility good news?  First, the excerpt: The September Israeli airstrike on a suspected nuclear site in Syria had been in the works for months, ABC News has learned, and was delayed only at the strong urging of [...]

A Message To Iran

This is the third posting I’ve done on the Israeli raid on Syria, and given my reduced blogging load, that’s quite a bit, but the story has the potential to be the biggest story of the year. I use the phrase ‘has the potential’ with all deliberateness, because it’s easy to go overboard on these [...]

Israel’s Raid On Syria Becoming Less Mysterious

A number of new articles have shed light on Israel’s air raid on Syria on September 6th, and it is becoming more and more probable that it was related to nuclear trade between Syria and North Korea: Israel’s decision to attack Syria on Sept. 6, bombing a suspected nuclear site set up in apparent collaboration [...]

Egads – Am I A Conspiracy Theorist, Too?

I sure hope not – nothing bothers me more than the ability of conspiracy theorists (exhibit A: 9/11 ‘Truthers’) to grab hold of every little scrap that suits their premises, and ignore the mountains of evidence that don’t – but in this case, there is precious little evidence either way.  I’m talking about that mysterious [...]

On The Other Hand…

Friday, perhaps because I was in an exuberant mood with the onset of the weekend, I wrote with undisguised joy at the news that North Korea was about to shut down its plutonium-producing reactor. It’s true that I put in the standard caveats that one must include when dealing with a habitual deal breaker like [...]

A Massive Diplomatic Victory – And A Huge Win For All Mankind

North Korea is notorious for reneging on agreements, but if this sticks, it’s one of the biggest triumphs of the Bush Administration: Pyongyang and Washington have agreed on a three-week timeframe for shutting down the North’s plutonium-producing reactor, a top U.S. nuclear envoy said Saturday after returning from a rare visit to the reclusive state. [...]

How To Tackle Iran?

It’s clear to even the most blinkered multilateralists that Iran has no intention whatsoever of complying with the UN’s ‘mandate’ that it give up its nuclear weapons program – oh, I’m sorry, peaceful uranium enrichment program.  What can we do about it, particulary with Russia throwing up roadblocks everywhere? Here’s David Ignatius in the Washington [...]

More Signs Of Hope From Pyongyang

This is good news: North Korea appears ready to abandon the source of its weapons-grade plutonium but there is a still a long way to go before Pyongyang scraps its entire nuclear arms program, a top South Korean nuclear envoy said on Friday. In a breakthrough deal, impoverished North Korea agreed earlier this month at [...]

As Predictable As Sunrise

It didn’t take a genius to see that Russia and the E.U. would be falling all over themselves to find ways to weasel out of the Palestinian boycott, despite the fact that the unity government still doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist, a supposed precondition to such a lifting: Fractures between the United States and Europe [...]

On The Lighter Side

That Kim Jong-Il is one bad mother – particularly on the golf course: North Korea’s official media has said flowers come into bloom when he appears and rainbows fill the sky on his birthday. He is, it is said, a man who pilots jet fighters — even though he travels by land for his infrequent [...]

Inside The North Korea Deal

Micheal Hirsh reports that the deal is a sign of the declining influence of the hardliners: The agreement announced today represents a major change in attitude that goes beyond North Korea. The most evident sign is that the accord, under which Pyongyang will immediately get 50 tons of emergency fuel oil with nearly a million [...]

More On The North Korean Settlement

As telegraphed yesterday, an agreement was reached with North Korea, one of potentially historic significance.  Some details: North Korea agreed Tuesday after arduous talks to shut down its main nuclear reactor and eventually dismantle its atomic weapons program, just four months after the communist state shocked the world by testing a nuclear bomb. The deal [...]

Breakthrough With North Korea?

It appears that the Bush Administration’s diplomacy is on the verge of a giant victory (and a much-needed shot in the arm): Negotiators reached a draft agreement early this morning on a deal to begin disarming North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, the chief American negotiator to the talks said. “We feel it’s an excellent draft,” [...]

The News Is All Bad, So Cheer Up

Here’s Francis Fukuyama in the Los Angeles Times: IT IS EASY TO GET very discouraged when surveying the state of the world. Few Americans need to be reminded about the chaos in Iraq, Iran’s ambitions as a regional and potentially nuclear power or the possibility of Sunni-Shiite conflict spreading throughout the Persian Gulf. But there’s [...]

Rumors, Rumors, We Got Your North Korean Rumors

The Dear Leader under house arrest? A tantalizing rumor swept though the thin ranks of North Korea watchers in Asia and America a few days ago, speculating that the “Dear Leader” in Pyongyang, Kim Jong Il, had been placed under house arrest by disgruntled military officers. The rumor was quickly denied in Seoul, Tokyo, and [...]

Upping The Ante

Those who are opposed to the surge are not going to like this: The Bush administration has authorized the U.S. military to kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq as part of an aggressive new strategy to weaken Tehran’s influence across the Middle East and compel it to give up its nuclear program, according to [...]