Celebrity dating advice from Sekimori.
You know we’re living in interesting times when even the Wall Street Journal is questioning the sanctity of NATO. An unsigned editorial says that
This may seem a radical thought, but it is certainly warranted by the astonishing recent behavior of nations thought to be U.S. allies. Three countries–France, Germany and their mini-me minion, Belgium–have moved from opposition to U.S. policy toward Iraq into formal, and consequential, obstructionism. If this is what the U.S. gets from NATO, maybe it’s time America considered leaving this Cold War institution and re-forming an alliance of nations that understand the new threats to world order.
During the bad old days of the Cold War, it was, I think, Kissinger’s formula to “accept any economic price, no matter how large, to get any political advantage, no matter how small.” Well, now Germany and France are determined to impose political costs no us, with no discernable financial, military, or political gain to be seen.
I suppose that leaves us with the question of how to punish them in return.
It seems somehow unfair to our better NATO allies to leave the alliance, but there is an alternative: A new alliance that would officially sit alongside NATO, but in practice would render NATO as useful as a buggy whip for a hydrogen car.
Sign up Italy and Spain and Lithuania and the rest of the Gangs of Eight and Ten. Hell, get Israel, Australia, and India on board, too. The new threat is global — not the simple, parochial interest of protecting Germany from. . . um, from whom are we protecting Germany?
Exactly. Don’t withdraw from NATO, don’t give Germany and France the satisfaction of having forced us to bolt “their” alliance. Just let it — and them –wither on the vine.
Wanna blow off some steam at the French? Or even — gasp! — add something thoughtful? Winds of Change has just the forum.
The web is a wonderful place. From out of the blue, I received an email from Tatiana of the Russian Beauty Blog
It’s late, but here it is
NOTE: The “Liberals for Liberation” will have to wait. I’m short on time and submissions are still coming in.
This one is a personal fave that I stole and combined from my mother-in-law and The Steak Lover’s Cookbook.
Steak Au Poivre Made Easy
2 filets mignons, cut not too thick.
A tablespoon or more of coarsely crushed black peppercorns (although green ones are tasty, too, just not strictly classic).
1 tablespoon unsalted butter.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
A pinch or two of salt.
3 tablespoons of cheap Cognac.
1/3 cup crComments Off
Here’s what’s wrong with too much of the organized gay victimhood movement, from a press release International Gay and Lesbian Human Right Commission:
Our position is guided by our sense of solidarity with and accountability to the activists we work with all over the world, and especially those in regions which are greatly impacted by US foreign policies. The US policies of military aggression have served to render those who deviate from sexual and gender norms and people living with HIV/AIDS especially vulnerable to state-sanctioned violence and discrimination.
I don’t mean to say that gays haven’t suffered in this country. But there’s also no denying how far we’ve come, when Will & Grace is a top ten primetime show on a major network — without raising any alarm. In fact, gay bashing has become almost (but not quite) as unacceptable as admitting to be a racist.
Gay adoption, civil unions, and especially gay culture are all quickly becoming social norms. Even our born-again President speaks of HIV/AIDS as a medical and political tragedy, rather than as the wrath of God. Perfect? No. Getting there? Goddamn right.
Now comes along a gay “human rights commission,” in support of Iraq, the Taliban, and, if they play according to type (lefty type, not gay type), Cuba, as well. Perhaps they’re “self-loathing fags” (an expression borrowed from a gay friend on mine way back when) enough to perfer Fidel’s concentration camps for the HIV-afflicted, or to have stone walls toppled on them in Taliban-era Afghanistan. Maybe Saddam is a staunch supporter of gay rights, but he sure hasn’t shown any respect for any other civil liberties.
If you’re gay, be proud. And stop supporting those who arrest, imprison, torture, and murder your brothers and sisters overseas.
Don’t forget, I’m asking readers and bloggers alike to out themselves as “Liberals for Liberation.”
I’ll post results tonight, so don’t forget to leave a comment or send an email.
Nick Kristof thinks that after twelve years of failure, it’s about damn time to give containment a chance to work in Iraq.
Daniel Henninger says that our reaction to Saturday
Fred Barnes looks at how the Democratic Presidential field is shaping up for next year
The latest news from North Korea isn’t, depsite what you may read, anything much out of the ordinary. Here’s the lede from the Guardian:
“I wouldn’t label it a crisis,” the deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage told the United States Senate when he was being interrogated over the nuclear showdown with North Korea. It was more of a “big problem”, he said.
However careful the Bush administration is with words, it clear that its North Korea problem is getting bigger by the day, and they are well aware that Pyongyang is raising the temperature with every degree Washington turns up the heat on Baghdad.
A typical North Korean “negotiating” tactic is to threaten all kinds of unholy war if we don’t do as they say. Then they ratchet it down a little and the talks begin.
There’s just one eentsy leetle problem: This time, the Dear Leader thinks we’ll be playing for keeps with Pyongyang, just as we’re now (at long last) playing for keeps with Baghdad. So what is to be done with a madman with the power to level much of our ally South Korea’s capital — home to ten-plus million people — in minutes or hours?
First off, keep’em talking, or even shouting and threatening and blustering. As long as they’re doing those things, they aren’t raining down artillery shells on Seoul. If we can do that long enough, eventually the regime should collapse under its own weight, and the South Koreans have a large and effective enough army to deal with the aftermath.
If that fails? We won’t start a war there, I don’t think. Or at least not a real shooting war. If the Dear Leader builds more nukes, we might just have to live with them. If he starts to sell them, a US naval blockade, combined with a Chinese land blockade (they have no interest in a nuclear-armed and -exporting DPRK) should prove an effective quarrantine short of real war.
(Something that would be far less effective against Iraq, with large stretches of desert border.)
But even a power vacuum in the North would be a human and financial disaster. Imagine if Mexico and Canada were starving, literally starving to death, and the world handed both countries to us to deal with — that’s the case the South will be facing in case of a “successful” peace.
So don’t worry too much about the hype in the press — but don’t be much comforted by the alternatives, either.
With the endgame promised in
Jim Dunnigan, war gamer extraordinaire, compiles a list of the Top Ten Worst Things That Could Happen in the upcoming war.
Chemical and biological weapons strikes, another big terror strike at the US, a three-way civil war, Gotterdammerung in Baghdad, Saudi non-compliance, Iraqi civilian ingratitude, increased Palestinian terror, burning oil wells, Kurds & Turks at each other’s throats, and Iraqi guerrilla warfare.
The upshot of all of them? Saddam still frickin’ loses.
Patrick Ruffini has a fascinating essay on Eric Alterman and media bias. Here’s the bit that will interest bloggers the most:
Blogging allows us to almost completely transcend the trite media bias debate by acting as a check on the excesses of Big Media. I once read that the average op-ed columnist in the Washington Post could expect to garner about 5,000 sets of eyeballs for a typical column (although I’d certainly entertain leaked newspaper traffic stats that prove me wrong). Almost that many people read me when I first waded into the thicket of this debate, not counting those who read the Fox News column. And I’m just, well, Patrick Ruffini. Blogs and right-wing fora aren’t making the news conservative, but they are taking some wind out of Howell’s sails, which is more than we could have possibly expected when we first undertook this endeavor. Does this mean that the news will always tilt left, despite our most valiant efforts? No. Rather, the exploding multiplicity of voices has made the “media” so delightfully complex as to defy ideological categorization.
Read it all. I hate to keep sending you to other people’s essays today, but after this last week, I’m a bit spent.
Need further proof we’re some short weeks from war? Today marks Ralph Peters’ third column in a single week for the New York Post.
Oh, and the content is kinda killer, too. Read:
As an old intel hand, I recognize both the quality of the data Powell presented and the certainty that we hold even more incriminating information – gleaned through intelligence capabilities we cannot afford to compromise. The question isn’t whether Powell was convincing, but whether the last obstructionist countries are willing to be convinced by even the strongest evidence.
Powell’s performance was flawless. His former reluctance to pursue a military solution gave him street cred with the world’s do-nothings. In rigorous detail, he described Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD), how they are produced, how they would be delivered, how great a threat they pose and how we know what Saddam is doing to obstruct the U.N. inspectors.
And Powell made the terrorist connection. He underlined it with hard evidence, tying everything together.
From an intelligence officer’s perspective, it’s clear that internal debates over how much to reveal ended in compromise: Powell laid out enough evidence to convince the reason- able doubters, but avoided giving away the deep secrets we need for war. He convinced, but he didn’t squander.
It gets better, so read the whole thing.
Oh, if you’re unfamiliar with Peters, he a retired Army intelligence officer who spent most of his career in Europe, Central Aisa, and the Middle East. He’s walked the lands, speaks the languages, and knows just how rotten it all is. He’s written a few excellent novels, with The War in 2020 and Flames of Heaven as my personal faves.
The guy is good.
At NRO this morning, Jim Geraghty sums up the reactions of the Democratic Presidential candidates to Powell’s speech.
They’re all so carefully nuanced, all so artfully worded, all so damnably scripted in such a way to provide maximum meaninglessness and ass coverage, that not one of them — with the exception of Joe Lieberman — can be trusted yet with anything more vital to our nation’s security than an Amtrack food cart.
My rocket scientist friend Ed Lambert sent this to me this morning.
I just couldn’t resist.
UPDATE: The problem with stuff you find in your inbox is, you have no clue where it came from orginally. Thanks to another email, I’ve been informed it’s from Flashbunny — a place with lots of fun images just like this one
Yesterday’s quest to uncover all the “liberals for liberation” we can find continues today.
Add those comments, send those emails. You’ll all be linked and noted sometime before the weekend.
Other site-related news. I’d had this fantastically bitter and spiteful essay planned for today, but yesterday’s Open Letter pretty much sapped all my venom. Don’t worry — it refills quickly. Just a few more glances around the news today. . .
As expected, Virginia Postrel understands:
All intelligent discussion of the pros and cons of war is, in fact, about weighing risks. I recently had a conversation with a former Marine who said he supports war with Iraq not because he likes war but because he’s seen the museum at Hiroshima and doesn’t want his children to face nuclear terrorism. He suggested that “those bleeding hearts” might think differently if they’d seen what he has. But, of course, “those bleeding hearts” draw the opposite conclusion from the same evidence, concluding that since war it terrible it must be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately for that argument, avoiding war today may bring more terrible war tomorrow.
Read the whole thing.
There are, at last count, 37
Elsewhere on the Washington Post op-ed page, Richard Cohen and Mary McGrory were both persuaded by Powell