Belmont Club

Today's news

Reset: Foreign Policy writes that President Obama made numerous concessions to Russia at the start of his term in the belief that they would be matched by the Kremlin. He was wrong. “In return for these concessions, the White House wagered that the Kremlin would cooperate more closely on efforts to halt Iran’s steady march to nuclear weapons capability, and other key challenges to U.S. foreign policy. Recent developments, however, suggest that the U.S.-Russian reset is, on balance, failing.” This, as anti-Putin demonstrations break out in Moscow.

Downed drone reflects US belief in covert action vs Iran: “The administration’s evolving strategy includes expanded use of remote-controlled stealth aircraft, such as the one that came down in eastern Iran last week, as well as other covert efforts targeting Iran’s nuclear program, according to U.S. government officials and Western diplomats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence-gathering efforts. … suggests deepening pessimism about the prospects for a dialogue with Iran’s leaders, the officials say.”

Lax Americana: Lee Smith argues that nobody in either party is willing to openly stop Iran from getting the bomb. That probably leaves covert action as the sole remaining alternative. But don’t worry. It can’t spin out of control because the covert war will be dutifully reported on the Washington Post.

Saudi Arabia may seek nuclear weapons: The NYT reports that Prince “Turki al-Faisal, who has served as the Saudi intelligence chief and as ambassador to the United States” has said the kingdom might consider producing nuclear weapons ‘if it found itself between atomic arsenals in Iran and Israel’. “It also reflected the hardening views among the Persian Gulf’s Arab states that they must rely on themselves — and not just on Western protection — as tensions with Iran grow worse.” Related search: From Global Zero to Global Many.

Pakistani President Only Had a Heart Episode:
President Zadari’s departure from Pakistan was caused by health problems, not a coup as some rumors have suggested. He will be back after treatment abroad. There is other good news. He is not having mental issues and is only in need of a speech coach.

But Zardari’s health issues were not the reason he sounded “incoherent” during his weekend phone call with U.S. President Barack Obama, as The Cable reported Tuesday, according to the advisor – rather, Zardari’s use of language, his words choices, and his accent made him difficult for Obama to understand.

“It was more of a syntax problem than an incoherence problem,” the advisor said.

Closing in on the “Lord’s Resistance Army”: “U.S. President Barack Obama in October sent 100 special forces soldiers to help Uganda track down LRA chief and international fugitive Joseph Kony, who has wreaked havoc over four nations for more than two decades … ‘They (U.S. troops) are there, and they are setting up their bases,’ said Ugandan army spokesman Felix Kulayigye.”

Which President?: The National Review says President Obama is now Teddy Roosevelt. Prior to that he has likened himself to the new Reagan, new Lincoln, new FDR, the new Wilson and last, but not least, the new “go get ’em Harry” Truman. The Review unhappily says:

This is all pretty pathetic. What we have here is an adolescent president in desperate search of an adult identity of his own, without which he borrows liberally from others, often oddly from Republicans or conservatives.

The National Review fails to consider that he may sincerely believe that he is all of them. His supporters have long described him as an ‘eclectic’ individual and at other times a ‘transcendent’ figure. Why can’t he be all of them?

Among the Greats

Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $3.99, print $9.99
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