October 2004

2004 10 31
Russia and Sudan


Passion of the Present calls “bullshit” on Putin:

“Vladmir Putin has signed a decree banning the sale of all weapons to non-government bodies in Sudan, including the Janjaweed armed groups that have been accused by the international community of genocide in the southern province of Darfur.”

Now again, let’s get real. The problem is not that Russia sells small arms to Janjaweed–the problem is that Russia sells MIG jets and heavy arms as well as light to the Sudanese government, who in turn loans and gives them to the Janjaweed–who are in fact “itself” and based on its regular popular militia.

By making this announcement Putin looks like he is helping the crisis–when in fact he is doing nothing to help, and is continuing to keep as a client the genocidal governmenrt of Sudan.


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2004 10 30
Bush, Kerry and secrets


The invaluable Secrecy News contrasts Kerry and Bush on the issue of government secrecy. The whole thing is also below the fold:
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2004 10 30
bin Laden


As I said, I thought he was dead. Looks like I wasn’t the only one.


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2004 10 30
Silly Matthew Yglesias


Silly Matthew Yglesias thinks that the fact that OBL is still around to taunt Bush is a sign of weakness:

The most interesting thing about the Osama tape is the reference to My Pet Goat. That business was, even when Michael Moore did it, closer to being a joke than a serious argument. So now Osama’s cracking jokes at our expense. He’s not afraid, he’s not injured, he’s not on the run, he doesn’t worry that the courier that delivers his videotapes might betray him, or that the local government wherever he is is going to find him. He’s sitting — wounds healed, shura council reconstituted, ideological network growing — and he’s laughing at us.

Capturing OBL is not the be-all and end-all of the war on terrorism, but if you want to know what kind of weakness invites the wolves in for supper, then you saw it right there on video. A man plots and organizes the slaughter of thousands of Americans and three years later there he is, distributing his latest threats and boasts over a global satellite network. Laughing at us. At all of us. And all because the president couldn’t be bothered to nab him.

But we know that what Yglesias says is false because Republicans are almost by definition stronger on national defense. At least, that’s how they’ve defined themselves, and if there were anything objectionable in that I’m pretty sure the media would have called them on it by now.

Once we think about things this way, we can help ourselves to a theory with an incredible amount of explanatory power: It helps us understand why J.F.K. cravenly backed down over the Cuban missile crisis (after coming to power by foolishly assuring everyone that there was no gap in Soviet and American military capabilities); it explains why Johnson deescalated the conflict in Vietnam; why Reagan stood firm after the attacks in Lebanon; and so on and so forth. Finally, this powerful theory explains why Bush is not weak, even though if bin Laden were now taunting President Gore on a video a few days before the election, no one would be able to stop making comparisons to Jimmy Carter. And no one – absolutely no one – would imagine that he had any hope of reelection. Rightly so, too. Gore’s a democrat, and we know what they’re like: they’re weak.


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2004 10 30
Let me share a part of myself


Posted by in: Odds and ends

Some bloggers let you know what’s on their mind. And then every once in a while a blogger will let you know what’s in his head.


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2004 10 30
NYC Jazz


Posted by in: Music

Dean Bowman will be at the 55 Bar this weekend. He’s really worth seeing. Fantastic voice. Details below the fold.
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2004 10 29
It’s On


AP:Kerry Pledges to ‘Destroy’ Bin Laden.

Oy.


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2004 10 29
Bin Laden returns


Coulda sworn the guy was dead. Guess not. What I would like to know is whether anything in the tape dates it properly. If I was in AQ, I would have prerecorded a bunch of such messages just in case bin Laden died, on the off chance they’d come in handy.


Howls of outrage (5)

2004 10 29
See?


Go below the fold to see a map of the US with the size of states distorted so as to represent their electoral college significance. The picture is part of a “meta-analysis” of how things stand electorally right now–an analysis I’ve got no time to read. I don’t even know if the map, which has enough blue to declare Kerry the winner, is the author’s final judgment or not. Oh well…
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2004 10 29
Bush and Iraq


Don’t know how credible this is, but I expect we’re going to hear a bit about it in the next few days–then again, maybe not. Excerpts below the fold.
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2004 10 29
Correction


I guess I was wrong about the Bush administration’s honesty. Visit Bush’s re-selection site www.georgewbush.org to see why.


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2004 10 29
State Department gets RSS Feeds


RSS Geeks will be delighted to learn that the State Department now offers RSS feeds. The feed URLs are below the fold.
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2004 10 29
A Better Bush


Sick and tired of the current George W. Bush? Build your own!


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2004 10 28
Nuance


Posted by in: U.S. foreign policy

Rodger Payne makes you think about US foreign policy.


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2004 10 28
Disgraceful


This is unbelievable. Next thing you know, Republicans will be decrying essay assignments on the Constitution because it suggests a government has a duty to “promote the general welfare” queens.


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