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Quitting Time.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 by Michael Reynolds

I just can't be doing this.

I am spending my days blogging or thinking about blogging or reading other people's blogs or writing comments on other blogs. Enough.

Politics is a drug to me. I have a hard time keeping it at arm's length. I have a hard time not obsessing.

Problem is my day job is writing. I only have so much "writing energy." I can't spend it here. I need to obsess over my real job, not over my hobby. I'm in the middle of a novel and I'm phoning it in. I can't be phoning it in. There are too many people out there willing to kill themselves trying to take my slot on the bookshelf.

So, I'm done. This time for real.

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Unacceptable? Too Late.

Monday, October 09, 2006 by Michael Reynolds

"Prime Minister Tojo calls atomic bomb 'unacceptable.'"


Ooooh, Mr. Bush calls the North Korean nuclear test "unacceptable." Which is just what he called it before they carried out the test.

Unacceptable. What is that, the magic word, Mr. President? Unacceptable?

And now we're off to the UN to impose sanctions on a country where the government has no reluctance whatsoever to watch their own people starve or freeze.

Impose sanctions, cut off their cash, cut off their oil, that'll show 'em.

Gosh, I wonder what the North Koreans could possibly do to raise some cash now? Let's see if we can think of anything a rogue nuclear-armed state could possibly do to raise a few hundred million dollars. Anyone? Any suggestions?

Thank God there's no country swimming in billions of dollars of oil money that would like a quick path to joining the nuke club.

Yesterday all North Korea had to put on the table was a possible weapon. Now they have a real one. The North Koreans just raised their market value by hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars. Iranians, Syrians and Al Qaeda all just booked flights to Pyong Yang.

But don't worry: it's unacceptable.

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Scary Morning In America.

by Michael Reynolds

"Boom."

The North Koreans appear to have detonated a nuclear weapon.
TOKYO, Oct. 9 -- North Korea declared on Monday that it had conducted its first nuclear test, asserting a claim to be the world's newest nuclear power and drawing strong international condemnation.

The South Korean government informed officials in Washington that an explosion occurred at 10:36 a.m. local time. Minutes later, North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency announced the test, calling it "a historical event that has brought our military and our people huge joy."

Chinese officials released a statement simultaneously recognizing and condemning the test. U.S., South Korean and Japanese authorities said they were still reviewing intelligence data but had no reason to immediately doubt the veracity of the Pyongyang government's claim.
Americablog, a Left-leaning political blog, is on the North Korean story.

Meanwhile, our intermittent-ally-of-convenience Pervez Musharraf, President-because-he-says-he-is of Pakistan, is under increasing pressure. Pakistan isn't testing weapons, their weapons are tested. Tested, perfected, and loaded onto tested and perfected missiles.

Will Musharraf fall? he was recently forced to sign an accord with the Taliban and their Al Qaeda friends ceding a portion of his country to the terrorists. And those terrorists are determined to have the agreement their way:
The bombing near President Pervez Musharraf's official residence in Rawalpindi, coupled with “two rockets rigged with mobile phones and primed to fire toward Pakistan's parliament” in Islamabad have sparked speculation about the stability of the Musharraf regime. As Syed Saleem Shahzad postulates, someone has issued “two quick warning signals to Islamabad.” The targets are not the only concern. The parties who detonated the bomb and planted the rockets were able to penetrate Musharraf's inner security zone.

Syed Saleem Shahzad states that the Taliban are the perpetrators, possibly in conjunction with the ISI. The Musharraf regime is being warned about violating the Waziristan Accord by failing to release al-Qaeda prisoners and arresting other suspects. This is also a warning from the pro-Taliban elements of the ISI (or Inter Services Agency, Pakistan's intelligence agency), both active and retired, as they fear Musharraf act against them based on pressures from the West. Hamid Gul, the former director of the ISI, recently warned Musharraf that he risked opening "Pandora's box" by taking action against him and the ISI. Gul is the architect of Pakistan's 'strategic depth' strategy that led to the rise of the Taliban.
Remember when we first learned of the Waziristan deal? Remember how conservatives tried to spin it as no big deal? As maybe even a plus? Donklephant updates us.

And then, there's Iraq. The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services, John Warner, appears to be defecting from the Denialists and joining the Worried Wing, and James Baker, former Secretary of Everything and Bush pere fixer is working on a new approach to Iraq. Joe Gandelman has that.

So, where are we this morning?

Well, the Axis of Evil, Iraq, Iran and North Korea, is looking more evil than ever:

Iraq is on the brink of all-out civil war and we are contemplating the desperate measure of dividing the country into what would inevitably be a fundamentalist, Sharia-imposing, Iran-allied Shiite state, a radical Sunni state and a Kurdish state whose existence could drive NATO member Turkey to war.

Iran is apparently stalling the UN as they move ahead with uranium enrichment and presumably their own bomb.

And North Korea it seems is now a nuclear power.

And we've effectively lost the war in Afghanistan by virtue of the weakness of our chief ally in the region, an ally which might fall at any moment and deliver nuclear weapons into very radical hands. Is that just me worrying about Afghanistan? No, it's also the highest-ranking allied officer in the country.

And we've been unable to stop genocide in Sudan. And our friend, Israel, is seen as weaker and more divided as a consequence of its war with Hezbollah (although Hezbollah took a major beating, too.) And Hamas reaffirms that it will never agree to recognize Israel. And the Syrians are in bed with Iran. And even Venezuela thinks it can spit in our face.

So, as you can see, things are going very well for us and our foreign policy team of Bush, Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld. They are all strong, manly men (even Condi) and thank God they're here to protect us from the Democrats.

The one thing I think we can all agree on: it's all the fault of Bill Clinton.

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