The Spectacle Blog

Washington Times features Tierney

By on 2.20.06 | 11:16PM

Satisfying to see the leader in the Washington Times this news cycle feature Bill Tierney and

The WashTimes was especially taken with that startling detail in one of the translations from hundred of hours of recorded conversations between Saddam and his staff that "plasma" technology was a major focus as recently as five years ago.

"One new piece of information revealed on the tapes, released Saturday by Mr. Tierney at the Intelligence Summit, a private conference held in Arlington, is that Saddam was actively working on a plan to enrich uranium using a technique known as plasma separation. This is particularly worrisome because of the date of the conversation: It took place in 2000, nearly five years after Iraq's nuclear programs were thought to have stopped.

Re: Fukuyama, Name-Calling

By on 2.20.06 | 8:46PM

John: agreed -- another case of heat over light. More on bad terminology and the supposed "third way" between neocon and realist is hashed out at The Washington Realist. I also take a look at Jimmy Carter's latest WaPo plea -- "Don't Punish the Palestinian People" -- in light of the whole label issue here.

Curt Gowdy, RIP

By on 2.20.06 | 6:15PM

Just heard of the passing of Curt Gowdy, sportscaster extraordinaire. He was in his 80s.

Gowdy was everything a sportscaster should be: well-informed, well-spoken and excited about what he was doing. From Gowdy, you got the sports news straight. He wasn't one to preen or to make the story all about him. It wasn't at all about Curt, but about the sports he loved. From the old "American Sportsman" series (I remember one episode in which he took former Texas guv John Connally to Africa on an elephant hunt) to every imaginable kind of athletic competition, Gowdy's clear, crisp voice was always a pleasure.

RIP, Curt. Sorry I never got to hunt with you.

Siege update: one escapes; UAV crashes

By on 2.20.06 | 1:43PM

This is a second real time report from the siege at the Balata refugee camp near Nablus on the West Bank (aka Occupied Palestine) where the IDF has located two major leaders of Al Aqsa in the last hours.

Most recently someone from inside has managed an escape from the siege point: identity of the escaped suspect is unknown.

Also, most recently, an IDF UAV being used to monitor the siege site has crashed near Nablus, reportedly on the home of a Palestinian journalist. The IDF is in pursuit of the wreck. However it is reported and confirmed that Palestinian civilians have found the contents of the drone, including film and/or recording devices, and they are attempting to get the contents to the Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade.

Meanwhile, the siege continues. It may be reaching a climax soon. The IDF is censoring battlefield reports: all details need confirmation, and as of yet it is impossible to confirm anything but general statements.

Re: Fukuyama

By on 2.20.06 | 1:15PM

There's less to object to than I expected, actually, but that's only because what Fukuyama is critiquing is a very broad caricature of neoconservatism. Does he really think that one must step beyond neoconservatism to grapple with how a democracy-promotion strategy should be circumscribed, or how to cope with anti-Americanism during the democratization process? If so, then various people generally counted within the neocon camp should be counted out of it (I'm thinking especially of Charles Krauthammer and Reuel Marc Gerecht, but there are many others). As with most discussions about neoconservatism, the labels tend to obscure rather than illuminate the ideas in play.

Real time siege of Al Aqsa chiefs

By on 2.20.06 | 12:38PM

This is a real time report of a siege underway at Balata refugee camp near Nablus on the West Bank (aka Occupied Palestine).

The IDF and agents have surrounded a dwelling and settled down to a stand-off. Surrender or collapse or death are the options. Inside the dwelling are two critical Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade leaders on the West Bank. First is the Nablus leader, Ala Senakreh. The second is Abu Aziz, who is deputy commander of Al Aqsa on the West Bank and a major league bad guy.

The End Of Neoconservatism?

By on 2.20.06 | 11:02AM

Francis Fukuyama returns to the ground he stomped over a decade ago in The End of History to announce, in The New York Times, the failure of the neoconservative project. Fukuyama's editorial asks all the right questions and supplies many of the wrong answers. To wit: 'the overarching lesson that emerges from these cases is that the United States does not get to decide when and where democracy comes about. By definition, outsiders can't "impose" democracy on a country that doesn't want it; demand for democracy and reform must be domestic.'

Re: Saddam Tapes

By on 2.20.06 | 10:04AM

Given how very weird Tierney and the Intelligence Summit people are, I wonder if we should even be trusting their translations.

A Chavez Strategy

By on 2.20.06 | 9:59AM

Hugo Chavez's ego seems especially fragile. Every time Condoleezza Rice criticizes the Venezuelan strongman, his mojo is lost. His latest response is what you'd expect from a teenage gangster wannabe: "Don't mess with me Condoleezza. Don't mess with me, girl." From which a strategy may be derived.

From now on, our ladies should take the lead in leveling criticism on Chavez. He'll be reduced to a blubbering rubble of babble if Laura Ingraham, Monica Crowley and (shudder) Ann Coulter take him on. Ladies, he's all yours.

Saddam tapes: cover story

By on 2.19.06 | 11:34PM

More from, the Tierney translation of Saddam Hussein’s tapes recordings of meetings with his staff with regard WMD.

Following is a section that features Saddam and an unidentified male briefer.  They are discussing deceiving the UN inspections process by creating a cover story.