The Spectacle Blog

Re: Yaliban?

By on 3.2.06 | 3:58PM

Rep. Mike Pence is speaking about the Taliban at Yale on John Gibson's Fox News show at 5:10 p.m. (in a half hour)

Defining “Ruins” Down

By on 3.2.06 | 3:35PM

Mickey Kaus zings the New York Times for hilariously alarmist reporting -- though he does extend them a bit of charity:

I'm not saying Bill Keller's** headline and lede writers were amping up the Iraq hysteria in order to manufacture another Tet. Maybe they just have no judgment or perspective.


By on 3.2.06 | 3:29PM

So the Taliban's former deputy foreign secretary, one Rahmatulla Hashemi, is now enrolled at Yale. Which, of course, doesn't allow ROTC on campus. Nice to know how Yale lines up in the war.

A few questions occur: First, just how was Hashemi allowed into the country? How does an apparently unrepentant Taliban get a visa? Second, are there any others like him running loose? Third, does anybody at the Department of Homeland Security have anything to say about the answers to the first two questions?

Mr. Hashemi is quoted as saying, "I could have ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Instead I ended up at Yale.” What luck do other terrorists have getting here? And -- if we close Gitmo as Tony Blair, Kofi and the rest of the Kidz want us to do -- how many more will be admitted to Yale, Hahvahd and Princeton? And what scholarships will be available to them?

Re: Newsflash

By on 3.2.06 | 3:13PM

Wlady: You suspect correctly. I was more than a twinkle in my mother's eye, however: The pro-abortion crowd would have called me a "fetus," while expecting mothers, children, and lovers of life would have called me an unborn baby.

Your point is well taken, though. I can't seem to find a good citation for this, but I have long understood that Agca got the pistol from the Bulgarian embassy. Is that a figment of my imagination or did I read that somewhere?

Re: Newsflash: Soviets Tried to Kill JPII

By on 3.2.06 | 2:57PM

Dave: You probably weren't even alive when Mehmet Ali Agca shot John Paul on May 13, 1981. Ever since that date the mainstream press has done all it can to play down if not ignore entirely any Kremlin-KGB links to the near-assassination. For you it may now be a no-brainer that the Soviets were behind the effort, but I wouldn't be so quick to scoff at news of the Italian commission's latest findings. There's probably greater acceptance of Alger Hiss's communist ties among the mainstream media than serious agreement that the Soviets tried to murder the Polish pope.

Consider what was included -- i.e. not included -- in MSM obituaries of JPII last April. First, the New York Times on April 3, 2005:

Re:Iranian Naval Threat

By on 3.2.06 | 2:55PM

John: Disagree on one point. New name would be "Imam Mahdi."

Iranian Navy threat

By on 3.2.06 | 2:48PM

British naval source tells me that Iran now posesses at least three German-built, most-silent, electric-powered submarines that are a threat to a carrier battle group in the Persian Gulf or Arabian Sea.

It also is said that the Iranians may have altered the German boats. I do not not know how the boats have been altered, nor do I know if aleration could include a missile launcher.

My guess of Iranian Navy deploying a submarined based missile threat is derivative of the Indian Navy threat that is reported to me.

Also, separately, I am told from a signals source that the Iranians are planning on achieveing a market-risk-scenario (therein lies the tale) that produces an $80-$100 barrel of oil to achieve their strategic power projection goals in the next years.

A 25% to 60% increase in oil from now will buy whatever boats are being shopped, not to rule out the Iranian Navy acquiring Black Sea Fleet hardware.

Re: JetBlue: The Real Deal?

By on 3.2.06 | 2:30PM

A reader is alarmed that my bag made it onto the flight without me:

if it were me I would contact DOHS (doh !) and FAA at once with the details. Heads should roll.

That was a very, very bad thing that happened. That's so elementary it predates 9/11 by more than a decade. I can remember flights I took in Europeback in the 1980's where all baggage was removed from the plane, lined up on the tarmac and all passengers made to deplane and identify their bags. Unclaimed bag = no flight.

I had suspected this was a problem. I've now called TSA's press office for an answer. I'll let y'all know what I find out.

Re: Iran Shahab-3 and Ghadar Missiles

By on 3.2.06 | 2:13PM

John: Why sea-based? Iran can disperse, harden and create a tremendous nuclear arsenal without the necessity of basing them at sea. They won't have the sub-launched missile capability for decades (unless China sells it to them, which would be too crazy for China, at this moment) and to base it at sea on surface ships would enable us to track them minute-to-minute. I think they can do all they want to with a land-based force. Once the missiles are mated to warheads, their ambitions are reached.

Iran Shahab-3 and Ghadar missiles

By on 3.2.06 | 1:33PM

Best Iran source reports that Iran now deploys many more Shahab-3 missiles than previously determined. Iran likely has up to 300 Shahab-3, which are forward deployed. There is no confirmation of what kind of warheads are now mounted.

At the same time, source reports that North Korean missile technicians are in residence at the Hemmat Missile Industries in Tehran, where they are working with Iranian Defense Ministry teams to develop the Ghadar missile. This is the multistage weapon with a range of 3000 kilometers and a baby bottle nipple like warhead that is capable of mounting a miniaturized nuclear weapon.

Tehran knows that its acquisition of breeder reactors and centrifuge cascades will not provide protection and a diplomatic dagger until and if Iran can mount a credible, well-defended, well-dispersed (sea-based) nuclear tipped strategic missile arsenal.

For those who argue (as more and more do) that blocking Iran's nuke ambitions is a futile mission, consider that Iran will use its enriched uranium product to construct a strategic missile threat to the Saudi Arabian oilfields, to India, Russia, and Berlin, as well as to the easy to reach Israel.