The Spectacle Blog

Eleven Iran Reports: Gathering Storm

By on 3.19.06 | 1:41PM

1. Report that Bolton indicates the UNSC will send a "strong and determined signal" to Tehran with regard the nuke fuel program. No timetable. Recall that Bolton told me ten days ago that he is now the prince of multi-lateralism. Bolton goes where France and Britain and German lead, and he goes arm in arm with the reluctant Russians. The Chinese are inscrutably silent, fretting about their oil and gas supply line and all that cash they are slapping into Tehran's hands.

2. Report that Russian UN ambassador joked that unless the UNSC slowed down with its pell-mell pace to demand an IAEA progress report, the UNSC could get to Chapter 7 by June. (Chapter 7, Article 42, of the UN Charter is the guns and guns and guns option.)

3. Inside Iran, report that an Iranian general said that "bandits" or "Rebels" attacked vehicles in the southeast of the country and killed 22. This sounds like Baluchistan action, cross border units fighting Pakistan for independence, willing to gun down Iran also.

Re: Murtha’s Madness

By on 3.19.06 | 1:15PM

Hey, Jed: Remember when you were cautioning me and others not to be too dismissive of Murtha? I take it your view has shifted. Welcome aboard!

Welcome to the U.S.S. George Washington

By on 3.19.06 | 12:22PM

At dinner last night I met a young man who had served a stint as a nuclear engineer on the U.S.S. George Washington in the 1990s. He reported that the ship stopped in Dubai five times, and met no trouble from the natives. In fact, he even guided some on tours of the aircraft carrier. Imagine that: Arabs taking tours of the crown jewel of our naval battle groups. Someone call Duncan Hunter and Chuck Schumer and begin an investigation.

Re: Madness and Criminality

By on 3.19.06 | 11:33AM

Wlady: Growl, grump, harrumph. Oh, ok. T.O. isn't a danger to national security, so I guess we can let him slide for a while. Let's hope he does more damage to the Cowboys than Brunnell does to the Redskins next year. Murtha isn't really insane, just liberal. Or can we tell the diff any more?

Madness and Criminality

By on 3.19.06 | 11:03AM

Jed: Now what Murtha said is criminal. But what crimes has Terrell Owens committed? Being obnoxious and insufferable and a lousy teammate can qualify as character flaws, but do they warrant lifetime suspension? There's no evidence he's on steroids, an abuser of women, a cocaine user, heroin dealer, or bank robber. So what's he really done, other than have a weird falling out with the Eagles and their nice quarterback? Sure made things easier for the Redskins last season!

BTW, I bet Bill Parcells will be tickled to know he could be the next Annie Sullivan.

Murtha’s Madness

By on 3.19.06 | 10:39AM

At about 1120, Jack Murtha sent a message to Tehran. On Meet the Press, he said the president doesn't have a military option on Iran. Thanks, Jack, for making war more likely by telling the central terrorist nation that it has license to ignore diplomacy. Don't you understand that diplomacy unsupported by the threat of military force cannot possibly succeed? This man has lost his mind. Hello, Pennsylvania? Is anyone listening?

Re: 9-7 Gets TO

By on 3.19.06 | 7:40AM

Wlady: If Parcells can do that with T.O., then the coach's biopic should be entitled, "The Miracle Worker." The problem I have is even giving Owens another chance. Yes, he sells tickets. But so would an ax murderer or a drug-dealing rapper. Where does commercial sports draw the line? And how many more T.O.'s will we see if he's rewarded with yet another shot? This man is getting more "last chances" than Saddam did.

On Myths

By on 3.19.06 | 1:29AM

I just got around to reading Patrick Hynes's Friday column. It's a bit problematic. Hynes writes:

David Brooks, writing in the New York Times, declared the moral values voter a "myth." Over at the Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer said moral values voters were a "myth." In his book God's Politics, liberal evangelical activist Jim Wallis called moral values voters, you guessed it, a "myth."
I haven't read Wallis's book, but that's a gross mischaracterization of what Brooks and Krauthammer wrote.

Recall the day after the election, exit polls found that "moral values" received 22%, a bare plurality, among answers to the question "Which ONE issue mattered most in deciding how you voted for president?" This lead to much chatter about how the only thing that mattered in the election was gay marriage and the like. Brooks pointed out that this was nonsense, cooked up to coddle liberal egos (his column is no longer online for free, but it's still in the Lexis-Nexis database):

Re: 9-7 Gets T-O

By on 3.19.06 | 12:35AM

Jed: I like Terrell Owens. Whatever he does off the field keeps the likes of ESPN in business. On the field he's as good as anyone around. Remember when he claimed midfield in Cowboy Stadium for himself some years ago while still a 49er? It was rotten sportsmanship, perhaps, but also brave and audacious. Anyway, it now appears he was only looking ahead. You think Bill Parcells will for one moment tolerate any nonsense from him? As it is, Parcells got rid of one headcase, Keyshawn Johnson, to make room for Owens, who's at least ten times better. Almost singlehandedly, on a warped ankle, Owens kept the Eagles in the Super Bowl last year. Parcells has a way of channeling thuggishness to his team's advantage. The Redskins should be mighty worried. Not to mention the Eagles. Good for Owens for choosing to remain in the same division. Should make the NFL East next fall the only one really worth watching.

Two Iran Attentions: Two Puzzles

By on 3.18.06 | 9:42PM

Bill Broad of the NYT writes of Iran's missile program in Sunday 19 NYT. Separately, Broad does not deny that that it is possible (no confirm) that Iran has a two track nuke fuel or missile program. Could likely be a second, totally hidden track, much more advanced, for their nuke fuel program or missile program or both.

Also, best Iran anti-regime source (who has said before that Iran has deployed 300 Shahab 3 and has a new Ghadar program, multi-stage, using Russian prototypes) says that there is a major presser on Monday in DC to annouce new detail on the Iran nuke fuel program. This presser is linked to the UN work in NY.

Puzzle 1: Are we being fed revelations on the Natanz and Isfahan and so forth so that we do not look elsewhere?

Puzzle 2: Broad did mention that the centrifuges at Natanz are antiques. Also, it took the US just three years to make the bomb in '45. It took Pakistan ten years. Iran has been working on this project since 1987 at least. Puzzle, what is the game at the UN for?

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