The Spectacle Blog

War warning, part 3

By on 4.2.06 | 12:37AM

Best signals source identifies the last week of noise in Baghdad as the turning point. Tehran plays checkmate.

Also, indicates a bloody minded war council in West Beirut with Nasrallah of HizbAllah, Meshal of Hamas, and ops from Mugniyah, Zarqawi and IJ on the West Bank (subset of AlAqsa).

Also, note that the Iran naval exercises in the Gulf are at two reinforced brigade strength, and they are practicing ship seizures and beach landings.

It's November. It's 1941. Sauve qui peut.

There's worse. Am not permitted to detail. Am open source only, am not crossing the line.

War warning, part 3. See the Telegraph report above. This is not idle gaming. US strategic position is flabby. National security apparatus is unhorsed.

Cassandra reiterates

By on 4.2.06 | 12:27AM

BBC Defence Correspondent Paul Wood said US plans for a possible strike are thought to be at an advanced stage.

Howie Dean’s Rules

By on 4.1.06 | 6:53PM

By this logic, Howard Dean is responsible for Cynthia McKinney's ravings.

Not April Fools

By on 4.1.06 | 3:49PM

Under the category of “news reports that we wish were April Fools’ jokes but aren’t," a few of the day’s pickings:

The Potato/Cake/Violence Connection

By on 3.31.06 | 11:53AM

In her official statement on the confrontation she had with a police officer last week, Cynthia McKinney contended, "Throughout my tenure in Congress, I seem to evoke memory loss, especially from certain police officers who claim not to be able to recognize my face while I go to work everyday, representing the people of Georgia's 4th Congressional District."

Recent Reason hire Dave Weigel, however, has put forward a theory for this "memory loss" outside of racial profiling: A potato-and-cake diet. Check out the pictoral evidence here.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

By on 3.31.06 | 11:49AM

Yes -- if we're all federalists. The predictable groans emanate from the predictable mouths, but Massachusetts has spoken loud and clear:

"The laws of this commonwealth have not endowed nonresidents with an unfettered right to marry..."

"Only nonresident couples who come to Massachusetts and intend to reside in this commonwealth thereafter can be issued a marriage license."

Federalism -- it's so crazy, it just might work. This is how social experimentation is supposed to happen. And with another feather in the cap of Mitt "We don't want Massachusetts to become the Las Vegas of same-sex marriage" Romney, the '06/'08 plot thickens...

The Game (Lobbyist Not Rap Star Edition)

By on 3.31.06 | 8:55AM

Somehow or other, a Boston Globe reporter got their hands on a list of Grover Norquist's donor list and wrote up a story on the incongruities and political/philosophical fence-straddling it hints at. It's an interesting read, though not a surprising one for anyone who has spent time on the edges of the D.C. political hustle bustle. Consistency in the heart of Leviathan? Surely ye jest! On a side note: Why does it seem these days wherever there is smoke there's an Indian casino?

For obvious reasons, the story uses "Norquist's largest individual donor: Richard 'Dickie' Scruggs, a Democratic Mississippi trial lawyer, who contributed $4.3 million" as the recurring peg of the story. Who this information will to hurt more--Norquist in conservatives' eyes or trial lawyers in liberals' eyes--is not clear. Apparently Scruggs wanted Norquist to help stop a Republican proposal to put a ceiling on legal fees trial lawyers could take home, which makes for the following priceless bit towards the end of the story:

Nota Bene, Mahmoud

By on 3.31.06 | 8:06AM

Or, to paraphrase the Gipper, you can dig but you can't hide. Buried in the news yesterday was a report that will rock Las Vegas. Literally.

In about three months, the boys and girls will be testing a new device at the Nevada test range on Nellis AFB near Las Vegas. Normally, that wouldn't cause anyone's dice to jump, but in this case the new device is a 700-ton -- yep, you read that right, 140,000 pounds if my math is right -- weapon called "Divine Strake." It's a penetrator that is designed to go very deep and then destroy whatever its explosive charge can reach. And that will be very deep indeed. (Strake, by the by, is an archaic term for the planks or plates at the very bottom of a ship's hull going from stem to stern).

This is clearly being developed with the Iranian nuclear weapons program in mind. I asked my favorite RSG and FNC senior military analyst Lt. Gen. Tom McInerny about Divine Strake. He said:

Re: Iran War Games

By on 3.31.06 | 7:54AM

Larry: Possible, but very unlikely. Tehran doesn't want to start anything until they're able to deplloy nuclear weapons. They'll try to provoke, maybe even send some aircraft toward our ships in Dubai. More than that, and they know they'll be going too far. But the point will be made. They have the ability to close the Strait of Hormuz and starve us of oil. This confrontation is coming. And they're not the only ones preparing for it. (See Nota Bene, Mahmoud, above).

War Games?

By on 3.31.06 | 7:00AM


In one of Tom Clancy's novels, a belligerent Japan uses a supposedly peaceful war game with the U.S. to start a real conflict. Any chance Iran could use their war game scenario to make a real strike at the Straits of Hormuz?