It would be great for Mark to get that job. But my money is on Torie Clark (who was superb at the Pentagon) or Tony Snow (who has been great since the days of 41).
The Spectacle Blog
I'm with you on John Batchelor's prognostications, Quin. I've listened to John's show a long time, and I think he regularly reveals information virtually nobody else has, or pays attention to, and that's important. I take the trouble of driving my car to the nearest high ground so I can tune in WABC to listen to him most nights, I consider his show so important (Boston radio doesn't carry him any more).
But you're right, he's short on solutions. For a fact-filled long read about Iran and its relationship with the U.S., both past and going forward, see Edward Luttwak's Commentary essay here.Luttwak is fairly sanguine -- and makes a good case -- about how soon Iran could develop The Bomb. He overlooks the possibility that China or the Norks could short-circuit that laborious process and move the Persians much closer much quicker. But his analysis of the historical interest of Russia in Iran is fabulous, as is his lengthy reminder of why Iran is so important to the U.S.
To John Batchelor -- You keep posting informative (and very scary) reports about Iran. The next question, though, is: What do you recommend the United States (or anybody else) DO in response???!???! Please enlighten us.
David Cloud’s piece on Donald Rumsfeld in today’s New York Times is par for the course on how this administration’s players are treated whenever they attempt to answer their critics. This customary and necessary practice for a political official somehow acquires a taint of scandal and intrigue when that official is employed within the Bush administration. The article’s title says it all: “Here's Donny! In His Defense, a Show Is Born.” But evidence for this “show” is rather thin. Cloud describes the Defense Secretary’s rebuttals to calls for his resignation as “a daily ritual,” before noting that yesterday’s Rumsfeld press conference was merely the third in five days. He describes the “extraordinary parade of generals,” including a “bevy of retired officers,” who have joined the plot to defend Rumsfeld, but names only Generals Myers and Franks.
1. Iran's atomic bomb-making and missile production are the direct result of ruthless and self-serving Chinese (PLA) proliferation.
1a. Following the successful containment of the Chinese anarchy of the 1980s, the PLA's concern was that it must prepare for the US response come the day the PLA moves to retake Taiwan. China's special sense of vulnerability was that the southeast of China, the industrial heartland, is vulnerable to US air strike, including nuclear weapon airstrike.
2. After the first Gulf War, Jiang Zemin and the PLA chose a policy to create multiple hotspots for the United States targeting, since the US nuclear warchest was locked into treaty limited production. China saw that every hotspot created outside of Russia and China was one more target away from the industrial heartland of China. Therefore, the PLA decision was to turn on proliferation. The first stage of the plan began with the Benazir Bhutto visit to China in 1993, when the transfers began into the hands of A.Q. Khan. An adjacent step was to transfer weapons technology to Kim Il Jung, the old man, in North Korea.