"North Korea seems off the hook for now -- no missile launch -- and the proposal of former Clinton Secretary of Defense Bill Perry to undertake a preemptive strike even before all of the facts are in, seems to have cleared everyone's sinuses. If this was Perry's underhanded goal, to show how intellectually appealing "global strike" can be in Washington while in reality, it means war and catastrophe far greater than just a puny missile test, he did a nice job.
This just goes to show that North Korea is rational, as I've argued in these pages. Weird yes; but also rational. Maybe Perry's super double Top Secret agenda was to convey to North Korea that if even someone as normally as level headed as him could suggest an American first strike, they should really watch out.
By the way, Dick Cheney denounced the notion of preemption in response to Perry, leaving me wondering what the Bush administration's national strategy is. I guess it is preemption when we feel like it, which sounds a little irrational."
"Iran, unlike North Korea, seems destined for confrontation with the United States. It is not just over Iran’s nuclear weapons though. U.S. commanders in Iraq, and Washington desk warriors increasingly talk of Iran's meddling in Iraq, as well as their active support for Hamas. Former FBI Director Louis Freeh is pushing Iran's culpability and guilt at the highest levels for the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia where 19 Americans died. I'm increasingly seeing and hearing stuff about Iran's clandestine involvement in terror financing, espionage, and the illicit drug and weapons trade in my day-to-day information gathering."
"Bush wants to stay in Iraq forever. We don't know what the presumed benefits of that are because they won't tell us why, and nobody will ask. We have some sense of how costly the ongoing occupation is, and how costly it will be in the future.
We can't have a sensible public debate about this issue until the public understands what the issue is. Our pundit class is blissfully unaware of why we're in Iraq. No one has yet been able to answer the question."
Press Secretary Tony Snow followed up with another attack at today’s press briefing:[T]he New York Times and other news organizations ought to think long and hard about whether a public’s right to know in some cases might override somebody’s right to live"