Bloggingheads has just posted a segment in which Jacob Heilbrunn and I discuss my new book, U.S. vs. Them. If you stop by, you can watch Jacob and me argue about the irrationality of the Iranian regime, the futility of arms control, and whether we're more likely to be nuked now than we were at the beginning of the Bush presidency. Enjoy! --Peter Scoblic
Anne Lauvergeon (or "Atomic Anne," as the press calls her) is the fourteenth most powerful woman in the world, according to Forbes. She owes this rank, and her nickname, to the fact that she heads the French nuclear company Areva. Three weeks ago, Lauvergeon made an appearance at Harvard's Center for the Environment. And, when she strode to the lectern, she set about toying with the expectations of her audience.
A hearty congratulations to our own Katherine Marsh, whose book The Night Tourist, was just named a finalist for an Edgar, the awards given out annually by the Mystery Writers of America. The Night Tourist, a modern take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, tells the fantastic story of Jack, a 14-year-old boy searching the underworld of New York City for the spirit of his dead mother. You can check it out--and buy it!--here. --Peter Scoblic
Amid the tension surrounding North Korea's unwelcome contribution to last week's Fourth of July fireworks, there were, fortunately, dashes of comic relief. There was John Bolton, who has been devoted to extracting the United States from its arms control commitments, lamenting that a nation transgressed a voluntary arms control commitment.
Existential Crisis DEMOCRACY HAS BECOME George W. Bush's reflexive answer to terrorism. Before the wreckage left by the July 7 bombings in London had even cooled, he broke from the G-8 summit in Scotland to explain how we would defeat the perpetrators of such attacks: "We will spread an ideology of hope and compassion that will overwhelm their ideology of hate." Four days later, he elaborated, "Today in the Middle East, freedom is once again contending with an ideology that seeks to sow anger and hatred and despair.
It took only a few sentences on Wednesday for Donald Rumsfeld to demonstrate why he is both morally and strategically unfit to serve as secretary of defense. In a townhall-style meeting at a staging area in Kuwait, Rumsfeld was asked by Specialist Thomas Wilson of the Tennessee National Guard why soldiers were forced "to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic [i.e., bulletproof] glass to uparmor our vehicles?" There was a short pause, and then many of the 2,300 troops in attendance erupted in cheers and applause.
The splotch that appeared on satellite photos of North Korea two weeks ago was like a Rorschach blot for foreign policy wonks. A cloud of smoke that would have been considered benign in almost any other country (it being in actuality just a cloud) was immediately feared the result of a nuclear explosion, showing just how anxious national security types have become about Pyongyang's weapons program.
On February 11, just days after a supposedly penitent Abdul Qadeer Khan confessed on Pakistani television, President Bush appeared at the National Defense University to describe how the father of Pakistan's atom bomb had for years run a global network that sold nuclear weapons technology to Libya, Iran, and North Korea. Bush praised Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for "assur[ing] us that his country will never again be a source of proliferation," even though it was not clear Musharraf could promise any such thing, and lauded the U.S. intelligence community for its "hard work and ...
It's hard not to scoff at the president's call for a return to the moon, Mars, and "beyond" if for nothing other than its political transparency. The president's sudden dose of the vision thing immediately endeared him to the thousands of aerospace workers in Florida, while costing him almost nothing before he leaves office. But, despite its narrow opportunism, the president's plan is important, because it thrusts the prospect of a manned mission to Mars back into the public sphere. ONE OBJECTION TO A MANNED MISSION to Mars is that robotic craft could do the job just as well at a fraction of t
It's hard not to scoff at the president's call for a return to the moon, Mars, and "beyond" if for nothing other than its political transparency. The president's sudden dose of the vision thing immediately endeared him to the thousands of aerospace workers in Florida, while costing him almost nothing before he leaves office.