North Korea

North Korea, Nuclear Proliferator… And China Does Nothing
May 28, 2010

A seven-member United Nations panel—yes, even a U.N. panel—without stammer and without dodging yesterday accused North Korea of providing banned nuclear and ballistic missile technology to Iran and Syria. The news was reported by the Associated Press, Ha'aretz, the Global Security Newswire of the NTI (an outfit founded by Sen. Richard Lugar and former senator Sam Nunn) and Reuters. The U.N.

Rand Paul's Principled Absurdity
May 25, 2010

Rand Paul’s touching (and temporary) display of honesty on the Rachel Maddow show last week has triggered an enormous amount of criticism. Liberals and progressives have denounced as morally offensive Paul’s constitutional concerns about certain provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Conservatives, meanwhile, have taken to ridiculing Paul as a political novice who doesn’t know when to compromise his principles for the sake of expediency.

These Sanctions Are Neither 'Crippling' nor 'Biting.' They Are Feeble and Flaccid, Truly Obama's Sanctions
May 19, 2010

It used to be that the president sent out Ms. Clinton to do the retreat on Iran, and she's been doing it for about 17 months. Pathetically, actually, and with some embarrassment on her face. Now it's Susan Rice's turn. It's only fair. For our U.N. ambassador actually believes that the processes of the organization are more important than the results. So it was given to Ms.

What Are Nukes Good For?
April 09, 2010

Peter Scoblic comes via Arms Control Today, which is not the usual stepping stone to our magazine, and has been studying the issue deeply for a long time. With the START treaty signing, it happens to be a very good time to have a nuclear weapons expert in house. Peter's cover story is a definitive essay on the future of the bomb. The most compelling question about this subject is whether nuclear deterrence still works against madmen. He says it can: That is, in the face of the most aggressive, most highly armed, most revolutionary power the United States has ever known, deterrence worked.

Already Stolen
April 09, 2010

In February, as part of a delegation from the Save Darfur Coalition, I met Mustafa Ismail in Khartoum. Ismail is the country’s former foreign minister and current presidential adviser to President Omar Al Bashir. He thanked us for our “timely visit,” then proceeded to speak almost uninterrupted for close to an hour about the Sudanese regime’s new commitment to democracy, peace, and development.

What Are Nukes Good For?
April 07, 2010

The nuclear order seems to be falling apart. Gone is the uneasy balance between the cold war superpowers. We now face a slew of new nuclear actors. North Korea has reprocessed enough plutonium for perhaps ten bombs, in addition to the two it has already tested. Iran’s centrifuge program seems poised to produce weapons-grade uranium. And Syria was apparently constructing a clandestine nuclear facility, before it was destroyed by Israeli air strikes in 2007. It’s not just enemies that pose a problem.

Putin Helps Put Chavez Into Space While Venezuela Goes On Holiday To Save Energy. Moscow Knows It's Doing Mischief
April 04, 2010

Venezuela is another one of those socialist nightmare/dream fantasies. While the tyranny may be Latin-lackadaisical, the slow but certain shutdown of centers of dissent goes on--and soon there will be nothing else to close. Except for the fact that there is a certain popular resilience to the tricks the dictator learned from Comrade Castro.

The U.S. “Continues A Strategic Thaw With Syria.” Syria Does Nothing. What Does Washington Expect? But, Yes, There Are Consequences For Iran, Grim Ones.
February 22, 2010

Continuing my last Spine… The A.P. reports in Sunday’s New York Times that the Obama administration has lifted the travel advisory that warns American not to visit Syria. It’s not too much of a sanction on Damascus, and there is no punishment for American tourists and businessmen who want to see the glories of Damascus, such as they are.

Noemie Emery Nails It
January 14, 2010

I can't dispute this: People in newsrooms all over the country decided that someone who talked the way they did was the cure for what ailed the country, and are stunned to find out it is not. [Obama's] cosmopolitan cool hasn't defanged the terrorists, who still want to kill us, disarmed North Korea or derailed Iran's bomb. I had numerous conversations in 2008 with Obama supporters who thought that Obama's cosmopolitanism would, within the first year of his presidency, end terrorism and cause the unilateral disarmament of North Korea and Iran.

The End of Hunger?
January 02, 2010

Famine: A Short History By Cormac Ó Gráda (Princeton University Press, 327 pp., $27.95) The earliest recorded famines, according to Cormac Ó Gráda in his brief but masterful book, are mentioned on Egyptian stelae from the third millennium B.C.E. In that time--and to an extent, even today, above the Aswan dam in Sudan--farmers along the Nile were dependent on the river flooding to irrigate their fields. But one flood out of five, Ó Gráda tells us, was either too high or too low. The result was often starvation.

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