Great article by Joseph Cirincione from the Center for American Progress in Salon.com:
We have suspected for more than 15 years that North Korea has separated plutonium from nuclear reactor fuel for use as the core of a nuclear bomb. If the test there on Monday of a nuclear device proves to be authentic, North Korean scientists will have demonstrated that they have designed an explosive casing that can compress plutonium to critical mass, triggering an explosion. North Korea will have become the world’s ninth nuclear-armed state.
The Bush administration appears divided over how to respond. Yet, despite some internal dissent, hard-liners in the administration have controlled the U.S. approach to North Korea since Bush took office. That approach has brimmed with tough talk and threats, while scorning diplomacy as a badge of weakness. The White House refuses to negotiate directly with North Korea — but it has no viable plan, military or otherwise, for stopping further tests. North Korea’s provocative move is the latest evidence that Bush’s strategy for preventing the global spread of nuclear weapons has failed.
The greatest danger is not that North Korea would attack us or our allies with this new capability, or even that they would provide a nuclear weapon to terrorists. Kim Jong Il would know that the response to the use of a North Korean bomb by him or his surrogates would end his life, his regime and a good part of his country. The greatest danger is what happens next in the region — and the specter of a new arms race that could fast spiral out of control. more
United States President George W. Bush today claimed that a less “sophisticated vocabulary” than that used by Democrats justified his characterization of their Iraq policy as “cut and run.”
Bush made the comments at a news conference in the White House Rose Garden this morning –
QUESTION: One of the things Democrats complain about it is the way you portray their position —
BUSH : Oh, really?
QUESTION: — in wanting to fight the war on terror. They would say you portray it as either they support exactly what you want to do or they want to do nothing.
BUSH : Hmm.
QUESTION: We hear it in some of your speeches. Is it fair to portray it to the American people that way?
BUSH : Well, I think it’s fair to use the words of people in Congress or their votes. [Laughs.] The vote was on the — on the Hamdan legislation, do you want to continue a program that enabled us to interrogate folks or not?
And all I was doing was reciting the votes. I — I — I would — I would cite my opponent in the 2004 campaign when he said there needs to be a date certain from which to withdraw from Iraq. I characterize that as cut-and-run because I believe it is cut and run. In other words, I’ve been using their votes or their words to characterize their positions.
QUESTION: But they don’t say “cut and run.”
BUSH : Well, they may not use “cut and run,” but they say “date certain” as to when to get out before the job is done. That is cut and run. You know, I — nobody’s accused me of having a real sophisticated vocabulary. I understand that. And maybe their — their words are more sophisticated than mine, but when you pull out before the job is done, that’s cut and run as far as I’m concerned. And that’s cut and run as far as most Americans are concerned.
And so yeah, I’m going to continue reminding them of their words and their votes.
It appears that a small plane has flown into a building in Manhattan. How does this happen? For the first 30 minutes to an hour of this incident, it was unclear if a helicopter or a plane flew into the building. Why don’t we know every aircraft that is flying over major cities? We’ve passed all of this anti-terrorism legislation, for what? I’m not saying that this was a terrorist act but what I’m saying is we should’ve closed the loop. We should have radar systems that identify every airplane that is over every major city. Of course, that’s just my opinion.
Update: From CNN.com –
Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor were killed Wednesday when the 34-year-old ballplayer’s plane crashed into a high-rise apartment building in New York, city and baseball team officials said.
No residents at the Belaire Condominiums at 524 E. 72nd Street near the East River were injured. Continue reading