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what to do about north korea

i can't help but think the north koreans are full of crap. i'm 26 so i don't remember much of the cold war, but one leftover concept that's managed to filter through the haze of nintendo and vanilla ice is that in order for brinkmanship to be effective, you have to bring something more to the table than one, possibly two nukes.

north korea is threatening to test a nuclear bomb. good! test the damn thing. we've just gotten you to reduce your stockpile by half. or they say they might just sell somebody a nuke, with "somebody" *cough--cough--bin laden--hack--ahem* left up to the imagination. so say they do. and say tomorrow there's a glowing parking lot where manhattan used to be. about five minutes later there would be a glowing parking lot where north korea used to be--which is why we can basically disregard this threat. if you are really going to sell someone a nuke, you don't announce it during trilateral diplomatic accords.

then there's the whole war thing. look folks, north korea wants war a helluva lot less than we do, and we don't want it at all. if their talk meant anything, once again, they wouldn't be talking. you don't threaten war to goad someone into war, you threaten war to avoid it. now they know that we know that they know that a second korean war would be a lot trickier than iraq, and that civilian and military tolls would doubtless be a lot higher. but they also know that in the end, we'd win (none of this "allah will save us" nonsense for kim, believe me) and, what, are the red chinese going to end the world for a guy who's almost as much a nuisance to them as he is to us?

we're holding all the cards, folks. and when you hold the cards, you don't go outrageously upping antes and making wild bluffs. you play it cool. it's not that kim couldn't hurt us, it's that we could hurt him a lot more and in the final analysis he knows that anything we give him from across the table will be better than what he'll get from across the battlefield. so, what to do about north korea?


absolutely nothing.

ignore their little tantrums. deal with the chinese. when a bargain is struck, north korea will get something like the non-aggression treaty they want, but this time compliance won't be optional.

listen to locdog: he knows whereof he speaks--well, ok, he doesn't, but he enjoys speaking it


please, try not to speak

madonna should save her strength for her multi-million dollar self-marketing industry or coming up with a new image. salvaging her sputtering film career or dismal album sales (nowhere to be found on billboard's top 100) might not be a bad idea, either:

We as Americans are completely obsessed and wrapped up in a lot of the wrong values -- looking good, having cash in the bank, being perceived as rich, famous and successful or just being famous.

sorry, i'm trying to come up with something clever to say here but my reason has forsaken me. on reading this quote, a friend of mine quipped: "it looks like someone just parked a sherman tank on irony's front lawn." change "irony" to "hypocrisy" and "sherman tank" to "nuclear barrage" and you still haven't done justice to the material girl's audacity. given that self-obsession and introspection are oil and water, one might think madonna would go on indicting herself indefinitely, blithely unaware of just what an ass she is. but, i'm almost sad to say, she somehow caught a whiff of her own fetor--perhaps the winds shifted? evidently, madonna wasn't standing in the eye of the dixie chick cyclone or tim robbins temptest in a tea pot after all:

It's the most superficial part of the American dream and who would know better than me? The only thing that's going to bring you happiness is love and how you treat your fellow man and having compassion for one another.

it's been said that there's nothing worse than a reformed whore. not true. a whore pretending she's reformed wins hands down.

locdog thinks madonna could give robbins, clinton, and blix a run for their money in his upcoming "just shut up" awards. stay tuned.


some bad news to ruin your friday

the economy's growing.

there's always north korea...

locdog knows that for you liberals, hope springs eternal



if only bush hadn't put the north koreans in the axis of evil

if only he'd shown a bit more understanding to the north koreans, been a bit less bellicose in his rhetoric. why, we wouldn’t be facing this nuclear crisis.

post-war iraq would have our undivided attention, and then we could resume peace talks between the israelis and palestinians. why did bush have to open his big mouth? why did he have to play the cowboy in front of the whole world? why did he have to threaten an erratic, unstable regime which is now poised to start world war three?

if only he'd been a bit more understanding...the north koreans would be calm. they'd be secretly acquiring more nuclear weapons. building up their reserves of fissile material. selling missiles to iran, syria, and lots of other lovely places. waiting until they had amassed enough nuclear weapons that they could afford to test one without halving their arsenal. or maybe they’d sell one? then the real fun would begin…

if only bush were more like clinton. saddam hussein would still be in power and the north koreans could go on violating the agreed framework in peace. and we could go on fiddling. we could go on pretending that the world isn't a big, scary, dangerous place full of bad guys who understand one thing and one thing only: the barrel of a gun.

locdog thinks it's better this way



funny, i thought he was irish

boy, you try to do a guy a favor...

Responding to a taunt by the White House that he ``looks French,'' U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry yesterday brushed off the political insult - saying it's part of an expected barrage of Republican attacks on his character.

``It means the White House has started the politics of personal destruction,'' Kerry said of the comment by an unnamed Bush adviser.

A New York Times report quoted Republican officials and Bush advisers yesterday saying that Kerry's presidential campaign wouldn't play well out of New England because of his ``haughty air'' and Boston upbringing.

``He looks French,'' said one Bush adviser, handing the Massachusetts Democrat what is probably the ultimate postwar political putdown.

poor john f. kerry. he just doesn't know who his friends are. he of the "when you come to a fork in the road, take it" school of politics, with no non-contradictory opinions on anything...clearly the guy could use a hand. the white house wasn't starting the "politics of personal destruction." they were reaching out in kindness and compassion--stepping across party lines to help a fellow earthling even though so doing meant giving aid to their political foe.

you see, the white house, like everyone else, has no doubt heard of john f. kerry's identity crisis. it's no wonder kerry doesn't have any principles--he doesn't even have a heritage! clearly, the well-meaning bush staffer was only trying clear away kerry's ethnic amnesia. i imagine the conversation went something like this:

reporter: so, everyone is wondering who the hell this kerry guy is. it's like the bourne identity or something.

white house samaritan: yeah, i've noticed. i feel really bad for the guy. if you see him, tell him that he’s always looked french to me, would you? maybe that will help.

we need to understand, dear friends, that many people lash out at those who love them as part of a defense mechanism. i believe that the white house has a big enough heart not to repay evil with evil, but to shower good upon john f. kenn--er, i mean kerry by remaining steadfast in their efforts to help kerry embrace his true self. viva la france!

locdog is moved to tears


no, it's not a site about coffee

one of my favorite fray posters, wakefield, now has his own blog. you can find it permalinked in my blogroll as "the daily grind." this guy's a class act and a great writer. throw in a good sense of humor and some controversial fundamentalist lunatic opinions and you've got the makings of a dy-no-MITE blogger. i highly recommend you get in on the ground floor and check his site out today.

locdog welcomes wake to the blogosphere



the weasel offensive

i'll say this for the french: they're pernicious--er, i mean, persistent.

The postwar debate was expected to be equally acrimonious after Russian officials asserted that U.N. inspectors would need to return to Iraq before the sanctions could be lifted, a demand rejected by Washington.

But France’s U.N. ambassador, Jean-Marc de La Sabliere said before the meeting that the Security Council “must take into account the new realities on the ground.”

De La Sabliere said financial and trade sanctions needed to be suspended to enable the country to get back on its feet.

“We could suspend the sanctions and adjust the oil-for-food (program) with an idea of its phasing out,” de la Sabliere said. A final lifting of sanctions would depend on a report by weapons inspectors, he added.

"a surprise move by the french," the papers say. in the sense that no one predicted it, yes. in the sense that it's perfectly consistent with their trying to weasel their way back into iraq, no. besides, france can't go on screwing america for ever. they need us a lot more than we need them, and they know it.

locdog wonders if russia will be next


well, ok, killing an unborn child IS murder, but just this once!

liberal activist groups never miss an opportunity to exploit a tragedy. if some death-row inmate is about to be lit up like a Christmas tree, guaranteed peta will be there protesting the fact that an innocent cow had to die so that he could have steak for his last meal. (i heard that just this easter, they used the occasion of Christ's death to put up a roadside billboard of a pig with the caption "he died for your sins" beneath it. don't know if it's true--but would it surprise you if it was?) there is no shame. there is no dignity. there are no standards. there's just The Cause, the american people, and the television cameras that stand between them.

small wonder, then, that NOW decided to protest the filing of double murder charges against scott peterson, whose wife laci and unborn son washed up on a california shore last week. equally small wonder that they've backed down in the face of scorching criticism from bill o'reilly and others, as well as emails and phone calls galore from the outraged american public. did they set out to disprove the old aphorism about there being no bad press--'cause they just did:

NOW officials declined to comment Monday on statements made this weekend by Mavra Stark, "out of respect for (Peterson's) family and what they're going through," spokeswoman Rebecca Farmer said by telephone from Washington.

Farmer would not say whether NOW opposes fetal homicide statutes that exist in at least 23 states. The laws have been opposed by some pro-choice groups even though legal abortions are exempted from prosecution.

"Right now, the issue is connected to the case," Farmer said.

Stark, who heads the Morris County NOW, spoke Monday with the national organization's vice president, Terry O'Neill. Stark said O'Neill told her that NOW "felt it wasn't the right thing to take a position right now" on either the Peterson case or fetal homicide statutes


locdog wishes to congratulate NOW on this masterful public relations coup


at least he didn't compare them to john ashcroft

senator rick santorum (r, pa) has gotten himself into a fracas over some controversial remarks in which he compared gay sex to bigamy and pedophilia. gay groups are steamed over santorum's remarks to an ap interviewer, where he argued that

If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.

All of those things are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family. And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist, in my opinion, in the United States Constitution.

helping lead the jihad is the ap reporter who interviewed santorum in the first place. in her recently-posted follow-up story, lara lakes jordan reports

A coalition of groups in Washington and Pennsylvania compared Santorum's remarks to those by those last December by former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott about Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist campaign for the presidency. Shortly afterward, Lott was forced to resign as Republican Senate leader.

"We're urging the Republican leadership to condemn the remarks. They were stunning in their insensitivity, and they're the same types of remarks that sparked outrage toward Sen. Lott," said David Smith, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay advocacy organization. "We would ask that the leadership reconsider his standing within the conference leadership."

Lott resigned his post in December after making remarks at a 100th birthday celebration for Thurmond that were widely considered racially insensitive and condemned by the White House. Lott later apologized.


now the dear lara does allow a blurb in santorum's defense by quoting a spokesperson who reminds us that santroum's comments "were specific to the Supreme Court case." which case is that? why, it's none other than our old friend lawrence v. texas, an outcome-pending supreme court case which left yours truly in a rare state of wobbly ambivalence:

homosexuality is not a constitutionally protected right. privacy, in principle, is, but we must acknowledge that practices engaged in private can nonetheless have the direst public consequences. when homosexuality ceases to become the foremost means of transmitting arguably the most disastrous communicable disease, i will be much more sympathetic to the civil libertarian's position, but the best that i can say now is that, while i believe that sodomy laws probably should remain in the books in the interests of public health, the idea of the police state necessary to enforce such laws, the fundamental violations of privacy, and the possibility that such laws could be brought against groups of which i am a member all combine to leave me teetering uncomfortably on the fence. i don't believe that gay couples are entitled to the legal protections of marriage or even that businesses should be required to extend gay partners healthcare: they do nothing for society and hence society owes them nothing in return. but that doesn't mean that i'm comfortable with the idea of hunting homosexuals like common criminals.

there are a lot of different ways in which one could analyze the gay activists' hissy fit. one could wonder, for instance, why it is that santorum is compared to trent lott while james moran's relentless anti-semitism is virtually ignored by the mainstream press. one might further wonder whether their overblown response doesn't stem from more than a little pent-up frustration. santorum is one of the most conservative senators on the hill, a fundamentalist Christian, and a free-thinking (yes, you read right) dissenter from the school of political correctness who has unabashedly locked horns with gay and feminist groups more times than this dog cares to count. they've been hoping for something to nail santorum on for quite a while, and if this is the best they can get, well, better a bird in the hand--or a chicken, which brings me to my next point.

perhaps the most mystifying aspect of gaydom's response is that the groups santorum compared them to are people they, and liberals in general, otherwise like. it's not like he compared them to john ashcroft, folks. lovers of libertarian freedom frequently bemoan the fate of the persecuted bigamist, and one would not be surprised to learn that gay activists, enamored as they are with the romance of persecuted minority status, would view them as a sort of spiritual kindred. santorum compared gay sex to adultery--so what? liberals love adultery. go watch the english patient or american beauty or basically any other uniformly-lauded film. hell, look at the clinton presidency. his sexual dalliances were sometimes praised for making the president seem more human, more down to earth. and as to pedophilia, well, the gay community's outrage is a bit late. i won't bring up the whole nambla thing again, but suffice it to say that young boys--"chickens" as they are affectionately known in some gay circles--have long been viewed as sex objects by many in the gay community, and the silence on the part of gay leadership had been deafening prior to this recent, rather oblique indignation. so how, exactly, did santorum offend?

look, i have my problems with santorum's remarks. sodomy laws scare me, and while the "right to privacy" has been misdefined and abused, that doesn't mean the constitution wants us kicking down bedroom doors. some things, like bigamy and adultery, can be carried out by consenting adults in the privacy of their homes and still be detrimental to society. is homosexuality among them? i would argue yes, but when's the last time you saw someone arrested for having an affair? branding people with scarlet a's does more damage to the social fabric than the crime itself.

if i had to take a guess, i'd say the main problem gay groups have with santorum's remarks is that they portray homosexuality as being anti-family--or, rather, they adhere to the traditional definition of family that the iconoclastic left has been trying to deconstruct for years. give up homosexuality as a viable family model, and you've given up gay marriage and every other non-traditional archetype to come down the pike over the last forty or so years. see, everyone recognizes that the family is the fundamental building block of society. when a gay "family" is esteemed equally with a heterosexual monogamous union, then you haven't just put a new spin on an old institution or shuffled around the semantics, you've redefined society itself. that's crucial to them, or to anyone who shares the goal of reconstructing society (i.e. "it takes a villiage to raise a child.") santorum goes too far, and i condemn his remarks because they are an affront to liberty. i think the gay rights groups are condemning them because, when it comes to what's good for the family, they're true.

locdog's $0.02


oh, you mean THOSE weapons...

the russians' new-found interest in iraqi weapons of mass destruction doubtless strikes some observers as odd. throughout the nineties, the russians and french demanded that the sanctions which had "killed 500,000 iraqi children," as the popular anti-american slogan goes, be abandoned for the sake of iraq's suffering people. now that saddam is out and america is in, suddenly, we don't want to be too hasty. suddenly, there may be weapons of mass destruction still lingering in iraq. (putin may wish to inform the american press, whose skepticism is becoming more palpable with each passing day.)

i'm sure putin has very good reasons for wanting these sanctions upheld--especially when one considers that russia, along with france, had been steadfast opponents of the sanctions practically since their enaction by the un back in '90, and that as recently as 2001, russia's un ambassador called american and british attempts at revising the sanctions "utterly unrealistic and...contrary to the decisions of the council about the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq." funny thing was, the revisions we wanted would have actually loosened sanctions, including the dropping of restrictions on civilian goods and allowing the sale of "unlimited quantities of oil provided the money mainly goes to the purchase of food and humanitarian supplies." it freed up almost everything except for military supplies. hmm.

moreover, given russia's pooh-poohing of powell's damning presentation to the un on the state of iraq's weapons programs (their un ambassador surely must have struck fear into saddam's heart with his fiery polemic: "Iraq should be...concerned about providing final clarity about the question of weapons of mass destruction") the mind boggles at what could have finally woke the sleeping bear:

For the Security Council to take this decision [to drop sanctions], we need to be certain whether Iraq has weapons of mass destruction or not. This decision cannot be automatic.

so much for sovereignty and territorial integrity. but in the spirit of final clarity, allow me to offer this:

Mr. Annan was given direct authority to sign off on all goods not itemized on a special watch list. Yet shipments with Mr. Annan's go-ahead have included so-called relief items such as "boats" and boat "accessories" from France and "sport supplies" from Lebanon (sports in Iraq having been the domain of Saddam's Hussein's sadistic elder son, Uday).

On Feb. 7, with war all but inevitable, Mr. Annan approved a request by the regime for TV broadcasting equipment from Russia. Was this material intended to shore up the propaganda machine Saddam Hussein had built in recent years? After all, the United Nations in 2000 and 2001 approved more than a dozen contracts with Jordan and France for Iraq to import equipment for "educational TV."

It is impossible to find out for certain. The quantities of goods involved in shipments are confidential, and almost all descriptions on the contract lists made public by the United Nations are so generic as to be meaningless. For example, a deal with Russia approved last Nov. 19 was described on the contract papers with the enigmatic notation: "goods for resumption of project." Who are the Russian suppliers? The United Nations won't say. What were they promised in payment? That's secret.

wonder how this fits into the puzzle...back when iraq was in the control of one of the world's most brutal dictators, russia (and france) wanted the sanctions dropped. now that he's gone, russia (and france) wants the sanctions to remain. the rooskies say they're worried about weapons of mass destruction--but in whose hands? the problem was with saddam giving them to terrorists or using them on his own people. what, are the u.s. marines going to open up an anthrax bazaar? course, back when saddam was still in power, the russians (and french) had billions in sweetheart deals with saddam, most of which were under the table. the sanctions kept overhead high by necessitating secrecy. they were a pain in the neck--even though they found a way to profit off them as well. now that saddam is gone, that profit is all they have left.

won't somebody puh-leeze think of the children?

locdog will: president putin, tear down these sanctions!

and oh btw, i highly recommend the rest of that nytimes op-ed by claudia rosette. it's full of interesting tid-bits like the fact that the "oil-for-palace" program, to quote tommy franks, raised 2.2 percent on the barrel for the united nations: "more than $1 billion to date." but with bank accounts "upward of 12 billion" and no accountability, the program had become a blank check for kofi annan "obviating the need to wring donations from member countries." annan's baby had three thousand iraqi employees who were "charged with monitoring Saddam Hussein's imports and distribution of relief goods -- of course all had to be approved by the Baath Party."

is it any wonder the un was so obstinate in the face of saddam's blatant non-compliance?



welcome back, your dreams were your ticket out...

welcome back to sean gallagher of nota bene fame, permalinked in my blogroll. sean took lent off but he's recharged, rested, and ready to rock. be sure to check out his latest on the empty tomb.

locdog welcomes you back, sg


iraqi WMDs scrapped or shipped out before war?

in a rare moment of clarity, the new york times is reporting that saddam's WMD stockpiles may have been destroyed or shipped to syria just days before the war began. citing military inspectors being aided by an an unnamed iraqi scientist, the times states:

the scientist led Americans to a supply of material that proved to be the building blocks of illegal weapons, which he claimed to have buried as evidence of Iraq's illicit weapons programs.

The scientist also told American weapons experts that Iraq had secretly sent unconventional weapons and technology to Syria, starting in the mid-1990's, and that more recently Iraq was cooperating with Al Qaeda, the military officials said.

far be it from me to admit the NYT as a credible source, but you gotta admit, they certainly have no motive for reporting this sort of thing. if ever anything favorable to bush's iraq stance is reported, howell usually makes sure it's on page A-17. ergo, i gotta believe that this source is pretty darned credible. and as if the their new-found journalistic integrity isn't shocking enough, the times comes dangerously close to portraying the entire pre-war inspection fiasco as the farce it really was

The Americans said the scientist told them that President Saddam Hussein's government had destroyed some stockpiles of deadly agents as early as the mid-1990's, transferred others to Syria, and had recently focused its efforts instead on research and development projects that are virtually impervious to detection by international inspectors, and even American forces on the ground combing through Iraq's giant weapons plants.

empahsis mine.

now, as some of you read this, seething in rage over the revelation that america may just have done the right thing after all, i don't want you to go transferring all that anger on to me. i'm just the messenger. i'm here to raise consciousness, nothing more. maybe gloat a little--but not too much. this story isn't just hindsight, after all. france and russia, who led the charge to against iraqi sanctions throughout the nineties, are now fighting desperately to keep those same sanctions in place as a means of controlling iraqi oil. a report on NPR this morning talked about vladimir putin's latest ploy of insisting upon the re-admittance of un weapons inspectors into iraq before sanctions could be lifted. the reporter suggested this was moscow's way of playing hardball with the united states. well, looks like those balls are getting softer by the minute.

and what about france and russia? what about the past ten years' moaning over the children of iraq? and now that the kids struggling through the aftermath of war, and things are worse than ever from a humanitarian standpoint, these guys want to keep the sanctions on? that's downright monstrous.

locdog isn't surprised