9/11: Reassessing the Reassessment

Sadly, George Friedman misses the boat in his GWOT critique.

The Sooners play Florida State this afternoon, and Kansas and Georgia Tech have a shoot-out going.  It’s a bright football Saturday in early fall.  Being at the computer typing isn’t my top idea of a good time.  But as the 9th anniversary of 9/11 passes, it seems necessary to respond to an article on 9/11 from long-time writer on strategy and geopolitics George Friedman, posted this week at Real Clear World.  Friedman runs Strategic Forecasting, one of the pioneers of open-source intelligence and strategic advice patronized by businesses, think tanks, and opinion writers.  I think highly of STRATFOR and always give Friedman a hearing; he has a useful perspective and often frames things in a way that resonates with me.

That’s why I was somewhat surprised to read his take on our response to 9/11, and in particular, the reasoning that produced it. Continue reading “9/11: Reassessing the Reassessment”

Another Day, Another Iranian Underground Facility

A strange new dismissiveness for intel on Iran.

It’s been a big 48 hours.  An Iranian dissident group has provided new information about a suspect facility nestled in the mountains northwest of Tehran, near the city of Qazvin.  The People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI) says it has information from sources in Iran that the facility, referred to by authorities as “311,” is supervised by a Mr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, an individual who is under UN sanctions for his suspected work on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.  PMOI describes it as an underground facility for uranium enrichment.  The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a long-time source of initial information on Iran’s nuclear programs, says the facility is run by Iran’s Ministry of Defense, and that construction on the underground facility in question began in 2005.  (Oddly, Washington Post didn’t report these particular details, although Haaretz did.) Continue reading “Another Day, Another Iranian Underground Facility”

Potemkin Palestinians, Made in USA

“Won’t you be my partner?”

This one is really good, and the best part of it is, you’re paying for it.

The live, direct, and totally-in-person Direct Middle East Peace Talks kicked off this week in the USA, featuring Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu and Mahmoud “Madman” Abbas, refereed by Hillary Clinton and the Statesdudes of Foggy Bottom.  President Barack Obama got to have a really cool photo op on a red carpet, in which he was taller than, like, everybody.  For a few minutes, US pundits talked about something besides the unemployment rate and his declining poll numbers.

Abroad, on the eve of the red-carpet photo op, the inexcusable existence of Israel caused a desperate Hamas, starving yet noble inmate-warden of Gaza Prison, to murder four Israelis (one of them a pregnant woman) in cold blood in the West Bank.  Mahmoud “Madman” Abbas stepped right up to the plate to communicate through a spokesman that this attack underlined “the need to proceed quickly toward a just and lasting peace agreement” in order to “put an end to these acts,” because he’s just that kind of humanitarian.  Meanwhile, over in Iran, the Direct Talks coincided with the annual Al Qods (Jerusalem) Day festival, in which rent-a-mobs shout hysterically as the revolutionary regime invokes death on Israel and the Great Satan.

Things were lame and boring, as they always are, back in the USA.  But Americans were getting to participate, Continue reading “Potemkin Palestinians, Made in USA”