Obama’s Cuban missile crisis

Even greater than JFK?

What a coup it would be, for Team Obama to turn two weeks of dithering and squandering American credibility on the Syria question into a narrative of courage under fire and successful brinkmanship.

Could it happen?  It happened for John F. Kennedy.  Granted, he had Arthur Schlesinger to write a narrative for him afterward.  And his administration did a better job of keeping secrets than the Obama administration does.  It was only years later that the public began to realize how big a concession it was to Nikita Khrushchev to resolve the Cuban missile crisis by secretly removing U.S. theater ballistic missiles from Turkey. Continue reading “Obama’s Cuban missile crisis”

Wrong, hackneyed, overworked: Beyond the usual analysis of “China and North Korea”

Is there any piece of received wisdom more universally invoked than the inane piety that China wants to calm North Korea down, and gets annoyed when the Kims act up?  It’s hard to think of many.  This hoary premise gets trotted out every time.  And every time, it comes up short on explanatory or operational value.  It’s never relevant to why the Kim went crazy.  Nor is China coming down on a Kim ever the key to settling the Kim’s hash.  If the snarling Kim stops yelping for a while, it’s always because the U.S. was induced to do something – intensify some negotiating stance, make some offer, fork over some “aid,” make a concession to China; or maybe just look alert enough to make it the wrong time for a showdown.

You’d think someone would figure this out. Continue reading “Wrong, hackneyed, overworked: Beyond the usual analysis of “China and North Korea””