U.S. to pointlessly put warships off Sochi?

Politics versus security.

Let’s stipulate that it was dumb to ever contemplate holding the Winter Olympics in Sochi.  What were we all thinking?

Now we’re stuck with the plan, however.  What to do about the real and intransigent problem of Islamist terrorism in the Caucasus, which has reared its head with a vengeance in recent weeks, and now has several terrorists – and that’s just the known threat – converging on Sochi for the Games?

The U.S. Olympic team’s security has been coordinated with a private security company called Global Rescue, which has worked with Continue reading “U.S. to pointlessly put warships off Sochi?”

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Ukrainians not going quietly into that good night

Another Orange Revolution?…or another Green one?

It was a minor blip on the American radar screen when Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovich, announced on 21 November – in a significant policy reversal – that Ukraine would forego economic and political agreements with the European Union in favor of closer integration with Russia.

For Ukrainians, the blip was anything but minor.  Yanukovich’s political opposition mounted a no-confidence vote in the Ukrainian parliament, which his government survived today (Tuesday 3 December).  More dramatically, thousands of protesters have thronged the streets of Kiev since the 24 November announcement from Yanukovich.  At least 100,000 flooded Independence Square on Sunday to demonstrate in opposition to Yanukovich’s policy (some estimates are as high as 350,000).  Continue reading “Ukrainians not going quietly into that good night”

U.S. airlines expected to comply with Chinese ADIZ rules

Weak.

According to the State Department, the United States expects our airline carriers will comply with the ADIZ rules laid out by China in the Notice to Airmen announcing enforcement of the ADIZ.

As with the distinction we are observing with respect to Iran’s right to enrich uranium, our acceptance of the ADIZ rules does not mean we agree with them, according to the State Department formulation.  It just means our civilian airliners are complying with them.

Japan and South Korea are taking a different tack. Continue reading “U.S. airlines expected to comply with Chinese ADIZ rules”

Five ways in which Obama doesn’t represent the American people

We don’t agree with that.

It is obligatory to start this one out with the point that not everything on earth is Barack Obama’s fault.  Not everything is even the fault of the ideology he embraces.  The affairs of men are more complicated than that.  Obama, like every U.S. president, has to respond to a number of things that didn’t necessarily happen because of his policies, just as he has to shoulder the responsibility for things that have happened because of his policies.

The complexity of human affairs means, moreover, that it is simplistic to view such concepts as negotiating or using force in a single, all-purpose framework.  “Negotiating” isn’t always weak, nor is it always wise, benign, or the only “peaceful” course.  “Using force” can be stupid or smart, depending.  Sometimes it’s just the least atrocious option.  Other times, it’s the most atrocious, and not using force is still atrocious.  Life is like that. Continue reading “Five ways in which Obama doesn’t represent the American people”

Just a reminder: Iran still closing in on bomb

Still enriching after all these years.

The flood of recent disclosures about President Obama’s actions in the national security realm has the infosphere abuzz with soundbites like “playing cards” (decorated with terrorist photos, which the president reportedly uses to select drone victims), “Flame,” and that new-old standby, “Stuxnet.” Some conservatives, in particular, are spending time pointing out that the Stuxnet effort was launched by the Bush administration, that “Flame” apparently was too, and that using the playing cards to pick drone victims is just creepy.

I believe we could be doing better things with our time.  I suggest that we let Obama take whatever credit he wants, and focus instead on the things that matter, Continue reading “Just a reminder: Iran still closing in on bomb”