10 August 2004

Does it get more in your face than that?

[source, source]

Iran’s move came during crisis talks in Paris this month with senior diplomats from Britain, France and Germany.

The “EU-3” were trying to convince Iranian officials to honour an earlier deal to suspend its controversial uranium enrichment programme, which is ostensibly designed to make fuel for nuclear power stations but could also be used to make fissile material for nuclear bombs. Iranian officials refused point-blank to comply, saying they had every right under international law to pursue “peaceful” nuclear technology.

They then stunned the Europeans by presenting a letter setting out their own demands.

Iran said the EU-3 should support Iran’s quest for “advanced (nuclear) technology, including those with dual use” - a reference to equipment that has both civilian and military applications.

The Europeans should “remove impediments” preventing Iran from having such technology, and stick to these commitments even if faced with “legal (or) political . . . limitations”, an allusion to American pressure or even future international sanctions against Iran.

More astonishingly, Iran said the EU-3 should agree to meet Iran’s requirements for conventional weapons and even “provide security assurances” against a nuclear attack on Iran.

I don’t know what’s distressing, that Iran would demand this kind of nuclear technology or that the mullahs thought the EUlite would provide it. So much for soft power.

P.S. Spoons notices this as well. I have to say, though, that it’s not the guts of Iran to try for nukes despite the opposition of France and Germany, but the guts to demand help.

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On the other side


It has become commonplace for Western wire services to publish pictures of masked mujahideen engaged in killing US and coalition soldiers, photographed in loving closeup: Yahoo! News Photos - Iraq.

What would have been the reaction in World War II, if American newspapers had run photographs of bravely posing Waffen SS stormtroopers firing their weapons at Allied soldiers, credited openly to German photographers?

But now, no one cares. No one even notices.

Oh, I’m sure our enemies notice and care.

Posted by orbital at 7:03 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

Know your friends

This site was sooooo persuasive that I almost switched teams.

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ChiComs thrown in the health care towel

[source, source]

China is debating how far and how fast to reform its medical and health-care system, once considered a pillar of socialist society that provided adequate health care to all at no cost. That clearly doesn’t work and the issue now appears to be privatization, commercialization and profit, though the government is not expected completely to bow out of what is considered a strategic sector of economy and society. [emphasis added]

The Chinese Communist Party has given up on free, universal health care - when will Democratic Party follow suit? Or are they happy to stay politically to the left of the ChiComs?

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Dissent silencing watch


Twice in 24 hours, an online book seller entry for Unfit For Command has been manipulated improperly to damage the book. The first was at Barnes&Noble where the title and blurb were changed. The next was at Amazon where a fake book review was posted.

Sounds either desperate or deranged to me. It’s so hard to tell these days.

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Those pesky facts

[source, source]

A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the United States with real gross domestic product per person in 2003 of $34,960 (in 1999 dollars). This is well above every European country. The most productive European country, Norway, has a per capita GDP of just $30,882 (converted using purchasing power parity exchange rates). The major countries of Europe are even further behind: United Kingdom ($26,039), France ($25,578), Italy ($24,894) and Germany ($24,813).

In other words, Europeans produce no more per year than Americans did 20 years ago. And they are not catching up. According to the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland, the productivity gap between the United States and Europe is actually widening. In the Euro area as a whole, workers were 86 percent as productive as American workers in 1995. In 2003, this fell to 84 percent.

As a consequence, living standards are much lower in Europe than most Americans imagine. This fact is highlighted in a new study by the Swedish think tank Timbro. For example, it notes that the average poor family here has 25 percent more living space than the average European. Looking at all American households, we have about twice as much space: 1,875 square feet here versus 976.5 square feet in Europe. On average, Europeans only live about as well as those in the poorest American state, Mississippi.

Are we reaching the stage, as we did with the USSR, where the economic failures of the competing model become so great that it becomes part of the general gestalt? Is that why the Left in general is so desperate this election?

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Old Media - sand trap for real news


Everything you ever wanted to know about this story [about Kerry in Cambodia] is in this Instapundit post, and this NOFP blog summary.

Mark my words. This story is never going to get any traction. Why? Because there’s no wiggle room for Kerry on this. The press loves to throw dirt at both candidates, because they enjoy the firefight afterwards. They’ll draw the line, however, at actually doing serious damage to Kerry.

In the Cambodia story, we have an unambiguous, repeated lie by Kerry about an issue central to his political life. There’s simply no “other side” to this story, and no way for him to weasel out of it.

So the press will simply do whatever they have to to bury it.

Sadly, this isn’t anything bold about this prediction.

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