12 October 2006

A Mixed Bag of Thoughts

Yeah I haven't been posting much lately; truth be told, I'm going through one of those occasional lulls that bloggers sometimes go through where there's a combination of a lack of motivation and a lack of things to say. There may be some important stuff going on, but there's either no important story to tell from my perspective or I don't see it as being too major-league a development.

Case in point: the North Korean nuclear test. Obviously, being me, I think that it's a very bad thing for Kim Jong Il to detonate a nuclear weapon. It's the latest in a string of "unacceptable" actions on his part that, ultimately, will be accepted by the "international community." I've seen a lot of malarkey on the news lately about how this is a truly new development and will set off a domino effect of nuclear proliferation. Truth be told, as I said over at JBG's blog, this is North Korea's coming out party that confirms what many of us have known for a long time: Kim Jong Il has the bomb. A decade-long failed twin policy of containment and deterrence vis-a-vis Pyongyang has resulted in this past week's developments, which is why I don't see this as being a new development so much as it is a disturbing action by a dictator that should not have been allowed to develop a nuclear weapon in the first place. Kudos to my Dal colleague Chris for getting himself in the papers as Halifax's resident expert on the DPRK, that's pretty cool stuff.

Other than that, I'm spending a lot of time anticipating next week, when Carrie & Nathan come to visit and I get my Dal degree. It's going to be a lot of fun getting to hang out with one of my sisters, something I haven't gotten to do since February. I think that this will be the first time in months someone who doesn't live in my apartment gets to set foot in it, too, which says a lot about the status of my social life. Ha! So there's that, I'll be converting my OUC degree to a UBC degree (does anybody know what the dimensions on a UBC degree are? 8.5x11 or 11x14?), and I'll probably have that in hand before my thesis is returned to me. Oh yeah, and I've got a copy of the Stones show here in Halifax. It's good listening. If you want it, get in touch with me.

If you haven't yet, go out and get Bob Woodward's new book, State of Denial. Excellent reading and a hard light is shone on Rumsfeld's conduct of the Iraq War and occupation. Everybody who knows me knows that I'm a big supporter of the grand strategy behind the War on Terror & Tyranny, but the strategy in Iraq has turned out poorly and you will encounter a series of missed opportunities to "get it right" in Iraq by reading this book. A lot of head-shaking took place as I read this, and no doubt many folks who are less supportive of this Administration than I will come away from the book with a mixed sentiment of "I told you so" and frustration at the incompetence.

Get better Anna-Banana-Loo!


C. LaRoche said...

Rich, State of Denial is on Birthday list for sure. It'll go into the pile of books I have been meaning to read but probably won't until I stop being a laay, lethargic mofo.

Thanks for the shout out re: NK. One question: you say, "which is why I don't see this as being a new development so much as it is a disturbing action by a dictator that should not have been allowed to develop a nuclear weapon in the first place."

Unfortunately, there was no real way to prevent him from developing nukes. Back in 1992 the regime was fine. We could have sanctioned it all we wanted. It didn't need Chinese or South Korean support. And invading it would have been just as difficult, if not more difficult. I think this is a real problem with nonproliferation -- short of invasion, rogue regimes have no real reason to disarm. We'll just screw them over later, anyway.

RGM said...

Ahh yes the "to read" pile of books. I've still got a bunch of those left from the summer, and I had one show up today that I was waiting on for a while too. I do love them readin' books.

You are bang-on when it comes to assessing the options regarding nuclear proliferation. Deterrence only works when it is applied consistently for an indefinite period (which it surely wasn't in this case), and containment is only meant to stop other states from expanding, not crack open the billiard ball and play with the fun goo inside. And it's not like appealing to international law always works. It's a very high stakes game trying to enforce norms on nuclear proliferation, and the Korea case demonstrates its limits.

Jason Bo Green said...

One book I really want to read is this one "Enough" by Juan Williams.

Here is the Mark Steyn review of it:

Juan Williams' book

Congratulations on all your recent successes and steps, by the way.

Jason Bo Green said...

Oh - I of course agree that Kim Il-Jong should not be allowed to have nuclear weapons.

Carrie said...

5 days too long, damnit!!!
I just want to wake up and have it be the 18th so I can finally get to your end and away from all this crap (work and just this stupid drama that is going on here!)
Nathan's highly looking forward to meeting you as well.
And I can't wait. I just can't wait. It's been eight months since I've last seen the two of you and that really sucks to think about! Maybe we can all go out for some good drinks at a nice and fancy place and just chill (I wouldn't mind having at least one bellini while I'm down there HA HA!). I hope that the weather will also hold up a bit for us too. I hear it's absolutely beautiful with the fall change and the leaves and stuff...

I get more and more excited when I think about this!!!

suzie_q31 said...

im going to be really pissy for the week carrie is in halifax. id absolutley love to be there too.
so therefore i should save up money and go there by myself.
that always works.
i miss you tons.

RGM said...

Wow, JBG, that sounds like it'd be a very interesting read, and no doubt a highly controversial one. If you do get your hands on it, I'd like to read a review or some such thing at either your place or a comment here at mine. Thanks also for the nice words, next Saturday is the big day!

To the sisters: Thing 1, definitely start saving your money, our door is always open to you; Thing 2, you may have to carry us home after a night out because I don't think we've had a fuzzy drink in at least a couple months! Much excitement about the trip, and much hope that there can be others like it in the future...hopefully with less distance to travel.