Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rare Headlines

In the category of headlines you don't see very often, from Fox:

Balloon Fire Kills Circus Clown

Continuing the Eastern Europe theme from the last post, the doomed clown (I know it's heartless to say so, but that's still funny!) was from Belarus.
Cossacks and Tartars and Poles, Oh, My!
I just finished reading Henryk Sienkiewicz's "With Fire and Sword", a mind-bending 1100 pages of fury and passion in the steppes of the Ukraine and Poland. Well, OK, today you've got Belarus and maybe a bit of Moldava in there as well. But I was swept away by the narrative. And there are two more volumes to go! It has pre-echoes of The Lord of the Rings, even Star Wars. It perhaps owes a bit to Gogol's Taras Bulba, but outdoes it by a mile. As a commenter says on another Sienkiewicz work:
This man constructs plots like Alexander Dumas and ranks with Tolstoy's greatest novels for sheer scope.

I like him better than Tolstoy because he is more unapologetically masculine and consumed with notions of honor that are only shamefacedly acknowledged in order to be criticized these days.
I inserted a "meme" I've never seen anywhere else on a backtalk post that opined thusly:
...the only real question is this: what approach would you favor if you became convinced that Iran's actual plan was to develop a nuclear bomb no matter what they verbally agree to do in response to UN demands and no matter what the cost might be in terms of economic sanctions?

What then?

Here's the comment:
If Iran gets the bomb, why not let it slip that the Iraqi government has also been given access to nukes, to establish the same kind of balance of power that has kept the Indian and Pakistani governments from using their nuclear devices against each other? Iraq and Iran are the only two countries in the world that have fought each other in a war with over a million casualties since World War II.

The immediate response would be that we can't trust the Iraqi government to do the right thing, that giving access to a nuclear bomb to Shi'ites and Sunnis is nothing short of suicide. But those critics will have to explain why we're giving Muslims billions of dollars for all kinds of other weapons. Any Iraqi politician who would stand up to Iran, brandishing a nuke, would win over all the various sects within Iraq and gain enormous standing in the Arab world as their savior against the Persians. To say the least, it would change the political calculus.