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China Helps Keep North Korea in Line



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Here’s some good news (for a change) on North Korea. We’ve had numerous reports of Chinese hesitance to help the U.S. curb North Korea’s nuclear program. But this article suggests that, since our invasion of Iraq, the Chinese may have forced the North Koreans to stop their provocations. (Thanks to ParaPundit, by the way, for the link and the comments.) The remarkable thing here is that the Chinese are apparently using our invasion of Iraq to point out to the North Koreans that the United States is not a paper tiger. That is exactly what the administration hoped this war would achieve.

But don’t get too happy about this encouraging news of Chinese pressure on the North Koreans. For one thing, the Chinese are internally divided on this issue, so it’s anything but clear that they will consistently carry through. And the biggest problem of all is that, even with pressure from China, it will be well nigh impossible to monitor North Korea’s nuclear progress. To see why, read “An Ominous Cloud,” the third entry in my series of articles on North Korea. I’m afraid the piece got a bit lost in all the rush of the war’s beginning. But the danger from North Korea is real, and growing. For another dose of unpleasant reality, c

Permanent Research Request



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This is a request without deadline. Any time you see a prominent liberal refer to conservatives or Republicans as “fascists” or “Nazis” (or Hitlerite, Brown Shirts etc) I’d like to hear about it. Anti-war protestors, letters to the editor, obscure blogs and other below the radar venues aren’t that helpful. But Democratic Party officials, politicians, intellectuals in elite magazines, newspapers or interviews: these are the things I want. Those of you who’ve read or remember my “Springtime for Slanderers” column will understand what I’m looking for. Old quotes are useful too. I just need as much attribution as possible (date, place, link if possible, etc). Any help you can provide would be much appreciated. One request:pleaseput “fascist quote” or “Nazi quote” in the subject header.

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Inflation



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Erin O’Connor’s on fire. Her Critical Mass is the best blog out there for those who’ve had it with campus P.C. O’Connor’s got a great post up
on grade inflation
— a biting, balanced, and thorough account of what it’s all about. Even with a war on, this is worth reading.

Web Briefing: November 22, 2014

Arnett



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Two things come to mind about this Arnett business. First, I’m kicking myself because a reader from the Gulf who watches Arab TV told me about Arnett’s interview in general terms before news broke here and I didn’t follow-up.

Second, I really like NBC’s initial defense. In a statement, NBC said: “Peter Arnett and his crew have risked their lives to bring the American people up-to-date, straightforward information on what is happening in and around Baghdad. His impromptu interview with Iraqi TV was done as a professional courtesy and was similar to other interviews he has done with media outlets from around the world.” [Emphasis mine]

Hmmmm. Am I the only one a bit perplexed by this? Does/did NBC really believe that “Iraqi TV” is simply another “media outlet”? The criticism of Arnett from the media criticism crowd has focused on Arnett’s bad judgement. But that is a known quantity. NBC’s judgement is an open question. In their about-face statement NBC said today “It was wrong for Mr. Arnett to grant an interview to state-controlled Iraqi TV, especially at a time of war. And it was wrong for him to discuss his personal observations and opinions in that interview.” The statement was issued by Allison Gollust, the same woman who on Sunday described Arnett’s comments as a professional courtesy. One wonders, however, If Arnett had given an uncontroversial interview, would NBC stand by its “professional courtesy” stance?

Tom Rosenstiel, who runs the Project for Excellence in Journalism, tells Howard Kurtz , “this is even more alarming or damaging for him. . . . Blurring the line between reporter and actor in the drama invites that same confusion and maybe even makes it worse.” Well, what about blurring the line between a Goebbelsesque propaganda outfit and a credible “media outlet”? Is Iraqi TV — owned by Saddam Hussein’s family — just another “professional” outfit? Arnett apologized this morning, explaining why it was a mistake. It would be nice if NBC explained itself similarly.

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Help—Vietnam



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Writing a quick “another Vietnam” column. Please hit me with all the reasons that this is not another Vietnam, but don’t send stuff after 12:30 p.m. Thanks.

Are The Arabs Really This Stupid?



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That’s the question for today’s Goldberg File.Already written, already up. How do you like them apples?

Media Flip Flop



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Here’s another reason why the press coverage of the war switched so suddenly the Sunday before last. As I’m so fond of noting, Edumund Burke once said that example is the school of mankind and they will learn at no other. The press has only a few examples of wars in its memory banks. There’s World War Two, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War and the airwar in the former Yugoslavia. Alas, the Korean War really is the forgotten war. And, when you boil it down, the press really thinks only Vietnam and the Gulf War are pertinent. These two examples are prisms through which they judge this war. So once we reached what they perceived to be a tipping point in this war, when it seemed to them to be less like a Gulf War II and more like a Vietnam II they simply appropriated the relevant language.

Of course, this war still bears a closer resemblance to the first Gulf War than it does to Vietnam. But that doesn’t matter much to the press. Once this war stopped meeting their expectations, they simply switched vocabularies. Now, the press is going through the difficult process of discovering this is a new kind of war.

Bad Day For War Primadonnas



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Geraldo has apparently been dis-embedded.

The Termination



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Saddam Tv, No More?



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Arnett History?



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I’m currently at an undisclosed location without a TV, so missed it, but sources tell me NBC and National Geographic have severed ties with Peter Arnett.

One Million Mogadishus, One Hundred Bin Ladens



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Egypt’s Mubarak warns the Iraq war will create “100 bin Ladens.”

Dc Choice



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A school choice supporter in D.C. comes under fierce attack from all the usual suspects, according to this Washington Post story. President Bush has plenty on his plate these days, but wouldn’t it be nice if he could make a private call to her expressing his thanks for her willingness to buck the establishment and do the right thing?

Focus On Chemical Ali



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Voting in Zimbabwe



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Parliamentary by-elections are taking place in Zimbabwe, and the Movement for Democratic Change is threatening mass action if Mugabe rigs the vote again.

Taxing in Calif.



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California advocates of more expensive government are hard at work on plans to weaken Proposition 13, the 1978 tax limitation initiative.

A Palestinian Celebration



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The Palestinian Authority has renamed a main neighborhood square in Jenin in honor of the terrorist who killed four Americans with a bomb in a taxi.

“Critical Choice”



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Iraq, After



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A great article by Eric Davis for the Foreign Policy Research Institute explains Iraq’s post-colonial political history, and argues that prospects for civil society and democracy in liberated Iraq are very good.

“Vive Chirac! Stop The Jews!”



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That’s what members of the Religion of Peace were shouting in the streets of Paris at a recent protest. Islamofascism met with Gallic shrugs is turning the City of Light into a metropolis of gathering darkness. What you tolerate, you encourage. So what’s France’s excuse this time?

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