The U.S. deal with North Korea marks resumption of an old pattern.

Now putatively ruled by the young and untested son of Kim Jong Il, North Korea continues to be “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” as Winston Churchill once famously described the former Soviet Union.

So all we can do is speculate about the meaning of the news that Pyongyang is looking to resume its old game of WMD blackmail—in other words, we’ll stop producing bad stuff for a while if you give us food.

Still, one thing is clear: The announcement on Wednesday that the North has agreed to suspend nuclear weapons tests and enrichment and permit visits by international inspectors in exchange for food aid follows an old pattern, a resumption of the norm that may indicate, perhaps, that the internal politics of the country have somewhat settled after the long illness of Kim Jong Il.

The deal marks the resumption of a game the North Koreans have been playing since the 1994 Agreed Framework, the Clinton-era pact under which the North was to get 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil each year and billions of dollars’ worth of civilian nuclear equipment in return for freezing and “eventually” dismantling its plutonium program.


Kim Jong-Un’s Deal for Survival Posted By Ryan Mauro

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The U.S. and North Korea announced yesterday that a breakthrough had been reached. North Korea will suspend its uranium enrichment program, stop testing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles and allow inspectors to check out its nuclear sites. In return, the U.S. will provide 240,000 metric tons of food aid annually. It sounds like a good deal, but will it help save a teetering regime with a human rights record comparable only to Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia?

The major concern is that the food aid will be diverted to the regime and the military instead of its starving population and then violate its agreements.

“The destitute North Korean economy needs foreign aid to avoid collapse. North Korea follows a now clear cycle of ostentatiously dangerous conduct followed by a conciliatory gesture that brings its neighbors and the U.S. rushing to the negotiating table, bearing goodies,” writes Christian Whiton, a former deputy special envoy for human rights in North Korea.

Under Kim Jong-Il, North Korea violated several past “breakthrough” agreements. It should be assumed that Kim Jong-Un will follow the same strategy because it worked. There is already uncertainty over whether the regime has agreed to suspend its plutonium reprocessing program that is responsible for at least two nuclear tests. Its announcement only referred to uranium. A senior U.S. official said the administration is confident that the plutonium program is also covered under the deal.


Many people are looking to the many primary elections on March 6 — “Super Tuesday” — to clarify where this year’s Republican nomination campaign is headed. It may clarify far more than that, including the future of this nation and of Western civilization.

If a clear winner with a commanding lead emerges, the question then becomes whether that candidate is someone who is likely to defeat Barack Obama. If not, then the fate of America — and of Western nations, including Israel — will be left in the hands of a man with a lifelong hostility to Western values and Western interests.

President Obama is such a genial man that many people, across the ideological space, cannot see him as a danger. For every hundred people who can see his geniality, probably only a handful see the grave danger his warped policies and ruthless tactics pose to a whole way of life that has given generation after generation of Americans unprecedented freedom and prosperity.

The election next November will not be just another election, and the stakes add up to far more than the sum of the individual issues.

Moreover, if re-elected and facing no future election, whatever political constraints may have limited how far Obama would push his radical agenda will be gone. READ IT ALL AT THE SITE


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Iran’s ‘Rational’ Suicide Posted By David P. Goldman

JCS Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey must have a big mind, if we accept Emerson’s dictum that consistency is the hobgoblin of little ones. Yesterday he “addressed remarks he made in a CNN interview in which he referred to the Iranian government as a ‘rational actor’ and said an attack by Israel on Iran would be ‘destabilizing’ and ‘not prudent,’” reports Jeremy Herb at The Hill:

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a Senate panel on Tuesday he did not counsel Israel against attacking Iran over its nuclear program. Gen. Martin Dempsey told lawmakers on the Senate Budget Committee, “We’ve had a conversation with them about time, the issue of time.”

Dempsey also defended his comment that Iran is a “rational actor.” Dempsey said that he doesn’t mistake Iran’s rhetoric for a lack of reason, and said that even Iran’s actions that are unacceptable to the U.S. fit the country’s pattern over the past 30 years. “We can’t afford to underestimate our potential adversaries by writing them off as irrational,” Dempsey said.



Some 8,000 people die in the UK every year due to what is being called “Fuel Poverty”, or more simply when it costs too much to heat your home. Naturally the left is already on the case, staging “Die-Ins” outside energy companies and demanding that carbon credits be used to make homes “super-energy efficient”.

Left out of the equation is that rising fuel prices can in no small part be attributed to the environmental mania which is at the heart of the movement. It isn’t oil and gas companies that are killing the elderly with high fuel prices, it’s carbon mania and environmentalism. Energy companies are not run by saints, but they don’t have an interest in making oil and gas prices out of reach of ordinary people. It’s hard to sell home heat to the dead or the destitute. On the other hand environmentalists do indeed have that agenda.


On the stripping of liberties by progressives, as detailed by Mark R. Levin’s Ameritopia.

I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand.” The saturnine wisdom of Charles M. Schulz’s immortal Peanuts comic strip is impossible not to recall when reading Mark R. Levin’s new blockbuster, Ameritopia.1 For one thing, there is the sheer Schadenfreude of imagining how the people at the The New York Times, those notorious lovers of humankind, must have reacted upon learning that a new book by the popular conservative radio host would debut at number one on the paper’s bestseller list—the slot Levin’s last book, Liberty and Tyranny, owned for more weeks than the Gray Lady cares to remember.

Linus’s snark, more to the point, marks the scrimmage-line in the epic struggle Levin depicts. On one side stand progressives, whose professed humanitarian devotion thinly camouflages a disdain for flesh-and-blood people . . . particularly the kind who go to Tea Party rallies. To the social engineers, people are little more than laboratory specimens in statist experiments contrived to drag the benighted species toward perfection—which is to say, to subjugate people into serving the engineers’ conception of the good.

It is too early to tell, but not too early to be very worried.

The Arabic-language newspaper al-Arabiya reported on Tuesday that the Obama administration has offered to release Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman to Egypt. Abdel Rahman is the infamous “Blind Sheikh” who was convicted in 1995 for masterminding a terrorist war against the United States that included the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb New York City landmarks. According to the late Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda’s founder, Abdel Rahman is also responsible for the fatwa — the necessary Islamic edict — that green-lighted the 9/11 attacks.

The alleged offer to release Abdel Rahman is said to be an effort to end the impasse over 16 American “civil-society activists” (including the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood) being detained by Egypt’s interim government. The Blind Sheikh, the report says, would be part of a prisoner exchange: 50 Egyptians swapped for the Americans whose organizations are said to have received foreign funding in violation of Egyptian law. (See my post from last week on efforts by senior Republican senators to secure the Americans’ release.) Speculation that a quid pro quo may be in place has intensified because, in recent days, Egyptian authorities suddenly adjourned the trial of the Americans and lifted the travel ban against seven of them, including Sam LaHood — freeing them to return to the U.S.


Presidential mistress (while a teenager) Mimi Alford claims the President who remains the most popular in modern U.S. offered her amyl nitrate poppers during a nude swimming party at the Palm Springs estate of Bing Crosby, the most popular entertainer of America’s Norman Rockwell era. The party took place around “White” Christmas of 1962.

“The shouts and shrieks of the partygoers,” writes Seymour Hersh in his earlier (but corroborating book) The Dark Side of Camelot, “had the California State policeman guarding the estate that night assuming the sounds were actually the nighttime calls of coyotes.”

But as the whoops and shrieks got louder the alarmed state troopers finally called Kennedy’s Secret Service agents Joe Paolella and Larry Newman to ask if some coyotes were bothering the President. The agents, long accustomed to averting their gaze during these frequent episodes, finally went around back fence and investigated. “(Kennedy’s top aide) Dave Powers was banging a girl on the edge of the pool,” recalled Newman, “while the President was sitting across the pool having a drink and talking to some broads. Everybody was buck**s naked.”

But no word from the Secret Service agents if Bingo’s “Silent Night, Holy Night” played in the background during this Yuletide celebration.

Mere months earlier dozens of Cuban exiles (many of them college kids about Mimi Alford’s age) were infiltrating Cuba and bringing out eye-witness reports of what remains the biggest military threat to the U.S. since 1812. In the process dozens were also dying by firing squad and torture at the hands of Castro and Che Guevara’s KGB- tutored secret police.

Most wars have a turning point that either signals the road to victory or the ditch of defeat. In Vietnam, the 1968 Tet Offensive by communist troops against South Vietnamese and American forces and their allies is regarded as the turning point in that conflict. Though communist forces suffered heavy losses, which would normally define defeat, CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite and others in the U.S. media, portrayed the operation as an allied loss, thus encouraging not only the anti-war movement, but North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops who believed all they had to do was hang on until America grew tired of the war and quit.

Since the Obama administration appears to care more about not offending those Afghans who want to kill Americans and since it has announced the deadline for the withdrawal of surge-level troops in Afghanistan for later this year, despite the fact that they have stymied the efforts of Taliban insurgents to destabilize the country, maybe it’s time to pull all U.S. forces out and leave our puppet, Hamid Karzai, to his fate.

The latest affront comes courtesy of the burning of Korans by U.S. soldiers on a military base near Kabul. Military officials maintain the Korans were being used by imprisoned jihadists to pass messages to other prisoners and were confiscated and destroyed. A spokesman for the NATO-led force said the troops, “…should have known to check with cultural advisers to determine how to dispose of religious material properly.” For this unintended action, however, Karzai wants the soldiers to be put on trial and has asked NATO commanders to allow it. If they do, they will have disgraced their uniform.

Does writing in a Koran desecrate it? One might expect it would, but the outrage is over the burning, not the writing. More than 1,700 Americans have died in and around Afghanistan and more than 14,000 have been wounded since the United States invaded shortly after September 11, 2011. And this is the thanks we get? How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless puppet.



Democrats finally got some good news yesterday in the form of a U.S. senator’s retirement announcement. Previously nine of the 33 senators whose terms end next January had announced that they wouldn’t seek re-election. Only two of the retirees were Republicans, both from states where the GOP is strong, Arizona and Texas. Of the seven Democrats (including Joe Lieberman, re-elected as an independent in 2006), only two come from heavily Democratic states, Connecticut and Hawaii. Larry Sabato rates the remaining five open Democratic seats as either “likely R” (Nebraska, North Dakota) or “toss up” (New Mexico, Virginia, Wisconsin).
[botwt0229] Associated Press

Snowe wonder she’s leaving.

But No. 10 is Olympia Snowe, a moderate-to-liberal Republican from Maine, a state that has moved toward the Democrats in recent years. Usually Republican in presidential elections before 1992, that year it was the only state where President Bush finished third, behind Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. The last Pine Tree State Republican elected to the U.S. House, James Longley in 1994, was shortly defeated for re-election in 1996. Maine does have a conservative Republican governor, but he was elected in 2010 with just 38% of the vote in a five-way race.