Why Fewer Journalists Is a Good Idea

I don’t speak about Afghanistan – or, Iraq, these days, but Michael A. Cohen set me off today – now I recall why I stopped subscribing to TNR. “Why haven’t progressives mounted more of a challenge to the war in Afghanistan?” Short answer: they’re not “progressives”!

…liberals generally support the objectives of the war in Afghanistan—and for a good part of the past seven years have been calling on the U.S. to devote more attention to the war there, rather than Iraq.

Shelby Foote’s Best Spin on the Ol’ South (Video)

I’ll be as giving as possible. Shelby Foote, whose entire opus on the Civil War I actually read, was a national treasure and just damn entertaining to listen to. And now I’ll resume bashing the crap out of my southern-sympathizing compatriots.

Strike the Strike Fighter

I noticed a trend in my podcast listening. It’s about the abuse by elites of their power, and how a republic and players in the republic, contending against rivals in the marketplace and on the battlefield, vanquish the only curbs on their political rot. That’s easiest to see with the F-35 Boondoggle.

Most Americans Oppose Regime Change in North Korea

TMH’s R. Elgin is clearly more impressed than I am with the occult powers of the American electorate, to see the future of the Korean peninsula. But, he missed what the far less bellicose message in that poll is.

At this point, Americans would support assistance to South Korea in the event of a war, but are clearly not in favour of an invasion to remove the communist regime.

North Koreans Perfect Car Culture

I’ll put aside my opinion, that leadership successions really aren’t that important for one post. One little detail WaPo leaves out about the brother-in-law of Kim Jong Il promoted to the No. 2 spot in the secretive nation’s leadership is, that Kim Jong-il was physically present for the event.

But, the report of who is now in power pales in comparison to the possible tale of who were taken out – and with cars:

The Daily Show Does the Cheonan Incident (Video)

I might as well add my gripes about Jon Stewart’s monologue on the Cheonan Incident. I apologize, I’m still studying for an exam.

But, really, why do we need Korean War footage and Klinger clips, to add humor to this incident? If any South Korean living now has any recollection of M*A*S*H, it’s negative. And, of course, the two Koreas are at war. But, in 2010, neither Korea is the same state that in 1950 began that debacle, and the relationship between the two has evolved as well. It’s just not the framing I would prefer for this comic sketch. The blogosphere is weathering the crisis with skepticism and hard questions about regional stability, proliferation, unification, and China’s role in the world. Get on the right page, Jon!

Subversive AND Skeptical in the South

Just when I get frustrated with the expat blogosphere – which seems utterly ridiculous with conservatives who trust implicitly that the voices in their head spewing out invective are more convincing than facts – students give me hope. I’m not working today, but the BBC picks up the load. Sungsoo Ji in Masan and I would probably agree.

I’ve done my national service and I’ve still got friends in the army. They’re saying that soldiers are getting more training and that things are getting serious.

Our president could be overreacting though – North Korea doesn’t want war.

To be honest, I’m not sure I trust the information given to us about the Cheonan sinking. It could be a trick because it’s election period at the moment, so it could be some kind of strategy.

You’re Now An Enemy of the Korean State

It’s always chilling to know that your president wants you to shut up, so that he can get his yes-minions elected. Is there something authoritarian about today’s Korea?

…polls showed Lee’s uncompromising stand against the North has helped keep support ratings for him near the 50 percent mark in recent weeks.

…”We are not going to tolerate activities that harm public interest and undermine national integrity through the spread of false information,” Seoul police commissioner Cho Hyun-oh said in a message to officers, vowing to punish offenders.

The crackdown on Internet rumor mongering is likely to resurrect a frequent opposition complaint that the government is trampling on democracy and free speech.

The Official Heart of the Cheonan Conspiracy Machine

Seoul and Pyongyang continue sparring over the cause of the sinking of ROKS Cheonan, and are now disagreeing about mini-subs, torpedoes, gas turbines, and brochures.

North Korea’s National Defense Commission in its first ever press conference for the international media Friday challenged the findings of a multinational investigation into the sinking of the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan and accused the South of “fabricating” charges. South Korea’s Defense Ministry and other government agencies immediately presented evidence to rebut North Korea’s claims.

Beijing Goes After Michael Corleone

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama (L), South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (C) and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pose with elementary school students of their countries as they arrive to bury a time capsule and plant a tree in Seogwipo on Jeju island May 30, 2010.

“Listen, whoever comes to you with this Barzini meeting, he’s the traitor. Don’t forget that.” No matter how it’s translated, the PRC’s prime minister still sounds like the threat the Godfather warns Michael to expect.

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