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"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."-Winston S. Churchill

"The wandering scholars were bound by no lasting loyalties, were attached by no sentiment of patriotism to the states they served and were not restricted by any feeling of ancient chivalry. They proposed and carried out schemes of the blackest treachery."-C.P. Fitzgerald.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Howard Dean's Ed Muskie Moment 

Howard Dean's concession speech was the talk of Blogistan on Tuesday. In the wake of his disgraceful third place finish behind Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA) and Senator John Edwards (D-NC), one would have thought that former Governor Dean would have found a way to be graceful in his concession. Instead, he felt compelled to fire up the shahid with a Screaming Fist speech. In a rapidly failing voice, Dean screamed that he was going to go from state to state and finally to the White House. He actually named the states.

Then, at the end of the speech he gave what Deborah Orin of the New York Post described as a "Wild Muppet Shriek". It was so precious a national moment, to watch the campaign of the resentful True Believers come unglued in a single instant, that James Lileks made a remix of Howard's Muppet Yell. On Free Republic, I found one poster who compared Dean to a "Prairie Dog on Speed".

We are witness to an Ed Muskie Moment. Dean's meltdown recalls the late Senator Edmund S. Muskie's (D-ME) apparent soft cry on the steps of the Manchester Union-Leader after he had accused the paper of taking after his wife. In 1972, revealing your Inner Child was not the smart thing to do. In fairness, it should be pointed out that Muskie did not actually cry, but his voice appeared to come across as shaky on camera. For the rest of the primary season, all that Edmund Muskie would see was Senator George McGovern's (D-SD) back.

Howard Dean has opened the door to the other candidates, and they will not tarry while he tries to catch back up. All that bile and Bush-hatred that he had been ginning up came back to haunt him, and it is all at once apparent that no one really cares how angry Dean and his crowd are anymore.

Monday, January 19, 2004

The Belmont Club 

...has a superb short on the collapse of Nuclear Non-Proliferation in the January 19th issue. In short, despite all the carrots and sticks used by American administrations going back to 1976, Pakistan pursued a relentless program to develop nuclear fission devices. Further, Wretchard indicates that there will be little to stop other nations from developing nuclear weapons in future. Pakistan has already assisted both Iran and Saudi Arabia in the pursuit of nuclear devices, and the latter two appear to have decided to join the nuclear club, with all that entails.

For American planners, the future is clear. Arms treaties with old Russia are a relic of the postwar world, when the nations were split into two opposing camps, with the Nonaligned standing on the sidelines. In a world in which small, resentful nations filled with grievances and old hatreds arm themselves with nuclear weapons, I cannot see how the United States does anything less than reinvigorate Strategic Command. During this process, weapons planners should endeavor to produce smaller, more accurate, and more lethal delivery systems that can be used against any nation on earth. Further, I believe that war planners will see anew the virtue of the manned bomber system of delivery-they can be recalled and give time for diplomacy to resolve a problem.

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