Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Time Accuses Bush Motorcade of Killing Motorcycle Officer

Via Little Green Footballs, check out the headline on this Time Magazine story: "Bush Motorcade Kills Cop." I mean, come on, you've got to be kidding me. How could they possibly have come up with such a headline by accident? It's not possible.

Of course, the officer in question crashed his motorcycle, and it's not yet known what exactly happened. But what does Time mean to imply, that the motorcade drove over the unfortunate soul? On purpose, maybe?

South Korea Capitulates, Guarantees Future Kidnappings

Some people will read the headline "Taliban: Korean hostages to be released," and react with relief and, perhaps, even some subtle gratitude toward the Taliban. In reading this story, however, one finds that the Korean government gave in to some of the terrorists' demands: to withdrawal their 200 soldiers from Afghanistan, and to cease Christian missionary work in the country.

I guess there was no payment (and the story doesn't indicate if that was a Taliban requirement), and "there was no mention of releasing Taliban prisoners," which to me doesn't mean that there won't be. I'm not sure that it really matters. By giving in as they have, South Korea has now ensured that more kidnappings will take place.

Notice this quote:

The kidnapping of government officials or foreign aid workers has been used increasingly by insurgents in a bid to destabilize the Western-backed government that took power after the defeat of the Taliban in 2001.

Gee, I wonder why...

Ahmadinejad Vows to Fill Void in Iraq

I continue to be unable to fathom how Iranian President Imajihadi (or whatever his name is) can continue to send fighters and munitions into Iraq to help destabilize the country, and still get away with statements like this:

“The political power of the occupiers is collapsing rapidly,” Ahmadinejad said at a news conference in Tehran, referring to U.S. troops in Iraq. “Soon, we will see a huge power vacuum in the region. Of course, we are prepared to fill the gap, with the help of neighbors and regional friends like Saudi Arabia, and with the help of the Iraqi nation.”

It's enough to lose my lunch, which wasn't all that great to begin with.

Turkey Elects Devout Muslim as President

A new twist in Turkey: a devout Muslim was elected as Turkey's President. As the MSNBC story says, he has a "background in political Islam," which sounds ominous to me.

But what's most fascinating to me is that I didn't know this particular aspect of Turkey's politics: the military is strongly secular, and will resist any movement of the government toward religion. In fact, the military has replaced four governments since 1960 for being too religious. They're none too happy that a religious President has been elected.

Of course, that's the opposite of the US. Our civilian government holds power over the military, and the likelihood of such a thing happening here is almost nil. And, I'm not so much bothered by the fact that the new Turkish President is a devout Muslim, any more than I'm bothered by the fact that the US President is a devout Christian. Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I'm equally bothered.

It doesn't mean, however, that Turkey will necessarily move away from secularism in government, nor that the new President has any intentions to attempt such a feat. In his own words:

“Secularism — one of the main principles of our republic — is a precondition for social peace as much as it is a liberating model for different lifestyles,” Gul said. “As long as I am in office, I will embrace all our citizens without any bias. I will preserve my impartiality with the greatest of care.”

It'll be interesting to watch how this plays out.

Guy Breaks Apple's EULA, Gets 350Z in Return

I saw a reference to this, and thought it was a joke. Then I found some other references, and it turns out it's true: the guy who broke at least the Apple EULA for the iPhone in unlocking it has been rewarded with three new iPhones and--get this--a Nissan 350Z.

This blatant disregard for intellectual property, contracts, etc., that seems to have taken hold of much of the IT industry does not bode well. There will be repercussions.

Digg Report

Digg Report: Today's #1 Digg, at 5740 Diggs, is, well, about Digg's new look. Alrighty.

Understanding Vietnam

Here's an interesting post on the Molten Thought blog about what Vietnam--and the rest of our surrenders since--have done to the perception of America in the world. He's quoting Mark Steyn, and here's the money quote:

But if you lived in Damascus and Moscow and Havana, the Vietnam war was about America: American credibility, American purpose, American will. For our enemies today, it still is. Osama bin Laden made a bet – that, notwithstanding the T-shirt slogan, "These Colors Do Run": They ran from Vietnam, and they ran from the helicopters in the desert, and from Lebanon and Somalia – and they will run from Iraq and Afghanistan, because that is the nature of a soft, plump ersatz-superpower that coils up in the fetal position if you prick its toe. Even Republicans like Sen. John Warner seem peculiarly anxious to confirm the bin Laden characterization.

It's been said, and I believe it's true: our Islamic fundamentalist enemies only understand strength. Show them weakness, and it emboldens them. Show them strength, and they'll wilt like the cowardly fanatics they really are.

France's Sarkozy Warns Russians

I knew I liked the new French President, Sarkozy. In this story, he's warning Russia to, essentially, tread lightly with how it handles its energy resources. It's a strong statement to make, but it makes sense that Sarkozy would say it: the EU is far more reliant on foreign energy sources than is the US.

The money quote:

Sarkozy, in a sweeping speech to French ambassadors outlining French foreign policy, noted that "Russia is imposing its return on the world scene by playing its assets, notably oil and gas, with a certain brutality."

Sarkozy said Russia's resurgent global activity comes "while the world, particularly Europe, is hoping for an important and positive contribution from (Russia) toward settling the problems of our age."

I'll tell you, I can't think of the last time that I changed my opinion about something (in this case, France) in such short order.