Captain's Quarters provides another perspective on the "nuclear" test. I can't get to the Times articles because it requires registration, but assuming he's quoting it correctly, and assuming the Washington Times isn't fabricating it (unlikely) it is an interesting take.
Of course, if you want the Semi-Official DPRK Stance it's a little different. But this is evidence of a pattern which has been evident in DPRK's diplomatic maneuvering for years. Decades? Anyway, they continue to throw temper tantrum after tantrum, and all the emphatic condemnations from the UN encourage them. Like any other spoiled child, they confuse patience with weakness. If they do something and you simply issue another threat, you don't have their attention. After the tenth or twentieth time? Nothing. Not sure precisely how we should attempt to get the DPRK's attention, though. If they have pissed off the Chinese (and they have--made them lose face dramatically) enough to get their only ally and trading partner in on this sanctions thing, then the Kim regime cannot survive that. They end up starving their entire population. I'm not talking "oh, things will be tight". Things are already tight. I'm talking, "Oh, there is no food left in the villages at all."
The NIE Key Judgements is something I've been meaning to blog about for a while. You see, wha the NIE says, and what the Media says the NIE says are two totally different things. I'm expected to believe that educated, allegedly intelligent people with college degrees in journalism (the art of clearly communicating in an effective manner the key facts on a subject) are incapable of reading a simple paragraph in the English language.
"We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; percieved jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.
"The Iraq conflict has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq percieve themselves, and be percieved, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight."
Now, what the media claims these two paragraphs (elaborated at greater length in the actual NIE, which neither myself nor the media have seen, and I couldn't discuss if I had seen it) mean is that the United States should withdraw from Iraq because our involvement in Iraq is making the terrorists stronger.
What it actually says is that Iraq is now the central battlefield in the war on terror, a battlefield that we chose, and a battlefield on which we are winning (or at least inflicting great casualties). If, in spite of their losses, the jihadists can claim to have thrown the US out of Iraq, there will be no stopping them. If they put forth their maximum effort and fail, the average Muslim will not love the US, but they will not lift their hands against us. And really, who in HELL thinks the average Muslim is ever going to the love the United States? Or cares? As long as they aren't putting in roadside bombs or flying planes into buildings, they can laugh at us all day long.
Something I hadn't noticed before is something Greyhawk put together over at the Mudville Gazette. A timeline of the Iraq War, in multiple parts. Really interesting reading, and it is fascinating how a lot of Democrats were singing one tune back when shooting cruise missiles at Iraq was a convenient way to distract media attention from a certain stained dress, and now it is something else entirely. http://www.mudvillegazette.com/archives/003840.html