Tuesday, February 28, 2006

News roundup 02.28.2006

(Yes, new format.)

Iran's nuclear ambitions

The fits and starts diplomatic process continues. CNN reports:
Iran's foreign minister has said his country's "final target" is to enrich uranium on its own soil -- even if it accepts a Russian proposal to enrich Iranian uranium there, according to Japan's Kyodo News Agency.
Iran vowing self-contained enrichment is contrary to the diplomatic efforts of Europe and America. Self-contained enrichment means that the uranium is mined, processed and enriched entirely by the Iranians. It is an important aspect of a nuclear weapons program -- to be armed by a self sufficient process.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
Talks between Russia and Iran over the weekend appeared to have made no major progress on a proposal to have Russia be the site of a joint venture that would produce low-enriched uranium for Iranian power plants.

Two very different headlines.

CNN: "More than 370 Iraqis killed since Golden Mosque attack"

The Guardian (derived from the Washington Post's reporting): "'1,300 dead' in Iraq sectarian violence"

The Los Angeles Times on the potential to not drawdown troops:
"One perspective certainly is that with so much turmoil, how can you possibly think about drawing down at this point?" said a senior Defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

For nearly a year, senior commanders have said that political progress in Baghdad and the development of new Iraqi army units could lead to a substantial U.S. troop reduction this year. They have pointed to mid-2006 as a pivotal period, making the decisions on troop levels a telling indicator of progress.
Port security

Story was, the Coast Guard had concerns about the Dubai port deal. The New York Times:
After an excerpt of the document was released Monday at a Senate briefing on the port deal, however, an official at the Department of Homeland Security and a Coast Guard admiral told senators that the concerns were addressed before the deal was approved. They did not provide details about how the issues were resolved, and the Bush administration did not provide further clarification on Monday night.
Rick Klein of the Boston Globe on the politics of port security:
Democrats see the issue as a way to strike back at Republicans, who have been merciless in their characterizations of Democrats as permissive on national-security issues. ''Republicans Have Pre-9/11 World View," read a statement issued yesterday by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, echoing a charge recently leveled at Democrats by the top Bush political adviser, Karl Rove.
The Philadelphia Inquirer on a related story:
More than four years after 9/11, the maritime industry is still waiting for the federal government to deliver on its promise of an identity card for port workers.

The Homeland Security Department's Transportation Security Administration has spent $70 million on developing a card, including $24 million on a prototype project that cost twice what was planned.

Two years behind schedule, the TSA does not have a vendor for rolling out the card nationally, and it estimates that a system won't be in place across the country until the spring of 2007 - or maybe the summer.

The Hill reports:
Senate Democrats have declined to support legislation proposed by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to reform lobbying, even though he is their point man on the issue.

Good-government groups have made enforcement of the ethics and lobbying rules their top priority, and they consider Obama’s proposal the strongest means of enforcement. But lawmakers appear to view the medicine as too strong.
The Washington Post:
The Senate Rules Committee plans today to draft legislation that would make it harder for lawmakers to win narrowly focused appropriations and tax breaks called earmarks and to compel lawmakers to quickly disclose any meals they accept from lobbyists.
2020 today

The New York Times reports on a more confident India. The world's largest democracy will be incredibly important. Let's hope Bush does pretty OK.

Fred Thompson

ABC's News radio division has hired the former Senator (and Supreme Court nominee assistant, and actor, etc).


Blogger Ezzie said...

It's a terrible issue for the Dems to pick to show their national security strength (Dubai).

1) The GOP has as well.

2) They're against wiretapping of people communicating with known terrorists, but they're for stereotyping Arab companies that have no affiliation with terror? (Not that I'm thrilled either - personally, I think no foreign companies should control our ports, but that's just not possible with no good US companies). Smacks of desperation.

3) They may be making a big deal of nothing; the more that comes out, the less worrisome this seems. It's a problem the left has in general; anytime they think they've got an issue, they make a big deal out of it - only to have it turn out to be nothing or very little. Instead of people getting more concerned with the White House, they get less concerned.

12:56 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Those are excellent points.

There are real issues with port security. My hope is that some responsible politicians will work on those. I think Senator John Warner (R., Va.) might. It would be nice if the Democrats grew some brains, but we both know they won't.

1:15 PM  
Blogger zen said...

They're against wiretapping of people communicating with known terrorists
No they are against unauthorized, warrantless, outside-of the-law methods.

they're for stereotyping Arab companies that have no affiliation with terror
No, they are again for the rule of law, that the administration failed to follow. They are as well, against turning over our ports to a foreign nation (not just company) that helped finance the 9/11 plot, supported the Taliban, facilitated the proliferation of nuclear technology, has royal freindships with OBL, etc...

I read this somewhere, but cannot remember exactly where...OBL is without a doubt a successful businessman, would that then mean we should conduct business with him? An obvious point, but it illustrates the farce that UAE is just another company, they are state owned and they, not long ago, acted in ways that harmed the US.
I guess that approach to foreign policy that says we must have shifting allegences is how Rumsfeld ended up smiling with Saddam, we know how that's all turned out.
Let's not forget that we were once 'buds' with Iran as well.

anytime they think they've got an issue, they make a big deal out of it
It isn't about, or shouldn't be, about always gaining a political edge. There are very real concerns at stake. Up to and including the Plame leak, the port deal, warrantless wire-tapping. Because the so-called "liberal" media falls off of a story and it falls out of the eye of the public says more about our short-attention-span society than it does about the lack of integrity of our government.

And that, my friend, is precisely why the idea that perception and image are more important than fact and reality is fast becoming our downfall.

1:30 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home