There is a story about a war that never ended. After several years of fighting, there was an armistice, typically followed by formal proceedings ending the war. But the formal end never came. After the armistice, the documents and plans for the formal proceedings were evidently lost or mislaid somewhere in the bureaucracy of the victors. It had been a hard war and everyone seemed willing to think of other things.
The story, as they say in Hollywood, is based on real events.
The war in Korea began in 1950, and the armistice came in 1953.
The U.N. Command is still there, 53 years later. The U.N. Headquarters in New York is a very large building, and has a lot of offices and file cabinets. No telling where the paperwork might be, or whether it ever existed. No one seems to remember.
It’s something to think about.
That first one was loud enough to get everybody’s attention, but as a sales event, you probably want a device that the customer believes will work. At these prices, you expect the very best. After all, it might be a bother to FedEx the thing back to the factory if it won’t work.
So there should really be another demo. And the project manager, perhaps a new one, would likely have several at hand for the next demo.
Sometimes, those who study outer space discover the existence of some new (to them) body that they haven’t actually seen. They can tell where it is and estimate its mass by the behavior of other nearby space objects.
With a speed rarely seen, the UN Security Council is almost ready to vote on a resolution that would impose punishing sanctions on North Korea for its recent nuclear test. Russia and China have raised new objections that could delay a vote, but those in the arena believe these are “technical” issues and that the vote could still come soon.
North Korea is often, for us, a big jig saw puzzle with missing pieces. And Russia and China could well have a better insight into the murky landscape of North Korea than we do.
So it will be intriguing to examine these “technical” changes, once they are off the front page, and see if they lead us to any missing pieces in the puzzle that is North Korea.
Stores call it a Door Buster. On the first morning of a big sale, a crowd gathers at the door, before opening time, trying to force their way in and be the first ones to buy.
Pyongyang is open for business. They clearly have enough nukes to spend one, getting the attention of all their potential customers and competitors. Somewhere on the web there might even be a page listing prices and delivery options. And for those who act quickly, maybe there are special coupons for other products from cooperating arms dealers.
So what are we going to do about it? If the best we can manage is notes, memos, speeches and censure votes, we should make sure that carbon copies are sent to Iran and all their rowdy friends in the We Want Nukes Club, just to keep them up to speed. Oh yes, and send copies to Chavez, c/o Caracas; he travels a lot but he would probably want to keep up with the neighbors.
It’s an old expression. When someone has trouble doing more than one thing at a time, it was said that they couldn’t “walk and chew gum” at the same time.
It could also refer to the attitude of the rest of the world about this country during our national elections. While they don’t use that old American phrase, they do believe that our attention turns inward and we become so absorbed by our internal election wars that we cannot do anything decisive on the world stage until after the election season.
During the Cold War and the years that followed, the American election seasons were times for various people around the world to make their moves, while our attention was elsewhere. Whatever their scheme, they believed that if they scheduled it during our national elections, the chances were good that our attention would be elsewhere and our response would be muted or non-existent.
Then in May, 2004, Al Qaeda bombed the trains in Madrid, just before the Spanish elections, and seemed to change the outcome. Political observers have disagreed about whether it had an effect, but it seems clear that the party leading before the bombing lost the election. The real point is whether Al Qaeda believes it affected the election. If they do, there will be more attacks preceding elections in countries perceived by Al Qaeda to be enemies.
So things may get worse before they get better.
To paraphrase another old expression: fasten your seat belts; it’s going to be bumpy ride.
Do you suppose we could find a way to get Hugo Chavez to chase down Osama bin Laden and bring him in? The Citgo Kid just might make a good bounty hunter.
Would it be worth a seat on the Council?