Sunday, September 23, 2007

Daring-Do, On a Few Levels

This will probably be the most blogged-about story today: Snatched: Israeli commandos ‘nuclear’ raid.”

Israel was determined not to take any chances with its neighbour. Following the example set by its raid on an Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak 1981, it drew up plans to bomb the Syrian compound.

But Washington was not satisfied. It demanded clear evidence of nuclear-related activities before giving the operation its blessing. The task of the commandos was to provide it.

Today the site near Dayr az-Zawr lies in ruins after it was pounded by Israeli F15Is on September 6. Before the Israelis issued the order to strike, the commandos had secretly seized samples of nuclear material and taken them back into Israel for examination by scientists, the sources say. A laboratory confirmed that the unspecified material was North Korean in origin. America approved an attack.

While The Times story is a gripping read…more like John Grisham than John Burns…it’s still speculation, and the story will likely remain speculative for the foreseeable future. The Times does provide some interesting details that, woven together, build a believable albeit circumstantial case about the Israeli raid and the motives driving it. I find the North Korean connection the most interesting aspect of this event, not to mention the US government’s official non-reaction… vis-à-vis the Six-Party Talks, which begin again this coming week. There’s apparently a lot more here than meets the eye. And I dunno about you, Gentle Reader, but my eyes don’t like what they see.

Related: Charles Krauthammer wrote a good column on the Israeli strike in Friday’s WaPo, just in case you missed it.

There were some pretty good football games yesterday. Fortunately for me, ABC and ESPN are on adjacent channels here in P-Ville. There was just enough disparity in the timing of the Michigan and Notre Dame games that I was able to successfully watch both, simply by clicking the “Channel Up” and “Channel Down” buttons on my remote…incessantly…which you may read as “after each play.” That’s the sort of behavior that drives women nuts, ya know. I should make it clear: no women were harmed (mentally) while watching football in El Casa Móvil De Pennington yesterday. Mainly coz there were none in attendance.

Notre Dame didn’t suck quite as bad as I expected yesterday, what with two offensive touchdowns (How sad is that? Excited over two TDs?), but they still sucked. It’s now confirmed: The. Worst. Season. Start. Ever.

Michigan, on the other hand, looked pretty impressive against Penn State. I don’t think they’re good enough to win the Big Ten, but the Michigan - Ohio State game should be interesting, at least. And I predict that will be the Big Ten title game, for all intents and purposes. I understand it’s early in the season and stuff happens. But who else is there in the Big Ten? Purdue? Don’t think so. Wisconsin? Not if they continue to play like they did yesterday, barely eking out a win over Iowa. Yep, it’ll be Michigan – OSU.

In the “Save the Best for Last” category… the best game I saw yesterday was Georgia’s overtime win at ‘Bama. That game kept me on the edge of my seat for the duration. I didn’t have (ahem) a Dawg in that fight but since I was born in Georgia, I was rooting for them. Enough of a connection, ain’t it?

Today’s Pic: Cigars! I decided to expand my horizons with my latest cigar order. I bought a sampler of 20 Camacho 1962s in various sizes (Churchill, Corona, Torpedo, Robusto, and Perfecto) instead of another box of my default (and wonderful) Partagas Spanish Rosadas. The Camachos are OK, but they won’t become a regular addition to the humidor once the initial supply is exhausted.

Pictured, from left to right (all Camachos except for the first cigar, which is a Partagas): the Partagas, Churchill, Torpedo, Robusto, and Perfecto. I don’t understand the Perfecto…specifically its size. It’s way too short for a relaxing smoke, and the shortness impacts the flavor of the smoke, making it somewhat harsher. To me, anyway. YMMV.


  1. Thanks for the links on that unholy trio. They are just what I was looking for and I plan to return and read them more carefully than I have time for now.
    Didn't you think it was odd when NoKo suddenly turned all warm and fuzzy a little while back? See diplomacy works, right? Riiiiight...

  2. Yay for UGA!!

    The shape the world is in scares me right now. Really, it does. All this nuclear talk is scary. And maybe I have watched too much Terminator and Damnation Alley.

    I was changing thru the channels like that the other night. But it was between the Braves game and Food Network (Paula Deen had Tim Hudson on her cooking show. He is, of course, pitcher for the Braves, so either way, I was watching him. Unfortunatly, they lost).

  3. I'm always amazed that Israel asks the USA's "permision" to do something like take care of a threat to their country, but I am glad they are willing and able to do it.

  4. Bec: Thanks for the great link, again! Re: suspicion about the Norks... All too true, that. I'm still wondering, too. All this talk about finally negotiating a peace treaty to end the Korean War in exchange for undoing what should have never been done in the first place simply amazes me, and not in a good way, either.

    Jenny: My absolute favorite Foodie, bar none. I swoon when I watch this woman!! Or the male equivalent of swooning, whatever it is...

    Lou: The arcana of diplomacy is SO far above my head as to be forever a mystery. I'm sure US "permission" is relative, in the case of the Israelis. Important, yes (there's all that aid...), but in the end I think the Israelis will do what is required to safeguard their people, regardless of what we think. And Good On 'Em for that.

    Mushy: The Camachos are what I'd call a medium-body smoke, the Partagas is medium to robust.

  5. PS: Jenny (and others who I did a google image search on My Favorite Foodie and found this pic. What an excellent tee shirt!!

  6. Buckeyes, Beer, and that's living.

    My favorite smoke is still the Don Carlos #2 Torpedo...but at $11 a pop, I only do those a few times a year.....


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