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Bloggingheads 09-21-2008 02:51 AM

UN Plaza: Palin at the UN!
 

Eastwest 09-21-2008 06:24 AM

Mathew's Tour of the Weeds
 
Mark playfully razzes Mathew for "being in the weeds" for much of this DV, but, as always, Matthew's at least entertaining as he does it.

Thanks to both.

EW

Baltimoron 09-21-2008 08:20 AM

Re: UN Plaza: Palin at the UN!
 
I swear if Matthew Lee were a woman, I'd marry him! OK, that's would be polygamous, but it would be worth it.

On Sudan, Myanmar, and DPRK, Lee raises three fundamental topics fit for a lecture each -if universities were really about that.

Again, on Sudan and the ICC issue, I tend to side with Goldberg, that this is politics. At the least, it's a very early day in the life of international justice to get to Lee's world where the international sphere is as accountable as some national bodies.

On Myanmar, I could handle the UN's strict concern for Myanmar's sovereignty, if perhaps Russia and PRC fought as hard for African states as it does for Yangon.

On DPRK, I think it's back to square one with a new American administration in January and a North Korean government in the hands of hardliners. Winter is coming, and both Seoul has already delivered food aid, too, so UNDP caving in is not that remarkable. No one except Gordon Chang has iced their hearts about the morality of providing aid to a gulag state.

UN Dispatch diavlogs just get better and better!

JIM3CH 09-21-2008 08:34 AM

Re: UN Plaza: Palin at the UN!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baltimoron (Post 91778)
UN Dispatch diavlogs just get better and better!

Agreed!

Flaw 09-21-2008 10:22 AM

Re: UN Plaza: Palin at the UN!
 
Great bloggingheads!

Kevin 09-21-2008 04:31 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Palin at the UN!
 
Haha.. hippie!

Yeah, in the weeds, whenever I hear someone on BH apologizing for wonkiness or being in the weeds, I want them to get MORE that way. Because that is when BH is at its most divergent from other audio/video-based media where the topic lengths are shorter or there is tighter awareness of the need to edit things into "understandable" form. A lot of the time, the information from a BH comes en passant, if that makes sense, when experts don't stop and explain things for the viewers because they are on a fast, interesting train of thought, and you soak up more of a flavor of how the world works by hearing them. I like dense! And UN Plaza probably has more people, places and things per square inch, than any other kind of BH. Also- I don't know what my problem was- a few weeks ago I remarked that I was finding MG & ML hard to listen to. I was so wrong. I just had to key in to the rhythm or something. I still think another Jackie Shire + Matthew Lee would be interesting, but now I am addicted to the MG & ML ones. (makes peace signs with fingers)

Wonderment 09-21-2008 05:04 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Palin at the UN!
 
Speaking of McCain dissing Zapatero (or mistaking him for Hugo Chávez), I hope UN Plaza will have a look at Venezuela's expelling Human Rights Watch this week. I wonder how Nicaragua will react to that one. (Sepuchral silence?)

(I know it happened after this episode of UN Plaza was recorded.)

McCain is running Spanish-language ads in which Chávez is portrayed as a second Rev. Wright. Clips of his worst "God Damn America" rants are juxtaposed with shots of Barack and voice over saying Barack wants to meet with him.

bjkeefe 09-21-2008 06:23 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Palin at the UN!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baltimoron (Post 91778)
UN Dispatch diavlogs just get better and better!

I third that. I almost feel like I'm getting the hang of what's going on now.

Could have stood to hear a little bit more about Kim's health and North Korea, but I suppose there isn't much hard news there.

Baltimoron 09-21-2008 06:47 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Palin at the UN!
 
It's more interesting to speculate why we don't know much. It's also much more beneficial. It's just one more example of why American intelligence has needed an overhaul for decades. Americans do signals intelligence well; the South Koreans have a near monopoly among American allies on spies. There's no telling what Russia and PRC know. But, Seoul is, on good days, "performance-challenged". The National Intelligence Service was recently infiltrated by a female North Korean spy selling sex for secrets. But, Washington depends on Seoul for information. I expect that, like the West Germans and the Stasi, most of what is known about DPRK was planted by North Koreans.

bjkeefe 09-21-2008 07:55 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Palin at the UN!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baltimoron (Post 91826)
I expect that, like the West Germans and the Stasi, most of what is known about DPRK was planted by North Koreans.

Probably a lot to this worry. On the other hand, how does it square with the general impression that North Korea is a pitiful and clownish state that can't even feed itself? Or do you think that were it not for the NK infiltration and disinformation, we'd think of them as that much more pathetic, especially in the military realm?

Baltimoron 09-22-2008 06:34 AM

Re: UN Plaza: Palin at the UN!
 
Quote:

On the other hand, how does it square with the general impression that North Korea is a pitiful and clownish state that can't even feed itself? Or do you think that were it not for the NK infiltration and disinformation, we'd think of them as that much more pathetic, especially in the military realm?
Firstly, I think we would know what happened to Kim Jong-il. Secondly, I think we would have access to others with his clan and other leaders within the government and would put this personality lampoon to rest. Thirdly, the CIA would have known about the North Korean invasion on June 25, 1950.

bjkeefe 09-22-2008 05:07 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Palin at the UN!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baltimoron (Post 91887)
Firstly, I think we would know what happened to Kim Jong-il. Secondly, I think we would have access to others with his clan and other leaders within the government and would put this personality lampoon to rest. Thirdly, the CIA would have known about the North Korean invasion on June 25, 1950.

I agree that more information is always useful. However, what you say doesn't really address my question. To repeat, if the infiltration and spreading of disinformation is as prevalent as you suggested, how much good is it doing? My speculation is that the only possible gain from this effort, from the perspective of NK, is to inflate the capabilities of their military. That costs the US and SK something, to be sure, but it's hard to see how that helps NK.

Baltimoron 09-23-2008 06:40 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Palin at the UN!
 
One has to ask, what is "NK"? Is it only the Kim clan and its retainers? The entire ruling class? An entire nation? I think many westerners, and certainly many of the South Korean elite, find it difficult to conceive of a North Korean nationality beyond the concept of Korean ethnicity. Many South Koreans, to put it baldly, are not even that nationalistic about a ROK identity. Perhaps, the military is the only true national institution, and the KPA in DPRK, likewise, for North Korean identity. But, I think, we have to hold out the possibility, that, just as members of my family conceive of themselves as South Korean, there are sizable numbers of North Koreans who want nothing to do with Seoul.

I think perhaps North Koreans are duped in the sense that the Kim clan argues for emergency measures continually, but not that they want an independent, sovereign DPRK. The military institutions in both states as the only true national organs might be corrupt and follow their respective leaders, but with stringent reform, both are the foundation of their respective states. Encouraging reform towards professionalism and away from ideology is the means to lasting peace.

Ocean 09-23-2008 10:26 PM

Re: Palin at the UN! A touch of humor...
 
Quotable quotes (in quotes of course) from AP News on Palin meeting international leaders:

Quote:

"I found her quite a capable woman," Karzai said later. "She asked the right questions on Afghanistan."
Palin's questions: How do you spell the name of your country? Can I see it from Alaska? What if I climb on a ladder, can I see it then?

Quote:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, three hours behind Palin in seeing Karzai, found herself overshadowed for a day as she made her own rounds.
Poor Condie! After all these years of hard work... What will she get? Miss Congeniality prize?

Quote:

The GOP campaign, applying more restrictive rules on access than even President Bush uses in the White House, banned reporters from the start of the meetings, so as not to risk a question being asked of Palin.
One has to wonder... will she claim the fifth if a reporter does get to her?

Quote:

But Palin, who got a passport only last year, no longer has to own up to a blank slate when asked about heads of state she has met.
Now we are talking! I'm so relieved ...

Quote:

She also got her first intelligence briefing Tuesday, over two hours.
Self-evident Truth.

Quote:

"Rather than make specific policy prescriptions, she was largely listening, having an exchange of views and also very interested in forming a relationship with people she met with today," he said.

Before Palin's first meeting of the day, with Karzai, campaign aides had told reporters in the press pool that followed her they could not go into meetings where photographers and a video camera crew would be let in for pictures.
No comments on this. I don't want to be accused of sexism... :)


Now, seriously, what's wrong with this country?!


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