All posts by Rand Simberg

Sympathy For The Devil

Here’s another flashback to the sixties, with a description of just when radical campus opinion turned against Israel. It was thirty-five years ago, when Jews showed that they were no longer willing to play the left’s designated role of victim, in the Six-Day War.

At that point, with the aggressor Arabs soundly and surprisingly trounced by the previous underdogs, the sympathy shifted to them, and a whole generation of reporters were unleashed on the world with that flawed paradigm.

A Possible Deterrent?

While it seems appalling at first blush, Nathan Lewin has a possible, right-out-of-the-bible-eye-for-an-eye solution to discourage human bombs–kill their families.

It’s not quite that simple. He proposes sparing any who will renounce the act and don’t accept the blood money from the terrorist sponsors, so they have an out. But he hopes that it will create a dramatic change in the incentive structure for the “martyrs.”

Are They Reading The Same Piece As Me?

Several people, including Instantman and the Vodka guy, have linked to this TechCentral piece by Pejman, saying that it shows that we’re gearing up for war with Iraq.

I don’t see anywhere that it makes such a case. There is some evidence presented that we are not, and some (perhaps) wishful thinking expressed that there’s more going on than we see, but he provides no actual evidence of it, and that only in the second graf.

Mostly, it’s a description (with which I mostly agree) of why we should be doing so, but I see little here to persuade me that we actually are.

Things Heating Up Again In Venezuela

Sounds like things are getting ripe for another coup, far bloodier than the last one.

Chavez is purging the armed forces.

But Chavez has removed so many generals and admirals since the coup that he has been obliged to appoint some lower-ranking colonels in their place, causing resentment among senior officers.

“Meritocracy is being replaced by unconditional commitment and loyalty to the president,” said Vice Adm. Rafael Huizi Clavier, president of the Institutional Military Front, a group of retired senior officers critical of Chavez. “The fundamental values of the armed forces are being lost and the military is becoming a praetorian guard.”

Temporary Outage

For anyone who tried to view the site in the last few hours, you may have noticed a blank page. I had a disk allocation problem that didn’t allow the index to update. If you’re reading this, it’s fixed.


OK, I couldn’t find it with Google. Everyone inside the Beltway has to use a shorthand name for the various officials. It’s the law.

Let me be the first to declare the DC shorthand for the Secretary of the new department (assuming that it passes Congress, with the proposed name).

It’s based on the same principle as SecDef for the Secretary of Defense.

There will also be UnderSecHomeSecs.

(By the way, the dental work went OK, for anyone who cares. Light posting this weekend, back to normal on Monday.)