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2:55PM

Disconnectedness inside the Gap: a form of connectivity cannibalism

"Cable Thievery Is Darkening Daily Life in Mozambique," by Michael Wines, New York Times, 15 June, p. A3.


One of the saddest examples of why a Gap state like Mozambique doesn't get anywhere over time: There is so little there of value other than the raw materials that people can get their hands on, that thieves will steal the very elements of connectivity that would have otherwise served as the basic infrastructure for development. Mozambique's stunted development means the people there are forced to eat their seed corn on a regular basis to achieve something so basic as producing aluminum pots and pans. The country's only aluminum smelter produces only for export, and the economy imports no aluminum, so the people make do on their own by tearing down electrical cables and smelting the aluminum found therein. It's like watching the snake devour its own tail.


Simply put, Mozambique is so disconnected from the global economy that it can't make something like the importing of aluminum pots and pans happen. What do you need to make that happen? I mean, I know there are companies that want to sell aluminum pots and pans there. It takes enough rule sets and infrastructure to draw that economic connectivity in from the world outside, and apparently Mozambique's government can't manage even that. So the eating of the seed corn continues apace and Mozambique remains firmly stuck deep inside the Gap.

2:51PM

A nice bit of connectivity emerges for Iran

"World Briefing: Iran: A Nobel Advocate," by Reuters, New York Times, 15 June, p. A6.


A Canadian journalist has her head bashed in by Iranian police and dies. She had been arrested for taking pictures outside a prison where political dissidents are held. Now her family is effectively trying to seek prosecution of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry official believed responsible for her death. This story announces that the Nobel Peace Prize human rights activist and lawyer Shirin Ebadi is going to be allowed to represent the family in the proceedings that will result in Iran's hard-line judiciary system, where the government official is to be tried for "semi-intentional murder."


Do not think for a minute that Ebadi gets this very dicey trial without the global recognition afforded by her Nobel prize. That sliver of connectivity empowers her to continue pursuing the good work she does to promote human rights inside the cowered nation that is Iran under the mullahs' continued authoritarian rule.

7:17PM

Countering the Reagan effect: the Clinton sales job

Dateline: above the garage in Portsmouth RI, 14 June 2004


Clinton announces his massive book tour will not just be about selling books, but will also involve a campaign of ideas in support of John Kerryís campaign for president (ìClinton Planning To Use Book Tour To Assist Kerry: Coordinating With Party,î by David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, 14 June, p. A1.). Clinton will be touting his legacy, and offering it in sharp contrast to the scary security environment and tough economic times of the past four years under Bush. Clintonís plugging for his book and Kerry will be identical in nature: werenít you better off four years ago? Didnít it seem safer? America more respected in the world? Remember the projected budget surpluses and the elimination of the national debt?


Will Clintonís book tour cast a stronger political spell than the just-concluded Reagan extravaganza? Perhaps. Reaganís pull on the popular imagination naturally wanes with time. The youngest people around who were able to vote for him are now in their mid-30s. Plus, Reaganís pitch was a one-time if week-long deal, whereas Clinton will be giving speech after speech, and we all know what a great campaigner he is.


Here, the strategic pause generated by Reaganís passing may actually help Kerry. Now it will be Clinton all over the dial, reminding everyone of what it means to be Democrats who win. If Iraq fades as an issue, then Kerry can focus on the economy, the deficit, and generalized fears of terrorism and increasing isolation from long-time alliesóall items that can be sold as issues Clinton and a Democratic White House proved better at dealing with across the 1990s than the Bush White House has done since 2000. It wonít all be true, but it wonít exactly be a hard sales job.


But Clinton is a bit of a glory hound, and overshadowing stale Kerry is also a possibility, one that plays better to Hillaryís run for the White House in 2008 after the public can logically be expected to be really tired of Bush (yes, it almost always happens after 8 years). So itíll be interesting how Billy, the Comeback Kid, comes back this time. Will a dead icon stir more memories than a tarnished living one?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Todayís catch:


The political solution set emerging in Iraq?

ìShiite Cleric Is Forming Party That May Play Role in Elections: Moqtada al-Sadr, a rebel, moves toward the mainstream,î by Edward Wong, New York Times, 14 June, p. A7.


ìIn Race to Give Power to Iraqis, Electricity Lags: U.S. Falls Short of Goal for Reviving Output,î by James Glanz, NYT, 14 June, p. A1.

The difficulty of recruitment in war time
ìIn Saudi Arabia, Lives of Fear: Why Some Westerners Struggle to Stay as Terrorist Attacks Mount,î by Hugh Pope, Wall Street Journal, 14 June, p. A15.


ìRecruiters Try New Tactics to Sell Wartime Army,î by Monica Davey, NYT, 14 June, p. A1.

Orville and Wilbur get ready for orbit
ìPrivate Space Mission Is Ready for Takeoff,î by J. Lynn Lunsford, WSJ, 14 June, p. B1.

7:10PM

The political solution set emerging in Iraq?

ìShiite Cleric Is Forming Party That May Play Role in Elections: Moqtada al-Sadr, a rebel, moves toward the mainstream,î by Edward Wong, New York Times, 14 June, p. A7.


ìIn Race to Give Power to Iraqis, Electricity Lags: U.S. Falls Short of Goal for Reviving Output,î by James Glanz, NYT, 14 June, p. A1.


Moqtada al-Sadr sends strong signals he wants to come in from the cold and be accepted as a legitimate political player in the upcoming elections. He wants to turn his military capital into political gain, and heís pretty wily to do so. He can be washed clean of a lot of heinous acts all at once by doing so, because his acceptance of the legitimacy of the upcoming elections will be impossible for anyone to trump with old charges. Everyone in the interim government and the U.S.-led occupational authority will be forced to accept his change of heart at face value, grateful they all will be for any realized decline in violence.


Yes, eventually Sadr would run out of militia men willing to be killed, and this switcheroo immediately allows him to distance himself from all those deaths in his name, but the temptation of actually gaining a seat at the table of power that will emerge from this election is probably too much to pass up. After all, Shiites are the largest voting block in the country and Sadr is riding high in popular imagination after calling for and directing much of the Shiite-based counterinsurgency effort of the past weeks.


Sadrís no dummy. He knew the political handoff was coming on 30 June no matter what, but if it comes peacefully, heís clearly the second banana to Ayatollah Sistani. Starting a no-win insurgency and losing lots of followers might have seemed like a waste of lives, but the great man has won much political capital in the process, and now that the inevitable is arriving, itís time to cash in those chips for whatever theyíre worth. Sadrís at least Sistaniís political equal as a result of the insurgency, no matter the outcome, and if the would-be Big Man had to waste a host of young lives in the process, then so be it.


Once the election has occurred, the sense of authority and ownership over the situation in Iraq will shift dramatically from America to Iraqis themselvesóthe newly elected government. At that point, itíll be important to actually prove the government can work on some level, to deliver the goodsóso to speak. So destroying the infrastructure really gets to be counterproductive as self-rule approachesóeven for al Sadr. Once heís won his share of votes, he wants to be able to take credit for things like stable utilities just like any other politician.

7:07PM

The difficulty of recruitment in war time

ìIn Saudi Arabia, Lives of Fear: Why Some Westerners Struggle to Stay as Terrorist Attacks Mount,î by Hugh Pope, Wall Street Journal, 14 June, p. A15.


ìRecruiters Try New Tactics to Sell Wartime Army,î by Monica Davey, New York Times, 14 June, p. A1.


Westerners have been working quietly in Saudi Arabia for decades. My sister-in-lawís parents were teachers within this large ex-pat community in the kingdom for many years before retiring and coming back to America, and they told of a very good life there.


But that life is fast disappearing thanks to al Qaedaís concerted and consistent effort to target Westerners with terrorism. Many long-timers are leaving, some for good and someóas per their customófor a long summer holiday back in the States. Whether or not they return in the fall will depend on whether or not the situation improves. But this much is clear, when the long-timers start leaving the ship, itís really sinking fast.


Saudi Arabia used to feature a per capita income of about $28k a generation ago. Now itís about $6-7k and itís dropping fast, thanks to the huge demographic youth bulge that drives up the total population year after year. Almost all of the mass violence in the world occurs in states with per capita incomes of $3k or less, and at the rate theyíre going, the Saudis will close in on that number faster than anyone could have anticipated 20 years ago. Westerners may well be right in leaving before the inevitable civil strife spreads beyond just specific terrorist acts against ìinfidels.î


If you think itís hard for companies to recruit for war zones, itís also hard for the military to recruit during an extended war periodósomething weíve never done in this all-volunteer force of the past three decades. Thereís little illusion in joining the Guard and Reserves nowadays, as there was in past years. Recruits know full well itís not just some weekends and a fat chance of going overseas. Since the military canít really afford to jack up the financial inducements too much, theyíre offering some unusual options regarding length of service and the ability to serve side-by-side with friends.


Expect more such innovations in coming years, because there will inevitably be a great renegotiation of what military service means as this global war on terrorism unfolds. Some ìboysî will go to wars and come back, but others will head out for peacekeeping missions and simply rotate, rotate, and rotate for years on endóeffectively never coming home. Those two distinct missions will eventually yield two very different recruiting strategiesónot to mention two very different militaries.

7:03PM

Orville and Wilbur get ready for orbit

ìPrivate Space Mission Is Ready for Takeoff,î by J. Lynn Lunsford, Wall Street Journal, 14 June, p. B1.


Since the beginning of space exploration decades ago, it has remained fundamentally a public-sector affair, which of course has yielded one very slow growth curve following the ìspace raceî between the superpowers. That public-sector dominance has kept the private-sector entrepreneurs out of the game for far too long.


You will say, ìBut space travel is dangerous!î Any more than the early years of experimental flight and the subsequent emergence of commercial flying? People seem to forget all the scores of pioneers who lost their lives in that great historical endeavor, but itís what yielded the incredibly safe system we have today.


Instead of treating space travel as similar, weíve deified it to the point of absurdity. We lose some astronauts and itís a great national tragedy that shuts down NASA for months on end. I have never figured out whatís so damned sacred about dying in space (much less flying to or from space). Imagine how long it would have taken to achieve the commercial airline industry if we had been that anguished over every fly boy who killed himself in the early years of aviation.


As commercial space flight nears, we will finally begin to see the rapid explosion of human space travel that weíve all been dreaming about for decades. Yes, people will die in horrible accidents, but it wonít be any more tragic than your average car wreckósomething that happens every day all around us. And I say that development is not just good, itís great. We need new challenges and adventuresónot just for the guys with ìright stuffî but for anyone willing to take on the challenge.


But even more than any of that, we need to get out there in near space and fill it with commercial activities that dissuade our own governments from militarizing the region with their nonsensical dreams of Star Wars. Weíll spend quite a few lives in the process, but itíll be well worth it.

1:07PM

God bless the Wall Street Journal (another book plug)

Dateline: above the garage in Portsmouth RI, 14 June 2004


Since I spent yesterday whining about the Times not reviewing my book (there, got that out of the way fast today!), let me start out today by noting my undying love for the Wall Street Journal (capitalist rag that it is!).


Got this email from Mike Downing, a regular visitor and PNM reader:

Don't know if you're aware of it, but there's a weekly TV show called the Wall St. Journal Report, usually on at an obscure time. Here in Columbus, OH. It's 6:00 am Sunday. I happened at wake up early this morning and catch it.


They were doing a little segment at the end of the show on Father's Day

gifts, including a section on books. PNM was the first book they

mentioned(and held up prominently for the camera). I don't remember the comment exactly, but it was something along the lines of "a fascinating new way of looking at the world."

That's why I read the Journal lovingly every day.


Thanks to Mike for telling me about this.


As for the Grey Lady . . . I am told by Putnam to expect an advertisement from them to appear in the New York Times around Thursday of this week. AHA! We are inside the castle walls with this one!

12:37PM

PNM to be published inside Turkey

Dateline: above the garage in Portstmouth RI, 14 June 2004


My agency just forwarded me an offer from Yayinlari, a publishing house in Turkey. My agent Jennifer says it is one of the most prominent and efficient Turkish publishers. A modest run of 3,000 books with an appropriate advance, but I couldn't be more thrilled. I mean, who I am to publish a book in Turkey (much less Turkish!)?


So now PNM will be in three languages: English (okay, American given all the slang and pop culture references), Japanese and Turkish.


Apparently, the Turkish publishers who are buying the rights do not take offense at my designating Turkey as part of the Gap. I know 3,000 copies probably aren't enough to pull Turkey into the Core.


Then again, if the right 3,000 Turks read it . . ..


Nah, I got it backwards on that one: I need the right 3,000 or so European Union bureaucrats to read it.

11:54AM

Why the Sunday NYT is the best newspaper in the world


Dateline: above the garage in Portsmouth RI, 13 June 2004


Despite my continuing anger and embarrassment over the New York Timesí refusal to review my book (or perhaps driving it), I just love reading the Sunday Times. Thereís no Sunday Wall Street Journal, and frankly, the Washington Post, outside of the Outlook section, is significantly weaker than the weekday version (not surprising for workaholic DC). But the Sunday Times is strong from stem to stern. The Week in Review is typically strong, the book reviews are among the best, Arts & Leisure is probably the strongest of the bunch (giving you all sorts of overview analysis of movies, music, theater, opera and so on), and the Sunday magazine often contains one or even two really solid stories worth reading all the way through (although James Traubís article today on Iranís nuclear program was a complete snooze).


But what always amazes me about the paper is how many great stories there tends to be in the A section. Without a doubt, one of the best bets to find several great stories on how things are moving across the country and the world is the main section of the Sunday Times. Itís almost a barometer of my futurology fitness: if Iíve spent the week wondering about some issues and then I see the articles capturing the same emerging sentiment or analysis on page 1 of the Sunday Times, I feel ìfitî versus ìflabbyî in my ability to sniff out tipping points. If I were to locate the brain of the NYT, it would be on page 1 of the Sunday Times.


As for the ego, that would definitely be the op-ed page, which has become such an avowed star-system with the Times that the quality has really gone downhill in recent years. Itís almost like a daily reminder of the Heisenberg Principle (or Observer Created Reality): once you make the reporter the center of attention, all the analysis goes downhill. Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd are the worst examples, but Thomas Friedman is catching up. For now, Nicholas Kristof is keeping it together, but slippage is inevitable. You have to admit, though, itís an efficient production system, because all they need to do is bag up the op-eds every two years and itís an instant bestseller, with a guaranteed review in the Times and lots of advertisements and TV appearances that all come together to pretty much predetermine its ìbrillianceííóeven if itís only a rehashed collection of op-eds. But think of it, you pay something like $40 a month for the op-eds in the first place, and then they nab you for $25 later just to have them all stitched together.


But enough with the carping and back to the main point: yesterday I wrote about how the Reagan funeral extravaganza created this profound pause in the whole Bush-is-going-down-because-Iraq-is-a-disaster scenario that many political analysts seem to buying whole cloth. I mean, everybody likes a sequel of a popular story, but the problem is Bush 43 is a real improvement on Bush 41 and Kerry just ainít Bill Clinton (unless heís waiting to break out a can of I-can-feel-your-pain whupass on the campaign trail).


My points were basically that it shut down Kerry for a significant period during which Bush seemed like he was bottoming out due to Iraq, meanwhile the whole Iraq thing quietly shifted from a complete-disaster-of-neocon-making into something a whole lot more hopeful, primarily because itís now Iraqis running the show with the U.S. slipping into the background and working more as System Administrators dispensing aid that rebuilds Iraqís social networks and economic infrastructure and as the on-site military Leviathan dedicated to serving as the fledgling regimeís bodyguard.


Judging by the emails Iíve gotten from various people on-site in the Green Zone, the splitting of the U.S. military force into Sys Admin and Leviathan roles isnít just emerging, itís basically there. Itís not a question of predictive powers oróeven more ludicrouslyóthe notion of influence, but simply the ability to spot undeniable strategic realities as they emerge. Itís not a gift, but a skill. It can be learned, taught, self-developed, and kept up through consistent use.


Why I say that is because I feel strongly that anybody can develop this skill with enough effort and that America as a whole needs to develop this muscle if weíre going to ever reach a happy ending in this global war on terrorism, moving far beyond that limited goal to what I call the global future worth creating.


So hereís my answer to the eternal question of what is the one thing Iíd want when stranded on the desert island in terms of information flow: the Sunday New York Times. Pound for pound, itís the best.


Todayís evidence includes:


Will this election be determined by Iraq?

ìIraqis Start to Exercise Power Even Before Date for Turnover,î by Jeffrey Gettleman, New York Times, 13 June, p. A1.


ìRoad for Relief Team Is Gauntlet of Enemy Fire: ëWe canít fix anything if theyíre shooting at us,î by Michale Kamber, NYT, 13 June, p. A16.


ìBehind the Scenes, a Restless and Relentless Kerry,î by Jodi Wilgoren, NYT, 13 June, p. A1.


ìApproval in May,î results Gallup Polls, NYT, 13 June, p. A25.


ìA Nation Divided? Who Says? On gay rights, gun control and abortion, thereís a whole lot of agreeing going on,î by John Tierney, NYT, 13 June, p. WK1.


ìWhy America Sees the Silver Lining: ëSuccess in life is pretty much determined by forces outside our control,î by John Leland, NYT, 13 June, p. WK1.


ìAnd Yes, He Was a Great Communicator: A presidentís debt to Jefferson Smith, George Bailey and Tom Joad,î by Geoffrey Nunberg, NYT, 13 June, p. WK5.

ìHello, this is God speaking,î volunteers Vishnu in a perfect American accent
ìShort on Priests, U.S. Catholics Outsource Prayers to Indian Clergy,î by Saritha Rai, NYT, 13 June, p. A13.
The disconnecting strategy gets more perverse by the day
ìSaudi Gunmen Kill American; Qaeda Claims Another Death,î by AP, NYT, 13 June, p. A8.


ìIsrael Says Children Enlist Children as Suicide Bombers: Peer pressure among Palestinian teenagers to become martyrs,î by Greg Myre, NYT, 13 June, p. A3.

11:43AM

Will this election be determined by Iraq?

ìIraqis Start to Exercise Power Even Before Date for Turnover,î by Jeffrey Gettleman, New York Times, 13 June, p. A1.


ìRoad for Relief Team Is Gauntlet of Enemy Fire: ëWe canít fix anything if theyíre shooting at us,î by Michale Kamber, NYT, 13 June, p. A16.


ìBehind the Scenes, a Restless and Relentless Kerry,î by Jodi Wilgoren, NYT, 13 June, p. A1.


ìApproval in May,î results Gallup Polls, NYT, 13 June, p. A25.


ìA Nation Divided? Who Says? On gay rights, gun control and abortion, thereís a whole lot of agreeing going on,î by John Tierney, NYT, 13 June, p. WK1.


ìWhy America Sees the Silver Lining: ëSuccess in life is pretty much determined by forces outside our control,î by John Leland, NYT, 13 June, p. WK1.


ìAnd Yes, He Was a Great Communicator: A presidentís debt to Jefferson Smith, George Bailey and Tom Joad,î by Geoffrey Nunberg, NYT, 13 June, p. WK5.


The first article gives a great rundown of whatís already changing inside Iraq as the handover date approaches. A good clip:

ìWalid Saleh, planning director for the Water Resources Ministry, said his ministry used to be controlled by a team of six American water experts. Now, Mr. Saleh said, these advisers have become ëconsultants.í


ëThey work for us,í Mr. Saleh explained. ëThey are very good technicians and they give us expertise. But we make the decisions.î

U.S. influence in Iraq is described as two-fold: overseeing a reconstruction budget of almost $20 B (the Sys Admin role) and 140k troops struggling to end an insurgency (the Leviathan role). But the big point is: Iraqis are now running the show and making the day-to-day decisions.


Will there be assassinations and casualties ahead? Absolutely, but the number of Americans dying will likely drop dramatically over coming weeks and months, and with Iraqi leaders taking any heat in front of cameras, I think weíll all be surprised what a non-issue Iraq may end up being come November when Americans are stepping into voting booths.


Meanwhile, Kerryís profiles remain stuck in the ìwhatís-he-really-like-in-personî mode, in part because thereís no clear message that heís delivering, other than ìIím not Bush!î And thatís unlikely, in my mind, to sway the middle unless he steps up and delivers a far more positive vision of where he wants to take America.


Bush does have overall approval ratings that suggest a loss (47%), but likewise the highest historical loyalty ratings within his own party (89%). But hereís the good news for Kerry, there is a big mushy middle that agrees on most things, and they want to hear a positive message regarding the futureónot just one worth avoiding (his pitch on four more years of Bush unilateralism) but one worth creating.


Americans are simply built that way. Weíre a nation built by people who came to these shores convinced they could pull off something better on their own if only they could escape the stultifying rule sets and pessimism of the homeland. Thatís why, when polled, two-thirds of Americans stated their belief that success is something determined primarily by their own efforts, not forces beyond their control.


Take that, conspiracy theorists!


But Kerry needs to get beyond his Senate-speak, which is about as non-inclusive as it gets. He needs to generate the intimate tone that Reagan was a master at, and as the last article points out, itís not exactly hard, even if itís a lost art. Itís mostly about speaking directly to people (using the word ìyouî) a lot, and employing lots of ìyesî and ìand.î Itís about immediacy and intimacy and, yes, a sense of personal connection to dreams and desires andóyou knowóthat naÔve optimism that defines the American spirit.

11:37AM

ìHello, this is God speaking,î volunteers Vishnu in a perfect American accent

ìShort on Priests, U.S. Catholics Outsource Prayers to Indian Clergy,î by Saritha Rai, New York Times, 13 June, p. A13.


The Catholic Church in America is so short of priests to do masses that special intention masses (a mass dedicated to remembering a dead relative) are being sent overseas for clergy in India to perform. I know this squeeze situation from my Momís own complaints about having a hard time getting a mass said for my recently deceased Dad back home in Boscobel WI.


And no, itís real Catholic priests in India who perform the masses, not Hindu clergy sporting brand-new parochial accents. But you have to ask yourself how much worse itíll need to get in the U.S. before weíre reduced to that. Personally, I see great potential for inter-faith strategic alliances here . . ..

11:12AM

The disconnecting strategy gets more perverse by the day

ìSaudi Gunmen Kill American; Qaeda Claims Another Death,î by AP, New York Times, 13 June, p. A8.


ìIsrael Says Children Enlist Children as Suicide Bombers: Peer pressure among Palestinian teenagers to become martyrs,î by Greg Myre, NYT, 13 June, p. A3.


Al Qaeda shoots an American in the back after he parks his car in his garage. Nice. Another is kidnapped with promises of torture.


Al Qaedaís efforts to drive out all Westerners from Saudi Arabia continues apace.


Meanwhile, Palestinian efforts to find enough suicide bombers to kill Israelis is scrapping rock bottom: now weíre talking sweet-talking teenagers talking other impressionable teenagers that blowing yourself up is a really cool way to go. Thereís the perfect definition of selling a future worth eliminating.


So tell me which side we should be on. People complain about the security wall as an example of disconnectedness. But I see it more like a firewall, or an immune-system defense against the viral disease that Palestinian culture has becomeóa culture of death, despair, and utter spiritual disconnectedness.


And yes, I do understand the professed internal logic of dying for the cause and rushing right to paradise, and I consider that one of the most pathetic, self-delusional lies that any religion has ever invented. Frankly, it is nothing more that a canard perpetuated by leaders to get people to die on their behalf.

4:57AM

Ronald Reaganís last great political act

Dateline: above the garage in Portsmouth RI, 12 June 2004


I will admit that I am a Republican, just four days each year. As the sole proprietor of Barnett Consulting, I pay my estimated taxes every 15 April, 15 June, 15 September and 15 January. Today I wrote the checks for my state and federal estimates, and man, Iím feeling awfully Republican right now.


Iíll get over it, as I always doóit just takes longer each year. But it is much harder to stomach taxes when you donít simply have them withheld by your employer. Of course, you might add, ìYour taxes pay for things like Naval War College professors!î


True, true. Then again, it does feel kinda odd to have to pay the government in order to get it to pay your salary.


Hmmm. Makes me wonder if there are dollars in my personal economy that just keep constantly going back and forth from me to the government to me to the government to me to . . . without ever actually buying anythingólike some sort of perpetual fiscal machine.


I guess I could be more hypocritical: I could be one of those retired military types who rail on and on about wanting smaller government while cashing all those pension checks year after year.


Yes, yes, everyone wants the government to stop wasting money . . . on those people, which are often defined as everybody except themselves, of course, because ìwe really deserve it!î


And, of course, we all do, which is what gets youíre a very big government.


It seems only natural to prattle on about big government, taxes, and military budgets this week, what with the 6-day spectacle that was the Reagan remembrance. I donít begrudge the man this last great political moment, because he was the towering political figure of the last three decades. He will go down much like an FDRóthe guy who defined his nation for many years (really, through 3 presidencies to include Bush 1) and his party since 1976, when he first stepped onto the national stage. To be a Reagan Republican today is a lot like what being an FDR Democrat was at the middle of the century: itís simply identifying yourself with the dominant political theme of your era.


While I did not vote for Reagan in either election, nor was I fan of his administrations, he did make for a magnificent president in the sense of representing this country to itself and the outside world. The man was simply well cast in the role, plus his personal journey from young liberal Democrat to old stalwart Republican was so very American: there are few things sadder than a young conservative or an aging liberal, because both seem to declare the same basic fallacy that life teaches them nothing. Reagan was a life-long learner and, despite his fairly strict rule set about wanting smaller government and trusting individuals to do the right thing on their own, he was a masterful compromiser. People forget that he got so much of his agenda to flow through a Democratic-controlled Congress not because he refused to bend, but because he knew when and how to bend.


At times, I do find myself wishingónot because Iím a Republican but because Iím an Americanóthat George W. Bush actually was as much like Reagan as both he and many of his admirers like to portray him as. But Bush has not mastered that art of compromise, and thus he is disliked by so many Americans even as many of them have basically desired his strong leadership since 9/11. Reagan did many things that many of us did not like, and yet he made us like him, whereas Bush does many things that many of us do like, and yet he makes it hard to like him.


There are so many similarities between Bush 1 and Bush 2 that it is tempting to believe history is repeating itself here again, but Bush the Younger clearly wants reelection (unlike his burned out dad in í92) and Kerry (I fear) is no Bill Clinton when it comes to campaigning.


Then there is this strange, highly political interlude that has been the Reagan week-long extravaganza. I think Reaganís big goodbye will be a turning point in this campaign. It created this huge pause during which Kerry fell silent, Bush basked in Reaganís glow, Republicans everywhere remembered who they are and why they are, and Iraq quietly slipped into a new, possibly far more favorable pathway. Right up to Reaganís death is was all bad news from Iraq all the time, but following this long pause where Reagan dominated the news cycle for an entire week, many Americans may find themselves waking up to a new morning in Iraq.


Now thereís an Iraqi running an Iraqi government, as interim as it may seem. But still, when bad things happen in Iraq now, itíll be Allawi standing up at the press conference, not Bremer or some American general. Then thereís word today that Moqtada al-Sadr is signaling his willingness to support the interim government (NYT, 12 June, p. A5, ìIn Shift, Rebel Iraqi Cleric Backs New Government He Had Once Mocked,î by Edward Wong). Do I expect that to last forever? No, but it may last long enough for Iraq to segue into a far quieter phase that is quickly lost in the attention spans of Americans as we head into summer.


Give Iraq a couple of months to settle into something close to normalcy and it might look far better come Labor Day than anyone would have allowed just a week ago. I expected this development would come naturally on its own as the political transition date approached, simply because it created a put-up-or-shut-up moment on prospective Iraqi leaders andóbeing an optimistóI figured Iraq really does have enough of the right people to govern itself reasonable well now that Saddam and his henchmen are gone from power.


And when we look back on this election and realize that Bushís approval rates hit low tide just before the grand Reagan spectacle, only to rebound slowly but surely over the summer and into the fall as the election neared, then history may well judge that Ronald Reaganís last, very political act was to have the timing of his passing actually prove to be a pivot point in a presidential election campaign.


Knowing Reagan, such a development would delight him to no end.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Todayís Catch:


The great race has begun between India and China

ìMade in India vs. Made in China: Multinationals See Big Upside To Subcontinent,î by Keith Bradsher, New York Times, 12 June, p. B1.
White House searches for words on Sudan
ìWhite House Reconsiders Its Policy on Crisis in Sudan: Weighing whether conditions have risen to the level of genocide,î by Marc Lacey, NYT, 12 June, p. A3.
Getting Europe to care about any future other than its own
ìG-8 Gathering Ends Without Iraq Agreement: U.S. Allies Decline to Send Personnel or Forgive Debt,î by Jackie Calmes, Wall Street Journal, 11 June, p. A7.


ìEurope Knows It Needs a Lot of Immigrants, But It Also Fears Them,î by Floyd Norris, NYT, 11 June, p. C1.

Chinaís deep, deep hunger for raw materials
ìChinaís Expansion May Be Easing: Soft Landing Could Stem Inflationary Pressures Threatening Global Growth,î by Andrew Browne et. al, WSJ, 11 June, p. A2.


ìAsian Scavengers Feed Chinaís Hunger for Steel,î by James Brooke, NYT, 11 June, p. W1.

Companies sell energy, but governments own reserves


ìU.S. Seeks Pacts With Russia To Raise Natural Gas Exports: Dangling a $15 billion carrot to help finance a new plant,î by Erin E. Arvedlund, NYT, 11 June, p. W1.


ìAn Oil Enigma: Production Falls Even as Reserves Rise: No Clear Picture Emerges to Explain Discrepancy,î by Alex Berenson, NYT, 12 June, p. A1.

4:55AM

The great race has begun between India and China

ìMade in India vs. Made in China: Multinationals See Big Upside To Subcontinent,î by Keith Bradsher, New York Times, 12 June, p. B1.


Big global corporations getting tired of trying to break into Chinese domestic markets are increasingly eyeing India with its easier entry points. So corporations continue to go into China to rent the labor and export the resulting manufactured goods, but more and more they enter India to both manufacture there and sell there.


Some economic strategists believe this is why India will eventually overtake China as an economic power, and it essentially comes down to India having a better internal rule set and less of a socialist legacy to deal with.


The truth is, all these predictions of one ìwinningî over the other are a complete waste of time. China leapt ahead of India across the 1980s, and that pushed India to open up its economy in a similar fashion in the early 1990s. China became the big foreign direct investment magnet in the 1990s, and India made similar efforts to attract the same flows in the past several years. So Chinaís been the lead, and India the second for the last twenty years, but if India were to pull ahead in certain categories, the demonstration effect would simply flow in the other directionónot leaving China behind but pulling it along.


This race is just beginning to heat up.

4:50AM

White House searches for words on Sudan

ìWhite House Reconsiders Its Policy on Crisis in Sudan: Weighing whether conditions have risen to the level of genocide,î by Marc Lacey, New York Times, 12 June, p. A3.


Another slow-motion crisis, another search for the right word. Is this genocide, or just a really bad government letting a lot of its own people die systematically?


Hmmm. Seems to me to be yet another example of rule sets out of whack in the system. Nobody wants to see this happen. Everyone knows itís bad. Thereís no great mystery about whatís happening. We search for words because none of the ones we have now match any global security regime thatís built to deal with the problem.


Sudan has a bad government, but because it belongs to the UN and the UN treats every state as equally sovereign, thereís really nothing out there in the system to deal with it in an A-to-Z fashion, even as everybody would like to see that place somehow ruled by something other and hopefully better than what they got now. What we do have is some UN convention on ìgenocide,î so we wait around debating exactly what that word means and thousands upon thousands die in Sudan.


You think words donít matter, well just one of them is killing Sudan.

4:47AM

Getting Europe to care about any future other than its own

ìG-8 Gathering Ends Without Iraq Agreement: U.S. Allies Decline to Send Personnel or Forgive Debt,î by Jackie Calmes, Wall Street Journal, 11 June, p. A7.


ìEurope Knows It Needs a Lot of Immigrants, But It Also Fears Them,î by Floyd Norris, New York Times, 11 June, p. C1.


The non-event that was the G-8 meeting is a bad indicator of this administrationís inability to cut the deals needed to achieve serious and lasting change in the Middle East, something weíre simply not going to be able to pull off on our own. Not getting troops was one thing, but cripes, we couldnít even get them to forgive Iraqís debts. Thatís some serious payback for how we treated them in the run-up to the war.


But a Europe that gets itself deeply involved in connecting the Middle East to the world would likely find itself opening up against its will to all those brown people on the other side of the Mediterranean. This would make eminent sense demographically, but culturally itís proving very hard for Old Europe.


If we donít think these things are connected in this disconnectedness, then weíre likely to end up waging wars all by ourselves inside the Gap.

4:44AM

Chinaís deep, deep hunger for raw materials

ìChinaís Expansion May Be Easing: Soft Landing Could Stem Inflationary Pressures Threatening Global Growth,î by Andrew Browne et. al, Wall Street Journal, 11 June, p. A2.


ìAsian Scavengers Feed Chinaís Hunger for Steel,î by James Brooke, New York Times, 11 June, p. W1.


Another article about Chinaís hoped-for soft landing seemingly unfolding. Hereís the interesting factoid: China generates only 3% of world output, but itís draw on raw materials worldwide is far and above that, to the point that Chinaís manufacturing requirements are driving upwards of 15% of world growth.


That demand is so great that itís actually having a very nice environmental effect: China is sucking scrap metal from all over the world, pushing scavengers to reclaim rusting metal from abandoned facilities and factories all over Eurasia, but especially in former socialist states Russia and North Korea, both of which are full of rotting factories. China is growing so fast itís actually helping to clean up the old socialist bloc in the process.

4:34AM

Companies sell energy, but governments own reserves

ìU.S. Seeks Pacts With Russia To Raise Natural Gas Exports: Dangling a $15 billion carrot to help finance a new plant,î by Erin E. Arvedlund, New York Times, 11 June, p. W1.


ìAn Oil Enigma: Production Falls Even as Reserves Rise: No Clear Picture Emerges to Explain Discrepancy,î by Alex Berenson, NYT, 12 June, p. A1.


The U.S. is trying to arrange natural gas contracts with Russia, which is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. People in the energy business will tell you that global natural gas markets today are much like global oil markets were 30 years ago: dominated by governments and long-term bilateral deals. So when America runs low on natural gas Washington turns to Moscow.


In the oil industry, itís no longer like that, even as governments still control the vast bulk of oil reserves. The biggest four oil companies, for example, own only about 4% of global reserves. Thatís it! So if you think ExxonMobil and BP rule the world on energy, you donít understand that theyíre basically just middlemen nowadays. But because oil is traded quite fluidly on a global scale, that makes them still very important, even if they donít actually own the oil.


Governments own the oil in the ground, and they tend to be very secretive about how big those reserves are. We know everyone tends to exaggerate them somewhat, but we donít know by how much. Our slim window into this world is afforded by the transparency required of public companies, like those big oil corporations. It seems like all of them have been caught in recent times admitting that theyíve overstated their reserves somewhat (Royal/Dutch Shell being the biggest offender), and this may be the reason why oil production has been falling in recent years even as oil reserves have seemingly grown. The reason behind these exaggerations are probably market driven, meaning companies are guilty of trying to meet the Streetís persistent expectations for constant growth.


If publicly-traded companies feel this sort of pressure to exaggerate, what do all those national oil companies feel pressured to do, when itís not just profits on the line, but a sense of national power, prestige, or diplomatic leverage?


Thatís not my way of insinuating the ìcoming crashî or anything like that, because I think that ìcrash,î however and whenever it is perceived/declared/manufactured for political reasons, will only send the world into the inevitable segue that is the coming hydrogen age.


Where are we going to get all that hydrogen economically? Hmmm. That would be natural gas. And whose the Saudi Arabia of natural gas? Hmmm. That would be our old enemy/new friend called Russia.


I know why itís hard to get Russia to care about Saudi Arabia, but youíd think it would be easier to round up a few NATO troops for Iraqósitting right next door.

8:07PM

The question of the next book

Dateline: above the garage in Portsmouth RI, 11 June 2004


Off from work today due to US Government being sort of shut down for Ronald Reaganís funeral. So I mow the lawn, run some errands, take kids to and from school, and chaperon my middle child Kevinís end-of-year school party. I bring my face-painting gear and end up doing about 40 kids, but just cheek art.


At the end of the party I find myself feeling awfully tense, and Iím wondering why. I mean, Iíve got people coming up to me all the time now congratulating me on the book, telling me they just bought it (itís selling very fast at the Naval War Collegeís bookstore), or recounting some TV show they saw me on. Itís been 48 hours since I found out about the NYT Best Seller list, so I should be as happy as can be.


Then I realize why Iím feeling so tense. Spoke with my agent this afternoon. Jennifer is a great lady and I enjoy having her as my agent, but she unwittingly triggered my low-grade panic attack by floating the idea of going to Putnam with a proposal for a follow-on bookóyou know, strike while the iron is hot. As soon as she said it, I spun her a wonderful tale about an option book that just sprang naturally out of the concluding chapter (Hope Without Guarantees), or something that basically ran down those ì10 steps to a future worth creating.î Hell, I know thereís a book there, just waiting to be written, and the idea matched her instincts. So I promised her some short proposal by the end of the month that we might forward on to Neil Nyren at Putnam, getting it under his nose before the August doldrums hit the publishing world.


Itís a logical next step: Putnamís discovered me and shepherded me through book #1, which just happens to crack the NYT Best Seller list. So now itís only natural to extend the run and go for book #2 that really explodes on the national consciousness and catapults me as an author far beyond PNM. I know I could write something, hell, probably something really good, and I know Putnam would love to grow me as a writer, because thatís what they do.


The question is, What do I want to do next?


Hereís the hitch. I have a ten-year-old manuscript of my diary of my daughter Emilyís battle with cancer as a three-year-old. At 200k, it probably needs to lose at least 100k and then add in some shaping material both fore and aft of the main text, plus perhaps some 20/20 hindsight commentary from myself and my wife looking back on the diary itself.


Itís a neat and easy project, plus it gets me refocused on family by involving my spouse and our first-born. Itís all just so huggy-huggy-inclusive, and frankly, after writing a book on war and peace, that sounds pretty goodósomething small and intimate and all Nicholas Sparks-ish.


[Tom pauses to fantasize briefly about emoting on Oprah, with his loving spouse and writing partner at his side . . . God, there would have to be some fabulous sex after something like that . . . I mean, rock the universe sort of stuff . . . probably in a five-star hotel executive suite . . . the kind with a Jacuzzi plus shower in a walk-in bathroom to die for . . . Ahem!]


Anyway, I think the original diary is some of the best writing I have ever done, as does my agent Jennifer. Mark Warren of Esquire is also convinced it could be a great book, and is ready to sign on as my editor again.


Jennifer wants to push this book, but she wants the PNM follow-up too. As my agent, she needs to tell me that the kid-with-cancer book will be a tough sell, and that the easiest sell right now is ìSon of PNM.î Iím not averse to further success, but I donít just want to crank something for the sake of cranking something.


Then again, I can sign a contract this Sept for a book thatís due a year from then, so it would follow a year after the paperback release of PNM in May 2005. The contract would simply focus my attention, not just in the blog but in my day-to-day thinking. Iíd be stupid not to run with that ball, if it can be had, so all I really need to do is get comfortable with a book proposal idea and start building the text in my mind over the fall, winter and spring, and then just crank it out (as I must as a writer) when I reach a critical mass next summer. Doesnít have to be the 150k PNM; it can be something far slimmer and more focused. Cripes, I write 3k here almost every day, so whatís the big deal?


I guess my ambivalence and angst at Jenniferís proposal is that I donít yet feel like Iíve recovered my wind from PNM. What attracts me to the ìEmily Updatesî concept (turning the diary into a book) is that Iíve already written the text, by and large, so that project would be editing (mostly Mark Warren) plus writing new shaping material (which frankly I love doing so much I donít consider it work). Plus, if that gets to be the next book, then maybe I reposition myself as a writer of profound (hopefully perceived) stuff in general, vice the military analyst guy.


Then thereís the avenue of simply doing both. The ìEmily Updatesî is something I work in terms of editing and shaping through the end of the year, and by then, I have a clear idea of how the Son of PNM is going to be laid out. I work the data collection on that one over the first few months of 2005 and then crank 100k over the following summer, delivering something to Putnam on time. The joy of that sequential scenario is that I am full-time ìwriting manî outside of my duties at the college, so I donít sweat the decline of Barnett Consulting and I simply accept the notion that my future is one of being a writer.


Hmmmm. Iím getting tired just describing these possibilities. Maybe this all simply nuts to consider trying. Maybe Iím drawn to the Emily Updates because I fear my ability to handle another book from scratch anytime soon, what with a new child joining our family, plus all the continuing ancillary stuff flowing out of the PNM itself. Maybe this option book concept is simply too much, too fast. It does violate my basic rule: donít write until you feel the needóthe overwhelming needóto put something down on paper.


Then why in the hell am I wasting my time on this blog everyday?


[thinking . . . thinking . . . Jacuzzi in five-star Chicago hotel . . . thinking . . . really good sex . . . thinking . . . what was I writing about?]


Oh yeah!


Maybe because Iím one of those thinkers who thinks best when heís writing or speakingóyou know, in the output mode. I mean, I do like writing the blog. Itís like playing the piano every day: either you exercise those muscles or you lose the fluidity. I know I love to write, so why the hell not pursue both the Emily Updates and Son of PNM?


Then I think I really understand my sense of angst: I donít feel like I have the rule set down in my head about what a Son of PNM would logically be. I just donít feel like I have the angle in my head. For example, I donít have the chapters down, or the tone. Do I try to run the reader to some distant future (say 2025) and paint that future worth creating? Or do I run the reader step by step, loading up the book with predictions galore? Or . . . or . . . or . . ..


When I wrote PNM, I knew I was writing the book only I could write. Why I want the Emily Updates published is that this manuscript was likewise something only I could write (with many stories ìtold toî me by my wife). When I think of Son of PNM, I keep coming up with notions of books that I think I could write, but so could a bunch of other peopleóso why the hell should I bother?


Enough of me, for here is where you come in. I have pursued by career primarily by listening to what other people told me I did best and simply concentrating on that while ignoring the restóby and large. Thatís a very Peter Drucker-ish sort of approach: go with the thing you do best and outsource the rest.


So here I have this blog that connects me to many people whoíve read much of my writings, and presumably the book. All of you know why you liked the book or why you like the blog. Knowing that, whatís the logically wished-for book youíd have me write next?


Iím not asking you to comment on the utility or difficulty of getting the Emily Updates published, because I have a certain personal commitment to that project that is simply too profound for me to care what others really think (some experiences from your life are just like that, as Iím sure you know). Iím really looking for what you think is the logical Son of PNM pathway that I need to pursue as a writerómeaning, as you read the book, what did you logically want more of? Whatís the next extension of these ideas that appeals to you most as readers? Do I drill down inside the military on the Leviathan/Sys Admin split? Do I write the book about America and how it must change, along with its government? Or do I write about the future of the world system and the changes that must occur there? [There you have it, the three Waltzian levels of perspective: individual, state, system.] Or do I do a bit of each and simply write that Future Worth Creating 2025 manifesto?


Or are all of these the wrong ideas?


Help me out here. The suspense is killing me. I can only rest on my laurels for so longówell, at least until 20 June.


You know, we could really use a Jacuzzi in this house . . ..

3:29AM

Mr. Lamb, thank you for my New York Times Best Seller!

Dateline: above the garage in Portsmouth RI, 10 June 2004


The day CSPAN broadcast my appearance on Book Notes with Brian Lamb (Sunday, 30 May), my Amazon ranking had slipped to just over 3,000. The next day, after it was shown three times in the preceding 24 hours, my Amazon ranking was 6th place, right behind "The DaVinci Code" and just above "The South Beach Diet."


Thank you, thank you, Lamb-I-am!


I had long given up (and blogged about it more than once, I am sure to be reminded) on the notion that this book would crack the New York Times Best Seller list. Frankly, I had grown quite cynical about it; after all, it's a pure velocity measurement of books sold within a week, not cumulative sales. Everyone, including Mark Warren himself (my personal editor on PNM), kept telling me I didn't have that sort of book. We'd have to build an audience slowlyóyou know, appearance by appearance, room by room, brief by brief. With the big number of high-profile political books out there, I simply did not stand a chance. Never gonna happen. Nuh-uh.


The CSPAN show came at the beginning of PNM's fifth week of being in circulation. If I couldn't crack the list after all those national TV appearance, plus the front-page Wall Street Journal profile, plus the AP story that ran just about everywhere, then lowly CSPAN on a major holiday weekend sure as hell wasn't going to do it.


So I watched the Amazon number stay below 100 through the end of the week, and held my breath over the weekend. This last Monday I got an email from my Publisher, Neil Nyren of Putnam, saying Barnes and Noble has quadrupled their sales of my book last week as compared to the week prior. Their internal calculations said I could possibly land as high as #16 on the NYT listing for "pure" (no self-help) hardcover nonfiction.


"Number 16? Is that actually on The List" (as it is known in the business)? "No," says, Neil. Slots 16-35 gets you on the "Also Selling," or extended list. I ask, "Can we claim to be a 'NYT Best Seller' on that basis?" "No," says Neil. Only 1 through 15 can claim that status.


Then it dawns on me: maybe I land on spot #16 and that's the best I ever do. The book becomes an asterisked entry in publishing history: close, but no cigar!


That news simply haunted me from Monday morning until Wednesday COB, when I knew I'd either get an email (slot #16 or worse) or a phone call (on The List!) from Neil. I will confess the tension made my blog a bit testy over those three days (yes, even I notice these things . . .).


It simply haunted me to think I'd come really close but somehow miss it, losing out to Jenny McCarthy or something like "Really Cool Secrets of the DaVinci Code!"


Hell, I thought to myself, if I had know how close it would end up being, I would have gone out and bought a thousand books myself (don't think it hasnít been tried by authors in the past . . .).


But what I was really feeling was that I had let a huge opportunity slip through my fingers. Putnam had 31 NYT best sellers last year, tops in the business. Nobody does it better than Putnamóthey're the frickin' New York Yankees of publishing. I mean, if I had the right stuff in this book, and put out as much as I could in all the media appearances they arranged, and I couldnít crack The List, exactly whose fault would that be?


I can tell how I would have felt (and frankly did feel until 4:45pm yesterday): like I had let Putnam down, not to mention everyone else associated with the book and my career.


I will confess I imagined Neil's happy call about 200 times in my head between Monday morning and Wednesday COB. What's amazing was that I forgot all about it when the call actually came, I was so busy typing away on some emails regarding future business travel down to Florida (Special Operations Command).


Then my cell phone buzzed on the table in front of me, and I glanced at the clock: quarter to five.


Shit!


I press the button and cringe, waiting to hear Neil's voice.


Sure enough, it's him, and that sparkly way he talks when he's really happy tells me in about two syllables that I'm getting great news here.


PNM will land on slot #14 of the NYT Best Seller list published on 20 June, just behind Richard Clarke and just above Dick Morris. How about that for a Father's Day gift!


Naturally, I was ecstatic, but even more so relieved. Mission accomplished on the hardcover, I told myself.


Still want "national bestseller," not to mention "international bestseller," although I confess I have no idea what either status implies in terms of cumulative sales figures, and then there's starting all over with the paperback. But for now, I've got something that can never be taken away: I've written a New York Times Best Seller.


Whatís so great about this, Neil and I instantly decide on the phone, is that this baby really sold itself in terms of the material. We didn't sneak onto The List through a crush of PR, but simply sold the materialóstraight upóon CSPAN with Brian Lamb. That was all it took in the end (in its fifth week out in print): a good 60 minutes to make my case.


In the book I wrote that someday you (the reader) would see me trying to summarize the book in a three-minute TV segment, and that it would be impossible. Thanks to CSPAN and Brian Lamb, I got the window I needed to really spell out the book, the vision, and who I am as an author, and thanks to that opportunity the reading public responded by making PNM a New York Times Best Seller.


Hereís the actual list that will be published for hard-cover nonfiction on 20 June:

1. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, David Sedaris

2. Eats, Shoots & Leaves, by Lynne Truss

3. Big Russ and Me, by Tim Russert

4. Plan of Attack, by Bob Woodward

5. Father Joe, by Tony Hendra

6. Battle Ready, by Tom Clancy (with Tony Zinni and Tony Koltz)

7. Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow

8. More Than Money, by Neil Cavuto

9. Founding Mothers, by Cokie Roberts

10. On the Down Low, by J.L. King (with Karen Hunter)

11. Secrets of the Code, edited by Dan Burstein

12. Three Weeks with My Brother, by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks

13. Against All Enemies, by Richard A. Clarke

14. The Pentagonís New Map, by Thomas P.M. Barnett

15. Rewriting History, by Dick Morris (with Eileen McGann)

16. Truth & Beauty, by Ann Patchett [tied with Rewriting History].
Despite my hangover from last night's celebratory Bushmill's Irish Whiskey, hereís todayís catch:


A hopeful sign from the new Iraqi government

ìKurds Win Round On Constitution: Iraqís Interim Leader Puts Off Crisis on Autonomy,î by Dexter Filkins, New York Times, 10 June, p.A1.
Quelle surprise! Qaddafi continues to lie through his teeth
ìTwo Said to Tell Of Libyan Plot Against Saudi: Accounts of Plan to Kill Ruler of the Kingdom,î by Patrick E. Tyler, NYT, 10 June, p. A1.
Handicapping the Gap (Indonesia & Pakistan)
ìTerrorist Groups In Indonesia Shift To Assassinations,î by Donald Greenlees and John McBeth, Wall Street Journal, 10 June, p. A10.


ìMilitantís Defiance Puts Pakistanís Resolve in Doubt: Taliban Still Using Border as Haven,î by David Rohde and Mohammed Khan, NYT, 10 June, p. A3.

The swag on Asiaís booming oil demand
ìAs Oil Prices Rise, a Sense of Alarm in Asia,î by Wayne Arnold, NYT, 10 June, p. W1.


ìNow, a Great Leap Forward in Luxury: Automakers Hasten to Woo the Newly Wealthy in China,î by Keith Bradsher, NYT, 10 June, p. C1.


ìChinaís SUV Surge: Hulking Vehicles Catch On Despite Endless Traffic Jams And Official Push to Save Fuel,î by Joseph B. White, WSJ, 10 June, p. B1.