Monday, June 16, 2008

Why Leak the Khan Bomb Design Now?

As you know from my previous posts on McBush and Iran, I am paying particular attention to possible propaganda efforts that the administration may put forth to preposition public opinion for an attack on Iran before the November elections.

With that in mind its interesting to note that Bush decided last Wednesday to echo a phrase he used repeatedly in creating the drumbeat to invade Iraq:
President Bush said Wednesday that if diplomacy fails to deter Iran from developing its nuclear program, then "all options are on the table."

Combine this with the recent release of information from unnamed "American and international investigators" regarding a possibly improved bomb design that Khan may have been responsible for. Why release information on Khan's bomb design now when it was originally discovered in 2005 (It was not until 2005 that officials of the I.A.E.A., which is based in Vienna, finally cracked the hard drives on the Khan computers recovered around the world.)?

The salient portion of David Sanger's piece in the NYT, at least with regards to my concern, is this:
Among the missiles that could carry the smaller weapon, according to some weapons experts, is the Iranian Shahab III, which is based on a North Korean design.

It is also surely no coincidence that Sanger includes the following snippet in his lead paragraph:
"....they have not been able to determine whether they were sold to Iran".....

One suspects that they were also unable to determine if the designs were sold to, I don't know, lets say Liechtenstein or to Brittney Spears for that matter. This is disappointing, Sanger was fairly independent during the run up to the Iraq invasion, lets hope he is not becoming this year's Judy Miller.

Three year old information suddenly leaking as Bush says all options are on the table, sound familiar to anyone?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tiger Woods...probably the most outstanding single-sport player ever.

That title is going a long way for me, Ali and Michael Jordan are certainly up there. But Tiger is, perhaps, only half way through his career.

Coming back on Friday to post a 30 on the back nine, 7 birdies, on what can only be considered a very difficult course in a major that always separates the men from the boys. But today, watching him play/struggle with significant pain from recent knee surgery, was an amazing event...regardless of tomorrow's outcome. The last two holes....

Bad drive on the 17th, buried in the the ruff, needing to hook around trees, hitting a shot that almost makes the green but ends in significant ruff just left of of the putting surface on a steep lie, he addresses the ball and catches a flyer towards a pin that is running downhill away from him, and boom, the magic happens again, one hop-hit the flag, and drop in for a miracle birdie. It was the first time I have ever seen Tiger laugh on the course, at least in a major! He was, I swear, actually embarrassed that the ball went in.

Some will call that shot luck, Tiger called it that in the clubhouse later, but even to be able to have that kind of luck requires incredible talent; perfect line, perfect intent, amazing concentration.

The pain in the left knee was obvious occasionally throughout the tourney but was more so today. After the amzaing birdie on 17 his caddy reached from the green down the hill to shake his hand, but what he really did was help pull Tiger up the slope to the green.

I had stopped watching for a while after the 9th when Tiger was, I think, 5 strokes back and had just tuned in again on the 17th. After the birdie he was one stroke back. The 18th is a challenging Par 5, you have to be long off the tee and then you are looking at about 230 over the pond to a devilish green, its a tin cup hole if ever there was one. Tiger crushed a fade to perfect position then pulled out a 5-Wood and hit a big fade the left him a big breaker down hill, perhaps 45 feet. The smart play, with a day left to play (Sunday...Tiger's day) still in front of him, questions in his mind (well probably not in his mind but in most other minds) as to his physical ability to play a final round, the smart shot was to lay up and play for birdie. Not today, not Tiger. He hit the 5 and the camera stayed on Tiger, the same intense face we see on every shot, eyes following the flight of the ball, and then, as it lands, the grimace of pain; a grimace that led to what could no doubt be anything else but gut-buckling pain, just so obviously a case of incredible mental discipline.

On the green he lines up the put, lining up WAY left of the pin, so far left that the NBC announcers are freaking out, he is just on top of a small ridge, he gives the ball a slight tap, lined up perhaps 25 degrees left of the cup, the ball picks up speed and then breaks about 8 feet over the last 20 feet to roll solidly into the center of the cup. A perfect read, a perfect stroke, nerves of absolute steel.

Tiger starts tomorrow one stroke ahead of a tight pack.

Anything can happen on Sunday at the US Open. Still, of the 13 times Tiger has held or tied the lead going into the final round of a major he has won every one. That statistic is unbelievable, it says it all; luck doesn't happen 13 out of 13 times. Don't bet against him.