The media’s tactic of slowly releasing the leaked cables means they have to dig deeper to find the dirt as time goes on. It’s muddying the well’s water. While the Times is hardly looking at the cables anymore, others persist, sharing these inane stories recently:
- U.S. wishes Vatican used email
- Surge of Bollywood stars could win war in Afghanistan
- Niger Delta is corrupt, dangerous place
- Thai prince has had too much sex to be king
Lame horses get killed, but lame ducks must endure the pain. President Obama has a few weeks to salvage something from this lame duck period. He’s hopeful that Senate Republicans will wise up and heed Bush 41’s advice to quickly pass the new START treaty with Russia—reducing nukes by a third, upping inspections.
But Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, fears progress will be negated. He explains in the New Republic that commitments to a “gold-standard” of nonproliferation is being cut out of deals to furnish Jordan and Vietnam with civilian nuclear programs.
Sokolski argues that spreading nuclear plants around the world while simultaneously arguing for nonproliferation is giving with one hand and taking with other. It’s not just a dangerous game. It’s the dangerous game.
Oh, and a leaked cable had revealed that Burma wants the bomb. And worse than that, ”There is a report of a businessman offering uranium to the US embassy in Rangoon. The embassy bought it.”
The soccer world was stunned yesterday when Qatar beat the U.S. for the right to host the 2022 World Cup. The nation is smaller than Connecticut in population and size, it’ll now build 9 brand new stadia.
The stadia will be post-modern constructions. They will be air-conditioned by solar power to reduce temperatures expected to average 106 in the tournament month. A U.S. soccer representative questioned Qatar’s ability to “air-condition an entire country.” The stadia will also be modular so that some parts can be shipped to third-world countries after the tournament.
Part of Qatar’s bid involves investing in sports for women, but the men’s soccer team will need investment too—in recent results the team slumped to defeats against Kuwait, Iraq, Haiti, and North Korea. One Qatari player was recently humiliated by perhaps the biggest miss in soccer history.
Another question is whether Qatar’s laws will be liberalized before 400,000 fans flood the country. Shari’a law applies to family law and some criminal acts, while the consumption of alcohol in public places is forbidden.
While Russia will host the 2018 World Cup, Qatar will technically be only the second non-democratic country to host the World Cup. Argentina’s military dictatorship hosted the competition in 1978 and political prisoners in a concentration camp near the tournament’s main stadium could hear the roar of the crowd.