Former Communist intel chief Ion Mihai Pacepa on the North Korean nuclear program. It’s too good to excerpt, so just Ctrl-click and read the whole thing in a new tab.

Captain Ed and Joseph Shahda at Free Republic have been doing yeoman’s work on captured Iraqi intel documents. The latest one Shahda has translated (and which is posted at Captain’s Quarters) shows, unsurprisingly to anyone who has been tethered to reality for the past decade or so, that Saddam’s Iraq was very interested in staging terrorists attacks against the US. Iraq had ties to terrorism and fostered terrorism on its own initiative.

The no-ties lie needs to die.

How’s that Bush economy doing? Yet another record high for the Dow.

There are finally signs from China that Beijing is taking Kim Jong-Il seriously as a problem. China has flip-flopped on whether or not it will enforce UN sanctions against North Korea, apparently landing on the side of enforcement. That’s a big enough shock to those of us who’ve watched China enable Kim over the years. But now there’s word that China is reinforcing its border with North Korea by building a latter-day Great Wall, stepping up customs and so forth. And then there’s the report that China is openly talking about regime change in North Korea. Personally, I put very little stock in that report. If it’s anything, it might be a warning, but if China is really serious about dealing with Kim it would start “losing” food supplies destined for North Korea and it would suddenly start having trouble delivering Kim’s oil supply and find devious ways to undermine Kim’s authority among his military.

So though I don’t take the coup talk very seriously yet, I will take credit for starting it, way back on July 2, 2003. Since that time, the WSJ has written about China taking out the trash and the Bush administration apparently even broached the subject with Beijing at least once–only to be rebuffed by a Chinese study concluding that it didn’t have the speed to invade North Korea in a way that would preserve Seoul from North Korean artillery or keep Kim from launching all kinds of nastiness on his way out. The North Koreans reportedly have half a dozen chem and bio weapons in their arsenal in addition to any crude nuclear weapons they might have, and they have missiles capable of hitting Chinese, South Korean and Japanese cities. A slow invasion would get a lot of innocent people outside North Korea killed.

Simply put, China’s PLA doesn’t have the shock and awe capability of the US military. It’s too centrally controlled and too dependent on heirarchy to allow for the freedom of movement and decision-making that the US model affords. And China’s air force is quite weak; the PLA depends more on centrally-controlled missile launchers to conduct its long range operations than on a fast and free air punch.

I just wonder when North Korea will take a cue from Mexico and protest China’s fence-building at the UN.

I almost forgot to add–wonder why North Korea is the first country in history to have a failed nuclear weapon test? In April 2003 the US and the Aussies reportedly helped sneak several top-tier scientists out of North Korea, including nuclear scientists. I haven’t heard anything about this story since then–of course, whether it’s true or not, that’s the kind of story competent intel agencies would keep close to the vest–but the failed nuke test last week reminded me of it.

Update: One more for the grab-bag, and it’s a doozy from Mark Steyn:

[I]n 2003, Abdurahman Alamoudi was jailed for attempting to launder money from a Libyan terror-front “charity” into Syria via London.

Who’s Abdurahman Alamoudi? He’s the guy who until 1998 certified Muslim chaplains for the United States military, under the aegis of his Saudi-funded American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council. In 1993, at an American military base, at a ceremony to install the first imam in the nation’s armed forces, it was Mr. Alamoudi who presented him with his new insignia of a silver crescent star.

He’s also the fellow who helped devise the three-week Islamic awareness course in California public schools, in the course of which students adopt Muslim names, wear Islamic garb, give up candy and TV for Ramadan, memorize suras from the Koran, learn that “jihad” means “internal personal struggle,” profess the Muslim faith, and recite prayers that begin “In the name of Allah,” etc.

OH, and, aside from his ster ling efforts on behalf of multicultural education, Alamoudi was also an adviser on Islamic matters to Hillary Clinton.

And it turns out he’s a bagman for terrorists.

That’s one guy infiltrating the US military, US schools and US politics. And he only got caught because he left a paper trail of his drumming up funds for terrorists.

Good Lord, how many more Alamoudis might be out there?

That’s one among many relevant questions that too many of our wartime leaders can’t answer.