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Tuesday Open Thread

The International Military Tribunal for the Far East was convened at Ichigaya Court on this date in 1946.

All (Violent) Options

President Obama’s “smart diplomacy ” in the Middle East is paying dividends once again. From the AFP:

The Palestinians are considering “all options” in response to Israel’s decision to halt peace talks and punish the Palestinian Authority over its unity deal with Hamas, an official said Thursday. “The Palestinian leadership will look into all [...]

Friday Open Thread

The USS Maine

On this date in 1898, the U.S. declared war on Spain

What’s Worse Than Having an Empire?

Robert Kaplan, of Stratfor, wrote an interesting piece for The Atlantic — In Defense of Empire:

In June 1941, during the festival of Shavuot, a mob of Arab soldiers and tribesmen led a pogrom in the Jewish quarter of Baghdad, murdering well over 180 men, women, and children. The pogrom, known locally as the [...]

European Kleptocracy

Everyone’s favorite British Member of European Parliament, Daniel Hannan is at it again… tilting against his favorite windmill. From the Daily Mail UK:

Viewed from Brussels, the Westminster expenses crisis looks Lilliputian. Call that a scandal? Bath plugs and massage chairs, patio heaters and lightbulbs? How paltry. How quaint.

Viewed from Brussels, the Westminster expenses [...]

Counsel Bluffs

Who does Obama think he’s kidding? From Reuters: China should not doubt the U.S. commitment to defend its Asian allies and the prospect of economic retaliation should also discourage Beijing from using force to pursue territorial claims in Asia in the way Russia has in Crimea, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday. Daniel Russel, [...]

Wednesday Open Thread

President Woodrow Wilson addresses a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress — April 2, 1917 (LOC)

On this date in 1917, Woodrow Wilson asked the Congress for a formal declaration of war against Germany.

Shhhh.... It's Stealthy

On this date in 1999, the first and only F-117 Stealth fighter jet was shot down in combat over Serbia. The call sign was Vega 31 (from The Aviationist):

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Darrell P. Zelko, a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War, was flying a stealth plane from the 49th Fighter Wing, [...]

Wednesday Open Thread

This Shit Just Got Real.

Here’s the headline from this bracing Politico expose: “Obama’s vacation plans in jeopardy.” I shit you not.

Vladimir Putin has put President Barack Obama’s vacation plans on hold.

Obama is headed to Coral Reef High School in the southern part of Miami, Fla., on Friday for an event about education and the economy that [...]