Monthly Archives: July 2006

Random thoughts on Lebanon

It’s been quite a while now and I haven’t seen any reports of actual conflict between the IDF and the Lebanese military, which would tend to suggest that they’re staying out of it altogether.

For all of the talk of cease fires and peace keeping forces, who would actually do it? The US is busy in Iraq, and the last time we tried that it didn’t work out too well anyway. Most of the available European forces (small in number to start with) are with NATO in Afghanistan. Assuming that part of some eventual deal involves “peace keepers” (technically more peace keepers, there have been a number of ineffectual UN troops there for years.) where would they come from? The Arab countries? China, Russia or India perhaps?

Or will that be a negotiating ploy used to delay a cease fire until the IDF weakens Hezbollah to the point where the Lebanese military takes over, which might be a very long time.

Saturday rapid fire

Cool new military stuff

The Polecat, built by Lockheed Martin, was just unveiled. It’s a high altitude drone of some sort, but the most eye-catching line was

The company built the plane with $27 million of its own money over an 18-month period.

A pretty impressive design, for only $27 million, in only 18 months. It’s startling how much the client matters in terms time and cost. Even if you throw out the corruption and overruns (which would be huge), an internal client is much more likely to select only the low-hanging fruit, and put that into the mix.

Update on local democracy

Nick is correct on the primary system. From the AJC

Anyone registered to vote as of June 19 may cast a ballot in the Aug. 8 runoff, regardless of whether they voted in the primary. But those who voted Tuesday in the Republican primary may vote only in Republican runoffs, and those who voted in the Democratic primary may vote only in the Democratic runoff.

Unrelated quote of the moment

“When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.”
– Marquis de la Grange