Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Carter Doctrine. During the State of the Union Address I recall at one point murmuring to my wife that GWB was invoking the Carter Doctrine with respect to Iraq. Tis a pity that at 79 President Carter appears to have forgotten this doctrine he espoused.

You may recall, that on January 23, 1980, in his State of the Union Address, President Jimmy Carter announced a new American policy that came to be called the Carter Doctrine. Referring to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Mr. Carter stated:
Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by an outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.
In the most recent SOTU Address, President Bush explained
Year after year, Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums, taken great risks to build and keep weapons of mass destruction. But why? The only possible explanation, the only possible use he could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack.

With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions of conquest in the Middle East and create deadly havoc in that region.

Has Carter really forgotten what it's like to be President? Has he forgotten his own contribution to foreign affairs?

Of course Carter has a history of conceding -- which brings me to Tip O'Neill's comments (see paragraph titled The 1980 Election) on Carter concerning his 1980 concession speech before the polls closed: "You guys came in like a bunch of pricks, and you're going out the same way"

Monday, February 17, 2003

Blizzard? Just back from shoveling snow -- it appears we got off light -- my wife figures we got 12.5 inches at our house -- although friends in the area are reporting 18 inches (Herdon, Reston). I heard it was 2 feet in Leesburg. Is it a blizzard? Not in this area.

Blizzard is a term of art that includes not just a heavy snowfall but also high winds -- specifically:
Blizzard: The following conditions are expected to prevail for a period of 3 hours or longer.

Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 mph or greater; and,
Considerable falling and/or blowing snow (i.e., frequently reducing visibilities to less than 1/4 mile).
What we need is a term for a really big snow.

Update My sister in Ashburn says she got 22 inches. Also I see the Weather Bureau officially decided to call this a Blizzard. So it appears that I was on the Southern end of things -- that it was especially bad from here north to Boston.