From HenryKissinger.Com, Published In The WaPo August 5th, 2012: ‘Idealism and Pragmatism in the Middle East’

Full piece here.

‘On all sides of the Syrian conflict, the commitment of the belligerents to democratic values and alignment with Western interests is, at best, untested. Al-Qaeda has now entered the conflict, effectively on the side that the United States is being asked to join. In such circumstances, U.S. policymakers encounter a choice not between a “realistic” and an “idealistic” outcome but between competing imperfections, between considerations of strategy and of governance. We are stymied on Syria because we have a strategic interest in breaking the Assad clan’s alliance with Iran, which we are reluctant to avow, and the moral objective of saving human lives, which we are unable to implement through the U.N. Security Council.’

Kissinger’s 90th birthday celebration is taking place in NYC.  It’s worth roaming around his site.

From my limited understanding, Kissinger had an amazing grasp of the ideology of the Soviet Union, the philosophical backstory, and the practical politics of the Cold War.  His essays on American political structure and the culture that produced it are a thing of beauty to read.  For decades he pushed for detente, and beat a path away from nuclear brinksmanship and the polarity we’d drifted into.  There are always compromises to be made in the chess game, and to recall and realize why you’re playing, what’s at stake and what’s possible.

I’m not always convinced we’re heading towards an ideal point, or the ideal bundle of universal values and institutions which have sprung from European philosophical idealism, but despite this deep and fruitful debate, Kissinger’s realpolitik always recognized the need for alliances, shared interests, treaties, and strategic common cause.  It’s rare to find such a serious intellect as well as a practical, nuanced, thinker with so much experience in war, peace, politics and diplomacy.

Here’s a conversation with Kissinger at Harvard (complete with the brief protest of a more idealistic, rigidly ideological, shouter of the ‘war criminal’ epithet):


Related On This Site: Kissinger says our relations with China are incredibly fragile, and that due to its own past, it may not fit as easily into the Western models of statecraft as some would think: From The Online WSJ: ‘Henry Kissinger on China. Or Not.’

A Memo From Henry Kissinger To Gerald Ford?

From Newsweek: Henry Kissinger ‘Deployments And Diplomacy’

R.I.P. StormChasers-Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras & Carl Young

NBC video here.

National Geographic had what would be a final interview with Tim Samaras.

Some final tweets.  Weatherspace has more here, with information about the El Reno tornado.

Addition: The El Reno tornado was a record 2 1/2 miles wide.  Video here.  It’s easy to see when a few miles wide tornado spins off multiple vortices, hits in the evening, and is rain-wrapped, that even veteran chasers can underestimate it.    It’s like the supercell is dragging its belly on the ground.


As a blogger and writer and weather-interested layman:

I suspect everyone’s been moved by the beauty of nature, and felt wonder, fear, and awe at its power and mystery. Some people keep going back and try to figure out how it works as well. There’s an element of thrill-seeking to the hunt, and adrenalin, no doubt. It’s extremely risky chasing down tornadoes time and again, putting yourself so dangerously close, but the goal is to know more, and to stay as safe as possible under the circumstances.

There’s been a lot of data gathered and science done that has drastically improved forecasting, preparation and warning time, and our understanding of tornadoes. That’s no doubt saved many lives. Storm-chasers also bear witness to the death and destruction in the wake of tornadoes, so to everyone who’s suffered, my condolences.

It might be helpful to the Samaras family to visit his site as he has a DVD for sale.

Here’s Tim Samaras discussing his work in 2004. R.I.P.


And Tim Samaras at work:


Related On This Site:  The Greensburg Tornado on Doppler Radar…Tornadoes In Major Cities: Atlanta

From The Weather Channel: 3D Image Of The Tuscaloosa Tornado April 27th, 2011Tornadoes! Some LinksThe Greensburg Tornado on Doppler RadarTornadoes In Major Cities: AtlantaFrom NOAA: Tornado Safety GuideFrom CBS St. Louis: ‘UPDATED: Video of the Joplin Twister’

From Weather Underground: Moore/Oklahoma City Tornado May 20th, 2013