More trouble for America in the Muslim world. And that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
Iran and Syria say they are uniting against the USA because it's becoming increasingly obvious that sooner or later both countries will have to be confronted. Iran is developing nuclear capabilities as you know. And since that government is also harboring Al Qaeda leaders, that scenario is as dangerous as it gets.
Syria continues to support terrorists of every stripe. And U.S. intelligence believes that Iraqi insurgents are actually training in camps located on Syrian soil, led by Saddam's half-brother, Sabawi Ibrahim Hassan (search), who is wanted by the Iraqi government.
Syria also is believed to know much about the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri (search). And the American ambassador to Syria has been recalled in the wake of that brutal crime.
There are now three nations currently threatening the stability of the world -- Iran, Syria and North Korea. Again, while many refuse to recognize the dangers these countries pose, aware people know the problems are not going away. So what should be done right now?
American military action is not an option at this time. Our forces are overextended and extremely apathetic and ill-educated world would not support another war against Muslim countries or even against North Korea (search).
The good news is the USA still has time for diplomacy and non-military action. China could shut down North Korea's economy tomorrow by sealing the border. China, however, is a very difficult country.
A sea blockade of Iran could be effective, but NATO and the U.N. would have to sign on. And Kofi Annan (search) and Jacques Chirac (search) still wield power, so that strategy is problematic.
So what the USA and America need to do right now is to educate the world as to the dangers posed. Any kind of nuclear attack will devastate the world economy and everyone will suffer. And continuing terrorism on the globe puts all of us in jeopardy, not just Americans.
We are rapidly getting to the point where a back water like Syria and the maliciously anti-Western Iran and North Korea can plunge the world into crisis. And that is the message the Bush administration has to get across. There's peril ahead. It has to be confronted.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
There's a penguin problem at the zoo in Bremen, Germany. Some of the critters are apparently gay, and that's not good because this particular species, the Humboldt penguin, is dying out.
So the zoo people over there have flown in female penguins from Sweden to try to straighten the gay penguins out, pardon the pun. Now we don't know if the lady Swedish penguins are blonde, but it couldn't hurt.
However, some European gay and lesbian groups are protesting this bit of social engineering, which might be ridiculous, especially if you're a penguin on the verge of extinction. Bremen, Germany...