USA / Libya: State denies mob protests before Benghazi attack. It's been difficult to get clear, reliable (or even consistent) information on just exactly what happened on September 11 of this year in Benghazi; all we know for sure is that a US Consulate was destroyed, and Ambassador Stevens and three other diplomatic personnel are dead. Up until now, the official story (to the extent that there is one) has been that it was a spontaneous, mob demonstration that got out of hand. This would be exculpatory for the Administration (because it implies something unpredictable) and for the attackers (because it implies they were acting in the heat of the moment). Well, now there's a different story: that the calculated, premeditated attack was in fact a calculated, premeditated attack. Go to the link to marvel at the ABC folks' ability to act surprised. Here's Tim Cavanaugh at Reason:
The Obama administration's unraveling story of the deadly September 11 attack on the U.S. embassy in Libya has not finished unraveling. A State Department official yesterday confirmed that there was no mob outside the Benhazi compound prior to the Al Qaeda attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. And a former security officer at the embassy told Congress that officials on the ground had spent months prior to the attack requesting more protection for the site. ...
Go read it all.
USA: Obama thought he won debate - report. Mail (UK):
When President Barack Obama stepped off the stage in Denver last week the 60 million Americans watching the debate against Mitt Romney already knew it had been a disaster for him.
But what nobody knew, until now, was that Obama believed he had actually won.
In an extraordinary insight into the events leading up to the 90 minute showdown which changed the face of the election, a Democrat close to the Obama campaign today reveals that the President also did not take his debate preparation seriously, ignored the advice of senior aides and ignored one-liners that had been prepared to wound Romney. ...
Fernandez, recalling the ill-fated mission of Colonel Kiyono Ichiki, observes with understatement that "It is important not to underestimate the opponent." Go to the links for the rest.
China / Burma: Dammed if you don't. Via Meadia covers the aborted Myitsone Dam project in northern Burma (or Myanmar, if you prefer). Moral of the story: "When you meddle in affairs beyond your borders, you must take local politics and sensitivities into account; you can’t just make deals with dictators and hope for the best."
China: By land and by sea. Robert Kaplan at Stratfor (registration) writes that China's well-publicized accession to the ranks of the world's sea powers is secondary to - and dependent upon - its ability to keep stability in its own interior. Kaplan argues that "China is, albeit to a much smaller extent than the former Soviet Union, a prison of nations waiting to express themselves once central authority weakens." Register or subscribe to read the article.