* Hilzoy has what might be the best and most comprehensive analysis of the North Korean situation as any that I've read.
* There are some genuinely amazing and depressing reports from Iraq over the last couple of day which, even more than usual, really convey how (hopelessly) dire things are there, and Swopa at Needlenose (whose analysis of Iraq is often as good as (at least) any pundit you will read in any of our country's major newspapers) has an excellent assessment of those developments.
* Republicans pretended to welcome news of North Korea's nuclear test because that issue at least has the benefit of changing the subject for them. But A.L. suggests a political commercial that really does convey the greatest irony of our current political landscape -- that national security is deemed by the mindless media to be the greatest strength of the Bush-led Republicans even though that is the area where they have exhibited the most ineptitude and done the most damage.
* This Alternet article by former New York Times Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Hedges (h/t Billmon) discusses the possibility that an attack on Iran is much more imminent than is widely believed. I do think that an attack on Iran, for reasons I've set forth previously, is more likely than not over the next two years (particularly if Republicans maintain control of Congress), though I am unconvinced that this will occur over the next few weeks. Hedges' article is still highly worth reading for its reporting on recent developments and its discussion of the grave dangers of such a conflict, regardless of when it might occur.
Finally, in a day or so when I have a little more time, I will write a follow-up post to the blog support request I wrote the other day, but for the moment, I just want to express my deepest appreciation and thanks for those of you who responded and, really, for everyone who participates in any way in this blog. I believe that what motivates most bloggers is the belief that the work they do can have some genuine and positive impact -- that is certainly what motivates me -- and knowing that there is that level of support for the work I am doing is genuinely encouraging and extremely gratifying.