Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Georgia, Israel and America on Our mind

Putin commemorated the 40th anniversary of Russia's invasion of Czechoslovakia with its invasion of Georgia, even as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, using virtually the same justifications used by Molotov in 1939 for the Russian invasion of Poland, i.e. describing it as an aggressive entity, calling it an illegitimate product of Versailles/breakup of the USSR and claiming a need to protect the Ukrainians\Ossettians who are Russian citizens as justification for the invasion.

So history once again repeats itself as it usually does.

Meanwhile the world watches the spectacle of the Olympic games, a spectacle built on brutality and slave labor. Russia knew quite well that the timing would be perfect while the world was distracted and Russia was hardly the only one to use that moment.

But Russian actions have backfired, pushing Eastern Europe closer to NATO with Poland signing a missile treaty, that has led at least one Russian general to threaten nuclear war. And so we're right back in to the Cold War again, a Cold War that resumed openly with the velvet KGB coup but that the West is only now recognizing.

Meanwhile Gaydamak, Putin's pawn in Israel, is showing his true colors by calling for negotiations with Hamas. This would be while he's being indicted in Israel for money laundering and in France on gun running charges dating back to his time smuggling guns into Angola for the USSR.

Can any of that break Gaydamak's "Social Justice" party or his bid to take advantage of a Haredi split to seize the Jerusalem mayorality? One can only hope.

In the big blog world, the New Centrist has coverage on The Reemergence of the Russian Bear

For many of us who lived through the Cold War, the image of Russian tank columns invading a small country on its periphery brings back memories of Hungary in 1956 and Prague in 1968. What happens next is anyone’s guess. I hold hope that a cease-fire will be reached but only with much increased Western pressure. At the minimum, President Bush should leave China to meet with Secretary of Defense Gate and Secretary of Defense Rice. This would send a signal to Russia that the U.S. takes this violation of Georgian sovereignty incredibly seriously and that Russia is precipitating an international crisis.

Via Bob from Brockley , at Airforce Amazons .... They're all the Bloody Same Over There
Now I’m a lousy chess player, but from what I read it looks to me as though Russia has been advancing its pawns in the hope that one of them would be taken, allowing its main force to attack. Georgia was facing losses either way, whether at the hands of the advancing pawns, or in risking confrontation with the main Russian forces. I’m not yet convinced that Georgian actions were wholly unreasonable. If they hadn’t responded, the Russian reaction to weakness would have undoubtedly have been an even greater buildup of their forces within the contested areas, and a continuation, if not escalation, of actions by its proxy separatist forces.

The effect would have been for Georgia to cede its claim to the contested territory, and to have an increasingly powerful Russian military force on Georgia’s side of the Caucasus mountains, within touching distance of the main cities and road and rail routes.

So what has Georgia gained by Russia achieving those same objectives through open warfare rather than by stealth? It has at least ensured that Georgia doesn’t sink quietly under the Russian imperial deluge. Russia’s rapaciousness is now clear to the world.

Madgeburger Joe has posted an excellent article on n America and Europe: A Tale of Two Continents

Back in the days when communism competed with capitalism to dominate the world, it seemed that the communists lived on their side of the border and we stayed on our side. Most of the fighting was done over red telephones between world leaders. Even the Vietnam War, although it touched the lives of millions of Americans was fought over there. Those Vietnamese who came to America became Americans.

A friend who was in the U.S. Navy during the Cuban missile crisis told me a story from that tense time that epitomized the prevailing spirit. He described Soviet ships faced off against American ships. Sailors from the opposing forces found that they were allies in a struggle against boredom. Faced off against each other, vodka and cigarettes passed from hand to hand over a border marked by language. Everyone was waiting for the call that would separate them into opposing camps. Everyone wanted to sail away in peace with good memories, but they were prepared for the worst.

Today, the West is faced off against militant Islam. One need not join the military to meet its ground troops. They are our neighbors, our co workers, our taxi drivers and sometimes our doctors. There is tension and distrust behind the polite facade that makes coexistence possible. In Europe and Australia, the contempt Muslim immigrants have for the Christian immigrants among whom they live is fierce. Violent crime, including rape has become a wave with a flagrant tone of contempt for non Muslims from France to Australia.

Lemon Lime Moon writes that Americans Dont Want the Fairness Doctrine

Last year the House trashed the fairness doctrine by 309 to 115. But, like those ramming the EU constitution down Europe's throat, the leftists will not take a resounding NO for an answer. The "people" simply don't know what's good for them in a leftist society and need the government to do their thinking for them. This is the basis for Communism and Fascism really.. a powerful government micromanaging people.

Those who believe that government must give cradle to grave custodial care to every person on earth , do not like the idea of people thinking for themselves. That's far too much freedom for them and so... the fairness doctrine rushes to the rescue to make sure that freedom is censured all along the way.

Finally at Israpundit, Ted Belman puts forward an important redefinition of Hasbara in, Hasbara is about fighting for your rights, not for your image.

He refers to my plan for voluntary migration as ethnic cleansing and make no distinction between forced transfer and voluntary transfer. I certainly have no attention of forcing anyone to do anything. So on what basis does he suggest it will result in bloodshed.

In the interests of “hasbara” he is prepared to forcibly evict Jews but not advocate voluntary emigration of Arabs. Once again, like Ami, he is into image and not substance.

Now I am truly proposing a democratic state in line with democratic norms. Nothing I have proposed says otherwise. Palestinians who remain will be entitled to apply for citizenship. My position is not extreme at all because I am fighting for what has been legally given us. How can insisting on your rights be considered “extreme.”

I appreciate that he also sees it from my point of view.

But is hasbara about putting your best foot forward or is it about convincing the world to of the justice of your cause. In other words for me Hasbara is advocating what is best for israel.


TNC said...

Thanks, as always, for the link.

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