Friday, August 22, 2008

Today's LooneyGlobs: Slow Retreat

Townhall: "Blame Everyone But Russia!" by Victor Davis Hanson

An inventory of Western reactions to the Russian invasion of Georgia ... European public opinion is probably sharply divided between the American Left wing and the liberal mainstream. Hanson's conclusion sounds about right:

The more Russia promises to leave Georgia, the more it seems to stay put. One reason may be that Putin keeps counting on us either to be confused, contradictory or angrier at ourselves than at Russia over his latest aggression. And given our inability to speak with one voice, he seems to be absolutely right." >>>

In the meantime at the UN ...

split over Georgia resolutions"

The UN Security Council is deadlocked over the situation in Georgia with the US and Russia rejecting rival resolutions on the crisis. Washington says it is prepared to veto a Russian resolution seeking to implement a six-point ceasefire plan. Russia has reiterated its opposition to a rival French text reaffirming Georgia's territorial integrity. Russian says its troops will leave Georgia on Friday but 500 will stay in a "buffer zone" around South Ossetia. Local reports suggest Russian troops are still dug in at positions inside Georgia, but there has been some movement around the town of Gori, which Russia has promised to leave by 1600 GMT (...) >>>

... we've seen this procrastination for over a week now ... 'buffer zones' and self-appointed 'peace-keepers' ... yet something appears to be moving ... Georgian Times: "Troops Quit Administrative Headquarters in Zugdidi", SOS Georgia: "The streets of Gori are already controlled by Georgian Patrol Police"

In all the confusion over Georgia it seemed we've missed a important detail:

Pajamas: "Will NATO Abandon Ukraine Too? - A newly aggressive Russia sure hopes so,"by Kim Zigfeld

(...) NATO (...) must arm Ukraine to the teeth. It must make it such a hard target that the lunatics who “govern” neo-Soviet Russia will not even consider moving against it, as they recently did in Georgia. The reasons are so obvious that they hardly need to be stated. The role played by Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in brutally assaulting Ukraine has not been sufficiently reported (...) Last week, Ukraine demanded that Russia give 72 hours notice before activating war ships at its naval base in Crimea, on Ukrainian territory (similar to the U.S. base in Guantanamo, Cuba). Russia said it would simply ignore the demand.

The Moscow Times reported: “The chief of Ukraine’s General Staff, Serhiy Kirichenko, promised to fulfill Yushchenko’s decree. ‘The president’s decree on the Black Sea Fleet will, of course, be implemented on the territory of Ukraine. The Defense Ministry and the General Staff are among those state bodies responsible for this task.’” As Ukraine stands up for its comrade Georgia (...) Russia uses this as a pretext to ratchet up its confrontation rather than defuse it. It is a clear signal that Russia’s intentions towards Ukraine are at least as malevolent as they are towards Georgia, if not more so (...) >>>

Governments, security services, everyone must have been comatose in the run up to the operation. Blogger Diana Chachua on Peace in Georgia is relaying an article on Radio Liberty that Russia's armed forces entered Georgia on August 8 and held massive military training exercises in the North Caucasus involving 8,000 servicemen and 700 pieces of military hardware. At center stage in those maneuvers -- which took place in the second half of July, not far from Georgia's border -- was Russia's 58th Army, the very unit that would later play a key role in the incursion. Those exercises were just one link in a chain of incidents suggesting that Russia's military action in Georgia was planned months in advance, awaiting only an appropriate pretext to act.

Military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer says the aim, from the start, was to overthrow Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and his pro-Western government.
"This was prepared long ago (...) April -- the month in which Felgenhauer claims Russia made its decision to invade -- was also the month when the NATO military alliance declined to offer outright a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia and Ukraine at its annual summit in Bucharest. In an August 14 article published in the "Novaya gazeta" weekly, Felgenhauer, who is credited with maintaining close sources in the Russian military, claims Moscow's plan began taking shape shortly after Georgia and Ukraine were denied a MAP.

Such interpretations contradict the official narrative of the war promoted relentlessly by the Kremlin in the domestic and international media -- that Russian forces acted only in order to defend Russian citizens and peacekeeping forces in South Ossetia from Georgian soldiers intent on "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide" in the breakaway region. For now, there is no smoking gun to prove Russia methodically plotted its incursion into Georgia (...) >>> read it all

For the romantically inclined, here's fiction meeting reality, a blueprint for an African coup:

The Weekly Standard: "Destination Malabo - A group of mercenaries' failed attempt to take over the worst place on earth," by Mark Hemingway

It was a complicated plan. But the beauty of it was that it allowed for many things to go wrong without compromising the whole. (...) As the full details of the coup continue to emerge, aspiring writers should pay close attention. There are no doubt a few good novels to be wrung out of the ongoing intrigue (...) in the Worst Place on Earth (...) you just can't make this stuff up (...) >>>


Wolfie said...

I have a question... "what's a LooneyGlob?"

Cassandra said...

Hi Wolfie. A looneyglob might well be a lost and confused earthling, living in the 3rd millennium of the time space continuum (or something).

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