Five. Wasted. Years.

Strafor – The Russo-Georgian War and the Balance of Power: The Russian invasion of Georgia has not changed the balance of power in Eurasia. It simply announced that the balance of power had already shifted. The United States has been absorbed in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as potential conflict with Iran and a destabilizing situation in Pakistan. It has no strategic ground forces in reserve and is in no position to intervene on the Russian periphery. This, as we have argued, has opened a window of opportunity for the Russians to reassert their influence in the former Soviet sphere. Moscow did not have to concern itself with the potential response of the United States or Europe; hence, the invasion did not shift the balance of power. The balance of power had already shifted, and it was up to the Russians when to make this public. They did that Aug. 8… The war in Georgia, therefore, is Russia’s public return to great power status. This is not something that just happened – it has been unfolding ever since Putin took power, and with growing intensity in the past five years.








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Ron Suskind claims White House forged Iraq evidence

FT.com – Whispers of a Watergate for Bush The response in the US to startling new allegations that the White House directed the forgery of evidence to support its case for the war in Iraq has been surprisingly muted so far. The charges may be false, of course, but if they are seriously examined and turn out to be true, this is – or ought to be – a Watergate-sized scandal.

Meanwhile, Sun editor Rebekah Wade has developed a sudden interest in international law… but don’t get your hopes up.

More:
Salon.com – Forging the missing case for war
Washington Post – Author Defends Story on Disputed Iraq Letter
The Raw Story – Suskind: White House forgery meant to solve ‘political dilemma’
Olbermann








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You’re beautiful, Yang Peiyi

BBC – China Olympic ceremony star mimed: A pretty girl who won national fame after singing at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games was only miming. Wearing a red dress and pigtails, Lin Miaoke charmed a worldwide audience with a rendition of “Ode to the Motherland”. But the singer was Yang Peiyi, who was not allowed to appear because she is not as “flawless” as nine-year-old Lin.

Telegraph – Beijing Olympics: Faking scandal over girl who ‘sang’ in opening ceremony: At the last moment a member of the Chinese politburo who was watching a rehearsal pronounced that the winner, a girl called Yang Peiyi, might have a perfect voice but was unsuited to the lead role because of her buck teeth.

Dear Yang Peiyi,

One day, one hopes, you may enjoy enough freedom to read the following:

1. You are beautiful.

2. This is ugly:

New York Times – In Grand Olympic Show, Some Sleight of Voice: By Tuesday, the Chinese news media had already pounced on the story, instigating a national conversation that government censors were trying to mute by stripping away many, but not all, of the public comments posted online.

Cheers

Tim Ireland








Posted in Humanity | 3 Comments

It’s a Maddie Maddie Maddie Maddie World

*sigh*

It seems like only yesterday the papers were one-upping each other with ‘proof’ that the McCanns killed little Madeleine. Now they’re all falling over each other with ‘proof’ that she’s alive.

Septicisle offers you this glimpse into the future.








Posted in Old Media | 2 Comments

Nail. Head.

The world is a better place now that we have Anton Vowl’s A-Z of right-wing online commenting.








Posted in Tories! Tories! Tories! | 4 Comments

And a chest to pin it on

Sim-O lands in the deep end on his debut post for The Sun: Tabloid Lies

Psst! Wanna buy some medals?

Prepare to feel conflicted as the BNP confronts The Sun over outright hypocrisy.








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Tank full of gas = keep driving

Independent – Georgia bows to might of Russia: Georgia’s appeal for a ceasefire seemed to have fallen on deaf ears last night as Russian jets expanded their bombardment, targeting the capital, Tbilisi, for the first time. As the world’s diplomats hurried to contain the violence and prevent the conflict engulfing the wider Caucasus region, Russia made clear it no longer considered Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili a partner, prompting accusations from his main ally, the United States, that Moscow was resisting peace and wanted regime change.

Reuters – Britons advised to leave Georgia immediately: “If you or your family have no urgent need to remain in Georgia you should leave as soon as possible. It is wise to do so while some air services are still available and the border remains open,” the Foreign Office said in a statement. It continued to advise against all travel to the separatist regions of South Ossetia, Abkhazia and also the upper Kodori Valley, also known as upper Abkhazia.

And, courtesy of David Orchard, a report from another (and nearby) part of the world that you’ve probably never heard of…

Your blog records Bush and Putin discussing Georgia in Beijing; one can probably guess who won the argument. (Whether Bush realised which Georgia he was talking about is a moot point. I’m sure Putin did.)

The situation in Georgia is terrible. But what is even worse is the prospect of similar conflicts arising in other troubled areas where the Russian bear has a sore paw. Such as TransNistria (or Trans-Dnistria, depending on whether you have a Romanian or Russian-language source) in Moldova.

Moldova is a peaceful non-aligned country, Europe’s poorest in terms of GDP, with an awkward and highly-armed Russian minority in a sliver of land / enclave (just like South Ossetia) between the river Dniester and the Ukraine, around the city of Tiraspol. There was heavy bloodshed there in 1991/92, but an uneasy calm has prevailed since. Until possibly now…the TransNistrian Russians are hawkish even by Moscow standards, and don’t need much of an excuse to cause trouble (even the Russians failed to persuade them to disarm in 2001). Chisinau, Moldova’s capital, is less than 100 km from Tiraspol.

My interest in all this is that I spent 90 days last year working in Chisinau on the “peace process” as an EU consultant, and hope to go back there in the autumn. It is a pleasant place filled with unwarlike people, although one has to be accustomed to a post-Soviet infrastructure on streets and pavements, and it definitely has Europe’s worst public lavatory (just by the President’s Palace!) Anyway, I made many friends there and the thought of Russian bombers demolishing their homes and killing the civilian population is more than abhorrent.

I heard personal – and vivid – testimony of a similar occurrence from a friend in Zagreb, when Serbian fighters strafed the housewives’ food market there in 1992, with heavy loss of civilian life. And to think all this is happening in yours and my lifetime…….

David

Ever get the feeling that we’ve just wasted five years… along with a shedload of credibility and military strength? In mean, can we really expect to get away with lecturing Russia over what one might (rather kindly) describe as ‘mission creep’?

UPDATE – Septicisle offers many links.

UPDATE – Meanwhile, George W. Bush is keeping an eye on things. Related article here.








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The difference between ‘special’ and ‘retarded’

This is not a special offer. It is retarded.

/ithangyew

Let’s face it folks; the recession’s here.








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Right-wing bloggers react to the 2008 Olympics opening ceremony

They’re such an unprincipled lot that they’ll happily stay allies regardless of most differences, and they do have their differences. Friday afternoon, for example:

(Please keep in mind that I am paraphrasing here…)

Phil Hendren: “F**k you Chinese control-freaks.”

Iain Dale: “Ooh, look! Pretty lights!”

Paul Staines: “Penis! Penis penis penis!”

Donal Blaney: “Me! Me me me!”

UPDATE – Tch. I really wish that Iain would stop broadcasting claims/comments about me while I’m denied any right of reply*. I mean, if he wants to be taken seriously as a publisher…

(*He then bitches and moans if I blog about it on my own site, the tosser.)








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Bye, Chef

This opportunity to strut has been brought to you by the following very sad news.

(Sorry, but this song just isn’t the same without a bunch of white guys getting down. Also, children need to be warned about the dangers of ketamine.)

UPDATE – OK, OK, OK… is this better? No? OK, how about this?

UPDATE – I suppose sooner or later some of us will need to ask the question; “What’s the dark private cult that’s a cash machine for a bunch of dicks?”








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