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Forward march! 10 August 2008

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, WAR!.
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Gori

Georgian soldiers avoided a bombardment in the city of Gori, 50 miles from Tblisi. Heavy fighting raged in the breakaway region of South Ossetia on Saturday morning, reportedly killing at least 1,500 civilians. [Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters]

Just a couple of snips from Week in Review in the vaunted NYT:

[F]rom the time of Pushkin, Russians viewed Georgia as a romantic, exotic frontier. During the long puritanical deep-freeze of Communism, Georgia served as Russia’s Italy — a warm, lotus-eating sanctuary of singers and poets and swashbuckling gangsters. The elite had their beloved dachas on the Black Sea coast of Abkhazia. At the same time, Stalin, though himself Georgian, kept the republic subdued through brutal purges. The head of the Georgian Communist party was Lavrenti Beria, a cold-blooded killer who would become the master architect of Stalin’s terror. The Georgians, though helpless, never accepted their Soviet identity, and preserved their language, culture, religious practice and sense of national identity, as they had under the czars. And when, at last, the Soviet empire collapsed as the czarist one had, Georgia immediately broke away and declared its independence, in 1991. ::snip::

Reminds me of something the Bushiters said, a few years ago, on the eve of our wars:

Georgia ardently aspires to join the peaceable kingdom of Europe; but to talk to Georgians about Russia is to enter a cold war time warp. I was speaking one evening to the owner of a fine antiques shop in Tbilisi when the conversation somehow swerved to Russia.

“These Russians are so stupid,” he cried. “They do not know what is friend. They would rather have angry enemies than real friends.”

IIRC, the Bushiter version was, we’d rather be be feared then loved. America and Russia should have a blood test, DNA swab, see if we shared a mother, that she-wolf, outside Rome, mother to twins.

Here’s another:

Alexander Rondeli, the director of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, recited to me a thought he attributed to the diplomat-scholar George F. Kennan: “Russia can have at its borders only enemies or vassals.”

Still sounds like us. If you look SOUTH.

last, lenin at Lenin’s Tomb has reached some conclusions… an interesting post on Georgia, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Russia and that other party to intrigue, murder and people in diaspora, us..

Even if Bush was somehow taken by surprise, which I think is unlikely, there is no doubt that the US government and its supporters are now throwing their weight decisively behind Georgia, and are about to get a bloody nose for their trouble. […]

You have to wonder how far the US is prepared to take this – they aren’t going to commit troops and, no matter how much Saakashvili may wish it, NATO is not going to overstretch itself even further. There are also rumours going around sites like DEBKAFile and other sites that Israeli advisors are assisting the Georgian side of the conflict. Yossi Melman of Ha’aretz has apparently supported this claim. It is no secret that there are Israeli military advisors in Georgia, but Israel has a delicate relationship with Russia that it doesn’t want to upset. That is presumably why Israel froze defense sales to Georgia on Tuesday. Israel is clearly far more beholden to the US than to Russia, but I suspect the Bush administration would rather Israel stayed out of any explicit involvement. So, unless I drastically underestimate the Georgian military, I can’t see any other outcome than a decisive Russian victory here.

Bush is going to leave a full platter for whomever is next, I doubt he’d be all that much kinder to McCain frankly. A little maybe. In the end, Bush was a violent radical, who pushed thru his agenda. The opposition was not great, nor lasting. He’ll be leaving some final mark, to laugh over.

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1. marisacat - 10 August 2008

I found this Asia Times on Georgia, Russia, etc., from July 16, ’08 via Angry Arab, some recent background.

2. marisacat - 10 August 2008

Aargh.

Are Democrats Now Pro-Life?
As Convention Draws Near, New Talk of a Pro-Life Presence

By RACHEL MARTIN, JOHN PARKINSON and EMILY YACUS
Aug. 9, 2008

The Democratic Party is engaged in a political high-wire act — trying to bring in pro-life supporters without offending its pro-choice base. ::snip::

Now Democrats could extend an olive branch to Catholics. They reportedly are discussing inviting the now-deceased governor’s son, Sen. Bob Casey Jr., D-Pa., to speak at this year’s Democratic convention in Denver.

A Roman Catholic with conservative views similar to those of his late father, Casey told The New York Times, “I think we’ll get something worked out.”

3. marisacat - 10 August 2008

Georgia has called a ceasefire in its conflict with Russia over the breakaway region of South Ossetia, its foreign ministry says.

For more details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 August 2008

Cokie is gonna get some letters. Criticized Obama for his Hawaii vacation, visit with family. “It’s too exotic, he should be in Myrtle Beach”.

LOL

5. marisacat - 10 August 2008

Cokie is the pits.

LOL Richardson says he won’t pile on Edwards (Tapper asked a question). Well how can he, long tortured history himself.

laugh laugh laugh,

6. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 August 2008

very true, the similarities btwn us and Russia … throw in the puritan finger wagging, too.

I like the way ABC uses the puritan-donk line that Casey Sr. didn’t speak b/c of his abortion stand. Hi refusing to endorse Clinton, the party nominee, because of Clinton’s abortion stand might have had something to do with it.

7. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 August 2008

They’re spending a awful lot of time on this BS story, in a week w/ a new war and more scary economic news (despite the irrational rally in the market) and our President acting like a provocative clown in Beijing.

Nothing more important than Edward’s Little Mill Worker and meaningless blather about whether or not Obama should pick dinosaur Sam fucking Nunn as his running mate.

Watching these people talk makes me realize how desperately dull DC cocktail parties must be.

8. marisacat - 10 August 2008

yes but the PARTY no longer brings up that he refused to endorse Clinton. They USED to. Now they just let the Casey/Catholic version ride.

I feel a deal was done with the Catholics… people like Flynn of Boston, Shaitburger of Fireman’s Union (word was he blamed abortion for Kerry loss, and Firemen were about the only loyal to Kerry, power base K had, poor schlumpf)…

Just a weak sick party, hpwever much it gets to fake itself out this go round.

and so it goes.

9. marisacat - 10 August 2008

7

I thonk there is more to drop.

And the Edwardses are UNABLE to fucking shut up.

10. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 August 2008

I usually can’t stand her, but you just know that Maureen Dowd couldn’t resist the pun-rich environment of the Edward’s affair:

The stunning admission Edwards made to ABC’s Bob Woodruff, and in a written statement from Chapel Hill on Friday afternoon, was that he’s a narcissist.

He admitted that wallowing in “self-focus” out on the trail and thinking you’re “special” can result in a solipsism that “leads you to believe you can do whatever you want, you’re invincible and there’ll be no consequences.”

Auto-psychoanalysis by the perp. That’s really rich. When Bill Clinton acknowledged an affair, after equally adamant denials, he simply went into an old-fashioned spiral of penitence, his allegedly long, dark night of his alleged soul.

Even in confessing to preening, Edwards was preening. His diagnosis of narcissism was weirdly narcissistic, or was it self-narcissistic? Given his diagnosis, I’m sure his H.M.O. would pay.

The creepiest part of his creepy confession was when he stressed to Woodruff that he cheated on Elizabeth in 2006 when her cancer was in remission. His infidelity was oncologically correct.

So narcissist walks into a New York bar and meets a legendarily wacky former Gotham party girl — whose ’80s exploits were chronicled in a novel by her former boyfriend Jay McInerney because the behavior of her and her friends “intrigued and appalled me.” When you appall Jay McInerney, you know you’re in trouble.

The president manqué gives Rielle Hunter, formerly Lisa Druck, more than $114,000 to shoot vain little videos for his Web site (even though she’s a neophyte), one of which is scored with the song “True Reflections” about the Narcissus pool, which goes: “When you look into a mirror, do you like what’s looking at you? Now that you’ve seen your true reflections, what on earth are you gonna do?”

He has an affair with Hunter, while he’s honing his speech on the imperative to “live in a moral, honest, just America.” A married former aide says he’s the father when she gets pregnant, even though she’s telling people Edwards is the dad. And one of his campaign donors pays off Hunter to get her resettled with the baby out of North Carolina.

But the Breck Girl wants a gold star for the fact that he sent his marriage into remission when his wife was in remission. That’s special.

In his statement, he bleats: “You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare.” Isn’t stripping bare how he got into this mess?

and so on …

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 August 2008

Suskind has released the transcript of his interview w/ the CIA figure who recently retracted what he told Suskind.

I’ve decided to post a partial transcript of one of a number of taped conversations in which Rob Richer and I discussed, on the record, the Habbush letter. We discussed it many times through the spring of 2008.

Rob Richer received a copy of The Way of the World on Monday night, August 4, the day before publication. On Tuesday, he said he had read key portions of the book and was comfortable with what they contained. Later that day, though, he issued the following the statement:

“I never received direction from George Tenet or anyone else in my chain of command to fabricate a document from Habbash as outlined in Mr Suskind’s book.”

The conversation below took place in June 2008. As in all of our conversations, it shows Rob pressing to get at truth and embrace probity.

This posting is contrary to my practice across 25 years as a journalist. But the issues, in this matter, are simply too important to stand as discredited in any way.

–Ron Suskind

12. marisacat - 10 August 2008

I wonder if EE saw the footage (LOL webisodes) Lisa / Rielle shot before it was scrubbed. And I am sure is floating around, to be used.

Dowd has it right.. LOL. Preening from the preener.

BTW, Inotice Broder struggling more than usual over words. Puhleeze Jesus, call him to tea.

13. marisacat - 10 August 2008

11

I was pissed the very furst interview I saw from Suskind, as soon as embargo was off this book, I found him defensive. he best buck up.

The ONeil book drifted to near silence when (IMO) the WH shut O’N up. Suskind seemed unable to push the book or assist in marketing it, on his own.

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 August 2008

Suskind comes off better on radio than on tv.

I did get the sense from him on the NPR interview I heard that he’s going to fight over his sources’ pulling back from what they told him.

Who knows, though … none of this stuff ever ends up sticking, partly because no politicians step up to help drive the story to the next level. Kucinich can’t do it by himself.

15. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 August 2008

Ex-mistress of John Edwards nixes DNA testing to establish the paternity of her daughter

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The ex-mistress of former presidential candidate John Edwards said Saturday she will not participate in DNA testing to establish the paternity of her daughter.

Rielle Hunter’s lawyer, Robert Gordon, says his client is a private individual who is not running for public office and that she wishes to maintain the privacy of her and her daughter.

“Rielle is therefore making no statement now or in the future,” Gordon said in a statement. “Furthermore, Rielle will not participate in DNA testing or any other invasion of her or her daughter’s privacy now or in the future.” [snip]

Hunter’s decision means that the issue of who the father is remains an open question.

Hunter’s daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, was born on Feb. 27 this year, and no father’s name is given on the birth certificate filed in California.

16. marisacat - 10 August 2008

Yes… later I caught Suskind twice on KGO radio… He has another hour coming up this week with one of the hosts, as well.

17. ms_xeno - 10 August 2008

Personally I have total faith in the ability of pro-choice groups to stay supine and solvent for the Golden Man, no matter what.

When he hits the base, it feels just like a kiss. They should use that particular show tune as the convention theme song. It’s more apt than whatever it is they’ve actually chosen.

18. aemd - 10 August 2008

From The Nation, a very interesting post on Georgia’s PR blitz.

Again via Bernard at Moon of Alabama who has put up a couple more posts including some info on Ukraine’s involvement.

19. diane - 10 August 2008

Kids Working in African Gold Mines

”….Some are as young as 4 years old

snip

The spike in gold prices over the past seven years has lured increasing numbers of poor people, including child recruits, to bush mines. The United Nations labor agency estimates there are now 100,000 to 250,000 child gold miners in West Africa alone.

Saliou and his friends say the recruiter promised them $2 a day. It sounded like a lot of money to children who had none.

Snip

….They wash the dirt in a large sieve-like box. Then they squat next to a plastic tub, pour mercury into their bare hands, and rub it into the mud like a woman scrubbing laundry on rocks.

Mercury attracts gold like a magnet. But it also attacks the brain and can cause tremors, speech impediments, retardation, kidney damage and blindness.”

Maybe Newsom can get a bargain on some baubles for the Princess….

20. diane - 10 August 2008

Off topic? What I really want to read about, is the Brothers Bulger story about Sly Con Valley…and those other hot spots in Cali, that make it one of the most concentrated powers that be, in the world at large…..

21. diane - 10 August 2008

One of the The Brothers Bulger book reviews :

Howie Carr has written a tell all book about the chronic corruption taking place in Massachusetts. I have to agree with one of the previous reviewers with regards to the FBI. They don’t want to capture Whitey. He can probably put the whole FBI in prison [yes…and about that Anthrax STORY]…. “

22. diane - 10 August 2008

ya have to ask….why the murky news (otherwise known as the San Jose Mercury News)..appears to be a local, protective rag, doomed for failure by Bush’s bud, Dean Singleton,….for one of the largest economies on earth…

23. diane - 10 August 2008

I’ve got two punchlines in spam…normally I wouldn’t comment, but apparently I’ve got ants my pants today…(well, I guess that’s better than fleas in my pants)

;0)

24. diane - 10 August 2008

hmmm, it’s the lil things in life, I left out a two letter word above, the relevant line should’ve read: ants IN my pants…

and yeah I do need to dance…..

25. diane - 10 August 2008

Fritz Kreisler played the hell out of Liebesleid Love’s Sorrow…. I hope the link is still good……

26. aemd - 10 August 2008

A very good writeup from Helena Cobban at Just World News, The South Ossetian War: Some thoughts. Via Bernard, again.

Also, well….Don’t know what to say about this.

“But the public relations blitz could not stop Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s from downgrading the country, with Fitch saying the situation in South Ossetia had “materially increased downside risks to Georgia’s sovereign creditworthiness.” ‘

“None of the three big ratings agencies has altered Russia’s ratings, and Moody’s Investors Service said the conflict should not change its rating of Russia’s sovereign debt.”

27. diane - 10 August 2008

computers will never, ever, ever be more relevant than the Human Spirit………….unfortunately…we’ve got a long way to go, to come to that resounding hue and cry…………………..

until then, I guess we’re stuck using them, to coldly, with no much needed warm embrace, communicate what is in our hearts…and use them we will, if we must….

28. diane - 10 August 2008

26

on my impossible list of things to do: determine what exactly Standard and Poors is – the who, what, when, where, why, how and how many of it…..

29. diane - 10 August 2008

my last comment (the comment numbers will be changing) referred to yours, aemd, where you posted this:

“But the public relations blitz could not stop Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s from downgrading the country, with Fitch saying the situation in South Ossetia had “materially increased downside risks to Georgia’s sovereign creditworthiness.” ‘

30. diane - 10 August 2008

19

I thought I had bolded this:

Mercury attracts gold like a magnet. But it also attacks the brain and can cause tremors, speech impediments, retardation, kidney damage and blindness.”

31. diane - 10 August 2008

an asides, Santa Clara County, California (can we say Sly Con Valley here?), not quite so long ago, ….was on record as having the highest rate of incest (parents raping their own children) in the “United States of America”…whatever the hell “United States of America” mean….

32. diasne - 10 August 2008

yeah, I have a long fuckin memory…..I’m one of those pathetic humans………….

33. diane - 10 August 2008

by the by, my comments that were in spam, are visible now, they were regarding the gold mines in Africa and the San Jose Mercury News, currently (5:41 PM EST, 10:41 Brit time) comment numbers: 19, and 22….

34. diane - 10 August 2008

dead silence? ….I hardly think so…..;0)

35. penlan - 10 August 2008
36. diane - 10 August 2008

Well, apparently, youtube, Brinn, Page..et al, are Fritz Kreisler (by osmosis?…), whatever the fuck, and since ya’ll cant likely find it elsewhere: Liebesleid

“I own all you encompass…” “I rule all you encompas….” pathetic……….

37. diane - 10 August 2008

Thanks penlan…….jeez….big fan…despite the scientology shit…

38. diane - 10 August 2008

..there is a meeting in Samaria………..

39. diane - 10 August 2008

….walk on by Isaac…we talkin bout shaft ..can you dig it….shut yo mouth……by the time I get to phoenix…….;0)

40. wilfred - 10 August 2008

Speaking of Israel, 60 minutes doing a ridiculous puff piece on Israel’s Air Force. The whole segment could have been shot and edited by a publicist.

41. marisacat - 10 August 2008

oh because the i af might have a big job coming up. fluff the perpetrators

42. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 August 2008

Don’t Look For Any MSM Background To The Caucasus Crisis

Who cares about some war involving a nuclear power with thousands being killed and displaced when there’s a sleazy sex expose to cover ad nauseum?

Here’s the purpose of that. With only a slight amount of effort you can understand in no uncertain terms that this intense fighting between Russia and Georgia was planned and orchestrated by the US and Israel. It seems to have been set up to coincide with the start of the olympics, another distraction. Your attention is being deliberately focused elsewhere as the situation gets far worse by the hour. Our manipulating overlords want this war to worsen while you blithely soak up the games and tut tut about a possible Edwards love child.

They don’t want you to know how the CIA helped install Georgian president Saakashvilli and then plied him with arms, advisors and money. They’d rather you forgot those military exercises between the US military and the Georgian military in the middle of July. Pay no attention to those Israeli advisors guiding Georgian military forces as they attacked Russian peacekeepers. It has no relevance to the bloodshed that Israel has poured equipment into Georgia of late:

“In addition to the spy drones, Israel has also been supplying Georgia with infantry weapons and electronics for artillery systems, and has helped upgrade Soviet-designed Su-25 ground attack jets assembled in Georgia, according to Koba Liklikadze, an independent military expert based in Tbilisi. Former Israeli generals also serve as advisers to the Georgian military.”

No, it isn’t important either that the US blocked a Security Council resolution, intrduced by Russia, calling on “the parties to cease bloodshed without delay and renounce the use of force.”

“Diplomats said that during the closed-door consultations, the council failed to reach an agreement on the Russian text because some council members, including the United States, opposed the part calling on the parties to “renounce the use of force.”

Two days in a row.

It’s obvious this conflict is meant to worsen. It started with the attack on the peacekeeping force and then dramatically became a crisis when the Georgian military violated a cease fire and completely destroyed the capital city of South Ossetia, Tskhinval.

You’re not supposed to understand any of this, but you will be subject to plenty of Russia bashing so you’ll know who to blame for this war. Even though the US delegation to the UN is blocking all efforts to address the fighting, the country that has invaded and occupied two nations and slaughtered their inhabitants finds the time to lecture Russia:

“We call on Russia to cease attacks on Georgia by aircraft and missiles, respect Georgia’s territorial integrity, and withdraw its ground combat forces from Georgian soil,” says the arf arf poodle.

43. diane - 10 August 2008

I Love some Sheryl Crow…because her music helped carry me through some pretty bleak days: I Shall Believe

44. diane - 10 August 2008

Sheryl Crow, and so many other voices that make the day bearable..

thank goodness for them, don’t want to remain in a world where there is no more human voice….

really fed up with calling the companies we all pay good money to, for vital services, and trying to communicate with robots, who sound way too human, yet not human at all……because they aren’t……

at what point is anyone going to admit that pure capitalism’s intent, is to do away with the “risks” asociated with hiring humans, versus ’employing’ robots who voice no complaint?

at that point, I guess things will have “progressed to a point far worse than Soylent Green….why is there such a resounding silence about that?

45. NYCO - 10 August 2008

Anyone watching the online live coverage of obscure sports from NBC? Handball. Kazakhstan vs. France. Big bad women hurling a ball at each other. They don’t take no s— from nobody. Love it.

46. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 August 2008

Georgia Under Online Assault

Galrahn at Information Dissimenation says that “Russia appears to have targeted the .ge domain for specific government websites, and are pounding the Georgian military networks, but other websites in Georgia in org, net, and other domains are still up, sporadically.” The Washington Post adds that “the Caucasus Network Tbilisi — key Georgian commercial Internet servers — remain under sustained attack from thousands of compromised PCs aimed at flooding the sites with so much junk Web traffic that they can no longer accommodate legitimate visitors.”

47. marisacat - 10 August 2008

Madman and NYCO out of moderation… Sorry!, for the delay…

…. 8) ….

48. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 August 2008

I love watching the more “unusual” sports like team handball. Last night I was watching water polo, and they were talking about how some guy came back to play for his country from his “professional league”, and I thought … there is a professional league for water polo?

Speaking of women who take no shit, did you see the finals for Sabre? Holy crap. Mariel Zagunis was scary when she scored a point. Really fun to watch, and no overwhelming product placement.

I’m so sick of the coverage focusing on the medal count. Why not just enjoy the competition? Why does everything have to be jingoistic?

49. NYCO - 10 August 2008

China just won an archery match against England that they were not supposed to win. Pandemonium!

50. wilfred - 10 August 2008

Why does everything have to be jingoistic?

exactly why i watch the opening ceremonies and very little else. And just watching those with some winger in-laws was enough to send me screaming.

My favorite comment of the evening was “now we might get some of the Iraq oil that they owe us”. That made my head explode.

51. marisacat - 10 August 2008

Zagunis was impressive. Somehow or other, with all that is happening i loved that she took the gold for SABRE fencing. LOL.

But most of it is a blur for me…

52. diane - 10 August 2008

Haven’t been watching the Olympics, but I wish I would’ve watched the fencing, just found some nice pics: pics

53. lucid - 10 August 2008

I watched both her semi final and final match. Zagunis was fantastic. Watched some skeet shooting this afternoon… I wouldn’t want any of those dudes as my assassin. 😉

54. marisacat - 11 August 2008

hmmm British movie theatres ban popcorn. They ”don’t like it, the look of it, the SMELL of it”.

Sell popcorn futures in the UK, I guess.

55. marisacat - 11 August 2008

hmm Not bad article in the CSM on Russo Georgian War. How long can it go on, will it spread, … I say, as far, long and wide as the arms dealers can push it.

[F]arther afield, other secessionist entities and recognized governments in neighboring countries – from Nagorno-Karabakh to Chechnya – are eyeing the situation. The outcome of the Russo-Georgian struggle will determine whether these other disputes move toward peace or once again produce the barbaric warfare and streams of refugees that defined the Caucasus more than a decade ago.

For Georgia, this war has been a disastrous miscalculation. South Ossetia and Abkhazia are now completely lost. It is almost impossible to imagine a scenario under which these places – home to perhaps 200,000 people – would ever consent to coming back into a Georgian state they perceive as an aggressor.

Armed volunteers have already been flooding into South Ossetia from other parts of the Caucasus to fight against Georgian forces and help finally “liberate” the Ossetians from the Georgian yoke.

Despite welcome efforts to end the fighting, the Russo-Georgian war has created yet another generation of young men in the Caucasus whose worldviews are defined by violence, revenge, and nationalist zeal.

56. marisacat - 11 August 2008

Obama brand (the staff is writing it, LOL, he graces the book with a forward) is hitting us with another book. 13.95, pretty low price point. Very soft paperback, I’d say……

Change will be released by Three Rivers Press, a paperback imprint of Crown Publishing, which published Obama’s Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope. According to Obama’s literary representative, Washington attorney Robert Barnett, the contract is between Crown and Obama’s presidential campaign, not Obama himself.

Financial terms were not available, although Barnett says the campaign will donate all net proceeds to a charity still to be determined. The new release was assembled over the past few weeks and is not part of the senator’s current deal with Crown, which calls for him to write two more books, including a children’s book.

57. NYCO - 11 August 2008

I hate NBC’s coverage and wish the old ABC — of Wide World of Sports vintage — were still doing it. “The constant variety of sport” has become “the same four or five so-called ‘marquee’ events.” Bleah.

It’s really a shame that archery hasn’t even made it to the cable channels, much less to NBC proper — it’s internet-only. It’s fast-moving (a match takes about 20 minutes), requires no explanation to understand, is pretty gripping, and highly telegenic — all those closeups of faces deep in concentration, trying to drill the bull’s-eye. (Not to mention Brad Ellison, the only real American male medal contender, is quite the hottie.)

58. NYCO - 11 August 2008

sorry, that’s BradY Ellison (not Brad)

59. marisacat - 11 August 2008

LOL cue that it may not be Kaine … (from The Page)

Kansas Gov. Sebelius lays out the Democratic Convention’s nightly themes on morning media call, says Wednesday night — which Obama’s No. 2 keynotes — will focus on veterans, national security.

Campaign aide says the theme isn’t a hint that Obama’s veep pick will have a strong military background.

“Wednesday night is about securing America’s future…anyone who Senator Obama picks will be more than prepared to address those issues.”

The first three nights in Denver a specific headliner will address pre-submitted questions from voters on the particular theme of the evening. [hokey! — Mcat]

60. lucid - 11 August 2008

The last decent olympic coverage was 1992. There were 3-4 channels going 24/7. Several were dedicated to real time, carrying everything & then the main one focused on specific events in prime time, etc.

I got very annoyed last night, when at 2am, instead of going on to broadcast other events, or other countries in women’s gymnastics, the main NBC channel simply repeated their prime time coverage.

61. marisacat - 11 August 2008

I think ’92 was the last one I bothered with…

Partly because I had considered going for a while (can’t imagine what hit me, so unlike me, sports venues, masses of people, not my thing).

Even the little I have caught it is clear they play favorites. Just let the damn cameras run, … we will get a lot of the swimming favorites.

62. lucid - 11 August 2008

I really thought about going to Athens, because I would have had a free place to stay… alas, that was the summer I decided to go into debt to build the studio.

They really should at least allow for real time coverage 24/7 on a couple of channels… then again they probably don’t have enough sportcasters to do the color – just like news channels have eliminated foreign bureaus, sportscasters are now paired down to a handful of 7 figure salary mentally challenged personalities…

63. NYCO - 11 August 2008

So what’s Obama’s position on Russia and Georgia?

64. marisacat - 11 August 2008

NYCO

I’ll get it for you… he did do a slight shift.

65. marisacat - 11 August 2008

Here is one link and I will find earlier links… Since I agree with neither Ob nor McC, I can say that I do think McC got out ahead on this, for domestic consumption.

66. marisacat - 11 August 2008

An earlier link

There is more. Sorry to use Ben SMith but he stayed ont his while most people took the weekend off.

67. marisacat - 11 August 2008

Earlier.

Pretty much covers it but for back and forth between the camps over a McC aide with a background representing Georgia

68. marisacat - 11 August 2008

Geraghty at NRO is following it thru the day, as well. In another entry he mentions Russian troops are 35 miles from Tbilisi (probably and extra “i” in there)… and mentions CNN has fresh film, that looks ‘Mad Max in Central Asia’.

69. aemd - 11 August 2008

The War Nerd, when he’s not surfin’ for new war porn, chats about the Ossetian war.

“The Georgians bided their time, then went on the offensive, Caucasian style, by pretending to make peace and all the time planning a sneak attack on South Ossetia. They just signed a treaty granting autonomy to South Ossetia this week, and then they attacked, Corleone style. Georgian MLRS units barraged Tskhinvali, the capital city of South Ossetia; Georgian troops swarmed over Ossetian roadblocks; and all in all, it was a great, whiz-bang start, but like Petraeus asked about Iraq way back in 2003, what’s the ending to this story? As in: how do you invade territory that the Russians have staked out for protection without thinking about how they’ll react?”

70. marisacat - 11 August 2008

And all too likely Georgia was green lit by Washington.

On NOW with Brancaccio, I caught an Afghani woman who has made a documentary of the daily nitty gritty of life (will get the link) in rural Afghanistan and in the interview she made a comment about a phrase that is heard in Afghanistan:

If you don’t do what the Americans want, they send you Democracy.

71. marisacat - 11 August 2008

Just saw thsi at Tapper (he also has McC graf), the latest from ob

Sen Obama:

“Let me be clear: we seek a future of cooperative engagement with the Russian government, and friendship with the Russian people. We want Russia to play its rightful role as a great nation – but with that role comes the responsibility to act as a force for progress in this new century, not regression to the conflicts of the past. That is why the United States and the international community must speak out strongly against this aggression, and for peace and security.”

72. mattes - 11 August 2008

U.S., Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Ukraine conduct exercise in Georgia July, 2008

STUTTGART, Germany – In the spirit of the NATO Partnership aring
Font size: Change Font Size to Small Change Font Size to Medium Cfor Peace program, soldiers from the United States, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Ukraine will conduct the joint training exercise IMMEDIATE RESPONSE 2008 at Vaziani Military Base in Georgia beginning July 5, 2008.

Georgia has provided consistent support to coalition Global War on Terrorism and Regional War on Terrorism operations and is currently the third largest force contributor to OIF, behind the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Georgia’s geographic location also allows other allies and partners in the region to see the benefits of working with the United States.

Future iterations of Immediate Response are planned for Georgia. Planning for IR08 began in 2006 and is designed to build on lessons learned from previous combined training and operations by giving commanders and their staffs a practical exercise in organizing, controlling, and supporting coalition stability and security operations.
http://www.blackanthem.com/News/U_S_Military_19/U-S-Georgia-Azerbaijan-Armenia-and-Ukraine-conduct-exercise-in-Georgia17660.shtml

IDF vets who trained Georgia troops say war with Russia is no surprise
By Jonathan Lis and Moti Katz
Tags: Russia, Israel, IDF, Georgia

For the past few days, since fighting broke out in the Caucasus, 24-year-old L. from central Israel has been trying to phone the group of Georgian combat soldiers he had been training in Georgia up to a few months ago.

L. and a group of young Israel Defense Forces reservists have been watching reports of the fighting in Georgia worriedly, concerned over the fate of the soldiers they had trained for four months.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1010230.html
Israel plays down defense ties with Georgia
By Published: 08/10/2008

Israel is seeking to play down its defense exports to Georgia, which is battling Russia in a border war.

As fighting intensified over the weekend in Georgia’s breakaway South Ossetia region, Russian media queried to what extent their foe had benefited from Israeli arms and military training.

a crisis with Moscow, Jerusalem officials said that Israeli defense ties with Georgia were scaled down months ago.

Israel’s annual military dealings with Tbilisi are worth approximately $200 million a year, a defense source said, adding that this is dwarfed by Georgian purchases from other arms suppliers such as the United States.
http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/news/article/20080810israelgeorgia.html

Florida resident Joe Mestasl, who was visiting Ossetia when the attack occurred, had these comments;

“I thought that since U.S. is supporting Georgia there would be some control over the situation in South Ossetia and that there would be a peaceful solution to the conflict. But what is happening there now it’s not just war, but war crimes. George Bush and [Georgian president] Mikhail Saakashvili should answer to the crimes that are being committed – the killing of innocent people, running over by tanks of children and women, throwing grenades into cellars where people are hiding.”

*“The war is when military fight against military. But the Georgian army is killing innocent civilians. This is genocide,” he added.*

The Russian army began a counter offensive, and it continues.

http://sammsimpsonforcongress.com/archives/georgia-russia-and-the-u-s-a

73. aemd - 11 August 2008

“And all too likely Georgia was green lit by Washington.”

I agree. I find it hard to believe Georgia would go this alone. Way too much risk of it going bad…like it has. I find all the propaganda fascinating, both sides, hell all sides. LOL. Amazing stuff. The fight to control the message. Obama’s response too.

Found this at Bloomberg. The whole article is very interesting. A change of tone from the MSM. Hmmm.

“Russia’s widening military campaign in Georgia may end up threatening the U.S. strategic aims of preventing Iran from building a nuclear bomb and securing Central Asian energy supplies for Europe.

“A Russian-Georgian war will imperil U.S.-Russian diplomacy no matter what,” said Cliff Kupchan of New York-based Eurasia Group, a political-risk consulting firm. The U.S. and European reactions will make Russia “more obstinate at the Security Council,” where President George W. Bush seeks to impose tougher United Nations sanctions on the Iranian government, he added.”

74. marisacat - 11 August 2008

aemd

Cannot rermember where I read it (think Instapundit, will find it) Tom Clancey apparently used a plot device of CIA undercover teams sent in to Georgia, with a Russian “invasion”. In 2001.

And all sorts of border issues are being raised, What a Shock! Kosovo, Taiwan… etc. To say nothing of A Free Kurdistan.

75. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 August 2008

Don’t forget, Georgia reportably has a lot of support from Israel

76. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 August 2008

Flying Without a Wallet

After about a half hour, I got up to the JetBlue counter. I handed my boarding pass to the woman behind the counter and explained, “I don’t have my wallet. Do you think I’ll make it on the plane?”

“Oh,” she said. “You’ll make it. But go to the gate right away, because now they have to make a phone call.”

“A phone call?”

“They call someone in Washington, I think.”

“Washington?”

“To check your identity.” She conferred with the woman next to her. “Yes, Washington. CIA or FBI or something, I guess. So you want to go through right away. Could take a while.”

I checked my bag, thanked her, and headed to the security screening.

Scary, call who, for what? A simple Accurint search? Hmmmmm

There was a stack of white single-sided forms on the clipboard. I bent down to fill out the top one. It was very simple, and looked something like this:

Full Name:

Current Address:

Previous address (if no current address):

Signature:

Date:

Then there was a block of legalese which indicated that my disclosure of this information was voluntary, but failure to disclose it might prevent me from being granted access to the secured area. Finally, there was a block of text which indicated that falsifying information was
punishable by imprisonment or fines.

I printed my name and address, read the block of text carefully, and then signed the document.

snip

“Hello,” he said. “Security.” Long pause. It sounded like he was transferred. He said a number that I think had the same number of digits as a phone number. Then he said a shorter number. “No, she
doesn’t.” He wrote something in small letters on the form. Then he spelled my name over the phone. “D-A-V-I-D-O-F-F. That’s Indigo Delta… yes.”

He looked at me. “What’s the name of a street that you lived on prior to your current address?”

“Inman.”

“Inman,” he repeated. There was a pause. “Where did you live in 2004?”

“Hmm…” I said. “New Mexico? I think? Maybe Massachusetts.”

He conferred with the person on the phone. “That’s fine.” He hung up.

“All right,” he said. “You’re going to go through full security screening.” He wrote “SSSS” in red marker on my printed boarding pass. He handed my form to one of the officers at the podium, and then gestured to the first screening line. “Right here.”

Land of the “free”.

77. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 August 2008

Did U.S., Israel Provocateur S. Ossetia Conflict? Does the Sun Come Up in the Morning?

The Federation of American Scientists website reveals that Georgia

is the most recent recipient of U.S. weapons and aid, receiving 10 UH-1H Huey helicopters (four for spare parts only) and $64 million in military aid and training to fight Arab soldiers with alleged ties to Al Qaeda that have been participating in the Chechen war and are now taking refuge in the Pankisi Gorge region in northern Georgia. Like many of the recent aid recipients, claims that Georgia has become an al Qaeda sanctuary are dubious at best.

“The rapid increase in US strategic influence in the Caucasus has alarmed Russian policy planners. Moscow is keen to take steps to shore up its eroding position in the region. However, Russian officials have limited options with which to counter US moves while at the same time maintaining cordial relations with Washington,” Eurasia.net reported on April 8, 2002. “The most prominent US moves in the Caucasus are the decision to dispatch military advisers to Georgia and a March 29 State Department announcement on the lifting of an arms embargo imposed on Armenia and Azerbaijan. Both actions have the potential to tilt the military establishments of all three Caucasus nations away from Russia and towards NATO.”

Imagine Canada decided to enter a military and diplomatic alliance with Russia and Canada began arming itself to the teeth with Russian weapons and training with Russian military advisers. Can you guess what the reaction of Bush and the neocons would be?

It doesn’t take much imagination.

Let’s not forget America’s junior partner in chaos and mass murder, Israel. “In addition to the spy drones, Israel has also been supplying Georgia with infantry weapons and electronics for artillery systems, and has helped upgrade Soviet-designed Su-25 ground attack jets assembled in Georgia, according to Koba Liklikadze, an independent military expert based in Tbilisi. Former Israeli generals also serve as advisers to the Georgian military,” reports the International Herald Tribune.

No wonder the horrific photos emerging from South Ossetia have that Lebanon invasion look about them. Israel has over fifty years of experience in invading small countries and has consistently specialized in murdering and tormenting civilians.

Blind eyes all around

As Lavrov explains it, the “Georgian administration has found the use to its arms, which they have been purchasing during the recent several years… We have repeatedly warned that the international community should not turn a blind eye on massive purchases of offensive arms, in which the Georgian administration has been involved during the recent two years.”

Unfortunately, the international community will likely “turn a blind eye” to the U.S. and Israel arming, training, and obviously orchestrating the current conflict, same as they by and large turned a blind eye to Israel’s criminal invasion of Lebanon back in 2005 and the U.S. invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq. In regard to the latter, the “international community” — indeed, the whole of the American people — are so disorganized and demoralized they cannot address the simple fact the neocons lied a nation into war. Nixon was bounced for far less.

78. marisacat - 11 August 2008

The Clancey plot was at Campaign Spot. About the middle of the post.

79. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 August 2008

a couple of links were held by the TSA in moderation, I think.

80. cad - 11 August 2008

Kos, The Pwog Warrior – Insight Into An Infantile Blogger Mind:

I’m often happiest when I’m on the warpath, engaging the enemy head on with brute force. That’s generally my contribution to this place (besides keeping the lights on, of course).

http://dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/8/11/185136/916/92/566395

81. marisacat - 11 August 2008

hmm that flight without wallet story is interesting.

About 35 years ago… mabye a little more I called the FBI to get my file. At least at that time, that was how you started. I would not have bothered frankly, but my name appeared in the file of a friend (her file was over 400 pages)…

All I was asked to give (via letter) was name and DOB. Nothing else.

They know where we are… and I think both political parties do too.

82. marisacat - 11 August 2008

Well how long for Chechnya? I did a post back at LSF, building off an appearance of a wonderful UK Times reporter on DemocracyNOW!… and in the course went back to the BBC to get a timeline… back and forth, back and forth, back and froth. Restart of hostilities… fall of Grozny, next fall of Grozny.

On and on and on and on. Never ending. The poisoning in the Moscow theatre, the Moscow blocks of apartment buildings bombed. the villagers bombed.. on and on.

Ugh many more statements from the “candidates”, or whatever they are. One fo the evening news reported now a militarist moves up for Ob as Veepessa.

What a mess.

83. aemd - 11 August 2008

We don’t know nothing ’bout starting no war.

“Pentagon officials said that despite having 130 trainers assigned to Georgia, they had no advance notice of Georgia’s sudden move last Thursday to send thousands of Georgian troops into South Ossetia to capture that province’s capital, Tskhinvali.

Not only did the U.S. troops working alongside their Georgian counterparts not see any signs of an impending invasion, Georgian officials did not notify the U.S. military before the incursion, a senior U.S. defense official told McClatchy.”

Hmmm, someone felt it necessary to get this out to the press. 😎

84. marisacat - 11 August 2008

Listening to a discussion on radio. hmm Russia wants the pipeline, apparently.

I read a report early on, Friday I think, that seemed to say, reading thru the lines, that the pipeline would be targeted but unlikely to be hit. Well, that makes sense.

85. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 August 2008

they want the pipeline, the US/Israel wants the pipeline.

et cetera.

good thing the cold war ended.

86. marisacat - 11 August 2008

hmm From aemd’s Bloomberg link, up thread… around comment 73

[I]f Russia topples Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, relations with the U.S. “will be just that much worse,” Kupchan said.

Beyond being a democratic ally, Georgia is a link in a U.S.-backed southern energy corridor that connects the Caspian Sea region with world markets, bypassing Russia. The BP Plc-led Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline is a major part of that route and runs about 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali.

Robert Johnson, a specialist in energy at the Eurasia Group, said Georgia’s reputation as a viable, alternative route for transporting oil and gas from Turkmenistan and elsewhere has been “compromised” because of the conflict.

Georgian officials said Russia is seeking to oust Saakashvili, while Russia said it was protecting the separatist Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Goals `Achieved’

“Russia has achieved its goals,” said Alexander Rahr, a Russia specialist at the German Council of Foreign Relations in Berlin. “Georgia will not be able to reunite with its regions in the coming decades.” ::snip::

87. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 August 2008

silly country:

Last week, on the “Exploring Race” forum (chicagotribune.com/race), I posted an essay, “Are you ‘biracial’ or ‘black with a white mom?’ ” by Michelle Hughes, a Chicago adoption attorney and co-founder of a company specializing in diversity training for multiracial families. Hughes addressed the subtle and not-so-subtle difference between being “biracial” and “black with a white mom.” As an example, Hughes, whose mother is white and father is black, said she considers herself biracial in part because she doesn’t want to choose between her parents.

On the other hand, Obama, whose mother was white and father was Kenyan, has said he identifies as African-American, or “black with a white mom,” in part because he looks black. And in this country how a person looks matters with regard to race.

One of the things that I liked about Hughes’ essay is that it helped me understand something about a type of e-mail that I’ve been receiving since Obama started his presidential run. The e-mails are from white readers who feel slighted the candidate doesn’t identify as both white and black, or biracial.

One e-mailer said: “While we are supporters of Barack Obama, we wonder why . . . all we hear is that he is the first black presidential candidate, totally ignoring the fact that he is half-white. Why is his white heritage excluded? This exclusion in effect alienates white voters and is a missed opportunity to connect with the U.S. voter population.”

A reader commented on the essay: “Well-written article and so very true. As for Obama, you have spoken the words I, as a white female, have been complaining about for over a year now. Why can’t Obama come out and proclaim himself as biracial? It’s who he is. And as a white woman, I am insulted that he has not yet defined himself this way—the accurate and correct way.”

She discusses some of the issues from the other side, of blacks who’ve felt slighted by lighter-skinned people “passing”, then closes with:

On one hand, a lot of people (black, white, whatever) couldn’t care less how Obama identifies racially. But others do.

For some white people, this is about him accurately depicting his race. If elected president, Obama technically wouldn’t be the first black U.S. president. He’d be the first mixed-race U.S. president. (Well, considering science and genetics, he’d be the first mixed-race president with brown skin.)

But this isn’t just about being accurate. This is also about hard feelings, but this time from white people. The e-mailer used the word “alienated.” The forum commentator said she felt “insulted.”

sigh

88. aemd - 11 August 2008

Ah, now the McClatchy article starts to make sense.

Gorbachev has a piece in the Wapo.

“Mounting a military assault against innocents was a reckless decision whose tragic consequences, for thousands of people of different nationalities, are now clear. The Georgian leadership could do this only with the perceived support and encouragement of a much more powerful force. Georgian armed forces were trained by hundreds of U.S. instructors, and its sophisticated military equipment was bought in a number of countries. This, coupled with the promise of NATO membership, emboldened Georgian leaders into thinking that they could get away with a “blitzkrieg” in South Ossetia.

In other words, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was expecting unconditional support from the West, and the West had given him reason to think he would have it. Now that the Georgian military assault has been routed, both the Georgian government and its supporters should rethink their position.”

89. marisacat - 11 August 2008

hungary 56 — and so many others

90. marisacat - 11 August 2008

Quite a few Russians (and Georgians) calling into KGO.. http://www.KGOam810.com )they stream on the ‘nets)

91. CSTAR - 11 August 2008

When will they ever let this bugbear rest in peace.. Appeasing Russia The historical reasons why the West should intervene in Georgia.

As those of a certain age will recall, “appeasement” encapsulated the determination of British governments of the 1930s to avoid war in Europe, even if it mean capitulating to the ever-increasing demands of Adolf Hitler. The nadir came in 1938, when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain acceded to Hitler’s demand to take over the western slice of Czechoslovakia—a dispute Chamberlain so derisively dismissed.

Munich, Chamberlain. Blecch. There should be something like Godwin’s law regarding to bringing up this overworked historical analogy. Mention it, debate’s over and you lose.

David Hackett Fisher in his book “Historian’s Fallacies” calls this an instance of “The fallacy of the perfect analogy” (with an explicit mention to the Munich argument in an example)

92. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 August 2008

There should be something like Godwin’s law regarding to bringing up this overworked historical analogy.

Can I still use Vichy Dems, though?

93. CSTAR - 11 August 2008

92 Maybe pétainiste might be more suitable.

94. marisacat - 11 August 2008

I almost turned it off… Brian Phelps, the olympic swimmer going for 8 golds… but NBC did a little snip on him… (eats 10,000 calories a day, whew) but he has the greatest bull dog… sleeps with him and throws its head back and snores like a person. What a hoot!

95. marisacat - 11 August 2008

ugh so many elements are glad to have The Russian Bear back.

96. marisacat - 12 August 2008

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev orders an end to the Russian military operation in Georgia.

For more details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news

hmm just got the BBC email at 2:12 am PT… will see what story is around.

97. marisacat - 12 August 2008

nu thred…….

LINK

……… 8) ………………


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