Once again from Steve Sailer (I’m a few days late in posting this), here’s possibly the answer to the UNSCOM questions. If true, this effectively eliminates the need to account for a weapons-lab angle. Though that has some disturbing implications in and of itself.
…for this film, it’ll be just fine. Seriously, no cover version. No thrash-metal version. The Queen one. Seriously. Don’t make me come out to Hollywood and bust heads.
…the shameful silence of the Left about the emergence of what looks like a stable, peaceful, sovereign, decently governed Iraq. Turns out making Dubya look bad is more important than actually giving a damn about the fate of thirty million people.
Instead of a series of incoherent responses to Russian actions, we should get out in front of this problem by defining it on our terms: a sovereign Georgia, a South Ossetia whose future is decided by negotiation and not force, a Black Sea whose security and accessibility for all is not held hostage by Moscow (critical to Ukraine, Romania, and Turkey), and a resources regime (e.g., oil) that enriches Moscow as much as anyone else, but does not put the region’s resources under Moscow’s exclusive domination.
Read it all. But it’s probably too late. That should have been our approach a couple years ago.
Over at NRO’s Corner, Punditissimo Jonah Goldberg wonders why the heck Obama’s response is to refer the Ossetian War to the UN Security Council. I’d have thought the answer was obvious: the left’s innate aversion to any sort of positive foreign policy not following “the international community” as embodied in the UN. See my intemperate diatribe about hippies and Darfur below. It kicks the ball down the street, avoiding any risk of failure and allowing for lots of ex post facto diplomatic chin-pulling and negotiating; plus, the only downside is a bunch of dead foreigners in obscurity. This is the Rwanda Gambit.
And I suspect Jonah’s reader is right about China. Pique about the Olympics will take second place to keeping Tibet, Turkestan, and Taiwan within the imperium. And honestly, in most places, has the war really knocked the Olympics off of anyone’s radar? I’m looking an airport TV with boxers from Ukraine and China punching each other out. The dead of the Caucasus, I hate to say, will likely be soon forgotten, while those supercool fireworks at the opening ceremonies will be on DVD forever.
Picture from Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) via Wikipedia: “Deep gashes delivered by the killers are visible in the skulls that fill one room at the Murambi School. [Rwanda]”
Senator McCain whipped out his foreign policy and security bona fides again today in addressing Russia’s “peacekeeping” efforts in Georgia, warning the Russians of “severe, long-term negative consequences” involving a few tricks Senator McCain picked up during his time visiting southeast Asia back in the day.
Not to be outdone, The Good Junior Senator From Illinois had his Eisenhower moment (I know, wrong party) in addressing the Russian land grab, declaring that He will personally negotiate a solution to the entire crisis and liberate the Georgians from Russian (re)oppression, without the need for pesky force or threat thereof. “I shall go to Atlanta,” quoth The Blessed Junior Senator From Illinois.
Just kidding about Obama. But entirely believable.
Where’s your “no blood for oil” now? China’s got the frickin’ PLA in Sudan to protect its oil deals with the genocidal government, and you decide the best way to deal with the crisis is to go to the UN. Where China’s got a veto. Oh, but wait, you bought a fucking t-shirt. So that’s gotta help. Just like your Free Tibet bumpersticker. The Gormogons are all for an independent Tibet, but kids, the big ol’ question is “how” and short of either an enormous war or the collapse of the government of China, à la the USSR, it ain’t gonna happen.
And now? Oh, yeah, it’s just a coincidence that the Russian’s took a shot at the Tbilisi-Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, the sole conveyance for getting Central Asian petroleum to the West without going through Russia.
These are real wars for oil, you frickin’ idiots, just like Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. (Oh, wait, he was really concerned about Ottoman-era territorial integrity, right?) Get your head out of your ass and look at the real tyrants and malefactors around the world, instead of self-dramatizing play-acting in which you’re a brave resister to the dark night of fascism being brought down in America. Your college professors taught you to “question authority” and that America’s the greatest source of evil in the world. Question their fucking authority and realize that, however imperfect, we are the last, best hope of liberty in the world.
The Œcumenical Volgi has been on the road and, due to a dodgy wifi connection, unable to blog at any length. Ensconced in an airport with all the modern conveniences, he can finally address the horrific events in South Ossetia and Georgia. This vicious war is the West’s reward for treating Vladimir Putin as a trustworthy interlocutor and ostensible member in good standing of “the international community.” The revanchist, neo-Soviet imperialist writing has been on the wall for some time, and the West’s irresolution and wishful thinking has now cost Georgians lives, and possibly their nation’s independence. Having sent in the tanks, unless stopped, Russia will at the very least install a puppet government, or simply annex Georgia outright.
From Bush’s looking into Putin’s eyes to Merkel’s deciding that extending NATO membership to Georgia was too provocative, the West has done nothing but tell Russia implicitly and explicitly that we have no will to oppose them, but will try and appease whatever demands they care to levy. The Russian government, a bunch of Chekist gangsters, has been understandably emboldened, and flush with oil money to rearm their military, are now getting serious about avenging the wound to their pride from the dissolution the criminal empire they once served with bloody hands.
Georgia’s fate will be a bellweather. There are significant Russian populations in the Baltic states, in Kazakhstan, and above all in Ukraine—in the east and the Crimea—on whose behalf Putin can gin up “genocide” accusations like those spewn out this week. If Georgia falls to Russian might, she will start advancing on the “threatening” frontiers of the West elsewhere. Like Hitler building his Greater German Reich, Putin has a longer-term imperialist goal. If the West doesn’t find the stomach to face him down now, on behalf of the Georgians—a small, helpless democracy (however flawed) that has sent thousands of troops to Iraq out of idealism and solidarity with the U.S. and the West—we will see this again, and again, and again, and perhaps, as with Hitler, face an even greater, more horrible military confrontation down the road, or see the free peoples on the Russian periphery swallowed up by a tyrannical hegemon.
UPDATE: The Volgi forgot to mention Moldova. If you’ve got a bookie who’ll take odds on “What country will Russia go after next?” put a bunch of dough on Moldova. The Russians have perpetuated the same type of extraterritorial meddling in Transdnistria as in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Moldova’s a poor, weak country with fewer friends and a lower international profile than Georgia. I suspect the Bear considers it low-hanging fruit. Is it in the U.S. interest to spend blood or treasure defending these faraway peoples of whom we know nothing? Many will say no, reasonably. The Volgi suspects, however, that it’s not the merits of saving Georgia or Moldova or Latvia per se that’s in the U.S. interest, but rather stopping the Russian-imperial revanchism which could result in bloody borders across eleven time zones and a massive and signal retreat from the general democratic-liberal trend in the world over the last twenty years of which we’ve been the greatest exponent and supporter. (Also, good luck in getting Russia to coöperate on Iran or anything else if she feels she can spit in your eye with impunity.)
The Volgi’s not saying American troops should go to Georgia—other than the Special Forces advisors who are already there. That’s a recipe for escalating this into a World War—perhaps finishing the unfinished (Soviet) business of the Second as the Second concluded the (German) First.
So it appears that NBC and the Chinese have done some things with the Olympic presentations that might be less that openly honest. First, according to various sources, the fireworks during the opening ceremony were faked at least for the TV viewers. Then NBC decided to alter the presentation of the procession of countries.
Traditionally, Greece marches first followed by the participating countries in name order according to the host country’s native language (I hope in future Olympics hosted by the United States we can use the English name order) and the host country marches last. But as I watched, it was obvious that it was edited so that the United States processed in later in the broadcast – holding the audience hostage to the broadcast and the advertising sponsors. Maybe this isn’t a big deal as it would be difficult at best to air the Olympics live to countries that are halfway around the world from the events. Some people online claim that they even saw the U.S. athletes on the field before the U.S. contingent processed.
I was able to log some time watching some of the swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball…so far my main critique would be that NBC should drop the inane interviews, particularly with the swimmers, after each event.