Archive for August, 2008

Pop quiz

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Question of the day:

What president signed into law the Iraq Liberation Act?

When you think you know the answer, go look it up.

U.S. fiddled while Georgia burned

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Adding to McCain’s piece yesterday, John Bolton has a article worth reading in the U.K.’s Telegraph. It’s way too good not to quote a large section:

As bad as the bloodying of Georgia is, the broader consequences are worse. The United States fiddled while Georgia burned, not even reaching the right rhetorical level in its public statements until three days after the Russian invasion began, and not, at least to date, matching its rhetoric with anything even approximating decisive action. This pattern is the very definition of a paper tiger. Sending Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice to Tbilisi is touching, but hardly reassuring; dispatching humanitarian assistance is nothing more than we would have done if Georgia had been hit by a natural rather than a man-made disaster.

The European Union took the lead in diplomacy, with results approaching Neville Chamberlain’s moment in the spotlight at Munich: a ceasefire that failed to mention Georgia’s territorial integrity, and that all but gave Russia permission to continue its military operations as a “peacekeeping” force anywhere in Georgia. More troubling, over the long term, was that the EU saw its task as being mediator – its favourite role in the world – between Georgia and Russia, rather than an advocate for the victim of aggression.

Even this dismal performance was enough to relegate Nato to an entirely backstage role, while Russian tanks and planes slammed into a “faraway country”, as Chamberlain once observed so thoughtfully. In New York, paralysed by the prospect of a Russian veto, the UN Security Council, that Temple of the High-Minded, was as useless as it was during the Cold War. In fairness to Russia, it at least still seems to understand how to exercise power in the Council, which some other Permanent Members often appear to have forgotten.

The West, collectively, failed in this crisis. Georgia wasted its dime making that famous 3am telephone call to the White House.

Russia and the Civilized World

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

John McCain has an opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal talking about how we should respond to Russian hegemony (my word, not his) in Russia.  He advocates a firm, yet measured, response, using the instruments of the “civilized world” (NATO, the G-8) to get Russia back in line.

At the same time, we must make clear to Russia’s leaders that the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world require their respect for the values, stability and peace of that world.

More so than Iraq and Iran, Russia scares me because it is immensely larger and more organized than any of our other adversaries.  With a rising nationalism, growing oil wealth, and a restless imperialism, Russia is the threat of the 21st century.  I’m not generally a war hawk, but we should not, and can not afford to put up with a militaristic Russia.  We already know this with China (think Taiwan).  As the world’s only free superpower, we must stand for the rest of the world and match them move for move.  We kept the world in one piece during the Cold War, we must do so again.

Thankfully nobody got pregnant

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

From a church newsletter:

Praise God that so-and-so who is in Afghanistan was not injured when the humvee he was riding in crossed over an IUD twice and it didn’t go off until they were past it.

I hear them IUDs can be pretty dangerous… maybe they meant IED?