Sunday, August 10, 2008

August 10, 2008. - "Can you see his Soul?"

"In Gori, where a statue of Joseph Stalin, the city’s most famous son, still stands in the main square, anxious relatives scoured lists of the wounded put up outside the main hospital. More than 120 people have been admitted so far today and another 456 have been treated since fighting broke out on Friday.

The hospital’s chief surgeon, Professor Guzam Gvasalia, said that three civilians, including a pregnant woman, had died from their injuries.
He told The Times: “We are only waiting now to see what will happen. Russia could completely occupy Georgia now and the West will not do anything to stop them because they are afraid to go against them.

Georgia did not attack Russia, Russia is attacking Georgia. They say they were protecting their citizens but we heard the same argument from Nazi Germany in taking the Sudetenland in 1938. Formally, Russia says it is protecting its citizens but in reality it is beginning a war.

Scores of heavily-armed soldiers milled around on the road outside the hospital, with little apparent plan of action. One told The Times that they had all been in Tskhinvali but were now preparing to pull out of Gori in the direction of Tbilisi. Then he spat out bitterly: “The situation was very bad there, but we were ready to stay. Russia is the enemy of the world.

There are some who believe that NATO should have voted in Georgia as a member, and of course other's, like Germany, who held that admitting Georgia would only provoke Russia, will only have their case strengthend. Bronwen Maddox in the Times Online (UK) has this perspective:
" The Nato summit was a clash of philosophies about Europe’s future. On one side was President Bush, making one of his best speeches, about the value of bringing Georgia and Ukraine into Nato as an assertion of common principles. On the other was Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, laying out why this should be postponed, perhaps for ever, even at the cost of undermining the pro-Western camp in Georgia. (British officials let it be known that they were on the American side in sympathy, but as the US would not win, they were “on the side of compromise”.)
Merkel won. But one important concession was made: the promise of membership at some point. Of course, the clash makes it important that the South Ossetia question begins to be resolved, by exploring the offers of autonomy made by Saakashvili and whether a force with an international mandate might replace the Russian force that has lost any claim to be neutral. But there are precedents (Turkey and Greece) for including members within Nato who have unresolved territorial questions.
One of the uses of Nato is to draw a line between countries that share principles and those that do not. Georgia has indicated which side it is on. That is worth rewarding. It would be giving in to Russian bullying to believe that the cost of membership is a war. "

There Is No Such Thing as Making Peace

“In actuality, peace is a paradox, especially when applied to the world of politics. Peace is only a reality between states that are friendly towards each other. They, after all, do not need to make peace. But the nation that strives for peace with an enemy can only find it when both parties have reached sufficient deterrent power to prevent warfare.”

So says Victor Sharp in his latest article. And, although he was referencing Israel and it's enemies, it seems to be a truism. I guess that Georgia didn’t amass enough deterrent power to prevent the Russians from taking action to reassert their ownership of South South Ossetia. It will be interesting to see if the U.S. and Europe have amassed enough to prevent Russia from reclaiming Georgia.

The Edward's Affair
Aside from the Olympics and the Russians taking step one in rebuilding the Soviet Union (we’ll have more to comment on that in the future), a significant amount of news focus has been on the revelation of John Edwards affair. Although it’s not an uplifting subject, it is one that merits a comment.

There is no doubt some people are experiencing Schadenfreude ("the largely unanticipated delight in the suffering of another”) as a result of Sen. Edwards disclosure. My own initial reaction, sad to say, was just that. I assume from my reaction that I’m shallow, and not of great character. So be it. I’ll continue to work on improving my character flaws. But I know why I had that reaction. I distrust the man, and have so since my first exposure to him.

Maybe it’s having grown up in NYC; being a member of an extremely large family; or having been in sales my entire adult life, who knows. But my batting average for spotting frauds is fairly high. My difficulty is in understanding how someone as transparent a fraud as he is, ever had anyone believing in him, or any of his demagoguery. Apparently Sen. Edward’s theme of two America’s was a metaphor for his life, not this country.

It appears that the Democrat Party, and now possibly Sen. Obama, lucked out and dodged the potential fatal Edward’s bullet. Let us hope that his “15 minutes” are finally up.
Now for some lighter fare.....


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