Wednesday 17th of April 2024

bud & lou .....

bud & lou .....

The US and the Europe today demanded that any settlement of the conflict in Georgia had to be based on recognition of the small Black Sea country's territorial integrity. But after overrunning Georgia in five days with troops, tanks, and bombers, Russia rejected the terms. 

The EU unveiled a blueprint for ending the bloodshed in Georgia following several days of French-led shuttle diplomacy between Moscow and Tbilisi that resulted in a six-point plan underpinning a fragile ceasefire. 

George Bush warned the Kremlin that it had to 'keep its word and act to end this crisis.' 

But Russia refused to accept those terms, declined to acknowledge Georgian sovereignty over all of its recognised territory, and refused to have any reference to it in the six-point peace plan mediated by the French and agreed by both Moscow and Tbilisi.

so, what's it all about alfie .....

Yes Gus, it’s real political potpourri …..  

Bushit puppet Saakashvili said Russian troops moving deeper into Georgia "even steal toilet seats." 

He later said on Georgian national television that the US arrival of a military cargo plane with humanitarian aid "means that Georgia's ports & airports will be taken under the control of the US Defence Department." 

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell responded: "We have no need, nor do we intend to take over any Georgian air or seaport to deliver humanitarian aid. ... we have no designs on taking control of any Georgian facility." 

"We are not looking to, nor do we need to, take control of any air or sea ports to conduct this mission."  

The desperate & hysterical Saakashvili has repeatedly compared the Russian incursions to Hitler's invasion of Poland in 1939, to the Soviet crackdown in Prague in 1968 and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. 

meanwhile, back at neo-con headquarters ….. 

The Bushit administration demanded Wednesday that Russia end all military activities in neighbouring Georgia & sent US aid to devastated Georgians.  

Any violations of the cease-fire would call into question Russia's "suitability" as an international partner, Rice told reporters, before leaving on another shopping trip to Europe. 

"This is not 1968 & the invasion of Czechoslovakia, where Russia can threaten a neighbor, occupy a capital, overthrow a government & get away with it." Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, returning from her latest shopping trip. "Things have changed."   

changed indeed: poking the russian bear in the eye is a little more challenging than trashing defenceless 4th rate military powers ….  

Bushit administration officials told CNN the United States & its European allies were considering kicking Russia out of the G-8, the group of the world's largest industrial economies, & other international organizations as punishment for its actions in Georgia.  

Russia responded by pressing the US to choose between "a real partnership" with Moscow or an "illusory" relationship with US ally Georgia, saying that: "….. a choice will have to be made someday between considerations of prestige related to an illusory project & a real partnership in matters which indeed require collective efforts." 

meanwhile, US taxpayers might reflect a little ….  

Whether the fighting really ends, one result of the conflict is clear: it has thrown a bright light on that region's importance to global oil supplies. A pipeline that runs through Georgia is the second largest in the world. 

But a little-reported fact is that American tax dollars were used to help fund big oil projects in the region. 

Georgia sits between the rich oil deposits of the Caspian Sea in the East, and the friendly shores of the Mediterranean in the West. Since 2006, a 1,100 mile pipeline has pumped that crude from Baku, in Azerbaijan, westwards across the conflict-torn continent to tanker ships waiting at the Turkish city of Ceyhan. The multi-billion-dollar Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is run by an international consortium, including American oil-giants Chevron and Conoco-Phillips. 

The Daily Mail in the U.K. has reported that Russian planes have targeted the pipeline, and Georgia's president, Mikheil Saakashvili, told reporters at a conference call that the war is a Russian oil-grab to "control energy routes."So, how is U.S. taxpayer money bound up in all of this? 

How Taxpayer Money Is Wrapped Up In Georgian War

now you see it, now you don't...

The purpose of missile defense is to protect our European allies from any rogue threats, such as a missile from Iran.”

The Bush administration, in an attempt to prove its sincerity and transparency, had invited Moscow to join as a partner in a continentwide missile defense system, sharing information and technology with NATO allies.


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Gus: In my unpublished/unfinished novel "TransMorpheus", I explore the cultural dynamics of Russia and the United State and their interactions in the year 2054. It's a dark sullied science fiction story, thus anything goes via the decay, the rebound, the evolution and the elastic fluxes of cultural dictum.

As you may have gathered (see the age of deceit), I do attribute the success of the US in the world today at their ability to lie con brio. The US have the great ability to create and sell illusions, as well as sell great solid stuff sure — but the illusions are vital in the spruik to sell anything, a feat where Hollywood and the White House are at the forefront. The beautiful trick often lies in "managing" the honesty of the buyer... We, the spruiked "honestly" believe... We're suckers. And anything has a price, including corruption of our own values.

The cultural English speaking derivatives and most of the US trading partners will buy whatever the US sell, "after tough negotiations" (pull the other leg), including bad debts. Yes, the world, including the savvy Swisses bought, at a very inflated price, the oncoming bad debts of the US housing market. Fabulous!... The spruiking must have been superb, and/or as well, the time honoured Swiss institutions like many others around the world have been infiltrated by stooges with degrees from great American Business Universities... Bonds and friendships forged thus, as well as the way of "doing things" the Yankee way has virused the system... The ire of Boeing having lost the contract for the new Americans air-force "refuellers" to an American-European consortium is amazing... I believe they'd be mad at themselves for having taken their eye off the ball, cruising along in the spruiking stakes... and being outspruiked.

One does not leave a "sting" (business, war, love, etc.) to the vagaries of one prong only (see double-cross system). In order to deceive well, one needs to have several sources of deceit to control the successful outcome of one operation. Sure the Yanks won't call it deceit, but at least someone in the financial market would have had to know that the sub-prime bundling was underwritten by DECEIT... Someone blew the whistle when moneys had to be paid and could not be. What had been bought "in good faith" from the US was worthless. As far as the Americans were concerned, some of their institutions were not fast enough in flogging the dead carcass overseas... Next time, they'll do better because there will be a "next time"...

Thus the US nearly always get away with it, in full colour. By contrast, "we", in the west, see Russia as a drab "grey" or colourless country — even dangerous. Everything the Russians do is bad and "we're so good", even if we lie through our teeth to get there...

Yes, there are still far too many people, who after having gone through the WMDs blatant lies as an excuse to invade Iraq, accept that the US went to war there for "humanitarian reasons" while, for the same people, the Russian excursion for "humanitarian reasons" in Georgia is obviously under false pretences, with resonance to the Stalin era...

We are conditioned to believe so: the Russians are anti-freedom while we're liberating countries from themselves (see Nicaragua to Whateverland), to accept our exclusive style of freedom, with its idiosyncrasies and a few corrupting practices. "We will kill those who disagree so you can be free under our system of relationship. So let's make a deal..."

If a "unabomber" from Oregon destroys things American, he's a terrorist or a nut-case. If a "unabomber" from Chechnya destroys things Russian, he's a freedom fighter.

That's our conditioning to believe thus. Hollywood and its wagon-circles have made sure of that. Hollywood and the historians have glorified the conquest of the West at gun point to the detriment of the locals who fought "bravely" (lovely cinematographic and historical patronising here) but locals who did not own the land since they did not have the paperwork to prove it. If Russians did the same, they were ruthless savages destroying a people and their rights to be... In the US, we just pushed the locals into reserves and gave them small-pox inflected blankets. Near same in Australia.

Not that the Ruskies do not lie... They do. But the beauty of the great "American Lie" is in its elasticity, in its multiplicity, in its many reflecting facets and in its gall of invention — and of all things, in its entertaining value. The Americans are the kings of entertainment. And what is entertainment?... In the past, it might have been a stroll down to the park on a sunny day, nowadays it's part massively jazzed-up violence, part seductive sexy industry, part institutionalized deceptive plots, all with extra value added illusions maxed to the hilt... Hollywood revisits its comic heroes often to reinforce the dosage. In short, illusions that have nothing to do with our everyday reality massage our greedy ideals by association with the super-thingy — the glorious winner against the vilest of all crooks... For a few minutes we save the world against all odds, until we return to our overspent credit cards... But the illusion of being part of a greater group is more sustained. ingrained from early childhood... We trust our own lying kind, we distrust others. 

Thus the Russians, starting from the doldrums after 70 years of monoculturalism, need to find their own new songs. It's not easy... The Europeans have been trying to stop the Yankee assault on their cultures for years now and, despite the Eurovision contest, are still weakening at the knees. One cannot see a French movie where the French are the super-heroes of the world defeating the far superior alien armed forces invasion from another planet for example... Although it could be made (has been made I think), it would not fit the "expected" French cultural dynamics, nor would it be very "credible" under Hollywoodian plots... Same with the Germanic visions... "Inspector Rex" the police dog is a very poor simplistic thriller compared with the hordes of very well constructed violent TV trash that comes from the US... Their formulas are simple yet complex of entertaining structures, making use of the permanent underlying need to make a cool deal and have lots of explosive material... Greed and smoke underwrite the adventures into deviousness of underworldish creatures that eventually fail against the smart always winning coppers, unless the star of the show wants out of his/her contract. Sure the "coppers" have their own dilemmas, but that provides fodder for the layered subplots. Illusions close to the real breeze, but illusions nonetheless, with star-added tits and bums in glorious mags...

Even in "The Enemy of the State", the hero, hammered by the crooks in the official machine (showing that the system is not perfect), eventually manages to escape the super-dangerous rogue parts of this complex structure and help bring them to justice (showing that even if the system is not perfect and has corruption in it, events and people can make sure the safety valves work to protect the system ultimately)... Very well done, but implausible...

Inventiveness in science and engineering is just not enough if one is not able to spruik and entertain about it... Even Einstein was small part entertainer big part scientist...

All this rumble to bring to your attention that "we" know bugger all about Russian "popular" culture — nor do we know if the Russians have one, or even  a small one that is not heavily anchored in traditions as entertaining as a block of concrete. Nostalgia tends to fog the glasses of invention and restricts the developing art of new illusion. One can build on the past, but not on nostalgia...

Language is also a big part of the structure in the cultural entertainment. Language flexibility and worldwide recognition of meaning is essential in the propagation of the entertaining lie — including that of the "West not trusting Russia ever", propagated by the West. That is the biggest hurdle for that country. Russia needs to develop its own new "entertainment" syntax. It needs to create a new "believable" entertaining Russia.

Say, for example, Russia could start building a whole new Russian city, representing new ideals — part reality part modern illusions in its purpose. A bit like Brasilia was created — a white elephant for some time, but an illusion to pursue nonetheless until it comes to be the best new thing ever, humanely. It would need guts and imagination — and self-belief in one's own entertaining glorious lie. For example, what Russia does not have is a great "entertaining" open ocean port. Vladivostok — too practical and too industrious — is too far from Moscow unless the travel time is reduced greatly... New illusions, new songs, new cultural momentum are needed...

So until the Russians are able to become great illusionists and entertainers, they will lag way behind in the art of convincing the world.

I believe Vladimir Putin knows that.

not enough entertainment

August 16, 2008
Rice, in Georgia, Calls on Russia to Pull Out Now
By ANDREW E. KRAMER and CLIFFORD J. LEVY

TBILISI, Georgia — The United States pressed on Friday for the immediate withdrawal of Russian forces in Georgia, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice came here, not far from the front lines, to win the Georgian president’s approval for a redefined cease-fire. She pushed to close a loophole that Russia could use to justify its advance deep into Georgia.

As Ms. Rice spoke at a news conference, a Russian column of at least a dozen armored vehicles moved to within roughly 25 miles of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, by far the Russians’ closest approach to the city.

The battle of angry words sharpened as well: the Russian president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, accused the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, of harboring “idiotic ideas” that had provoked the war.

Mr. Saakashvili, emotive and hyperbolic compared with the measured Ms. Rice at his side, in turn referred to the Russians as “21st-century barbarians” who had essentially raped Georgia.

A top Russian general said that Poland, which the day before agreed to house an American antimissile system in its territory, had “100 percent” exposed itself to possible Russian retaliation. Polish officials agreed to the pact with the United States soon after the Russian attacks on Georgia, after months of expressing doubts on the issue.

entertaining the dream

The End of the Post-Soviet Era
19 August 2008
By Sarah E. Mendelson

The dream that many inside and outside Russia had since the Soviet collapse -- to see Russia integrated with the West -- was crushed long before Russian tanks rolled into Georgia. The Kremlin's assault on democratic institutions such as the press, political parties and the parliament began years ago. The controlled process by which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin moved from president to prime minister was the defining moment. It marked the end of the post-Soviet era.

Pundits and policymakers in Washington are now scrambling frantically to figure out what a new U.S. policy should look like. Will the United States be successful in forging this new policy together with Europe, or will there be divisions? No one I have talked to has good answers yet to these questions, but surely the answers will come through analyzing what type of power Russia is and what type of power the United States wants to be.

Under Putin, Russia has been advancing a sort of "benevolent authoritarianism." The government has engaged in elaborate soft-power projects at home and abroad, such as the Nashi youth movement, Russia Today satellite television and rewriting history books. This effort seemed to be paying off. Many world leaders view Russia as a status quo power -- one that is needed to help solve some of the world's most difficult problems, such as Iran and North Korea. At the same time, they tend to dismiss Russia's human rights abuses, violations of international law and poor governance inside the country.

see toon and blogs above... 

a singing window of opportunity

Medvedev Rides Video Into the Blogosphere
08 October 2008By Francesca Mereu / Staff Writer

President Dmitry Medvedev has never been shy about showing off his Internet savvy, having spoken publicly about social networking sites and offering words of support for Russian web slang.

Now the president will be regularly addressing citizens in a new "video blog" section launched Tuesday on the Kremlin's web site.

"I'm using this means of communication for the first time," a serious Medvedev, apparently sitting at his Kremlin desk, told viewers in Tuesday's inaugural video. "I wanted to speak about some pressing problems the world is facing today."

In the two-minute clip, Medvedev, flanked by two large monitors, called for joint action on the global financial crisis and said he would push for support of a new European security treaty at an international conference Wednesday in Evian, France.

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Gus: as I wrote above the Russians need to find their own songs (modern) as a counterpoint to Hollywood...