Hi there, !
Today Wed 08/13/2008 Tue 08/12/2008 Mon 08/11/2008 Sun 08/10/2008 Sat 08/09/2008 Fri 08/08/2008 Thu 08/07/2008 Archives
500179 articles and 1763988 comments are archived on Rantburg.

Today: 88 articles and 296 comments as of 17:55.
Post a news link    Post your own article   
Area: WoT Operations    WoT Background    Opinion    Local News       
Iraq car bomb kills 21
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 3: Non-WoT
0 [10799] 
13 00:00 Sock Puppet of Doom [10804] 
2 00:00 linker [10798] 
5 00:00 Abu do you love [10802] 
2 00:00 tipper [10803] 
5 00:00 OldSpook [10799] 
4 00:00 JosephMendiola [10793] 
1 00:00 McZoid [10794] 
23 00:00 rjschwarz [10795] 
0 [10795] 
1 00:00 Thromoth Sinatra9263 [10798] 
0 [10795] 
0 [10795] 
0 [10794] 
1 00:00 online poker [10795] 
2 00:00 john frum [10794] 
0 [10794] 
0 [10796] 
1 00:00 McZoid [10793] 
3 00:00 g(r)omgoru [10795] 
0 [10794] 
0 [10796] 
1 00:00 newc [10796] 
0 [10795] 
4 00:00 3dc [10797] 
Page 1: WoT Operations
11 00:00 trailing wife [10804]
15 00:00 Halliburton - Asymmetrical Reply Division [10796]
27 00:00 3dc [10799]
7 00:00 Richard of Oregon [10794]
0 [10793]
4 00:00 .5MT [10793]
7 00:00 James Carville [10794]
2 00:00 trailing wife [10796]
39 00:00 JosephMendiola [10797]
20 00:00 KBK [10797]
0 [10795]
0 [10797]
0 [10797]
1 00:00 bigjim-ky [10795]
0 [10798]
0 [10796]
0 [10800]
0 [10794]
0 [10796]
2 00:00 Skunky Glins 5*** [10803]
4 00:00 James Carville [10793]
0 [10794]
0 [10794]
1 00:00 McZoid [10794]
Page 2: WoT Background
1 00:00 M. Murcek [10799]
0 [10799]
0 [10796]
0 [10796]
3 00:00 Nimble Spemble [10798]
2 00:00 bigjim-ky [10795]
5 00:00 liberalhawk [10795]
9 00:00 tipper [10797]
0 [10795]
3 00:00 g(r)omgoru [10797]
0 [10798]
1 00:00 trailing wife [10794]
2 00:00 john frum [10796]
1 00:00 trailing wife [10794]
0 [10794]
1 00:00 g(r)omgoru [10793]
0 [10793]
0 [10795]
1 00:00 Mullah Bobby [10793]
2 00:00 john frum [10793]
1 00:00 john frum [10796]
1 00:00 M. Murcek [10794]
1 00:00 Richard Donaldson-Alves [10794]
2 00:00 Korora [10794]
0 [10793]
1 00:00 Karl Doenitz [10795]
Page 4: Opinion
7 00:00 trailing wife [10800]
0 [10795]
2 00:00 Bobby [10796]
3 00:00 Xenophon [10795]
0 [10794]
0 [10795]
3 00:00 Swamp Blondie in the Cornfields [10794]
2 00:00 Bright Pebbles [10795]
10 00:00 rjschwarz [10794]
Page 5: Russia-Former Soviet Union
0 [10794]
7 00:00 JosephMendiola [10794]
2 00:00 JosephMendiola [10793]
15 00:00 Red Dawg [10801]
Africa Horn
At least 15 killed in S. Sudan clash over cattle
At least 15 people were killed and more than 20 injured when a dispute over stolen cattle exploded into a gunfight in south Sudan, a southern politician said on Saturday.
I think I saw this movie. It had Kirk Douglas in it, didn't it?
The clash erupted Wednesday night in a remote part of Lakes State, Marco Chol Maciec, a member of the south's semi-autonomous parliament, told Reuters.
Or am I thinking of the one with Yul Brenner?
Fighting broke out in the village of Pulbet, 12 km north of Rumbek, the provincial capital of Lakes State, after leaders of the Dinka tribe's Nyang and Joth clans failed to resolve a dispute over cattle rustling, Maciec said.
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I don't know the movie reference. Hollywood is ambiguous on right and wrong. When "Open Range" (Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall) was released a few years ago, I read an article that noted their farmers-as-bad-guys story-line was the exact opposite of the theme in the classic, "Shane." Go figure. Both excellent movies.
Posted by: McZoid || 08/10/2008 6:17 Comments || Top||

Africa North
African Union suspends Mauritania over coup
The African Union said on Saturday that it would suspend Mauritania until democracy is restored in the West African nation where soldiers overthrew the president this week, as the coup leader said his junta would continue to hold the deposed president for "security reasons" and urged allies and fellow Arab nations to show understanding to their position. "The African Union will suspend Mauritania until the country returns to a constitutional government," AU chair Tanzania's Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Membe said in a statement on behalf of the continental organization.

In the Mauritanian capital, coup leader Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz did not explain the security concerns preventing the release of Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, but told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper in remarks published on Saturday that the ousted leader was in good health. "We will not release the deposed president at the time being for security reasons. We are now trying to make calm prevail and avoiding escalation," said Abdel Aziz, who toppled Abdallahi after he tried to sack senior officers.
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Defiant junta to form new Mauritanian government
Mauritania's coup leaders have announced they will appoint a government to run the country until new elections, defying international demands to reinstate the first democratically elected president.

Soldiers in the northwest African country overthrew Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi on Wednesday after he tried to sack senior officers.

Abdallahi is being held at a secret location. His daughter, released from house arrest with the rest of his family late on Thursday, said he needed medical attention.

"His doctor visited him last night, and said he has to have a little operation, but it is not serious," she told Reuters after her release from house arrest, without giving details of the president's condition.

The only contact Abdallahi had been allowed with his family was a handwritten list, delivered by soldiers, in which he asked for antibiotics, clothes, books and aftershave, she said.

Mauritania spans Arab and black Africa and has been an ally of the United States in its fight against terrorism as al Qaeda has stepped up attacks in the region in recent years. The country is Africa's newest oil producer although production remains small.

Washington has joined international condemnation of Abdallahi's overthrow, demanding the restoration of his government and announcing the suspension on Thursday of non-humanitarian aid, worth more than $15 million of mostly military funding.

The European Union also threatened to cut aid. The United Nations and the African Union condemned the coup. An Arab League delegation arrived in Mauritania on a fact-finding mission.
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Africa Subsaharan
Mbeki in Zimbabwe for power-sharing talks
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Parties must bid goodbye to front organisations
Three major political parties --- Awami League (AL), BNP and Jatiya Party --- must amend their constitutions severing ties with at least 17 of their auxiliary organisations in order to be registered with the Election Commission (EC), according to the planned new electoral law.

The parties will also have to scrap from their constitutions the provision that allows them to have overseas chapters.

A new provision in the electoral law will make it mandatory for political parties to be registered with the EC for becoming eligible to contest in the parliamentary poll.

The council of advisers to the caretaker government on Wednesday approved a number of proposed amendments to the Representation of People's Order (RPO) 1972.

But successful implementation of the proposed laws remains uncertain as major political parties have been vehemently opposing the restriction on having auxiliary organisations of students and professionals.

They said the new provisions are undemocratic and contradictory to the spirit of the constitution that ensures the people's freedom of speech, conscience, and association.

According to the approved proposals, political parties seeking registration must declare in their constitutions that they will not have auxiliary organisations of students, teachers and workers, and neither will they have overseas chapters.

Once the new law is enacted, no political party will be allowed to contest in parliamentary elections unless it is registered with the EC, and a registration may be cancelled if a party violates the provisions of the amended electoral law.
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  [online poker has been pooplisted.]
Posted by: online poker || 08/10/2008 19:36 Comments || Top||

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Ruskis Claim to Sink Georgian Ship
TBILISI, Georgia - Russian news agencies say the Defense Ministry is claiming to have sunk a Georgian missile boat that was trying to attack Russian navy ships in the Black Sea.


Russia's Defense Ministry refused to comment on the Sunday reports to The Associated Press and Georgian officials could not immediately be reached.

If confirmed, the incident could mark a serious escalation of the fighting between Russia and Georgia over the separatist Georgian province of South Ossetia.

"Georgian missile patrol boats today made two attempts to attack Russian military ships. The Russian ships opened fire in response and as a result, one of the Georgian ships carrying out the attack was sunk," the ITAR-Tass news agency quoted a ministry spokesman as saying.
Posted by: Bobby || 08/10/2008 15:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10798 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Firing at Russian ships that are ILlEGALLY blockading humanitarian aid (food) from making port in Georgia. And act fo war on the part of the Russians.

Just a little detail they left out.
Posted by: OldSpook || 08/10/2008 17:20 Comments || Top||

#2  More info on the Black Sea Fleet Deployment and Russian Marine Landings here

Information Dissemination

Update on Russian Naval Activity

Russia Lands Troops By Sea
Posted by: linker || 08/10/2008 19:36 Comments || Top||

Russia’s Invasion of South Ossetia: The Kosovo Precedent In Play?
Posted by: tipper || 08/10/2008 09:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10803 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Can they show the videos of Ossetians being loaded into trains by Georgian troops for weeks before Russia entered?

And now that Georgia is withdrawing, will the fighting stop?

This is bogus. Kosovo is AND SHOULD BE a precedent for intervention WHERE a deliberate ethnic cleansing with genocidal implications is taking place. And where teh international community is given full warning.

Russia didnt respond to dead Ossetians, but to the assertion of georgian power.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 08/10/2008 17:26 Comments || Top||

#2  liberalhawk, the Russians are playing mind games with the US and Europe. One of the strongest black letter laws under International Law used to be the integrity of a nations boundaries. The shenanigans in Kosovo put an end to that. As the Russians have pointed out, there are 200 regions worldwide who want to secede, which now come into play, based on the Kosovo precedent. The Russians will go the whole hog and force the Georgian Government to capitulate and then put them on trial for war crimes. As you pointed out "ethnic cleansing with genocidal implications" spring to mind.
And by the way it wasn't the international community AKA UN who gave warning, it was NATO. The Kosovo chickens are coming home to roost.
And what good did the intervention in Kosovo do for the US and Europe? The only ones who expressed gratitude was Saudi Arabia, who caused the problem to start with with their export of Wahabi ideology to Kosovo.
Posted by: tipper || 08/10/2008 23:01 Comments || Top||

Information Dissemination: Observing the Outbreak of War In Georgia
Pentagon officials said late Friday that the Georgian government had officially requested assistance in airlifting home the approximately 2,000 Georgian troops now in Iraq. The request was under review, and standard procedures would indicate that the United States Government would honor the request, officials said.

Last night the Russian Air Force reportedly devastated the Georgian Black Sea port of Poti. Local language (unverified) internet reports suggest both the Slava class cruiser Moskva and the Kara class cruiser Kerch are part of Russian naval group that deployed, and the Kilo class submarine Alrosa was reportedly not in port. The number of and types of other Russian naval vessels has not been reported. Speculation by some local sources suggests an amphibious operation may be in the works. Specifically there are some local internet reports of activity among the three Ropucha class LSTs. We want to reiterate that these reports are unverified, but note that because of where these unofficial internet reports are coming from, they may be credible.

Several implications here. The use of air power in the Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia and if Amphibious forces are soon to put to sea, the implication is Russia may be looking to opening a second front. The movement of the Black Sea Fleet towards Georgia could be a tactical move to cut off supply to Georgia, and nothing says 'turn around' faster than a Kilo SSK guarding the port entrance. These types of major events give implication that Russia is moving towards a campaign of consolidation, rather than a peacekeeping action. The next few days will tell the story, but it looks like we may need to redraw some border lines in that region in the near future.

While we are aware of US Navy activity in the Black Sea, we will let other news sources discuss specific forces in the region. It is enough to say the US Navy is there, with exactly the kind of capabilities one would want the US to have in a confusing, evolving war where one country may feel obligated to protect themselves from an attack by sea. Should Georgia open up with anti-ship missiles against Russian targets at sea, or if either side should engage in unrestricted

war at sea in the eastern Black Sea, the US Navy does not have the forces in the region yet to protect or support unarmed commercial vessels. Our advice to commercial shipping is to run west, those waters to the east are not safe.

Posted by: 3dc || 08/10/2008 00:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Supposedly the Russians have already turned away a grain ship heading for Georgia.
Posted by: trailing wife || 08/10/2008 11:29 Comments || Top||

#2  Russian lang forces map

troop level of 185'000 Air Force troops and 322'000 Ground troops, plus some more logistics and other the Black Sea fleet in the North Caucasus Military District.
Battle Map

Posted by: 3dc || 08/10/2008 16:07 Comments || Top||

#3  "May need to redraw some border lines in that region in the near future" > again, Russia believes that AL-QAEDA + TALIBAN, etc. are US PROXIES, thus any Islamist Militant-Terr attempt and mil/terraction to destabilize RUSSIA + CENTRAL ASIA IS IN MOSCOW's = VLADVEDEV's EYES A WILFUL US ATTACK [an by extens Euros-NATO/Japan/USAllies]ON POST-COLD WAR RUSS BY US-CONTROLLED MILITANT-TERR GROUPS, espec as per any RUSS-PERCEIVED DESIRE BY THE US TO BREAKUP RUSSIA EVEN MORE.

IMO this is what Russ cares about vv SOUTH OSSETIA, + ABKHAZIA, NAGORNO-KARABAKH, etc. notsomuch the local Muslims + Muslim-specif Nationalism.

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 08/10/2008 20:32 Comments || Top||

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 08/10/2008 20:37 Comments || Top||

DX the Georgians at these freqs
Posted by: 3dc || 08/10/2008 00:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  My shortwave has sit in a closet for 3 years. Hey, now I have an excuse to pull it out.
Posted by: McZoid || 08/10/2008 5:34 Comments || Top||

Russia Orders Destruction of US Naval Armada
Russia Orders Destruction of US Naval Armada

This on is strange, they quote Debka .. but you may need more than just a grain of salt .. maybe the whole Morton factory
still it is interesting especially with the 'surge' in the navel assets in the gulf
the above title is on the search page of youtube when you click on the link you get..
well the title has changed so..
Posted by: linker || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Its a rant gluing together Debka, Russians real and img. stuff then coming to a conclusion in a strange manner.

That said "We are living in VERY INTERESTING TIMES".

so I am calling BS but Russia seems ready to go to the wall....
Posted by: 3dc || 08/10/2008 0:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Russia would not escalate into war with the US and Nato over a war they are fighting partially to keep Georgia out of Nato. I know Russia can be confusing but that's outright bonkers.

My guess is Russia owns that section of Georgia tomorrow or the day after and declares it part of Russia or an independent nation. They may expel ethnic Georgians to consolidate things. The west runs in trying to promote peace but the lines are drawn along ethnic lines and nobody wants to mess with the oil any more than they have to so sanctions are the max that would happen, more likely a general assembly wrist slap.

Russia wins all around and they send a message that (a) nobody will do anything to stop them (b) that they will crush trouble-makers on their borders.

Georgia is dumped from any chance at joining Nato because Europeans do not want to get caught up in the middle of a war and Nato expansion in the post-Soviet Era is supposed to be about getting more troops in unpopular third world nations not putting your own tail on the line.

Georgia might try to fight a guerrilla war but it will not succeed as the area is mostly ethnic Russian already.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 08/10/2008 1:33 Comments || Top||

#3  Let's be consistent. If Ottoman flotsam - Kosovo and Bosnian Islamofascists - get self determination, then why not Russians who happen to live under a Stalin created pseudo sovereignty cum tin pot ethnic dog's breakfast?

New Mexico is already 40% Hispanic and rising rapidly. Do the freaking math that the Russians are doing.
Posted by: McZoid || 08/10/2008 5:44 Comments || Top||

#4  McZoid - you're saying that New Mexico should be turned over to Mexico once its ethnically Mexican populace is the marjority?
Posted by: Bulldog || 08/10/2008 7:41 Comments || Top||

#5  New Mexico is already 40% Hispanic and rising rapidly. Do the freaking math that the Russians are doing.

Enough Zoid. NM was about 90 per Hispanic and 10 percent native when the US acquired it in the Mexican American War. It is where the bulk of the Mexican population was in the southwest territories we picked up. Anglo immigration was minor till the arrival of the railroads in the late 19th Century. Since then there have been two more major waves of Anglo immigration, WWII and since the 70s. NM's Hispanic population is not growing because of illegal immigration. It's been systematically decreasing as the Anglos have migrated.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 08/10/2008 8:41 Comments || Top||

#6  Does McZoid remind anyone of Zenster, but without the panache?
Posted by: Lampedusa Glack5566 || 08/10/2008 9:39 Comments || Top||

#7  Three years from now, does President Obama invite Georgia to join Nato as a consolation and reward for its peaceful submission to boundary adjustments? Does Germany concur?

How does Russia counter this? What is it's goal - Ossetia or containing NATO?
Posted by: Halliburton - Asymmetrical Reply Division || 08/10/2008 9:57 Comments || Top||

#8  If Russia stops with Ossetia then I'll agree this is mainly a 'message' to governments of former Soviet states and states who might be considering becoming former Russian states.
However, I suspect the goal is the Caspian-Black Sea pipeline, which broke the Russian monopoly on petroleum exports from the Caspian former Russian states. If Russia presses on to capture or destroy that pipeline, we'll know.
China would be quite pleased to see western export lines taken out - they have been taking Caspian oil deliveries by rail and working towards creating an eastern pipeline from the area.
Posted by: Glenmore || 08/10/2008 10:37 Comments || Top||

#9  Russia has made it clear that NATO expanding beyond Eastern Europe is a red line issue. I'd say this invasion fulfills several goals for Russia: control of petroleum products to the West; a clear message to NATO and the U.S. of their inability to support allies against invasion; an equally clear message to the former Soviet states as to their status as Russian vassals; and finally, satisfaction of resurgent Russian jingoism.
Posted by: trailing wife || 08/10/2008 11:08 Comments || Top||

#10  I'd say tw's (note the apostropohe) goals are in inverse order of importance. Oil prices tanking over the last week also has to be seen a an immense threat to the Ruskies. This will prop them up for a while. But long term, oil will be a thin reed for the Ruskies as for the Sauds.

If the Russians can be fought to a stalemate by the Georgians, this will be a strategic defeat for the Bear.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 08/10/2008 11:17 Comments || Top||

#11  Thank you for refining my comment, Nimble Spemble dear. I rely on you and others who know for that. Apostrophe gratefully noted as well. :-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 08/10/2008 11:31 Comments || Top||

#12  Also note that Putin is once again de facto President of Russia- he is directing the military campaign on the spot. Not the Prime Ministers job at all.
Posted by: Tiny Unirt2740 || 08/10/2008 12:28 Comments || Top||

#13  Cut the ad hominens. I am saying that Mexicans need to stay in Mexico, and illegals need to leave through the exit door. There are already 2 large movements promoting Mexican sovereignty over much of the southern US.

Russians aren't transients in Stalin Georgia. Statues to Papa Joe are being raised throughout the homeland of the mass murderer. Unless Russia acts, a "Darfur Solution" will occur. The West needs to sit this one out, and ponder the state of government in Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: McZoid || 08/10/2008 14:59 Comments || Top||

#14  Russia has a lot of targets errr ships.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 08/10/2008 15:11 Comments || Top||

#15  Unless Russia acts, a "Darfur Solution" will occur. The West needs to sit this one out, and ponder the state of government in Saudi Arabia.

LOL! Best laugh I've had today.
Posted by: mrp || 08/10/2008 15:51 Comments || Top||

#16  I agree with McZoid in principle. With Kosovo we set a precedent that a nation can be dismembered if we feel ethnic cleansing is happening (of course in Sudan the reverse precedent is set). That is a dangerous precedent and we really should consider all of the ramifications and potential abuses.

I also think we should be very careful with making friends and military allies in areas we logistically cannot defend. The potential to make ourselves look impotent is strong. Our nato allies in Europe will do nothing to protect Georgia let alone Ukraine so why are we considering Eastern expansion of nato at all? Maybe if we offered to let Russia join we'd defuse some of the issues but we all know that wouldn't really work either since the are the threat that nobody really wanted to talk about until this week.

Seems our oil addictions funds our enemies everywhere.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 08/10/2008 16:29 Comments || Top||

#17  Expand NATO into Ukraine as a result of this. That woudl more than bloody Putin's nose, and it woudl provide the backbone that Ukraine needs to resist Russian thug pressure, as well as helping the smaller states by keeping Russia preoccupied.

Not to mention Putin would then be branded as an idiot that "cost Russia the Ulraine" due to his over-action in Georgia.
Posted by: OldSpook || 08/10/2008 17:27 Comments || Top||

#18  halli - will Georgia get NATO membership as a consolation? What is Putin after?

Methinks Putin expects that a loss in S Ossetia AND Abkazia would cause Prez of Georgia to fall, like Slobo fell after leaving Kosovo,and the new Georgian govt will submit to Russia, at least in so far as it will stop trying to get into NATO, in return for a more flexible Russia position on Ab and SO. It will become one more good little 'stan.

And of course logistically, there is water access to Georgia, so this is QUITE reachable. The real problem is the weighing of costs and means, and the unity of the alliance. Which is why IF Putin just wants SO, he will get away with it. But IF that fails to change regime in Tbilisi, and Putin has to go farther, that will be huge, as it will change the view in the West.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 08/10/2008 17:34 Comments || Top||

#19  and yeah, OS' point over Ukraine is a good one. We are perhaps jumping the gun in talking about this while fighting is still going on in Georgia, and while in theory we all hope Putin will see light and talk to the Georgians, but I think that WILL be the next big debate afterwards assuming things play out badly in Georgia.

And of course I come to RB to see the issues that will be big tomorrow ;) so thanks for the pointer.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 08/10/2008 17:36 Comments || Top||

#20  Well, we have seen the results of a flat denial of NATO consideration in Georgia (thank you, gutless germans, for blocking them in an attemrp to appease the gangsters in Moscow).

No need to repeat the experiment in Ukraine.
Posted by: OldSpook || 08/10/2008 18:18 Comments || Top||

#21  This invasion was inevitable. Denial of Nato membership to Georgia just allowed Russia to wait for a time of its choosing.

Nato membership, or even serious consideration thereof, wouldn't have made any difference. Do any of you really believe Nato troops would be on their way to Georgia if it was a member?

Nato has become a joke, as impotent militarily as the UN is diplomatically.
Posted by: Kirk || 08/10/2008 19:14 Comments || Top||

#22  It would seem to be far more effective to fast-track membership to the EU rather than NATO, and leave Russia on the outside looking in. Eventually, Putin's supporters will give him up, just like the Serbs have given up Karadzic. Economics always wins out eventually. Otoh, Russia is full of it, resources I mean. So it could take a long time.
Posted by: Cromoter Platypus6907 || 08/10/2008 21:40 Comments || Top||

#23  I was opposed to Nato membership for either Ukraine or Georgia but old Spook makes a very good point and membership might be the best way to bloody Putin's nose.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 08/10/2008 23:38 Comments || Top||

U.N. calls second session on Georgia violence
Diplomats called for a second emergency session of the United Nations Security Council seeking to prevent an all-out war between Russia, Georgia and the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia. This time it was Georgia's turn to ask that the 15-nation council meet.

Russia had called a meeting that began at 11 p.m. Thursday (0300 GMT Friday) in New York, but after three hours there was no consensus on Russia's proposed council statement.

A short time later, Russia sent tanks into the separatist province in a furious response to Georgian troops launching a major military offensive to regain control of the region.

The United States said it supports its ally Georgia's territorial integrity, called for an immediate cease-fire, and sent a U.S. envoy in hopes of ending the hostilities.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Friday that France, as president of the European Union Council, "calls on all parties immediately to cease hostilities and resume the negotiations, the only way of finding a way out of the crisis."

The United States had objected to the Russian-drafted council statement because it didn't make it clear that the renunciation of force should apply to all parties -- meaning Russia -- and not just Georgia and South Ossetia, two U.S. officials told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10798 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Can the 'strongly-worded statement' be very far away?
Posted by: Thromoth Sinatra9263 || 08/10/2008 9:26 Comments || Top||

Russia, Georgia seek control of South Ossetia capital
Russia accused Georgia on Saturday of seeking bloody adventures by trying to retake its breakaway region of South Ossetia and defended its own military campaign to stop it.

Pro-western Georgia earlier called for a ceasefire after Moscow's bombers widened an offensive to force Tbilisi's troops back out of the region in the Caucasus mountains.

"Russia's actions in South Ossetia are totally legitimate," Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said, visiting an adjacent region of Russia to which thousands of refugees have fled.

U.S. President George W. Bush urged Moscow to stop bombing immediately, saying it marked a dangerous escalation.

Russian officials said the death toll in fighting that began on Thursday stood at 2,000. Georgian officials said that on their side, 129 people had been killed and 748 injured.

Russia said it had seized the rebel capital Tskhinvali but Georgia denied this. The Moscow-backed rebels contradicted each other, one leader saying Georgians had been beaten back, but another that "The city has been lost. We have been betrayed."

Current European Union president France urged Russia to accept Georgia's truce offer.

"It (the EU presidency) demands an immediate ceasefire. It welcomes the offer of the ceasefire from Georgia and expects from Russia that it will immediately accept such a ceasefire."
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Lawyers, Guns and Money blog has this to say:

The fighting continues, including airstrikes near the main Georgian oil pipeline and in the port city of Poti, which is a major oil export terminal. Putin has indicated that both Abkhazia and South Ossetia are now off the table, and will not return to Georgian sovereignty under any circumstances. Putin also seems to be managing the situation from a base in southern Russia; sorry about that, Dmitri. US and European envoys are attempting to arrange a cease fire, but unless I'm terribly wrong (and I may be terribly wrong) the situation will, from this point on, be almost entirely dictated by Russian political calculation.
Posted by: 3dc || 08/10/2008 1:03 Comments || Top||

#2  Russia just got itself some more turf. Unless, of course, this or the next US President is willing to give Pooty something. Oh, I don't, say drop the plan for missile defense in Europe.
Posted by: Mike N. || 08/10/2008 2:15 Comments || Top||

#3  Too bad for Georgians. On the other hand: people who poke sticks at a bear without checking that it's securely chained...
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 08/10/2008 8:52 Comments || Top||

Russian troops take control of South Ossetian capital
The Russian army on Saturday took full control of the capital of Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia from Georgian forces, Russian news agencies quoted the head of the Russian ground forces as saying. "Tactical groups have completely liberated Tskhinvali (capital of South Ossetia) from the Georgian military," General Vladimir Boldyrev was quoted as saying by the agencies.

The Russian army will further push Georgian units beyond the zone of peacekeepers' responsibility, according to Boldyrev. Tskhinvali suffered major destruction in the Georgian offensive that began early Friday. Russia said 1,500 people have been killed in the violence, and 30,000 South Ossetians have fled across the border into Russia.

South Ossetian leader Yury Morozov confirmed that the city is now under the control of Russian troops, but warned that the death toll may rise. He told Russian TV channel Vesti-24 that thousands of people have been injured, and that many residents remain trapped under the rubble of bombed-out buildings, making it difficult to assess the number of fatalities.

Earlier in the day, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that the country's troops have started a military operation in South Ossetia to force Georgian troops to cease fire, and paratroopers from Russia's Ivanovo, Moscow and Pskov airborne divisions have been sent to Tskhinvali.

The long-standing conflict between Georgia and its rebel region South Ossetia worsened on Aug. 1-2, when the South Ossetian authorities accused Georgian forces of shelling Tskhinvali. South Ossetia, along with another breakaway republic Abkhazia, broke away from Georgia in the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union. But their self-proclaimed independence has not been internationally recognized.
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

Georgian Forces Break through Tskhinvali Defense
Georgia is continuing its desperate attempts to take possession of Tskhinvali. The Georgian military continues intentionally to target the civilian population in its path, leading to the accusation, voiced several times, that Tbilisi's main goal is the genocide of the Ossetian people. The South Ossetian State Committee for the Press and Mass Information reports that Georgian formations broke through the defenses of the Tskhinvali from the south after having been driven out by Russian forces. Fighting has been resumed in the city with renewed strength.

Georgian forces are using all forms of weapons at their disposal in residential neighborhoods of the South Ossetian capital. Those include artillery, Grad missiles, grenade launchers, personnel carriers and tanks. South Ossetian forces are being overwhelmed. Russian subdivisions have already been dispatched to aid them.

Georgian tank subdivisions are also attempting to take control of the Zari road, which connects Tskhinvali to North Ossetia. "Georgian tanks... are pressing toward the strategically important Zari road from the village of Khetagurovo," the South Ossetian State Committee for the Press reports, but Interfax states that the Georgian forces have not taken the road.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I know you said you were going to do this Russia, but it may be going too far. I love Georgia.
Posted by: newc || 08/10/2008 8:06 Comments || Top||

Russia Prepares for Naval Blockade of Georgia
Ships are grouping in the Black Sea near the Georgian aquatic border. A unnamed naval source has said that the move is necessary to prevent arms deliveries to Georgia by sea. He added that the naval blockade of Georgia will help avoid escalation of military actions in Abkhazia. Radio station Echo of Moscow reports that several Georgian Internet publications have confirmed that the Russian Black Sea fleet is regrouping.

Witnesses say that several Georgian military vessels attempted to approach the coast of Abkhazia. The Interfax correspondent in Sukhumi reports that the Georgian attempt was countered by the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which opened preventative fire. The Interfax information was confirmed by enforcement bodies in Abkhazia.

Apparently, after Georgian forces were repulsed from Tskhinvali, air connections with Georgian were broken and Georgian military activity was suppressed and Russia began economic suppression.

Georgia in the meantime is accusing Russia of attempting to blow up the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Georgian Minister of Economic Development Ekaterina Sharashidze stated that Russian Air Force planes attacked the pipeline, but missed their target. "That makes it clear that the targets of the Russian military were not only Georgian economic objects, but international objects on Georgian territory," she said. Reports were received throughout the day that Russian military planes struck targets in Georgia, however, they were military, not economic.
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under:

Russia invades Georgia - Baltic response
SOUTH OSSETIA- Following an invasion of Russian troops in Southern Ossetia in Georgia, a state of war has been declared by the Georgian Foreign Ministry. The Baltics, having worked closely with Georgiain international matters have much to say on the situation.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Petras Vaitiekunas is currently in Georgia assessing the situation.

“Having arrived in Georgia and observing the situation on the spot, I agree with the assessments of the situation by the international community, that Russian military forces have crossed all red lines by crossing an internationally-recognized border into the sovereign territory of Georgia,” said Vaitiekunas.

He also called for an immediate ceasefire in the region.

“This is a clear act with visible elements of aggression and an outrageous violation of international law with grave consequences to regional and Euro-Atlantic stability and security as well as to Euroatlantic relations with Russia,” stated the minister.

Latvia also took a formal stance in condemning the invasive action taken by Russia.

In response to the repeated appeals by the Georgian side to revert to negotiations in order to reduce the tension and to resolve the conflict, I am calling upon the Russian side to cease all military action, which could even more destabilize the situation in the region," said Foreign Minister Maris Riekstins.

The National Bank of Georgiawebsite was also hit by a series of attacks and hackers placed photos of Hitler and other dictators on the homepage. Many other sites including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website were hacked as well. Reports are likening the events to the 2007 cyber attacks carried out on Estonian sites.

It is estimated that hundreds of civilians and many peacekeepers are dead and many more wounded.

The area of South Ossetia with a one-fifth Georgian minority, broke away from Georgia in the early 90s, wanting to reunite with North Ossetia, now a part of Russia. The situation was settled as 500 peacekeepers from Russiaand Georgiaensured a truce in the region.

However, many say that Russiasided with South Ossetian separatists wanting to reunite, resulting in small clashes. Many South Ossetian citizens have Russian passports and reports from Moscow state that Russia will fight to protect those estimated 70+ percent that hold them.

Following a Georgian operation to retake the town of Tskhinvali,Russiamoved its troops across the border and fighting continued into the night of August 9.

The international community has taken a united stance in calling for an end to the hostilities.

The three Baltic presidents signed a joint declaration stating “we will use all means available to us as Presidents to ensure that aggression against a small country in Europe will not be passed over in silence or with meaningless statements equating the victims with the victimizers."
Posted by: mrp || 08/10/2008 15:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10804 views] Top|| File under:

#1  seeing as Russia claims a right to come to defense of its citizens, whereever they are, I suggest that if any ethnic Russian living in the Baltics still hold Russian citizenship, any decision the Baltic states to expell those Russian citizens be viewed with sympathy.
Posted by: liberalhawk || 08/10/2008 17:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Its the Sudetenland all over again - and the issuance of Russian passports was a deliberate move by Russian to set up an annexation that would weaken and destabilize Georgia, both politically and economically.

This would discourage a natural gas pipeline trhu Georgia that would be an alternative - breaking the Russian stranglehold on pipelined gas to Europe.

Russia is simply the Mafia writ large.

Posted by: OldSpook || 08/10/2008 17:24 Comments || Top||

#3  Its time to play our hand there.
Posted by: Bugs Clese9380 || 08/10/2008 17:33 Comments || Top||

#4  Us ex-pats living in Estonia are having that conversation again, the same one that we had last year when the Russians rioted over moving a WW2 statue - what will you do if the balloon goes up?

Listing to the Russian ambassador today made me want to vomit.
Posted by: Mizzou Mafia || 08/10/2008 17:36 Comments || Top||

#5  Th US Ambassador to the UN started channeling The Moustache (Bolton) and really laid into the Russians, calling their bombin of civilian targetsin Georgia "terroristic", and condemning their actions as thuggery and illegal, and thier claims of "peacekeeping" as "lies" (yes he accused the Russians directly of lying).

I think the Georgian president underesimated th Russian response - but I think the Russians greatly underestimated the US response.

Posted by: OldSpook || 08/10/2008 18:14 Comments || Top||

#6  Russia reacted as one would expect them to react. Georgia screwed up and pulled the Bear's tail. The US gets heaped with indignation and Russia seems to get a free pass.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 08/10/2008 18:31 Comments || Top||

#7  OS,the current US ambassador to the UN is Zalmay Khalilzad, but you're right - the US rhetoric is certainly Boltanesque :)

Here are two links reporting on the US-Russian exchange at the UN Security Council session held today:

Voice of America


The Reuters article includes this blast from US Khalilzad:

Khalilzad said Russia was waging "terror" in Georgia.

"We must condemn Russia's military assault on the sovereign state of Georgia ... including the targeting of civilians and the campaign of terror against the Georgian population," he said.
[emphasis added]

Khalilzad also accused Russia of preventing the withdrawal of Georgian forces from South Ossetia to prolong the conflict and prevent Georgia from laying down its arms.

"Since Russia is impeding Georgian forces from withdrawing, rejecting a cease-fire and continuing to carry out military attacks against civilian centers, its claims of a humanitarian purpose clearly are not credible," Khalilzad said.

Churkin was furious that Khalilzad used the word "terror".

That back-and-forth took place at a UN Security Council meeting.
Posted by: mrp || 08/10/2008 18:57 Comments || Top||

#8  SPoD, the evidence to-date makes it pretty clear that the Russians were primed and ready to move. Any pretext, or none at all, would have sufficed.
Posted by: mrp || 08/10/2008 19:00 Comments || Top||

#9  It's pretty much become SOP since 1948.
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 20:19 Comments || Top||

#10  I miss Yeltsin.
Posted by: Cromoter Platypus6907 || 08/10/2008 21:34 Comments || Top||

#11  Georgia made it's own bed. Regardless of what the Russians were prepared to do.

This is how WAR is waged, the "humanitarian" aspects are not a consideration if you decide you want to win for the long term and send a message.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 08/10/2008 22:38 Comments || Top||

#12  Stay safe, Mizzou Mafia, both you and yours. May God watch over all those facing the Russians until this is over.
Posted by: trailing wife || 08/10/2008 22:58 Comments || Top||

#13  The Russian propaganda is pretty rich. The old Russian enemy the USA is back on the front burner as Russia sees us are weak and know most of our weapons are broken or worn out and not being replaced and our fighting military is occupied.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 08/10/2008 23:35 Comments || Top||

Ukraine says it reserves right to bar Russian navy
Ukraine warned Russia on Sunday it could bar Russian navy ships from returning to their base in the Crimea because of their deployment to Georgia's coast.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry said the deployment of a Russian naval squadron to Georgia's Black sea coast has the potential of drawing Ukraine into the conflict. "In order to prevent the circumstances in which Ukraine could be drawn into a military conflict ... Ukraine reserves the right to bar ships which may take part in these actions from returning to the Ukrainian territory until the conflict is solved," said the statement which was posted on the ministry's Web site.

Both Ukraine and Georgia have sought to free themselves of Russia's influence, integrate into the West and join NATO.

The statement reflected a strong Ukrainian support for Georgia and is certain to anger Moscow, further straining Russian-Ukrainian relations.

Russia's deputy chief of General Staff Col.-Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn said Sunday he was aware of the statement, but added that the Russian government must analyze it before making comment. "It makes a third party involved, and it's quite unexpected," Nogovitsyn said said at a news conference.

A 1997 agreement between Russia and Ukraine lets the Black Sea Fleet remain in Sevastopol through 2017, but Ukrainian officials have said they want it out after that. The issue adds to emotions over Crimea, which was part of the Russian Federation but ceded to Ukraine during the Soviet era and became part of the independent Ukraine when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
Posted by: ed || 08/10/2008 09:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10799 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is very smart on the part of Ukraine, and it puts serious pressure on the Russian fleet. If they cannot return to Crimea, they have to travel a long way to get to another Russian naval port for anything.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 08/10/2008 9:54 Comments || Top||

#2  GJ! Stand up to that bully!
Posted by: Ulomoting the Imposter2831 || 08/10/2008 16:07 Comments || Top||

#3  Kick them out. I bet the Turks and US could pick up the lease payments.
Posted by: OldSpook || 08/10/2008 17:18 Comments || Top||

#4  if they kick them out Putin might just start supporting Crimean seccessionists
Posted by: liberalhawk || 08/10/2008 17:20 Comments || Top||

#5  Be hard to do that with tons of Ukrainian troops. The Ukraine is NOT a relatively little defenseless nation, like Georgia - and it has a land based logistic tie to friendlies.
Posted by: OldSpook || 08/10/2008 18:16 Comments || Top||

Thousands march in Spain's Basque region for independence
Thousands of people marched through the streets of the seaside city of San Sebastian in Spain's northeastern Basque Country on Saturday to demand self-determination for the wealthy region. "Stop the state of emergency. Self-determination for Euskal Herria," read a banner carried by participants at the head of the peaceful march, using the Basque language name for the Basque Country.

Dozens of people waved the red, white and green Basque flag while others chanted slogans in favour of independence for the region as a police helicopter flew overhead, Spanish media reported.

Police offered no estimate for the number of participants but the Basque newspaper Gara said in its online edition that some 5,000 people had taken part in the demonstration which was organised by left-wing Basque nationalists.

The Basque Country already enjoys considerable autonomy and polls show most Basques do not want to secede from Spain. But a vocal minority is pushing for an independent Basque homeland.
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Something I don't get...
Now that the EU is getting power and the states are devolving... and EU regions don't match current states...
Why are they demanding Independence within the EU?
What does it mean?
Posted by: 3dc || 08/10/2008 3:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Why be a petty regional leader when you can be a head of state or a minister? You get the red carpet treatment everywhere. You can loot the treasury at will. You have total control over the police and armed forces. You get to go to the EU meetings. You have a share of the EU jobs to dole out.

And if you're just a follower, some of that largesse will be coming your way as well.
Posted by: john frum || 08/10/2008 9:50 Comments || Top||

Turkish surprise: Compromise ruling re: Islamicist party
Posted by: lotp || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10797 views] Top|| File under:

#1  the website doesn't work
Posted by: Woozle Glomort1347 || 08/10/2008 8:32 Comments || Top||

#2  hmmmm ... it does for me. Anyone else having trouble?
Posted by: lotp || 08/10/2008 9:09 Comments || Top||

#3  It works for me, too. Perhaps there was a glitch at 8:32?
Posted by: trailing wife || 08/10/2008 11:33 Comments || Top||

#4  for me ... the ads rendered over the text... so I copied the text into a WP.
Posted by: 3dc || 08/10/2008 12:45 Comments || Top||

Great White North
Massive explosions at Toronto propane plant
Posted by: lotp || 08/10/2008 13:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10802 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yikes!

Unless someone can get to a cutoff valve (that would actually cut off the burning gas), the best thing they can do is let it burn itself out,
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 08/10/2008 14:07 Comments || Top||

#2  I was once told by a metallurgist that propane is the worst fire to be around. Sometimes it acts like "gaseous napalm", seemingly sticking to your skin while burning. He had been burned in a lot of fires, but made it a point to avoid propane.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 08/10/2008 14:47 Comments || Top||

#3  that one photo of the explosion looks like a nuclear blast
Posted by: Glimble Hapsburg1150 || 08/10/2008 17:25 Comments || Top||

#4  A firefighter friend of mine told me that a propane fire is extremely hot, 200ft away and it feels like it is going to melt your face. Also its hard to put out, you can put the water right on it and it refuses to go out.
Posted by: Bugs Clese9380 || 08/10/2008 17:43 Comments || Top||

#5  i was on a volunteer FD when i lived in Colorado. we had a propane fire (1000 gal tank) and 4 pumpers couldn't put it out... after an hour and a half the tank ran out. we did keep it cool enough not to rupture and blow. we saved the house but the garage and a barn were total losses.
Posted by: Abu do you love || 08/10/2008 22:49 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
McCain's ''Vegas Vacation''
ABC News' Eloise Harper reports: Reporters covering the McCain Campaign today received credentials titled "McCain National Pool, Las Vegas, Nevada."

The credentials include an image from the 1997 movie "Vegas Vacation," showing the actor Chevy Chase splayed across a röulette table, flush with cash.

While Sen. Barack Obama is on a Hawaiian vacation, McCain will address veterans in Las Vegas today and his campaign has made a point to highlight his opponent's departure from the trail.

Earlier today, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds quipped that Sen. Obama was not only on vacation from the campaign but also on vacation in regards to his voting record about Yucca Mountain, the potential storage site for nuclear waste in Nevada. "Apparently Barack Obama is also taking a vacation from the facts, ignoring his own votes in support of the Yucca Mountain project," Bounds wrote in a press statement. This was a response to an ad Sen. Obama had released regarding Sen. McCain's voting record.
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Impeachment cannot be challenged: Naik
The Supreme Court cannot challenge the prerogative of the parliament to impeach the president, Minister for Law and Justice Farooq Naik said on Saturday. Talking to reporters here, Naik said the SC had no powers to stay the process of impeachment, adding that the SC could not defy the supremacy of parliament.
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10795 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

Stage set for Musharraf's impeachment; NA session on Monday
(PTI) The stage was set today for the launch of impeachment proceedings against President Pervez Musharraf with the summoning of the National Assembly on Monday even as he ruled out dissolving the House to overcome the crisis facing him.

The 342-member lower house will meet at 5 PM on August 11 for a session that will decide the fate of the 64-year-old Musharraf who himself issued the notification at the behest of the PPP-led ruling coalition which is moving for his impeachment.

Amid mounting speculation about how he would handle the challenge, Musharraf pledged to face the impeachment motion in a "democratic spirit" and not to use his constitutional powers to dissolve the Assembly.

While there have been questions as to whether the coalition had the numbers in the two houses of Parliament--the National Assembly and the Senate-- to carry through the impeachment, one of his closest political aides Sheikh Rashid, a former federal minister, surprisingly advised the beleaguered leader to quit.

Rashid was of the view that the coalition would win the numbers game and the army would not support the President if he chose to dissolve the Assembly.

Musharraf, who has not spoken in public since the coalition announced two days ago its decision to impeach him, met top leaders of PML-Q, his ally, at Rawalpindi after which sources quoted him as telling the meeting that he had not indulged in "loot, corruption and malpractices".
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

Perv should obtain fresh vote of confidence: Gilani
(PTI) Asking President Pervez Musharraf not to prolong his stay in office, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani today said he should obtain a fresh vote of confidence from the parliament or else he will be impeached.
Noting that voters had given a "clear-cut" mandate for change and putting the country on the track of true democracy in the February 18 general election, Gilani said the people of Pakistan will soon get "good news about the dawn of democracy" in the country.

Talking to journalists in Beijing, where he attended the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, Gilani said Musharraf is "required to obtain a fresh vote of confidence from the parliament".

"Otherwise, the parliament, being a sovereign and independent body, has the option to exercise the right to impeach him," he said.

The parliament is sovereign and has the authority to take major decisions, including the impeachment of the President, he added.

Gilani said he had been working with the President according to the requirements of the Constitution, and he did not feel it was appropriate that Musharraf "should prolong his stay in office against the wishes of the people".

The PPP-led government is expected to move an impeachment motion against Musharraf in parliament and a session of the National Assembly has been summoned on August 11. The Senate or upper house is already in session.

Prior to this, the four provincial assemblies will pass resolutions demanding that Musharraf should immediately seek a vote of confidence from parliament in line with a commitment he had made to the Supreme Court last year.
Posted by: Fred || 08/10/2008 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10796 views] Top|| File under:

US ambassador to UN calls Russian attacks "campaign of terror"

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 10 (Reuters) - The United States suggested on Sunday that Russia was interested in "regime change" in Georgia after Moscow rejected Tbilisi's offer of a cease-fire in the separatist region of South Ossetia.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had told U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the president of Georgia "must go," the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, told the Security Council.

Khalilzad then looked straight at Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin and asked if Moscow was looking for "regime change."

"Is the goal of the Russian Federation to change the leadership of Georgia?" he said.

Churkin did not directly address the question but said there are leaders who "become an obstacle."

"Sometimes those leaders need to contemplate how useful they have become to their people," Churkin told reporters later.

"Regime change is purely an American invention," he said. "We're all for democracy in Georgia."
And then his lips fell off, as the saying goes.
In Moscow, Lavrov said the departure of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was not a must to solve the crisis but that Russia no longer saw him as a partner.
And then his eyes popped out.
Khalilzad told reporters the telephone call between Rice and Lavrov was "disturbing," adding that the days of overthrowing European governments by force were over.

The U.S. envoy said he would introduce a U.N. resolution condemning Moscow, even though Russia is a permanent council member with the power to veto it.
Now that's rhetorical escalation.
Russian troops took the capital of the separatist Georgian region of South Ossetia earlier after a three-day battle as Georgian forces retreated and the Tbilisi government offered a cease-fire and talks.


Georgian envoy Irakli Alasania told the Security Council that Churkin's comments were all "Soviet propaganda" and said Russia intended to repeat what it did in Chechnya.

Moscow plans to "erase Georgian statehood and exterminate the Georgian people," he said.

Khalilzad said Russia was waging "terror" in Georgia.

"We must condemn Russia's military assault on the sovereign state of Georgia ... including the targeting of civilians and the campaign of terror against the Georgian population," he said.
That is an astounding statement in UN-speak. We (the US) will either have to muzzle our ambassador or back that statement, using force if necessary.
Khalilzad also accused Russia of preventing the withdrawal of Georgian forces from South Ossetia to prolong the conflict and prevent Georgia from laying down its arms.

"Since Russia is impeding Georgian forces from withdrawing, rejecting a cease-fire and continuing to carry out military attacks against civilian centers, its claims of a humanitarian purpose clearly are not credible," Khalilzad said.

Churkin reacted angrily at the suggestion that Russia was guilty of terrorizing Georgians.

"This statement, ambassador, is completely unacceptable, particularly from the lips of the permanent representative of a country whose actions we are aware of, including with regard to the civilian populations in Iraq and Afghanistan and Serbia," Churkin told the council.

"Whatever your policy might be, please do not undertake propaganda within the Security Council."
IOW : Are you serious? Excuse me, I have to change my trousers ...
Churkin also accused the United States of military collusion with Georgia, saying Moscow knew very well that there was a large number of U.S. military advisers there. He said he hoped Washington did not give a "green light" for the Georgian invasion that sparked the conflict. (Editing by John O'Callaghan)
Posted by: mrp || 08/10/2008 16:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10799 views] Top|| File under:

Who's in the News
5Govt of Pakistan
3Iraqi Insurgency
2Govt of Iran
2Govt of Syria
1Global Jihad
1Hizbul Mujaheddin
1Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan

E-Mail Me

The Classics
The O Club
Rantburg Store
The Bloids
The Never-ending Story
Gulf War I
The Way We Were


On Sale now!

A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
Click here for more information

Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
Frank G

Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2008-08-10
  Iraq car bomb kills 21
Sat 2008-08-09
  US tourist dies in Beijing attack
Fri 2008-08-08
  Russia invades Georgia
Thu 2008-08-07
  Paleo hard boy Jihad Jaraa survives ''assassination attempt'' in Ireland
Wed 2008-08-06
  Bin Laden's Driver Guilty
Tue 2008-08-05
  Philippine Supremes halt MILF autonomy deal
Mon 2008-08-04
  16 officers killed,16 wounded in an attack in Xinjiang
Sun 2008-08-03
  ''Assad's right hand man'' assassinated in Syria
Sat 2008-08-02
  Taliban deny al-Qaida No. 2 hit by missile
Fri 2008-08-01
  189 arrested, curfew lifted in Diyala
Thu 2008-07-31
  Qaeda big turban in Afghanistan killed in US airstrike
Wed 2008-07-30
  Gilani in Washington; Paks raid Haqqani's empty madrassa in N Wazoo
Tue 2008-07-29
  Military offensive under way in Diyala
Mon 2008-07-28
  Mudhat Mursi: Dead Again?
Sun 2008-07-27
  3 people killed in second day of Tripoli festivities

Better than the average link...

Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
Help keep the Burg running! Paypal:
WoT Operations (24)    WoT Background (26)    Opinion (9)    Local News (4)    (0)