Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Heretical Thoughts


I love the article in Asian Times Online by Nicolai Petro, former special assistant for policy for the Soviet Union under George the Elder.The nerve of Putin to suggest that Russia does things that the West has done for years as normal business as usual has upset not only the typical hysterical Russophobes in the U.S. but also the even bigger hypocrites in Europe.As a consumer I don't know why it's worse to be ripped off by Lukoil rather then say by Exxon Mobil. Hey, if they charged less I'd be first in line. If only Canada had a more proprietary interest in its resources.

Lastly the effects of the latest Korean crisis documented by Arms Control Wonk is interesting to say the least. There's always been something phallic about missiles and bombs.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Excuse Me While I Vomit......


Condoleeza Rice, in an act of stomach churning hypocrisy and political opportunism, castigated the Russians over the recent tragic murder of Anna Politkovskaya and concern over the state of Russian media. Coming from a country that doesn't find itself rolling back individual freedom and protection from the government, plus being in a war which arguably has been based on lies from the outset, these comments might carry some weight. Instead the self-serving nature of of Dr. Rice's visit is apparent to even the most brain-dead Russian alkofan.

An administration that can't meet the mother of a dead soldier and benefits quite nicely from media concentration here in the U.S. is not the source of moral rectitude in the world when it comes to these matters anymore. Instead it's painfully obvious that the oiligarchy's failure to cash in on Russian and Central Asian energy deals has more to do with the current state of U.S.-Russian relations than an army of dead soldiers or anti-war reporters.

The Exile, as usual, has the most coherent take on the whole disturbed situation.Meanwhile I need to get some compazine.............

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Forgotten Afghanistan


It's easy to forget about the escalating conflict in Afghanistan when compared to the on going fiasco in Iraq.The fighting there however is as harrowing as can be imagined. The following article from The Independent gives a rare glimpse into a less well known horror story.

"We headed off to what can only be described as the Wild West." Those are the words, not of a beleaguered British squaddie, but of a Canadian officer in a unit sent to help rescue our troops in the lawless Afghan province of Helmand. His account, emailed to family and friends back in Canada, is the most detailed to emerge from what commanders have called the most desperate fighting British troops have seen since the Korean War." more....

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Anna Politkovskaya Murdered in Moscow


Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist for Novaya Gazetta , has been found murdered in the elevator of her apartment building in central Moscow Saturday night. Her murder has the hallmarks of a professional asassination with the murder weapon being left at the scene with expended cartridges.

Sadly her death comes as no surprise as she had established a reputation for journalistic courage and integrity with her unflinching work documenting abuses committed by the Russian military in its lenghty campaign in Chechnaya. As a result she was recipient of numerous threats against her life.

She has a number of works published in English including "A Dirty War" , "A Small Corner of Hell", which document the most recent Chechen conflict. Her latest book,"Putin's Russia", subtitled Life in a Failing Democracy took aim at a broad slice of unsavory aspects of Russian life and laid the blame on Putin's doorstep.

Unfortunately she joins a lenghty list of now deceased Russian reformers including Galina Starovoitova, Andrei Kozlov, Paul Klebnikov, and Dmitri Kholodov The International Press Institute has a depressing list of murdered journalists for those interested.

Friday, October 06, 2006

What's On Tonight

Nils Petter Molvaer has a great new album of remixes that is well worth the time to check out. If I could have become a transcendent trumpeter, which was quite unlikely in 1971 in the Franklin Jr. High band in Des Moines, this is how I'd like to sound now.

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