Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 13, 2008

Doubling Down?

Is Bush doubling down?

President Bush said Wednesday that the Pentagon had begun a “vigorous and ongoing” humanitarian mission to ease the suffering in Georgia, and that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would travel to France and then to Georgia to work for a settlement of the crisis.
Mr. Bush said that a transport plane with medical supplies was already on its way to Georgia, and that American air and naval forces would carry out the aid mission. And he said pointedly that Russia must not interfere with aid arriving in Georgia by air, land or water.

Saak seems to think so:

However, minutes after Mr. Bush’s comments, President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia characterized the import of the American aid as “definitely an American military presence” and called it a “turning point.”
“What I expected specifically from America was to secure our airport and to secure our seaports,” he went on, concluding that the American presence would do so. “The main thing now is that the Georgian Tbilisi airport will be permanently under control.”

In the comments yesterday Ensley pointed to an Air Force Times piece which said:

Air Force officials are putting plans together to fly supplies into Georgia following Russian President Dmitri Medvedev’s order to end all military operations in the former Soviet state.
Pentagon officials are not releasing when or where the cargo aircraft will disembark or whether the supplies are humanitarian or military at this time due to security issues, according to Lt. Col. Elizabeth Hibner, a Defense Department spokeswoman.

I mused about that AF Times piece:

So the U.S. is doubling down? Sure sounds like Bush.

That might get interesting. U.S. supplies of anti-air assets and anti-tank assets a plane each day for a few month, the Russians main force leaving South Ossetia with the Roki-tunnel road blocked during winter snowfall ... hmmm ...

We can't yet be sure what is really happening here. Saak, who shots down 80 planes (last sentence) each day, is not what I'd consider a reliable source. I find it likely that he is -again- falling for Bush blustery here.

Then again ...

Posted by b on August 13, 2008 at 17:49 UTC | Permalink


the cheney bush junta are mad enough. that is clear - but all the arrangements/rearrangements today with white house press conferences would seem to reflect a schism within the white house cupboard

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 18:18 utc | 1

From what I read in a spanish news wire it would seem like little Saak, who's main purpose in this life is to defend Georgia's sovereignty, is giving the US complete control of their airports?

So when the neocons talk about defending sovereingty they may be refering to their new colony/protectorate in the Caucusus.

I don't see why the russians would ever agree to accept something like this. Looking at the temperance and moderation of the US military that the perfect recipe for an instant WW-III as soon as 'crazy Saak' decides to bomb another 'georgian' village.

Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 13 2008 18:20 utc | 2

The Neocons are behind this. Max Boot wrote this two days ago in Commentary: Send in the Stingers

It is also important to give Georgia the wherewithal to defend itself. It has a small but capable military which has received lots of American training and equipment in recent years (and has paid us back by sending a sizable contingent to Iraq). But it may not have two key weapons that would enable it to wreak havoc on the Russian advance. I am thinking of the Stinger and the Javelin. Both are relatively small, inexpensive, handheld missiles. The former is designed for attacking aircraft, the latter for attacking armored vehicles. The Stinger, as we know, has already been used with devastating effectiveness against the Russian air force once before–in Afghanistan. The Javelin is newer, and the Russians haven’t yet seen its abilities demonstrated. But there is little doubt that it could do a great deal to bog down the Russians as their vehicles advance down narrow mountain roads into Georgia.

If Russia doesn’t call off its offensive right away, the Pentagon should rush deliveries of Javelins and Stingers to Georgia.

Maybe Cheney read that junk?

Posted by: b | Aug 13 2008 18:26 utc | 3


mostly cheney reads old fifties pornography & his heart charts but their ideologues are barking mad. we are all stingers

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 18:33 utc | 4

Bush/Cheney are not going to let this crisis end, even after the Russians have declared an end of hostilities. Saak doesn't seem serious to negotiate; and he clings to the idea of a turning point with American weapons tipping the strategic balance.

I thought this crisis had wound down; however McCain says we're all Georgians and Bush warns Russia against any interference with US shipments arriving for Tblisi. It's almost as if Bush were trying to goad Russia into a final push of arms that would accomplish the occupation of Georgia.

The insane are leading the cretinous under the banner of hubris; and we can probably kiss our asses goodbye.

Posted by: Copeland | Aug 13 2008 19:01 utc | 5


The hilarious thing about all the puff pieces touting how "capable" the Georgian military is, what with all the US and Israeli training and assistance, is that they seem to have performed pretty abysmally in combat against the Russians. So, Georgian military, actually less combat competent than Afghan Mujahideen and Chechen separatists?

Whilst it's tough to make too many hard and fast judgements based on the fleeting and fragmentary items of news footage, the sight of Georgian troops sitting in the backs of Toyota pick up trucks and the prominence of 70's/80's era Soviet kit suggests that their military looks a lot like the hapless new Iraqi army.

Max Boot is hilarious - there was a fun "reality-type" BBC show sometime last year which involved spending a few days on Salisbury plain doing wargames, in which the reporter got to fire a couple of Javelins - I'm pretty sure that the Russians know all about this piece of kit and its capacities ( the MoD grunts in Afghanistan use them against the Taliban as per lots of BBC footage that has been endlessly replayed ).

Posted by: dan | Aug 13 2008 19:13 utc | 6


listening to the thugess rice right now at her press conference it seems exactly as you suggest - they want the crisis to continue

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 19:17 utc | 7

with iraq collapsing contrarty to imperial mythology, with the taliban an hour out of kabul, with hezbollah's right of veto, with an incapacity to communicate with iran - you would think the us would want to steer clear of disasters but no, on the contrary - u s imperialism wants to fuck up this world wherever it can

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 19:26 utc | 8

Bhadrakumar's take on Georgia is worth reading. In term of past events it's pretty much aligned with b's, but he thinks that the US strategy is to use Russia's actions to push Europe to get Georgia into NATO. The next deadline for that is December.

Bush's latest might be a way to strong arm Germany and France into what is a fait accompli, since US troops are heading there, anyway.

BTW, Gates is pretty quiet, huh.

Posted by: Dick Durata | Aug 13 2008 19:44 utc | 9

Here's a bit more on the 'humanitarian mission' to Georgia from Stars & Stripes. At least they put the blame where it belongs, however weakly.
U.S. begins relief effort in Georgia

Posted by: Ensley | Aug 13 2008 20:01 utc | 10

Surprise, surprise! October is arriving early this year.

Posted by: sue perry | Aug 13 2008 20:32 utc | 11

This clip below of McCain clearly shows that he's willing to risk getting us into war with Russia just to keep his friends in the military industrial complex fat and happy!

Posted by: Cynthia | Aug 13 2008 20:40 utc | 12

sorry cynthia

i couldnt wath more than 45 seconds of that stupid fuck who is slearly suffering from senile dementia. indeed it seems cruel to even watch a person so visibly sick

but yes the miltary industrial complex always licks its chops when the people suffer as they have always done - the suffering & bleeding of people, culture & civilisation is their principal business

Posted by: | Aug 13 2008 21:03 utc | 13

that was me

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 21:10 utc | 14

I can't watch Bush or McCain make speeches. But someone posted up this McCain comment from today. Tell me this man isn't insane:

McCain: "In the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations."

Posted by: Ensley | Aug 13 2008 21:11 utc | 15

I don't think these guys have learned a whole lot of Russian history. Did they ever hear of Kursk, for example? I rather doubt it. I mean, they were surprised when the Russians crossed the mountains last week!

Posted by: alabama | Aug 13 2008 21:11 utc | 16

I don't think these guys have learned a whole lot of Russian history. Did they ever hear of Kursk, for example? I rather doubt it. I mean, they were surprised when the Russians crossed the mountains last week!

Posted by: alabama | Aug 13 2008 21:12 utc | 17


i imagine they think kursk is a russian surfer

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 21:16 utc | 18

Cynthia's great YouTube clip-- I just loved the part (just before 1 minute in) where, after describing how Georgia was one of the first nations to adopt Christianity-- so what??-- JMcC said this: "They are one of the fine nations that compromises western civilization... "

Yes, "compromises"... today, indeed it does.

Posted by: Helena Cobban | Aug 13 2008 21:18 utc | 19

really i can't watch him - he's so piss-poor at what passes for rhetoric that all is revealed & that is very ugly indeed

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 21:18 utc | 20

Let's take a reasonable stance on this. The US has taken a big whack on the Ossetian war. It's been demonstrated that they are unable to support their allies. Cheyney, I described a few comments ago as necessarily going ape over the issue. The first response was a massive propaganda offensive. The second is now sending "humanitarian" aid. The third will certainly be to send the Marines to defend Tbilisi. And issue Stinger missiles, or their more recent equivalent. What's the point, other than to influence domestic opinion in the US?

Does the US really want to relight the Cold War? That would be fine for the military-industrial complex. Not so fine for the Europeans, who depend largely on Russian gas. Fine also for Islam, who will have the Americans off their backs. The biggest loser necessarily the US, exhaustedly chasing enemies left and right.

I have no doubt that the US response is simple reaction, the hair-trigger response of militarists with no thought for the consequences. What are they planning, retake South Ossetia in the winter when the Roki tunnel is closed? I think that Russia knows more about winter war than the US does.

Posted by: Alex | Aug 13 2008 21:29 utc | 21

operation barbarossa was sold to the german people specifically & the west generally as a war in defence of christian civilisation. i think iit is only a paraphrasing of the criminal pope pius. & the citation had pride of place in the office of reinhard heydrich

operation barbarossa was a race war - it is clear that the u s empire sees these people as subhumans - even their 'allies' - perhaps especially their 'allies'

as many books on yeltsin's russia make clear the plundering of the russsian people was done with the active participation of the u s in every possible way - they did not care one iota for the people's suffering - indded in a sort of way it became yet another thatcherian model - take care of the elites in the major cities & let the rest starve & fight amongst themselves. it is a model we can see in all europe but especially britain. in fact - this concrete dehumanisation had begun much earlier in american cities of the late 19th century & in a way concretised by the consolidation of all the criminal forces under 'prohibition' - when it was finally revoked - the non recognition of the poor effectively became state policy. i wouldnt wish detroit or chicago or atlanta for example on my worst enemy

this model of which saak is a perfect example is a hatred of the people - outlined in cold blood

i am sure that was why i posted the evo morales speech before the u n here last night because he highlights the opposite of this model - of a leader being at the service of his people

i think that service of the people is at the very opposite point to that which the american imperialist project constitutes itself

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 21:36 utc | 22

hard to believe it possible, but mccain could very well be even more stupid -- and "compromised" -- than shrub

Posted by: b real | Aug 13 2008 21:59 utc | 23

While we've been scratching our heads wondering what the hell the Georgians were up to with their insanity perhaps there wasn't that many Georgians committed to this stupidity.
The neo-cons are passing off the rout of the Georgian forces as the result of a stinger/SAM shortage but their agenda (more of that further on) isn't the same as a Georgian infantry shit-kickers. As we have seen time and time again in Iraq and Afghanistan, equipment rarely wins the day.

A fighter's commitment to the job does that. As far as we can tell from the selective subjective reporting we have had on this, apart from the loony special forces types, most of whom were in South Ossettia until a day or so ago committing the rape, murder and ethnic cleansing that such units seem to specialise in now, the ordinary Georgian forces dropped their guns/tanks and any other bulky item which could weigh them down, and ran as fast as they could away from the numerically smaller Russian forces.

The Georgians hearts weren't in it. Apart from the fact that dividing a community that has co-existed for generations on purely ethnic lines is always fraught cause most ordinary peeps have this tendency to like most other ordinary peeps once they get close enough to em for long enough, the motive for this war wasn't very compelling.
So the Saakashvili government wants to join the EU and NATO. Those really aren't the sort of bread and butter issues that get the ordinary 20 year old kids heart pumping. Swapping one bunch of boring old men (the Russians) giving orders for another bunch of old men (english, amerikans since the rest of the Europeans who weren't keen on the Georgian thing anyhow (maybe anti-Slav racism, maybe antipathy to the already overly large EU getting larger, may be a combination) - whatever the bossfellas motives were, the shit kickers don't seem to have identified with them.

The Georgian soldiers buggered off quick smart. By the sound of the various vox pops of Georgians most are pretty lukewarm on the whole thing. Of course a few fanatics have been rounded up to spew their poison but Joe average doesn't appear to maintain that much hatred of Russians now they got their own country. We should remember that Gori the town Russia is meant to have leveled (it hasn't but why let the facts get in the way of a good story) is the birthplace of Joe Stalin who always made sure Georgia copped a fair share of the pork barrel back in the USSR. That continued after Uncle Joe. The Politburo had many Georgian members. Remember Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze went on to become another crooked Georgian prez. Gori's main centre still has a statue of Joe dominating it so who knows how complicated the ordinary Georgian's loyalties are.

So if the average Georgian wasn't keen on the idea why did the attack happen? Yes Saakashvili wanted to try and unite the population behind him but since blind Freddy could see he was gonna get his ass handed to him that really doesn't explain how the hell that amerika supported it.

Not just Shrub/Cheney dead men walking, but an impetus right through the amerikan command were committed to this obvious stupidity. The generals, some of whom who haven't been backwards about coming forwards when shrub has a brain fart on Iran - all seem to have been behind this madness. Why? They must have known it would fail.

Well how about if failure was a better outcome for them than Georgia actually grabbing ahold of South Ossettia?

The old GWOT scam has not been that great for many of amerika's war-trough guzzlers. Sure the Haliburton crime family picked up some big earners but big chunks of the military have had the bejesus kicked outta their esteem.

Loyal families who have always shown respect for the boss have been living off scraps fallen off the table supports defence budget carve ups.

Even worse GWOT is really small potatoes when it comes to putting troops in the field. So called asymmetrical warfare doesn't use up quadrillions of taxpayer dough - before you know it that dough could end up being wasted on health or edumacation.

Yeah I know I exaggerate wasting the defense budget on social programs will never happen but hell lets not forget that the arm of amerika's military that has been practically purposed designed to soak up billions with essentials like $multi thousand toilet seats has been made largely irrelevant by GWOT. The air force. yeah I know transport is still a biggie, but there's no glory in being a delivery boy. Sure drones have managed to be turned into an ever expanding 'weapons program' but a bunch of 'pilots' killing peeps from the safety of a Texas bunker reminds too many of their fat assed kids sitting on the xboxes all day.

A return to some version of the good old cold war days must have seemed like a dream come true for that gang.

The usaf has been pretty involved right from the start. Getting Georgian troops outta Iraq and into South Ossettia, once the blue started and sensible third parties should have stayed right out of the mess, the usaf commenced flying 'supplies' which they refused to say were humanitarian or military so we can be sure they were military, right into Georgia.

Perhaps shrub's parting gift to the world he has already wreaked so much havoc upon, is planned to be a re-ignition of Russia - west tension, a new 'cold war' where no patriot can question the billions spent on star wars, B1's or any other gigantic soak for taxes.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 13 2008 22:19 utc | 24


It's not hard to believe if you recall some elements of the 2000 election and this one.

McCain was the neocon favorite then, William Kristol either being his chief of staff or his chief political advisor, can't remember now which. He was also the media's favorite by far, until the South Carolina primary, when Karl Rove ambushed him with the black baby, and basically ended his 2000 run. The neocons then jumped on the Bush bandwagon. Now, Kristol is and insider/outsider of the McCain campaign, being a sort of conduit to McCain neocons like Podhoretz, et al..See here...

This time, the neocons again jumped early on the McCain camp, but jumped off when McCain became ridiculous and dropped like a rock after his trip to Baghdad. The neocons then jumped on the Giuliani camp, but fled when Giuliani collapsed with mistress/Kerik problems. The neocons lost no time in jumping back to McCain, by then fully rehabilitated in the media, and his clowning in Baghdad forgotten, and here we are.

The media love fest with McCain will jump into high gear in September, after the conventions, and after the period of softening up Obama has developed into the full blown campaign. If you think you've seen media hackery at work, wait till September/October.

McCain is way more dangerous than Bush. Believe it.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Aug 13 2008 22:26 utc | 25

The people of Georgia must be quite dismayed at the prospect of a clash of titans in their neighborhood. I’m sure they’d rather have humanitarian aid delivered by FedEx than by an armored personnel carrier with a McCain bumper sticker.

Posted by: Browning | Aug 13 2008 23:11 utc | 26

Remembereringgiap -- what a name, BTW!

No need to be sorry as I understand that it's hard to watch any McCain speech, especially his today-we-are-all-georgians speech. It's pretty obvious that McCain added a word or two about Christianity in order to get the religious right all fired up for war. And God forbid that he's ever let them get all hot and heavy over peace.;^)

Posted by: Cynthia | Aug 13 2008 23:13 utc | 27

I have no idea what the white house leadership was thinking but they may very well have though they could pull this off. Here is my guess;

1) Timing. With Puty and Med in China or on vacation and with the Olympics starting, perhaps they thought Russia would delay for 2-3 days. I'm sure they figured they would react eventually but not so quickly.

2) During that time the Ossetians would flee the combat zone, the tunnel would collapse and Georgia's army, highly trained by the U.S. and Israel, would dig in, use their anti tank weapons, and hold off the Russian counter attack for a few weeks. Hey, if Hizbullah can do it why not Georgia? And Russia could not bomb Georgian infrastructure like Israel did in Lebanon.

3) Over those weeks the western media machine would bloody the Russians into submission.

4) Mighty Georgia would be spun into David vs Goliath and would be fast tracked into NATO. Had it worked it would have seemed brilliant.

When it all fell apart Saak was hung out to dry and the French were called in to smooth things over.

I don't find scenarios like buffing up the McCain campaign as plausible, but now that its done, they might as well make the most of it.

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 13 2008 23:28 utc | 28

Haven't seen this connection mentioned here:

McCain's foreign policy adviser was a lobbyist for the Georgian Govt

Posted by: Jeff | Aug 13 2008 23:34 utc | 29

if it goes through, it'll be equivalent of Russian attempt to run Cuban blockade. (almost exact equivalent, in fact.) The problem is, GWB is no Nikita Khrushchev....which is sad.

Posted by: kao_hsien_chih | Aug 13 2008 23:39 utc | 30

Debs sez: A return to some version of the good old cold war days must have seemed like a dream come true for that gang.

Hell yes. It's like that War-Nerd guy said. The symmetrical warfare, the tanks going at other tanks among the pine trees, both sides white guys, you lose your race-guilt ... even I am "excited" in spite of myself, in a morbid Freudian-id-like way. I'm also genuinely frightened, I never understood why throughout my life people seemed to think nuclear war was not a thing anymore.

Posted by: Cloud | Aug 13 2008 23:40 utc | 31

most modern theatre is excruciatingly bad it is neither educational nor is it an entertainement - least of all an enlightenment but the theatre of modern mass media is such a moral sewer - a profoundly deep moral sewer

& it seems as each year passes it gets worse - i little bit more demeaning, a little bit more depraved

the height of criminality in th modern mass media is to ignore the vast suffering of the people. the way the picture is framed excludes the people or at best manipulates them. while millions of people in iraq were murdered or sent into exile - all we got was a fifth rate narrative of a heroic surge - against all evil - even when they themselves made such a cruel joke of it all - killing all the seond-in-commands that can possibly exist in this or another world. when you destroy the very basic & ancient elements of civilsation & call that bringing civilisation & democracy - as they have done & are doing in iraq. when they create a jurisprudence that couldn't have existed in the darkest recesses of j edgar hover or of the brother dulles -as in the 'process' against saddam hussein - every aspect of that process so defiled, so degraded - that the video lynching was just like the good ol' days. forming alliances that are based on corruption so pure & simple - even some of its spokespeople cannot wipe the sordid smile off their faces

all this framed - today in relation to the question of georgia - of complete & utter fabrication even when they are exposing the construction of that fabrication before our eyes. invasions that never come, ghost armies on the march, seas being blockaded - their door-to-door salesmen schtick - 'we cannot confirm' - yet quite clearly exposing their prejudice - this prejudice bathed in the blood of people

& it doesn't matter to them. blood from people anywhere. they sell fear. they sell this horror show of a world they have created & like giggling sophomores think they are in on the joke. their pomposity is pornography in its purest sense

& that becomes clear when you hear an evo morales - that the success of capital - of the imperialist enterprise - of the us imperial enterprise - is the way that western civilisation has become more alienated - in a deeper more disturbing way than ever before under capitalism

the 60's & 70's were in their way generations of people trying to understand within their bodies - especially those of women - what exactly it was the underpinned george steiner's question of how could a people that listened to bach then go out the next day & slaughter their species

then while the slaughter of africa,latin america & south east asia continued in the 80's - the thatcher reagan project was to destroy society, to destroy civil society & in this they have largely succeeded tranforming people into units - where the marginalised do not even exist except to be used as instruments of fear

some nights i wish for an eternal caliphate, or life under the chinese emporers or under life under a russian bureaucrat or to live under a genghis khan or tamerlan because anything cannot be worse than this - this butchershop they sell as the free world. they world they have given us is everything but free & with each hour it gets less free

so they can sell their sordid stories of the demonic russians & the heroic little georgian president but it is only more blood on the tracks

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 23:49 utc | 32

We come after. We know now that a man can read Goethe or Rilke in the evening, that he can play Bach and Schubert, and go to his day's work at Auschwitz in the morning. To say that he has read them without understanding or that his ear is gross, is cant. In what way does this knowledge bear on literature and society, on the hope, grown almost axiomatic from the time of Plato to that of Matthew Arnold, that culture is a humanizing force, that the energies of spirit are transferable to those of conduct? - George Steiner

Oh my. Thanks R'giap for introducing me to this writer.

Posted by: Cloud | Aug 14 2008 0:09 utc | 33


How incoherent can they be? How clueless? How delusional? And now they peddle this story to the press?

Posted by: alabama | Aug 14 2008 0:42 utc | 34

The problem with Max Boot's suggestion to supply Georgia with Stingers and Javelins - if the Russians start loosing aircraft and tanks in Georgia, then the US and NATO will start loosing aircraft and tanks in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Russians like air support but don't rely on it; the US and NATO probably couldn't operate in Iraq and certainly couldn't operate in Afghanistan without it. Back during the war against Russian forces in Afghanistan, the US wasn't really involved in any wars, so there was no opportunity for a Russian response to the Stingers, Blowpipes, Milans, etc. that the West supplied to the Mujahideen. If Gates is as sensible as he is made out to be, he will tell Cheney where to shove it.

Posted by: blowback | Aug 14 2008 0:45 utc | 35

Looks like hapless President Saakashvili is hallucinating again. From the Financial Post nonight.

George W. Bush, US president, asked Russia to co­operate in allowing US aid shipments to Georgia, although the Pentagon denied a claim by Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian president, that the operation would involve US military control of ports and airfields in Georgia.


Vyacheslav Nikonov, a Kremlin-linked political analyst, said Russia would allow in peacekeepers from neutral countries such as Finland, but any troops connected to Nato would be seen as a “military incursion”.

So Estonia is out.

Also, other former Soviet country has responded to Mr Saakashvili’s call to rally behind Georgia and “bid a final goodbye to the Soviet Union” by exiting the CIS...Even Ukraine, Georgia’s staunchest ally in the violent conflict with Russia, said it could not leave the CIS because, having never formalised its membership, it was merely a bystander in the organisation

Et tu, Ukrainia!

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Aug 14 2008 0:46 utc | 36

I have noticed that many of the photos accompanying news articles about America sending humanitarian aid to 'innocent,' 'devastated' Georgia seem to mostly show a crying bandaged baby covered with blood in a makeshift hospital. The photos seem to scream: "Look what Russia has done to this innocent Georgian child!" That is, until you read the photo blurb and find the babies are from South Ossettia and their injuries were more likely caused by the 'innocent' Georgian troops.

But it is not the truth that the media wishes to broadcast, just the neocon/WH platform and spin.

Posted by: Ensley | Aug 14 2008 1:14 utc | 37

Fox News has been acting a little weirdly this afternoon (CDT): it's been running clips with voice-overs that speak of Georgian atrocities (briefly, to be sure).

Posted by: alabama | Aug 14 2008 1:34 utc | 38

Ah, the nickel finally dropped!... And so I can share a real insight:


Posted by: alabama | Aug 14 2008 1:39 utc | 39>Pure Vile Poison
Having watched this I need an antidote.

Posted by: YY | Aug 14 2008 2:12 utc | 40

1. That "no use of force" thing again. From the New York Times State Department ass covering article yesterday.

After Mixed Messages and Unheeded Warnings From the U.S., a Conflict Erupts

During a private dinner on July 9, Ms. Rice’s aides say, she warned President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia not to get into a military conflict with Russia that Georgia could not win. “She told him, in no uncertain terms, that he had to put a non-use of force pledge on the table,” according to a senior administration official who accompanied Ms. Rice to the Georgian capital.

But publicly, Ms. Rice struck a different tone, one of defiant support for Georgia in the face of Russian pressure.

2. The English media propaganda apparat is outdoing itself tonight in the manufacture of victims. If you read carefully, it's "witnesses report this, witnesses report that". No eyes to facts. And it's raining looting, raping, burning Chechens everywhere.

They can't spit out that it was the Gori barracks that the Russians destroyed. It'll burn their tongues. And Human Rights Watch (of course) is very skeptical about the Tshinvali casualties (of course). They were disgraceful on Iraq (ring if you want details).

Luke Harding of the Guardian is hilarious. Six months ago, he was trying to peddle a story that Putin stole 30-40 billion US dollars, according to some Russian think tank (lol!) denizen that had Luke's ear. Harding has got to be the most incompetent propagandist in the Guardian/Independent/Times/Telegraph stable, and that's saying a hell of a lot.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Aug 14 2008 2:14 utc | 41


What do you expect from the maggots who brought the world the Iraq invasion? Neocon central.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Aug 14 2008 2:17 utc | 42

frederick kagan - puffed-up-puffy-pomposity-in-pampers - i rest my case

this savage spectacle is so sordid - you doin't aks question at a talk like that - you do what they do pull down their overpriced pantaloons that resemble sacks & jack off into the mouths of a mean media

they are all beasts. fuck them all

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 14 2008 2:27 utc | 43

#19 : it's quite an honor to see Helena Cobban in the house; bartender, the next round's on me, salud!

. . .

Perhaps shrub's parting gift to the world ... is planned to be a ... a new 'cold war' ...
Debs is dead

McCain is way more dangerous than Bush. Believe it.

hard to believe it possible, but mccain could very well be even more stupid -- and "compromised" -- than shrub
b real

another round, please...

Posted by: rudolf | Aug 14 2008 2:34 utc | 44

Call me naive, but it never ceases to amaze how intensely insane their philosophy is.
So I'm continuously surprised.

Posted by: YY | Aug 14 2008 2:42 utc | 45

A long list of Saakashvili fever shots, and one by Ivanov.


Georgian president's Russia claims raise eyebrows

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — It was a claim that could have provoked a dangerous Kremlin response: The United States is readying to take over airports and ports in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

The claim, by U.S.-backed Georgia President Mikhail Saakashvili on Wednesday was swiftly shot down by officials in Washington, who denied any such designs on Georgian soil.

Yet, it was the latest in a string of overstated pronouncements by the American-educated Georgian leader that are further fueling tensions with Moscow.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Aug 14 2008 2:46 utc | 46


The drift of this article helps me breathe a little easier...

Posted by: alabama | Aug 14 2008 3:31 utc | 47

The resource wars Mister Bush has going in Afghanistan and Iraq were always intended to be mere stepping stones to the real prize, which was always the oil and gas resources of the Caspian region. It was always 'Baku or Bust' for the neocons behind the Project for a New American Century.

The way led through the capitals of every Arab state not already on board with American Exceptionalism.

The original thinking at the time of the Iraq invasion was to keep right on going with the Shock and Awe, and knock over a total of seven Arab countries in five years, carving a swathe of American-friendly regimes from Lebanon right up to Russia's southern border.

You know -- just get out there and make history while other people sit around trying to understand the glories of the Neoconservative Way.

The rewards for this excellent adventure in the Caucasus was to be a double whammy -- getting American access and control over all that gas and oil, as well as planting American missiles and firepower right on Russia's border. Right over the barbed wire fence. For the purposes of self defense, of course. War on terror, and all that.

What's happening right now is that same push north into Russia's belly, that same goal, but it's happening more like a Three Stooges film festival than a stunning act of international intrigue. The neocons are left with taking every grasp at the Caspian Basin that fate proffers them. 'Tain't much.

I suspect that what Russia is doing right now is methodically bulldozing Georgian bases, and destroying Georgian military equipment, so that Georgia will not be a military threat to Russia for a good long while.

Look for America's hasty humanitarians in tiger striped uniforms to be immediately stationed in the ports and airfields and other places where Georgia is stockpiling its remaining firepower and hardware. The Russians wouldn't dare come near Genuine Americans.

Would they . . . ?

Jeezus! Can you just imagine three thousand GI's arrested and deported to the nearest NATO member state?

Look next for some juicy gifts and low-interest loans from America's Democratic Congress unto Georgia to replenish their military machine by means of no-bid contracts awarded to America's big war suppliers. Boeing, Northrupp, SAIC, and so on.

Halliburton will come in to do the laundry for $250 per bag, no doubt.

Again, the true purpose of neocons stirring up global unrest is to keep America on a permanent war footing. That's where the money is, fellas.

It sure as hell ain't in real estate.

Posted by: Antifa | Aug 14 2008 4:44 utc | 48

Antifa, always reminber that there is no profit in peace. Every bomb, missle, plane, tank, humvee lost in combat HAS to be REPLACED. There is absolutely no regard for innocent human life in the use of these killing machines. The peop;e sleeping in their beds are not human beings, simply collateral damage, the most misleading and insidious term ever inserted into our dialogue.

Posted by: mikefromtexas | Aug 14 2008 6:12 utc | 49

(from a friend's RSS feed in the movie biz)

Rolling Thunder

Videos in Production Notes

August 12th, 2008

Well, the notes on the new McCain screenplay came in this week, working title "Rolling Thunder", although I think
Air Force operations in Viet Nam had more mundane names like "Water Pump", these days you have to sex everything up.

I’m happy to say that the shooting schedule is being set, with Chuck Norris rumored as the young McCain, although
they may have to green-screen everything, with Norris' own production schedule, and rely on the B-unit for location.
(And no one’s said a thing about McCain's famous swearing, the violence or the now-infamous Goat-Fucking Scene.)

In real terms, this will be a locked script, with no rushes or trailers before it's shown at the Republican convention.
The video will transition almost immediately from young McCain in dress whites after he was repatriated, to the current
John and Cindy Road Show visuals. The video soundtrack will apparently revolve around an updated "Have Gun Will Travel".

Sorry, it's not an indie where terrorists explode as they get whipped, hair set on fire, and Cindy has no clothes on.
For that we'll have to wait until after McCain gets elected, and hope Saturday Night Live goes over the top with it.

Posted by: Thad Obert | Aug 14 2008 7:08 utc | 50

Maybe Hank Paulson needs to get on the phone with George ...

International Reserves of the Russian Federation in 2008
(US $ mln.)


Official reserves 595,902, foreign currency reserves 462,046, IMF reserve position 384, gold 13,887 other reserve assets 119,584

Posted by: b | Aug 14 2008 7:15 utc | 51

so that Georgia will not be a military threat to Russia for a good long while

you can't be serious, this is one of the most pathetic statements I have read in a long time...when was Georgia ever a military threat to Russia? With a standing army of some 28,000 against 1,000,000??? wtf??

The Russians are going in purely to assert their sphere of influence, they couldn't give a toss about Ossetians or anybody else. Just have a look how they with a hostage situation (Beslan, Moscow theater, numerous buses), ffs, they pump chemicals into the ventilation system, sure they killed the terrorists...along with 129 hostages!! Look at what they are doing in Chechnya (also check out what they did in the 1940s). Life has always been cheap there. Look what they do to journalists who dare to question the government. They're loaded with petrodollars because the stupid fkng west can't develop new energy sources, and they want to reassert themselves.

If some of you think that the US is an empire then you need to brush up on your Soviet/Russian history and the untold millions that died.

I thought the morons at rantburg when were bad, it's the polar opposite here.

Posted by: Igster | Aug 14 2008 7:26 utc | 52

That's right there is no empire, Santa rules and the tooth fairy is dropping by for a drink.
Won't bother to waste too much time on someone who can't deal with basic blog script but
number of indigenous people killed by white invasion of north amerika approx 4,500,000
dead Filipinos as a result of amerikan invasion, murder and recolonisation after spanish amerikan war - 500,000
approx casualties as a result of amerikan empire's 'adventures' and interventions in Latin america since 1900 at least 10,000,000 and counting
Vietnam war civilian casualties 4,000,000
NVA and VC 1,100,000
Dead in Iraq since 2003 illegal invasion 1,000,000 plus 4,000,000 refugees.
I know I have missed many but the point is to show that the amerikan empire just like every empire that has gone before gobbles up humans by the million. Just because it isn't on CNN doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Posted by: | Aug 14 2008 8:10 utc | 53

Robert Scheer: Georgia War a Neocon Election Ploy?

Is it possible that this time the October surprise was tried in August, and that the garbage issue of brave little Georgia struggling for its survival from the grasp of the Russian bear was stoked to influence the U.S. presidential election?

Before you dismiss that possibility, consider the role of one Randy Scheunemann, for four years a paid lobbyist for the Georgian government who ended his official lobbying connection only in March, months after he became Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s senior foreign policy adviser.

Previously, Scheunemann was best known as one of the neoconservatives who engineered the war in Iraq when he was a director of the Project for a New American Century.

Posted by: b | Aug 14 2008 8:33 utc | 54

From the August 11 "Accuracy in Media" Homepage

Klare's most recent book is Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy, and he is featured in the recently released documentary "Blood and Oil." Klare said today: "The current conflict between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has been widely viewed as a throwback to the Cold War era, with Georgia seeking to reassert control over areas it considers part of its sovereign territory and Russia aiming to punish a regime it deems overly friendly to the West. Personality is also said to play a role, with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili keen to demonstrate his mettle by regaining the two rebel areas and Russian leaders equally resolved to humiliate him. But underlying all this is a larger, more significant contest: a geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West over the export of Caspian Sea oil and natural gas.

"The United States seeks to use Georgia as an 'energy corridor' to transport Caspian energy to the West without going through Iran or Russia; to this end, it helped build the BTC (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan) Pipeline across Georgia and helped beef up the Georgian military to protect it. Russia seeks to frustrate America's use of Georgia for this purpose, and uses Abkhazia and South Ossetia as daggers pointed at the jugular of the BTC pipeline. When Saakashvili sought to drive the Russians out of these enclaves, the Russians struck back."

Well that's all folks. Cheney's last grasp perhaps. And I still have not nailed down any more than speculation that Blackwater Security is playing war games in Georgia: a few bodies in black uniforms is the only information. It would be a hoot if the murderers for hire are doing Darth-Cheney's bidding. Three years I had one of my honors classes investigate the energy resources of this area and the potential for US led conflicts. We predicted that this would be the next hot spot in the oil wars. I posted that here a while ago. Looks like the kiddies were right.

Posted by: Diogenes | Aug 14 2008 11:57 utc | 55

whatever b boy,why don't you add up the number killed under tsarist russia and then the sovites, the numbers will be alot higher than yours
btw I never said the US wasn't striving to be an empire

Posted by: Igster | Aug 14 2008 12:19 utc | 56

One should also take pretty much any stories coming out of the region with a pound of salt.

Here’s something you won’t see on the US TV networks:

American broadcaster CNN has been accused of using the wrong pictures in their coverage of the conflict in South Ossetia. A Russian cameraman says footage of wrecked tanks and ruined buildings, which was purported to have been filmed in the town of Gori, in fact showed the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali.

Gori was said to be about to fall under the control of the Russian army but the cameraman says the video was actually shot in Tskhinvali, which had been flattened by Georgian shelling.

Posted by: Phoenix Woman | Aug 14 2008 13:05 utc | 57

if it wasn't for the russians yr pretty white ass would be under a thousand year reich. they were the only guarantors of safety against fascism

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 14 2008 14:32 utc | 58

link to klare article mentioned by diogenes @55 - Russia and Georgia: All About Oil

obviously there's more to it than just energy resources -- there are prob as many motives as there are players involved -- but it certainly is a key part @ the end of the day

wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that u.s. PMCs were involved. a lot of military training is outsourced, esp when it comes to pipeline security. who has the contracts on the BTC in that area?

Posted by: b real | Aug 14 2008 14:46 utc | 59

@ Phoenix Woman

I watch Russia Today on satellite and it is really quite amusing to watch their PR offensive. They spin and play on simple emotions just as well as Fox or CNN or any other western media outlet for that matter. One thing that is curious, for me anyway, is that both Russia and the West claim Tshinvali has been "flattened" with Russia accusing Georgia and Georgia accusing Russia of doing it. Fact is, I have seen one building that has been pretty much demolished and one room that is burned out with broken china on the floor. We saw some pretty thorough destruction in Beirut during the Israel bombardment but nothing here in South Ossetia. wassup with that? Surely there must be more to see. anybody got links?

Posted by: dan of steele | Aug 14 2008 15:23 utc | 60

looking back at recent years when Russia suffered much humiliation & diminishment -- collapse of the USSR, economic trauma, abandonment by its neighbors & former allies, NATO encroachment, internal political chaos ... its to their credit that they sucked it in and accepted their fate pretty gracefully & stoically absent cry-baby drama or antics.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Aug 14 2008 15:54 utc | 61

dan of steele

at least when i watch a russiatoday or iran's press tv i don't feel dirty. i'd watch hezbollah's al amar but it banned in france

if i have to look at that prettyboy pug anderson cooper "keepin' 'em honest', i'd puke

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 14 2008 16:28 utc | 62

@Thad #50
with Chuck Norris rumored as the young McCain

I don't think so. Norris is only three or four years younger than McCain. (grin)

Posted by: Ensley | Aug 14 2008 18:04 utc | 63

at least when i watch a russiatoday or iran's press tv i don't feel dirty

agree wholeheartedly my friend, just saying that the Russians are quite capable of using the same tricks as US/UK and pretty much everybody else in Europe. It would truly be wonderful to find a serious unbiased news source but it aint gonna happen.

looking around for images of the destruction I find very little, there was much to do about the statue of Stalin being destroyed in Gori but this youtube from August 13 and filmed by CNN shows old Joe in pretty good shape. In fact people are walking around as if it is a normal work day. This is starting to seem a lot like the war in Albania as depicted in the film "Wag the dog"


Posted by: dan of steele | Aug 14 2008 20:30 utc | 64

``If it wasn't for the russians yr pretty white ass would be under a thousand year reich. they were the only guarantors of safety against fascism''

True enough in the main: the Wehrmacht died in the battle of the Kursk salient and what followed thereupon, not in Normandy. That said, the Red Army depended in part on supplies from the US and Britain. It is a sobering thought that it took three countries with, put together, far more resources than Germany, to defeat the Nazis.

Posted by: Feeder of Felines | Aug 15 2008 6:28 utc | 65

And hottin' things up:

Posted 9 minutes ago on NYT (it's now 15:22 CET)

Bush, Decrying ‘Bullying,’ Calls for Russia to Leave Georgia

MOSCOW — Condemning as unacceptable what he called Russia’s “bullying and intimidation,” President Bush on Friday said Russia must withdraw its troops from all of Georgian territory and said the United States would stand with Georgia in the conflict.

“Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected,” he said.

Tensions have risen sharply in the last 24 hours, as the Russian president and foreign minister made it clear they would support separatist efforts by two breakaway Georgian territories and as the specter of a resurgent Russia helped persuade Poland to agree to a long-stalled deal on an American missile defense system.

Mr. Bush spoke as Ms. Rice arrived in the Georgian capital on Friday to hold talks with Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, and as Chancellor Angela Merkel met with the Russian president, Dmitri A. Medvedev.

Praising the small nation as a “courageous democracy” that has provided troops to support the American-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mr. Bush said, “The people of Georgia have cost their lot with the free world, and we will not cast them aside.”

In some of his strongest language yet on the war that flared up a week ago, Mr. Bush said in a brief statement at the White House, “Moscow must honor its commitment to withdraw its forces from all Georgian territory.” ...

“My view [SecDef Gates] is that the Russians — and I would say principally Prime Minister Putin — is interested in reasserting Russia’s, not only Russia’s great power or superpower status, but in reasserting Russia’s traditional spheres of influence,” he said. “My guess is that everyone is going to be looking at Russia through a different set of lenses as we look ahead.”

Mr. Gates’s remarks, while critical of Mr. Putin, also included an implicit rebuke of any effort to base American policy solely on a perceived friendship within the Kremlin. At the Pentagon, Mr. Gates was asked whether he trusted Mr. Putin anymore, and he paused before responding.

“‘Anymore’ is an interesting add,” he said. “I have never believed that one should make national security policy on the basis of trust. I think you make national security policy based on interests and on realities.” (end of article)

Not one mention of the Georgian assault on S. O. last week.

Posted by: Hamburger | Aug 15 2008 13:39 utc | 66

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