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Posts Tagged ‘Russia

Maureen Dowd has a purpose and it’s not to be political

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Stephen Harper, Canadian politician
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Her review essay of GWB‘s memoir is not discursive, it’s more gossipy as I would expect. But she gets a feel of authenticity by including a story of GWB and Stephen Harper, the PM of Canada offsetting her negative view of GWB and his presidency in pungent words as below:

When W. could have acted to try to prevent real disasters — Osama’s attack on 9/11, the fiend’s escape at Tora Bora, the financial meltdown — he was oblivious. When he jumped in pre-emptively, as in Iraq, it was because he and Cheney had conjured up fake disasters out of their own paranoia and obsession with proving their toughness.

Yet if W.’s decision-making leaves something to be desired, his story-telling is good. He writes of a visit to Russia, when Putin showed him his black Labrador, Koni. “Bigger, stronger, and faster than Barney,” Putin bragged.

Later, when W. recounted this to Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, Harper drolly noted, “You’re lucky he only showed you his dog.”

Gosh,  I never realized that Harper actually had even a jaded sense of humour!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/11/07 at 17:22

WW II myths vs. the facts

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Soviet soldiers raising the Soviet flag over t...
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Some historians seem to specialize in challenging national myths. Max Hastings seems to do this well enough, as here commented by Geoffrey Wheatcroft about Hastings’ latest opus about “Churchill’s War”:

For all Churchill’s exalted words about the “English-speaking peoples” fighting for freedom together, the fact is that Anglo-­American forces played a subsidiary role in the European war. During 1943, while 70,000 Western servicemen, including bomber aircrew members, died fighting Germany, two million Russian solders were killed. Even after D-Day, Russian casualties were far higher; approximately nine of 10 German Army fatalities occurred on the Eastern Front, where the war was decided.

Just in case you read that too quickly “approximately nine of 10 German Army fatalities occurred on the Eastern  Front, where the war was decided” and not in Western Europe as Band of Brothers and that ilk would seem to want us to believe.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/05/01 at 15:18

Dream on South Ossetians!

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Indipendence DayImage by precariopoli via Flickr

In a world that is said to be globalized, the South Ossetians look forward to a form of small country independence as neighbors of the Russian Bear.

Optimism or delusion?

An Embattled Enclave Yearns to Be Free (and Liechtenstein) - NYTimes.com.jpg

They’ve got mountains that look a bit like Andorra‘s, but then there are those Russian tanks and planes that are still in South Ossetia as “peace keepers”. And while Russia declares their independence, the rest of the Western world seems to think that they are a fractious part of Georgia.

Dream on South Ossetians!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/08/29 at 07:50

And here is the real riposte from the Americans

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War in South Ossetia - The Big Picture - Boston.com.jpg

They couldn’t and can’t do much more than say and write and bunch of words about Georgia’s dire straits. But here is there recent riposte to Russia’s aggressive actions in Georgia and harsh words about its neighbour states and their connection with NATO.

Amid rising tensions with Russia over the situation in Georgia, Rice also said Thursday she would travel to Poland soon, possibly next week, to sign a missile defense agreement that Moscow vehemently opposes.

U.S. and Polish negotiators reached a deal on Thursday to deploy American interceptors in Poland as part of a European missile shield the United States plans. Under another agreement, a radar tracking station will be located in the Czech Republic.

Russia fiercely objects to the system and the agreement with Poland is bound to infuriate the Kremlin.

Rice was all smiles as she talked about it on Thursday. “I look forward to going to Poland to sign that agreement soon,” she said. “It’s important for the peace and security of the region, it’s important for peace and security internationally.”

Per Time Magazine

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/08/15 at 09:59