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August 20, 2008

Russia Threatens Poland With Measures "Beyond Diplomacy;" Rice Reminds Russia We Have A Treaty Guaranteeing Defenses "Beyond Diplomacy" as Well

Just a big old round-up from Allah, while I write about D&D.

Biggest stuff:

* Russia's idea of a cease-fire apparently includes territorial annexation -- and not even of the disputed provinces in question. Annexation of undisputed Georgian territory as well:

A ranking Russian military official today said Moscow plans to establish 18 long-term checkpoints inside Georgian territory, including at least eight within undisputed Georgian territory outside the pro-Russian enclave of South Ossetia…

“The president ordered us to stop where we were,” he said. “We are not pulling out and pulling back troops behind this administrative border into the territory of South Ossetia.”

* Condi once again baits Russia by saying "it's not 1988" anymore. Last time it was "it's not 1969 anymore." I think this is especially provocative because, remember, Russia is massively insecure and angry that it's not either 1969 or even 1988 anymore. Putin has called Russia's lost of empire the greatest tragedy in history (or something), and obviously he pines for the days of the Iron Curtain and the "Near Abroad" under Soviet boots. Condi Rice keeps saying "Russia doesn't have an empire anymore," and Putin's response can only be "Yes, I know, I'm seeing about that."

* Russia has halted cooperation with NATO, whatever cooperation that was.

* The Russian Foreign Minister tells us bluntly to choose Russia or Georgia. Easy call, and I'm not just being a kneejerk twit. I'm aware that Russia is nuclear armed and still wants to throw its weight around. I'm also aware that Russia has been acting mostly contrary to our interests since Putin became the new Czar. Russia's "cooperation" with us seems limited to asking for a pass as they ethnically cleanse Chechnya and Georgia. What intelligence they provide to us about Al Qaeda and other terrorists has to be balanced against the very likely threat that, just as during the Cold War, Russia is covertly funding and encouraging these terrorists.

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posted by Ace at 04:30 PM

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