The Best Way to Become a Target…

Putin scores major diplomatic victory by blocking NATO’s expansion plan – International Herald Tribune

BUCHAREST, Romania: By scuttling the NATO membership bids of two of Russia’s westward-looking neighbors, Vladimir Putin won what is arguably his biggest diplomatic victory even before he arrived at an alliance summit.

NATO’s plan to expand further into former Soviet turf collapsed Thursday when leaders — anxious to avoid angering Moscow — opted not to put the strategically important ex-Soviet nations of Ukraine and Georgia on track for membership.

The Russian president has strongly warned the military alliance against moving to bring Ukraine and Georgia aboard. He even threatened that Russia could point its nuclear missiles at Ukraine if it joins NATO and hosts part of a U.S. missile defense system.

Putin has succeeded in driving a wedge in the alliance. The United States, Canada and Central and Eastern European nations strongly backed the bids of Ukraine and Georgia. But Germany, France and some others resisted it, fearing that the move would damage ties with Russia, a key energy supplier to the continent.

…is to paint one on your chest.  This reality was mentioned a while back in this post.

Guess How He’s Getting Missile Space?

Bush sees NATO backing missile defense – Yahoo News

BUCHAREST, Romania – President Bush expressed confidence Wednesday that NATO will bolster its combat forces in Afghanistan and endorse a missile defense system for Europe that Russia has opposed.

I’m optimistic that this is a going to be a very successful summit,” Bush said, sitting alongside NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer hours before the 26-nation military alliance opened three days of meetings with a leaders’ dinner.

The summit has been troubled by divisions, most notably opposition from France and Germany to giving Ukraine and Georgia a plan for eventually joining NATO. Bush indicated that was an open question because any NATO member can block it.

It doesn’t say specifically what convinced them to give up space, but my guess would be that he stuck with the tried and true method giving a bunch of your money to the people on Georgia and Ukraine (“your” if you are a U.S. citizen).

I do kind of think it’s funny that the missile shield (Reagan’s “Star Wars” built to protect us from those crazy commies), is the think most likely to encourage people with missiles to start aiming them at us.  

The people most likely to attack the U.S. (previous post here) do not have anything approaching such tech. 

“If we do not defeat the terrorists in Afghanistan, we will face them on our own soil,” Bush said. “Innocent civilians in Europe and North America will pay the price.”

He said the missile defense system was critical to defending against a “real and, in my opinion, urgent” threat posed by nations such as Iran.

Ahh, can you taste the fear?  It is strong in this one.

Whoa, Sorry About Those Nuke Fuses

The Associated Press: China Protests US Missile Fuse Mistake

BEIJING AP — China strongly protested to the U.S. on Wednesday over the mistaken delivery of fuses for long-range missiles to Taiwan, the latest incident involving arms sales to the island to roil relations between Beijing and Washington.In a statement posted on the Foreign Ministrys Web site, spokesman Qin Gang said China sent a protest to Washington expressing “strong displeasure.”

“We … demand the U.S. side thoroughly investigate this matter, and report to China in a timely matter the details of the situation and eliminate the negative effects and disastrous consequences created by this incident,” Qin said.

He reiterated Chinas long-standing demand that the United States halt all weapons sales and military-to-military contacts with Taiwan, the self-governing island that Beijing has claimed as its own since the sides split amid civil war in 1949.

Yea, uh, sorry about those nuke fuses. The funny part is the whole thing was a mistake. China loves to have something to distract everyone from what is going on in Tibet.

It’s true that monks and ninjas aren’t always the best of friends.  But we do have respect for one another, and I hate to see the cute little monky cry.

Lhasa (AsiaNews) – A group of Buddhist monks blocked a tour of 26 foreign journalists in Lhasa, led by the Chinese government, crying out that there is no freedom in Tibet and that the Dalai Lama is not responsible for the recent violence there.  Some of them after having cried “Tibet is not free! Tibet is not free!”, broke down in tears.

The surprise encounter occurred this morning while the group of journalists visited the Jokhang Temple. The monks interrupted the temples’ chief administrators address.  Government representatives tried to drag the journalists away.  Some of them however, succeeded in exchanging a few words with the demonstrators.

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