Paging Mrs. Palin, Mr. Medvedev, the President of Russia (which you can see from Alaska) Called You Out

Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s president, has said Georgia’s attack in August on the pro-Russian breakaway region of South Ossetia was his country’s equivalent of the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

The president made the comments at the annual meeting of the Valdai Club, a group of political analysts and Russia experts, in Moscow on Friday.

He told atendees: “Immediately after the events in the Caucasus, it occurred to me that August 8 was for us almost what 9/11 was for the United States.”

Medvedev also said that he would have sent in Russian troops regardless of how closely tied Georgia was to Nato and that he would do so again if needed.

Al Jazeera English – Europe – Russia: S Ossetia ‘was our 9/11’.

Why is this calling Palin out?  In her first interview granted to her adoring public she mentioned this situation to dislay her vast grasp of the nuances of international negotiations.

GIBSON: Let me ask you about some specific national security situations.

PALIN: Sure.

GIBSON: Let’s start, because we are near Russia, let’s start with Russia and Georgia.

The administration has said we’ve got to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia. Do you believe the United States should try to restore Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?

PALIN: First off, we’re going to continue good relations with Saakashvili there. I was able to speak with him the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain’s running mate, that we will be committed to Georgia. And we’ve got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable and we have to keep…

GIBSON: You believe unprovoked.

PALIN: I do believe unprovoked and we have got to keep our eyes on Russia, under the leadership there. I think it was unfortunate. That manifestation that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the race toward a more democratic nation with democratic ideals.That’s why we have to keep an eye on Russia.

O.k.  In the interests of reality, I’m going to have to link a few stories here.   This is the backstory for this and it’s important to comprehend to appreciate the complete…jaw-dropping ignorance Palin displayed in the interview.

Georgian military commanders confirmed an invasion began in the early hours of Friday morning, raising fears of a serious diplomatic crisis between the country’s western allies and Moscow.

The United States swiftly called for calm, but appeared to apportion more blame on Moscow and the separatist forces it supports for taking the volatile region to the brink of war.

“We’re urging Moscow to press South Ossetia’s de facto leaders to stop firing,” a US State department official said. “We’re urging Tbilisi to maintain restraint.”

Just hours after Mikheil Saaskashvili, Georgia’s pro-western president, declared a unilateral ceasefire, his armed forces began an artillery barrage against Tskhinvali, the rebel capital.

[full article]

And I have to mention this as well…

The Bush administration is not happy with Russia’s decree. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Russia’s move “regrettable.”

But there is strong support for independence in the regions, including South Ossetia. And the decision to recognize them as independent came much more quickly than the South Ossetians expected.

After the Russian parliament’s decision, South Ossetians drove through the streets, waving Russian and Ossetian flags and spraying champagne to celebrate. Their goals — independence, then marriage with Russia — suddenly seemed within reach.

[full story]

So.. to summarize, an attack that Sarah Palin didn’t think happened is being treated by Russia as a terrorist attack similar to 9/11.  The civilians who were attacked by Georgia don’t want to be a part of it (hence “rebels”), and would rather join their brethren in North Ossetia, which is a part of Russia proper. 

Many considered themselves to be rescued, rather than invaded.  Part of the issue here is that there is a distinct racial difference between Georgians and Ossetians.  And their history is different.

So, to some up…Russia is basically ready to go to war after their 9/11.  Sarah Palin doesn’t even think it happened.  She’s in complete denial, or in complete ignorance.

AND THAT’S EVEN WHILE SHE, LITERALLY, KEEPS AN EYE ON RUSSIA.

PALIN: And, Charlie, you’re in Alaska. We have that very narrow maritime border between the United States, and the 49th state, Alaska, and Russia. They are our next door neighbors.We need to have a good relationship with them. They’re very, very important to us and they are our next door neighbor.

GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?

PALIN: They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they’re doing in Georgia?

PALIN: Well, I’m giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along. [ed note: that’s a pass on the question, BTW]

I guess she didn’t literally “see” Georgia shelling civilians, so it didn’t happen.  This is unfortunate, as you can’t see 99.99999% of Russia from Alaska.

I don’t think we are going to keep good relations with Russia if our Vice-President denies their “9/11” ever happened.  How will that work?

And with statements like…

GIBSON: Under the NATO treaty, wouldn’t we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?

PALIN: Perhaps so. That is the agreement. When you are a NATO ally, is, if another country is attacked, you are going to be expected to be called upon and help.

…you have to be scared.  Too be so..dismissive..about the prospect of nuclear war, after displaying complete ignorance of the perspective of the adversary, and the situation…

…and then you think about who is educating Palin on these issues…(hint: he’s currently being paid by Georgia for “security consulting” and is a card-carrying Neocon).

Randall J Scheunemann is an American lobbyist. He is the President of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which was created by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), of which he is a board member. He was Trent Lott‘s National Security Aide and was an advisor to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq. He is a paid lobbyist for the country of Georgia and is 2008 Presidential candidate John McCain‘s foreign-policy aide. He lives in Fairfax Station, Virginia.

This is who is teaching Palin about the world.   No wonder she missed an entire side of the argument and is ready to start a war at the drop of hat.

NOTE: Because of the general fucked-upedness of the Georgian situation and my general unfamiliarity with the region, I don’t think this situation is as black and white as it has been presented in the U.S. media.  Just reading through these few articles probably made your head spin a bit (it did mine), but to assert so strongly that an event the PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA called their 9/11 didn’t happen…this isn’t someone I want anywhere near a negotiating table.

Russia vs. Georgia via Bush (UPDATED)

Sorry, just ran across this one and had to share…

George W. Bush reacts to news that Russia invaded Georgia

George W. Bush reacts to news that Russia invaded Georgia

I found it hotlinked on Fark, but the original is here.

Read more below…including the resolution…

Continue reading

Some of The Reasons I Can’t Vote for McCain

The Associated Press: McCain outlines vision of Iraq victory

“By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom. The Iraq War has been won,” he told an audience of several hundred here in the capital city of a general election battleground state.

I though we were going to be done with the “it is the way I say it is, reality be damned” attitude. Bush and the Neocons tried that “we make reality” thing, and we’ve seen the horrific results.

If he was saying, “By 2013, I expect oil to cost $201.30.”, then maybe I would believe in his prognostication skills. And for some reason I still don’t personally understand how it is my freedom being defended in Iraq (i.e. the frontline of the War on Terror). We now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Iraq was completely incapable of posing a mortal threat to the U.S. A mortal threat is the ONLY type of type for which pre-emption is even a slight, remotely possible useful strategy. Self-defense only works after the guy pulls the gun, not while he’s looking at the catalog.

And above all else about his “2013 or Defeat” stragedy (yes, that is spelled correctly) is that the Iraqis adamantly want us out by 2011.

Later, as he drove to the airport on his “Straight Talk Express” campaign bus, McCain was peppered by reporters with questions about the timetable. He and his aides insisted there was a difference between ending the war and bringing troops home and, as they criticize the Democrats, announcing a withdrawal upfront without regard for the military endgame.

“It’s not a timetable; it’s victory. It’s victory, which I have always predicted. I didn’t know when we were going to win World War II; I just knew we were going to win,” McCain said.

When this guy talks about World War II in the present tense, like he was there…it’s because he was. How old is this dude again?

The Vietnam veteran added: “I know from experience, you set a day for surrender — which is basically what you do when you say you are withdrawing — and you will pay a much a heavier price later on.”

Yes, much like how when we finally pulled out of Vietnam, Communism swept the world and now we are on our knees in front of the Global Communist Domination of SouthEast Asia, and there are Vietnamese blowing themselves up here nearly every day in their quest to kill the U.S.

Oh, wait…you mean we are at peace with them, and have good relations?

(CNN) — Visitors to Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam are struck by its frenetic pace, by the modern skyscrapers, by stores bulging with goods and by streets teeming with industrious Vietnamese.

At night young men and women cruise the neon-lit streets of the former Saigon on shiny Honda motorbikes, gathering in coffee bars, discos and restaurants where they are serenaded by the beeps and chirps of their cell phones.

[full story]

I wonder if McCain forgot all about that stuff and has some sort of alternate history in mind when he used Vietnam as a good reason to stay in Iraq.

And speaking on 9/11….

In particular, he sees a world in which the Taliban threat in Afghanistan has been greatly reduced.

He added: “The increase in actionable intelligence that the counterinsurgency produced led to the capture or death of Osama bin Laden, and his chief lieutenants. … There still has not been a major terrorist attack in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.”

We’ve already killed about 7 number threes, so this has happened already. I wonder if McCain was napping. The fact that he’s still talking about the Taliban points to serious issues regarding how bad Bush sucked…and why McCain sticking with Bush’s war policy is retarded at best.

There is one place McCain divides from Bush however…

McCain also pledged to halt a Bush administration practice of enacting laws with accompanying signing statements that exempt the president from having to enforce parts he finds objectionable.

You mean the Bush administration practice of wiping its ass with the Constitution? Yea, we should certainly stop doing that…I’d have more respect for the “Maverick” if he intended to prosecute them for those indiscretions, but my guess is a pardon is much more likely. And that’s why I can’t vote for him.

U.S. Health Official Visits the Right Wing “Think” Tanks

Medicare drifting towards disaster: U.S. official | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Medicare is lurching toward disaster and it is too late for the Bush Administration and Congress to do anything about it, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt said on Tuesday.

He said the next administration will have to act to stop rising costs and get control of the $400 billion federal health insurance plan for the elderly, which now covers 44 million people.

“Higher and higher costs are being borne by fewer and fewer people. Sooner or later, this formula implodes,” Leavitt said in a speech to the right-leaning Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute think-tanks.

“There is serious danger here,” he added. “Medicare is drifting towards disaster.”

This is very true, and it needs to be addressed.  It would be much easier to address if we weren’t spending a couple billion a day blowing shit up, but that would never occur to Heritage or AEI, as they believe some war now and again is absolutely essential to their donors.

The funniest part is the partisan dig at the end.

“It troubles me that this matter is not receiving more attention in the presidential candidates’ discussions. The next president will have to deal with this in significant part,” he said.

Yea, I mean…no one is talking about health care at all as an issue…no oneno one at all

BTW, those are the “health care” pages for the three Presidential possibilities.

One of the first things to do when in a hole is to stop digging.  Stop digging now

 

No Law For You!

FOXNews.com – ‘Scooter’ Libby Barred From Practicing Law in Washington, D.C. – Politics | Republican Party | Democratic Party | Political Spectrum

WASHINGTON — Former top White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was banned Thursday from practicing law in the nation’s capital following his perjury conviction in the case of a CIA operative’s leaked identity.The disbarment order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia had been expected.

“When a member of the bar is convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude, disbarment is mandatory,” the appeals court ruled.

Last May, a court panel that oversees lawyer ethics recommended that Libby be stripped of his law license in Washington. The Board on Professional Responsibility then found that Libby’s conviction for lying to the FBI about the case of former CIA operative Valerie Plame amounted to “crimes that involve moral turpitude.”

“This action is required by the rules following a conviction regardless of the merits of the case, and for that reason Mr. Libby expected and did not oppose the court’s order,” said Libby attorney William Jeffress.

Being the fall guy is good work if you can get it.