Saturday, August 16, 2008

Through the Looking-glass

Putin has become a sort of new philosopher. An evil one, using a false front to stoke up private hackers days before the conflict started, recruiting irregular soldiers, and Europe's dimbulberati are eating it up, as readily noted in these comments, where the usual culprits are disembodied and unexplained citations of America and "zionists". Radio Liberty calls the attempts by any part of the Western Alliance to deal with this, a matter of having to operate on the terms of Putin's "parallel universe".
Nearly all of the rhetoric used by Moscow to justify its actions in the war with Georgia is derived from Western historical thinking and practice -- only put "through the looking-glass," to borrow a phrase from Lewis Carroll. An EU official stationed in Tbilisi throughout the conflict observed at one point that Putin appeared to be creating a "parallel universe, a mockery of the West" when he spoke of the Russian mission to end the "genocide" in South Ossetia and administer international justice on the "perpetrators" in Tbilisi.

But Putin appears to have a more serious objective than simply mocking the West. Not for the first time, he has usurped the pantheon of Western values and infused it with a very different theology. What emerges is a mirror image of the West, containing the same historical narrative with its high and low points, but strangely distorted for most Western eyes.
As do what seem to be thousands of seemingly independant commentators from Russia leaving comments on blogs and message boards which a chilling uniformity of thought with virtually no straying from the Government-driven message. They may be compelled to engage in wild hyperboly about the dignity of the Russian nation, changing reasons and rationalizations wildly, but it's origin in in the near absolute tacit editorial control of the electronic media in Russia by the state, or by those dependant and closely tied to it.

That thee public's ignorance and lack of curiosity is being used so well reminds us of just what kind of government the world is dealing with - a neo-Soviet one.

Soviet Quality Construction for the Supreme Soviet

Generation sneer: American Architects always have to listen to it travelling in Europe. It’s the stock lecture about shabby this and that, blah, blah, blah... how European tradesmen are just better and just plain superhuman. Until their shabby meal-ticket work falls down.

- Qwayassss! to Are you sure

And to top it off you see crap like this pictured on the left. A building construction site (not road, utility, or bridge work) in Belgium where trucks are tracking mud out onto a public road - not once but permanently. In the US, the county eviro-pinkertons would shut your ass down, charge you to remediate it, and possibly make you resubmit your permit with a watershed impact study. But as we all know, the Europeans are just better at you name it - which is to say whatever subject at hand happens to be.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Merde in France

1 out of 4 restaurants in France break hygiene rules or serve up food unfit for human consumption. So that's why I never stop throwing up.

Declarations, Always Positive, Never Flawed. No Reflection Ever Required.

Never has been being told to mind your own business been so beautifully stretched.

Handshakes and congratulations were offered all around. But by the time the sun was up, Russian tanks were advancing again, this time taking positions around the strategically important city of Gori, in central Georgia.

It soon became clear that the six-point deal not only failed to slow the Russian advance, but it also allowed Russia to claim that it could push deeper into Georgia as part of so-called additional security measures it was granted in the agreement. Mr. Sarkozy, according to a senior Georgian official who witnessed the negotiations, also failed to persuade the Russians to agree to any time limit on their military action.
And always declared a success, and promptly forgotten. Sarkozy’s rapprochement to Putin/Medvedyev was brushed off on one level, and employed against it’s own purpose on another one. In Europe, the need to prove something about their culture and flaccid incapacity to effect action is so great, that it’s declared a success.
As the current holders of the EU presidency, the French were always going to be at the forefront of the EU's efforts to mediate between Russia and Georgia.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has shown a flair for the high-profile diplomatic intervention.

His latest success comes on the back of much-heralded diplomatic triumphs –

- Thx to OMMAG

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why Did They Do It?

Because in spite of anything they say, most Europeans are actually stupid bigots with the sense of humor of 10 year olds, that’s why.

Caught out, they had no choice other than to defend the ‘national pride’.
"We felt it was something appropriate, and that it would be interpreted as an affectionate gesture,"
Sadder still, one Canadian commenting on the story (which is big because team member Jose Calderon plays professionally for the Toronto Raptors,) tries salving their embarrassment:
Why is it assumed that the Spanish basketball team was making fun of the Chinese?
Now Spanish official are calling foul for fear of cutting into a meal-ticket they’re cooking up - an Olympic bi of their own. Samantha Chang wisely asks to that point:
[<---Excuse me, b*tches, but do my eyes look like that?]

Tellingly, the Spanish Basketball Federation declined to comment Wednesday. "The players explained what happened," said Juan Antonio Villanueva, the flak for Madrid's 2016 Olympic bid. "We think that's enough."

Jiri Dolezal's Hunger Strike: The Type of News That the MSM Doesn't Make Waves About

You have been told about opposition to Bush's policies, and to the Iraq war, and to the anti-ballistic missile shield in the Czech Republic and Poland, have you not? And should any protesters engage in a hunger strike, you would expect that to be front-page news too, right?

Well, it so happens, that there has been a hunger strike, but the reason that you haven't heard about it (or that it has been hidden at the bottom of an article, one single mainstream media article) is that Jiří X. Doležal is holding his strike in favor of the missile plans, stating that
installing a radar base in his country would buttress national security and was an important expression of assertiveness after decades of Czech passivity under communist occupation.

He called opponents of the plans a fringe of leftist radicals who were succumbing "to traditional Czech cowardice."

European Moral Weight: Good for About 36 Hours of Appeasement

It seems that as long as you keep repeating the word “peacekeeper” and make it so that their governments don’t have to do anything, Europeans will quietly fall into line.

Troops waved at journalists and one soldier shouted to a photographer: "Come with us, beauty, we're going to Tbilisi!"
After doing a nice job of buying the Russian narrative, and ignoring the state-sponsored propagandized uniformity of thought that it came out of Russia with, critic tried to make hay of the EU “brokering a peace” between Russia and Georgia immediately, as though the Russians’ behavior could be programmed or their motives trusted. It was broken within hours.

Buffoons. The Russians permitted the Europeans to show up and seem like statesmen because it bought them more time, and gave them a way to sanitize their image. Since then they broke the deal and rolled deeper into Georgia, within one hour’s drive of Tbilisi.

People ratting on about how this was intended as a slap against the US have lost their marbles. The thrust of the opposition to Georgia taking part in the NATO Membership Action Plan were Germany and France. THAT is what gave the Russians the sense that a disagreement on the issue within the NATO states would give them enough time to take a bigger bite out of Georgia, a nation they’ve been chipping away at since they moment they both got their freedom from the Soviet Union.

What can the US do about it, knowing that Europe see no problem with these modern-day echoes of the invasion of Sudetenland?:
South Ossetia is not, as some have suggested, tit-for-tat payback for American and European recognition, over Russian objections, of Kosovo's independence from Serbia. Russia has been "at war" with democratic Georgia for some time. Driven to distraction by Mr. Saakashvili's assertiveness and Georgia's desire to join NATO, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin first tried to bring the country to its knees through economic warfare beginning in 2005. He cut off access to Russian markets, expelled Georgians from Russia, quadrupled the price of Russian energy to Georgia, and severed transport links.

Georgia failed to collapse. To the contrary, it has flourished: After the Rose Revolution of 2003 ended the corrupt reign of Eduard Shevardnadze, the former Soviet foreign minister, Georgia instituted far-reaching reforms to its governing structures, cleaned up the endemic corruption that infected every facet of pre-Rose Revolution life, and found new markets for its products in Turkey and Europe. It persevered with some of the most profound and thorough economic and pro-business reforms ever undertaken by a developing country -- slashing taxes and government regulations, and privatizing state-owned enterprises. All of which is reflected in Georgia's meteoric rise on the World Bank's Doing Business indicators. The irrelevance of Russian economic sanctions to Georgia made the ideological challenge that the Rose Revolution posed to Putin's vision of Russia even more profound.
The real payback for Moscow's decision to invade Georgia should be the sweet revenge of a strong, prosperous and fully independent Georgia. Building on the strides Georgia has already made, Brussels and Washington should give Tbilisi a clear road to NATO and EU membership.
The question put to the US by the same Euro-natters that would find any sort of action by America “frighteningly aggressive” is that America HASN’T acted boldly. Well – where IS Georgia anyway? On America’s immediate neighborhood? If not, why the childish demands and goading from critics in Europe about what others should/shouldn’t/are/aren’t doing?

The Russians could just as easily toy with the sovereignty of EU member states and potential ones too. So what exactly are they going to do about it?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Soft Power exposed

VDH on Georgia:

Indeed, tired of European lectures, the Russians are now telling the world that soft power is, well, soft. Moscow doesn’t give a damn about the United Nations, the European Union, the World Court at the Hague, or any finger-pointing moralist from Geneva or London. Did anyone in Paris miss any sleep over the rubble of Grozny?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Those wacky and whimsical French youths

A down market clothing shop in Paris' 19th arrondissement is being investigated by police for selling womens' tops with the inscription "No Jews allowed".

Note that the 19th arrondissement is where a Jewish kid was recently hunted down and beaten into a coma. French authorities have expressed doubts as to the anti-Semitic nature of the attack. The 19th arrondissement is also the hotbed of radical Islamic activity that spawned a contingent of French youths who made their way to Iraq.

The disturbing discoveries of Obama's connections don't make Obama less palatable among whites because of skin color, but for cultural reasons

In reply to Juan Williams' The Race Issue Isn't Going Away, Christopher Cook provides an answer to his contention that "there is a hidden racist vote among whites that threatens to undo Barack Obama's chances for the presidency."

The compelling poll numbers that Williams quotes in his Wall Street Journal article do seem, to some degree at least, to support Williams' contention, states Cook.
And yet...

What would the numbers have been on these same poll questions if asked BEFORE we started getting to know Barack Obama and his associations?

Remember, back at the beginning, how Obama seemed very "post-racial"? At first, the race issue didn't seem like it was a part of who he was or what he was saying. Whites saw this, and for a while, it seems that many more considered the possibility of voting for him, not as a black or a white man, but as a candidate sufficiently connected to the mainstream to be a president for all Americans.

…[The] disturbing discoveries [of his connections] don't make Obama less palatable among whites because of the color of his skin. They make him less palatable among whites because they put him out of the mainstream. Aggregated together, these various associations and statements aren't scary for racial reasons, they're scary for cultural reasons.

It is important at this juncture to point out that this is not "black culture." It does not represent all, or even a majority, of black Americans. Rather, it is a dysfunctional sub-culture—one that most Americans of all races finds disturbing and unfortunate. For the last half century, the left has attempted—with great success, unfortunately—to designate this sub-culture as being the only "authentic" black culture.

…And, to put the question bluntly to people like Juan Williams and others—what on earth makes you think that this is about his skin color?

Conjure up, if you will, a hypothetical candidate. The candidate is white, and thus he "looks like" the majority of Americans. His ethnic descent is from the hypothetical European country of Crovakia. His wife is a barely closeted Crovakian separatist. He's been attending an militant Crovakian church for 20 years, pastored by an racist, anti-American conspiracy theorist. The candidate is making baseless allegations that opposition by any non-Crovakian is actually a racist attack against all Crovakians. A veiled threat of violence by a small but dangerous subset of Crovakians hovers in the air.

Does anyone seriously think that white Americans would vote for this guy just because he shares their skin color?


…Imagine a counterfactual scenario: Let's say the first black candidate is Michael Steele
Christopher Cook ends by pointing out that The Corner has the much funnier version of this article: Peter Kirsanow's 25 Reasons You May be a Racist. As for Star Parker, she has an article entitled Black Politics? You mean liberal politics:
It's not like black conservatives have nothing to say here. Hoover Institution scholar Shelby Steele wrote a book about Obama. Tom Sowell has regularly written about him, as have I. But black conservatives are not considered relevant to these discussions because race is not an issue of ethnicity but an issue of politics. Black politics means liberal politics and hence black conservatives are not black.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Le gène tricolore

The French must have more than one of these.

News from Georgia

Georgia's civil news service, which is still under DDOS attack, can be consulted at this Blogspot url.

Blinkered by their Phobic Hatred

The USA was Bleu Blanc Beur before you we born, Bernard.

Paging Superfrenchie: we’ve found your fellow trash-talking buffoons
The Americans' relay victory was all the more sweet considering the way France declared itself the favorite prior to the Olympics. The Frenchmen weren't shy about repeating it either. In a news conference prior to the start of the Games, Bernard, who boasts a tattoo of a shark on his abdomen, was asked what he thought about his country's chances against the United States.

"The Americans?" Bernard said. "We will smash them."

Several of Bernard's teammates followed his lead, even going to far as to suggest that the Americans were scared of the French.

"This morning, Bob (Bowman) had said the French was saying some stuff, talking a little bit of trash," Phelps said. "It fired me up more than anything else. I told Garret, and he said 'You know what?' We're going to let our swimming do the talking."
Phelps' hopes of breaking Mark Spitz's record of seven golds in a single games appeared doomed when the French took over the lead at the 250 mark. They were 4.03 seconds under world-record pace at 350 meters before Lezak, the oldest American male swimmer at 32, rallied over the closing strokes.
Note to SF, Fox is pleased to cover ALL the leading teams and players in the Olympics, not just their own and a few Europeans. While you’re at it, check out the usual cultural bigotry even in the fonts.

- Thanks a bunch to Shy Guy
and Gringo suave.

"We Are All Russians Now" — The Georgian Conflict: "Putin Made the Right Choice" Against "American Hegemony"; "Bravo"; "May France Change Sides"

Fighting, wars implicate American troops? America is accused of being the guilty party, and Americans are accused of being criminals — and that, while under unceasing broadsides of mockery, hatred, and bile.

Fighting, wars implicate non-American (say, Russian) troops? America is accused of being the guilty party (!), and Americans are accused of being criminals (!) — while Russia is described as… a poor victim (!) of Anglo-Saxon perfidy and of American imperialism (and of a Georgian strongman variously described as a dog, a madman, a proponent of "Greater Georgia", the dictator of Tbilisi, and "a dictator 'good for US' as they say at the CIA").

Just as with Rwanda, it would seem that it turns out that the French love of peace and its hatred of war are but a smokescreen for anti-Americanism. Just take a look at the innumerable reactions to the fighting in Georgia, almost all of which invariably go from "Oui… but" to …outright support for the Russian army taking the offense! (If you read French, the original post provides more details, including a tiny handful of common-sense comments…)

As U*2 would say: "Americans, you are hated here…"

On the (narrow) bright side: Among the few common-sense comments, there is that of LoR:
On se croirait revenu aux temps de l'Allemagne nazie. Quand on laissa Hitler envahir les Sudètes puis l'ensemble de la Tchécoslovaquie. L'UE continuera-t-elle longtemps à observer une invasion en règle d'un Etat par un autre sans réagir militairement. Il est fort à parier que quand la Moldavie tentera de récupérer sa province séparatiste de Transnistrie, l'UE observera sans broncher l'armée russe envahir voire annexer la Moldavie. Décidément, nous sommes gouvernés par des "munichois" !!
"Où sont nos droits de l'hommistes professionnels" asks Jean-Louis C ; "quel silence. quelle honte de ne voir personne s'élever contre le retour de la russie aux pires heures du stalinisme sous la houlette du dictateur poutine."

gmt adds :
Saakashvili n'est pas un tendre, les Occidentaux ne jouent pas un jeu innocent, d'accord. La mort d'innocents est inacceptable. Mais regardons les responsabilités en face. La Russie, qui hurle contre toute indépendance de la Tchétchénie, se cache à peine de soutenir les séparatismes abkhaze et sud-ossète. Si l'argument de stabilité est valable d'un côté, il l'est de l'autre. L'hypocrisie et l'arrogance du Kremlin dans cette affaire dépassent, et de loin, celles des Occidentaux ou de Tbilissi !
And gmt concludes thus:
Hallucinants, les dérapages verbaux de certains ! Combien de pays faudra-t-il sacrifier avant que ces gens ne comprennent que leur anti-américanisme obsessionnel ne les autorise pas à orienter le sort des millions de gens qui, eux, vivent dans ces pays ? Cet égocentrisme à bonne conscience est décidément révoltant !
In related news, check out the article on Le Monde's Iraq coverage as well as "I Don't Like Americans" (Letters to the Editor of Le Monde)…

Update: Bernard-Henri Lévy expresses support for Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili and comes under a torrent of criticism

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It was used to buy donuts

His Only Imperative is the Territorial protection of the Ego Bubble

Superfrenchie, in the usual fashion of being more concerned with his own feelings than reality, has taken great joy in a joint exercise between US and French Air Force fighters in Arizona. Abiding by his usual fixation that there is somebody, somewhere who didn’t drink from his cup, he asks why it didn’t make it onto Fox News.

Why demand that? Fox News, or any national news outfit for that matter (outside of maybe Pentagon channel, Stars and Strips, and the local station near the base) doesn’t report on these exercises at all, and certainly is less interested in finding a national victory in a participatory training exercise. If they did, SF would likely characterize it as cultural warmongering or some such. No – in his fragile emotional construct, they should have reported this one because the Rafales beat the F-16s. US news outlets, you see, should be made responsible for the tender feelings of the populations of Europe.

But his zeal to harangue someone for omitting details seems to be limited to needing propaganda that give him something to wallow around in. What he omits is that the pilots had swapped aircraft in order to intimately understand how each others’ aircraft behave if they have to fly joint missions.

Four French Air Force pilots flying all four F-16 in the exercise were shot down by American Air Force pilots flying Rafales, and two Rafales were shot down by French Air Force pilots.

The U.S. and French air force partnership is not limited to aircraft exercises, but also the entire spectrum of interoperable maintenance and proficiency training, logistics and sustainment of these aircraft.

The maintainers and support crews also had the chance to interact with the other country's aircraft and crews. French support personnel received a tour of Luke's engine shop during their visit.

French military have been fighting alongside American forces in Afghanistan since October 2001 and continue to play a supportive role today.

"Every U.S. and French Airman who took part in this deployment is better for the experience", said Col. Kurt Neubauer, 56th Fighter Wing commander. "Training with the French air force provided us the invaluable opportunity to learn from each other's operational experience, improve our combat skills and strengthen the bond of friendship between our great air forces and our great countries."

"The French visit provided an excellent opportunity to strengthen our social relationship and enhance future relations," said Lt. Col. Peter Bilodeau, 309th Fighter Squadron commander. "There should be as many combined operations as possible before there are lessons learned in combat."

The French airmen shared the same view of working and training together and reiterated the fact that France has been a long time ally of the U.S.

"The cooperation between France and the U.S. goes all the way back to World War I," said Col. Philippe Poireault, French air force detachment commander. "This was an extraordinary opportunity for both the French and U.S. to learn from each other, and we look forward to strengthening that relationship."
What’s plain as day, is that the USAF’s tone is positive and filled with gratitude. It’s the polar opposite of Superfrenchie’s negativity, even as he childishly demands respect from random members of the American public for the sake of his desired melodrama of Americans somehow thanking HIM for a foreign military that Americans DO respect, one which he isn’t a part of.

With respect to SF’s flying orgasm, the Air Force seems to have omitted the losses from their press release in what seems like a never ending need to keep warm and cozy the high maintenance egos of the civilian population of France, a.k.a. the center of the known universe.

As we can detect from his tone, what Superfrenchie would prefer to see would be that these complex, difficult, and costly flight exercises which are critical for safety and success at a time of tension would be some sort of kangaroo court on the single thing that seems to burden his soul: that anything the French do as individuals, a public, or a representatives of a nation is not naturally assumed to be so completely and utterly correct at all times - that the flaws and foibles of individuals, their judgment, their motives, are not considered in any way. It fits the ball and chain that has burdened so many Europeans for centuries – the desire to defend any flaw to the death for the sake of ones’ pride, and the use of any positive outcome as a sign of the superiority over others of individuals, even if it was they had nothing to do with it.

Unlike SF, TF1 reports it straight.

Randomly ask any French person what anything their military does mean to them, and 90% of the time you’ll give you a parroted “to hell with the world” recitation about them not being necessary anymore now that they have no hostile borders, or some feeble teenager-level platitudes about peace, along with some John Lennon-like fantasies about the world that are divorced of any fact about the state of affairs on the big blue ball. What then, if not this nationalism from those so attached to chiding others about “post-nationalism”, are we to make of it other than a feeble attempt to do whatever it takes to move goalposts and philosophies to flag the sort of pride that contradicts the prescription the same culture (with a chilling uniformity in the population) has for all others who are not of them. A prejudice even commonly extended to other Europeans.

The sad thing is that in their myopia he can’t seem to see and take pride and satisfaction in the realism, dedication, love of nation and culture, and decency of France’s pilots, air crews, and service personnel.

Georgia gets a taste of EU "soft power"

...and it tastes like a shit sandwich served up as nouvelle cuisine. When the Russians come a knockin', Georgia requests a US mediation. What, no neighborly EU soft limp dick power for you guys? Eastern Europe knows what it is like to be thrown under the bus by the effete, elite Zeropeans.