Saturday, November 27, 2004

The situation in Ukraine raises many memories. Especially looking at the information Blogs and websites. How times change. Way back in 1991 when the Baltics were breaking away from the USSR I set up and edited the BALT-L, a Listserv distributing mail messages on The Situation. This was pre-Internet general availability, and got messages in and out of the Baltics through the FIDO network (remember that?). It wasd also virtually the only online Baltics related service for a few years.

Compared to todays efforts it feels the same distance as between air combat in 1916 compared to (say) the Falkland War. Like dogfighting over the Western Front in rickety biplanes without parachutes compared to dueling between Harriers and Mirages..

Not that I am getting nostalgic about having a KGB Colonel assigned to keep tracks of me. And I was safe in the UK at the time... I watch the activities of PORA and others on the ground and count them all out and count them all back...

We didn't get in-depth articles out like this one by Tarik Ari so easily and quickly either.

And I didn't get a penny from any Western support groups for my time online... Now it seems there is a lot of support for Democracy Initiatives.

It is interesting to think about all this as a form of subversion I suppose, but I do ask - is Ian Traynor complaining about political actions like peaceful Ukrainian Democracy support? His article is not quite the same as advertised by the headline anyway. "US Campaign behind turmoil in Kiev" At least the backers of all this including Freedom House ( people like Samuel Huntington and Jeane Kirkpartick I note) aren't nearly as embarrasing as the verbal support I was offered on Lithuania by the likes of Senator Strom Thurmond in 1992.

Comments: Post a Comment

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Some background and ongoing details (including 'results') on the Events in Ukraine . One factor not getting much mentioned is the Transdniester Republic the totally unrecognised 'Independent State' between Moldova and Ukraine (maintained by the Russian Army), which is one of the Global Lawlessness Spots on the globe. It is comparable in Organised Crime Friendliness to the 'Mengele Triangle' across the Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay borders. If Ukraine succeeeds in becoming a firmly Western-Orientated State, Transdniestria will be even more visibly a rotting anomaly.

As the Head Heeb points out Transdniestria is a major centre for prostitution trafficking...

And keeping an eye on crime, note this comment by Ukranian novelist Oksana Zabuzhko on "Ukraine's Solidarnosc" Her piece originally in the WSJ.

"A widespread cliche used by many Western journalists to describe the major collision of our dramatic elections is that the establishment candidate, Viktor Yanukovych, is "pro-Russian," and that opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, is "pro-Western." This version has as little to do with the feelings of an average Ukrainian voter as with those of the belligerents of the Trojan war. Mr. Yanukovych is perceived not so much as being "pro-Russian," but as, first and foremost, being "pro-criminal" -- a Ukrainian Al Capone, who has under his belt two prison sentences for robbery and assault, and publicly uses criminal argot compared to which even the boorish tongue of retiring President Leonid Kuchma sounds as innocuous as a school textbook."

Elsewhere some indications that Russia is moving its foreign currency reserves away from the US Dollar into the Euro. That of course will kick down the US Dollar even more. In the present circumstances that just might be a hostile move (or at least a backstage bargaining threat) by Russia in response to the US hard line on Ukraine elections and also a slight warning shot to the European Union which has no desire whatsoever for the US Dollar to collapse..

Comments: Post a Comment

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Checking post possibilities 

An admin message to check on postings to blog through e-mail

Comments: Post a Comment

Monday, November 22, 2004

An account by Kevin Sites, the US TV reporter who made the video of the Mosque shooting in Fallujah.

His account includes this:
"In war, as in life, there are plenty of opportunities to see the full spectrum of good and evil that people are capable of. As journalists, it is our job is to report both -- though neither may be fully representative of those people on whom we're reporting. For example, acts of selfless heroism are likely to be as unique to a group as the darker deeds. But our coverage of these unique events, combined with the larger perspective - will allow the truth of that situation, in all of its complexities, to begin to emerge. That doesn't make the decision to report events like this one any easier. It has, for me, led to an agonizing struggle -- the proverbial long, dark night of the soul."

Directly addressing the Marines in the incident he says:
"So here, ultimately, is how it all plays out: when the Iraqi man in the mosque posed a threat, he was your enemy; when he was subdued he was your responsibility; when he was killed in front of my eyes and my camera -- the story of his death became my responsibility.

The burdens of war, as you so well know, are unforgiving for all of us."


Comments: Post a Comment

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Every now and then we find a life that stands out against death. Margaret Hassan made a difference, as an individual human leading an ordinary life in all its extraordinary strangeness. She said that what she was doing was’ just a drop’ in the ocean of what needed to be done. May some others of us be as privileged to contribute as big a drop in all our oceans.

Those who killed her invoked the darkness that makes each individual just an interchangeable pawn for something else. And therefore disposable. It is the evil of war, whoever wages it, whoever excuses its actions as necessary evils. When killers of any persuasion try to speak in our names, calling themselves righteous, who are we to stand by?

Comments: Post a Comment

Monday, November 15, 2004

Fallujah ... we have been here before

see this History Lesson by Rashid Khalidi for some rather unsettling facts about the city which was the centre of the Iraqi revolt against Britain in 1920. It was subdued with a massive (for the times) use of air power. Khalidi's point ..."Fallujah ... embodies the interrelated tribal, religious and national aspects of Iraq’s history. The Bush administration is not creating the world anew in the Middle East. It is waging a war in a place where history really matters."

Comments: Post a Comment

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Well it looks as if Lithuania is the first EU Nation to ratify the EU Constitution on 11 November. Congratulations from many sources, though there are internal Lithuanian political currents here. After the drama of the impeachment of President Pakstas and the turnovers in the Parliamentary elections, ratification by the outgoing parliament when the new Parliament takes office on 15 November is perhaps slightly fast going.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com