American Elephants

Just a little war far, far away, or… by The Elephant's Child

The crisis in far off Georgia is worrying. Georgia, a former Soviet state, if you look at a map, sits just outside the bear’s den, right on Russia’s border. South Ossetia, a breakaway province of Georgia, wanted to become independent. Georgia reasserted her authority. Russia, massing on the border in the role of “peacekeeper” crossed the border with an additional 10.000 soldiers, and many tanks into South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russian aircraft bombed a military airfield near Tbilisi. Russia also sent ships to the coast of the Black Sea with reinforcements.

Reports say that Russia attacked not only targets in South Ossetia, but also targeted the major Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) gas and oil pipeline. The pipeline, in which British Petroleum is the lead partner, is important strategically, for it is the only outlet for countries in the region to get their oil to the international market without relying on Russia.

Russia has been what can be charitably described as a bully with their oil and gas, which supplies over a quarter of Europe’s needs. A gas pipeline called the South Caucasus pipeline is being built next to the oil pipeline. It is important to all the states in the region, including Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. Russia has steadfastly opposed its construction.

Another part of the story has been Georgia’s desire to join NATO, and seek protection from the West. NATO’s refusal to date suggests weakness to the Russians, who keep track of that sort of thing.

Russia has not made much of a secret at her anger over the dissolution of the Soviet Union and loss of Superpower status. With oil funds flowing into a now state-controlled oil industry, the West must take notice. It is reported that Russia has just nationalized half of its wheat crop.

The European Union made bland protests, apparently shocked, shocked, that Russia didn’t realize that we had entered a new era when we solved problems by talking. The United Nations did what they do best, they had a meeting.

John McCain said that “Tensions and hostilities between Georgians and Ossetians are in no way justification for Russian troops crossing an internationally recognized border.” He also called on “Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its forces from the territory of Georgia.”

Barack Obama called for “talks among all sides and said the United States, the UN. Security Council and other parties should try to help bring about a peaceful resolution.” Obama looked forward to an international peacekeeping force under an appropriate UN mandate.” Appropriately wimpy.

Georgia has pulled out of South Ossetia. Russia is in control. Georgia has ordered a cease fire and called for talks. A little war. Lots of dead.

Do you suppose that these events will arouse a slumbering Europe into a realization of the true nature of the world, or will they go on dreaming of a world without conflict? Of armies that are unneeded and unfunded?

Will Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid understand that drilling for our own oil is also a national security issue? That the Strategic Reserve is a – strategic – reserve. Or will they go on making up stories about greedy oil companies, evil speculators, and threatened species (that are multiplying nicely) and, oh yes, the need to save the planet, rising seas, disastrous storms and droughts and all those other mythical results from a one degree warming that stopped ten years ago.

Well, no, probably not.

South Korea Loves Bush! by American Elephant

An enormous crowd, estimated at 15,000 South Koreans came out to welcome and praise George Bush in Seoul last Tuesday. And unlike another recent political rally, it didn’t take free beer, food and rock bands to get them there. It wasn’t the work of a political campaign or the government, this was 15,000 citizens who wanted to show their support for President Bush and the United States, even though they knew President Bush would be unable to stop at the rally.

I know this happened last week, but I still want to document it, since the “mainstream” media did their best to obfuscate and hide it, as they did with the huge pro-Bush rallies where hundreds of thousands came to cheer and welcome President Bush in Georgia, Slovakia, and other parts of eastern Europe, and across Africa. And it took quite a while to hunt down the photographs and links — to be honest, I had to capture several of them from Asian video reports because frankly, the Western media had very few pictures of the pro-Bush rallies…. Fancy that!

Contrary to the highly misleading and universally negative reports you may have read from the NYT, AP, Reuters and others, with headlines such as “Bush visit divides South Korea” and “Anti-Bush” Protesters Battle Police in Seoul”, which was later changed to, “In South Korea, Mixed Reaction to Bush” — the purpose of the protests was not to protest President Bush, or the Iraq war — the so-called “anti-Bush” protest was actually only a couple of hundred people and they were a continuation of larger, on-going demonstrations against importing US beef and in support of North Korea. But of course mad cow disease, Korean McDonald’s and communists don’t fit the desired narrative.

So, we are left to sift through the bull. Here’s what the media didn’t want you to see: [click images for larger versions]

Our military personnel in South Korea gave Bush a raucous welcome as well

Meanwhile, in North Korea…

The communists are pumping out propaganda that, aside from language, is virtually indistinguishable (warning: R-rated language) from the rants of the Air America/Daily Kos left — complete with chimpanzee comparisons! But hey, at least they have universal heath care provided by the government and their Dear Leader!

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