American Elephants

Oh, for goodness sake, we’re blaming the wrong people… by The Elephant's Child

Russian State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov contends that the war in Georgia is a “wag the dog” scenario cooked up by the McCain campaign, reports James S. Robbins in the Corner at National Review Online. “What is happening in the South Caucasus is part of the U.S. Republican Party’s election campaign.” he said. How it will lead to McCain taking Pennsylvania remains to be explained.

Oh, ha ha ha! Thanks, James Robbins, for injecting a wonderful bit of humor into a messy situation.

Surprise, surprise, Vladimir lied….. by The Elephant's Child

You thought all that talk about a cease fire could be believed, didn’t you? Some of us have longer experience with the Russians than others. The idea that Russia, while the world was watching the Olympics, just suddenly needed to respond to a “provocation” by Georgia’s elected president, with a fully organized two division military force, tanks, warplanes, warships, and two divisions of soldiers. As Canadian David Warren said:

The notion that Russia — whose land area makes her by far the planet’s largest single state — could be threatened by a neighbour 1/245th her size, should not be confused with paranoia.

In spite of changing titles, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, strongman of Russia, remains in charge. As a former KGB officer, he has long been schooled in Communist power politics. Russia has been meddling in South Ossetia and Abkhazia for years. Russia’s thin pretense of protecting an ethnic group from “ethnic cleansing” provided cover for Georgia’s timid friends in the West to ignore Russia’s adventures. Melik Kaylan explains, in the Wall Street Journal, some of Russia’s strategic plans.

Having overestimated the power of the Soviet Union in its last years, we have consistently underestimated the ambitions of Russia since. Already, a great deal has been said about the implications of Russia’s invasion for Ukraine, the Baltic States and Europe generally. But few have noticed the direct strategic threat of Moscow’s action to U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Kremlin is not about to reignite the Cold War for the love of a few thousand Ossetians or even for its animosity toward five million Georgians. This is calculated strategic maneuvering. And make no mistake, it’s about countering U.S. power at its furthest stretch with Moscow’s power very close to home…
Between Russia and Iran, in the lower Caucasus, sits a small wedge of independent soil — namely, the soil of Azerbaijan and Georgia combined. Through those two countries runs the immensely important Bakuk-Tiblisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which delivers precious oil circuitously from Azerbaijan to Turkey and out to the world. …It says to the world that if any former Moscow colonies wish to sell their wares to the West diectly, they have a right to do so, and the West will support that right.

John McCain understood the situation immediately as a case of Russian aggression, and spoke out forcefully. McCain knows Georgia well, quickly grasped the strategic situation, and spoke to President Saakashvili who he has know for many years.

Susan Rice, most prominent of Obama’s 300 foreign policy advisers, quickly accused McCain of “shooting from the hip”, and said that a more “measured response” would be more appropriate. Susan Rice has emphasized that Barack Obama clearly has more foreign policy expertise because he actually lived abroad from age 6 to age 10. A measured response seems to be talking and consulting the expertise of the U.N.

Leaders of the other former Soviet controlled states have quickly called for Russia to back off and offered their support to Georgia. President Bush has sent humanitarian supplies and medical aid. His statement is here. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is on the way to Georgia. The situation is fluid.

Olympics Imitate SNL by American Elephant
August 13, 2008, 11:01 am
Filed under: Humor, News of the Weird, Pop Culture | Tags: , , ,

Back when Saturday Night Live was funny — you know, when they had Phil Hartman and Dennis Miller — they did a Weekend Report skit about an All-Drug Olympics in Bogata Columbia where the athletes were allowed to take any drug (performance enhancing and otherwise) they wanted. I won’t give away the ending, but the result  was hilarious.

But now, in an example of life imitating art, Hungarian weightlifter, Janos Baranyai, suffered a similar accident, dislocating his elbow while power-lifting. The result is less bloody, but all the more gruesome for being real. I will definitely be filing this one under “things I wish I hadn’t watched.”

I guess because I don’t like to suffer alone, I will offer the link here, but I strongly recommend you not watch it, unless you enjoy seeing limbs where they should not be. Watch the first video as a warning about the second.

All I can say is: Grooooosssss!!!

Obama Snubs Troops… Again by American Elephant

This time for bodysurfing, Batman and big bucks.

Last Month, Obama refused an invitation to a townhall meeting in Fort Hood Texas for 6,000 veterans, active service members and their families, citing a previously scheduled engagement. That townhall was last night, while Obama was vacationing in Hawaii.

Okay, everybody is entitled to a little down time. Problem is, he is willing to interrupt his vacation for a one million dollar fundraiser, just not for our troops. He refuses to see them when he is campaigning, he refuses to see them when he’s not campaigning.

Just how can a man claim to support the troops if he refuses to talk to them? More importantly, how is he qualified to lead them when he won’t even meet with them?

Nine Percent Nancy has Crude Awakening by American Elephant

Nancy Pelosi has “seen the light” — or so she would have voters believe. She told Larry King that she doesn’t necessarily oppose a vote on allowing drilling:

But I don’t — that is not excluded, let me say it that way. It depends how that is proposed, if the safeguards are there.

Now, for those of you not fluent in liberal-speak, that means as long as a bill can be crafted that sounds like it allows oil drilling, but when you get right down to it, doesn’t actually allow drill to touch soil anywhere near a drop of oil, then she will allow it to come to a vote. Which, not coincidentally, just happens to be Barack Obama’s position. (h/t Michelle Malkin)

Speaking of his anointedness, Barack Obama, while telling voters he supports offshore drilling, is the sole supporter of a bill that would prohibit the geological research necessary to actually find the oil. (h/t Deroy Murdock)

Which leaves me wondering: is it possible for these people to open their mouths without lying?

Valerie Plame’s Case Kicked out of Court by Emerald City Elephant

A three-judge panel upheld the ruling of a lower court dismissing Valerie Plame’s civil suit against Dick Cheney and others … mainstream media could not be reached for comment.

Harry Potter Meets Real Life? by Emerald City Elephant

Scientists move one step closer to making invisibility cloaks reality.

Georgians Rally in Support of President Saakashvili by American Elephant
August 13, 2008, 5:26 am
Filed under: Europe, Foreign Policy, News | Tags: , , ,

15,000 Georgians rallied Tuesday to support President Mikheil Saakashvili  — even his opposition. “I promise you today, that I’ll remind them of everything they have done and one day we will win,” Saakashvili told the crowd to cheers of, “Georgia! Georgia!”

God Save the Queen! by American Elephant
August 13, 2008, 3:18 am
Filed under: Environment, Europe, Politics, Science/Technology | Tags: , ,

‘Cus Prince Charles is an idiot!

Hooray for Georgia! by American Elephant
August 13, 2008, 2:47 am
Filed under: Europe, Foreign Policy, News, Politics | Tags: , , ,

Georgia has kicked Russia’s ass… in women’s beach volleyball at least. Two native Brazilians who adopted Georgia in order to play in the games, Cristine Santanna and Andrezza Martins, beat Russians Alexandra Shiryaeva and Natalya Uryadova 10-21, 22-20, and 15-12 to advance in the round robin.

Meanwhile, native Georgian, Nino Salukvadze won the bronze medal for her country Sunday in the women’s 10-meter air pistol competition while Russian, Natalia Paderina won silver. The two friends hugged on the podium, waving flowers in the air and smiling at the audience.

Concerned for their families and country, Georgia’s delegation was set to return home. But in the wee hours Sunday, their president, Mikheil Saakashvili, got word to the 35 member team through his wife, who was in China to watch the games and cheer the athletes. Saakashvili asked the athletes to stay — that they could do more for their country by remaining in Beijing.

You can follow the medal count here. And follow news of Georgian athletes here.

I know I will be cheering for them.

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