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August 13, 2008



Since this topic shifted to Georgia thought I'd drop in a link via Drudge

When in doubt, the Ministry of Truth knows what to do: Blame Bush!


“George Bush's Administration is promoting interests of candidate John McCain,” said Dr Markov. “Defeated by Barak Obama on all fronts, McCain has one last card to play yet - the creation of a virtual Cold War with Russia . . . Bush himself did not want a war in South Ossetia but his Republican Party did not leave him any choice.” The Americans were now engineering an armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Dr Markov added.

The level of propaganda and the targeting of journalists leads me to think that Russia's "stunning victory" may be less than what it appears. I'm also wondering if there might be some sort of crisis in the Kremlin which necessitated this...


Rich, there was nothing stunning about the military operation as such. What was stunning was that Putin played his pieces perfectly and Bush played his perfectly--wrong.


uh oh...Edwards finance chair caught lying too

As tabloid reports of a sex scandal threatened former Senator John Edwards’s presidential campaign last December on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, two lawyers surfaced with written statements that appeared to exonerate the candidate.

One of them, Robert J. Gordon of New York, said that his client, Rielle Hunter, a pregnant 43-year-old filmmaker, was not carrying Mr. Edwards’s child. Shortly thereafter, the other lawyer, Pamela J. Marple of Washington, sent word that her client, Andrew Young, an Edwards campaign aide, was the baby’s father.

Seemingly issued independently of Mr. Edwards, the statements appeared to deflate the anonymously sourced reports of an Edwards tryst. But what went unnoticed was that the two lawyers shared an important connection to Mr. Edwards that suggests they were part of an orchestrated effort to protect him, one that is continuing even after he admitted last week that he had an affair with Ms. Hunter but denied that he fathered her child.

The lawyers are linked through Fred Baron, a wealthy Dallas lawyer and former finance chairman for the Edwards campaign who was a key player in the campaign’s response to the scandal. Mr. Gordon has worked with Mr. Baron on class-action personal injury cases, and Ms. Marple helped defend a lawsuit brought against both men and their law firms by an asbestos manufacturer.

After initially saying that he did not know how the lawyers were chosen to represent Ms. Hunter and Mr. Young, Mr. Baron acknowledged that he might have played a role.

Much more @ LUN


BTW -- must read the link to the last, especially page 2 -- there are all kinds of suspicious tidbits...I think the Edwards' have put a LOT of people in very tenuous situations. I smell illegality or close to it.

JM Hanes


Afraid I've just barely had time to scan the multi-threads on this topic. Perhaps you could summarize your foreign policy position here, because despite the copious excerpts you've posted, I'm not really clear on how you believe the White House actually should have been playing this hand.

As for registered agents, I'm also not clear on what specific prohibitions you're seeking. Bar them from public office? Bar them permanently from working for politicians or participating in political campaigns? Prohibit them from advising candidates or office holders? Compelling them to forgo remuneration if they do?

A lot of those folks you seem to prefer don't have to register as foreign agents; as Alter points out above, they just sign on as "consultants" -- to a pretty vast array of interested parties. Given the standard you're proposing, they should go too, but alas, there's no convenient registry to work from. I personally welcome the sunlight that registering agents sheds on who is working for whom at any point in time. Penalizing them would certainly discourage such openness -- and just shift the balance between "consultants" and "lobbyists."

Then there are the folks who do business in other countries who would need to be banned from political life too. Of course, in addition to having a great deal at stake, they also probably have more intimate working knowledge of foreign powers than virtually anyone else. I wish I could remember who once observed that if you want to get something done abroad, you'd be better off talking to a banker than the State Dept. Of course, the territorial bureaucracies, within government itself are not without their own self-serving agendas. If nothing else, Sibel Edmonds has been scathing on foreign corruption at State, has she not?

Your defense of quoting Lieven seems decidedly ironic in the context of the argument you've been making: "On the other hand I have no interest in him except that I agree with the statement that I bolded." Apparently you, yourself, are willing to tout what you consider to be sound advice, without regard to the source or the interests he might represent.

Barney Frank

What was stunning was that Putin played his pieces perfectly and Bush played his perfectly--wrong.

It's impossible to tell how anyone played their pieces in a situation like this until far down the road. The pieces are only beginning to move and could go in any number of directions; good or bad.

BTW Richard Fernandez explicitly said that he was beginning one new innocuously titled thread to dissuade Russian operatives from posting to his site.


What was stunning was that Putin played his pieces perfectly and Bush played his perfectly--wrong.

That's what I'm hearing, but Poland just came on board with missle defense, Germany is talking about extending NATO invatations to Georgia, the Georgian army is still intact, and Russia has there half-drunk troops aimlessly driving around and shooting at journalists. Well played Putin, well played.

JM Hanes


"What was stunning was that Putin played his pieces perfectly ...."

Just for starters, how does humiliating the President of France qualify as a good move?



Thomas Jackson

Kerry couldn't run from his shipmates and Obama can't run from his past. Considering the howls of outrage Corsi book has hit Obama where it hurts.

hit and run

Best thread evah!

(don't mind me, I just won a couple bones on poker night)



Putin,has made a grave mistake,having used the Palestinian gambit he should have gone crying to the UN ,establishing his victim status.The military invasion did not get the unalloyed approval from the left as did Hezbollah in the Lebanon who played victimhood to the hilt.Although there was a concerted propaganda campaign on the internet,blogs and clogs,which commenced and ended like a tap being turned on and off,much of the worlds MSM was critical.
The central parallel with Kosovo didn't stick,the "Gallant little Russia" against the brutal Georgian genocide fell somewhat flat.Probably because being a putative superpower and victim doesn't work.
No instead of dissident South Ossetians in Georgia,there will be dissident Georgians inside Russia,no doubt blowing up Russia's new pipeline.


I really don't think this thread has been infested by Ruskies, but I do find the skyrocketing of entries on this particular threat and their tone to be worthy of note. The intent has been to dull the focus, deflate the impact, and direct the interest elsewhere.

Whether of not one cares a whit about Corsi, it's as if strategically the Obamabots were unleashed to see that Chicago history does not enter into the campaign.

All the more reason to redouble efforts to see what might be worth hiding.

[I'll double post this on the current -- thank you TM for redoubling the efforts -- Obama/Chicago thread.]

M. Simon

Georgia will not get its separatist provinces back unless Russia collapses as a state, which is unlikely.

Say oil prices drop 50% over the next year as new supplies come on line?

In Addition Russian oil output is declining because oil companies won't sign contracts with them.

In addition Russia's population is declining 1/2% a year and the birth rate is 1.4 vs 2.1 for replacement. They are getting older.

Russia is collapsing as a state. Not so bad if they had any friends, but they have been making enemies for centuries.

M. Simon

I've had a bunch of Russian operatives at Classical Values.

One way to tell is that their e-mail addys don't match their name. Another is ignorance of American cultural markers. Some one said they tend to leave out definite articles (gawd I'm Russian agent!!).

How to get rid of them? Suggest the FSB give them raises for their excellent American.



The anti-missile system was going to go into Poland sooner or later. The Poles were holding out for more advantageous terms and they got them. In case you haven't noticed, Poland is not Georgia. Poland is a nation of c. 40 million well educated people with a viable economy that doesn't rely on money sent home from a huge expat population in Russia (as does Georgia)--Poland's expats are all in the West. Moreover, when Stalin moved Poland west after WWII--assuming the Red Army would never be forced to pull back to Russia--he in effect laid the groundwork for Poland's closer integration into Western Europe. You'll notice that Turkey continued its Iranian conference with Ahme-whatever and didn't bat an eyelash at the Georgian affair. I guarantee you that Germany would feel different about a Red Army incursion into a Poland whose borders are now little more than a shout from Berlin.

On the other hand, don't expect Germany to go out on any limbs. I personally will not begin holding my breath in anticipation of an offer of NATO membership to Georgia--I consider that the merest of pipe dreams, since it would reduce NATO membership to no more than a piece of paper. But as regards Germany, don't forget that they didn't scruple to cut a deal with Russia to bypass Poland for its energy needs--a deal facilitated by Germany's corrupt and possibly treasonous former leader. Germany will carefully weigh its interests. Its interests do not lie in "tweeking the Bear," but neither do they lie in supine acquiescence in Russian meddling in Poland. Despite sometimes strained relations, Poland is important to Germany. Georgia is not.

JMH, why did Putin humiliate the President of France? Beyond the obvious retort of, Why not? I suspect that his motives were to send a message to France. Sarkozy has cosied up (pun intended) to the US in a manner unlike most French presidents that I can recall. Perhaps Putin was sending a message to Sarkozy to revert to the more traditional French independence and stop acting as an American proxy. Speculation on my part, but I suspect I'm on the right track.


Rich, I should add that in addition to its other differences that set Poland apart from Georgia is the important fact that modern Poland inherits a significant military tradition of many centuries. The two nations last clashed in c. 1920, in which Poland decisively defeated the Red Army, following what Churchill called the miracle on the Wisla. I recommend to you Norman Davies' "White Eagle, Red Star." Among other little known facts you will learn is that the cavalry campaigns fought between the Polish uhlans and the Soviet konarmiya provided the theoretical basis for the later blitzkrieg doctrine of mobile warfare--de Gaulle was an observer in Poland and championed the ideas of Sikorski, whose book (Przyszla Wojna) on mobile warfare were translated into French (La Guerre Moderne). Marshall Tukhachevsky also drew the same lessons from Polish tactics, as did his most famous disciple, Heinz Guderian. Count on it--it is this aspect of the Polish - Russian relationship that the Russians are most concerned with.


JMH, my views on foreign policy should be fairly clear after the last several days of writing and discussing. Today I begin staining my garage and I also have some social obligations--one of my sisters is in town with her daughter and granddaughters. So I won't have time to repeat myself; in fact I hope to make this my last post of the day. However, I recommend to you (once again) Walid Phares' recent article at AT. While not agreeing with all the details I find his approach to be fundamentally sound. It involves avoiding basic, hubristic mistakes such as are detailed in Russia's payback: "NATO disrespected Russia for too long. Now the Alliance must regroup." Believe it or not, I actually read all those articles I link, and I link them because I think they're worth reading, even when I may not agree with them entirely. The Lieven article was an exception. You will have noticed that I stated that this was a subscription only article--I always due that when I'm quoting from the short summaries for non-subscribers. And no, I don't scruple to quote people that I may disagree with otherwise if their advice or views are sound in some relevant respect.

I'm afraid that your admission--"Afraid I've just barely had time to scan the multi-threads on this topic"--shows. For example, you make much of Alter's distinction of consultancy v. registered agency. In fact I addressed that yesterday, further up the thread, indicating that I thought this was unsound advice that could lead to criminal liability for such would be "consultants." The USG has in recent years shown a willingness to use FARA, and even to extend its application to new areas. Trying to evade FARA = Bad Idea.

You also devote a lot of time to misrepresenting my views as to restrictions on RA activities. My suggestion was that Sailer's views have merit and that we should consider banning them from holding positions that affect foreign policy. I would probably limit that ban to the executive branch. As to international businessmen, they are presumably not in the employ of foreign governments so the ban wouldn't necessarily apply to them. However, their activities would need to be scrutinized as a matter of course--as is only prudent. I believe that part of the standard background investigation is checking with agencies like FBI and CIA to be sure that such businessman have not been up to any hanky panky--dishonest or corrupt business practices, dealings with foreign intelligence services, etc.

"Getting something done abroad" is different than having the expertise to set sound long term policy and strategy. Interestingly, major powers like China and tinpot countries like Georgia are all interested in hiring the same types of people to represent their interests: rather than relying solely on their diplomats they hire agents who are able to "get things done"--in Washington, D. C. Which, to them, of course, is "abroad."


Anduril, Russia's surge is desperate in comparison to ours in Iraq. Theirs is the model of pacification of conflicting populations? Sure we should work with them troika like, but the harnesses seem fashioned of viper skins.


Second rate the Russian army may be, but I'll bet the Georgians would still rather be occupied by one of our first rate NATO "allies": Basra and the Brits. Still, our allies are unsurpassed in close order swanning about.

Two sides done.


Three sides. Fourth tomorrow, then back indoors.

BTW, my serious point was this. The Georgians didn't want in to NATO to learn how to swan about. They could have cared less about being in alliance with the UK, Germany, the French, or any of the others--except the US. For the Georgians, NATO meant: a US military guarantee to back their plans for an excellent military adventure, and no other NATO nation or combination of NATO nations could provide the type of guarantee Georgia wanted. Turned out the Georgians miscalculated and the US couldn't or wouldn't provide that guarantee either. The Western Euros, smarter than the US, realized all that and didn't want to let the Georgians in. IMO, that kind of thing is not what NATO is or should be about. It's the geopolitical version of caveat emptor. We were the buyers.

JM Hanes


I actually happen to have projects underway myself, so I'm sure you can understand why scouring recent threads in order to pick out your position in full before registering a comment might not look like the best use of the my own available time. Repeated announcements of your imminent withdrawal from discussion certainly reduce any remaining incentive for such retrospective shoveling. In lieu of a pointer to any post laying out your own prescription, it is helpful to know which of the many commentaries you've pasted up or linked best represents your own conclusions -- something that is not manifestly obvious to anyone, I suspect, but you.

I did not make much of Alter's remark, except as an aside in drawing a comparison between publicly registered interests and unacknowledged agendas. What you call misrepresenting your views was an altogether unremarkable exercise in reductio ad absurbum.


Whatever. When you said you were going to take a day to respond to my "histrionics" I was expecting something pretty substantive. Don't look for sympathy from me--I can't imagine anything more important than keeping up with my posts. :-)


Here's a good discussion of NATO membership: But What Does it Mean for NATO? "The conflict between Georgia and Russia has reignited a long-standing debate over NATO expansion. Robert Farley explains." Very little to quarrel with.


Rewarding but satiating. I'll have a little gusto with that brio, please. Funny about the keeping up; keep that up, too, please.

JM Hanes


"The RNC should also run ads during the Democratic convention that remind people the convention was paid for by soft money the Democrats promised they wouldn't raise."

You'll be please to hear how Mac is apparently going to use a big chunk of all that money he has to spend before the Republican convention: The Democratic National Convention brought to you by … John McCain?.

JM Hanes

Oops. Wrong thread.


I need to get in touch with Hydeparker


Sir what a wonderful anaylsis and survey you have provided. Keep it up.


I do not know how to use the rs gold ; my friend tells me how to use.

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