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Hannibal

Would it be possible for US to park a couple of Carrier groups in the Black Sea ?

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John,

But drunk - no, I never saw even a single drunk Russian soldier. So if another reporter found drunk Russians soldiers, I would say he either found the exception, maybe they weren't really drunk, or maybe they were Ossetian militia not Russian regular army.

Most of the accusations I have seen made are against South Ossetian "irregulars". That word can describe a whole gamut of evils. From paramilitary reservists through to bandits and neighbours settling old scores. No need for the Russians to dirty their hands when they can just sit back and say to the irregulars "Look guys, we're not going to be watching this village over there too closely for the next 48 hours. Sure hope nobody thinks of ethnically cleansing it."

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Lars you don’t have to be too sensitive about aid benefitting the supplier’s economy. That’s the way it works. When the President says that American is ending $500m of aid somewhere, they’re not shipping over a suitcase full of cash. It means they’re reimbursing American companies for $500m worth of goods or services. (I work for an Australian engineering company that makes a bucket load of cash out of AusAid and ADB aid projects in SE Asia. We’re building schools and water plants for people but we’re sure as **** not doing it for free!)

The devil is sometimes in the detail though. Are the suppliers padding their costs? Is the stuff being delivered really required? Is it useable? Perhaps the worst abuse I ever saw of this was in Rwanda. Clinton had pledged $1bn of aid to help Rwandan refugees. But a lot of what arrived was useless. Like palette loads of antibiotics that had expiry dates in the late 1960s. It had been sitting round in someone’s warehouse for 3 decades until someone decided they could bill the US government for it. As it was, I watched it get bulldozed into a pit at Goma airport as soon as it arrived.

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Afffie,

The company I work for had people on both sides of the front, I was on the Georgian side. A co-worker on the Russian side was in South Ossetia repeatedly, and she told me the Ossetians y obviously had looted Georgian villages. For example, Ossetian pulls up to reporter in old Mercedes with Georgian safety inspection sticker, but no plates. When asked by reporter where he got the wheels, Ossetian responds "Just bought it, haven't had time to register it yet." There are phone videos of Ossetians carrying off fridges, furniture, even window frames. And several of the Ossetians told my co-worker point blank, "Yeah sure we killed/chased off the Georgians, we're not going to let them live in that village any more." The impression she got was that it wasn't so much murder as robbery and converting home owners into war refugees, although murder sometimes happened.

So I would agree 100 per cent with you that the at least part of nasty stuff of the war, maybe most of it, was done by the Ossetians, and the Russians did practically nothing to stop it. It would be a fine propaganda victory for the Georgians too, if they hadn't decided to rain rocket artillery and howitzer shells down on the capital of South Ossetia.

But as to the Russian army in Georgia, it's not like they were acting like 75th Ranger Regiment, but a drunk Russian soldier found by a western reporter is wierd. The Russians were on the ball enough to try and keep me for instance from taking pictures of sleeping soldiers, so you would think that if a western reporter was in the neighborhood they would just hide the drunks.

So I don't really know what to make of the NYT article where the western reporter finds a drunk Russian soldier. Mad, well every once in a while. Profane, sure. Surly, yeah sometimes. But drunk? Not according to the bit of the elephant that I saw.

Funny story on burying the antibiotics. Too bad no journo was around to report it, it would have made a good story.

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Lars you don’t have to be too sensitive about aid benefitting the supplier’s economy. That’s the way it works. When the President says that American is ending $500m of aid somewhere, they’re not shipping over a suitcase full of cash. It means they’re reimbursing American companies for $500m worth of goods or services. (I work for an Australian engineering company that makes a bucket load of cash out of AusAid and ADB aid projects in SE Asia. We’re building schools and water plants for people but we’re sure as **** not doing it for free!)

The devil is sometimes in the detail though. Are the suppliers padding their costs? Is the stuff being delivered really required? Is it useable? Perhaps the worst abuse I ever saw of this was in Rwanda. Clinton had pledged $1bn of aid to help Rwandan refugees. But a lot of what arrived was useless. Like palette loads of antibiotics that had expiry dates in the late 1960s. It had been sitting round in someone’s warehouse for 3 decades until someone decided they could bill the US government for it. As it was, I watched it get bulldozed into a pit at Goma airport as soon as it arrived.

Heh, so true.

Last night I watched a clip on the news of them unloading cinder blocks from a destroyer.

WTF? Cinder blocks? Really? Who the hell needs cinder blocks? How about a tent, you morons. And just how many cinder blocks can you get on a destroyer anyway?

Ah, gubermint money at work...

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Thanks for the flame Abbot [grrr]

LOL, I am still uncertain why you think my first comment was a flame. I really got a chuckle out of that story, Putin blaming Bush for a war Putin very likely started himself. I bet Putin is where the invasion orders came from. And If you actually believe that Bush intentionally said "go" to start things off, well then I can get an second chuckle out of that. Damn that evil Bush is likely planning on sleeping under some kids bed tonight ready to jump out and scream "Bo"!

You took a shot across the bow and I returned the favor, no harm done. Actually that was worth a chuckle as well. I considered posting the link this morning myself but I ran out of time before I needed to get my day started. I was pleased when I saw that you had posted it.

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Macon?

This news just in: All of the Wal-Marts across Alabama sold out of ammunition as of yesterday. A reliable source said that one of the purchasers commented that while Russia may have invaded Georgia , they sure as hell ain't doin' it to Alabama.

The more things change...

Michael

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The more things change...

Michael

This news just in: All of the Wal-Marts across Alabama sold out of ammunition as of yesterday. A reliable source said that one of the purchasers commented that while Russia may have invaded Georgia , they sure as hell ain't doin' it to Alabama.

:) This place is full of smart alecs!

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Laugh at the Alabamans, but Google actually managed to put up a map superimposing the Russian drive into Georgia onto our Georgia. Would imagine there are now openings in both the cartography and news departments!

Regards,

John Kettler

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I hear that the prevailing wisdom in the West is that the best way to get at the Russians is to force their multinationals to meet corporate standards in whatever country they're in, and at the same time check and see if all the rich Russians earning huge incomes in Switzerland and London or wherever, are paying all their taxes. The idea is that the oligarchs can make Putin and Medvedev jump, and if their businesses abroad get in trouble they'll make the dinky duo (they're both quite short men) back off.

Could be, but for now, seems everybody else is just getting out.

"Russian Stocks, Bonds Tumble as Central Bank Props Up Ruble "

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a2HLRO6HPqrM&refer=home

The long slide continues.

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Laugh at the Alabamans

OK.

with the ruble sliding, and the US$ about to take a dive too thanks to Fanny & Freddy I guess the billions will have to start pouring in to l'il ol' NZ again as somewhere far, far away from everywhere nasty! :)

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OK.

with the ruble sliding, and the US$ about to take a dive too thanks to Fanny & Freddy I guess the billions will have to start pouring in to l'il ol' NZ again as somewhere far, far away from everywhere nasty! :)

Do I have to go, or can I just send my money? Who do I send it to? Where is New Zealand? Do you accept rubles?:eek:

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