Thursday, August 23, 2007

Boeing and EU Firms to Help Russia Revitalize Airplane Industry

As we and the Europeans help Russia reestablish its civilian aeronautical industry, we're helping it reestablish its military aeronautical industry. To me, that makes little sense. For reasons why, read just about everything else about Russia nowadays.

Russian Su-24 Bombers Grounded

It would be a bit ironic if this crashed Russian Su-24 bomber were one of those that Putin wants to send on the old Soviet strategic routes. If so, they're all grounded, so that would put a little dent in Putin's plan. Unfortunately, those bombers are old "Bears" (prop-driven, to boot) pulled out of mothballs, and that probably wouldn't make it within 500 miles of American airspace if deemed a threat.

Ahmadinejad Once Again Calls for the Death of Israel

Here's a link to the MEMRI video of Iranian President Imajihadi (or whatever his name is) specifically and unequivacably calling for "Death to Israel." MEMRI is not know for mistranslations, incidentally. And, according to this madman, it's not just Iran that want Israel destroyed, it's most of the world. Or, at least, it's Venezuela and North Korea, as far as one can tell.

Go watch the video. It's sickening.

Peace with Iran Through the Iranian People? I wish

I wish this piece in The Christian Science Monitor were possible. I really do. As much as I strongly support a massive military response to threats against America--to make future threats that much less likely--it would be wonderful if we could just appeal to the Iranian people and solve all our problems with Iran.

But, the idea that we could isolate the religious leadership, Iranian President Imajihadi (or whatever his name is), and the Revolutionary Guard, and that they would stand by and let it happen, is naive on a monumental scale. I imagine that the moment we started giving economic support to the Iranian people, and they responded positively to our gestures, there would be a crackdown that would make past crackdowns look like costume parties.

A relevant quote:

The internal vulnerabilities of Iran's ruling circles make this a perfect time to extend an olive branch to the people of Iran with a diplomatic initiative that involves economic incentives and development opportunities for the poor, the middle class, and the reformers. Multilateralism is a must if we want this to happen, because Europe, Russia, Japan, and others maintain good relations with Iran's business sector, the kind necessary in order to provide socioeconomic development assistance. If the Revolutionary Guard and the president block these gestures then "it is on their heads," and we will likely see them increasingly marginalized.

One can only imagine the Revolutionary Guard's response were they to be "marginalized."

Digg Report

Digg Report: Today's #1 Digg, at 4620 Diggs, is a link to a story about a guy who lost a job because he gave too good of an answer to a question. Personally, I think it's an urban legend, and it's a big yawner no matter which.

More on Russia's Political Mental Institutions

Here's another account of Russia's politically-motivated asylum commitments. I think the story speaks for itself:

Larisa Arap has just emerged from a 46-day imprisonment in two Russian psychiatric hospitals. Pills were forced down her throat and she received injection after injection. She doesn't know what medications they were, or whether they will cause permanent damage.

"I don't feel very well, but I have a fighting spirit," Mrs Arap said yesterday, adding that sometimes she was so drugged she could barely walk or speak[.]

She was forcibly interned, not for health reasons, but over her association with the opposition group led by former chess star Garry Kasparov, the United Civil Front. Her arrest stemmed from the publication of an article entitled "Madhouse," exposing the ghoulish practices of a Russian psychiatric hospital in the Murmansk edition of his organisation's newspaper, Dissenters' March.

As far as typical methods:

Taken to a mental ward, Mrs Arap noted that many of its occupants seemed perfectly sane. "I was surprised that among them were lots of normal people," she wrote in "Madhouse". "But how they [staff] communicated with them: They shouted, they beat them up, they put them on drips, after which people became like zombies, they raped them, carried them off in the night and returned them in the morning, tormented."

One woman was threatened with the removal of organs, Mrs Arap said. Children were told that if they didn't give massages to medics they'd receive electro-shock therapy.

Read the whole thing. It says alot about where Russia's heading.