Sunday, September 02, 2007

Putin Youth Put to Work

It looks like the Putin Youth are being put to good use, this time against Britain. The gist:

A RUSSIAN activist expected to take over a sinister youth group with ties to the Kremlin has warned that a campaign of harassment against the British ambassador in Moscow will be resumed if he shows support for the country’s beleaguered opposition in the run-up to parliamentary elections in December.

Nikita Borovikov, 26, who is being groomed to take over Nashi, a 100,000-strong youth movement, later this year, gave a vigorous defence of a previous campaign against Anthony Brenton. The envoy was stalked for several months, an experience he called “psychological harassment bordering on violence”.

It's all just practice, I think.

Russia Plans Moonbase by 2032

I think Russia's being a little optimistic in planning to setup a permanent lunar base by 2032. Getting cosmonauts there by 2025, on the other hand, seems pessimistic. It's rally a rather odd juxtaposition. And overall, I think things will have changed such by then that such a goal will no longer be feasible.

But, I suppose a nation has to have goals.

Digg Report

Digg Report: Today's #1 Digg, at a light 2924 Diggs, is actually a link to a rather poignant photo that makes an important point about Islam.

Is Bush Planning to Bomb Iran? (An Obvious Question)

The Telegraph has laid out a long and detailed discussion of whether Bush is prepared to bomb Iran. To me, it seems just a case of contingency planning being leaked and then evaluated, which is not a bad thing in and of itself (the lead is, but not the evaluation). But, it should be remembered that such planning is on-going for nearly every conceivable possibility, and so the planning for a war with Iran would be just one of many.

It's a long piece, but worth the time. I won't quote anything here, because there's just too much to choose from. Give it a read.

Ahmadinejad Has Lost Iraq, Just as Bush Allies with Iran?

Here's an interesting take on Iranian President Imajihadi (or whatever his name is) and his efforts in Iraq. The essential point of the commentary is that Imajihadi has failed in Iraq by not securing Basra, which holds 70% of Iraq's oil reserves and also maintains the port by which US troops would leave Iraq.

It's an interesting argument, and makes some sense. Read the story for yourself.

Before you do, though, note that the commentary also makes a fairly strong claim that Bush has essentially allied himself with Iran in Iraq, and backs it up with some marginally compelling evidence:

President Bush boosted his pro-Iran policy with his quick decision to release the nine Iranian officials apprehended yesterday by US forces as enemy agents. Iran has thousands, if not tens of thousands of such personnel - primarily military -- in Iraq. Presumably, Bush will now permit them to stay as allies against Muqtada al-Sadr.


In fact, President Bush took the decisive step to turn Iraq over to Iran in December 2005 when -- at the urging of Rice and Pelosi -- Bush withdrew a paltry $20 million in US funding to support the moderate parties in Iraqs national elections. At that time, Iran was funding a $100 million program to support Shiite fundamentalists, who went on to sweep the elections (see David Ignatius, Washington Post, 31 September 2007)

I hadn't read about that, but if true, it's another strike against Bush. He rails against Iran in the press, but then takes actions like this. It's entirely disappointing and discouraging.