Streetwise Professor

May 9, 2010

Did Biden Have Travel Insurance?

Filed under: Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 8:41 am

Vladimir Putin personally vetoed the participation of Joe Biden and Prince Charles at this year’s celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany:

Russia invited Gordon Brown and other heads of state to attend the Kremlin’s celebrations on Sunday – the biggest ever. But with the prime minister unable to attend because of the general election, the Foreign Office suggested Prince Charles instead.

Last week, however, the prince was quietly stood down after Putin made it clear that he did not want him there – apparently in a sign of his continuing annoyance with the UK over its failure to extradite Boris Berezovsky, the Kremlin critic and former oligarch, to Russia.

Putin, Russia’s prime minister, also snubbed Biden, who had planned to go to Moscow and has been left kicking his heels in Brussels. Biden is close to Mikheil Saakashvili, Georgia’s president. During the 2008 Russian-Georgia war Putin famously threatened Saakashvili, pledging to “hang him by the balls”.

Yes, Berezovsky and Saakashvili might have had a little to do with it, but probably not much.  It also reflects, quite likely, Putin’s inveterate hatred of the US and the UK.  It also reflects, IMO, a continuing unwillingness of Russia to want to share the credit for vanquishing Hitler.  Although US, French, and British troops will participate in the Red Square parade for the first time, Russia is incredibly invested in a narrative of WWII in which the US and UK were bit players.  This narrative is an essential element in the meta narrative that justifies the legitimacy of the current Russian state.  A public snub of the US and UK  would be a powerful reminder of Russia’s belief that those nations were not essential to the ultimate outcome of the war.  (I also recall some kerfuffle over the 65th Anniversary of D-Day.  I can’t find a story, but I recall some Russian pique over that, in particular over Obama’s or Brown’s slighting of Russia’s role in the war.  Anybody else remember that?  So there might be an element of payback here.)

The US administration is supposedly ticked:

The White House is privately furious at the snub. Barack Obama told Russia’s president, Dmitry Medvedev, he was unable to attend but had confidently offered Biden as his replacement. [What, tee time get in the way?  Did he find the idea of being associated with “victory” awkward?]

Hey, maybe Barry should just phone his BFF Dmitri and get this all straightened out so Joe doesn’t have to reprise The Terminal in Brussels.

As if.

This is a small thing in substance, but one which is quite revealing.  It speaks volumes about Putin’s pettiness, pique, and power.  It reveals that the putative head of state is hardly even a figurehead.  It demonstrates that the vaunted “reset” is becoming a joke; if you can’t even fake symbolic bonhomie, how can you achieve real progress on substantive issues?  Will this administration get a clue?

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48 Comments »

  1. 1. So Russia refusing to accept these last-minute changes is a snub, while the US and UK sending low-level dignitaries is totally cool and proper?

    2. Biden is a racist jerk who made Nazi-like comments about Serbs. This guy does not deserve to be within a hundred mile radius, breathing the same air, as the veterans who defeated Nazism.

    3. I don’t believe Obama cares at all. If there’s at least one point of agreement between us, it’s that he has little nose for diplomatic niceties.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — May 9, 2010 @ 9:20 am

  2. Still, why the Western leaders are willing to participate in these KGB shows glorifying mass murder is beyond me. Understood, the brunt of Stalin-directed genocide has happened far from the West, so it’s not like “great victory” can remind Biden and such how half their extended family perished from artificial famine or were shot in the back by Stalin’s barrier troops. Still, you would think that 65 years is enough time to sort these things out and show some compassion for the tens of millions of Stalin’s victims.

    Comment by Ivan — May 9, 2010 @ 9:45 am

  3. S/O: VPUSA and UK heir to the throne are “low level dignitaries”? Given what we know about the power relationships within Russia, by your reasoning any government in the world would be justified in drawing the same conclusion and indulging the same pique if Medvedev attends a meeting, rather than Putin.

    Oh. Was Kacyzinski a low level dignitary? After all, Putin refused to invite him to the Katyn commemoration. Who was he, anyways? Only the President of Poland.

    No, Putin’s actions don’t have jack sh*t to do with the level of the dignitaries. It has everything to do with his political agenda, and his historical obsessions. Past and present rolled up into one ugly, spiteful package.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — May 9, 2010 @ 10:04 am

  4. The ideological struggle begins… “Ivan” lands the first crushing blow against the Stalinistas. How will Klub KGB respond? Can’t wait to find out.
    *gets popcorn*

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — May 9, 2010 @ 10:05 am

  5. I wouldn’t have invited Kacyzinski either because he is a raving Russophobe. Would any US President ever invite Ahmadinejad? Not that it mattered, since he crashed in anyway.

    Biden has insulted Russia on numerous occasions, and yes, the heir to a constitutional monarchy is indeed a low-ranking dignitary.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — May 9, 2010 @ 10:12 am

  6. SO, the popcorn is all mine. Tell us more about “the veterans, who defeated Nazism” marching on the Red Square in 2010.

    Comment by Ivan — May 9, 2010 @ 10:16 am

  7. S/O–your analogizing Kacyzinski and Ahmadinejad just further betrays your questionable judgment. Hmmm. I wonder why a Pole harbors deep anti-Russian feelings. Any ideas?

    Re Biden (whom I don’t like, BTW, as if you would be surprised) and his insults of Russia. (1) Touchy, touchy. (2) How many times has Putin insulted the US in far more vitriolic terms than anything that Biden has said?

    Re Obama–yes, he doesn’t like the diplomatic niceties. They’re beneath him. Yet he was so sanctimonious–no, is so sanctimonious–about repairing tattered alliances and America’s sullied image abroad. Sorry, but ignoring the diplomatic niceties is hardly the way to do that.

    I was going to mention this in response to one of your earlier comments (relating to the “comedy” routine), but got distracted: I think that part of the reason you like Obama is that he is similar to Putin in his predilection to publicly abuse those with whom he disagrees.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — May 9, 2010 @ 11:35 am

  8. “Although US, French, and British troops will participate in the Red Square parade for the first time, Russia is incredibly invested in a narrative of WWII in which the US and UK were bit players. This narrative is an essential element in the meta narrative that justifies the legitimacy of the current Russian state.”

    How many Americans do you know don’t believe the US came in and saved the day and defeated Nazi Germany? Have you seen the last 100 films coming out of Hollywood based on WW2?

    Comment by Richard — May 9, 2010 @ 8:02 pm

  9. We definitely must not forget the “billions and billions” murdered by Stalin. However, D-Day commemorations have no Russian representation. I guess it’s a tacit admission that it was more about preventing Russia getting all the spoils rather than defeating Germany (a foregone conclusion by then).

    Comment by So? — May 9, 2010 @ 9:48 pm

  10. “So”, how could this ugly thought even enter your mind? Everybody knows that the primary goal of D-Day was to provide assistance to Stalin so that a department of GULAG could be opened on Champs-Élysées. Seriously, they were begging Stalin to enslave the rest of Europe, yet the wise leader showed his infinite modesty once again by only enslaving the eastern half of it.

    Comment by Ivan — May 10, 2010 @ 12:26 am

  11. Ivan, are you a liberast or a provocateur posing as one? Just wondering…

    S/O–your analogizing Kacyzinski and Ahmadinejad just further betrays your questionable judgment. Hmmm. I wonder why a Pole harbors deep anti-Russian feelings. Any ideas?

    Why shouldn’t Iranians harbor deep anti-American feelings? After all, American intelligence services along with Britain / BP regime changed Iran’s first democracy, controlled it through a puppet for thirty years, then spent another thirty years waging a cold war against it.

    But in any case, I couldn’t care less if Poles harbor “deep anti-Russian feelings”. That doesn’t excuse public, overtly Russophobic hysteria practiced by Kacyzinski and his (semi-fascist) League of Polish Families power base which jails atheist Poles for blasphemy (a bit like Iran, lol).

    I was going to mention this in response to one of your earlier comments (relating to the “comedy” routine), but got distracted: I think that part of the reason you like Obama is that he is similar to Putin in his predilection to publicly abuse those with whom he disagrees.

    What’s wrong with that if the “abuse” is richly deserved? But no, they don’t figure as major reasons why I like them.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — May 10, 2010 @ 12:37 am

  12. Year by year, this holiday is getting too big for its britches. It seems that it is more political theater than commemoration. Whatever happened to mature pride and solemnity? Now it’s become like a Hollywood gossip-fest or a bunch of New York socialites taking turns snubbing each other. Put the stupid missiles away, keep the veterans in focus, and don’t make this an annual farce for the sake of Putin’s ego.

    Comment by Howard Roark — May 10, 2010 @ 12:44 am

  13. S/O, are you a KGB operative or a wannabe KGB operative? Just wondering… Anyway, what about those “Nazi defeaters”? Were there more Budapest’56 or Prague’68 heroes at the Moscow show? Was the victorious 58th army marching complete with all the toilet seats looted from Georgia as well?

    Comment by Ivan — May 10, 2010 @ 1:38 am

  14. Ivan,
    Your insinuations are waste of time. Russia has nothing to apologize for. I’ll never apologize for Russia. Ever, I don’t care what the facts are.

    Comment by So? — May 10, 2010 @ 2:39 am

  15. Howard Roark, the absurd theatre of “Victory Day” and the “Great Patriotic War” is nowhere near what it used to be – but you are right, it is still absurd theatre.

    I think even SWP underestimates how deeply invested the CURRENT regime in Russia is in all of the pomp and circumstance, all of the doctrinal propaganda surrounding the “Great Patriotic War.”

    It was not, and is not, respectful remembrance of the dead, and an opportunity to reflect on the tragedy and uselesness of war.

    It was sovok propaganda writ large about the “glory” of stalin, the “victory” of communism over “fascism” – ignoring, of course, the horrible mismanagement of stalin, and the role of the weather, and the NKVD standing behind the Red Army ready to shoot anyone who took one step backwards, and a host of other ills.

    The sovok countries traded defeat of hitler for something even worse – stalin and a brutal, murderous repressive sovok system.

    All of the propaganda about “Victory Day” and the glory of stalin was drummed into the population so hard that it persists even today.

    It’s all they had.

    It is difficult to believe that even today, the brainwashing is still pervasive.

    But all you have to do is take a look at the pictures of stalin and the military parades in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

    The people who fought in the Red Army knew better – for example, read “The Whisperers,” by Orlando Figes – they knew they were fighting for their homeland, not for stalin.

    But the sovok political machine took over, and today, politicians like Putler still feed off all of that brainwashing.

    They may have tried to soft-pedal it a bit by inviting troops from other countries to march along in parades on May 9.

    And they sell it, in English, not as a “victory” day parade to celebrate the “Great Patriotic War”, but as marking the end of a war.

    But in Russian – it’s still “Russia did it all by themselves,” and the sovok Red Army and communism was victorious over fascism.

    These are the games that politicians like Putler play – and they count heavily on the Pavlov-style conditioned reflex of a vast number of former sovok citizens who to this day remain brainwashed.

    Comment by elmer — May 10, 2010 @ 9:09 am

  16. Here is a video report of the parades in Moscow – complete with sovok commie flags and uniforms, and the sovok anthem.

    Medvedev’s opening remarks, very roughly translated: “Veterans – 65 years ago you brought victory to your country – and peace to the whole planet.”

    And there’s the Russian army – still goose-stepping like epileptic marionettes, sovok style – and nazi-style.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVzJdzKcIow&feature=player_embedded#!

    Comment by elmer — May 10, 2010 @ 9:20 am

  17. “The sovok countries traded defeat of hitler for something even worse – stalin and a brutal, murderous repressive sovok system.”

    http://www.dac.neu.edu/holocaust/Hitlers_Plans.htm

    “Generalplan Ost presented the Nazi Reich and the German people with gigantic tasks. It called for the gradual preparation of a vast area of Eastern Europe for settlement by Germans and eventual absorption into the great Thousand-Year Reich. This area covered territory stretching from the eastern borders of Germany more or less to a line running from Lake Ladoga in the north to the Black Sea in the region of the Crimea in the south. The Thousand-Year Reich was thus to absorb the whole of Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Baltic countries excepting Finland, (for the moment) and a huge chunk of the Soviet Union – most of Russia, Byelorussia, the Ukraine and the whole of the Crimea. According to the Plan, these areas were to be “germanized” before being incorporated into the Reich.

    The Nazi document uses the term “Germanization of Eastern Territories” (Eindeutschung der Ostgebiete). The phrase might suggest that the author of the Plan had in mind the Germanization of the native populace of these areas. However, it is clear from the further wording of the plan that any attempt to Germanize the Slav nations of Eastern Europe was never in the reckoning. On the contrary, the plan stipulated that these Slav territories would be settled by Germans while the vast majority of the native populace would be gradually pushed out. Only an insignificant number was to be Germanized. In short, Generalplan Ost provided for the expulsion of millions of people, primarily Slav nations, from their homes and the settlement of Germans in their place. This would have been an enormous task requiring a fairly long period of time and a formidable effort. For it would be easier to expel the people living in these areas than to find a sufficient number of Germans to repopulate them. The Plan, drawing on the material collected in the preliminary stages, concluded that 31 million people would have been deported in the course of 25 years. However, in his 1942 memorandum, Dr. Wetzel revised this figure (taking into account certain territorial changes, natural increases, etc.) and arrived at a total of 51 million.

    At the time when Wetzel was writing his comments, Generalplan Ost had ceased to be merely a blueprint. Its first part, the KleinePlanung, was already being put into practice. The western areas of Poland had been incorporated into the Reich, hundreds of thousands of Poles had been expelled from them, and further deportations were in progress. Hundreds of thousands of Poles were dying in various concentration camps, while millions of Jews, herded into ghettos and still ignorant of their fate, were awaiting “the final solution of the Jewish problem.” The rulers of the Third Reich were in a hurry to carry out their criminal plans while there was still a war to divert the attention of the world from what was going on in Eastern Europe.”

    Comment by M — May 10, 2010 @ 10:14 am

  18. Along with their Ukrainian brethren who were present.

    Never mind the “sovok” like “Hero” designations and support for Communist drawn boundaries.

    Paul Popovich would’ve been a better sub than Biden.

    Good to see Poland represented in the Moscow parade along with Britain, France, the US and CIS countries. Likewise, it was good to see Russia appropriately represented in Kiev and Crimea.

    Comment by Bugs — May 10, 2010 @ 11:38 am

  19. “(2) How many times has Putin insulted the US in far more vitriolic terms than anything that Biden has said?” I dunno, the Comrade Wolf joke (the wolf in the Russian cartoons is akin to Wile E. Coyote, always chasing the rabbit/roadrunner for dinner and missing in hilarious ways).

    Saying the financial crisis began in the U.S. and UK? Well that happens to be true, unless that whole LTCM thing can be seen as the first trigger for the Bailout Nation and thereby blamed on Russia (but then that would be Yeltsin’s crew, Putin was in St. Pete at the time though Deutsche Bank types were already hinting that with his smooth command of German and administration under Sobchak he was going places – maybe they were German Bildebergers? 🙂 Or we could blame the Japanese for blowing up their bubble economy and failing to have enough children to lend to so they had to buy our AAA rated crap.

    So other than the Munich speech I’m not sure what egregious insults of America and the UK Putin is talking about. That the UK harbors a gangster like Berezovsky in return for whatever dirt he dished on Yeltsin’s insiders? That Berezovsky’s enemies like Lebed and Klebnikov died violently? Common knowledge, but let’s not go there.

    Comment by Mr. X — May 10, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

  20. And Putin never basically wrote off the U.S. as a declining power the way Biden claimed Russia was insecure because of its lessening population.

    Comment by Mr. X — May 10, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

  21. It was sovok propaganda writ large about the “glory” of stalin, the “victory” of communism over “fascism” – ignoring, of course, the horrible mismanagement of stalin,
    A country, where to feed 10, 8 have to toil in the fields, cannot wage total war in the industrial age. Therefore, no Stalin, no Victory, no Russia, no Ukraine. And most definitely no Jews (though you probably don’t care).

    and the role of the weather,
    Soviets must have had a different metabolism to not be affected by the cold.

    and the NKVD standing behind the Red Army ready to shoot anyone who took one step backwards, and a host of other ills.
    These were the exception rather than the rule. You cannot win like that. Neither can you “smother the enemy with your dead” when you have comparable mobilization resources.

    The sovok countries traded defeat of hitler for something even worse – stalin and a brutal, murderous repressive sovok system.
    You’re on a slippery slope here. I hope references to Irving and Buchanan are not about to follow.

    Comment by So? — May 11, 2010 @ 3:38 am

  22. Enemy at the Gates seems to have nurtured a certain and misguided imagery on how the Red Army waged war. That army included a famous Ukrainian detachment, running counter to the faulty notion of Stalin seeking to completely eliminate Ukrainians. Never mind how many more Ukrainians fought on the Red Army side than Bandera’s and how most present day Ukrainains don’t appear to have a positive view of Bandera.

    One can find legitimate fault with some of Buchanan’s historical views. Unlike Irving, Buchanan (to my knowledge) hasn’t second guessed the WW II casualty figures of the Jews or been willingly seen with noticeably extreme neo-Nazi types.

    In a recent CSPAN Book TV segment, Buchanan argued that his vision of how WW II could’ve been limited or averted would’ve saved many Jewish lives. On that and other shows, he has made clear his disdain for Nazi actions against Jews.

    Comment by Bugs — May 11, 2010 @ 6:47 am

  23. Last paragraph change:

    In a recent CSPAN Book TV segment, Buchanan argued that many Jewish lives would’ve been saved in relation to how his vision of how WW II could’ve been limited or averted.

    There’s a reason to believe that he’s overly stressing the particular “if” factor that he brings up.

    Comment by Bugs — May 11, 2010 @ 8:16 am

  24. Did you say something, So?

    I hope you enjoyed the nazi-style goose-stepping by the rooshan army.

    Comment by elmer — May 11, 2010 @ 8:55 am

  25. Equating Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union is an old canard. Repeating it ad nauseum won’t make it true.

    Comment by So? — May 11, 2010 @ 9:03 am

  26. Denying that the Soviet Union was morally in the same category as Nazi Germany is an old canard. Repeating it ad nauseum won’t make it true.

    Comment by kacha — May 11, 2010 @ 9:23 am

  27. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The burden of proof is on you. (Tripe from Conquest and Solzhiviynitsin will be ignored).

    Comment by So? — May 11, 2010 @ 9:39 am

  28. Anti-Soviets caused the most horrific war in history, in which the Slavs were to be exterminated. The Soviets tried to prevent that war, and played the main role in saving the Slavs from the fate Hitler had in store for them.

    Difference enough for you?

    Comment by rkka — May 11, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

  29. Regarding Pat Buchanan, even though he is wrong to say that the U.S. should have stayed out of WWII, he never said that a Nazi victory would have been better or morally equivalent to the Soviet victory. I also haven’t read anywhere that he said Stalin’s bodycount equalled that of Hitler.

    If you read The Death of the West (2001) he writes that the Russian people would not fight and die for Stalin or Communism but would for their Motherland. There are others with similar views to Buchanan who, even if they don’t think FDR had foreknowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack, believe that FDR tricked or had to lie the American people into the war with Nazi Germany that he wanted while hanging our forces in the Pacific (including a potential political rival in MacArthur) out to dry.

    The Anton Myrer book Once An Eagle has a scene where the main character, Sam Damon, has an interview with MacArthur in Australia where the commander is bemoaning his fate at the end of America’s longest logistical tail and the loss of the Philippines while forces are built up for Europe. You can argue strategically the Third Reich was more dangerous to the world than the Japanese, but there is no denying which Axis power posed the greater threat to U.S. territory before mid-1942. And that 10,000 Americans and more than a hundred thousand Filipinos paid the price for strategically weighing Europe first.

    Buchanan is not even in the same neighborhood as David Irving, who has actually hung out and accepted awards from neo-Nazi and SS veteran types.

    Comment by Mr. X — May 11, 2010 @ 1:18 pm

  30. Buchanan is still a regular commentator on MSNBC, and despite his frequent criticism of U.S. aid to Israel (to my knowledge he has never questioned Israel’s right to exist, just to $2 billion a year in U.S. arms loans/guarantees) has many good Jewish friends, both from the Nixon Admin and previous.

    Comment by Mr. X — May 11, 2010 @ 1:20 pm

  31. Good points Mr. X.

    At one time, he was pro-Israel to the point of not criticizing US aid to Israel.

    As is true with criticizing Russia and other countries, there’re different levels of criticism which come in conflict with each other.

    Comment by Bugs — May 11, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

  32. “Anti-Soviets caused the most horrific war in history, in which the Slavs were to be exterminated. ”

    It is a fact that the Soviets were one of the two main aggressors that started that war in alliance with the Nazis. It is also a fact that, whatever the Nazis may have dreamed of, the Soviets have exterminated many more people, especially many more Slavic people compared to the Nazis.

    Comment by Ivan — May 11, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

  33. Forgetting Munich which pre-dated Molotov-Ribbentrop.

    The Soviet legacy has some definite negatives.

    However, would Poland had been better off under continued Nazi rule than Soviet?

    Holding their nose, most Poles seem to answer that question with a “no.”

    Comment by Bugs — May 11, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

  34. Ivan here seems to think that Adolpf should have been allowed to conquer all of Poland and launch Operation Barbarossa against the 1938 Soviet border.

    Comment by rkka — May 11, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

  35. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Russia’s liberasts like “Ivan” are utterly, completely crazy.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — May 11, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

  36. You could study all the deeply ingrained Soviet reflexes by my opponents’ answers:

    1) “But they lynch Negroes in America”. Standard Soviet answer when facing irrefutable facts on any Soviet crimes.

    2) Ignore the facts completely, concentrate on sticking some derogatory labels onto the opponents instead.

    Next thing we’ll learn that Katyn massacre was good for Poland as well, and the GULAG was an all-inclusive resort.

    Comment by Ivan — May 12, 2010 @ 12:46 am

  37. Wanna make a bet on that?

    Your two points can be easily thrown right back at how you’ve addressed the issues.

    Comment by Bugs — May 12, 2010 @ 2:50 am

  38. Even more outrageous is Putin’s refusal to allow Georgia to march in the parade despite its loss of 300,000 brave soldiers while fighting to save Russia from the Nazis:

    http://larussophobe.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/editorial-an-abomination-in-russia/

    Meanwhile, half the number of world leaders attended this more significant anniversary than did the 60th even though Russia advertised it as the biggest in history.

    Comment by La Russophobe — May 12, 2010 @ 3:57 am

  39. Ivan, the references to alledged facts you have mand have been uniformly false. What you believe are anti-facts.

    Comment by rkka — May 12, 2010 @ 5:10 am

  40. Phoby, Phony, Phoby…

    The Georgian government’s attitude towards the sacrifices Georgian soldiers made during the Great Patriotic War were adequately demonstrated by their blowing up, with loss of life, of a major memorial to precisely those soldiers. The lunatic Russophobia of the Georgian government was the barrier to their Red Square march.

    Comment by rkka — May 12, 2010 @ 5:14 am

  41. Hi Bugs, the countdown to posting the Roy/Ruchala letter resumes: nine.

    Comment by peter — May 12, 2010 @ 6:25 am

  42. Diversionary manner from the same tiring scumbag posting as “Peter.”

    http://accidentalrussophile.blogspot.com/2007/08/should-we-be-afraid-of-russia-have-your.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay/2007/08/a_new_cold_war.html

    http://tinyurl.com/23p4as8

    http://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/ethan-s-burger/could-partition-solve-ukraine’s-problems

    Getting back to comments that relate to the discussion, CIS countries, Britain, France, America and Poland were the only nations represented in the recently completed Victory Day parade in Moscow.

    Care of Saakashvili’s government, Georgia is no longer in the CIS. Meantime, key Georgian opposition political figures Nino Burjanadze and Zurab Noghaideli were in Moscow to attend the most recent honoring of the May 9 Victory Day holiday.

    Comment by Dan — May 12, 2010 @ 7:03 am

  43. eight

    Comment by peter — May 12, 2010 @ 7:59 am

  44. Key potential Berias for the Putin-mafia in Sovok-union ?

    key Georgian opposition political figures Nino Burjanadze and Zurab Noghaideli were in Moscow

    Regarding the approval rates of political parties, the United National Movement has 36%. The Christian Democratic Movement, a moderate pro-Western opposition force and major opposition faction in Georgian parliament is second with 10%, followed by the Labor Party and Alasania’s Alliance for Georgia with 8% and 6%, respectively. Burjanadze’s party has a mere 1% approval rate.

    Irakli Alasania, former envoy to the United Nations, who went into opposition to President Mikheil Saakashvili shortly after Russia’s military aggression against Georgia in 2008, is second with 11%. 9% supports no mayoral candidate and 16% of potential voters remain undecided. Zurab Noghaideli’s three political partners gather 1% each.

    The day that Noghaideli threatened a “Kyrgyz scenario,” he and a few dozen of his supporters were trying to break into one of the printing houses in Tbilisi.

    Comment by Boris — May 12, 2010 @ 10:49 am

  45. PS. Julia Ioffe on what really happened.
    http://trueslant.com/juliaioffe/2010/05/12/obama-biden-putin-and-the-snub-that-never-was-2/

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — May 13, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

  46. Latest addition of hacks in journalism.

    Comment by paul — May 14, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

  47. seven

    Comment by peter — May 15, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

  48. This post is really very appreciable.your post is very advantageous for me and very good.Even more outrageous is Putin’s refusal to allow Georgia to march in the parade despite its loss of 300,000 brave soldiers while fighting to save Russia from the Nazis
    ==================================
    Daniel01

    Comment by Super Travel Insurance — June 29, 2010 @ 3:26 am

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