Russians reject Obama cooties UPDATED — WRONG

UPDATE:  You, my readers, are clearly right, and you’ve shown once again that context is king.  Obama is introducing Medvedev to his people and not vice versa.  Although this still does not account for Obama’s exasperated expression.

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This is a fairly shocking 13 second video showing myriad Russians refusing, quite blatantly, to shake Obama’s hand:

It’s understandable that Obama is exasperated.  It’s appalling that he, the leader of the free world, let’s that exasperation show, as if he’s a 13 year old who just got rejected at the middle school dance.

I’m actually at a loss to understand the video.  I don’t believe Bush was ever on the receiving end of such blatant rudeness.  And yet he never matched Obama when it came to setting a conciliatory, if not totally self-abnegatory, tone.  Either the Russians are showing their deep lack of respect for someone who comes to them crawling on his belly, or those enlightened non-American, post-Communist citizens are racists in a way that would never be accepted in America.

Hat tip: American Thinker, which got it at Gateway Pundit

Keeping my mouth shut re Georgia

“Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve said nothing about Russia invading Georgia.  This is, in part, because the exigencies of the past week have deprived me of time to read in detail about it.  I only know headlines and, since I have absolutely no background in the geography or the conflict, this means I’m abysmally ignorant.

The silence is also because, to the extent I have managed to grasp what’s going on out there, I don’t have anything to add to the discussion, or anything that I feel I want to voice personally despite the fact that so many others are saying the same thing.  Yes, Putin is a totalitarian dictator, but we’ve known that about him for a long time, and many of us have just been sitting here waiting to see how is old KGB attitudes end up merging with his megalomaniac traits.  Yes, this is all about oil.  Yes, this represents a very dangerous trend, although it’s as unclear now as it was during the Cold War whether Russia has the ability to back up its aggressive initiatives.  It’s easy to go in with the remaining guns from your former glory and squash a teeny little Republic.  It’s harder to maintain any long campaigns.  And yes, McCain showed leadership abilities, with Obama showing, first, ignorance (which is excusable in me, but not in him) and, second, the ability to follow McCain’s lead.

And yes, I’ve run out of echoing other, wiser people on the terrible tragedy, at the hands of a gross, bullying dictatorship, that is playing out in Georgia.

Random thoughts

There was a round-up of illegal aliens in Marin County. The story included the obligatory reference to the children who had to watch their parents being arrested for illegal activity:

Wilson said children watched while their parents and other adults were taken away by authorities. Some were removed while accompanying children to the school bus, he said.

“They are taking parents of citizen children,” Wilson said. “Most people are just dealing with the shock and the loss and trying to find their loved ones.”

One point and one suggestion. The point is that one never reads stories about the trauma suffered by children whose parents are arrested for crimes other than being illegal aliens. Apparently it’s only the children of illegal aliens who suffer newsworthy emotional trauma. And the suggestion: why don’t we say that, if Mom and Dad are illegally here, so are you, regardless of where you were born? That way parents and kids can stay together, here or there.

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America is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t. China and Russia used to castigate her for her temerity in developing missiles. Now they scold her for her temerity for developing defenses to their (and others’) missiles. Since American can’t win, one does get the sense that she could go ahead and do whatever the Hell she deems best for her security.

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Speaking of Russia, I find it somehow amusing that Russia is upset that finally, long after the Cold War ended, an American movie once again reverted to its pre-Leftist roots and depicted the Communists as bad guys. (And yes, I know that during WWII, the Lefties in Hollywood went nuts making movies glorifying Communism, but that stopped for a while when the Cold War actually began.) I thought the Russians had abandoned Communism, having recognized that it wasn’t beneficial for them. Why, then, are they taking it personally now? Could it be that, when it comes to Putin, once a KGB apparatchik, always a KGB apparatchik?

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Hillary is historically accurate that things can happen in a primary between there and now (whenever that here and now is) and the actual convention, where the delegates place the final imprimatur on their candidate of choice. Nevertheless, with a woman as calculated as Hillary, it’s hard to believe that it was coincidence that she mentioned that a primary candidate could be assassinated in the June before the convention. It’s a nasty thing to do, and it’s also a horrible thing to say about Americans, especially conservative Americans, with the implication that they’re still racist enough to do something like that.

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Israel wiped out Iraq’s nascent nuclear arsenal, and the world has had cause to be grateful. Israel probably wiped out Syria’s nascent nuclear arsenal, and the world ought to be grateful. There’s talk now about Israel once again taking on responsibility for the world and wiping out Iran’s nuclear arsenal. Many are afraid that, if she does so, Iran will strike back like a wounded, but still dangerous, animal. Tellingly, one pair of experts isn’t that worried. Patrick Clawson and Michael Eisenstadt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy wrote a paper called “The Last Option,” in which they discuss the possibility of a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. In an interview about their conclusions, Clawson had this to say:

And what will be a possible result of an Israeli attack?

Again, my answer is that it depends. Israel has to create the circumstances in which world public opinion will understand Israel and its motives, even if it regrets the attack.

That’s more or less what happened with the attack against the nuclear facility in Syria?

Yes, it is quite similar. Israel benefited from President Assad’s hostile attitude to the world, and therefore the international community showed understanding of the Israeli air force’s attack. Israel did not have to do much because Assad did the job for it. In this respect, Israel also benefits from Ahmadinejad and his statements. They help Israel present its position to the world and explain the threat it faces.

Do you share the sweeping assessment of most experts that Iran’s reaction if attacked will be harsh and painful?

No. Iran’s record when it comes to its reactions in the past to attacks against it, or its important interests, is mixed. When the Taliban assumed power in Afghanistan and persecuted the Shi’ite minority there, Iran mobilized military forces on the border and threatened to respond, but in the end it did nothing. The same occurred when the U.S. shot down an Iranian passenger airline in 1988: Iran threatened to avenge the incident, but in the end the exact opposite happened. Not only did Iran not respond, but also the incident hastened its decision to agree to a cease-fire in the war with Iraq for fear that the U.S. was about to join the war on Saddam Hussein’s side.

In another incident during the war, Iranian boats attacked an American naval force that set out to mine the Gulf. The U.S. did not expect Iran to react, and was surprised. This did not stop it from sinking half of the Iranian fleet in response.

Iran has lately been threatening that if it is attacked it will close the Straits of Hormuz and block the flow of oil, and thereby damage the world economy. But this is a problematic threat, since it would also affect Iran’s friends and supporters, such as China and India. I have no doubt that in such a case, they would be angry at Iran.

But most experts estimate that in the event of an Israeli attack, the Iranians will respond with force and launch Shihab missiles at Israel.

It is possible, but first, the Shihab missiles are not considered particularly reliable. Iran deploys them without having done hardly any significant tests. Second, the Shihab’s guidance system is not very accurate. The missile’s range of accuracy is up to a kilometer. And finally, Israel’s aerial defense system – the Arrow missiles would certainly intercept quite a few Shihab missiles. Moreover, Iran’s firing missiles at Israel would enable Israel to respond in a decisive manner.

You can read the rest of the interview here.

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And as a reminder of what the statists housed in today’s Democratic party are all about, I leave you with this video of the lovely Rep. Maxine Waters talking to America’s oil companies:

Gorbachev and God

Reagan gave him the opportunity, but it was Mikhail Gorbachev who personally wielded the power that destroyed the Soviet Union.  Many have wondered what gave him the insight and the courage to do so.  Maybe this is the answer.

And you wonder why Russia is helping fund terrorists

Just as the Soviet Union’s fingerprints were all over the local wars that were the testing areas for the Cold War, it’s becoming apparent that both the Soviet Union’s and Russia’s fingerprints are all over the Middle Eastern wars that the testing areas for World War IV (the War Against Jihadism). Here’s some of what Ion Mihai Pacepa has to say about Russia’s involvement in today’s turmoil:

Today’s international terrorism was conceived at the Lubyanka, the headquarters of the KGB, in the aftermath of the1967 Six-Day War in the Middle East. I witnessed its birth in my other life, as a Communist general. Israel humiliated Egypt and Syria, whose bellicose governments were being run by Soviet razvedka (Russian for “foreign intelligence”) advisers, whereupon the Kremlin decided to arm Israel’s enemy neighbors, the Palestinians, and draw them into a terrorist war against Israel.

Pacepa then gives names, dates and places to support this strong accusation.

Given Russia’s decade’s old investment in destroying Israel, and her centuries’ old investment in destroying the Jews, I shouldn’t be surprised by Pravda’s decision to run the following virulent editorial by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey in today’s edition:

Exactly when Israel’s international image hits rock-bottom and when the international community sees for itself the depths to which Tel Aviv will sink while claiming it is a State yet acting like a terrorist organization, a new militant group pops its head up in Gaza, kidnapping western journalists. In a flash, the 1-0 victory becomes 2-1 against in the hearts and minds of the western international community.

Curiously, exactly when Israel had proved once and for all beyond any doubt whatsoever that it is incapable of behaving like a State but rather like a terrorist organization, losing any little sympathy it had left in the international community (what after all is the difference between Hezbollah launching rockets against Israeli civilians and Israeli military forces blasting civilian homes and then claiming the civilians should not have been there?) an unheard-of militant group called Holy Jihad Brigades appears in Gaza and says it is behind the kidnapping of two western journalists on August 14th.

The Fox correspondent Steve Centanni and his cameraman Olaf Wiig were seized by masked raiders in Gaza City on August 14th. The Holy Jihad Brigades now demand that the Moslems held by America be released within 72 hours: “Release what you have and we will release what we have”, reads the fax.

If the Palestinian cause wanted anything which could so rapidly neutralise the propaganda victory in the aftermath of the Israeli massacres in the Lebanon (strafing funerals, slaughtering children in their homes, targeting power stations, committing acts of environmental terrorism, targeting civilian structures with military hardware) it is this.

There’s more, but it’s sickening and it’s all to the same point: Israel is a terrorist nation that murders people en masse and the foolish Palestinians obscured this fact — just when the world was finally figuring it out — by kidnapping those inconvenient reporters.

I’ve done just a little digging, by the way, and was able to discover the following about Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey: He’s a permanent member of Pravda’s editorial staff although, as his name demonstrates, he’s not Russian. In fact, he’s a British songwriter with a degree from Leeds (which clearly makes him qualified to write on all matters political). Although the link for his bio is dead, nothing really dies in cyberpsace, and I was able to find that “USS Clueless” provides extensive quotations from Bancroft-Hinchey’s defunct biographical site:

I incidentally became involved with the world of music and even became one of the leading English song-writers of the 1980s. I took part in three Eurovision contests, released three albums, two maxi-singles and five singles. That was the time when I started establishing contacts with the press. “I had to give a lot of interviews for television and newspapers. I noticed that facts were reinterpreted on numerous occasions, almost always, in order to make an article correspond to ideas of a reporter. One fine day I realized that there was only one way to strive for the truth: to write a true story and to send it to mass media outlets. That’s what I did.”

I showed my first articles to a friend, a reporter, who expressed his interest in them and asked my why I did not take up journalism seriously. After that, I finished journalism courses, and worked as a freelance journalist at Portuguese, Spanish, Latin American, English and Romanian media outlets. However, journalism was not my only occupation. “I believe that there is nothing more boring for a journalist than to sit at table, working on the so-called news, which has already been picked out from the Internet by someone, retelling someone else’s stories. In addition to that, it is proof of the absence of professionalism, it is not worth it, in the long run. I like to visit new places, to collect new material for my own articles.”

As USS Clueless points out, it’s very bizarre for someone in his own bio to include quotations around his own statements. I’m sure Bancroft-Hinchey is one of those who, when speaking, refers to himself in the third person. USS Clueless also provides links to some of B-H’s past articles, all of which display a startling animus towards America — which sort of makes for a matched set when paired with his animus towards Israel. (If you type B-H’s name in Google, you’ll get a million more articles hostile to America and Israel.)

I’m sure a little more digging would reveal plenty more dirt about this man. It’s sufficient, though, that he has Pravda (which is still Russia’s leading newspaper) as his forum for spouting off his vile political opinions to a nation that is still one of the major weapons dealers in the world.

UPDATE: Although I suspect B-H’s savage antipathy towards Israel arises because he is a Brit educated at a Leftist University (as they all are in England), one can’t help but believe that part of his hostility is because he accepts at face value the propaganda that poured out of Lebanon. Even though it’s too late to remedy the damage — damage that resulted in a ridiculous ceasefire — two websites have done yeoman’s work at exposing the falsehoods the press swallowed hook, line and sinker (or that the press created), and that the world media willingly promulgated. The first is the EU Referendum, which has dragged apart and exposed the rot in the supposed Qana massacre (which will join the supposed Jenin massacre as one of the great anti-Israel frauds); and the second is Zombie’s deconstruction of the totally false “Red Cross Ambulance Incident.” As Michelle Malkin rightly says (and it was from her site that I got these links) these two posts deserve whatever the Internet equivalent is for the Pulitzer — only something more worthy, since the Pulitzer has become too debased to remain as a standard for quality reporting.

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