This is what “moral victories” looked like at CNN last night :
Read my post, Four out of four
This is what “moral victories” looked like at CNN last night :
Read my post, Four out of four
This blog’s mission, if you want to call it that, is to highlight the intersection of American and Latin American news and events.
The expansion of the Panama Canal is a crucial event that, for the most part, has been ignored by the American news media. It’s going on right now, and expected to be completed in April 2015. It will enable super-large ships, called “Post-Panamax,” to cross, but it necessitates that ports around the world, and especially in the Gulf states are deepend to accomodate them.
Roberto Roy, Panama’s Minister for Canal Affairs and Georgia Tech graduate, met with Georgia governor Nathan Deal,
“It is a critical issue for Georgia and for Savannah,” Roy said in an interview outside the governor’s office. “The reason is that the shipping fleet is totally changing. It is not only a matter of the ships being bigger. The key is that the most important variable is the fuel costs.”
Roy said the new ships can carry more containers, which makes them more energy efficient with significantly lower fuel costs per container.
“That is the game changer,” Roy said.
Georgia already has received the necessary federal approvals for the project, but it will need hundreds of millions of dollars in order to complete the deepening of the port. Reed has been working with state leaders to build support within President Barack Obama’s administration and other Democratic leaders for the project.
“Georgia needs to do a hard lobbying in Washington to get approval for this dredging,” Roy said. “The message is the fleet is changing, and we are already late.”
Let’s hope the bureaucrats in Washington are listening. An infrastructure project of this magnitude should have already started in the US ports, instead of those so-called “shovel ready jobs” that wasted the stimulus money.
is brought to you by Russell Athletics,
Watching the SEC Championship game on CBS right now. Go Dawgs!
Jimmy Carter’s drunk brother’s gas station won’t be added to the historic site on our dime YET; $17 million for 30 acres and a gas station in the Georgia boondocks is a pile of money:
The gas station of former President Jimmy Carter’s beer drinking brother will not become a national historic site paid for by taxpayers — at least, not yet.
Legislation that would expand the former president’s national historic site by 30 acres at a cost of $17 million over five years was pulled from consideration during a Senate committee meeting Thursday. Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming offered an amendment preventing the Billy Carter Service Station Museum from being included in the expansion, making the Georgia museum a national park. The House has already passed similar legislation.
“The Los Angeles Times posed the question best: ‘In the age of the $787-billion stimulus package, it is, perhaps, a modest question: Should the American taxpayer foot the bill to enshrine the gas station run by the late Billy Carter?’’ Barrasso said during the meeting. “I believe the answer is no.”
Thank you, John Barrasso.
Talk about audacity! Taranto has it,
Of course, if Obama were to accuse McCain of picking his positions on national security based on politics or personal ambition, everyone would laugh, because it obviously is not true. By contrast, there is quite a bit of evidence that Obama has placed political expediency above national security (for an excellent example, see our item yesterday on his shifting explanations for his original opposition to the liberation of Iraq).
In politics one often hears the charge of hypocrisy: My opponent criticizes me for X, but he has done Y, which is just as bad or worse. Obama’s argument here, though, is roughly opposite in form. He concedes that McCain is above reproach on this particular subject and therefore demands that McCain treat him as if he were beyond reproach. Obama’s acknowledgment of a McCain virtue is well and good, but it does not mitigate or excuse his own shortcoming.
Also via Taranto, a contradiction in terms: Petite, leggy women with big busts are the most sexually attractive, study reveals. I’m not sure how one is leggy if one’s petite, but what about tall women with really long legs (34″ inseam)?
You gotta love the AP reporter saying “it raises serious questions as to whether Russia’s backing down”.
Macker‘s got an open thread on VP picks for either party.
Ace wrote an excellent post that you should read: Tom Maguire Demolishes Andrew Sullivan’s “Sand-Crossing” of McCain
I read Fukuyama’s The End of History when it first came out and remained totally unconvinced by his premise that “At the end of history, there are no serious ideological competitors left to liberal democracy.” It struck me as simultaneously arrogant – since the “serious” part is in the beholder’s eye – and naive because the worst aspects of human nature will always find regimes where liberal democracy will be despised and dismissed. At the time my friends and I had lengthy and animated discussions on “the end of history”.
Unfortunately, the core assumptions of the post-Cold War years have proved mistaken. The absence of great power competition, it turns out, was a brief aberration. Over the course of the 1990s, that competition reemerged as rising powers entered or reentered the field. First China, then India, set off on unprecedented bursts of economic growth, accompanied by incremental but substantial increases in military capacity, both conventional and nuclear. By the beginning of the 21st century, Japan had begun a slow economic recovery and was moving toward a more active international role both diplomatically and militarily. Then came Russia, rebounding from economic calamity to steady growth built on the export of its huge reserves of oil and natural gas.
International order does not rest on ideas and institutions alone. It is shaped by configurations of power. The spread of democracy in the last two decades of the 20th century was not merely the unfolding of certain ineluctable processes of economic and political development. The global shift toward liberal democracy coincided with the historical shift in the balance of power toward those nations and peoples who favored the liberal democratic idea, a shift that began with the triumph of the democratic powers over fascism in World War II and that was followed by a second triumph of the democracies over communism in the Cold War. The liberal international order that emerged after these two victories reflected the new overwhelming global balance in favor of liberal forces. But those victories were not inevitable, and they need not be lasting. Today, the reemergence of the great autocratic powers, along with the reactionary forces of Islamic radicalism, has weakened that order and threatens to weaken it further in the years and decades to come.
Does the United States have the strength and ability to lead the democracies again in strengthening and advancing a liberal democratic international order?
Robert’s brother Frederick asks, What Is To Be Done?
In addition to the many good ideas for responding to Russia’s aggression that have been proposed elsewhere–expanding NATO, stalling WTO negotiations, kicking Russia out of the G-8–Washington should offer a revamped military assistance program to our NATO allies in Eastern Europe, as well as to Ukraine and Georgia. This program should aim to turn each of those states into a daunting porcupine capable of deterring the Russian bear. We should drop our resistance to the creation of large trained reserves in those countries alongside the small professional militaries we are already helping to create. And we should expand our military advisory presence so that we can help threatened states have the capability to respond to unforeseen Russian attack by denying Russian aircraft control of the skies and Russian tanks free entry into their territory.
All of these actions are defensive. We need not give Russia’s neighbors advanced tanks, strike aircraft, or long-range precision weapons. NATO should extend a guarantee to Georgia and Ukraine, but this program could help deter Russian aggression even without such a guarantee. The aims of this effort are very different from our Cold War strategy. We would not be trying to contain Russia in the expectation that it would ultimately collapse of its own contradictions. We would simply be trying to assist independent, sovereign states to protect themselves, and thereby helping persuade Russia to engage the world like any other responsible member of the international community, something that the Russians–in contrast to the Soviets–constantly claim that they are endeavoring to do.
In its own interest and in the interests of its allies, America must reject Vladimir Putin’s attempts to rewrite international law to suit Russia’s revanchist ambitions. We must reject the Russian fairy tale that aid to Russia’s neighbors is a threat to Russia. And we must reject the idea that helping Russia’s neighbors stand up to Moscow will create a new Cold War that appeasement would somehow avoid.
Because, no matter what Francis Fukuyama believes, history never goes away.
After Russia’s invasion of Georgia, what now for the West?
At least for now, the smoke seems to be clearing from the Georgian battlefield. But the extent of the wreckage reaches far beyond that small country.
It profits us little to blame Georgia for “provoking” the Russian attack. Nor is it becoming of the United States to have anonymous officials from its State Department telling reporters, as they did earlier this week, that they had warned Georgia not to provoke Russia. This confrontation is not about who violated the Marquess of Queensbury rules in South Ossetia, where ethnic violence has been a fact of life since the break-up of the Soviet Union on December 31, 1991 – and, indeed, long before. Instead, we are facing the much larger issue of how Russia plans to behave in international affairs for decades to come. Whether Mikhail Saakashvili “provoked” the Russians on August 8, or September 8, or whenever, this rape was well-planned and clearly coming, given Georgia’s manifest unwillingness to be “Finlandized” – the Cold War term for effectively losing your foreign-policy independence.
So, as an earlier Vladimir liked to say, “What is to be done?” There are three key focal points for restoring our credibility here in America: drawing a clear line for Russia; getting Europe’s attention; and checking our own intestinal fortitude. Whether history reflects Russia’s Olympic invasion as the first step toward recreating its empire depends – critically – on whether the Bush Administration can resurrect its once-strong will in its waning days, and on what US voters will do in the election in November. Europe also has a vital role – by which I mean the real Europe, its nation states, not the bureaucracies and endless councils in Brussels.
As for the Presidential election, Bolton notes
First reactions, before the campaigns’ pollsters and consultants get involved, are always the best indicators of a candidate’s real views. McCain at once grasped the larger, geostrategic significance of Russia’s attack, and the need for a strong response, whereas Obama at first sounded as timorous and tentative as the Bush Administration. Ironically, Obama later moved closer to McCain’s more robust approach, followed only belatedly by Bush.
Go read the whole article.
Reporters are in tremendous danger. During a blogger call with David Kakabadze and Jeff Gedmin of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, we were informed that seven reporters have already been killed. Yesterday Power Line posted this video of a Georgian reporter who continued her report while wounded:
Today Fox News showed both their reporters and a group of Turkish reporters under Russian sniper fire.
Update Video of the Turkish journalists under a barrage of fire – not snipers – here, via Ace, who points out the journalists were at a checkpoint.
However, considering that Russia’s lost at least five planes in this scuffle, maybe they should not be hoping no one calls their bluff, or, as the Russians call it, their peacekeeping mandate. Perhaps Putin’s been hoping Obama will handle it (once he gets back from vacation):
Pro-Western Ukraine vowed on Thursday to make Russia seek official permission for movements of its warships based in the ex-Soviet state despite Moscow’s objections, placing the neighbours on a collision course.
The former Soviet satellites might be the ones, but, as Richard Fernandez said, “Only what the West actually does will have any significance.”
Let the Cold War verbiage roll: Kremlin dusts off Cold War lexicon to make US villain in Georgia
Russians were told over breakfast yesterday what really happened in Georgia: the conflict in South Ossetia was part of a plot by Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, to stop Barack Obama being elected president of the United States.
That’s Cheney Derangement Syndrome for you.
In a baffling display of what passes for logic in those quarters,
“George Bush’s Administration is promoting interests of candidate John McCain,” said Dr Markov. “Defeated by Barak Obama on all fronts, McCain has one last card to play yet – the creation of a virtual Cold War with Russia . . . Bush himself did not want a war in South Ossetia but his Republican Party did not leave him any choice.” The Americans were now engineering an armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Dr Markov added.
Doc Markov’s a “senior political scientist who is close to Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister and power behind President Medvedev.” Either that, or he’s wearing one of those swimmer laser suits and it impedes blood flow to his brain.
Doc Markov’s dusted off the never-forgotten Soviet lexicon:
West was guilty of “adventurism”,
aggression against peace-loving Russian forces who are engaged on a humanitarian mission to protect human life,
the seditious tactics of the so-called colour revolutions,
threat to international law,
global legal nihilism,
yadda yadda yadda
You must admit, though, that the “colour revolutions” is a new one because in old Cold War days the only “colour” was Communist Red. Any other color got squashed before it had a chance to unfurl.
Everything old is new again. Call it the Soviet Verbiage Vintage Shop. Look who’s wearing vintage.
There’s a bear in the woods:
A bear in the woods, and a man in the water: