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War and peace

Gavin Hewitt | 14:54 UK time, Thursday, 10 December 2009

obama_595.jpgUS President Barack Obama walked into Oslo's City Hall to long applause. He smiled cautiously, knowing that in the world-wide audience there were sceptics. For many the Nobel Prize had come too soon, too early in his presidency. It was a prize for good intentions.

Mr Obama addressed those doubts in the first minutes of his lecture. He accepted that his getting the prize had caused controversy. "In part, this was because I am at the beginning and not the end of my labours," he said.

He went on to accept that compared to some of the giants of history who had received the award before - like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela - "my accomplishments are slight."

He also knew that for some there was a contradiction in accepting a peace prize when he has just ordered another 30,000 troops to deploy to Afghanistan. He told his audience that he was a commander-in-chief in the midst of war. In a speech that was about war and peace he defended the use of force. "I face the world as it is and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people," he said. "For make no mistake, evil does exist in the world."

Mr Obama then marked out what he considers to be the major difference between his administration and that of President Bush. He insisted that America must follow international agreements.

"America cannot insist that others follow the rules of the road if we refuse to follow them ourselves," he said. He then reverted to a theme that I had heard often during his election campaign. "We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend," he said.

Introducing Mr Obama, the chairman of the Nobel committee, Thorbjorn Jagland, had praised the new president's commitment to oppose torture and to close the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. That has not happened yet. Today, here was a president re-affirming all the idealism of his campaign while tempering them with the reality of power.

Earlier in the day, he had said that if he was successful some of the criticism would subside but if he was not "all the praise in the world and the awards in the world won't disguise that fact". Outside the president's hotel were small groups of people demanding that Mr Obama earn his prize. For them, the test will be the Copenhagen summit next week and the pledges made by the United States. Others were demanding an end to the war in Afghanistan.

It was a sober, cautious president who insisted on the one hand that the "instruments of war have a role to play in preserving the peace" while saying that "war itself is never glorious and we must never trumpet it as such".


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  • 1. At 6:21pm on 10 Dec 2009, Steve wrote:

    Given the award's sordid history (e.g. Kissinger), none of this is surprising. Every war is a just war if you buy the propaganda which is dutifully peddled by a media acting as a megaphone for government.

    Underlying all reports is the implicit assumption that we are acting with good intentions. Thus even when we do something ostensibly bad, we frame it within the context of our great benevolence. The award is a natural extension of this.

    If the media reported on allies with the same tone it uses for official enemies, perhaps even the Nobel Peace Prize committee would have shied away from giving the award to Obama. I won't hold my breath waiting for that though.

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  • 2. At 6:22pm on 10 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    I just read the speech and think it excellent. There is some irony in using the Nobel Peache Prize speech as an opportunity to talk chiefly about war. I believe it will be long remembered.

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  • 3. At 6:42pm on 10 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    "Peache" was a typographic error, of course. Ironic, because I just read former US President Jimmy Carter's Nobel Peace Prize speech for comparison. (Carter is from Georgia, the Peach State.) Carter's speech was more in the traditional vein of condemning war and extolling peacful alternatives. Obama's approach is the better, I think.

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  • 4. At 7:56pm on 10 Dec 2009, sayasay wrote:

    Kissinger unhesitatingly accepted the Noble Peace Prize. If the prize of USA military victory was unachievable, Noble Prize would do as compensation for the disgrace of US military failure in Vietnam.
    Le Duc Tho refused the Noble Peace Prize stating that there was still no peace in his country. And true to his words, there was none till the North Vietnamese Army overthrew the Saigon Regime and united Vietnam as one country.
    Pres Obama got awarded Noble Peace Price for dreaming of peace while actually making war. Even went as far: in affirming his war stance in a speech at the Noble Peace Award Ceremony.
    Among these 3: we now have one determined and honest Asian and 2 thick-skinned USA Americans. And we are still wondering why USA is sill struggling in its Asian war, Afghanistan.

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  • 5. At 11:15pm on 10 Dec 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    2. Gary

    That really is an excellent speech.

    Here is a link, with a little bit of annoying whispering from gallery:

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  • 6. At 01:00am on 11 Dec 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen. That was George Washington, not Barack Obama. Mr. Obama, you're no George Washington. I think President Obama is on track to be a one term President. One moment it's health care, another it's the economy, another it's climate change, the next thing you know it's Afghanistan. This is one tiger that seems like he's lost in the woods.

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  • 7. At 02:01am on 11 Dec 2009, cg wrote:

    When I first heard a reference to Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize, I assumed it was a joke story from The Onion or something similar; I must have muttered something like, "yeah, it IS like that, isn't it?" Then it turned out it wasn't a joke, or at least not a fake one. Yes, it's just a prize, but people think it means something, so it does.

    The BBC is in the process of uncovering that America is directly participating in a new 'secret' campaign to starve Gaza -- even more. This discovery that the Egyptians are installing an underground, impenetrable American "wall" to cut off the tunnels that are supplying Gaza with the meagre food and supplies the 1.5 million + Gazans -- prisoners in the biggest concentration camp in history, otherwise known as their native land -- has been made in the same week that American President Obama is accepting a prize for "peace;" it's a pretty good ironic juxtaposition, as they go. So it's official -- America (MY native land sadly for me) is murdering millions of Iraqis, Afghans, AND Palestinians at the same time these days: the trifecta! I would have already included the Palestinians in the lineup of 'complaints,' since the Israelis wouldn't still exist to wage genocide on generations of Palestinians if it weren't for American help and warplanes to do it. But now we can say to those who would call selling and giving Israel warplanes "just commerce" and therefore not direct American involvement: It's official: a made-in-America impenetrable steel wall has been installed deep underground to keep food out of Gaza. It's not just freedom fighters who live in Gaza. Also the young children, who require nutrition to live. In that way they could theoretically be considered similar to humans in American society, and by extension the relatively responsible Americans could even consider starving them to death a Bad Thing. I guess we'll see if anyone complains about it. I'm guessing: not enough people for it to make any difference. Thanks, Mr. Obama. You've given us all the Hope that when we murder more Palestinian children we won't be seen as bad people, since you are an internationally respected pop idol. Nicely played, sire!

    It would be tempting to hope that the next US President would be forced to do some of the things Obama supposedly promised, just to make himself look "cool" and "with it" after the black guy. But I daresay Obama will look stale by that time and the next guy won't feel the need to promise exotic stuff like good behavior; I daresay the politics will be that "vague, unrealistic, idealistic talk isn't responsible and people are tired of false promises from politicians so I'm the guy who will tell it like it is and inject a refreshing dose of realism and restraint into our American politics once more." By then people will be exhausted by constantly hoping, so it will definitely play.

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  • 8. At 03:43am on 11 Dec 2009, Gheryando wrote:

    Next he will get the economics nobel price. For increasing government debt while lowering the interest rate.

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  • 9. At 06:12am on 11 Dec 2009, Mathiasen wrote:

    Mr. Hewitt; In Germany Egon Bahr has made the observation that USA with Barack Obama have changed their world politics approach from confrontation to cooperation. It might be a lasting change. In any case it will decide on the reputation Obama leaves behind him.
    To the rest of the world it will be a relevation, and we might even imagine initiatives from the USA, we today would not even dream about.

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  • 10. At 08:42am on 11 Dec 2009, Kerim Akcay wrote:

    After having had no education for over 42 years, I found myself studying politics and the very first thing I've learned was that 'Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely' President Obama already started showing signs of that adage!
    1 - Guantanamo still stands despite all the promises he made
    2 - He has announced another 30.000 troops for Afghanistan and rallying NATO members for contribution!
    3 - No concrete steps have taken towards easing the grime faced by the world's poor!
    4 - Despite all his talk of peace in the Middle East;
    a) Israel killed over 1200 Palestinians most of which were civilians and children! This is still fresh in our minds.
    b) Israel still continues to build its shameful wall.
    c) Israel still continues with settlement building.
    d) Egypt constructs 'US made' impenetrable still wall to cut of smuggled supplies to Palestinians who needs them most - the civilians! And to top it all up, all of this is overseen by another 1994 'Peace prize' joint winner Shimon Perez!
    5 - Obama also said "For make no mistake, evil does exist in the world" Yes, evil does exist and it is called the 'Military Industrial Complex' and it seems it still imposes its will on the white house!
    There can be found 100s of similar arguments among the comments to show that this award for Mr Obama was totally misconceived.I think the Nobel awards people should be totally ashamed of themselves for this gigantic mess! Could they not have waited another year to see if Obama actually deserve an award or are they in need of some US symphaty and perhaps more US 'thank you' investment in Swerige?
    So, he got his award for 'Intention' Right...
    Finally… one question;
    I (intend) to become a dictator and commit genocide of baddies and get rid of the world of excessive capitalism, poverty, murderers, paedophiles, torturers and corrupt politicians, do I stand a chance for nomination?

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  • 11. At 09:48am on 11 Dec 2009, lacerniagigante wrote:

    Dear Gavin, your blog is entitled "Gavin Hewitt's Europe" and, having grown used to it during Mark Mardell's period, I come here to look for some analysis of current European affairs.

    I see you're discussing of the US American president's win of the Nobel Prize. The only European aspect of things is that the awarding entity is located on the European landmass and is a pseudo-member of the EU

    Meanwhile, there is a heated discussion in Brussels about how much we should be chipping in of our hard earned taxpayer's money to stave off the disasters attributed to climate change (not population growth or mismanagement in poor countries, mind you).

    There is a also the particularly worrying situation of Greece's debt default (which according to news is even worse than the Irish situation, which you nicely reported on some days ago).

    It would be nice to hear from you on these issues, given the title of your blog. I look forward to that (meanwhile I'll be reading Mark's blog from over the pond to follow the development of USA affairs).

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  • 12. At 2:40pm on 11 Dec 2009, Freeborn John wrote:

    Mao Tse Tseng famously said "All political power comes from the barrel of a gun". Obama's speech in Oslo is a reminder of what many Continental Europeans forget; that what liberties we have in this world are due in large part to a political system established on liberal ideals that originated in European countries, but which found more fertile soil elsewhere, and which consistently produces commanders-in-chief of the most powerful military in the world who ask themselves what is the right thing to be done with the barrel of their gun, and believe it to be the Kantian-like universal logic "that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us".

    The enduring liberty of mankind over the coming decades will likely depend more than ever on a US political system capable of consistently producing leaders motivated by the ideals articulated by Obama in Oslo. The 'top dog' nation in the world is inclined to advance universal causes to prevent the formation of any countervailing coalition of those jealous of its power, something made more likely if it pursues an overly partisan foreign policy. The UK is a middle-ranking power but still has the instincts of a former super-power, with the so-called US-UK special relationship really being a reflection of this. UK foreign policy has to date been marked out by an avoidance of the opportunist foreign policy antics of other middle-ranking powers which saw France using its UNSC veto right to secure lucrative "Oil for Food" contracts from Iraq, China doing similar in supporting an oil-rich Sudanese regime implicated in the Rwanda atrocities, Russia using the threat of energy non-supply for the political end of exerting unwanted influence over its neighbours, and numerous Franco-German stitch-ups in the EU which all run counter to any aspiration to "to do unto others as we would have them do unto us".

    One of the undesirable consequences of the Lisbon Treaty could be to relegate UK foreign policy from the universalist approach of a (former) super-power to the minor-league of opportunists. This would leave the US more isolated, international organisations more dysfunctional, and the world a more dangerous place. This would be the consequence of any UK foreign policy mediated via Brussels where it would inevitably be set by a combination of Franco-German stitch-ups and the irresponsible mentality of numerous European countries whose natural response to a global problem they feel they cannot do anything about is to seek ways to exploit it for their own advantage. Iran, with its nuclear ambitions and antipathy towards Israel, and tempting Gulf gas-field concessions, might turn out to be the test case. Will the Continent step up from global irresponsibility or the UK step-down? Or will the UK continue to feel that there is only one serious ally to work with if the universalistic values articulated by Obama are not to fail, and the world to go to hell in a hand-basket as a result?

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  • 13. At 4:43pm on 11 Dec 2009, threnodio_II wrote:

    TV coverage of major sporting events these days often includes a shot of the engraver adding the victors name to the trophy prior to the presentation.

    Watching Obama receiving his prize, I could not help wondering somewhat whimsically whether the engraver footage is pre-shot and the cup was actually engraved ten minutes after kick-off. While I wish the President well, I cannot help wondering if the Nobel committee is not tempting providence.

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  • 14. At 6:08pm on 11 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #12

    Many good points and well put in a thoughtful manner.

    Too many in Europe have fallen into a lazy way of thought where their 'liberty' and 'defence' are concerned: You only have to read on here those claiming it was 'west' Europe and not NATO that kept the USSR at bay etc. to realise how very short and misled some people's memories are in this bright, new EU European Defence Force continent!

    A few have even written in previous Blog that Europe is already spending as much as its need for 'defence' even without the USA-Canada-UK involvement!

    Truly a 'Maginot Line' of thought that brings consequences you would think any sensible European looking at their 'history' knows to be a descent into serious oppression from whichever nasty tyrant next emerges in the World!

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  • 15. At 6:46pm on 11 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 2, GH1618, I agree.

    No. 9, Mathiasen: American elections are notoriously unpredictable, and the American electorate, such as it is, mercurial.

    No one should go broke wagering on anything "lasting" about any aspect (good or bad) of the US political scene.

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  • 16. At 7:29pm on 11 Dec 2009, Gheryando wrote:

    I sort of agree with the giant grouper...this has nothing to do with Europe. Its not a well chosen topic.

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  • 17. At 7:33pm on 11 Dec 2009, Gheryando wrote:


    Europe DOES spend enough already on defence. approx. half of america. take away the duplication and streamline it into a single service and the results will be amazing. What should we call the first 100,000t EU Aircraft carrier? I'd call her EUS Europa.

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  • 18. At 8:28pm on 11 Dec 2009, Freeborn John wrote:

    Obama cannot be faulted for his speech, but i do question the motives of those who awarded him this prize. The rag-tag set of international organisations that exist today are a mess. In the UN we have an organisation of doubtful efficiency that believes legitimacy is conferred on any action it takes (irrespective of what that action is) simply by large numbers of states being in favour of it, and which makes no distinction between the vote of a state in which the people are sovereign and one ruled by a dictatorship. By such logic it was deemed that doing nothing to prevent genocide in Rwanda was a legitimate course of action, and that doing nothing effective to prevent North Korea (and perhaps Iran) from acquiring nuclear weapons is legitimate, irrespective of the consequences of inaction.

    And in the EU we have established, through the most dubious of means designed to bypass the will of the people, an organisation of undoubted decision-making efficiency, where the imposition of decisions on entire nations that disagree with them is considered legitimate if supported by the tyranny of a qualified majority, even though the issues up for decision at EU level appear in no manifesto voted on by any people and where no nation is able to elect a new government able to undo anything that was previously agreed at EU level. The EU system may be effective but is leading to the one-way expansion of a body of international law which has dubious legitimacy on the day it is approved, and whose legitimacy decays from then on as we elect new governments that would never have agreed to the original decision but are powerless to change it.

    Woodrow Wilson won the Nobel peace prize for inventing a League of Nations that proved ineffective. Nobody will win any prizes for Lisbon making the EU crisis of democratic legitimacy even worse than it already was. It seems to me that the Nobel Committee's praise for Obama's "emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play" is some kind of appeal from current 'international community' insiders not to disrupt a status-quo that is to their liking but which is in obvious dire need of overhaul.

    Obama would be far more deserving of this prize if he would confront the vested interests and seek to reformulate international organisations to make them simultaneously both effective and legitimate. That would mean sidelining large numbers of non-democracies in international organisations, agreeing that certain actions (preventing one state's aggression against another, preventing a state slaughtering its own civilians, etc.) are not acceptable even when such states can grant lucrative oil contracts to UNSC veto holding members, and that as many other decisions as possible must be taken within democratic nation-states and as few as possible in bodies like the EU where decisions are beyond the influence of any real voters and which restrict what we can decide in our future elections.

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  • 19. At 9:15pm on 11 Dec 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To Gheryando (17):


    Aircraft carriers are used for force projection, or as otherwise known, colonial enforcement. Maybe we should name our carriers so that those poor sods holding out our precious minerals or our oil would understand to give up what is rightly ours without a fight. How about sister ships E.U.S Adolf and E.U.S Joseph? ...Nah, those are too sissy names, how about we just call them E.U.S Punisher and E.U.S Destructor?


    "My fellow citizens. At this morning 0400 I have sent our carriers Punisher and Destructor on a mission of peace, to restore freedom and liberty, to put an end to a horrible dictatorship, to give a message to a world that Europe is not afraid to take unilateral actions against evildoers anytime and anywhere in the world. My fellow citizens, my heart is with the brave service men and women in the front line doing their duty, doing the fight for keeping the world at peace. God bless them, and god bless Europe." - The President of European Union, 2037

    Sounds about right...

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  • 20. At 9:57pm on 11 Dec 2009, threnodio_II wrote:

    #19 - Jukka Rohila

    "I bless them, and I bless Europe. I have also issued an executive order under the European Religions Directive and anticipate God's blessing in due course".

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  • 21. At 10:00pm on 11 Dec 2009, threnodio_II wrote:

    #18 - Freeborn John

    "Obama would be far more deserving of this prize if . . . " . . . he had actually achieved anything.

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  • 22. At 10:16pm on 11 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #17

    "..Europe does spend enough already on defence.." and "..approx half America.."


    Europe spends on Defence, but not on on Military-Combat capability.

    Sorry, but Europe has almost nothing like the 'frontline defence capability' that the USA-UK-Canada as members of NATO currently provide in terms of Air Support-Tactical Ground Weapons-Naval Surface and submarine forces: It is good that you wrote as you did because it precisely points up the complete haze of misunderstanding that almost all Europe has about its 'Defence'.

    To their credit France is the one European Nation with full Defence capability to undertake multi-purpose ground-sea-air offence and defence: It could manage it for about 2 weeks for itself, but as for assisting the rest of Europe the resources would be gone in 3 days!

    Europe simply has not the human or material stockpiles never mind the preparedness: Try to ask yourself this one question and NOT let the politics behind it get in the way of your answer.
    If Europe has the Armed Forces available that you think it has then WHY are there so few European Armed Forces Personnel serving in Afghanistan?
    Europe cannot even muster 50,000 Frontline Combat ready Soldiers from 20+ Nations!
    Sure, Europe has Forces doing 'peacekeeping', 'training' and 'supply', but, how many of those could actually take up Combat roles in Frontline theatres of operation without massive US Logistical support: That's Aircraft, Helicopters, Tanks, Armoured Personnel Carriers and all the Weapons/Ordinance quite apart from the Fuel etc. required for ongoing manoeuvres, plus the Stocks to Re-supply in order function for days on end in a 'combat zone'?

    The UK barely manages (and the UK Government is given flack daily for not doing enough) to maintain its Frontline capability and requires input from USA maintenance etc. to keep to targets.

    Frankly, when Europe eventually wakes up to its incredible Defensive weakness I just hope it is not too late for all its Citizens who sit idly by criticising the USA-UK everyday unaware their own Governments' inept and dangerous folly has left them almost incapable of a defensive posture never mind an offensive one!

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  • 23. At 10:22pm on 11 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #19

    Noble speech and strikes just the right note of 'imperial' prowess.

    Unfortunately if the present European attitude to Defence continues your EDF Ocean-going Fleet on its 'mission of peace' in 2037 will have about as much success as the Russian Grand Imperial Fleet at the Battle of Tsushima in 1905...

    It was sunk in 40 minutes by the Japanese!

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  • 24. At 11:25pm on 11 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Kerim Akcay

    Re #10

    It is always interesting to read an entirely different perspective of how an event is received/understood by those from totally opposite sides.

    So, having (not enjoyed but), seen the reasoning behind your contribution perhaps you would care to take a few moments to look at it from another perspective than your own.

    I have tried to match point -to- point with #10:

    1) Some 30,000 Palestinians are held in Palestinian prisons without trial and across the Arab Middle East another 150,000 Arabs (inc. Palestinians) languish in similar conditions; their 'crime' is to be in an opposition group of 1 sort or another to those in power (to this you can add the 25,000 Iranians held for opposition to the Ayatollahs).
    2) Taliban and Al Queda are 'rallying for contributions' from all over and are still paid for by Mid-East Arab Nations, Companies and Citizens and those 2 groups are full of Muslim volunteers from the Mid-East, Iran and Pakistan.
    3)'Easing the grime faced by the World's poor' is not just USA's problem: When did the Oil rich Mid-East Rulers make 'concrete steps' and offer a proportionate contribution to alleviating the suffering of the 'poor', even in the Mid-East (e.g. Palestinian areas)?
    4) Despite all the 'talk' of Mid-East 'peace':
    a: Hamas, Hezbollah, PLO etc. still attack the State of Israel, and in the past have slaughtered many innocent civilians inc. women and children.
    b: Hamas still dig 'their shameful' tunnels to smuggle in weapons, explosives and to carry out terrorist atrocities
    c: Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran continue to 'shamefully' insist Israel should not exist.
    d: Yasser Arafat - -Nobel Prize winner - -responsible for thousands of deaths of Israeli and Palestinians; 'to top it all' he was replaced by Palestinían leaders claiming Arafat had not been ruthless or violent enough!
    5) Yes, "evil does exist" - - in the 'complex' of ME Fundamentalist Islamic regimes, their dullard Medieval supporters and fanatics such as President Ahmadinejad.

    There 'can be found hundreds of similar arguments' that the Award to Obama was far better and more deserved than to anyone presently ruling in the Middle East.
    How many years has the World 'waited' for Statesman Leadership among the Arab peoples to help resolve the Middle East catastrophe?
    Obama gets the Award because his *intention* is right: Can you point to a Mid-East leader inc. Israel who has better or more enlightened 'intention'? If so, please let the World know about them!

    Whatever, you may think of Obama on a personal level or of the USA, it is an argument that is unlikely to succeed to lay at his feet or the White House door responsibility for all the World's ills.
    Neither do the Nobel Judges consider it in that way - - if they did then Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Ahmadjinejad, Maashal, Nasrallah, bin Laden etc. would be likely contenders for the Prize every year!

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  • 25. At 01:19am on 12 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    I agree with the doubters (in one way) light of the prediction that this "jihad"ers could last for decades until, an Islamic state becomes viable.

    But, think of all those oil producers having one big thing in common--laaders unelected or unaccountable. Then compare them to Western governments.

    We, in this European blog, have leaders who are unaccountable to their citizens when doing illegal (seeming or obvious) acts.

    Obama was smart to have an exit date, because it sounds to me like an ongoing process...forever and ever and ever--terrorists being created by..hatred of ...some great sin by their intended victims.

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  • 26. At 01:22am on 12 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    But, look here at all the comments (sarcasm) one knows the answer?

    Or have we all been ethically compromised by this ONGOING war? With no answer to the question(s) of war and peace.

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  • 27. At 01:28am on 12 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Or ia the really big question facing the EU the Copenhagen climate talks?

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  • 28. At 02:05am on 12 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "We set off Bulava rocket... In the beginning all went well... But then she got to know they'll be giving Obama a premium in Sweden and turned over there, but lost her way... And for whole half an hour was hanging over Norway, rolling up into a spiral as a sign of protest!"


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  • 29. At 02:07am on 12 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    No 2

    - Why did they give Obama the Nobel prize? It seems, he hasn't done yet anything special?

    - That's why they did! So that he wouldn't!


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  • 30. At 02:16am on 12 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    No 3

    "Gorbachyov and Obama have very much in common.

    - both are Presidents.
    - both wanted to do as is better.
    - both have a darker spot on the head.
    - both introduced "A new politics in Afghanistan".
    - both received Nobel Prize.

    Can it be that with the blast of the country it'll also work out? "


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  • 31. At 02:35am on 12 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    It was a very beautiful sight, WA, they should announce every maybe it will be pretty:)

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  • 32. At 03:26am on 12 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jukka Rohila @19, "sister ships Adolph and Joseph"

    cool-brush-work @23 "your EDF Fleet will have about as much success as the Russian Grand Imperial Fleet at the battle of Tsushima in 1905...

    It was sunk in 40 minutes by the Japanese! "


    How we like to get historical, :o), one can't stop remembering :o),

    Britain and tsusima, Finns and tsusima, well well well :o))))

    1. Why so much "sunk", dear CBW ?

    Russian flagman was sunk, the first thing of the battle, on May 14, the commander of the Fleet, admiral Rozhdestvensky hit by the volley in head, un-concious and, nearly beheaded literally, at once.

    All the rest is surrender, surrender and surrender of the esquadra that lost management.

    A far better expression is not "sunk", but "cowardly treasonly surrendered".

    That's why it's not "Tsusima" here, but a "tsusima", a set expression.

    BTW, surrendered - by who? There were two more admirals at hand.
    Let's see what they did.

    The fallen "Russian Grand Imperial Navy" - as you like to put it - banner was picked up by the heroic Finn, Vice-Admiral "Oskar Adolfovich Enqvist". Finnish - Oskar Wilhelm Enqvist.

    Who had commandment over 9 Russian fighting ships, out of 24 there were initially.

    Oskar Adolfovich surrended them to the Japanese.
    One wonders why. A "Vice-Admiral".

    Well, this "Vice-Admiral" never been at sea until Oct 1904.
    He got the very position, of the Russian Pacific Fleet commander, "on the recommendation of his first cousin, Head of "Imperial Russia" Navy Ministry, Feodor Karlovich Avelan (another Finn).

    Corruption, cool-brush-work, old known Russian, sorry, Finnish corruption! :o))))) Leads to tsusima, mostly.

    Then the third chap was left over. A Russian, Nebogatov. Surrended to Japanese his other 4 ships.


    What happened to the 3 admirals on return home?

    Well, to the Finn nothing happened. Connections, etc. Simply fired, elegantly, and with excuses, type "sorry that we let you into all this sea trouble while you are a solid ground man. Still continued to command something, safely located on the shore.

    Nebogatov was sentenced by court to death penalty, for treason.
    Re-placed by 10 years in the St. Peter and Paul fortress, from "humanity considerations", as the most junior in rank of all the 3 admirals.

    The Commander, Rozhdestvensky, was cleared by home investigation, on the condition of "heavy wound that left him disabled".
    Still, when he came back to senses, he a./ resigned b./ applied to court " don't want any discounts judge me, I'm criminal. I ask for myself death penalty."
    Court said "stuff!"
    Commander addressed media.
    Media addressed all, ministry got suicidal, huge scandal, tsar said - judge him, if he wants to die so much.

    At the court Rozhdestvensky demanded for himself death penalty.
    Court ruled it out, ruled "the justice has been done".
    Rozhdestvensky locked up in his apartment in St. Petersburg, and sat there 4 years, ashamed to go out, and died there, from grief.

    Now, having done with Finns and tsusima, what do we have with dear Britain, since CBW has so fond memoirs of the "Tshusima battle".

    The Russian Navy (7 +8 +9) ships, left from Baltic sea to help out Russia's Pacific shore in its war with Japan, in Oct 1904.
    The Fleet was led by Rozhdestvensky.

    The first thing he did is drowned 2 British ships on the go, by mistake :o))), in Oct 1904 in the North Sea.

    He explained it by the un-trained crews (draftees) first time at sea, "mistake".

    The rest of the 6 months! expedition to the Pacific coast (took an awful long time) Rozhdestvensky complained about constant un-healthy maneuvres of the British Fleet, blocking him the way. Without any friendly places to stop by for supplies' replentishment, and with un-trained hastily got together sailors, Rozhdestvensky reported from the route to
    St. Petersburg that "it'll be a wonder if I won't lose any ships on the way, and if we ever arrive to Vladivostok - we'll never be able to hold on water at all, to say nothing of "to help" our forces. Please issue an order for us to return back - the whole half-a-year around the world voyage to Pacific is adventure and madness."

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  • 33. At 03:34am on 12 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    So, Jukksi, why "Adolf and Joseph"?

    "Joseph" does not surrender.

    And when he does - it's when he can't control it, being half-dead. Which isn't an excuse anyway. So you ask for yourself a death penalty, because "Russian Navy don't surrender".

    We weren't likely to before, but after tsusima - simply don't.

    Better name your sister ships "Adolf" and "Oskar Adolfovich", that's more fitting.

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  • 34. At 04:07am on 12 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Thank you Web Alice,

    One rarely hears details of the interesting history of Russia, you do know that Americans cant point to a world map and name the nation random?

    Of course, some places are unknown to the world at large, but still.

    Thank you,


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  • 35. At 04:32am on 12 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    cool-brush-work, you also need to update yourself, as min. now, 105 yrs later, about the Hull incident, when cut-throats Russian esquadra shot at "harmless Hull cod trawlers at Doggie bank"/the shallow spot.

    After which the British newspapers and Parliament called "all world countries to not sell "mad Russian dogs" en route to Pacific not a single piece of coal in ports, not a piece of dried bread, not one banana (don't ask me why "banana" - British wording of 1904), not one gulp of water."

    Even that the int'l admirals court, put together in Paris to figure out what has happened in the doggie bank that night, judged that "nothing is clear, but looks like Russians are still guilty, but there is NO DOUBT IN HUMANITY OF ADMIRAL ROZHDESTVENSKY AND THE SHIPS OF HIS ESQUADRA AND NONE OF THEIR FAULT"

    Simply backed off.

    The thing is we were fired at, that night, by 4 ships at 1 Russian transport that lost speed, got behind, engine broke, and the transport opened fire back.
    Then it asked the main fleet for help.

    Main Russian fleet returned back to the transport, saw 4 ships in the darkness, and demanded their password - parol. They replied "we are part of your Fleet, Russian!" - and gave a correct parole. Of 3 days ago!

    Then Rozhdestvensky commanded fire at these "own Russian ships"

    Rozhdestvensky insisted Russian Navy fired at Japanese ships.

    The British fishermen that happened to be there hanging at night were hit by mistake and we are awful sorry. 2 British fishermen killed.

    Britain insisted there has never been any "Japanese ships" in the area, that Russia cold-bloodily massacred poor fishermen. And hailed a huge European anti-Russian hysteria.

    Even that Rozhdestvensky personally paid the families of the 2 dead British fishermen assigned at Hull - 65 thousand pounds for two homes. Not good for "friendly fire" drastic result, but not a bad greedy sum either in 1904.


    A./ Britain was the heartiest supporter of Japan WW in 1904. The absolutely best friend. Short only of declaring war to Russia direct. Officially - keeping "neutrality". Three ha ha.

    B./ The Japanese ships were built in that very Britain during that very Russo-Japanese war, including the ones who later fought us in tsusima.
    They were simply still "at home", in Britain. Japanese mikado crews were picking up ready ships right on the British ship-yards. And were going on them home. Point of purchase and ready ship take-over by contract - British ship-yards.

    C./ Russia got hold later on of one Japanese man who part-took in attack on the transport in the Dogger bank incident.

    D./ In the result of the two Hull fishermen death in un-clear circumstances, for which Rozhdestvensky anyway apologised on the spot at once - Royal British Navy got mobilised and went to Gibraltar quote "to cross the way to the Russian esquadra and not let it exit into the ocean".

    E./ Britain later insisted in the Paris admirals' judgement that "mad Russian dogs left fishermen without help, for one of their ships, hit, was still staying on the Dogger bank a day later - and it didn't help fishermen."

    This was lovely, as Brest verified that whole set of Russian navy were on that day in Brest - from first, to the last one, and none - therefore - in Dogger bank.

    That ship, hanging for a while in Dogger bank still stayed in the history as "unknown ship".

    And that is not all! The same fishermen next fished out from the place of the midnight "accident" a torpedo brand Shwarzkopf! German!

    On the night 1st January 1906 Russians and Germans had a New Year party together, as Portsmouth Peace was already signed by then, atmosphere got relaxed, and one of German navy, in interesting drunk conditions told his Russian colleague "do you know our Hochseeflotte has also suffered during the Hull incident. Thing is past, but lots of our officers got heaps of troubles for getting under your fire. After all this Kaiser made us to keep quiet about it as dead men."

    He was asked "how many tubes were on your ship"?
    - "three"

    An intersting detail, because in the court in Paris hearings the "Kamchatka" transport that was hit exactly certified that "we were attacked by an un-known, 3-tube, mine-carrier." (not our design)/

    An awful mythical story.

    One thing is clear, CBW - you still owe us 65,000 for two families of each of dozens of Russian soldiers, who British army killed "by mistake", likewise, taking them for "boxers", in China - and we don't remember neither apologies, nor that Russia would start making scandal out of it and helping British enemies in war.

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  • 36. At 04:49am on 12 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Sorry, all.

    But it really gets on one's nerves, when some sea state announces you a war, and eats off away from Russia - and it takes half-a-year around the world to even bring ships to your own very country other side!

    All the way through the friendly fleet of Germany, Britian, and other excellent friends.

    Now it's all different. britain will never start a scandal about Russia in European press, demanding our blood. Oh, never! :o))))))

    Still, since we invente ice-breakers we can reach the other home end by top, without friendly help in the bottom way, and! in fact!

    Now that all melted - no one even needs any ice-breakers!
    So all is fine and wonderful.

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  • 37. At 04:52am on 12 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Interesting very interesting, WA, tell us about the Crimean war (which was basically lost by the UK to Russia? right?)

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  • 38. At 05:06am on 12 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, at @31, "it was a very beutiful sight, WA"


    No 4.

    An ad in a Norwegian newspaper.

    Festive fireworks for Christmas holidays; all brands - Topol, Bulava, CC-300. Call Russian Ministry of Defence on toll-free number...

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  • 39. At 05:28am on 12 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, too many sad memoirs for one Navy related heart for one night.
    "Goodie thingies little by little" :o)))

    Still, don't exactly remember any Russian victories there LOL, you must be joking, we have whole Sebastopol every hill there around the bay in the siege of Sebastopol stuffed by Russian bones. It's one big Sebastopol defence cemetery the whole Sebastopol. Type of St. Petersburg -1. On which grow very handsome poppies by carpets :o( Russian symbol of Crimean war blood.

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  • 40. At 06:02am on 12 Dec 2009, Jan_Keeskop wrote:

    Maria Ashot: Regarding post 15, few things would be more satisfying to me than to place a bet that Democrats and Republicans combined will continue to fill at least one-fourth of the seats in each chamber of Congress — and lose that wager.

    David: I disagree with post 34. Pointing to a world map, I was able to randomly name the nation under my finger, lying between Switzerland and Austria, as “Glücktenstan”. ;*)

    WebAliceinwonderland: On post 35, the pound in 1904 was around 7.3 g of gold, so [the calculator says that…] £65,000 (about 615,000 gold rubles) at that time would be 15,300 ounces of gold; at the current price of £685 per ounce of gold, that would be about £10.5 million (or 515 million rubles) in today’s money. Adjust your invoice accordingly.

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  • 41. At 07:42am on 12 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #35

    Touched a watery nerve! No intention to rub in salt!

    Okay, but I was just making a point to the 'new' Europeans about their 'military' might.

    As for the undefended trawlers and a Russian Fleet that appeared not to know it was in the North Sea and not the Pacific (well, fog can be confusing) - - whatever you want to say on the matter go ahead - - it was 1905 and the 'mistake' just a tiny foretaste of the calamity ahead.

    Though I'm bound to add for fairness how many of Father Gapon's peaceful followers were awarded 'compensation' for the "friendly fire" of Tsar Nicholas' lads around the same unfortunate era?
    It's good that you defend your nation's naval prowess, but, it is as well to recognise many strange things happen in a war - - like G.B. being a signatory of the Anglo-Japanese Naval Treaty, 1902 which meant UK could in a European war bring most if its Navy back to 'home' waters and let the Japanese 'protect' the colonies - - 35 years later that same Japanese Navy liked what they had seen so much they visited again and stayed 5 to 6 years in all the former British ports!

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  • 42. At 08:47am on 12 Dec 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To cool_brush_work (23):

    Ah, but you see, you aircraft carriers are for force projection, mainly against poor third world countries holding our precious oil and other raw materials. In an actual war with another superpower or superblock, carrier fleets would be dead underwater after a first encounter with submarines.

    In any case, yes, to arrive at that point on having believable force the first thing is that Europe does have to do is to address defense from a common point of view. Now you maintain that Europe does have to spend more money, while I think that Europe has to do defense and security integration to get more out of the same money. There should be split of work between the member states and EDF, member states having their National Guards to take care of local defense, and EDF to take care of combined defense including aerial, navies, armored warfare and force projection.

    Now of course a completely different thing is on where to put limits on the capabilities and strength of the armed forces. The US has already stated and maintains a position that it will not allow any other power or block to threaten its military supremacy, so spending more and being more capable than the US would be out of the question.

    PS. Do you own shares of EADS, BAE or some other defense manufacturer? ;)

    To WebAliceinwonderland (32):

    You have read too much Soviet written history. The fleet didn't have any chance on winning the battle against Japanese: the Japanese had better equipment, better organization and training modeled after the then best navy in the world, and most importantly they set place and time for the battle.

    In case of the equipment, let me quote Wikipedia:

    "Prior to the Russo-Japanese War, countries constructed their battleships with mixed batteries of mainly 152 mm (6-inch), 203 mm (8-inch), 254 mm (10-inch) and 305 mm (12-inch) guns, with the intent that these battleships fight on the battle line in a close-quarter, decisive fleet action. The battle demonstrated that big guns with longer ranges were more advantageous during naval battles than mixed batteries of different sizes."

    "The Japanese victory at Tsushima seemed to confirm the strategic importance of a naval fleet based on modern battleships, and further stimulated the dreadnought naval arms race between Britain and Germany in the years before 1914. In the event, the British and German fleets met in only one major action, the indecisive Battle of Jutland.[11] 20th century naval warfare was dominated by submarines and aircraft carriers, not battleships."

    I case of Oskar, what he did was to save three most recently build cruisers of the Russian fleet. There was no way to defeat the Japanese so the only sane thing would be to save what is left.

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  • 43. At 09:17am on 12 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Well, all one has to do is make these sunken battleships tourist destinations for ecological diving tourists, though that does sound cold.

    But I saw on one of our channels a documentary on a sunken Japanese super battleship which could in time become a tourist attraction for..a richer me..

    or someone with means and historical interest to visit one day--though, I'm not in my prime, of course. hmm, I write very long sentences.

    And no offense, WA, to your memories. I do realize the human cost of battles--Im just a rapacious American type:)

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  • 44. At 09:26am on 12 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Btw, my brother has started a blog (philosophy/cosmology/theology) called cruize2here.

    He has led an interesting life, failing, suceeding, failing, suceeding. but on the way has, including lately (having met the Dalai Lama and living in Germany), but is, also, I think, lucky in character and experiences..

    Just proud and interested to tell it.

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  • 45. At 09:32am on 12 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Btw, my brother was in the US Navy in the 1970s for about 10 years and

    at that time, and he had said then that the main hobby of being on an aircraft carrier (he was in communications) was playing a game of "who could sleep the most in one time setting." Its quite different today, I guess, sad to say.

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  • 46. At 10:17am on 12 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #42

    At least your knowledge of the relative Russo-Japanese Naval strengths in 1905 is relaible!

    As for the EU's EDF and a 'defence' strategy: Better dig a deep, deep shelter unless all Europe wakes up to the cost of losing NATO and America as an ally!

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  • 47. At 10:18am on 12 Dec 2009, sayasay wrote:

    In late 1960s, my father had an opportunity to start a freight and truck rental business in Indonesia. Another uncle provided the other nepotistic start: access to buy military surplus Gaz trucks. Father inspected the trucks and wasn’t impressed: from ergonomics to quality of its spare parts. He said it’s unbelievable that the same country that launched Sputniks could not make better Earth-bound vehicles. My uncle countered (we have such saying in our language): fat fingers can weave cotton clothes, but only delicate and skilled fingers weave beautiful and expensive silk. The price was cheap even after uncle’s cut. No deal; instead father smuggled in refurbished Datsun pick-up trucks, buying them from Singapore and Malaysia used car dealers. Today, my brothers run haulage business using Hinos and Tatas, too. The descendants of my military logistic officer-uncle still bear a grudge against us.
    I never forget father’s word in explaining to me, the rejection of uncle’s offer: cheap things usually have a built-in tendency to cheapen themselves. It’s a waste of effort and money to correct self-imposed decay. And I am bewildered if awarding a Noble Peace Prize for yet to be seen peace accomplishments is a “cheapening” act or a “bribe” to Pres Obama to do the peace feats.

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  • 48. At 11:23am on 12 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    oh no its not that deep--he was a African American "first" and inspiring that way. T?ho now we think of him as mixed race, i guess. still...

    Sorry ur disillusioned, saysay..chalk it up to exp, nobody is perfect and

    I think the nobel people did feel shortchanged, many ways

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  • 49. At 1:27pm on 12 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jan_Keeskop @40,
    thanks for pointing out pounds and gold, I don't know, know that 65,000 and in pounds 100%, for the two families.

    Russia absolutely could not allow itself a second war in Europe with Britain and Germany on the left side, on top of on-going war with Japan on the right side.

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  • 50. At 1:42pm on 12 Dec 2009, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    From Open Europe:

    Quote of the fortnight:

    "Eight years after its conception, the Treaty of Lisbon will finally come into force on the 1st of December. But through it, Europe will neither become more effective nor more democratic, neither more transparent nor more open...The political elite has failed."

    Article in German newspaper Die Welt, 30 November

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  • 51. At 1:47pm on 12 Dec 2009, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    17. At 7:33pm on 11 Dec 2009, Gheryando wrote:

    " ... What should we call the first 100,000t EU Aircraft carrier? I'd call her EUS Europa."


    I suggest you call her :

    EUS Instrument of the Arrogant, Megalomaniac, Anti-democratic, Wasteful, Worse-Than-Useless "EU"-Dictatorship and possible future grave of thousands of "EU"-sailors.


    How about

    EUS BismarkII

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  • 52. At 1:52pm on 12 Dec 2009, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    17. At 7:33pm on 11 Dec 2009, Gheryando wrote:

    " ... What should we call the first 100,000t EU Aircraft carrier? I'd call her EUS Europa."

    OR how about:

    EUS Flog Me Pink But Just Don't Give Me a Greek Captain!

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  • 53. At 1:58pm on 12 Dec 2009, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    " ...What should we call the first 100,000t EU Aircraft carrier? I'd call her EUS Europa."

    EUprisoner209456731 : OR

    EUS Czech Sailors On An Austrian Battleship Mutinied In WWI. They Didn't Want To Be Part of Austria And the Brits Didn't Want The Lisbon Treaty.

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  • 54. At 2:01pm on 12 Dec 2009, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    " ... What should we call the first 100,000t EU Aircraft carrier? I'd call her EUS Europa."


    How about the EUS BELGRANO?

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  • 55. At 2:06pm on 12 Dec 2009, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    17. At 7:33pm on 11 Dec 2009, Gheryando wrote:

    " ...

    Europe DOES spend enough already on defence. "

    EUprisoner209456731: Do you really mean Europe OR do you, as I suspect, really mean the "EU"-Dictatorship?

    Please could you and the BBC stop insulting Europe by calling the "EU"-Dictatorship Europe, especially when I am eating?!!??

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  • 56. At 2:50pm on 12 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jukka, don't English-wiki page me!

    Even that tsusima page in English has only a couple of notes - compared to the wiki page in Russian of 46 pages, skips the whole battle,
    skips ship by ship action, who commanded every ship from either side, death and wounds per ship and what happened to every ship name (OK, sunk, surrendered, left to Vladivostok, went to Manila, returned home to Japan - one by one) - even that meagre representation mentions Commanders of the battle, right on top

    including the comrade Adolfovich.

    It's a charmer how he is a "swede" in his English wiki page, his biography skips altogether his family and where he was born.

    Skips his promotion.

    Skips his rank - Kontr-Admiral, exactly like Nebogatov was "Kontr-Admiral", only Rozhdestvensky - Vice-Admiral.

    English wiki is very greedy on the info with ranks of the commanders, gives names only :o)))))

    Described as a "junior" commander in that battle, "taking ships away to safety". Aha.

    I wish you many happy returns of such sensible commanders in the future EU Navy.

    "you've read too much of Soviet history". Aha.

    If your English wiki pages weren't so curt (skipping the battle going on the whole night from May 14 to May 15 and who when was hit and drowned there)
    (skipping the whole map of the battle and how the ships positions changed during May 14, the night to May 15 and the morn. of May 15)

    - it'd do you well also to read a bit more.

    "Russian Navy stood no chances". Oh why so?

    After the first morning clash of May 14 we both got rid - mind it - both sides - of heavy-weight heavy-calibre ships, those with armoured line above the water-line.

    Ships of the line were off the battle - switched off, both Russian and Japanese. Russian wwre on the sea bottom, but Japanese lost ability to move as well - hit to pieces.

    The battle, after first (not 40 minutes, sorry dear CBW, even Enquist ships still were fighting at 6:30 pm on May 14) heavy-calibre clash - was up to remining lighter vessels of all kinds.

    And there, from 4:30 pm on May 14 - Russian Navy had a clear advantage.
    There were left 12 ships from either side in fight - 12 ours against 12 Japanese.

    Volley power in heavy calibre, all guns combined there were on both sides, were 17:41 guns. 17 guns Japanese, 41 Russian. We had a more than double fire-power.

    Right, in the medium calibre the picture wasn't so rosy : 30:2 in the opposite direction :o)))) - but when did such trifles stop any Navy from fighting on.

    If they are fighting on, at all, and don't leave the battle scene.

    Your Enquist, exactly as you write in charge of 3 ships only, by 4:30 picked up command of far more left-over ships, as their commanders were dead, and directed 8:

    Oleg - Aurora - Dmitry Donskoy - Vladimir Monomackh - Zhemchug/Pearl - Izumrud/Emerald - Svetlana - Almaz/Diamond.

    And took them all away in the followig night, routed some to "break home to Vladivostok", and himself went to Manila.

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  • 57. At 4:06pm on 12 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, @45

    Same saying here (while) "a soldier is sleeping - (meanwhile) the service (time) goes on!" :o)

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  • 58. At 4:23pm on 12 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    cool-brush-work, @46, "reliable", "knowledge" - pff!!

    3 key lessons learned - speed, long range and no Finns.

    "No Finns" is a combined parameter, includes many nice countries.

    We were stuffed with Japanese spies on all floors of Lobanov-Rostovsky palace (at the time - Russia's Defence Ministry) like a pie with raisins, before, during and after the war. And German spies.

    That was a charmer "Defence Ministry", as journalists of that time reported - un-blocked entrance to any passer-by from the street.

    Nobody even stood at the doors to ask A THING. No "shweizar"/ old retired Swiss soldier, left over from some European battles, on 1 leg as a doorman. First Russian idea of a "doorman". To this day is called a "Shweizar".

    Free access to all offices and talks in the corridors, to any of 365 rooms.

    One basically bumped into acquainted Japanese and Germans there on all floors.


    You know when the word "perestroyka" was mentioned first? By a Russian Navy officer of that time who wrote a book "Perestroyka". Demanding reconstruction of the Fleet and Navy - all rotten throughout with corruption and treason and decomposing like a dead body in sun.
    A flaming book! Excellent read, I have it. 3 tomes of Fleet condition disasters from 1901 on.

    You'll be happy to know we learned our lessons. I adore Finns, especially in high Navy positions :o)))), on speed - we do the best in the world even still, and in the absence of "long range" over all other types - why, you wouldn't exactly blame Russia in small attention to this :o))))))))))

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  • 59. At 5:48pm on 12 Dec 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    42. At 08:47am on 12 Dec 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:
    [[Quoting from Wikipedia]]

    "In the event, the British and German fleets met in only one major action, the indecisive Battle of Jutland.[11]"

    Usually, we end up re-fighting WWII. It is rare to dispute WWI. Someday, however, that entry in Wikipedia is going to need editing.

    Britain suffered two military disasters within the space of a month:

    (1) The failure of the Royal Navy on May 31 - June 1, 1916 to annihilate the German High Seas Fleet when it had managed to get between the Germans and their base. Scheer demonstrated excellent seamanship and pluck. Jellicoe, not so much. It is inconceivable that earlier RN leaders would have let that opportunity - and the chance to win the war right then and there - slip away in the dark, never to be seen again. The most sincere testimony that this was a calamity for Britain? The Germans knew how close they had come to disaster, and never let it happen again.

    (2) The cataclysm of the first day of the Somme on July 1, 1916.

    The British Empire never recovered from these two calamities.

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  • 60. At 6:42pm on 12 Dec 2009, Chris wrote:


    Obama may as well use the instruments of war for peace while he still can as the way the economic numbers show, the days of the American empire are coming to an end saddly as it happened to us here in the UK in the 1930, when paying international debt stopped us from bulding up the instruments of war to make peace :))

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  • 61. At 01:25am on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Web Alice,

    There is a book I read once bout 10 yrs ago, that was all about a Soviet spy during WW2 whose mission and success was keeping Japan out of the war against the Soviet Union (German Nazi War)

    Germany wanted Japan to attack in the east and Russia kept Japan out with this agent (when I remember his name and the book, I'll tell you).
    But, one could say he helped the Soviet Union big time.

    Japan never attacked the Soviets (I think they did not trust their "ally" win?) and they had much on their hands killing 10 million Chinese WITHOUT a "system" like Auchshwitz (sp bad). One can only speculate.

    But, this man had read Gone with the Wind and also had admiration for Scarlett O'Hara

    and the leftist people in the world back then would, IMHO, have eaten today's liberals for breakfast, IMO, Then turned to our neocons.

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  • 62. At 01:26am on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    "We're melting, melting, what a cruel world"

    (AS IF you know stuff),

    Chris Arta

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  • 63. At 01:30am on 13 Dec 2009, MaudDib wrote:

    Ref #60
    I wouldn't start filling in the grave just yet.

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  • 64. At 02:03am on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David @61, that must have been Richard Sorge, for whose achievements, LOL, even wiks in English is alright :o)

    But you read the book you don't need it. Yes, saved us in the 2ndWW because a war on 2 fronts (both Russia's sides) we won't survive.

    Stalin jeered at him (and arranged him a death penalty sentence in advance, LOL, in the unlikely event Richard will make it out alive from spying in Japan (hard for Europeans), but after his feed of war beg. proved to be true began listening to his further feeds, one of which guaranteed upon Sorge's word Japan won't attack Russia (in the nearest time back then).

    This allowed Stalin take out divisions from Siberia, fresh troops, un-beaten yet, haven't seen the enemy, regular army, and hop them over to Moscow, to save Moscow in the Battle for Moscow.

    Also Hitler made one mistake in strategic planning, wanted to take St. Petersburg first, Moscow after. He wasn't LOL of high opinion of Moscow's worth, not a solid catch :o))))) apart from Stalin barricaded up in it there was nothing interesting to Hitler about it.

    That's why nazi armies first ran to St. Pete, and as it didn't work out on the run in one go, slowed out here, stuck by St. Pete - which again allowed time for Siberians to get over to Moscow.

    But nobody even would have touched the other half of the country troops, if we thought Japan will join up immediately.
    Careful Japan was waiting :o)))) and observing, how things would go :o))))

    I never saw monuments to Sorge or any thing, but as Moscow was hanging on a thread, and St. Pete without Moscow wouldn't hold on long either,
    I'm really at a loss how would Britain and the USA manage it from 1941 autumn on, alone, one with Germany the other with Japan, in the unlikely event of Russia taken :o)))))))

    I think the guy is worthy a monument in every town there is.

    A German officer comes home thoughtful, and plunged into thoughts.
    His wife asks him what's the matter.
    He says, well, Fuhrer decided we'll go at Russia.
    His wife says oh, interesting, what's that Russia about, show me the map.
    The chap spreads out the map on the kitchen table.

    His wife looks at it, looks, then says "Tell me, and Fuhrer - did he see map of Russia?"


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  • 65. At 02:33am on 13 Dec 2009, MaudDib wrote:

    I know you will have a good answer so I pose the question. Why did Russia wait till the 8th of August 1945 to declare war on Japan. That would be two days after Hiroshima had been bombed with Japan surrendering on August 15. I understand the two front theory and all that but honestly wasn't this rather unseemly. I think Russia still clings to the Kuril Islands which the Japanese refer to as the Northern Territories.

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  • 66. At 02:48am on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Yes I bet that IS him. Yes, there must be many books on him, and I read an english version of some such book.

    He was a committed party member but as far as I can tell, he saved millions of lives, by his stopping of Japan from attacking USSR. So, he was a hero, in many ways for us in the "Western world" and we do not know.

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  • 67. At 02:55am on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    On the Crimean war you've asked about, David, some other time, again. I do not have health enough now to think about it.

    Tsusima (no "sh" in their sound) and the Crimean war we lost - both.

    The difference is after-taste.

    Of one war we are ashamed, and of the other one - proud.

    Can't explain, LOL! :o)))))

    But clear resonant feeling. Feeling is believing, you know.

    We lost the Crimean war so that there are legends of it and we are proud of all who fought there.

    BTW, "there". Russians don't know any "Crimean war". I mean, we believe that technically there was, since in all the books and all :o))))

    but there hasn't stayed a feel of a "Crimean" war. Sebastopol - exclusively. One and only place where there was war, in the whole of Crimean peninsula.

    War for one city, if you wish. Sebastopol war.

    I don't know? may be the British remember? what did they do, in the rest of the peninsula? who fought them? did any one?
    Clearly not Russians, LOL - someone else! :o))))

    Who could that be, I'm thinking? Some travelling cossack tribes, may be, from Don? Can't think of anyone else fighty, in that whole area.

    Only Russians, for Sebastopol. Can't believe various turks fighting or other local Greek-Italian-Ukrainian-Jewish-heaps of caleidoscopic foljs mixture in the peninsula. Peaceful folks :o))))

    So who Britain found to fight them "in Crimea" is a mystery to me o:))))

    Apart from cossacks may be, away from the sea, up there, close to mainland, and Russians down in the topmost peninsula South (Sebastopol) -can't think of any one.

    on the peaceful subjects, David, Sebastopol is no "Sebastopol", but a soft tender word "Sevastopol'", with a soft "l" sound at the end, and the fall on the third syllable.

    Greek word relative to metropolis or something. What's "Seva" means no idea, something Greek, "great and wonderful" plus metropolis - a settlement, a capital, approx.

    English "SebAstopol" , yukk, with hard "b" and fall on the 2nd syllable is very funny, if a normal Russian hears - won't understand it's
    Seh-eh-eh- vah-ah-ah- stO-O-O- pol' soft consonants and long vowels.

    But OK, they've learned somehow :o)))) as well as they could :o)))))

    The English language seems also to have remembered there the Balaclava bay, one of the 3 big city's bays, and one out of 30 the city has all in all! :o))))
    It's not a city, it's all cut in as Norwegian fjords :o))) and in hills. Well, the shore line - bays and bays.

    The word Balaclava sounds about alright, learned better :o))))

    I'll tell you in that bay live charming fishes named "bychkee", small bulls, literally. Because they have rounded wide silly head, and are very friendly, and funny and plumpy. And stubborn, like small bulls, always ram at hard surfaces, example one's legs :o))) or the pier side.

    They are tiny bull-like fellows, size a small finger or slightly bigger, and very courageous and inquisitive for the size. Small adventurous fellows that you can attract by interesting noises or crumps of bread, inquisitive as cats.

    Then you grab the small bulls and eat them! Tender as I don't know what.

    As a matter of fact I became nostalgic the other week, saw in the suoermarket new portion of tins "from Ukraine", called "Buchkee v tomate" - small bulls in tomato sauce. Bought 10 tins or may be 20 by this time and they didn't fail my expectations! and child memoirs.
    From which I conclude they are still there. :o))) in the Balaclava bay.

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  • 68. At 02:57am on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    A deficit, these days.
    Need to stock up more.
    Hasn't seen these tins since USSR times.
    May be should post some tins to some British friends, for fun, with best regards from Balaclava LOL :o))))

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  • 69. At 03:11am on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    But, if Global Warming by mankind is true,

    Then, WA, I WOULD worry about Chinese immigration to Russia, so I CAN see how you might not trust that country for the far future.

    But, hmmm, thank goodness, we've yet to show that G Warming is true, just that climate change is coming ...I guess.

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  • 70. At 03:27am on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Dont worry get ur rest,

    I am interested in history of people's recollections, because that is the only "you are there" kind of history, that truly takes you there, in a sense.

    But, Im glad Im alive now and we have toilets unlike the poor people from 1850 and those days. heheh :)

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  • 71. At 03:40am on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    MaudDib @65

    The Yalta conference, the big trio, set the time. Ask them! :o))))

    We were given exact time when to attack, and for 3 months were condencing there forces, on 3 strike directions agreed with allies, on the borderline with China. So that we didn't simply declare war at 00:00 hrs sharp, but 3 huge tank armies crossed the border and rolled into China at once - 1 minute sharp LOL, after the war declration was wired!

    Japan still can't forget us the predation, they view it as treason, for we had a Peace Agreement - formal NO-ATTACK mutual treaty, throughout the WHOLE 2nndWW.
    USA declared war to Japan , Britain I guess? must be yes, did - USSR was NOT in war with Japan, 1941-1945.
    In a way Japanese are right, predation from our side.

    One way or another they kept away from us - during Hitler occupation of Russia - and could have rightly counted on the return courtesy. They kept to their word and we didn't. The USSR-Japan Peace Treaty was expiring in January 1946 - we attacked (at 1 min warning :o)))) LOL!) - half a year before the deal expired.

    Why at all - because USSR driving Japanese out of China (where, I'm sorry, for a sec, - the whole Japanese army were - NOT on the islands. NOT in Japan itself - but in China, digged in deeply and profoundly, they started it on China in 1931, had 15 hrs to fortify the defence) - it was out swap with Roosevelt and Churchill, for the Eastern Europe.

    The price for the Eastern Europe.

    Churchill was against, he cared about Eastern Europe and didn't care about US problems in the Pacific. Was interested in the problems where Britain is.

    Roosevelt demanded exactly that - because European problems over - American problems were far from over, after Berlin.

    The bomb wasn't tried yet, neither during Yalta conf, nor in May 1945 Berlin time. There were no safety counting it'll work.
    If it wouldn't, technical bug or any thing - Russia and Britain have sorted out their problems in Europe - and would have relaxed.
    And USA would have stayed to fight on with Japan - tet-a-tete, for the control over the Pacific.
    Avout control of the Pacific - neither Britain nor USSR cared by that time (we - never at all ) - a fig.

    That's why America wanted Russia tied in, in the war with Japan, post Berlin.

    3 months - that was simply a reasonable time, the very minimum, to take Red Army out of Germany and Eastern Europe and train them over to the borderline with China. Look at the map.

    The Yalta deal was "in 3 months sharp, after the day Berlin is taken".

    BTW for Russians a huge surprise. Especially for the wounded and exhausted out to death Red Army in Europe. We had a Victory Day. It was announced the war is over. We took Berlin. What more?

    And then the troops who only wanted to get finally home, to their rased down to the ground villages and towns and dead and driven away to Germany relatives - were packed into the trains again! and transported to the borderline with China! in total secrecy, with boarded up train windows, out of Europe, across whole Russia - like cattle - to fight Japan who never attacked us! in some China that we didn't want to know about!

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  • 72. At 03:55am on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Stalin was hanging on a thread with that Chinese-Japanese adventure, because the army generals were against, and Zhukov etc. gained very heavy weight during the war, troops stood behind their commanders, together in fire. This word given to Americans could have costed Stalin dearly. A coup in 5 minutes.

    That's why it was a secret war, population wasn't told we fight at all, not a word about Japan or China "the war is over".
    Though granted all knew :o))) as it happens in Russia.
    You can't re-located thousands of troops in secrecy across the country. And relatives wanted to know where their fathers are - war is over, they should be back from Europe.

    ( we didn't have a "spare" Red Army in May 1945 - all there were - condenced by Berlin). It's them - were hopped back over.

    And, granted, to the war ruined country Stalin would never be able to explain the nature of the deal - what the hell for any one here wanted "Eastern Europe"? What the hell "Europe"? Home! finally - HOME!
    And what the hell "Japan"?
    Nobody saw here any "Japan" occupying - what's the point? What have they done?

    Now, I don't know when the bombs downed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki exactly, since for Red Army in China it made ZERO difference.
    The Jap. commander in China was competing with the Jap emperor - and didn't give a damn about what is in Japan. He did not fulfill emperor's order to surrender to the Allied forces in China.

    We fought Japanese, on the ground, inch by inch - well - 10 km by 10 km -for a month AFTER Japan island surrended.

    In the first 2 weeks - due to the mighty blow pre-arranged - Red Army took nearly 1/2 China.

    When we took 1/2 plus, and after the Japan-island emperor surrendered - the Allies joined us up in China, from the other end, and we were again closing the ring, narrowing it, towards a certain rendezvous point, all the three countries, until armies met, and that was over. But it all took place LOL - the China lib - AFTER Japan surrender. Well, 1/3 of China in the first 10 days after Aug 8th - which was not bad.

    Again, Russia, Britain and USA fought different geographic corners of China, like during the European theatre war - and troops never met until final get -together.

    That's why we all don't know about each other what the others did, I mean, practically, from home stories, dads grandads. Only books.

    I am not even sure who it was moving towatrds the rendezvous place in the liberation of China towards us. Either British? Or Americans? No idea. Have a vague feeling British.

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  • 73. At 03:58am on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    On your side it was an unpopular story as well, that Eastern Europe was sold to USSR for the price of cleaning Japan out of China, in help to Americans.

    On our side impossible to explain people either. What "help" to capitalists? why suddenly?

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  • 74. At 04:07am on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    wow..there u r:)

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  • 75. At 04:12am on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Imagine we'd have declared earlier (nobody asked BTW) - and?
    What use to the US be an empty declaration?

    With Russian army in Europe LOL - to declare war to Japan??!
    They'd cross over from China, spill out, and kill us - that's all there d be out of such "declaration" not backed up by army on China border.

    Remember the Japanese in China in 1945 were very sporty, and refreshed and fighty. Nobody touched them, for 15 years there. They felt absolute Kings and in safety.

    Americans didn't care to inform us about their bomb preparations, LOL, we didn't count on any bombs (may be they weren't sure of it either :o)))
    and prepared and fought in full earnesty.

    Then heard of the bomb, thought that the Japs in China will surrender - only they didn't watch TV, haven't known what's a nuclear bomb, and didn't even wink alas.

    In fact USSR was confused about what for the bomb, no of course a mighty thing, but we were managing China pretty well on our own, would have finished it (and did not badly on the all island around the main Jap. island either) - would have won without any bombs.

    But US wanted to try it, it was burning their hands, there were no pre-trials, they simply hurried on, to be able to try on someone live while the war stil lasts, because it is very un-elegant to try it on non-enemy.

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  • 76. At 04:37am on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "un-seemly", ugh.

    Un-seemly to tie Russia into a second war after one was over, and God knows we had enough of it.

    Roosevelt estimated American loss in ground operation in China as 2-4 million people minimum; probably - 6. A huge difference to the whole US loss in the prev. war years. To dig Japan out of China on the ground operation, of which the Americans aren't fond of. More inclined to air.

    That's why broke Churchill's fierce resistence, and tied Russia in.
    We needed to fight Japan in China like a last year's snow.

    But since they did not surrender, and we won over - the islands are ours. Don't fight Russia, LOL, surrender when your emperor tells you (or better 2 weeks earlier) - and you'll keep islands.

    The surrender act on board that ship - includes islands as Russian. Signed on behalf of USSR, on behalf of the USA, on behalf of Britain, on behalf of France and even on behalf of China. That the islands are Russian, not Japanese - signed alll aforementioned states.
    Simply keep to your word, like we kept to ours.

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  • 77. At 04:50am on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, you should really relax about Sorge being a good communist :o))))

    Think yourself - when did he have a time to be a good communist?
    Always on bsnss trips LOL :o)))) never at home. Even communism he picked up from his girl-friend No .... when in Germany or was it Britain?

    Besides, it is little known in the West there was a court held on his case, exactly for not being a good LOL communist, in absentia, and he was seriously, formally sentenced to death penalty.

    The only thing missing to make it come true was Sorge himself :o))))
    Stuck on a bsnss trip to Japan.

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  • 78. At 05:05am on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Dont worry, most of us no nothing bouttrue history, many things have beenfilled in here tho,,

    Also, I'm doubting anyone in Asia will side w/Japan even these days on that kind of subject..:)

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  • 79. At 05:07am on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Oh since Im not politically aligned to the past and live in the present,

    no, bravo to him:)

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  • 80. At 05:09am on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    G'nite and thank you, remember work, work work, and Merry Holidays...Winter Wonderland to you:)

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  • 81. At 07:11am on 13 Dec 2009, MaudDib wrote:

    Are you implying that Russia was forced into the war just seven days before Japanese surrender. My take on Generals is that they prefer to be sole hero of the day, It's the Patton syndrome. If the deal was done why bring in the Ruskies? Much the same way that Russians wanted the Allies held back so that the Russians could claim victory over Berlin. Even in Russian forces there were many lives lost because different commanders wanted the honor of capturing Berlin. Generals Chuikov Katukou, and Berzarin were racing as hard a they could to be the hero. The sad fact if that none of this brave fighting men got the credit. As we all know Supreme Leader Stalin was the mastermind who saved Russis and defeated the Germans. Help? what help? Probably was the man who stopped the war in the Pacific too, A real honest to God Peter the Great.

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  • 82. At 07:11am on 13 Dec 2009, Jan_Keeskop wrote:

    David: On post 61, regarding Japan and the USSR, read the following posts from this thread from 2008: WebAliceinwonderland’s #45, threnodio’s #46, and my reply to them at #80. Khalkhyn Gol was ultimately the reason that the Japanese signed a five-year neutrality treaty with the USSR in April 1941, which in turn allowed Japan to pursue its naval grand strategy.

    WebAliceinwonderland: In post 67, only classicists are likely to spell it as Sebastopol in English. I think that you’re right about its roots being Greek — perhaps σεβαστού + πόλις [emperor/empress + city], referring to Catherine II.?

    Regarding post 72, I’m not sure that there was a final get-together in China the way that there was in Germany; the USSR concentrated its attacks against the Japanese in Manchuria and Inner Mongolia, while on the mainland, the UK and USA were more focused on the Japanese in Burma (to create a supply line for the Chinese). I know that the Chinese actively participated in liberating Burma; was Chinese help also available in Manchuria?

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  • 83. At 07:20am on 13 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:

    France is in final stage negotiations to sell to Russia, 1 of its Mistral-class Warships (capable of carrying 16 Helicopters, Assault vehicles and a lot more aggressive 'operational-combat' equipment and men), designed for use in amphibious landings.

    I was just wondering how all those bright, sparkly, eager-beaver EU European Defence Force supporters feel about the proposed sale by France?

    Maybe those 'East' European NATO Members are delighted that France is boosting its own Economy (in tough recession times) by such prominent Arms-Defence sales to a near neighbour?
    Maybe that is what the EDF envisages - - a rapprochment with Russia - - that includes Weapons sales of a kind the EDF itself might use?

    Or, maybe it is just a small indicator of how France, yet again, in any matter of concern to France makes decisions to serve France's interests at any and in this case possibly all cost to Nations that might have expected their Membership of the European Union meant their common interests would come first!?

    Beware Europe! Beware the 'common interests' that are seen only as Paris-Berlin concerns!
    You will come to regret the day you placed your trust in such an axis of ill-intent.

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  • 84. At 07:51am on 13 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #72

    Just re-read some comments and of course always pay due attention to your lively, informative ones.

    I noticed this line from you, "..And granted, to the war ruined country, Stalin would never be able to explain the nature of the deal.." (re, Russia v Japs in Mchuria etc.).

    I was just curious about any examples you could provide of Stalin having ever "..explained.." anything to the Russian People in which it was not some 'fascists plot', 'foreign agitators', 'nest of spies' etc. that were at fault?
    In all my readings of the Soviet Union under Stalin I cannot find one reference to a 'fault'/'mistake' of the Communist Party led by the great General Secretary!

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  • 85. At 12:51pm on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    normally he wouldn't care to explain himself. And when he did - of course all is done in order to protect population from aliens - enemies were split into external and internal. In the inter-war period the external ones weren't very convincing, so he focused on the internal ones, we had whole trends of enemies "doctors' -poisoners profession plot", "Leningrad communist party' plot" (to separate from Moscow), Trotskism (predators) trend (those old party chaps who were fond of Trotsky, Opportinism, Marshals' plot (well that was real), and what not.

    But after the war army and Marshals had more power than Stalin. He only sat on the wave of the population support, while Marshals condensed real power. Why they didn't kick him off a big mistake, in 1945 a coup could have been done in 10 min.
    So in that case Stalin really cared what wide ignorant masses think of him, and wide ignorant masses were told "the war is over. May 9. home. Stalin has said." he really couldn't start it, with a "small additional war" even a small additional.
    My view overall.
    That Manchuria-Northern China-Mongolia-islnds was not taught in Soviet schools but "9th of May - full stop".

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  • 86. At 12:52pm on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    China operation is called here "The Unknown War".

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  • 87. At 1:31pm on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jan Keeskop, the problem with Northern China entry is Japanese fortified the area adjacent to the border with rows of dugouts, or rather? wide empty rivers? not for soldiers to sit in, against tanks, plus those anti-tank metal? hedgehogs (big pricky constructions), and all mined and mined.

    That was the trouble in entering North China from direction 1, even land, from directions 2 it was simply LOL a swamp where no dugouts but tanks drowned, and direction 3 were mountains - also cool for tanks :o)))
    You don't know which one is better.

    As to Chinese themselves - that was the meeting point, Chinese themselves, their opposition sat some place in Southern China.

    Elsewhere in China Japanese made Chinese fight us, which kind of multiplied their troops LOL.

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  • 88. At 2:17pm on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    MaudDib "are you implying that Russia was forced into the war just seven days before Japanese surrender."

    I am not "implying", it's a fact.

    Not "seven days before" - half a year before.

    Not "forced" but as Stalin signed for it - then signed.

    Not "seven days before surrender" - we fought there three weeks or a month and stayed there till October to clean up bits and pieces.

    You are not grateful for 2 weeks of our intense action I see.

    How to explain? It's imagine now USA "forces" Russia into Afghanistan.

    We build up forces on the border for 3 months and then blast in and take control of the 1/3 of Afghanistan in 2 weeks' time.

    Then USA blasts a bomb in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan or elsewhere LOL, on the chaps loosely connected with Afghanistan fighters.

    (Because Kwantung Jap army in China was a thing of its own, didn't give a damn about the emperor in Japan and in fact the only thing they did is cherished a coup to somersault him over and take power in Japan.)

    Since the bomb is not blasted in Afghanistan, Afghani mojaheeds don't give a fig about it, and continue fighting. And Russians continue fighting there.

    Then 50 yrs ago, in a blog, someone says to Russians again - What did you do in Afganitan in 2009? We have won (in Pakistan :o))) Pakistan surrendered. What did you do in Afghanstan? Nobody asked you.

    Our historians never mentioned you were pleaded to come in. We know our history, it's not your wrong Russian history.
    You only wanted to capitalise, Russians, on our American victory, that's what you did! How low and sneaky of you.
    You always do this. :o)))))
    You've capitalised on American victory in Berlin and where only not.



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  • 89. At 2:39pm on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    how can you think, at all, that China is winnable by 1 week. ?

    Of anyone's action.

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  • 90. At 2:40pm on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    But then again :o))) you can try. Blast a bomb in Iran and see how Afgnistan surrenders. In 1 week, we'll be counting :o))))

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  • 91. At 3:02pm on 13 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #85

    Very interested to read that, "...after the War Army and Marshals had more power tha Stalin..": Do you feel sure of this view?

    After the Victory Parade in Red Square and the immense 'cheering' for Zhukov on his white horse didn't Comrade Stalin and jealous 'Party'/'NKVD' acolytes such as Beria do a very uncomradely thing and remove the great Red Army 'General' to a Siberian Command post, and also begin the transfer of other successful war heroes to similar lowly, less prominent commands?

    It was in the same period (1945-48) the million+ liberated Red Army Prisoners of War returning from the Nazis' death camps were marched straight on and into the Gulags for 'betraying the nation' (such was Solzhenitsyn experience and his record of many more brave Russian servicemen cruelly treated by a still very powerful and feared 'Uncle Joe')!

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  • 92. At 4:07pm on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    cool-brushie, absolutely correct, but that's why removed. Zhukov and Konev and all there were, the "Marshals of victory".
    Still, there was time allowing, but Stalin became so goody-goodies, so softie-softie (for a while) :o))) the prevailing opinion on the ground was "He wouldn't dare! to terrorise folks the way he did pre-war. Not AFTER what this nation survived."

    All believed he wouldn't - and he - did.

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  • 93. At 5:45pm on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Ohhhh all these details are so wanted. Thank you:)

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  • 94. At 5:50pm on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    BTW, the title of this blog at moment is War and Peace....therefore, the nation of the writer of that classic should be honored :)

    To write about history of war and peace in 1945 IS interesting and a good idea of why eastern europe was the Soviet Unions (buffer has long been suggested--

    for Russia to feel safe from aggressors after losing 80 million people in WW2. (to German selfish -- new low standard -- intentions)

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  • 95. At 5:54pm on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Oh yeah, I couldnt remember the name--Tolstoy, :)

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  • 96. At 7:06pm on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    There is an article in the paper of my city--KANSAS CITY STAR from K.C., Mo, USA--about--

    China/India tensions along the border are rising with the rise in power of India and China.That a while ago, China rattled sabres when India tried to build a road near the border -- it, the road, was abandoned.

    The article went on to say that China has built up naval ties with Pakistan and Sri Lanka recently AND

    I did not know that Pakistan has a coast on the ocean so I looked at an atlas and yes, it does. Hmmmmm, why are we so dependent on Russia to transport materiel to Afghanistan? Does this mean that the war ally Pakistan is not really an ally, why can we not approach Afghanistan by Pakistan and its coast?

    Hmmmm, the tricky place that is AfPak--uh ohhhh--watch out poor Russia and India--Americans are becoming wary/weary of this war.

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  • 97. At 7:23pm on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    --as we become more aware of the reality--I mean (above)

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  • 98. At 7:26pm on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    The only way Afghanistan will ever be rich is if the world legalizes opium/poppy trades, because there is no oil or gold...what do they have to sell?

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  • 99. At 7:37pm on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, you are friends with Pakistan, only you can't fly over them to Afghanistan, they don't control own air. Yes, that bad.
    And no, not 80 million in the 2ndWW, 1945 figure was 20 million (Stalin thought it's a good round number) (and nobody onjected, LOL), in Khruschev's thaw was looked at again, unpleasant surprises became 30 million, then again nobody looked in, as Khruschev time (and warmth) (here it was warmth, honestly, though, I understand with Cuba crisis it's not warmth for you at all) as Krushev's time has ended; next time was looked in during Gorbachyov's warmth, 1987-1989 smth, became 28 million population (plus), 28.5 and about 19 mln army.
    I think that's about it, though we keep finding new soldier medallions among bones, thus soldiers get transferred from "vanished unknown read could have run away to the West from Eastern Europe - and a soldier becomes "no, killed here, in war" but anyway this won't change much, because for a long time noone was finding really mass graves, goes at a rate approx. ? in St. Petersburg region at a rate 7-10 people per week, other towns no idea, so it won't make even half a million more, in several years.
    Though if Baltic states resumed those teams' work on-going (they stopped last 20 years) - a million more guaranteed, only Narva one town will be about 50,000 at once.

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  • 100. At 7:47pm on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, so you know one Russian word "tolstoy" is basically "tolstuj" - fat and round and plumpy.

    That's a good observation :o), about the family, though he himself well, in fact he wasn't, but most of them were and are, very, how to say, substantial in diameter :o))))

    The next Tolstoy we had here, from the same stock, (Sov. times, also a writer, Alexey; good one) (wrote a good book "Petr the First" was very, very substantial, and the female one, our current writer-Tolstoy, Tatiana Tolstaya is hardly squeezing into the TV screen :o)))

    All Tolstoy-s are supposed to be writers and round in diameter, in short.

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  • 101. At 8:01pm on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    hmmm, interesting--it would be a good thing to have a "russian" channel on TV for a news perspective.

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  • 102. At 8:33pm on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, but you've got somewhere, "Russia today", but it's not real TV, I never saw it and nobody here does watch it.
    It's some very brushed up and decorated reality for the foreign consumption, country boasting about oneself, I suppose.

    While a normal Russian will be fun. First, you'll watch your own American movies in Russian :o))) - may even pick up some words :o)))),

    then - it's loaded with troubles and happenings, as things always happen here (not quiet life). You don't need and fantasy films or thrillers - normal Russian TV will be alright :o)))

    One thing nobody in Russia yet complained about - is that it is boring here.

    No 3 - excellent channel "Kultura" - no ads - excellent theatre plays, music of all kinds, all the best concerts and ballets they can get hold of - WW achievements - not Russian, all the best films, good old films, English by the way a lot.

    No 4 - the Red Star, army things' channel - all admirers of heavy metal, tours to airplane cabins or subs, reporting from various trainings, wars' history, old documentaries, films on wars - that's in the Red Star channel.


    BTW this reminds me cool-brush-work worried about Mistral French sale to Russia.

    First of all, dear cool-brushie :o)))) - are we a country a European country can't sell arms to ? An out-cast, Cold war, things, not over, no?
    Is our attack record for the past 20 yrs so alarming to you?
    Own NATO one isn't alarming, no?

    Second, I absolutely agree with you - we don't need Mistral. I think I told the story, right in this blog, how our commander got charmed by the French wonder, and stuck that he wants the toy.
    While there isn't a single other Russian, be it Navy, HQ or a baker on the ground, who shares his opinion.

    Third, he may indeed get his way, as he is the Defence Minister, and normally Kremlin does what Defence ministers ask for. But in a very, very reduced format of his dream, that is France might sell us an empty outer shell of one Mistral - and a licence to kill, LOL, a licence to make own Russian Mistrals, 5 or 6 forgot, on the base of the sample frame.
    The ship - without electronics, without armament, without hoovercrafts (2 in the hold by plan), without helicopters on the deck, without rockets, without guns, a perfectly dis-armed metal frame.

    I personally think we need that shallow egg cover as a dog a fifth leg, especially or the hell of a lot of cash for the license to build 5 more Mistrals - because, for starters, what shall we do with even 1? If/when we do the stuffing ourselves.

    But the way Putin modified the Defense Minister's request to buy 1 wholee ship equipped to "permission to build own", un-equipped, the idea seems to be St. Petersburg ship-builders will liven up with a huge order from the state to stuff that empty Mistral shell. Likewise, now got greedy for orders helicopter builders, and rocket builders, and gun sellers, and who only not, because the thing is big, the optics factory is happy, the electronics' institute is happy, all are looking forward to stuff it on the state money.

    The sample (Mistral) is here (was here as min. last week), parked opposite Hermitage right in the Neva river, a show-case alluring us to buy. A huge white baby.

    If you had Red Star channel traditionally telling the population of all things military - you'd know all this :o)))

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  • 103. At 8:42pm on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Let Them prop up France:)

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  • 104. At 9:33pm on 13 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #102

    I'm not bothered in the least by Putin's Russia acquiring the very latest in 'west' marine-technological weaponry: Russia is as entitled to trade with whoever it wants as any other free-thinking Nation of our modern, go-ahead World order!

    I'm just curious what the European Defence Force supporters make of France doing deals of this sort?
    Afterall, a European Defence Force includes 'east' European nations and the foreign affairs aspect is interesting: It is a fact that some in 'east' Europe have already expressed concern about France equipping Russia with such advanced weaponry. I was merely pointing out how little consideration France gave to any 'National' concern by comparison with its own perceived needs - - this Mistral deal is like almost everything else done at EU level where France has a stake - - 'la France' has never and will never pay heed to any voice but the voice of France in all matters, indeed the EU was founded very largely with that principle in mind.

    My reference was purely out of scornful concern for the vaunted EU 'can stand alone' hyperbole of some 'pro-EU-EDF': They simply do not realise their version of reality if it does not fit with France's, will never be allowed to fit!

    A little bit of 'European Dud Force' making, if you like!

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  • 105. At 10:37pm on 13 Dec 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    When Gavin took over the European section, and many people hadn't still found the new blog or were otherwise unable to contribute to the discussions at hand, I noted that how delightful it was having extra-Europeans away from commenting, thus allowing us Europeans to discuss matters that are important for us Europeans. Sometimes, especially after again reading another revisit to the WW2, while being guilty in the past for the same incursion, I secretly hoped that there would be no extra-Europeans taking part on these discussion in here, not including British.

    Of course, isolationism isn't the answer, and to give credit, the extra-Europeans commenting here have made valuable contributions to the community by making sharp observations and valuable comments. Still the question remains, what to do with the extra-Europeans?

    You see continental Europe in my mind has made the reconciliation and accommodation with the past. There was the war, it was fought, suffering happened, crimes were committed, but in the end lessons were learned, past repented and what had been learned were applied. The process started first in the west and then finally reached east with the collapse of the Soviet Empire and extension of the European Union. While the east and the west under the Union haven't completely integrated and not all old wounds and marks have been healed, there is a stark difference with the continental Europe and the extra Europeans circling it.

    So who are the extra-Europeans?

    British, by refusing to be part of the new Europe, by refusing on not applying the lessons learned like the rest of the Europe. As long as Britain doesn't acknowledge that it is a European country, with a European culture, with a European past and future, without taking part on building Europe, then it will stay as an extra-European country.

    Russians, by having a completely different interpretation for the history of the 20th century than the rest of the humanity. As long as Russia and Russians refuse to look seriously of what the USSR and Communists were, and admitting and repenting it, then as long it will be an extra-European country. To be truthful, I can't think anything that would make Russians to rethink and redefine who they are, that is something that I can't see on how could it happen, on what could be the motivation.

    Then there are the blatantly obvious extra-Europeans, the Americans. In the past Americans have been the most favorite extra-Europeans of all, someones to be admired and copied, but quite frankly with the American Empire becoming blatantly visible and intellectually not aspiring, there is not much to look for than the history and taking lessons of it, on not repeating the same mistakes.

    Now you might be asking what is the point of all this rambling? Maybe nothing else than to point out that you are extra-Europeans, with good reasons for it, and yes, I'm proud to be a European, and yes I think we have got what it takes to succeed and leave a positive mark on the history of humankind in the 21th century. Now you can dwell in the past, not learn and not apply anything, that is all fine and dandy, you can do it, but don't be terribly surprised when you will be disregarded as being either non interesting or irrelevant.

    Thank you and good night and before I go, Gavin, please, Obama is of coure interesting, but so is the soap drama with the US Senators and the Neelie Kroes.

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  • 106. At 10:48pm on 13 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Okey-dokey. And Putin thinks, mind it, that he does West a favour, I mean shows good will.
    We never bought a single thing military foreign, in that sense it's symbolic, means we also trust France (and all things Western), to know, what exactly we've got and will have, for 5 ships on.

    As to former Eastern Europe, bah. They'll worry whatever we do, and will worry if we don't (means, sitting-plotting :o)

    They worry because there is an old rule - Russia never hops over a country, never once in 1000 yrs, to annex someone or whatever. Only - consequitively, one after another, not leaving non-Russia behind.
    Which means - immediate neighbours first :o)))))

    What "annexing". But overall, I share your wonders, crisis in the yard, what mistrals?

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  • 107. At 11:31pm on 13 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    I just hope you actually meant to write about 'extra' to the EU concept.

    Finland and its 'European culture'! Did I miss those pages of the text book?

    The most Northern Nation in Scandinavia if even that is legitimate in geographical terms: Filled by Sami, Swede, Russian, and all the time the Finno-Ugrarians/Finnic peoples were there, but not of Europe or Scandinavia.

    Finland had its Europe engraved by Sweden and the Finns then moved under St Petersburg's spell!

    Until Elias Lonnrot did his fabled tour to collect the verses (and much of that was 'east Karelia' - - Kalevala village being typical - - in land so sparsely populated even now the demography is startlingly bare) there was a spartan lifestyle with many spells, chants, shamans and maidens spring rituals despite Agricola's lessons from earlier times.

    "Extra-Europeans", indeed!

    Would you even dare to think of writing/saying that in 'West Indian' London, Turkish Cyprus, Moroccan Spain, Algerian France etc., but you feel you can label entire Nations.

    Is it not possible the British, Russian etc. simply have alternative views of what being a European or being a part of Europe means? Just because they do not conform to your standard of what is a European does not make them 'extra': It makes them singularly, instinctively clever!

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  • 108. At 11:54pm on 13 Dec 2009, MaudDib wrote:

    Ref 105 J-R
    It is certain to me that real (not extra) Europeans must be devoid of belly-button lint. With the amount of navel gazing it would be impossible.

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  • 109. At 00:00am on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jukka may be you had a bad day? 13th, after all? No?
    Hallucinations of Finland as telling others "what is European" !
    What is European you barely know (liberal attitude and interest to the world included, write it down somewhere), rather, you know what is EU-ian.

    But, OK, even for the EU - you aren't yet a country - and already split the world into "ours" and "theirs", type "who isn't with us - is against us".
    Already so un-tolerant to extra-terraneous views. What will be when you are more of a get-together, one wonders.

    BTW this reminds me - there'd be no EU without the 3 "extra-terraneous" you've mentioned - Britain, Russia and the USA. It'll be one Germany, as far as I remember. Hardly see Finland, in that path of development anywhere, ahoy? where ? someone give me a history book.

    But right, you're un-thankful, and un-tolerant, and imposing your views on others, and feel it is "proper EU style".

    In the thread, LOL, called war and peace, telling about Obama - Britain USA and Russia are "irrelevant". Aha.

    On "irrelevant", and all the "wrong contributions" to the otherwise "European blog" - LOL. First do anything "relevant", that others will be interested to enquire about, a year after, or a hundred yrs after. Tell of something relevant to others enough to ask a question about. Be it Finland or EU quarters management, come on.

    David, don't pay attention, it's not Europe, it's simply one bad-mannered Jukks.

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  • 110. At 00:08am on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Why do I have a strange feeling :o)))) that Britain and the USA will be always "relevant" :o))))) for Russia ? somebody, tell me!:o))))))

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  • 111. At 00:33am on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    If for variety, especially with no hopers like...around :)

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  • 112. At 00:46am on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Yes, Europe has more influence on many things, so many things (me) want to read about it. :)

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  • 113. At 00:53am on 14 Dec 2009, Jan_Keeskop wrote:

    Jukka Rohila: How do extra-European comments here prevent Europeans from discussing topics of importance to Europeans?

    (If the British are extra-Europeans, then there is a certain amount of irony involved with a European having been delighted by the lack of extra-European comments on discussing European topics in an extra-European language at the European section of an extra-European Web site.)

    One possible way to prevent WWII. from being revisited might be to avoid “priming the pump” by suggesting that two of anything be named Adolf and Joseph.

    What to do with the extra-Europeans? If the question need be asked, then I suppose that the 21st-century answer would be to acquire a proxy filter to hook into one’s browser, that would automagically remove those comments made by all extra-Europeans in one’s blacklist, so that they need never darken one’s screen again. Relics of an earlier era (like myself) might choose instead to just disregard an uninteresting or irrelevant comment, regardless of its geographic source.

    People of different backgrounds can learn different lessons from the same historical event; perhaps this is one reason why extra-Europeans have not permanently abandoned this blog. (What have the Europeans learned that we extra-Europeans haven’t? What have we learned that they haven’t?)

    I blatantly wish you an obvious good night. ;*)

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  • 114. At 01:32am on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:


    Have you maybe considered that the lack of an EU subject on this page...War and peace, has attracted so few EU commenters here, that non- Euro people might be welcome at the moment?

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  • 115. At 03:42am on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Look at old maps, Friends,

    do you see Finland? It was Russian for many years, part of the Swedish empire for some years, and now, it is a nation with ties to the EU..

    Study your history books and find out why Finland does exist today?

    Because of the Yalta Conference which included the USSR, USA and the UK? (????) That is at least mostly true, no offence to anyone reading.

    Am I right that Finland "became" a nation legally recognized after the Treaty of Versailes? (sp?), after WW1? Please read thy history for some wider "perspective."

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  • 116. At 03:44am on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Yes. Right. Exactly so. :o))))
    Jukks, you know you'll be beaten by others after such glossy statements, why do you do that?

    Have you put on your helmet?

    Take it off. I'm going to be friendly.
    After all, you gave me one link to cat export site, in 2008... And translated "secondary education" into Finnish, in 2009...
    And you were so friendly when I returned back to the blog after non-internet-dacha...

    By the way this reminds me, you were sweet, but wrote about that time about "extra-terraneous" polluting LOL for the first time. First symptoms... missed... and the condition worsened :o)))))

    Anyway. Besides! you are not hopeless; another point for; I see a clear improvement, that you don't plan anymore to turn Russia into repentant Magdalene.

    Took only one year. Already something, that you gave up hope at least on that.
    Shows the ? first buds of the reasonable thinking !
    Up-grade to the category of "young promising talent" :o)))))))

    (Just to be sure; Two different gals, right?)

    May be, you even want to save us all (oh), Britain, Russia and the USA, by inviting into the only proper place to be, the EU. And you simply can't formulate the invite politely because you are not, how to say, - European!

    So you write it as well as you can.
    "You'll all regret, deeply and profoundly. But, for starters (before you join in) - Get out of here!" :o))))))))

    Jukka, I am going to improve you by my own friendly example.

    See, reasonably, what do I care, about Finland or the EU in total?

    Neither can either fix Russia nor destroy it - by your parameters - conclusion - irrelevant.

    Stil, I am interested in your opinion, as you have noticed. :o)))) during the past year. Why so?
    I don't know.

    It's normal. Why not?

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  • 117. At 04:24am on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, we all got distracted from the main theme.

    I mean, one main theme is taken care of, LOL, And I don't think anyone is going to get back LOL the Nobel prize from your president, what's awarded it's awarded, and, how to say, thank you very much, and all.

    (also :o))) there is a saying :o)))) don't know the English equivalent, "At the gifted horse teeth you don't look at" :o))))
    Meaning, you don't get peculiar LOL when someone gives you a present, simply take it, say thank you, and don't look at the teeth of that (possibly) very old and questionable present :o))))

    Obama will have to live with the prize somehow :o))))
    and he already showed he can manage it (war is peace peace is war LOL :o)))))
    and for all the rest - that's not the last Nobel prize in store to get so paranoid greedy about :o))))

    So, IMO, all is well that ends well, what I wanted to ask you - is how your global warming goes on; minus 10 today here, awful cold wind.
    Heard Moscow plans to have -18 tomorrow; by all looks a winter coming like the winters used to be before and we forgot about, during past warm years.

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  • 118. At 05:33am on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Here it is about 0c or embarrassed--not meaning to get personal w jukka...just being called "non european/outsider"--ouwww, sorry,

    Once we had a man from Finland in a a college class. He was so nice especially when ignorant students (in multi-cultural--pacific/african/etc. art class, no less) asked him about..can't remember, maybe wolves or indigenious people--trying to be nice to him yet, ignorance from pretty girls can start friendships tho with shy foreign men, lol..I think he told a few things from his country.

    But yes I'm scared of climate change, "for the children, and theirs", yes winter is here but very mild this year which is scary ...after a very mild summer (much rain and cold unseasonal weather in the summer)..

    but our big thing in winter is ice-storms..We are afraid of them the most, and 10 yrs ago had a horrible one where everyone was without power for a week and all had to wear winter coats to bed---strangely, we had phone service and hot water (from the heater),

    horrible prospect--Ice-Storms. scary.

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  • 119. At 05:37am on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    My opinion is this..We should all be very grateful to be alive now in this present--think how bad it was to be human--just one hundred years ago and just 60 yrs ago in Europe, especially.

    Grateful, grateful thank yous:)

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  • 120. At 10:01am on 14 Dec 2009, Chris wrote:


    Making movies to watch?:))

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  • 121. At 10:46am on 14 Dec 2009, Chris wrote:


    Why only france? The US, us and other sell arms to Turkey do you think Cyprus &/or Greece are happy with that? I can't see how us selling arms to Turkey is any different to France selling arms to Russia. CBW do I detect a slightly anti-French part in you? not so much anti-EU?:))

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  • 122. At 10:58am on 14 Dec 2009, Gheryando wrote:


    Kiitos for your comment on the aircraft carrier names. Hilarious. but I kind of like them. (not the adolf and joseph one).

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  • 123. At 12:19pm on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, David, it's then electricity lines, that snow builds up on them heavy and they ? You can't have that wire broken by snow.

    Then it's wind, that makes trees fall onto electricity those hanging ropes, and breaks the line simply, untiil a fixers'car comes and connects the two pieces of line back?

    And heating - why heating disappears? tubes burst from frost? but your tubes are in-house? is it electric heating?

    A snow-storm shouldn't be that ruinous, what's snow storm, snow and wind, while wind happens any time of the year, snow by itself - what can it do? It's soft fluffies that simply down from the sky, they can't harm any thing, snow, by itself. Here they lie for half a year - and anyway they melt, they always do, it's un-heard of the snow that doesn't melt. Even the Arctic ones, multi-millenium melt! You shouldn't be scared of snow itself - believe Russians, upon my word - it always melts.

    If you were sure that you'll never stay without electricity and heating - you'd have a different attitude to snow-storms, they swirl and fall and roar - their personal business, none of your problem.

    We have non-electricity problems when trees break electricity ropes out up there, in the dacha, but that's caused by wind, not snow-storms.
    I've got an old RW workers' "lamp" for the case, and you also should get one, it's simply a candle holder a metal box with tinted glass on all 4 sides, and one side is a door, you can un-click it open, and put a big Christmas type candle in. I've got another one, where the fourth side, the door is torn away, only 3 sides of glass, works just as fine.
    You should get yourself one when Christmas shopping, a candle holder big, glassed on 3-4 sides, and with a ? handle? a hoop on top, to carry around the house. This will allow you to walk your house swinging that thing in hands, take it to the basement, to the bathroom, to the kitchen, and not stay where candles are "fixed". A portable flash-light, only much friendlier light, and you feel a total gnome with multi-sparkles coloured thing, on "expedition". Even outside to the wind you can take it, and, well. Plus hot water bottles! everywhere! in beds included! "in the winter coat", ugh. Until they fix electricity.

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  • 124. At 2:00pm on 14 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Chris Arta

    Re #121

    Well, my #83 and #104 are an observation of mine about the sale of a particular 'warship' by France to the Russians and the possible ramifications for the EU's EDF.

    It is not so much a bias against France but an awareness that Europe is very much dominated by the Paris-Berlin-Brussels political elite with France being at its core influencing every decision and almost always in favour of France's interests.
    The sale of Defence/Military hardware is just a small part of the overall theme.
    I say again, beware of the Paris-Berlin-Brussels axis of ill-intent: Their 1957 aim of hegemony in Europe has more or less come to fruition. It will be for the rest of Europe to accept carrying on playing supporting roles or to once more find the moral-ethical will-power to make policy in the interests of Citizens and not 'big-Business/big-Government'.

    If there is truly a Union of Member States then how could France be selling weapons to a Nation several of France's supposed allies in the EU-EDF are concerned by?
    The UK may well sell 'arms' to Turkey and upset Greece, but, Turkey and Greece are NATO Members and the deals are also open to every NATO member Nation. That NATO partnership is long established and the parameters of what can be done by 'allied' Nations are set out.

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  • 125. At 2:26pm on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, I also thought, it's easy for me to console you ab snow, but when meeting with the pospect of +26 - nothing will console me.
    I don't think there are many air conditioners in houses and apartments in St. Petersburg. Never saw one. Only in supermarkets.
    All are used to own climates that you know how to live in.

    (why does it necessarily have to be glob. warming? why not "cooling" oh, why?)

    Still, snow-storm is bad for only one thing here that I know of. And not every snow-storm either, only heavy, wet snow, in just about minus weather. Dry cold powder snow is not bad then.
    It's when you are a ship going the "upper" way from ? from anywhere, say, from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok. Wet snow sticks to the ship, leaps onto it and plasters all protruding parts, and freezes up into ice, which is heavy. Then all crews run around mad and kick it off from various anthenna-s or ? whatever, non-stop, competing with the icing up process. Because it never sticks evenly but comes from one side, which makes a ship to have a crane? a? s? s? something? leaning onto one side, and overall an iced ship sits lower in water, water gets too cose to the edge, smaller distance to water from the deck, which means you can pick up quiet a lot of water onto the deck (turning ice, again), the ship is heavier, listens to the wheel worse, disaster. But that's the problem of ships going the Northern Sea Way, where winds arrive in a gush without warning, still, not everyone's business.
    If this consoles you in any way. Simply, think "How good it is I'm not a ship going the Northern Sea Way".

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  • 126. At 2:33pm on 14 Dec 2009, Chris wrote:

    On the sale of arms the countries that make will sell them to whoever will buy them they don't care too much what others think. We sell arms to Saudi Arabia! As for Turkey/Greece/Cyprus the less arms that head their way the better it is for the NATO partnership in my opinion. It also goes to Georgia we should not sell them any arms and not accept them in NATO until they sort out their problems. With Lithuanians they should stop having secret prisons to please the CIA and worry less about what Arms Russia buys from whom. We should all try to live in a big happy EU family :))

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  • 127. At 2:48pm on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    cool-brushie, not all ex- "Eastern Europe" has concerns about Russia.
    Right now watch Khorvatian president (or PM?) in TV saying wants to be friends, for the strong ties, with strong Russia, likes the idea of strong Russia, and recommends everyone the same :o)))))
    Also says "the new trend to review the results of the 2ndWW, the ones trying to do it now, making victors guilty - will be cleaned out from the course of history, I am absolutely against this."

    As nobody seems eager to review the other 2 victors' achievements (Britain and USA) - I read it he meant us.

    Looks quite energetic and friendly to me, as min. - not scared of us at all. Why should they be, anyway?

    But then, LOL, of course :o)))) Khorvatia aren't immediate neighbours :o)))))

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  • 128. At 2:52pm on 14 Dec 2009, Isenhorn wrote:


    ‘If there is truly a Union of Member States then how could France be selling weapons to a Nation several of France's supposed allies in the EU-EDF are concerned by?’

    Well, the reason for that is the fact that the ‘Paris-Berlin-Brussels axis of ill-intent’ has not bought all the ‘Russian threat’ which the Anglo-Saxon-Baltic clique of malicious warmongers have being trying to sell. Just because some countries choose to be ‘concerned’ does not mean that there is a real threat coming from Russia. As a matter of fact, if the future EDF is to work, it must include Russia. Steps in that direction have been taken by Russia herself:

    As you can imagine however, some key (and other not so key) NATO members have been less than keen of supporting such an idea. After all, it is not the way of Uncle Sam to loose the controlling packet of shares in a military organisation, where many of the members are bending backwards to accommodate their new master. Members which ‘express concerns’ about the purchase of a ship, yet did not find anything threatening in the installation of radars and missiles on their territories.

    As to your 'big-Business/big-Government' nature of the EU- it is not in the EU where the big banks are untouchables, where a certain US Vice President was also a CEO of a ‘Big Business’ with interests in the Middle East and Iraq, or where another ‘Big Business’ has contracts to wage war on behalf of the US government.

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  • 129. At 2:58pm on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    But then of course, Khorvats weren't scared of Hitler, weren't scared of Stalin, what's for them Putin and Medvedev tandem, a joke.
    Jougoslavia fought and resisted and partisan-ned awful well in the 2ndWW, under occupation - mined and blowed up and sent off the roads thousands of armament deliveries to the nazi occupying Russia, were great help. And then whe Tito quarreed with Stalin he simply said Kremlin get lost, we are out of the alliance - and LOL nothing happened to them, remembering 2ndWW (can be - grateful for their help, but I'll be more practical :o))) - remembering how Jugoslavia fights - Stalin chickened out to force Tito into the alliance.

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  • 130. At 3:00pm on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Except, may be, it was more of Serbs and Montenegro.

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  • 131. At 3:24pm on 14 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #127

    'Scared'! Why indeed?

    On that level, 'scariness', then USA-UK in this first decade of the 21st Century have a very poor record of 'cheeriness' with other Nations.
    All the same, the perceived National-global interests of all Nations are always going to be suspect, e.g. Israel, Iran, N.Korea, China, Venezuela... and in that mix is France where EU-Europe is concerned.

    Russia also, is one of several very large Nations with many of its own problems; the concerns of Russia being such an immense area of land have to be Global in outlook, but for sure its general Foreign policy has been relatively peaceful (Chechnya, Ossetia, Georgia etc. being minor compared to Iraq-Afghanistan although not for those who suffer).

    In that sense I am with ChrisArta in his #126 in that it would be better if there were no 'arms' sales to any Nation, but unfortunately that isn't going to happen anytime soon, and so we are left with 'issues' across the World in which actions by allies-neighbours-regions all can and do get messily interpreted.

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  • 132. At 3:34pm on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    cool-work-brush, and ChrisArta, by the way, of the currently present British here. Someone ought to tell you this :o)))) at some point :o)))) and looks like it'll be me :o))))

    It was great news downed on Russians post Perestroyka that we occupied anyone. The only one we knew we "occupied" was East Germany, though official version - friends and buddies with good Germans (all the "bad" ones got condensed on the other side :o))) - but whatever Kremlin says, all knew - we keep army in the DDR. Garrisons, with own USSR soldiers. Rockets, aimed at West. And what not.

    With other countries, what "occupation"? And, like, - what for? They all had socialist governments friendly to us, no need to "occupy" anybody, they'll themselves occupy anyone they wish! :o))))).

    It is for granted to you that "USSR occupied". For the USSR - catch anyone in the street, ask a Georgian, even now, enquire - "how did it feel, occupying countries for 40 years?"
    He'll bobble his eyes, "occupied? we? who? you mean - Germany?"

    Right we have mis-placed everyone's brains and annoyed immensely with all Marx-Lening learning-teachings-propagands, but still it is not brute force, keeping an army on someone's land, scaring people by garrisons and soldiers.

    Those countries had own armis, own commanders, in liason with us, in case of West' aggression.

    And even Germany I think was more scared of own police, then any Russians barricaded up in their garrisons, not interfering into local life, except brief walks after provisions and shopping, and getting back again into their garrison quarters/towns. Sitting there ready to reflect the attack from the West! which alarm and wow-wow-wow howling sound can start any time! Vicious West, capitalists, about to turn people slaves in their factories, where worker has no rights - breaking in! :o))) Any moment! All hands on the deck!

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  • 133. At 3:51pm on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    The fun of the situation is, who could imagine we'll turn capitalists where "a worker has no rights" - and the West will become socialists!

    Looking at you, all Russians agree - "the West lives at communism, lucky them!"

    From this point of view, it is reasonable the adjacent to the right side part of Europe now clings to the left side of Europe - that's where socialism lives currently!

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  • 134. At 4:21pm on 14 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #128

    Well, as the cookie crumbles so shall we find the ingredients scattered about.

    I certainly do not perceive of Russia as a threat to the 'west'.

    However, your dismissal of the concerns expressed by Finland, the 3 Baltic States, Poland and several other 'eastern' EU-EDF Nations is fairly much in the same high-handed attitude as France has and is behaving.
    It suggests to me you are a trifle too willing to seek plausible excuses for France selling weaponry to Russia, and not recognising that it is just possibly part of that French grand design for creating conditions leading to a break-up of NATO to be replaced by a France-Germany-Brussels controlled European Defence Force.

    Is there regular meetings between NATO Staff and Russian Military Commanders? Yes. Are there Protocols in-place for 'observers' from each Military to attend each other's 'war games' etc.? Yes. Do NATO and Russian Commanders provide each other with annual Armaments and Armed Forces Personnel lists so that there are few, if any, surprises on each other's borders? Yes. Do NATO and Russia inspect each other's Nuclear capabilities alongside those carried out by the IAEA? Yes. Are NATO and Russia co-operating over supply-routes to armed forces in Afghanistan? Yes. Was the proposed strategic 'umbrella' Defence Shield issue between Russia and NATO resolved amicably? Yes.

    Honestly, I am intrigued: Tell me: What is it about NATO that you dislike so much? What, where, when did NATO let you/Europe down between 1947 and 2009?

    If, as seems clear, neither Russia nor America (and LOL most definitely not the UK) are a Military threat to the European Union:
    Why exactly is it necessary for a pan-International 'defence union' that has functioned perfectly well for 50+ years to be replaced by a new European one?
    Why would another 'defence alliance', the EDF, on the global block be an advance or advantage for sustaining World Peace efforts?

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  • 135. At 4:35pm on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    cool-brush, I understand regional local concerns will always stay.

    it's like months of the year, they say one cannot marry the ones born in the month immediately before your own month of birth or after, will quarrel, same with neighbours :o)))) - LOL!

    still, one has a limited amount of neighbours (normally. Russia is the most un-luckiest in the world in this respect. 19! complaining at once :o))) or, one after another), and, I mean, even 19 is not world's 228 or how many there are.

    One should forget about neighbours,(as you seemingly can't fix much in it anyway), and think more far ahead.

    And Isenhorn by the way is right, about Baltic-British corner.
    What can we do? Re-locate Baltics closer to you, so that they'll get nervous about Britain instead?
    I am all for!

    Let's do a swap - our Serbs get into any one Baltic country, and any one Baltic country goes to live in Serbia. :o))))
    To try it, how it goes. You don't have a vacant corner closer to Britain?
    A good big empty island, may be?

    And all will be happy, mind it!

    The military alliance offer Medvedev has offered looks not bad.
    It is an attempt at NATO hegemony in the world' right, but NATO will have to reform, anyway.

    And a wider scope, in voting on military matters, is better for the world.
    4/5 of members, for an OK, which becomes binding, is better than ? I don't know how you have it in NATO these days.

    Provided there are as many countries in as possible, that it's not a narrow block. 4/5 of countries, provided they are many, say, 50-60-70 - it cannot be that all are idiots at once.

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  • 136. At 4:39pm on 14 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #132

    Yes, only friendly 'socialist' governments.

    E.g. Mr Jan Masaryk, minus his trousers, decided to throw himself out the 3rd storey window of his Foreign Office building just days after the 'communist party' took control in 1948. Doubtless he did it knowing that his homeland had not only been liberated by the Red Army, but was by then even more in 'friendship' with the USSR: It was out of joy and the 3 KGB men in the room were just too late to remind him of the 60 feet drop to cobblestones!

    True international solidarity: Speaking of which Poland's Mr Walesa is so dear to Polish hearts that not one will believe he could have been a secret friend of their former 'socialist' government that was allied to the liberating Red Army - - if it were proven true it would crush Polish spirit - - another example of how welcome is the memory of the USSR's friendship upto 1989!

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  • 137. At 4:48pm on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    cool-brush-work, I think the problem with NATO is it fights too much, and that voices in countries of it are not of equal weight.

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  • 138. At 5:18pm on 14 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    NATO has hardly fought at all!

    NATO is only in Afghanistan in an aggressive combat capacity by the vote and consent of the UNO: And since this decade in the Balkans now as an observer-peacekeeper.

    NATO took no part in Iraq: Those brave French, Germans and BeNeLux of the EDF did not want to ruin their parade uniforms.

    Which wars are you thinking of?

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  • 139. At 5:28pm on 14 Dec 2009, MaudDib wrote:

    Of course there were fewer arguments within Warsaw Pact. Those not toeing the line got invaded. re Czechoslovakia 1968. Poor Czechs, seems like everybody wants to invade them. I think if were them I wouldn't want an alliance with anybody. It just never seems to work out.

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  • 140. At 7:10pm on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Web alice,

    We have ice storms, where rain falls in -0c temps, and our electricity wires and stuff goes pop pop popopop and there goes light and somehow, yes heat..

    if lucky, the laptop pc has a battery--not a good one that nite, but no lights. I did learn to sleep on a sofa--warmest place in house it seems. (with winter coat as a blanket.):)

    Also France has a tradition of Russian/French friendship--unofficially NATO sanctioned? As in, if it makes Russia feel better, why not? Ever since Napolean times and defeat, France decides "hmm better make friends with them" :):)

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  • 141. At 7:11pm on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Ill try not to be so ubiquitous tonight.O:))))

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  • 142. At 7:16pm on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:


    Dont send "greater Serbs" to near UK. Each individual Serb is so nice, even gay serbs, tho, dont ever talk about Germany to them!!! A gay Serb told me "don't come here you'll be killed (I think he was so proud lolol)

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  • 143. At 10:01pm on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Here, Russia, I invite You into NATO,

    David said so, and we'll invite Serbia, not Ukraine. For your own pleasure and pride....

    Blame it on me :)

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  • 144. At 10:01pm on 14 Dec 2009, Gheryando wrote:

    138 - cbw - what about Kosovo? Wasn't that a war?

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  • 145. At 10:02pm on 14 Dec 2009, Chris wrote:

    webalice, don't get me started on Lithuanians, Polish, Romanians, etc. they thought that having prisons run by the Soviets was inhumane, but having secret prisons run by the CIA obviously is not inhumane!!! So hearing them complain about France selling "love boats" to Russians is the least of my concerns and you can keep as your own neighbors, we are happy with our friendly Irish over here :))

    @CBW, Give the French and the rest a break, NATO was not formed to take part in religious wars in Iraq because butcher Blair and priest Bush decided it was a good idea to take over Iraq and get its oil. So why should NATO get involved in the Iraq war? Even the one it is in, in Afghanistan is questionable!

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  • 146. At 10:15pm on 14 Dec 2009, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To cool_brush_work (107):

    Finland is Finland because of the Swedish rule from 11th and 12th centuries to the 19th century. In the pre-Swedish times the culture was something else than European, but then again there was really no Europe at 10th century, only the early marks of the post-Roman era. In the later centuries Finland via Sweden and via trade, educational and political connections to central Europe became a European country like any other country.

    Which bring me to a point that you don't seem to recognize. You think that the axis of ill intent, the Paris and Berlin, have some how conned the rest of the Europe to go along with their plans, but you don't recognize that for the last millennium France and Germany have influenced and impacted all other European countries and nations. The earliest mentions of Finnish students in Sorbonne is from the year 1313, and from that time on, the cultural exchange has just got more active. Maybe, just maybe, the other European countries because of their long term exchanges via these two central European powerhouses have used to get along with them, and actually like to get along with them?

    You also show some strong attraction to critique France, actually the whole Britain seems to have this attraction to put down anything that involves France. If I would just listen to you and the Daily Hate, then I would think that the EU is just a France plot to take over Europe, take over the British tax payers money and subsidize with it the French agricultural sector. Where does this attitude stem from?

    The reason why I put Britain as extra-European country is because the rest of the Europe have gone along with the EU, they have took part on it, they have tried to influence it, to try to build it on what they think that Europe should have. Now the British have only contributed by saying, "No! No! No! and No!", and then blaming France and Germany for shaping the union to what it is and then crying out that France and Germany are conning the rest of the Europe to go along. Have you maybe considered that the fault might be in the British side? That there is some mental block that prevents constructive European thinking and building of the European project? At least I have to say that is the impression that I have gotten, "No! No! No! and No! ... and you are all anti-Americans! ... No! No! No!"

    It is the otherness inside you that makes you extra-European, it is You! You! and You! behind it!

    By the way, you criticize French for contemplating on selling armaments to Russia, criticize on it somehow undermining the EDF. The problem is that we don't have an agreement, we have a solidarity clause in the Lisbon Treaty, but nothing else. What we need is a treaty that will establish European defense and security community that will set up common rules, common policies and guide common concentrated force. Before that happens, there is nothing more to critique with France selling armaments than there is with Germany planning the Baltic sea gas pipe with Russia or the British demanding taking down agricultural subsidies without addressing the matter of food security.

    To WebAliceinwonderland (109) and (116):

    No. I hadn't had a bad day. What I made was an observation on how things are. I actually made an effort to try to put the record down as politely as possible without loosing the underlying message. Besides, could you watch me in the eyes and tell that there is no otherness in Russians regarding Europe at all? Can you really say that there is no otherness? There is otherness, and that is a fact, and that otherness makes you extra-European. Now you can be offended by it, but is there any point on being offended when being offended really doesn't change anything, it doesn't change the underlying otherness inside you. Remember, it is about you.

    And no, I don't have an helmet on. Actually, I have made a very clear decision on avoiding talking about the WW2 with you, or actually with anybody, because you are not going to change your opinion because of my input, you are only going to do it by your own initiative. For my decision, there are two very good motivations for it, 1) we keep from offending each others, and 2) it keeps concentration on things that are important today and tomorrow, not on what was. What was is not important, as in the markets you are only worth on what you achieve today.

    To Jan_Keeskop (113):

    I on purpose used the term British, not English, not Scottish, not Welsh, not Northern Irish, British is the term used. British is almost an synonym for otherness to Europe.

    To David (115) and (118):

    I don't know the history of Kansas, that is why I don't make a claim that Dorothy created Kansas in 7 seven days and made it a US state by signing a lucrative co-branding deal with McDonalds and then went to Disney Land. That is more or less equal on telling that the Finnish independence had anything to do with either Treaty of Versailles or with the Jalta conference. Then again, I don't blame you on not knowing the Finnish history exactly as I don't know the history of Kansas exactly. Besides even if it had, so what? What is the point?

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  • 147. At 10:32pm on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    MaudDib, Czechs are good engineers, or used to be, as minimum.
    They know maths. Or knew. No way of knowing now :o))))
    That's why all wanted them, first Germany then USSR.

    Besides, they joined together with Slovaks, which made them more slav and attractive to the USSR as a "package" :o)))
    and were friends, as Czechoslovakia, with USSR, in pre 2ndWW time, when noone else was friends with us.

    As a matter of fact, I think we might want them again :o))) and very soon.

    This French ship, to be filled in with all inside, hoover-crafts and helicopters and rockets I won't worry about a sec, but the very word "electronics" LOL and Russia LOL - seems incompatible :o)))))

    I think it'll be a very very, how to say, manual in operation in the result a ship :o))))) If we won't get hold of some Chechs asap or something.

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  • 148. At 10:47pm on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:


    Just gstting your goat, and not well, also, who knows someone else's history without living in their shoes?

    But to call someone "other" how ....edge of ...???

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  • 149. At 10:50pm on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:


    Also, good on you for knowing the true history of many Americans do not:)


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  • 150. At 10:52pm on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, thank you very much for the kind invitation and all.

    I don't want into NATO, not tonight :o)))) as minimum.
    I don't want to be commanded about by the USA. That is, I mean, yours is a wonderful country, and all, but honestly in the war time I prefer to be commanded around by Kremlin. And in the peace time, I guess it makes no difference? approximately.
    I think Russia in NATO would have made many sigh with relief, actually, not because we are dangerous to keep outside, we are very military old and dilapidating, but because NATO will become more democratic don't laugh, honestly, with Russia in.

    Anyway there is this new Medvedev's offer, inviting NATO into the new formation all together as a pack, or individual countries of it, I think it'll be turned down in 90 per cent of the cases with kind regards as well and all :o)))) but, if you never ask - someone has to be making proposals, how to change this unnatural lay-out (I think it is un-natural, what European defence with Russia beyond, only troubles)

    Anyway we'll see what the feed-back is, and may be will figure out something else, it's not something compulsory or urgent, rather, I think, if to approach it peacefully and quietly, why, may be someone wants to join together with us, in mutual protection pact, only when you don't ask you don't know. Besides, somebody else of the asked countries may have an enlightment, heaps of clever folks here and there, about the configuration and rules or I don't know. I think we started corect - one country - 1 voice - all equal, nevermind the size or armament or anything. It's people who fight, at the end of the day, as Afghanistan experience shows, at the end of the day, not metal.

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  • 151. At 11:02pm on 14 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Yes better someone else' money than ours...

    I think we should send a bill to the Europeans east and west for the cold war costs -- adjusted for inflation. LOLOLOL

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  • 152. At 11:27pm on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Jukka, what you wrote, in a pack, was "you are different get out of here".

    You ought to apologise. Instead you repeat to me and Britons - it's your own fault that you don't fit in the EU, it's "otherness" speaking in you.

    No, even worse! We offered you an escape route, speak about "the EU", not Europe, but you persist "it's otherness in you that makes you un-fit for Europe".

    On a good sunny day I don't feel honestly any "otherness" in me, compared with many countries in Europe. Now, when I look into the depths of the Russian history - of course I see a difference. There is a certain likeliness of old small feudal cities-becoming nations magistral development route in Europe. Of which Russia stood aside, being not small feudal when all were, or by space, I don't know, in timing we were not compatible definitely, when all do one thing we are still delayed and do another. We move by leaps, sometimes getting ahead, then sliding behind again.
    Britain is also geographically different, an island, all islanders in the world have a character of their own. It's normal for islands.
    And it is normal, if you wish "for Russia-s".
    And normal to Americans, on the other continent.

    Now what made you think that Europe is a get-together of small feudal city-nations forever? You don't think it's kind of , this time, that you are out of the time, with this feudal get together in the 21st century, as they say, and all?

    The way Russia participated "in Europe" and influenced its shaping, I don't know if your darling Finland did it 1/10,000 per cent.

    "Don't ask LOL what Europe did for you, Finland!
    Ask what you have done for Europe!"

    So, what have you done? Shaped up someone's opinions? Influenced someone? Gave food for thought?

    We are a vast thing of our own, but don't remember times when we didn't have hands in, in the pan-European affairs. And what's wrong with having some "space", as I remember thousands of central Europeans fled to us or went after fortunes or had some business to do somehow, we never felt lack of turnover or felt isolated apart from artificial Iron Curtain times. And even then LOL, we kept a good part in the circle, and as far as I remember - not a bad part at all, lots of talanted folks.
    Never felt in lack of "Europe" in other words.

    And unless the EU takes the Jukka Rohila Iron Curtain approach _ I am sure I never will.

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  • 153. At 11:35pm on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Catch up a Spanish on the street - and ask him does he understand better a Finn or a Russian.
    Catch up Italian on the street - and ask the same, LOL!
    Catch up a Bulgarian :o))))

    Or, for that matter, catch up a French, a Latvian I won't even mention, though the last one might have not exactly positive views - but they'll describe you what Russians breathe with in tiny detail.

    Rather - find first someone who knows what a Finn is thinking about, any "European" specialists on you!

    Any Briton, by the way, will be able to speak of Russia for 2 hrs a lecture guaranteed.
    Try to have a Briton to lecture on "all things Finnish".
    Even a German will be lost - while about us - all have an opinion or something to remember.

    And you are telling me of my "otherness"? You, Japanese of the North?

    Any othernes that is in me, anyway, is, granted, beautiful and wonderful!
    We are "crazy Russians" and what's wrong with it? :o)))))
    With crazy Russians Europe can go along, survived somehow, how with you -is still a mystery.

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  • 154. At 11:39pm on 14 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Once people get here they become Russians. Style of life. All do.
    And feel it's kind of crazy masochistic fun, even, :o)))) may be.
    I've only got 2 Russian grandfathers, come to think about it. And what - anyone in this blog doubts I am Russian? :o)))))

    While how to become a Finn is unknown to humanity.

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  • 155. At 11:57pm on 14 Dec 2009, MaudDib wrote:

    Do the Czechs know anything about finances? If so then we might need a few ourselves.

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  • 156. At 00:14am on 15 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, we were friends with France before Napoleon, it's a long thing.

    Even with Napoleon we were friends, Paul I was the only European monarch who didn't get cataleptical that comrade Bonaparte is nobody out of nowhere, that is, how to say, has no fam. tree to look at.

    He wrote to him, type, like, yes, well, well... well?.. oh well.. Well what to do! One way or another you are the leader of the French people now and they recognise you as one, and we've been old friends with the French people this means you are hand-shakeable and all, as the French nation likes you. In the capacity of an old monarchy (approx.) let me wish you that you don't fail their expectations, since it's a huge responsibility, that you take good care of them and all, remember remember ? and Remember! Like, "behave yourself", take good care of the French, you've got a nation on hands now, and I wish you all the best in this new unusual for you career, and, like, hope that even that you aren't a monarch (he was some colonel back then? or something? I hope you'll become one proper monarch ASAP :o)))) Like everyone else :o))))

    In a way a recommendation to become a monarch ASAP, otherwise in this imperfect world no one will understand you :o))) get yourself a crown and some ermine mantle :o)))) - which I vaguely think Bonaparte took the advice?

    Or back then, even, remembered Malta was USSR :o))))))
    We are full of surprises :o))))) Sorry. Yep, a Russian province.

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  • 157. At 00:31am on 15 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Oh Well, all in a day, WA. :)

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  • 158. At 00:33am on 15 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    oh, on the "otherness" :o)))) A new joke today.
    -What's the difference between Italians and Russians?
    - In Italy, an un-natural desire to knock their PM at times with something heavy on the head experience in-sane people.


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  • 159. At 00:36am on 15 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Napolean is interesting long term--what a legacy--Napoleonic code given to world. (ie, New Orleans, I think)

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  • 160. At 02:31am on 15 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, I am very ignorant, I don't know what is Napoleonic code. ?
    I heard of it many times :o))) but must have over-slept school on that day :o)))

    Malta, yes, strange, but was for a short time, when they were all about Maltese Knights Order. And elected Russia's tsar Paul, that, No 1, as the head of the Order. He got very excited and happy and built up a church of the order in St. Pete, still here, only nobody sees it, it's military cadets', young boys' school premises, the church is part of their complex of buildings. And cadets live behind the fence (handsome iron-cast, in flowers, but still it's a fence). Not to mix up with nasty reality of the same-age spoiled kids :o))) From the age of 8, by the way!And pray in the Maltese Order Church, LOL! May be will all end up Stone Masons, influenced by the symbols of the Order, all around their premises, as a loving memory of once upon a time province. :o))))

    Paul I was a very advanced monarch for his time. Only crossed Britain's way with Fleet base in Malta, and un-healthy friendship with Bono.
    Britain stubbornly portrayed him insane, don't know if stopped ever after? :o))))) oh surely, all mad. :o)))))

    David, the centre of the universe's post reminded me, so your Kansas is that very Kansas in the fairy-tale? Must be yes, whose else. I only know in translation, and never heard of it before these past 30 years :o))) there was certainly in my Soviet childhood a? musical? or a radio-play, rather, about the "Strashila" (the scary one) man, made of hay, an Iron Woodcutter? who was always in need of some oil to move around, a girl Ellie and a small dog Totoshka. ? now what did they all do I am at a loss to remember, a hurricane? a tornado? woosh? and? Definitely something happened. Then they all simply kept singing a song, tra la? We walk the road trudnaya (hard one) to "Gorod Izumrudnaya" (Emerald city), to "Gorod Izumrudnaya" ? tra la la la la la
    And? tra la la ????
    And tra la la ????
    - But Ellie and Totoshka shall be back to their Kansas!

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  • 161. At 03:04am on 15 Dec 2009, David wrote:


    I think it is the French version of laws (??)

    But, as for your friend, Jukka,

    Remember (to quote a song by an American popular singer from the 80s)

    'Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes,
    I'm afraid its time for goodbye again,
    Say goodbye to Hollywood, say goodbye ...'

    (the last line is for song identification)

    But, its true life is short and goodbyes come too easily. Im here for a while ..indefinitely, but we should keep our friends when we can do so--Finnish friends, too--no offense or scolding meant :)(don't be too upset at him)

    in caring,

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  • 162. At 03:09am on 15 Dec 2009, David wrote:


    Oh yes, you should read all the Oz books by *Baum* (sp?) (look up "Wizard of Oz" at Amazon)

    But, when you do read them you'll see they are children's books and each can be read in one sitting, but they are of the very few fairy tales, IMHO, from the USA.

    Have fun:)

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  • 163. At 04:47am on 15 Dec 2009, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    On this site I read:

    "Afghan war 'to be funded by UK job cuts' ..."

    One way to fund the Afghan war is to leave the "EU" resulting in an immediate saving of billions of Pounds each year.

    Having left the "EU" we wold be able to make changes which the "EU" might not allow and which could also improve the British economy.

    Also, there are other ways to fight that war.

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  • 164. At 09:04am on 15 Dec 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    CBW @134,

    In your defence of NATO as a peaceful organization which is no threat to anybody you seem to forget the most basic rule which governs military thinkers. It states that generals assess potentials, not intentions. Intentions often change, potentials- not so. When you consider the potential of NATO on the Russian borders, you would understand why it should be Russia who should express concern.

    The long list of areas where Russia and NATO cooperate sounds reassuring at a first glance, but is completely empty of substance. There are several points you need to consider before you start pointing fingers at Russia buying ships from France:
    1. Withdrawal of the US from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, thus paving the way for deployment of missiles in the new NATO members
    2. The chicanery which surrounded the Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty (SORT), namely the wish of the US to keep warheads and missiles in reserve
    3. The double dealing around the Conventional Armed forces in Europe- in particular the fact that the countries most ‘concerned’ about the Mistral ship are precisely the countries which are no signatories to the CFE and thus can serve as a deployment platzdarm for NATO conventional forces.

    As to the over-hyped nuclear site inspections , you might want to check your facts. The only site in the US where there was any sort of monitoring was the Hercules missile production facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Russians have not monitored that site since 2001, the time when the US stopped producing ICBM in it and moved to long-range cruise missiles only, which are not covered by the inspection agreement. In contrast, the Russian site at Votkinsk was monitored until 5 December 2009, when the START I expired.

    In response to your question as to what I have against NATO- it is the fact that NATO only seems to serve US interests and not so much the interests of the other ‘members’. With current and proposed NATO members on its borders, which do not exactly play fair, with US bases and personnel in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Georgia and the Baltics, I am surprised Russia only wants to buy one French ship

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  • 165. At 11:08am on 15 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #146

    Please, please, do not go down the debate road of the UK tabloid newspapers, yet again! You have absolutely no idea of what you speak.

    UK has a population of 60 million and 1 in 8 have parents/grandparents whose first Language is not English - - this idea that the UK is full of anti-European/anti-foreigners is utterly laughable! The UK is made up of 'foreigners' and they do not read the 'daily hate' as you characterise it, they read the Pakistan or Indian Times, La Monde, Jamaican Herald, Daily Tribune, even the Helsinsin Sanomat..
    Frankly, you expose yourself as naive to consider those of us in the UK (and it is by no means all) who oppose 'membership' of the EU as being intolerant of other cultures - - we eat, drink, sing, dance, work and play all those cultures everyday (which is a lot more than can be said of Finland) - - when the multi-cultural background of the UK is one of the reasons the one-size-fits-all Federal EU concept is a major reason for our opposition to it.

    Look, my "strong attraction" for criticising France-Germany-Brussels is based on Economic-Financial-Judicial reason and logic, not on 'history' or cross-channel sniping!

    You characterise my 'opposition' as negative, but only a few Comments earlier you were keenly labelling some Citizens of Europe as "extra"!

    Sort out in your own mind your criticism of others before you try to advise the rest of us: Just because the "rest of Europe has gone along with it" (i.e. the EU) does not make the UK/England wrong (and in any case other EU Members have opt-outs/derogations etc. inc. your neighbour Sweden outside the Euro-zone, so no isolation, or is Sweden "extra"?).

    Why would the UK/England give up the already in-place and on the whole successful NATO just because France wants to have its own EDF? Why would Finland or Europe abandon 50+ years of successful 'defence/military' policy for the sake of new, untried, expensive Force it has no real need of?

    Those are questions a dedicated EU enthusiast such as yourself must ask and find the answers: Do not allow historically (90+ years) 'neutral' Finland that rightly chose not to join NATO to be drawn into an EDF in which Finland's finest military end up taking orders from France, Germany, Brussels!

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  • 166. At 11:50am on 15 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #164

    Sorry, but at the risk of offence I failed to follow your argument about NATO.

    Of course NATO is a 'threat' (of sorts) to Russia - - where have you been the last 50+ years? - - that was its primary purpose!
    Do you not think the USSR and now Federal Russia knows that? Do you not also consider that just as the NATO 'Forces' have stood down to a great extent along the Europe-Russia borders, so, the Russian 'Forces' have also eased off because the 'threat' from both sides is so much less than it ever was circa 1947-1989!?

    Even with NATO and Red Army in place there was Nuclear Test Ban Treaties, SALT 1, Helsinki Accords etc. and though there was also Cuban Missile Crisis, Reagan's 'Cruise' missile deployment/'Star Wars' initiative and Dubya Bush's 'nuclear shield' ideas they were all resolved without resort to a catastrophic European 'hot war'.

    NATO did its job (and from the Russian perspective the Red Army did too) of deterrence.

    More recently at the request of the UNO it was NATO stepped into the Balkans on the break-up of Yugoslavia and the Albania crisis. Why would the EU think it better that it had an 'EDF' in those roles?
    Of course, if an 'EDF' had been in place in 2001, then it might not have taken part in the UNO request for intervention in Afghanistan, and the USA might have been left very isolated as it was with Iraq (on which UNO legal opinion is divided): Perhaps that is the 'EDF' you would prefer? The France EDF that breaks-up a pan-International Defence organisation which is dominated by the USA (as the most powerful Nation that is hardly a surprise) in order to have a European one that must be a rival 'Force' to the remnant of NATO - - afterall, you wrote it yourself, "..Generals assess potentials, not intentions.." - - so, no USA or EDF General could avoid developing strategic scenario around the idea of a 'potential' conflict between North America and the EU.

    What an achievement for the new EDF! A brand new potential enemy that for 50+ years had stood at Europe's side! But wait! Isn't that what the Paris-Berlin-Brussels axis of ill-intent had in mind? Surely not? Why would any sane Member State of the European Union consider it an advantage to have 'potential' threat of 'Force' from the USA and from Russia!?
    That is inconceivable, isn't it? Paris-Berlin-Brussels for the sake of irrevocable Economic-Political-Financial hegemony in Europe would not place it all at risk by a 'Military' defence-policy that made a potential enemy out of a friend, would they?
    No, they would argue that in this new global world it makes sense for Europe to have its own 'Defence capability' because there are places like China, Iran, the Mid-East that could cause problems - - only, if NATO already does that job of defending Europe and has the added power of the USA, why would Europe need another independent 'force' - - unless it was actually distrust, dislike, dismay, dis... of the USA that lay at the core of Paris-Berlin-Brussels policy!?

    The USA is not the single 'Great Super-power' it once was as Iraq, Afghanistan etc. have amply demonstrated (it even needs help from lowly UK): However, it has a 'potential' to respond with immense military capability in response to a request from any NATO member for assistance - - maybe that overwhelming 'firepower' and 'resources' should no longer be the main determinent of decision-making by NATO (it made sense versus the USSR, but as I wrote, that 'potential' threat has abated) - - a new NATO Command and Control framework could and should be negotiated. One that gives more 'weight' to the European elements of NATO. If ever there was a President in the Oval Office seemingly open to such defence-military policy change by the Pentagon then it is surely Barack Obama. Now is the time for Europe to alter NATO not abandon it and in so doing cut historic ties with Europe's greatest friend of the last 100 years.

    I keep coming back to those fundamental questions: Why is an EDF needed? What is its purpose? Where and how would an EDF operate? Is an EDF a counter to an American NATO?

    I wrote before and write again: Europe Beware! Beware the axis-of ill-intent!

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  • 167. At 12:22pm on 15 Dec 2009, Gheryando wrote:


    NATO is good. But instead of 1 big + many small I argue for 1 big + 1 big. US + EU = NATO. Having a EDF (or however you wanna call it) doesn't run against NATO. In fact, France recently rejoined NATO. How about that? Doesn't that show that France is committed to both, EU and NATO? Also, Jukka is right about the Britons and their attitude towards the EU. I am not British. But I live there and most people I asked have little or no idea about the EU but hate everything continental, except the nice weather and food.

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  • 168. At 12:48pm on 15 Dec 2009, Freeborn John wrote:

    Jukka (146) said "The reason why I put Britain as extra-European country is because the rest of the Europe have gone along with the EU, they have took part on it, they have tried to influence it, to try to build it on what they think that Europe should have. Now the British have only contributed by saying, "No! No! No! and No!", and then blaming France and Germany for shaping the union to what it is and then crying out that France and Germany are conning the rest of the Europe to go along. Have you maybe considered that the fault might be in the British side? That there is some mental block that prevents constructive European thinking and building of the European project?"

    The problem with Jukka is that his ultimate goal, to which he subordinates everything else, is power. This seems to be an occupational hazard for those employed to exert power or influence over other countries, in foreign offices or the Brussels bureaucracy or the military, who often come to believe that the job they do is the ultimate end of society rather than a lower-order objective. All Jukka's comments here, and many others from those who supported the forced ratification of Lisbon, flow from this dangerous mis-prioritisation of power above the liberty and democracy of others.

    "4. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism: In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

    5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity: Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.

    7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country: This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia. But the plot must also come from the inside. . .

    Ur-Fascism is still around us, sometimes in plainclothes. It would be so much easier for us if there appeared on the world scene somebody saying, 'I want to reopen Auschwitz, I want the Blackshirts to parade again in the Italian squares.' Life is not that simple. Ur-Fascism can come back under the most innocent of disguises. Our duty is to uncover it and to point our finger at any of its new instances — every day, in every part of the world." (Umberto Eco, '14 ways of looking at a Blackshirt')

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  • 169. At 1:01pm on 15 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #167

    "..I live there (GB).. most people I asked have little idea about the EU but hate everything continental..": That makes you an expert on 60,000,000, does it?

    Honestly! Stereotyping 4 entire Nations is a bit over-the-top even for a 'pro-EU' enthusiast!

    I was born, lived and worked there for most of my life as well as spending a good deal of time abroad.
    Unlike you, I cannot hazard a guess at the opinion-views of the Irish, Scots, Welsh British (approx 9 million) or the 51 million residing in England on the EU, the Euro or their like/dislike for European food and weather!

    Tell us all: Whichever country of origin is yours - - how do they feel about the EU, the weather...?

    As for "NATO + EDF": If the NATO forces are already there with Europeans inside it what is the purpose of creating a separate European Force?
    I know the EU policy-makers are constantly looking for new ways and methods to con the European Citizens into paying for additional layers of administration-laws-regulations etc. that they already have at a National level, but a brand new Military Force is at the extreme end of hyper-expensive on the Citizen-Tax-payer!

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  • 170. At 1:03pm on 15 Dec 2009, Freeborn John wrote:

    Gheryando (167): The problem with the EU is the supranational 'community method' that leads to a one-way expansion of EU law whose supremacy crushes the ability to make the political choices that affect our lives via the ballot box. That has nothing to do with hating other nationalities. Indeed Continentals deserve the real democracy of the nation-state as much as Britons do, and indeed as much as the rest of humanity does with the democratic nation-state continuing to spread around the world as mankind's preferred form of governance. The EU as per Lisbon is simply a historical error is trying to buck this progress of mankind towards a world of democratic nation-states, and one that is going to have to be rectified.

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  • 171. At 1:45pm on 15 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #170


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  • 172. At 1:53pm on 15 Dec 2009, Isenhorn wrote:


    You mention some hypothetical/ hystorical scenarios, while at the same time completely ignore the real picture.
    Yes, NATO was against Russia (USSR). Yes, it was supposed to protect Europe. There is one big question, however- does it still do those things? And the answer to the first question seems to be yes (despite all the talk in the contrary), whereas the answer to the second questions is no. We have heard all the arguments about how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are supposed to keep us (Europe) safe, yet I do not think there are many people on this blog who believe that. What majority of Europeans have seen is that NATO which is supposed to keep them safe is actually getting them involved in wars which are not at all relevant to their countries. Wars which were started purely to support US interests. It has for long now been made clear that US and NATO interests do not always match and that is the reason why NATO is no longer what it used to be. And the reason why it cannot operate as before.

    If you have researched all the facts I gave in my previous post you would have understood how under the guise of NATO the US has been establishing their own military in the immediate vicinity of Russia. Military which in no way is going to be under control of any of the European NATO members, even the ones where the actual personnel has been stationed. Military which in no way is serving the interest of Europe, but has in fact lead to an increased risk of conflict. This was true with the nuclear missiles in Turkey which lead to the Soviet response in Cuba, this was also the case with Pershing II in Europe and the missiles in Poland which prompted the Iskanders in Kalinningrad. Last year’s war in Georgia is also a very good example of that. By propping up the rogue regime of Saakashvili with promises of NATO and EU entry, the US made him believe that any military action towards Abkhazia and South Ossetia will go unpunished.
    Membership in NATO was seen in Georgia (and in many other New European countries) as a ticket to start a war, with the tacit approval and support of the US. What the other big NATO members did not like in this scenario was the very real threat of a client state of the US picking a fight with Russia, with the NATO members having to join if they are to honour the agreement. Now, in some cases such support will be justified. But how do you justify supporting a country which attacks a few hours after it has stated that war is no option, bombs civilians and kills Russian soldiers? Any Russian response would be justified in such circumstances and no other European country, apart from the US lackeys in Eastern Europe, would blame the Russians for that. The majority of EU countries have now chosen the way of bilateral agreements to deal of any imaginary threat from Russia. The way of agreements, not the way of a 50 years old military alliance which was created in very different political circumstances.

    You ask where the future EDF would have done better than NATO? Why do you not ask where it would have done worse? The Balkans? Even now the majority of troops there are not US but European. An EDF would have done the same job the European troops do now. An EDF on the other hand would not have started a war in Iraq on the pretended excuse of WMD, and despite the UN protests. And an EDF would keep the peace in Europe as surely as the NATO has done. After all, it was the Bundeswehr which provided the bulk of armed forces (12 of 26 divisions) in Europe during the Cold war and not the US.
    You also state that an EDF would be considered a threat to the USA. If the USA through NATO is so concerned about European security, why would an EDF be considered a threat? Would not an EDF allow the Americans to take their 50k+ troops from Germany and use them in Afghanistan or whatever other wars they consider important? The obvious answer would be yes, but the obvious answer may not be the right one. The USA does not keep those troops in Germany to protect Europe. They are kept there to protect US of A interests. Only in that respect would an EDF be considered a threat.

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  • 173. At 3:43pm on 15 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    To my shame, I don't know who is Jan Masaryk, in 1948, but with "three KGB men in his room" all is possible.

    I do not say it was a good-will alliance for Poland, as in Poland throughout the war was formed a strong anti-USSR government. Which is no surprise given we took away half of their lands which we thought are ours.
    Must be poor Jan Masaryk in 1948 belonged to the other party.

    And I think the concentration of anti-Russians, on the whole, has always been high in Poland, for simply history competing record btw the two countries, war or no war, therefore, never lack of fierce opposition.

    So KGB dealt with Polish opposition cruelly in 1948.
    It does not include though the whole Eastern Europe.

    The other alliance, the non-Warsaw members, all got in on good will, you presume? The result of their own choice which they were free to make?

    And nobody jumped out of the windows with "three CIA men in the room"?
    Any other intelligence service "in the room", nothing happened to people. KGB patented methods exclusively.

    For that matter, did anyone try to leave the other alliance, NATO?
    How would it go, back in those ages?
    How would it go now, OK, forget about "those ages"?

    Plain curious. Not dangerous for a country, all good will own choice that'll be politely respected?

    I think Britain had a prime minister, or someone? forgot, a simple name, Peter Cook? ought to google, like Mr Masaryk.

    Who openly opposed USA going into Iraq, and then died 2 years after, in un-clear circumstances.

    Nothing spectacular, just an incident in the mountains, or something.

    KGB is spectacular, no denial. Umbrellas, "lack of trousers" etc.

    BTW this reminds me, of quiet unobtrusive manner of others, to have their way. The brand-mark of British policy making, by other hands.
    That tsar Paul of ours, that we discussed with David, who had un-healthy friendship with Napoleon. Was killed in a coup. The plotters bought the sentry in the palace, all guards went home LOL, to rest :o))))
    And went straight to his bedroom.
    The murderer knocked him on the temple with heavy tobacco holder, the Emperor fell down un-concious, and then the gang who still stood behind unsure how the situation will develop, still, morally hard to kill own Emperor so much all of a sudden, the other 3 brothers of the killer, got at him and finished him off.

    And put on the throne his son, known to be very very anti-all things French.
    The son wasn't very principled, or, rather, did not have much choice. Looked at his clearly murdered daddy, and announced to the country it was a stroke. :o))))
    Granted he could have cried blu murder! and refused to take the reins in, but strangely a senior son normally plans to rule, sooner or later, and his daddy was clearly un-recoverable anyway.

    That's how Russian politics and alliance was turned around, from friends with France, to Napoleon invasion, in 1 night, by one tobacco holder, and resulted in the surrender of Moscow.

    Now, certainly there were no "three KGB men", among the plotters.
    Far easier. The then British Ambassador to Russia (in St. Petersburg), got a money transfer from the British government of 40,000 roubles. A very round sum in 1801, more, LOL, that "56,000 pounds in 1904 that Jan Keeskop had evaluated recently. :o))))

    Unlike normal procedures, where records stay in Britain re the reason for which money is allocated, even type "develop friendship with meaningful Russian figures" - this sum stayed un-explained, and stays, to this day.
    Russia didn't look into your archives, we have no access. French historians, though, did. They are still fond of Napoleon, and research that era with un-dying enthusiasm, and the quesion of sharp turn of Russian-French relations attracts historians' attention.

    Nevermind France, what we know ourselves on this end, is that the plotters held meetings (it's here, in St. Petersburg, and the house is here, nothing happened to it) in the killer's sister house. There they held flaming parties becoming more anti-French every day. Some vodka, things :o))))
    They were nobody-s, soldiers, but their sis became quite a well-off girl. Kept by the British ambassador to St. Petersburg, and the house was kept by him, she was his kept lover.

    How awfull interesting! That's how you do big politics unobtrusively, in your country's interest, and plus/minus trousers.

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  • 174. At 4:14pm on 15 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Jan Garrigue Masaryk (born 1886) was former Ambassador-Minister to London (1925-38) of Czechoslovakia who when Czechoslovak Foreign Minister mysteriously launched himself into 'space' from his office window in 1948 while receiving a 'comradely' visit from representatives of the Kremlin!

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  • 175. At 4:33pm on 15 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Reading between the lines of your 'trying to remember' UK men I think you must be referring to 2 men and separate incidents, but both men were deeply involved at times in the UK-Iraq policy:

    UK Foreign Minister Robin Cook resigned immediately before the Parliament debate and vote that agreed to UK Armed Forces committing to take part in the invasion of Iraq. Cook was renowned for his principled stand on many issues and was an excellent Parliamentarian - - if Tony Blair feared anyone in his Cabinet it was Cook (and not muppet 'Jock' Brown a so many mistakenly believe) - - for Cook could sway MPs from all Parties who respected his clear thinking and integrity (unlike another Minister, Clare Short who revealed a whinging, conniving opposition to Blair over Iraq that more-or-less ended her unhappy career).
    Robin Cook tragically died of a heart attack (no suspicious circumstances) approx 2 years after the Iraq invasion.

    The other UK man was Dr David Kelly (a Government Scientist and expert on Weaponry): It was his so-called 'evidence' that was largely used to help form a judgement on the dangers from the supposed Iraq-Saddam WMDs, but his name was disclosed to the Media without his knowledge and Dr Kelly found the intrusion and pressure of Public awareness intolerable. His death by suicide during the period of the most heated debate about the Iraq invasion is still a cause of much speculation - - some think (re 3 men from 'MI5' etc.) that his tragic and premature demise was all a bit too coincidental - - others (myself included) think it was a very dedicated but essentially private man caught in the glare of the most heated UK debate since Falklands/Suez could not cope.

    PS. On a much lighter note: Your 'Peter Cook' UK man was one of the most brilliant, original and inventive Comedians from the 1960s to 1990s when he too tragically died before his time!

    All '3' men were a loss in their own ways to the UK and of course their respective families.

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  • 176. At 5:13pm on 15 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #172

    Ah! Now we get to the real intent of your liking for 'EDF'.

    "..NATO which is supposed to keep them safe is actually getting them involved in wars which are not at all relevant to their countries..".

    So, the fundamental founding principle of NATO that an 'attack on one is an attack on them all' is no longer to be upheld?

    How marvellous the 'pro-EU' supporter is! "Yes" (you wrote it) America can defend Europe for 40+ years against the USSR, but when it is the USA attacked/threatened then the NATO members don't want to know!
    Such is the duplicitous nature of this European Union: Why would anyone trust any member of it with their 'wallet' never mind their 'Defence'!?

    "..Wars which were started purely to support US interests..".

    Which 'war' is that then?

    Iraq: Well, NATO isn't in Iraq, so it must be some other 'war' you are referring to?
    Balkans? Well, NATO is there at the request of the UNO and surely a good EU Citizen would not turn his back on the collective security of the UN?

    I'm trying to think what else it could be? Hmmm? Nothing comes to mind!

    Oh wait! Wait! I have it!

    You must mean the 'war on terror': Is that the one?

    The war against Islamic Fundamentalism/AlQueda. A 'war' which began in the early 1990s with attacks on Embassies and 'soft 'foreign targets' as far apart as Argentina-Kenya-Spain-Turkey-Bali-UK-India-Israel and of course not forgetting the US of A.

    Still, the 'attack of 11th September 2001' was only on the States, it wasn't really aimed at Europe, was it? And yet there is that inconvenient 'attack on 1 is attack on all' NATO scenario - - dammit - - well, let's invent another Defence Force and forget all that 'cold war' rhetoric-ideology!

    Now, I'm only guessing and I'm sure you will tell me if I am wrong, but when you say NATO involvement in 'wars' that do not affect other NATO countries you mean the USA opposing Islamic terror groups is not something 'Europe' need get involved with. It is not in the interests of 'Europe' to oppose groups whose basic philosophy argues for a return to the 7th Century in attitudes and behaviour; it is not in 'Europe's' interests to stand for the light of reason and progression; neither should 'Europe' back a Nation that gets side-tracked by 1 Presidential era in return for all the other eras where the USA stood up for Europe's interests.
    There it is: A 'Europe' responsible for defending its 'interests' and not those of a global nature: Hang on, though! I'm trying to recall the basic concept of the European Union - - something about a Treaty of Union - - there were these trifling little phrases about 'unity' and 'collective' approach being the way forward. The sort of stuff NATO has written into its codes, but, I suppose 'Europe' can pick and choose its friends according to its interests. Who knows, maybe those nice fundamentalists will just think Europe has disappeared if only it stops supporting or associating with that big guy, the USA - - I mean, surely those Fundamentalists don't really mean their ideology? Aren't they just like us 'Europeans': Fair-weather friends!?

    You know what: On reflection, I think the 'EDF' is a very, very good idea - - there is no way I would want that sort of 'European' in any trench alongside me or my family when the going got tough!

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  • 177. At 5:18pm on 15 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    cool-brush-work, thank you for the extensive explanations, no I do not know about two others, I meant Robin Cook.

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  • 178. At 5:42pm on 15 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    how exactly heroically the USA protected Western Europe from Russia is obvious to you but not obvious to many, say, others. Because people don't remember a great fight in which Russia tries to annex, what's there next after Germany? To annex France, Spain, Italy, BeNeLux LOL, Switzerland and Britain. And the US heroically deter the attack.

    While what the USA has been expecting from the NATO co-club members as a return favour is practical fight, war on the ground, not Cold War.

    In which case it'll be fair LOL by the "un-willing" NATO members to pay the US in the same coing - heartily despise! Iraq and Iran, write horrible articles about how nasty the Afghanistan is, and, if any of the folks from over there asks for a political asylum - to provide immediately :o))) One more Afgani ran away to freedom!

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  • 179. At 5:53pm on 15 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    And neutral Switzerland protected itself from radical Islam seemingly better, than Britain with the US help combined.

    Those minarets, over-discussed to death, nobody mentioned are not a must in Islam, but the utmost degree of its display. The first level is praying houses, accepted practice, no demands to architecture, the second - a Mosque (that can exist without minarets perfectly) - normal condition, and the last stage is addition of minarets, that were watch towers in the past, for sentry, lit with torches, like light houses, and meant only one thing - "this is Islam citadel, we hold this land, tresspassing forbidden."

    This exactly last message "we hold this land" - it's a brandmark, a brand - the Swiss deterred. Said, sorry, this is our land.

    In Moscow there are heaps of mosques - none minarets. One such starting will be interpreted exactly as the message is "this is our land, keep off, Islam won here."

    With minarets the Mosques are in Tatarstan inside the RF, in Chechnya. And you don't need any other signal - it means - "our land, we have won here, keep off."

    So, how did USA protect Britain from minarets?

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  • 180. At 6:28pm on 15 Dec 2009, WolfiePeters wrote:

    Dear Gavin,

    I'm not criticising the excellent article and comments or questioning the importance of Obama, the Prize, and peace, but this is the EuroBlog. And, from a lot of reports today, Berlusconi's bloody nose is being used as a 'Burning of the Reichstag' in Italy.

    I know that a lot of us gave you a harsh response when you blogged 'Berlusconi the Fighter', but it may be time to re-visit our European partner Italy and its government.

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  • 181. At 6:37pm on 15 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    I know it is fashionable in the chit-chat houses of sophisticated Europeans and no doubt revivalist Putinacal Russia to think 1945 to 1989 was all a bit of a myth, but the on-the-ground reality was the USA was there in 'west' Europe by common consent and agreement.
    The single biggest reason the Red Army was never in Bonn, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and indeed London and Dublin was the USA.

    No doubt encouraged by the supposed benign Putin regime that sees enough internal journalist enemies not to bother too much with any thoughts of the 'west' of anything fashionable young Europeans who know so much of history and have seen so little of it can spout all they want about Europe did this, Europe did that and Europe is capable of...
    That is their right in 'democracy': For them the journalist, poet, film-maker cannot be shot in their home unless by a fundamentalist. No, they enjoy a right and freedom of expression because of their forefathers' trust in the USA and the USA loyalty to a 'democratic' Europe.

    It is a thankless irony that now as young Europeans bask in a freedom their forefathers could never have imagined possible they are the ones to reject the very basis of its foundations - - collective security - - and irony on irony all because they believe they have found a new utopian collective safety called the European Union!

    There could be no greater laughter caused among the Olympian Gods than such an unlikely Oracle retort!

    Of course everything changes in time and there may well come a day when the USA no longer needs Europe anymore than Europe needs the USA: That day is definitely not in view at the moment no matter how bravely carefree young Europeans may want to be with their own 'democracy'. Like the EU the EDF is not an expression of 'independence', it is one more in long line of closure processes for removing from the European Citizen those rights and responsibilities it took hundreds of years to establish.

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  • 182. At 7:05pm on 15 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Re #179

    " how did USA protect Britain from minarets?"

    I haven't got a clue!

    Did Britain need protecting?

    It seems to me UK copes reasonably well with minarets because most Britons distinguish between a building and the People inside it. It is not the UK Citizens that have called for bans on Jilbab, Minarets etc.
    UK leaves that sort of discriminatory action to our less secure continental European neighbours.

    UK recognises the inherent dangers of the 'fundamentalist' Islam followers and tries its best to deal with them: Sometimes it is done well and sometimes (7 July) it is not done at all.

    It has to be true by Human Nature there is good and bad in every society.

    However, Britons in general do not have an issue with a person's 'Faith' or 'Culture' except when it clearly intrudes on the UK fundamental concept that, "there is nothing that cannot be sorted over a pint" - - which is where Muslims may be at a distinct disadvantage over almost any other community in the UK!

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  • 183. At 7:20pm on 15 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    I do not get the impression that Muslims were deeply offended by Swiss actions, so hmmm, why all the uproar?

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  • 184. At 10:04pm on 15 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Isenhorn, "why only one Mistral".

    In my unscientific view, the situation is such, that I should start putting together an aircraft carrier, say, in the dacha, myself.

    May be will help if I cruise subway trains with a carton poster, "Help collect money to protect Russia - 1 rouble each".

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  • 185. At 10:22pm on 15 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    cool-brush-work, I can't change you, for you the trust if not USA - USSR would have attacked Western Europe is scriptures, article of faith. You've lived with it all your life.

    You think Russians destroyed by war are not flesh and bones but kind of steel, a fenix bird, that arises from ashes, and seeks war again.
    No one who saw what war made here would think Russians want to start another war.

    The West is guilty, in front of Russians. You fooled us in Perestroyka, promised golden mountains, eternal friendship, and left disarmed. You've pursued your goals - to dis-arm Russia by any means, lied blatanly, brazenly. I know you believe there are no friendship and trust btw countries, all must be explained by reasonable reasons of own interest, in the end. And I played a bit to that tune, because otherwise it's impossible to explain you some things Russia did, you don't believe any thing unless you find a good self-interest reason behind. So I talked your talk, mirrowed, so that you'll understand.

    But it is not true. Friendship between countries exists. Without self-interest. We are capable of it - and - "the West" ?

    Gorbachyov and Yeltsin open-heartily believed into your friendship, into NATO friendship, and were fooled, by sharks, for who lying is second nature.
    Yes, they were such idiots. What is done is done. You've dis-armed us, and even if you won't attack - China will. Because they know we are weak now - courtesy of the USA, Western Europe, NATO - lying.

    Only a blind does not notice at this point how China prepares for a war with us.
    Russian blood, sorry for such high-flown expressions, will be on your hands.
    And, will be explained yourselves to yourselves by "but we had to dis-arm them. they were a threat for good half a century. what's some small lies to an old enemy when European security is at stake, all means are justified."

    We will take care of ourselves the way we can. As always.
    For one liar there will always be found a better liar, all returns.
    I do envisage Europe bordwering with China, and the US unable to protect you, because China holds them in hands, unless they break free.

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  • 186. At 10:36pm on 15 Dec 2009, bena gyerek wrote:

    gavin, can we please have a new thread. something about greece would be nice.

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  • 187. At 11:21pm on 15 Dec 2009, HERCULE_SAVINIEN wrote:


    The basic Wars of Economic Stimulus, of Markets and Resources has already been laid out by the American-Israeli Empire, [MIC} Military Industrial Complex time table for the entire [21st] Century.
    [1st] The Islamic Crescent will be occupied, with the intent of Ringing the Underbelly of the Russian Federation, and then building a Naval Base in Karachi Pakistan, to confront China in the Sea of China.
    [2nd] South America to stop the Brazilian Sphere of Influence from developing;


    Separately, a consortium of Russian oil companies and Venezuelan state oil company [PDVSA, pronounced Peh-deh-VEH-sah, Petroleums of Venezuela, is the Venezuelan state owned petroleum company. signed an agreement establishing a joint venture to develop the [Junin 6] oil field along Venezuela’s Orinoco River.

    Russian media reports ahead of Chavez’s visit said Venezuela was seeking to buy [T-72] and [T-90] tanks, Kilo-class diesel-powered submarines, [BMP-3] armored vehicles, [Mi-28] helicopters and land-based anti-ship missiles.

    In recent years Venezuela has signed over [$4B/€2.75B] four billion dollars/ Two-Point-Seven-Five Billion Euros, worth of arms contracts with Russia, and last November its navy held joint exercises with Russian warships in the Caribbean, traditionally seen as a Empire domain.


    The island has suffered a sharp decline its revenues from tourism as well as mineral and tobacco exports. Venezuela – an Opec member – is already an important source of energy and trade to the Caribbean island, which repays part of its oil bill by providing the services of [40K] Forty-thousand, professional workers.

    Last year trade between the [2] two countries was at around [$5.26b/ €3.6B] Five-Point-Twenty-Six Billion Dollars/ Three-Point-Six-Billion Euros, in [2008], the Reuters news agency reported.


    President Alvaro Uribe granted American-Israeli Empire, Military Industrial Complex military and civilian personnel access to [7] seven Colombian military bases for the purpose of training Colombian troops and police, and assisting in the fight against narco-traffickers and leftist guerrillas (FARC) Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army
    Approximately [800] Eight-hundred American troops and [600] Six- Hundred civilian contractor will be granted access to these bases and will enjoy diplomatic immunity during their stay in Colombia.

    The Empire has no choice but to use the Peace thru War, Pre-emptive war of Economic Stimulus, as a last ditch effort to stop its becoming a third world country by [2020], as its Demographics, Economic, and Military power are in a sharp decline in Geo-International leverage.
    Its now or never again for the American-Israeli Empire, so let the wars of Peace thru Wars of Economic Stimulus of Markets and Resources continue as long as the American-Israeli Empire is allowed to exit, and the Community of Nations does nothing to end both the wars and the Empire.


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  • 188. At 00:52am on 16 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    MaudDib, I don't know if the Czech are good financiers. May be they are, but we couldn't check :o) There were no banks in the USSR, so such talents stayed void. Salaries were cash paid and pocket money in nature.

    Well, there was one bank, simply - Savings Bank, Sberbank, for savings. One for the whole USSR with millions of offices.
    You could bring them money, get no interest, and simply keep money away from you and home and attractions to spend them or ? away from burglars in case they wish to visit your house.

    So can't point you in any clever direction.
    Well, there were some millionnaires, even in the USSR, but they were very poor folk, in terms they couldn't either spend money or show it or take it away out of country on them through the Customs' or bank-transfer them away, in other words - couldn't allow ourselves nothing for the money. Only an extra caviar sandwich or an extra cake, so to say. Because once you show them - a reasonable question was asked "where from and how come?" Machinations - prizon. So they were poor underground millionnaires, sitting on their gold. To Sberbank, LOL, they didn't carry cash. Bought golden things, or collected jewellry, most of the time, "until better times".

    Because Kremlin had a nasty habit :o) doing money reforms without warning from time to time, changing banknotes. Reasonable amounts of cash you could exchange, but coming to change an un-reasonable million of roubles to new banknotes would be hard to explain :o)
    Back in USSR explanations were required.
    And a million was a lot, the best Soviet car to get hold of was 5,000 roubles.

    So it was useless to save money in cash roubles, only until the next reform, impossible to put a big sum on your deposit (all salaries pan-USSR from milk woman to minister in the range of 90 to 400 roubles a month), and the only way was buying jewellry and gold. And piling them at home.

    Our poor millionnaires were popularly called "under-floor millionnaires", because of the nature of keeping wealth under one's parquet floor, linoleum o:))))) etc :o))))))

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  • 189. At 01:58am on 16 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    That is the thing...we should have said, "watch out for Republicans," WA

    They came pouring in after Gorby, but they were like carpetbaggers in the South, only interested in bargains -- not human rights. And I swear they came to gloat, not help.

    They were equivalent to some evangelical missionaries, taking despairing souls and leaving worse despair in their wake.

    I dont think CBW is an exploiter though.

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  • 190. At 11:01am on 16 Dec 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    179 webalice wrote
    "This exactly last message "we hold this land" - it's a brandmark, a brand - the Swiss deterred. Said, sorry, this is our land."

    I was unaware of the symbolism of the minaret .... and I imagine the vast majority of westerners also simply thought it was part of the design, like the spire on a church. The symbol is only of value if it is universally understood.

    There are 400,000 muslims resident in Switzerland and 4 minarets, and no plans to build more. Most swiss muslims seem moderate and the veil, hijab, burkha etc is rare on Swiss streets.

    The problem with the Swiss vote is that it was manipulated by the hard right SVP using fear tactics (minarets as missiles on the Swiss flag, burkha-clad woman etc) and made a largely tolerant, yet conservative people vote in this shameful way. As is often the case the areas with the least muslims voted most strongly to ban minarets, and those in the cities where muslims live voted to keep them....

    Incidentally, the law will not remove existing minarets, only stop new ones, for which there are currently no plans. Thus it achieves nothing - it was a shrewd piece of right-wing propaganda, and people fell for it.

    Now I am no defender of Islam, or religion in general (as anyone who looks at the America blog will know), but this is needless and pointless petty stone-throwing, and will serve only to antagonise moderate muslims, which is in no one's interest.

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  • 191. At 11:42am on 16 Dec 2009, Isenhorn wrote:


    So far in your post I support of NATO I have not seen any hard facts, just hypothetical and imaginary scenarios, and circular arguments which are not supported by any evidence. You even go as far as to claim that the war in Iraq is not relevant to the whole discussion as ‘NATO isn’t there’! On the contrary, it is precisely relevant as it a pure example of the US starting a war for its own interests, under the flimsy cover of some ‘WMD’ and ignoring the advice of its own NATO allies. All your arguments about the European states having the moral duty to support their ally are beautiful words, but empty of substance. The best support the other NATO members could have offered and did offer was to try to stop the Anglo-Saxon war-mongers into going head-first into a military adventure which was not legal nor justified. NATO is not there because it is not a war to defend the US from Iraq, it is a war of aggression based on lies. In Iraq there are the US and its lackeys, the grand ‘coalition of the willing’!
    As to the 'war on terror'- it might surprise you to lear that even in the USA this phrase is now considered a sad mistake. Europe is not soft on terror and a future EDF will not be soft on terror. But they will not start illegal wars by using it as a justification.
    It appears however that you live so far in the past that you cannot see the future or even the present. If after all the evidence I gave you still think that NATO in its current form is some kind of altruistic organisation, so be it. If that is what you have been told all your life, then it might be too late to change now.

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  • 192. At 12:34pm on 16 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    RomeStu, good for you, that this meaning is lost on your side and, as you say, is not of universal understanding.

    Here it's different in the way we live in partitions, prevailing culture here, prevailing culture there, and all mind the differences. Well, are sharply aware when you enter non-your culture partition, as to how "mind", LOL, that's another story.

    Besides you may console yourself :o))) I know you don't need consolation, that the modern usage is simply to call folks nearby around in immediate hearing area to pray 5 times a day, to remind them "it's time". Like a big alarm-clock, in a sense.
    But the underlying message is still there.

    I am interested, talk to vrious people when there is an occasion, here we are not PC none of us, neither muslims nor Russians, and you learn to know many interesting things :o))) ! when talk direct, on painful subjects.

    Thus, LOL, I was recently explained what's jihad (the Sacred War) by the chap taxi-driver, and he also lectured me on Kuiram-Bairan, the recent holidays Russian muslims had.

    He explained me that when Chechens kill Russians it's not Sacred War, just a war, a minot disagreement :o)))) (and when Russians were killing Chechens to add to be fair), "Sacred War can be announced on those, Buddhists, or atheists" "because Muslims and Russians share the prophets, prophet Jesus is commonly respected in both religions".

    I was relieved to hear it's not Sacred Stages simply a war.

    Then he reprimanded me that Russians don't celebrate Kuiram-Bairan and that Catholics don't "because all the Christian world should, your priests simply didn't explain you the meaning of it."

    Naturally I enquired what's the meaning, and he said there is a picture in the Hermitage, God stopping hand of "prophet Isajua" when he is about to kill own son, that's what muslims celebrate, that you don't kill people God interferes to stop you. And "isn't it the same respected prophet on your side, and a positive occasion - why don't you celebrate with us?"

    I agreed it was a worthy event to mark, but then also asked him "Why then your Chief Muftij, head of Muslims of Russia - spoke for an hour on TV on the holiday day - I didn't explain the meaning to all?"

    He said hell knows, "nobody explains any thing to any body, that's why misunderstandings, when there could be far more agreement."

    "A Muslim can kill only when Sacred War is announced, otherwise it's a great sin, and I haven't heard of Sacred War announced for ages on any thing."

    I asked "well, what do they do then, all those freeze-heads now, terrorists and all, belt-bombers, if it's not allowed?"

    He said hell knows who they are, ab-normal Muslims, he doesn't know where they appeared from, a total plague.

    I wanted to enquire when was the last time then, of the Sacred War, and what's so technically wrong with Buddhists and atheists, but it was my time to go out of the car, so until next questioning time then.

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  • 193. At 12:38pm on 16 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Must say I've also explained the meaning of Christmas, and he agreed it's a worthy holiday for muslims, as "Birthday Day of Prophet Jesus, right?" I said yes. He said he knows Catholics celebrate it in December and Russians in January and reprimanded me that "you can't even agree when the Birthday is, why is so, an important day, you should agree on one day."

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  • 194. At 12:45pm on 16 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    "Prophet Abraham" that is. God stopping hand of prophet Abraham, about to kill his son. And a sheep instead, as I understood, that's why sheep killed and eaten.

    He said "we respect prophet Isa, why don't you respect prophet Abraham? He was even earlier than prophet Isa, old, respected."

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  • 195. At 2:10pm on 16 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I suspect not all is so rosy academically, but I have a vague feeling something that can pass for a consensus is possible on the ground, somewhere between "prophet Isa and prophet Abraham".

    Will ask next time type
    "so, if Christians had more respect for Kuiran-Bairam, having a shashlyk and kebab with you on the day because of "prophet Abraham" - will you come in for a Christmas party then, "birthday of prophet Isa?"

    As this covers two main yearly holidays, for both parties.

    With Easter will be un-resolvable problems I think.
    Because there was Mary Magdalene a party to the event I vaguely think?
    A red egg, a symbol of eternal life.

    The chap put me Mary Magdalene in the Hermitage (again! we are quarreling by applying to Hermitage authority here! :o))))) as a very bad example, "the only woman in all the paintings with loose hair; you don't want to be like Mary Magdalene, right?"

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  • 196. At 2:53pm on 16 Dec 2009, MaudDib wrote:

    I am thankful that Russia has seen fit to allow religious practice. I have a CD of Russian Choral Masterpieces which include performances by Russian State Symphony Cappella and St. Petersburg Chamber Choir. The top tenors are good but the low basses are the best. It would be a shame for mankind to loose these songs and the singers. When I get to Heaven I'm asking St. Peter to put me with the Russians so I can sing with them. Don't know what the words means but it don't matter. Nobody sings the Blues like the Russians.

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  • 197. At 3:13pm on 16 Dec 2009, MaudDib wrote:

    One more I forgot. Choir Of The Trinity's rendition of "Blessed Art Thou O Lord" is terrific. Love that bass.

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  • 198. At 3:49pm on 16 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    MaudDib, thank you. "Spasibo" :o) / Save you God

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  • 199. At 4:09pm on 16 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    It also helps when a good composer has a hand to it. Rachmaninov composed a lot of melodies Russian church is singing, and Tchesnokov.
    (Tchesnokov is only a church songs composer, nobody knows him.)
    I am very ignornat, need to ask mum, who is the author of what I like, but I think it's Tchesnokov. Get shivers creeping in one of the "refrains" of him

    "Svya-tuy Bo-zhe (divine God) / tra-la-laj-la
    "svya-ty krep-kij" (divine and strong-standing) / tra-la-lai-la
    svya-ty bes-smertny (divine and non-death holding) -
    tra-la-la- RAJ (very high up) -ra

    pause :o)

    "Po-mi-luj-mya". Have a mercy on me. Slow and sad and down.

    This line can be your low bass piece.

    But overall basses characteristic. A big substantial traditional Russian "pop" (a pope, a priest :o) is supposed to be very round and solid, a big heavy man with a beard, and speak exclusively through the beard as out of the bottom of a well, in a low bass.

    I think it was even one of the traditional criteria, :o))) to chose local priests for parishes - that has low bass, can sing well.
    A tenor can not become a Russian Orthodox "pop" by definition.
    How will he lead the service singing?

    Someone should keep the main note, with church choir making designs, weaves, up and around, about.

    And yes, we agree, what's a church without a live choir, they are always here on a balcony up above the entrance door, every day without exception.
    The congregation LOL then joins in the way their singing talents :o))) and memory for the tunes :o))) allow.

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  • 200. At 4:13pm on 16 Dec 2009, MaudDib wrote:

    Darogaya WA!
    K sozhaleniyu, ya poka ne govoryu po russki.
    But your welcome.........

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  • 201. At 4:22pm on 16 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    The choir in a Rus. church is tucked up on the balcony and difficult to see, a kind of a balcony that is moved inside a wall, because they are, basically, angels. I think. You don't see them, they are up there on the clouds, humming-tuning something to themselves non-stop :o))) creating an atmosphere, a background sound. On their own angelic, business :o)))

    Congregation does not join them in their non-stop concert, only when the "pop" on the ground, in the church, starts something in low bass.

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  • 202. At 7:22pm on 16 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #191

    "... hypothetical and imaginary scenarios.. beautiful words, but no substance.."

    Well, you would certainly know about 'imaginary' and 'no substance'!

    Iraq - - "illegal": Since when? "war of aggression based on lies": Prove it? "not justified": Yes, I would expect an EDF supporter to be content to leave 60% of Iraqis tyrannised by 40% led by an evil megalomaniac.

    Let's face it you would consider resistance only when the enemy is knocking at your door and even then a 'compromise' is preferable! Just how many years are you prepared for Saddam to butcher people before enough is enough? Of course there is a vast amount more to it than that simple scenario, but I do ask the question because it seems to me you write as one who considers the removal of Saddam and Baathist regime was wrong - - thus, if possible, you would restore him to power and reconstitute the pre-2003 Iraq - - come on now, be honest, as you seem to dislike my hypothetical (though I am bound to say I was just giving a point of view), should Saddam and the Baathist still be ruling Iraq? Is that really the background to your "illegal" hypothesis?

    Because, if 2003 had not happened, Saddam would be in Baghdad, wouldn't he? And, you would be demanding someone does something, wouldn't you?

    Just so long as the nice, cosy EU doesn't have to get its free-loading Brussels lives soiled by anything as traumatic as frontline-operational commitment to upholding the liberty it proclaims ad nauseum!

    Like Afghanistan, isn't it? So long as your petty Europe isn't bothered who cares about the rest! Don't try to lecture me on "relevance" - - when NATO is in the frontline still most of you continentals are faint-hearted - - it is genuinely sickening to see UK-Dutch-Danish-US-Canadian lads in combat everyday while France-Germany and the rest sit on their backsides wringing their hands and building a school nice and safe from those nasty Taliban-Al Queda! Yes the school, hospital, bridge is important, but don't tell me about "moral duty" until you have discovered some backbone to stand and fight for that school, hospital, bridge and not leave it to others to defend: That would make as useful a contribution to opposing a Mediaval mentality that gives no consideration to any humanity at all!

    "Anglo-Saxon war-mongers"! That accusation really takes some nerve - - coming from the supporter of a European Union that let the Balkans rip itself apart year-after-year (siege of Sarajevo - - can you point to even 1 day when Europe did anything but make brave speeches: Then there's Srebrenica! That surely was some brave European 'peacekeeping' that let 8,000 muslims get butchered!). Tell me, how many U.N. European soldiers stood their ground to defend the muslim community? Oh that's right, it wasn't their "moral duty" so they just left thousands to their fate! Nothing was done until Europe had to beg for the US-NATO to step in because Europe just kept wailing about how tragic it all was!

    Just like Afghanistan where the 'brave' NATO France forces will not even allow their 'hospital' helicopters to fly into the combat zones to help wounded US-UK-Dutch etc. That is surely a unique ally worthy of trust in an EDF!

    As to your "evidence"! I've read more informed sources on the back of a cigarette packet! It is all your opinion on what is 'illegal' or 'moral' and so far you haven't been appointed judge-prosecutor-jury-executioner: You are fully entitled to give your views, but kindly refrain from assuming you have the 'facts' until you actually are able to produce some.

    Get the anti-USA/UK plank out of your eye and try to grasp that there are varying opinions on these matters.
    I happen to think the EU and the EDF are very bad, almost unworkable ideas (in the long-run). It is my belief the EU is anti-democratic and it is also my belief the emergence of the EU's EDF is a pan-National military contruct that will increase, not lessen, the chances of military clashes at an international level over the next decade or so.
    I have explained my reasoning; all you have done is rage against the USA-UK because 1 President/1 Prime Minister didn't take "advice" from Europe.

    Incidentally, though I supported (and still do) the original invasion of Iraq (WMD or not) I readily admit that Bush-Blair got the post-defeat of Saddam occupation of Iraq catastophically wrong and the Iraqis of all faiths/tribes have paid a colossal grim price for a gross misjudgement. However, neither you, I or the IAEA knew whether Saddam had those WMD (it now transpires from the more recent official regime documentation and trial of Chemical Ali etc. Saddam didn't know he hadn't either - - his scientists and generals were so scared of him they lied about WMD!). Your hunch is not 'intelligence' and as it turned out the 'intelligence' Bush/Blair listened to was no better than a mistaken hunch. And, whilst you may have honourably opposed the war from the start I am certain you did not predict the catastrophic aftermath anymore than anyone else.
    The internecine conflict in Iraq could not have started without the invasion is easy to say, but you and many forget it was NATO Airforce flying patrols post 1992 to 2003 that saved the Kurds and Marsh Arabs from genocidal attack by Saddam.
    Which Airforce flew those daily missions? US-UK-Canadian: Just where were the French, Germans, BeNeLux etc.? Oh that's right they were safe in Europe organising the initial plans and assessments for their private union called the EDF!

    Isenhorn, I am completely unaware of your age or what you have been told, gleaned from education, news etc., but you need to think doubly carefully before you bandy words like, "altruistic", and show an utter lack of depth of knowledge of post-WW2 European History.

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  • 203. At 7:25pm on 16 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #187

    Whatever you do don't give up on the reading: Who knows, sometime in the next Millennium you'll get a couple of things even half-way accurate!

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  • 204. At 7:48pm on 16 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #185

    The article of faith you refer to is fairly much as I see it.

    However, the idea I saw USA as the white-knight in all things and USSR as the dark-red is far from the truth of my thoughts and the reality on the ground.

    Was Gary Powers a good guy because he flew a spy plane over Soviet territory? Was Kim Philby a bad guy because he was a Briton who spied for the Soviet Union?
    I think the truth lies somewhere else: Probably between personal belief and personal anxiety - - didn't they both do those things for what they thought was correct reasons at the time - - how could Powers or Philby have acted otherwise when what they had grown up to 'know' was that what they believed in needed their skill/assistance/strength-of-character?

    So it is as we go on up through the levels of inter-action: From 2 dedicated but totally different and opposed men to 2 totally different and opposing political-philosophical systems that will do all in its scope/power to bring about success for its side.

    The USSR was conned, tricked etc. all true; the victors (of sorts in such a global struggle) were the 'democratic' values, but not necessarily all the nations and peoples who aspired to them.

    It is an odd, but I believe fairly accurate observation, that in the last 20 years since the 'wall' the USA has moved politically-judicially more toward that repressive manner of the former Soviet Union whilst Russia has moved out from under that oppressive atmosphere and for all the doubts about Putin etc. its Citizens are enjoying a philosophical freedom the 'war on terror' has constrained for many Americans.

    WebAlice, how could you doubt my admiration for Russia?
    Russia is a great force for good: How could any nation that gives us Peter I, Pushkin, Tolstoy, Gorky, Eisenstein, Pasternak, the Bolshoi and Nijinsky not be one of the Earth's great civilisations?

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  • 205. At 8:47pm on 16 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    cool-brush-work. You are very passionate. :o)))))

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  • 206. At 9:24pm on 16 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I am not God Almighty to know what would have happened if, but the thoughtless American interference into various countries' affairs, demonsnstrated many times by now, is as minimum questionable, in terms of the "right to do it", in terms of the "best intentions", in terms of "improvement towards democracy"
    - and without doubt brings death multiplied many times to all countries where they were.

    First it was communism (Korea Vietnam), then it is I don't know what. Saving someone, from somebody? Iraq-1 - who was being saved? I honestly have no clue.
    Iraq-2 you say "population saved from Saddam". Saved from Saddam, right, instead of Saddam Americans killed them themselves. And set off hundreds of small saddams operating. You do realise Saddam rule caused less losses than American rule.
    Why so hard to envisage? It's I think sorry cool-brush only you couldn't envisage the effect, plus the whole USA plus a good part of Britain LOL.

    What's so tricky about knowing that Americans don't understand locals a gram, and that countries where Islam is core are hardly compatible with American democracy. There had to start troubles of huge scale guaranteed.

    Totally different values and systems, to clash, and by force. What, nobody could imagine that 1 single death, to say nothing of a thousand of locals shall be used by various local "parties" to pull blanket on their side and justify whatever they want to do? All want power and every death counts as a reason to call "my party, to arms!"

    The "reasons" were given so much aplenty enough for a next 100 years until all sort their internal relations. And that was, by the way, one of the most how to say, reasonable Islam countries, more or less prepared to accept foreign influence, not Turkey, but not Iran or Saudi Arabia either. A very medium condition, in terms of being repulsive to all things "Western".

    And then you blame Isenhorn that he is "un-fighty". Three ha ha.
    Cool-brush for you all will be "un-fighty" who don't fight along NATO and the USA.
    And all the "NATO" wars are led by the US, not only because it's their investment money and equipment, but because it's their ideas where to fight. They are like a Queen, there is a train of NATO trailing behind them, with different degrees of enthusiasm.

    Russians are fighty, for example. No desire nil, even if we were invited, to fight in Iraq-1, Iraq-2, Afghanistan.
    I don't think our belt holders arrived from those quarters, much closer -Caucasus. Kavkaz. Where did Kavkaz get ideas and money - not in poor Afghanistan, not in Iraq, not in Iran either.

    Who were your terrorists no idea, the ones in Britain, by origin, surely Iraquee, Afghani, Iran? I doubt. Mixed breeds, from no land, "travellers", hired, to kill.

    The only sense I see in Iraq-1, Iraq-2 and Afghanistan is to give muslim world a hell overall, in very wide general approach, so that they know who is the boss in the world.
    Any other "strategies", "explanations", "justifications" are not worth an eaten egg shell.

    Serbia stands out of the way, because in this case Americans were protecting muslims.
    Either as a special hello to Russia? Or to stretch muscles exercise?
    Out of habit to fly over to Europe and "sort things", not to forget the road?

    I think I have better things to do than to try to understand why US makes war.

    I am more interested how we stand in conventional arms, not to bring world on the nuclear winter edge in case we are attacked, but to first start decently, by repelling by ordinary matters. For our "ordinary matters" will last 2 weeks, LOL, as far as I understood, and the next point is at best - buttons, at worst - "the dead hand" project scenario.
    (that's when there is no one alive in Russia left, and rockets take off themselves).

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  • 207. At 9:41pm on 16 Dec 2009, MaudDib wrote:

    If you had to choose. Would you rather live in North Korea or South Korea? And why.

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  • 208. At 9:55pm on 16 Dec 2009, U4466131 wrote:

    #17 Gheryando
    I have to agree, but all the members of the 'myopic fringe' will go mad. Another undemocratic EU institution. The common European defence force.

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  • 209. At 9:58pm on 16 Dec 2009, U4466131 wrote:

    #27 cool_brush_work

    Well best we get on with then. Seems typical of the anti European to me. First you complain that the beast isn't doing something and then you complain when it does. You people are either confused or just plain stupid.

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  • 210. At 10:17pm on 16 Dec 2009, U4466131 wrote:

    #104 cool_brush_work

    Why are all of you of the 'myopic fringe' just so completely negative? You complain that Europe can't, won't, defend itself, you complain when Europe tries to defend itself. The one thing none of you ever do is come up with a single reasonable suggestion as to what Europe should do for it's common defence. Methinks you should all put up or shut up.
    Rather the same with the Lisbon Treaty/Constitution debate, endless nit picking negativity never a single solution.

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  • 211. At 10:22pm on 16 Dec 2009, U4466131 wrote:

    #146 Jukka Rohila

    Well said, you always put things much more elegantly than I. You seem to have much more patience with the UK members of the 'myopic fringe'. You are so right though they are so negative, but they are not the only Brits on the block they just like to think they are.

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  • 212. At 10:29pm on 16 Dec 2009, U4466131 wrote:

    #170 Freeborn John

    "The EU as per Lisbon is simply a historical error is trying to buck this progress of mankind towards a world of democratic nation-states, and one that is going to have to be rectified."

    Ye gods! Any moment now you are going to bring back 'the divine right of kings.' The progress of mankind towards a world of democratic nation states indeed.

    Next weeks model will be????

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  • 213. At 10:37pm on 16 Dec 2009, U4466131 wrote:

    #191 Isenhorn

    Nicely put and succinctly. I was beginning to think that drowning people in words was all that was left on this blog.

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  • 214. At 10:39pm on 16 Dec 2009, U4466131 wrote:

    #205 WebAliceinwonderland

    Is this romance blooming I wonder? WA thinks CBW is very passionate.

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  • 215. At 11:04pm on 16 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    MaudDib, in 2009 - in the South Korea, granted. For obvious reasons that the North one is totally mad.

    In 1948, though, would have preferred to live in one Korea, ruled by itself. That's when the USA declined USSR written offer to take troops out, American ones - from the south of the 38th parallel, and USSR ones from the north of the 38th parallel, as of 1st January 1948. And leave Koreans to their own business, run pan-Korea elections, do whatever.

    The suggestion was laid formally, on the 26th September 1947, by USSR, to the Joint Commission, incl. USSR, United States, representatives of 39 political parties and 386 citizens' organisations from the South Korea side, and 3 parties and 35 citizens' organisations from the North Korea side.

    Even that we tried to dispute, on the 17th of September, the un-equal amount of representatives (the documents provided by the South representatives claimed representing interests of 52 million Koreans) (which was 20 million more people than the whole Korea combined) in the Unification Commission, we did not succeed, and agreed, OK, 39 +386 votes from Southern side, 3 + 35 from Northern side.

    Even then you didn't risk to leave them to own ends.

    That the North one is so mad and un-reconcilable to anything Western by all looks, owes in no small measure to napalm memoirs of their population, the tactics the USA used in war, when bombing the Northern part.

    I conclude if they both parts stayed American they'd be far better now, both sides.

    If both parts, though, stayed Russian, - they'd be no worse now than the rest of the ex-USSR, and in no way the horrors the North looks since we left.

    What they'll be if left on their own in 1948 - no way of telling, but hardly the whole would look so bad as the North Korea after Chinese influence and then on its own.

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  • 216. At 11:24pm on 16 Dec 2009, Gheryando wrote:

    It is, of course, about power. Anyone else claiming the opposite is a fool. Its always about power. And don't tell me you "don't want" power. This is the real world.

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  • 217. At 11:39pm on 16 Dec 2009, MaudDib wrote:

    I think your reaching.

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  • 218. At 00:11am on 17 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    U44:o)66:)131 ):((:O)) (laughing) @214 :o)))

    Surely a romance! What do you expect, we're left here tet-a-tete for a week, all ran away :o)))), nobody wants to discuss Nobel prize anymore :o)))) So we are into spirituals, armament, South Korea, and overall sorting minor misunderstanding pending from the last century. Asking each other questions.

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  • 219. At 01:08am on 17 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    saw this:

    "10 best aces of the Korean war from the USSR and the USA"

    1. Sutiagin N.V. 22
    2. Pepelyaev E.G. 20
    3. Smorchkov A.P. 15
    4. Schukin L.K. 15
    5. Oskin D.P. 14
    6. Ponomarev M.S. 14
    7. Kramarenko S.M. 13
    8. Sheberstov K.A. 12
    9. Bakhaev S.A. 11
    10. Dokashenko N.G. 11

    1. Joseph McKonnel Jr. 16
    2. James Jabara 15
    3. Manuel Fernandes 14
    4. Jeorge Davis Jr. 14
    5. Royal Baker 13
    6. Frederick Bless 10
    7. Gerald Fisher 10
    8. Vermon Harrison 10
    9. James Johnson 10
    10. Lonnie Moor 10

    (I'm translating back fr Russian the American names as they sound.)

    Note 1 (in that site)
    "Has to be noted that Russian pilots objectively had more targets as we didn't hold in Korea anything but destroyers (planes to fight planes), so American count is only Russian destroyer planes while Russian count both American bombers and destroyers."

    Note 2
    "Russian pilots were initially put by the commandment in disadvantaged position as were not allowed to approach the front line closer than 100 km, to say nothing of crossing onto the South Korean side, from fear when hit MIG-s will fall onto American territory and will be a./copied b./Russian pilots participation in the war, though well known, will be publicly advertised.
    Neither Russian planes could approach sea where stood US fleet, from the same considerations. In the result, when Americans didn't want to pick the fight they simply returned to the South side or turned to the sea.

    Note 3.
    First ace who hit more than five planes became James Jabara who on 20th May 1951 hit his fifth and sixth MIGs.

    Note 4.
    This stat is formally un-recognised in the part of losses, neither by the American side, nor by Russian.


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  • 220. At 02:15am on 17 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Its getting propagandesque in here now. :) But, then I'm feeling otherish. :)

    But, Maudib, I do enjoy Web Alice's memories of experience:)


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  • 221. At 02:24am on 17 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    On a lighter note :o)

    Obama at a military committee meeting.
    - I've got for you two news, good and bad ones, will start from the bad one. Russia has rockets aimed at us.
    - And the good one?
    - They are Bulava project.


    Gaidar dies and gets to Hell.
    - Where should we direct you, to the flaming fire, or to the frying pans?
    - Anywhere but please not near my grandad!

    Egor Gaidar dies and meets his grandad.
    - So, how are things in the world of live?
    - Well, grandad, you see, I had to build capitalism.
    - And we grandsonny have here communism, and a row of questions to you, together with pensioners, bank depositors, state employees and tovarisch Dzerzhinsky.

    There is a way to fight corruptioners - let's give them poisoned bribes!

    One more tropical island decided to recognise Abkhasia. Our correspondent phoned them to ask details about their decision, but the country's telephones were quiet. Later it was found out, that the whole population, president and his Friday, were at a formal reception party in Abkhasia.

    (16 Dec) Now we know when there will be the end of the world! The calendar in Windows XP ends on 31 Dec 2099.

    (17 dec, added on the jokes' site)
    - That's not correct. 31st Dec 2099 is simply the date when Microsoft will be able to launch a replacement for Windows XP.


    Year 2039. Our shipping company invites you to the enchanting cruise in its "Global Warming" liner across the Atlantic!

    You will get acquainted with the exotic underwater world of Britain and Holland, will see with your own eyes life of aboriginals on the islands France, Spain and Italy! On the return way you will have a mass of impressions seeing rice plantations Moscowyan', Warsawyan', Tallinnin', Praguein'!

    Shtierlitz opened the tap, poured himself a glass of water and drank it.
    - Russian vodka, - slightly wondered Sctierlitz.
    Even water in the Third Reich didn't want to quarrel with him.

    Eva Braun decided to make fuhrer happy with a new role play. Put on red bikini, decorated herself with rye, took in one hand hammer in the other hand sickle....
    Never before Schtierlitz was so close to failure!

    At bolsheviks, granted, and the sky was higher, and girls - more beautiful...
    But then, just to remember - those clouds and that Soviet-made underwear!!


    "If to start stealing - ah, then, - to steal a million! If to love - then a queen!"

    In crisis. "If to steal - then whole 100,000 roubles :o)))) If to love - the First Lady in Waiting!" :o))))))

    - And why is the general silent?
    - Means, he is thinking.
    With us, in the army, it is like this: If the general is silent, then either thinking or a portrait.


    If the system of relations between countries requires constant re-loading, granted, it is already polluted with something.

    In a year after marriage.
    - Good bye sweetheart, I am leaving to join partisans.
    - ???
    - For the one who sent his life off the rails, cargo trains - such a trifle!

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  • 222. At 02:26am on 17 Dec 2009, MaudDib wrote:

    I hope some time (soon) that Russia and US stop being adversaries. It sure would save a lot of money, time, energy and last but not least.......lives. Maybe no more aces? It wouldn't hurt my feelings.

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  • 223. At 04:10am on 17 Dec 2009, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    No more aces with all my heart.

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  • 224. At 08:01am on 17 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #almost anything you've written, but especially now

    "Methinks" you would do well to either follow your own advice, "shut up", or accept that yours is not the only point of view. Just as we tolerate and consider your views so, you might humble yourself a little to accept another perspective has a right to be aired.

    It is called 'Democracy': As a 'pro-EU' this will be an almost totally alien concept to one such as you.

    All the same, we recognise your rights and responsibilities to speak up for what you believe in and it is just a shame your sort so often resort to the bully-boy tactics when those who disagree will not back-down.

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  • 225. At 09:17am on 17 Dec 2009, U4466131 wrote:

    #224 cool_brush_work
    accept that yours is not the only point of view

    Pots and kettles. You constantly adopt a patronising and arrogant tone to all who contribute on these blogs. What is 'bully boy' about pointing out that you and a few like you presume to speak for the whole of the UK and that that whole of the UK shares your anti EU negative agenda?

    In one post on this blog you start in a tone that basically says you are speaking the thoughts of the UK majority (a common claim of the fringe) and then a little later state you have no idea what the majority of the UK are thinking.

    Your condescending attitude to those EU states outside of France and Germany is appalling. It is only you and the rest of the 'fringe' that are intelligent, clear sighted visionaries. The rest of the EU all 260 million of them (outside of the UK France Germany) are mere dross with no worth, to be dragged along willy nilly by the Franco German agenda. Such nonsense. You claim to have spent many years living and working in Europe, well that's as maybe, it certainly doesn't seem to have taught you much.

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  • 226. At 09:59am on 17 Dec 2009, Isenhorn wrote:


    ‘Iraq - - "illegal": Since when? "war of aggression based on lies": Prove it? "not justified"’

    Well, that says it all, really, about how much in denial you really are. I, however, do not need to prove anything to you- there is an enquiry into the ‘legality’ of the Iraq war. You will be able to read its findings before too long.

    I can only hope that after it you would start to understand that not everything you have been led to believe is true.

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  • 227. At 7:38pm on 17 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #225

    Please provide the quotations of my patronising attitude: I am fascinated to know how offering opinions that differ from your and other 'pro-EU' are always labelled in some way - - you've been concentrating in recent comments on the word "fringe" - - and, I would value your pointing out the quote where I was so presumptious I was "..speaking the thoughts of the UK majority..".

    Whereas, when you label mine and other 'anti-EU' as being that "fringe", well, that's just straightforward factual comment and you would in no way be assuming that your views represented the majority, would you!?

    As for condescending attitude to "those EU States outside of France and Germany..": Again, I would ask that you provide the quotes in which I do anything other than state I do not agree with a European Union or a European Defence Force and I believe the Europeans are making a huge mistake.
    It is basically not "..appalling.." to give a view other than that which fits with the 'pro-EU': It is debating the topic of 'Europe' on the BBC Blog specifically about 'Europe'!

    E.g. Jukka_Rohilla is a contributor and confirmed 'pro-EU': We regularly find fault with each other's point of view and on occasion I think he has gone over-the-top and vice versa. So, when J_R writes about "extra-Europeans" I firmly and at length disagree, but I do not see you labelling his contribution as 'condescending', 'patronising' or 'appalling' - - why is that - - could it be that is the voice of a genuine 'pro-EU' supporter and therefore you think he is fully entitled to express his views, but as I am 'anti' I am not?
    I certainly believe J_R has the right to express such views despite them being totally in conflict with my own: I repeat, it is called 'debate' - - you should try it.

    Could it be that as you have not yet managed to refute mine and other's views except to tell us to "shut-up" you are now resorting to the classic 'pro-EU' technique of labelling any opposition as eccentric or in some way of dubious origin (let's face it, I cannot recall anyone commenting on your background in order to put down your views, but apparently that is perfectly legitimate for you to try with me!).

    I am sorry none of the above will have been to your liking anymore than comments made by others suit me, but I expect virtually all of them to be free to do so, though draw the line at absurdity - - you may, after reflection, gather whom I meant (and 'no', it wasn't you, even after this trifling banter!).

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  • 228. At 7:49pm on 17 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #226

    I note the complete lack of factual substantiation of your 'illegal' war and 'pack of lies' accusations etc.

    Of course the Chilcott Enquiry will endeavour to get to the truth of the matters it is examining.
    Doubtless there will be much speculation as to the final factual-substance of its findings.

    Which, we must all hope, will clarify matters: It seems what you 'believe' is correct and anything I might believe is error. We can only hope Chilcott has a bit more basis in fact and not hyperbolic allegations - - until proven otherwise your and my truths are more versions of an extremely tragic and confusing issue. We could go on exchanging views on Iraq, but in all honesty it will serve no useful purpose at all - - at least not until 10 to 12 months from now and Chilcott publishes.

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  • 229. At 08:37am on 18 Dec 2009, Isenhorn wrote:


    This discussion has lost all meaning for me and I did not plan to respond any more. But since you asked for it specifically- there it is, my last post and evidence to combat 'the complete lack of factual substantiation'. The key points are conveniently marked in yellow.
    Followed by:

    And the UK perspective:

    Now, you might not call that pack of lies, but faulty intelligence. So be it. Were I you, however, I would not have such a high regards towards NATO if two of its biggest members have intelligence like that.


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  • 230. At 10:59am on 18 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Read the reference from #229

    All very interesting and must say much of which has been in the public domain for years: Not a genuine 'fact' about Bush or Blair being 'liars' or 'illegality' with regard to Iraq.
    Only the 'evidence' of a completely botched 'intelligence-gathering' operation combined to a US neo-con 'political foreign philosophy' of aggressive intervention and a seemingly quite supine UK-Government. It all would seem clearly to indicate the relevant US-UK 'spy services' relied far too heavily on unverified words of locals, supposed neighbouring nation's assessments, and generally they got sucked-in to believing Saddam's own 'troll'-like powers of evil!

    For me the most potent part of the references you made was the extract from Colin Powell, Sec of State, who spoke at length and eloquently at the U.N. about, "..Saddam not made any effort to disarm..".
    Powell was almost certainly opposed to the planned invasion, but being loyal to his President and Nation he took the opposite course to that equally loyal and distinguished British equivalent, Robin Cook: It is amazing to me that someone as deeply involved as Powell, with all the relevant details at his fingertips should been so taken in by this 'intelligence' etc. Similarly with Cook, he opposed the 'war' on moral grounds and demanded more 'evidence' of WMD, but he certainly never questioned their existence, anymore than Powell or Barradei, the head of the IAEA at the time. I'm aware some IAEA had very serious doubts and there were principled resignations, but they based them on their doubts, just as surely as Bush-Blair based their decisions to go forward with the invasion on their doubts about Saddam and his supposed-WMD.

    Bush and Blair made policy decisions that ultimately were disastrous: However, that is a long, long way from corrupt practises.

    As for NATO and 'intelligence': Hmm, if there is a European and/or any 'foreign' Intelligence Service out there that could have done a better job, then they certainly kept it under wraps over the last decade!

    I'm afraid you continue to make the mistake of assuming I believe all that was said at the time etc.: I didn't and don't, but until categorically proven otherwise, neither will I accept Bush-Blair sent their Armed Forces to war and caused enormous convulsions across the politcial world as well as alienating an already fragile Islamic-Mid East on the basis of falsifying evidence and lying to their respective Public.

    Quite a lesson for all concerned: Let's hope they have learned from them (doubt it, don't you!). Iran is looming! Surely everyone will at least 'know' frim Iraq - - Chilcott or no - - that another military venture in the Mid.East and it will be another case of, "...the light sare goig out everywhere.."!

    Farewell (hope not).

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  • 231. At 11:21am on 18 Dec 2009, U4466131 wrote:

    #227 Cool_Brush_Work

    "Please provide the quotations of my patronising attitude: I am fascinated to know how offering opinions that differ from your and other 'pro-EU' are always labelled in some way - - you've been concentrating in recent comments on the word "fringe" - - and, I would value your pointing out the quote where I was so presumptious I was "..speaking the thoughts of the UK majority.."."

    I think the following quote ffrom your post #224 sums it up perfectly.

    "It is called 'Democracy': As a 'pro-EU' this will be an almost totally alien concept to one such as you."

    If that statement isn't arrogant and patronising I don't know what is.

    Only you and others like you know anything about democracy, it's wasted on the rest of us, especially on 'Johnny Foreigner', who without the legacy of the British Democratic experience can't possibly hope to understand it. I presume that democratic tradition includes 'rotten boroughs' and the like.

    You complain that I bring personal detail into play and yet you are the one who tells us all that you have lived and worked in Europe for many years. As though you were trying to cloak yourself in some sort respectability by saying it.

    I will continue using the word 'fringe' until you and others like you stop claiming that you speak for the mute majority in the UK. You have no proof of this. The only proof is to the contrary vis a vis tha failure of UKIP to command any parliamentary seats. It is the only UK political party to fight on a platfrom involving leaving the EU and has no support.

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  • 232. At 11:38am on 18 Dec 2009, U4466131 wrote:


    As you are still commenting on this blog I will continue. Your view of NATO and the EDF is, just that, a view. You consider that the involvement by the US in NATO was benevolent and, to a degree, altruistic. I take the opposite view that the US used NATO and Western Europe as a shield. In much the same way that the US sat out over two years of the war and perhaps would never have joined in if not attacked by Japan and had war declared on them by Germany.

    I never did believe for one moment that, if in the case of all out war with the USSR, the US would have gone nuclear to defend Western Europe. To do that would have brought in the risk of Russian nuclear strikes on the continental US and that wouldn't do now would it.

    NATO is past it's sell by date and we need a new structure it maybe the EDF. My issue with you and others like you is your complete negativity and lack of any vision. All you do is criticise you never offer solutions. Many years ago a boss of mine had some cards made that he would hand to subordinates who came into his presence.

    "Greetings. Are you here with a solution or are you part of the problem?"

    Which are you? The problem or the solution?

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  • 233. At 1:12pm on 18 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #231 and #232

    Don't be silly!

    You wrote all of the following # before I got tired of it and reminded you (condescending or otherwise) debate is a democratic process:

    #209 "You people are either confused or just plain stupid."
    #210 "Methinks you should all put up or shut-up."
    #211 "Myopic fringe."
    #212 "Bringing back 'divine right of kings'".

    Have you at any stage in your comments paused to reflect that just maybe you have been a tad condescending, patronising and just plain insulting to people simply because they do not possess your gift for being right about everything?

    NATO an the 'cold war' nuclear option: Well, thanks for informing us of your opinion on what might or might not have happened in the worst of circumstances - - it didn't happen - - now, if I wrote I think NATO would have gone nuclear to "save" (agreed, what would have been the point) 'west Europe', does that make me stupid or should I shut-up, as that is not the opinion you wrote!?

    As for a solution: From your infinitle greater perspective do give us the benefit of your "solution": Or, have you already?
    That, it is the 'EU' and therefore, we should all be writing 'pro-EU' comments as there is simply no need for any criticism of this perfect political entity.

    Get over yourself!

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  • 234. At 1:40pm on 18 Dec 2009, U4466131 wrote:

    #233 Not so Cool_Brush_Work

    Really loosing it.

    "Don't be silly" indeed.

    I am so sorry, pardon me for breathing, for even daring to set foot in your exalted presence. So far all you have done is shouted at me and told me I'm stupid and become very annoyed when I had the temerity to rock your cosy little anti EU boat.

    There is plenty of need for criticism of the EU and NATO and the EDF but the word is criticism, not your 'Oh so superior' us Brits know all about democracy and are acting a missionaries to the benighted Europeans attitude. Is it any wonder many of them think that Britain is an irrelevance in the modern world.

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  • 235. At 4:09pm on 18 Dec 2009, cool_brush_work wrote:


    Re #234

    I have not "shouted" once in internet typo terms at you or anyone!

    It is you who constantly attempts to belittle those of us who do not accept your 'pro-EU' views.

    There is nothing "exalted" about my views - - I do not agree with you - - can you not get that point? It does not mean I am right or wrong, only that I do not agree with you - - is that not the point of debate - - we do not agree, so we argue the toss!?

    Frankly, I cannot follow the logic of someone who calls everybody names in a series of comments as a method of debate and then claims to hold the high ground of opinion. "Myopic", I maybe, and that's (from my viewpoint) about the same as suffering from amblyopia which is a condition the sufferer seldom realises until too late!

    Alright, I agree, I've been on this topic page for too long.

    Bye (for now).

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