Frontier Former Editor

August 10, 2008

Talk about news . . .

First, go see Raincoaster for great material and even better links on the propane facility explosion in Toronto earlier this morning. You’re not going to see this on Drudge Report as of 0752 US Eastern Time, but you may want to watch gas prices or your stock portfolio in a few hours.

And, while I offered admiration for Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s patriotism a few days ago, I still think Russia has the capabililty to be just as dumb and imperialist and paranoiac as Russia has been on its worst Communist or Tsarist days.

What great timing for the Olympics and the cause of world peace, especially with the People’s Republic of China as a host. Does irony get any better than that?

August 3, 2008

Russian first . . .

Filed under: history, Russia — Tags: , — Frontier Former Editor @ 11:46 pm

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn died Sunday. He came to the U.S. when I was 12, returned to Russia when  I was 32, and bewildered just about every American who thought he was an enemy of Communism.

Yes, he was an enemy of Communism but that didn’t keep him from being a Russian first and foremost.

From the International Herald Tribune:

“In an interview last year with Der Spiegel, Solzhenitsyn said that Russians’ view of the West as a “knight of democracy” had been shattered by the NATO bombing of Serbia, an event he called “a grave disillusion, a crushing of ideals.” He dismissed Western democracy-building efforts, telling the Times of London in 2005 that democracy “is not worth a brass farthing if it is installed by bayonet.”

“In 2007, he accepted a State Prize from then-President Putin — after refusing, on principle, similar prizes from Gorbachev and from Yeltsin. Putin, he said in the Der Spiegel interview, “inherited a ransacked and bewildered country, with a poor and demoralized people. And he started to do what was possible — a slow and gradual restoration.” ”

Make of it what you will.

February 21, 2008

The Guns of February

Filed under: Barbara Tuchman, doomed to repeat, dumbasses, Kosovo, Russia, Serbia, societal niceties, U.S. Embassy — Frontier Former Editor @ 4:21 pm

If Barbara Tuchman were alive, she’d be shaking her head in familiar disgust.

 Downtown Thursday Night in Belgrade

 Being a history major, I see absolutely perfect sense in today’s happenings. It makes perfect sense in the same way that it makes sense that serial killers kill, child molesters love Halloween and neighborhood parks, and that World War One was merely a precedent and not the war to end all wars.

Just about every cultural segment that was once Yugoslavia has more than its share of blame in the centuries of bloodshed that preceded the region’s inclusion in the Austro-Hungarian empire and eventual ‘unification’ under Tito.

Even Tito realized that unifying Yugoslavia was an exercise in threats, cajolery and bribery. No wonder that his death was like tripping 10,000 dominoes.

Like all of this background excused the horses**t Serbia tried to pull in the 1990s and after 2000. I don’t think it’s culturally insensitive at all to call that remainder of a nation a collective group of violent, sociopathic, murderous, special education students.

And despite whatever historic guilt that Kosovars might ever be accused of, Serbia started it in the 1990s and Russia is guiltier than hell of aiding and abetting it.

You’d think that Soviet and Russian leaders might have learned something from August 1914. Maybe they have – it’s a great place to stump up and start unholy hell. Yeah, maybe Russia has endured centuries of threats and invasion from the west. Maybe they feel threatened because the various eastern and central Europeans they tried to enslave have made it clear that they are sick of it.

And maybe Russia needs to be reminded of Katyn Forest before it goes on about how the West is threatening Mother Rus’s existence.

The one thing I’ve found lacking in today’s news coverage is translation of what the Orthodox Church has been saying about all this except for brief mentions of prayer services for Kosovo’s peaceful retention in Serbia.

If the Yugoslavian/Serbian Orthodox Church’s official line is that Kosovo remain in Mother Serbia, then that’s the best argument I’ve ever seen for separation of church and state. After all, the Russian Orthodox Church kissed the czars’ asses and ‘encouraged’ Russians to submit to the czars’ various whims.

I truly hope that the Serbian Orthodox Church learned something useful in the 20th century.

As for Russia? Russia is behaving exactly like Russia, except that this time they actually have foreign currency reserves sufficient to allow Russian and former Soviet leaders to be they cheap thugs they’ve always aspired to be.

I hope that we certainly show the sense not to allow those scumbags to draw us and the world into another 1914. On the other hand, I hope we develop the sophistication to let the Russians know quietly and coldly how much fun they could have with a return to the good old days of 1917.

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