Friday, November 30, 2007

Russian agression, a concern for the West?

President Vladimir Putin has signed a law which suspends Russia's participation in a treaty limiting military forces in Europe. It follows its adoption earlier this month by the Russian parliament. The Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, signed in 1990, limits the deployment of tanks, aircraft and other heavy conventional weapons. Russia says the suspension is a reply to the non-ratification of the treaty by Nato countries. The law will come into effect on 12 December, allowing Russia to boost its troop levels on its western and southern borders, although no imminent plans to this effect have been announced. Nato members, led by the United States, have refused to ratify the CFE treaty until Moscow withdraws its troops from the former Soviet republics of Moldova and Georgia, as Russia had promised in 1999. (BBC World, 30.11.2007 )

This means a further and probably more intencified threat in Abkhazia from the Russian "peacekeepers". It's not good news for Georgia. neither is it for the rest of the world. It means we are beyond the level of cold war, and probably entering a hotter one, where Russian KGB..or FSB as they now call themselves will act more offencively in order to expand their "empire". As an example I would like to mention that a journalist from the National Norwegian Broadcasting yesterday was arrested twice for covering the Russian election. That NEVER happened during the cold war. I think the escalating situation should call for a boicott of the Olympic games in Sochi in 2014, as it did in 1980 when Russia attacked Afghanistan. But who knows..the west is probably more concerned about money than politics theese days. The Norwegian forreignminister Jonas Gahr Støre is busy sucking up to the Russians because of the joint gas adventure at Shtokman developing field in the north. His comment to the situation in Adresseavisen 01.12.2007 is: "Russias main worries is in the south and east. Not in the north", thereby supporting earlier Norwegian official statements wich point out that "there is nothing to be worried about for Norway". They should be so lucky! This is exactly the same rethoric and attitude the Norwegian government expressed before they were attacked in the 2. world war by Germany. And we havent learned anything from that, have we? In order to evaluate a threat, you have to look at the general practice of a country, not the practice in some selected areas. Take the Russian agression in Chechenya, Dagestan, Georgia/Abkhazia/Ossetia, The Baltics, Moldova...I should say there is really something to bare in mind when the northern areas of Norway/Russia should be considdered a target for Russian agression, given the fact that this area is extremely more valuable concerning fish / gas than the areas in the south and east.
What about the others?Angela Merkel is probably having dinner with Putins liason in oil matters, Gerhard Schrøder, and Sharko is French in all the meanings of the word. I guess that leaves us with Bush. And he's busy at the moment. Anyway, it seems that the global community are more worried about finances than solidarity. Not that it came as any surprice..indeed.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Russia equals Albania in the seventies

While Russian politicians try to makes a mockery out of the Georgian democracy, Putin denies OSCE observers to monitor the upcoming Russian election. This has happened only once in the history of OSCE. That was in Albania in the seventies, when they still were a communist dictatorship. All member states of OSCE have committed themselves to monitoring. As an example: Representatives from the Caucasian countries participated in monitoring the Norwegian election a few years ago. Afterwards they suggested some changes to the Norwegian election system. The changes were implemented soon after. So if all the other countries can tolerate monitoring: Why can’t Russia?
A little goodie for those concerned with Russian media: Notice how Putin always appears on the screen when there is positive news, and likewise notice his absence when the bad news have to be communicated.
I seriously think the Russian people deserve something better than a modern Stalin on steroids running his private Putinocracy.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Look what crawled out of the woodwork!

According to Civil Georgia, in a phone interview with The Associated Press, Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp. said: "We're shocked and horrified that in what was allegedly a democratic country something like this could happen… that, effectively, stations are put off the air."
A shock? At least Murdoch, as head of several of the less democratic-oriented nespapers and TV-stations in USA should be familiar with this situation. The way he allways have administered and imposed biased newscoverage in favour of Bush is nothing less than gagging his own journalist in FOX network. Why not take a look? Here it is: "Outfoxed, Rupert Murdochs war on journalism" covering this issues. Please Murdoch, crawl back into your hole and don't give more interviews about matters you have hardly any credability in. It's probably better that people with at least the notion about democratic processes and media discuss these matters.
Shuh, shuh...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Turbulence or flatulence?

I have been receiving letters asking me to comment on the recent development in Georgia. The reason I haven't posted anything about it, is that the situation is very much unclear to me. On the one side you have the opposition apparently lead by an oligark in exile. On the other hand a triggerhappy government harming their position with radical measures. As far as I can see, the opposition is weak, and makes more noice than the it's size should call for. Thir claims is rather diffuse: To have an early election, and general improvment of living conditions. The rest is namecalling and noice.
Invading the Imedi TV-station is a set back for the democratic claims the government make, and gives at least me the cold creeps. It's a totalitarian approach to demonstrations. The government friendly Rustavi TV is still going on the air. Blaming it all on the Russian seems to be either a tactical move in order to gather the people. But, hey, who knows what the allmighty Tsar Putin have up his sleves. They constantly violates Georgian airspace, and dropped a missile near Tbilisi last time I visited Georgia.
As for now, I think the Georgian government have handled the situation rather disappointingly with its measures taken against the demonstrants.