Tag Archives: USA

Russia–America, A Failure To Communicate!

Vladmir Frolov, writing in the Moscow Times, task to task both the United States and Russia for failing to communicate with one another about Georgia which has resulted in worsening of relations between the two nations. “the failure of Moscow and Washington to communicate over the conflict in Georgia has led to a rhetorical race that now threatens to shatter the U.S. Russia relationship. Personal pique and spite have begun to cloud the leaders’ judgment.” Frolov says Moscow initially failed to convey to America its resolve not to allow Georgia to take over South Ossetia and President Medvedev should personally have called Bush to let him know in no uncertain terms that Georgia’s invasion would be repulsed. He also blames the US State Department for not making clear to Saakhasvili it was a mistake to launch an invasion of South Ossetia.

He blasts the stupid remark of Secretary of State Condi Rice comparing as equal the Russian occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968 with Russia’s response to an invasion by Georgia in 2008. Forlov praises Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, for acting calmly in the crisis and to point out that Saakhasvili was exaggerating the situation. Gates is most probably the only sane and rational person in the Bush administration.

Forlov says he has been told that President Medvedev sent a personal aide, Igor Yurgens to Washington last week in order to begin the process of restoring sanity to relations between the USA and Russia.

The situation could be different if Bush had called Medvedev to let him know the United States did no approve of Saakhasvili’s action.

US And Poland Sign Missile Base Deal

The United States and Poland have signed an agreement which allows construction of a missile base that would be staffed by American military personnel. Russia naturally reacted angrily and pointed out such a base containing missiles were a threat to its territorial integrity. Poland argues the base is needed in order to ensure it will not be attacked by a foreign nation. President Bush from the beginning has insisted the missile base was needed to protect Europe against possible missile attacks from rogue nations such as Iran or North Korea. The president has repeatedly insisted the base was not aimed at Russia. However, there apparently is now a change in tone as to the purpose of the base since the agreement ensures Poland of American assistance if it was to be attacked by another nation.

The missile base from the beginning has been cast in lies and deception. Bush turned down a Russian offer of constructing such a base in Russia while at the same time promising the Russian government the base was there to deal with rogue nations. Konstantin Koschyov of the Russian Parliament noted: “It is this kind of agreement, the the split between Russia and the United States over the problem of South Ossetia,l that may have a greater impact on the growth of tensions in Russian-American relations.”

American military planes will be stationed at the base and have orders to shoot down planes that might be headed toward Poland. The United States reacts with fury and anger if Russia even hints it might place planes in Cuba while at the same time placing planes and missile bases on the border of Russia.

Russian Expert Warns Of Deliberately Angering USA

Andrei Kortunov, head of the Eurasia Foundation, warned his fellow countrymen about taking too much glee of the current economic misfortunes of the United States. He was particularly upset at the crude comments emanating from the Foreign Ministry which appear to have more in common with children squabbling than with those responsible for the conduct of foreign relations. At a recent news briefing, a senior Foreign Ministry official told reporters, “In the long run, we can afford not having any relations with some of our partners.” And to show displeasure at some recent Bush remarks concerning Russian support of President Mugabe of
Zimbabwe, he added, “”Don’t try to tell us whom we can sleep with.” Prime Minister Putin has never hidden his glee at falling stock market prices in America or problems in Afghanistan.

Kortunov makes clear his condemnation of the inept Bush policies and admits the American president has made foolish efforts such as the anti-missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, which have antagonized Russia, but he argues separating personal peeves from the conduct of foreign policy. Kortunov makes clear the economic health of America impacts all nations of the world including Russia.

The Russian analyst points out a new American president will be assuming office in January and it is necessary to focus on that event and work with the new leader of the United States. It is time for Russia to cease playing childhood games and focus on important issues facing this planet.

China Surpasses USA On The Internet!

China’s booming Internet population has defied attempts by its government to exert control and continues growing at the fastest rate of any nation in the world. There are currently 253,000,000 Chinese on the Internet compared to 223.1 million Americans. The Chinese figure represents a 56% increase from a year ago. This means approximately 19% of the Chinese population is online compared to 71% in the United States. It represents the first time another nation has soared ahead of the United States in access to the Internet. Of course, one dramatic difference is the extent of government interference with use of the Internet by Chinese authorities. Beijing blocks access to Web sites run by dissidents, human rights groups, and some foreign news media. For example, the Chinese population was blocked from seeing pictures or stories concerning Tibetan protests several months ago.

The research firm BOA China, says China’s online population should keep growing by 18% annually and will reach about 490 million by 2012, a number that exceeds the population of the United States. The bad news is continued Chinese government efforts to suppress dissident voices on the Internet. The good news is this spurt in Internet membership offers possibilities the creative ingenuity of those on Internet may one day surpass the ability of any government to suppress the voices of freedom.

Muslim Cleric Fears American Justice

Once upon a time way before the man from Texas became president of the United States, people in the world looked to America as a land in which an individual could receive a fair trial. Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri lost his appeal to block extradition from the United Kingdom to America where he is accused of trying to set up an al-Qaeda camp as well as other charges of inciting terrorism. HIs lawyers argued to send him to the United States would be “unjust and oppressive” because of the length of time since the dates to which the charges against him relate–1999 and 2000. They also do not believe he could receive a fair trial and that information being used against him by American legal authorities was obtained via use of torture.

British judges saw no reason to oppose the extradition request. The Egyptian born cleric who applauded the 9/11 attacks and was involved in plotting the capture of 16 Western hostages in Yemen is undoubtedly a man of violence. However, he does raise questions concerning the possibility he could receive a fair trial in the United States. Perhaps, one step in clarifying the fairness of American justice is to close down the Guantanamo prison and either release its prisoners or place them on trial in a civil court.

Why Is Taiwan-China Cooperation A US Concern?

The recently elected Taiwan government of President Mai Ying-jeou has undertaken efforts to improve its nations relations with China and apparently this has raised concerns in Washington D.C. Taiwan and China signed new agreements to increase flights between the two areas and to allow more Chinese tourists to visit the island. According to Chiang Pin-kung, of the Straits Exchange Foundation, the purpose of the “talks is aimed to create the foundation for cross straits peace.” He added, “there is no need for the United States to worry.”

An issue is why should the United States be involved when two parties seek to improve relations and why must Taiwan reassure the Americans about its efforts to develop an environment of peace with China? There are unconfirmed reports the Taiwan government has asked the United States to hold off on supplying it with billions of dollars worth of military equipment in order to avoid angering China. Is the loss of these sales the reason for America’s concern about peace? After all, the United States is among the world leaders in selling military equipment so there might be people in America who suffer when peace spreads on this planet.

Frankly, Taiwan and China discussions which center on peace should never concern America. It is about time the Bush administration ceased interfering in efforts to bring about peace.

Plan Vigipirate in France Ensures Security Against ?

The French government has introduced Plan Vigipirate which “calls pon all French men and women, whatever their occupation or level of responsibility to participate in this state of vigilance that allows us to make an effective collective response to the threat of terrorist acts.” Since a terrorist act can come from anywhere, most often from where you least expect it and may not have any specific object, it requires a state of vigilance. Vigilance is a state of mind and focuses attention at all times towards anything or anyone for any reason. It assumes even if the exact nature of the threat is unknown, there is no doubt the threat exists because by definition there are threats and if we assume there are threats then threats must exist. While surveillance is an activity, with a beginning and an end, vigilance is a permanent state of mind that creates new relationships between the indvidual and society.

Every time I read ideas such as Plan Vigipirate, I can only assume someone is pulling my leg until I realize in making that assumption I have played into the hands of the non-existant terrorists. In a sense, engaging in a state of vigilance is like being a character in a Seinfeld episode about nothing. America has been in a state of vigilance for seven years and during that time we have encountered the Ft. Dix group who more likely would be successful in an episode of the Three Stooges than in actually doing anything or a man who wanted to light his shoe and blow something up.

I must admit my greatest anger at beng in a state of vigilance for the past seven years is my failure to invest heavily into security firms since they apparently are weathering the stock market fiasco in quite a healthy manner.

Tit For Tat Says China-US Human Rights Violator!

The Chinese government came out swinging against the US State Department claim China violated human rights. It charged the United States with making “arrogant and malicious attacks” on other nations regarding human rights violations but “mentions nothing about its own human rights problems.” The Chinese report noted America’s huge prison population whose inhabitants are disproportionally from black and Hispanic backgrounds. The Chinese point out law enforcement and judicial departments in America continually cite examples of violation of the rights of its own citizens. For example, from May, 2001 to June, 2008, about 2,451 policemen in chicago received 4 to 10 complaints about violating the rights of people, but few were ever punished.

The litany of Chinese citations includes the war in Iraq and the one million Iraqis who have died as well as American involvment in the internal affairs of many nations in the world. The Chinese note racial prejudice in America and its large number of poor people who lack medical coverage. It also discusses the low percentage of women in elective offices nd the number of “sex slaves” working in American cities.

The Chinese figures on human rights violations are correct. However, the Chinese government fails to mention the information it presents is public knowledge in America and is widely discussed in the media. American reporters are free to examine the underside of life and write biting angry columns about Bush blunders in Iraq and Afghanistan. The problem for the Chinese is such freedom is not accorded its own media in discusssing human rights violations within China. The day information about human rights abuse in China is openly discussed is the day one can take China off the list of human rights violators.

Serbians Riot And Europe Worries!

The government of Serbia encouraged mass demonstrations in the streets of Belgrade against the Kosovo announcement of independence. An estimated 200,000 people took part in the protest and as the evening wore on, hundreds headed for the United States Embassy to express anger at American support for Kosovo. Protestors trashed rooms, ripped down an American flag and set the building on fire. Firemen later found the body of one of the protestors who apparently died in the evening’s confusion. The United States issued a strong condemnation of the riot and said it would “hold the Serbian government personally responsible for th safety and well-being of our embassy employees.” The European Union also made clear its disapproval of acts of violence. Serbia has withdrawn its ambassadors from Autria and Germany because their governments have recognized Kosovo independence.

Lost in the night of rioting was increased concern in many parts of Europe which harbor separatist groups within their nations. Spain has problems with both Basque and Catalan separatists who might take hope from the success of Kosovo. Russia is always concerned about the issue of separatism since its nation contains many diverse ethnic and racial groups who not only have differing historical devlopments but are Muslim in religion.

The question of the hour is not so much the independence of Kosovo, but does it open a pandora’s box of separatist desires.

Chinese College Students Heading Overseas

The dramatic rise in the number of Chinese high school graduates which this year topped fifteen million is part of the continued increase in the number of Chines students headed for foreign campuses. It is expected about 200,000 Chinese students will be attending colleges all over the world with at least 50,000 in the United States of America. As the US dollar dros in value it enables Chinese students to have greater financial access to American colleges. Another 30,000 are headed to Canada. Australia is making a push to become a center for Chinese students by recently creating an 18 month visa for skilled students

In December, 2007, about one tenth of Chinese college graduates had still to secure a job in their homeland. This lack of opportunity is sparking their desire to seek work elsewhee in the world. We can expect the trend to continue as China expands its education and produces millions of more college students who graduat without ready access to employment in their homeland.