Belmont Club

Attacking in the opposite direction

Here’s a list of bummer posts to show that every silver lining has a cloud. The links stories range from trouble warnings on the Black Sea, the aura of defeat from Afghanistan and the growing loss of privacy in the world today.  The times sure are changing. About the only consolation is that events have a way of affecting everybody in ways that are hard to anticipate.

  • Naval War Warning in the Black Sea The leader of the pro-Moscow breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia said Wednesday he had ordered its military to destroy any Georgian ship violating its de-facto sea borders.
    • “I have given the order to our naval forces to destroy Georgian ships infringing the sea border of Abkhazia,” Sergei Bagapsh told the Interfax news agency in an interview.”This step has been caused by the constant acts of piracy from the Georgian side,” he added.

      There have been increased tensions over Georgia’s bid to enforce a naval blockade of Abkhazia after it seized last month a Turkish ship carrying fuel from Turkey to the Abkhaz capital Sukhumi.

      The order appears to be a reaction to a Georgian court sentencing a Turkish ship captain to 24 years in jail for sailing his freighter to Abkhazia without Tbilisi’s consent. Georgia has been siezing ships attempting to trade with Abkhazia, basically applying a blockade on the territory, requiring ships to get permission before trading.

  • George Will: It’s time for the U.S. to leave Afghanistan – Reason Magazine
    • “But let’s be honest,” wrote noted neoconservative William Kristol on The Washington Post‘s blog. “Will is not calling on the United States to accept a moderate degree of success in Afghanistan, and simply to stop short of some overly ambitious goal. Will is urging retreat, and accepting defeat.”

      Tossing around the words “retreat” and “defeat”—or, as one critic more creatively asserted, Will’s column “could have been written in Japanese aboard the USS Missouri”—is the rhetorical equivalent of the vacuous “chicken hawk” charge leveled at any civilian who supports military action. It’s emotive and hyperbolic, and I probably have used it myself, but it’s not an effective argument.

  • Brown calls for talks with Taliban and more trained Afghan soldiers… so is he thinking of withdrawal? | Mail Online
    • A top U.S. general in Afghanistan has backed Gordon Brown’s call for talks with the Taliban in a shift in war strategy.

      U.S. commander of operations in Afghanistan Gen Stanley McChrystal met with Mr Brown during his surprise trip to Afghanistan over the weekend.

      He has authored a reported claiming that if Western forces can give the Taliban jobs, 60 per cent of the problem will be removed.

  • Obama White House Has Secret Plan To Harvest Personal Data From Social Networking Websites | National Legal and Policy Center
    • The information to be captured includes comments, tag lines, emails, audio, and video. The targeted sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and others – any space where the White House “maintains a presence.”

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


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