West tells Russia to keep out of Ukraine
by the Financial Times
Britain led a chorus of support for Ukraine on Wednesday as western fears rose of possible Russian attempts to build on its victory in Georgia by threatening neighbouring states.
Speaking during a visit to Kiev, David Miliband, the UK foreign secretary, called on the European Union and Nato to prepare for “hard-headed engagement” with Moscow following its military action in Georgia.
“Russia must not learn the wrong lessons from the Georgia crisis. There can be no going back on fundamental principles of territorial integrity, democratic governance and international law,” he said.
Mr. Miliband’s remarks coincided with warnings from Bernard Kouchner, French foreign minister, and Carl Bildt, Swedish foreign minister.
In an unprecedented step, the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven industrialized countries also issued a joint statement on Wednesday to condemn “Russia’s excessive use of military force in Georgia and its continued occupation of parts” of the country.
The warnings came after Moscow recognised the independence of the breakaway Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on Tuesday in the first effort to redraw international borders in the former Soviet Union since its 1991 collapse.
Mr. Kouchner warned that the situation was “very dangerous” because Russia might now be considering other targets such as the divided state of Moldova and Ukraine, with its strategically important Crimean peninsula.
NATO Not Ready For Prime Time
One reason many European nations are reluctant to let their troops engage the enemy in Iraq, or Afghanistan, is that they fear the outcome will not be up to the task. Over a decade of shrinking budgets has meant less money for realistic training. There are also equipment shortages. The net result is several layers of leadership that are really not well prepared for a shooting war. The leaders of these nations have also been warned about this by their own special operations troops, who have seen combat in Afghanistan. Most of these operations have been kept secret, as is normal for this sort of thing. But the commandos from these different nations had opportunities to exchange notes, and it was generally agreed that most post Cold War European nations had let most of their combat troops down. The special operations forces were hardly cut at all, as they were considered vital for counter-terrorism, or any kind of military emergency that might come up. The spec ops guys were dismayed at what was happening to the levels of training and equipment in the rest of the armed forces, and knew it could mean disaster if these guys were sent into combat.
Now that's starting to happen, and the results are not pretty. For example, several Czech helicopter pilots, when told they were going to Afghanistan, basically said no. Not unless they got more training, and helicopters that could handle that kind of tricky flying. The crew of an Italian helicopter gunship was recently sent home because they refused to fire in combat. No one will say exactly what happened there, but that sort of thing is usually the result of poor preparation, and leadership. And then there's the recent ambush of a French patrol, which resulted in ten French paratroopers killed. Most of the casualties occurred because the troops had not practiced dealing with ambushes, and the way the Taliban operate. Worse, the French troops were trapped under fire for many hours, long past the time when air cover or ground reinforcements should have arrived. Again, this has all the marks of bad leadership and poor training.
The well trained and equipped volunteer troops (particularly the American, British, Canadian, Australian and commandos of all nations) make it look easy. But it isn't. Lots of training, lots of practice, and decades developing combat leadership, is what it takes. Some nations are now faced with the need to repair some of the damage cause by that post Cold War euphoria and budget cutting.
Killing Michelle Malkin
This week a shocking and vile video of a thug/talk show host (Alex Jones) trying to incite a crowd to murder a small Asian woman (Michelle Malkin). This sort of despicable behavior shows clearly why millions of people are abandoning the Democratic Party (and the political left in this country). Jones is a well-known lefty Denverite and his disgusting behavior shows how demon-possessed the man really is. He is the the thug, the monster, and the evil man that he claims Malkin is. It is this kind of awful speach and behavior that makes people ignore the fanatics on the Left. I am glad I left the Left 20 years ago....
Here is the video, make your own decision.