“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Georgia, Annihilation of a Democracy. What Would Obama Do?

"Change" that you can bet will impress Putin's Russia.


- U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama on Friday urged restraint by both Russia and Georgia in the conflict over the breakaway region of South Ossetia in Georgia.

Obama, a Democrat, also echoed the Bush administration in supporting the territorial integrity of Georgia.

"I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict," Obama said in a statement. "Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full-scale war. Georgia's territorial integrity must be respected."

Obama called for direct talks among all sides and said the United States, U.N. Security Council and other parties should try to help bring about a peaceful resolution.


Seize the moment. Expose to the American people the incredible shrinking stature of the man who would be POTUS in times of war. He has nothing to say and knows nothing of how we find ourselves in this situation. This statement could have come from Oscar Arias of Costa Rica. The sounds of Russian tanks should be the sounds of a crushing defeat for the community organizer.

Do not get me wrong. McCain is no novice to the region and has not always been right in his decisions. In fact he was an early supporter (1999) of US involvement in Kosovo. At the time, most Americans and Europeans supported US action in Kosovo. I personally felt it was a mistake. The expansion of Nato east confused me and made little sense to me. Now, I find myself in the awkward position presented by the binary world of American politics in having to choose between a man that does not have a clue and one who has made decisions where I disagreed.

We have committed the United States to supporting freedom and democracy in parts of the world where there has been little of either. Georgia is where that decision has led us. We have trained them, armed them and encouraged their movement into Nato. Russia is now striking back. Georgia is the new Kosovo. What happens in Georgia will have unknown consequences to Europe and the United States for a generation. We are facing the real Russian face of Vladimir Putin. Putin is no community organizer. He is a ruthless experienced brutal KGB boss. He has the money and the motivation to re-establish a more Soviet Russia. Hope ain't gonna cut it.


Georgians Leave South Ossetia As Focus Shifts to Black Sea

Georgian officials said Sunday that they had withdrawn their forces from South Ossetia. Russan navy vessels meanwhile arrive at Georgia's Black Sea coast in what could become the next hotspot of the war.

Georgian National Security Council Secretary Alexander Lomaia told AFP news service on Sunday, Aug. 10, that his country's forces had "practically left" all of South Ossetia "as an expression of good will and our willingness to stop military confrontation."

Georgian and Russian forces had exchanged artillery fire in the early hours of Sunday, Aug. 10, South Ossetia officials said, while Russian planes bombed the runway of a military airfield near Tbilisi international airport according to a Georgian official.

Russia sending more soldiers, ships to Georgian coast

Moscow and Tbilisi have been unable to agree on a ceasefire deal
Russian warships meanwhile arrived at the Georgian Black Sea coast, according to news reports.

"The navy was ordered not to allow supplies of weapons and military hardware into Georgia by sea," a Russian navy source was quoted as saying by Russian news service Interfax, Reuters reported.

The Russian ships were blocking access to the port for ships carrying grain and fuel, Lomaia told the AFP. He added that Russian planes bombed a military airfield some five kilometers outside the capital Tbilisi.

Georgia said a Russian air raid had "completely devastated" the Black Sea port of Poti in attacks that the country's UN ambassador likened to "a full-scale military invasion"

This was followed up with air raids on Gori, the main Georgian city closest to South Ossetia. Apartment blocks in Gori were left in flames and residents said scores of people were killed.

Georgia: "Annihilation of a democracy"

Georgia's offensive to take the enclave of South Ossetia has been unsuccessful
Russian bombers also headed for the coast, Georgian Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili said Saturday after air raids on the port of Poti and the city of Gori, where inhabitants said scores of people were killed.

"What they are doing is nothing to do with conflict, it is about annihilation of a democracy on their borders," Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said in an interview with the BBC.

Saakashvili declared a "state of war" on Saturday but also offered a ceasefire to Russia.

But a meeting of the UN Security Council on Saturday failed to agree on a call for an immediate ceasefire. Russia's ambassador to the UN said Moscow would not agree to a ceasefire until Georgia removed all its troops from South Ossetia.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Moscow viewed the Georgian offensive as "something that has elements of genocide and war crimes situation," and Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev said he would order an investigation of Georgian crimes against civilians.

US Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff made it clear Washington blamed Russia for escalating the fighting.

"This is a conflict that is expanding and getting out of control," he said. "The proximate cause is the massive escalation perpetrated by outside forces."

Conflict widens to Abkhazia

Fears of the conflict spreading added urgency to international calls for a ceasefire.

The conflict spread to Abkhazia, another breakaway region of Georgia, where the separatist government said its forces had launched attacks on Georgian troops. Georgia accused Russia of staging the attacks in the Kodori Gorge region, the only part of Abkhazia controlled by Georgia.

Britain said a joint European-US mission was due to have arrived in Georgia late Saturday to try to help broker a ceasefire with Russia.

"We have urged an immediate halt to the violence and a stand-down by all troops," US President George W. Bush told reporters. "We call for an end to the Russian bombings."

The European Union "strongly states its commitment to the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Georgia and its internationally recognized borders and urges Russia to respect them," said a statement released by France, which hold the EU's rotating presidency and said it would host a meeting of EU foreign ministers early next week.

Source of friction

Russia and Georgia disagree on the number of casualties and refugees
Russian and South Ossetian estimates put the death toll on the South Ossetian side at a minimum of 1,400. All but a few of the dead were civilians, according to Moscow. Georgian figures ranged from 82 dead, including 37 civilians, to a total of some 130 dead.

South Ossetia broke from Georgia in the early 1990s. It has been a constant source of friction between Georgia and Russia, which opposes Tbilisi's aspirations of joining NATO and has supported the separatists without recognizing their independence.

Russia backs the separatist government in South Ossetia and sent in tanks and troops on Friday in response to pro-Western Georgia's military offensive to take back the province which broke away in the early 1990s after a separatist war.

DW staff (sms)


  1. Ironic eh? We have barely quit re-fighting the Viet Nam War and will now re-fight Kosovo. May even save us from having to re-fight Iraq. Whooda guessed.

  2. Indeed, the decision by the United States and Europe to recognize Kosovo may well have paved the way for Russia’s lightning-fast decision to send troops to back the separatists in South Ossetia. During one meeting on Kosovo in Brussels this year, Mr. Lavrov, the foreign minister, warned Ms. Rice and European diplomats that if they recognized Kosovo, they would be setting a precedent for South Ossetia and other breakaway provinces.

    For the Bush administration, the choice now becomes whether backing Georgia — which, more than any other former Soviet republic has allied with the United States — on the South Ossetia issue is worth alienating Russia at a time when getting Russia’s help to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions is at the top of the United States’ foreign policy agenda.

    One United Nations diplomat joked on Saturday that “if someone went to the Russians and said, ‘OK, Kosovo for Iran,’ we’d have a deal.”

    That might be hyperbole, but there is a growing feeling among some officials in the Bush administration that perhaps the United States cannot have it all, and may have to choose its priorities, particularly when it comes to Russia.

    The Bush administration’s strong support for Georgia — including the training of Georgia’s military and arms support — came, in part, as a reward for its support of the United States in Iraq. The United States has held Georgia up as a beacon of democracy in the former Soviet Union; it was supposed to be an example to other former Soviet republics of the benefits of tilting to the West.

    But that, along with America and Europe’s actions on Kosovo, left Russia feeling threatened, encircled and more convinced that it had to take aggressive measures to restore its power, dignity and influence in a region it considers its strategic back yard, foreign policy experts said.

    Russia’s emerging aggressiveness is now also timed with America’s preoccupation with Iraq and Afghanistan, and the looming confrontation with Iran. These counterbalancing considerations mean that Moscow is in the driver’s seat, administration officials acknowledged.

    “We’ve placed ourselves in a position that globally we don’t have the wherewithal to do anything,” Mr. Friedman of Stratfor said. “One would think under those circumstances, we’d shut up.”

    One senior administration official, when told of that quote, laughed. “Well, maybe we’re learning to shut up now,” he said. He asked that his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.

    Pretty true. Russia’s loss of status as Serbia’s protector over the invading Muslims in Kosovo still burns them mightily. The US would have likely found the Russians far more cooperative on pipelines, Iran, border disputes, Venezuela arms, and E Europe if we hadn’t disregarded G. H. Bush’s warning to remain away from kicking them when they were temporily weaken and down, to avoid rubbing Russian noses in it. We ignored Bush I’s advice, even Reagan’s desires that we treat Russia with respect and friendship - beginning in the mid-90s, when Republican neocons and some Clintonistas with lips planted on China’s ass - went for every way to screw Russia they could…

    Now with the 3rd strongest support of it’s people of any major nation (54%), China is tops at 86% approval…(US only has 18% approval of it’s government policies) - A resurgent, energy-exporting Russia has a the confidence, the money, and firm backing of it’s people to seek little payback for the Origarchs, neocons, and USA Cold War hawks in mind.

  3. This site:
    Eurasia Daily Monitor
    Linked by Lugh Lampfhota was doing a heck of a job of keeping readers informed.


    August 7

    "The strategic political goal is to dissuade NATO from approving a membership action plan (MAP) for Georgia at the alliance’s December 2008 or April 2009 meetings. More immediately, Moscow seeks to derail the North Atlantic Council’s assessment visit to Georgia, scheduled for September, or at least to influence the visit’s assessment about Georgia’s eligibility for a MAP. Since NATO’s “Russia-Firsters” insist that unresolved conflicts disqualify Georgia from a MAP, Russia seeks to demonstrate that those conflicts are indeed unresolved. NATO’s failure to approve a Georgian MAP at the April 2008 summit emboldened Russia to escalate military operations against Georgia."


    Putin, Aug 9

    "I think that it has become absolutely clear in Georgia, in Russia and in the entire world that the aspirations of the Georgian leadership to join the NATO is dictated not by the willingness to become a part of the global system of international security and make its contribution to strengthening of international peace, but this aspiration is dictated by other reason – by an attempt to involve other countries and other peoples in its bloody adventures"

    Putin - Georgia’s S.Ossetia Move Blow to its Statehood

  4. Who are the "Russia Firsters?"

  5. It's comforting to know Obama gained an intimate appreciation for War and Strife, having grown up down the street from Pearl Harbor.

    Obama - One Bomb Hit Pearl Harbor - Video
    (He also warns of the "threat of environmental degradation" no doubt a subtle reminder that he will bring about a receding of the waters)

    "Throughout our history, America's confronted constantly evolving danger, from the oppression of an empire, to the lawlessness of the frontier, from the bomb that fell on Pearl Harbor, to the threat of nuclear annihilation. Americans have adapted to the threats posed by an ever-changing world."

    Aaah yes – "the bomb that fell on Pearl Harbor." Who can forget that? It was the big one, the one that took out all those boats. I guess Obama's political correctness prevents him from noting someone actually dropped "the bomb" and it didn't just fall.

    This is a surprising error for a Hawaii native (via the great Kansas heartland) to make. Perhaps Obama was merely confused, as he and his surrogates so often accuse John McCain of being.

    - Dean Barnett

  6. Reader's Digest Condensed Book, 106 comment thread at BC "Who's Winning in Georgia?"

    CPT. Charles:

    My summation:

    1.] The initial thrust through the Roki Tunnel was a crap-shoot. By the terrain maps provided, sending an armored column down a narrow valley only works if a.) one has sufficient space to redeploy to line of battle [a standard Soviet action…advance in column (speed), reconfigure to battalions-in-line (max firepower); or b.) your opponents are too busy shitting in their pants to take effective action. Based on reports, the Georgians chose c.) allow your enemies’ column to fully enter a preregistered ‘kill box’ and ‘fire for effect’. As to the commander of the 58th getting wacked, that’s easy: I was taught…kill anything with more than 2 radio antennas, they’re the leaders. Unless things have changed dramatically, an organized Russian attack force is death on treads. A leaderless Russian force is a mob going forward on inertia alone.

    As to the tunnel being open or not, that’s irrelevant. It’s a choke point; if the Georgians have indirect fire weapons within effective range, it’s a death trap. In either case the Georgians most likely have the GPS coordinates for the area in question. Without effective Air Defense assets [my No. 2 priority of things to kill…] the tunnel is still a death trap.

    2.] The Kodori Gorge. This is a secondary axis of attack. After looking at the Google map, this a second crap shoot. Will it work? Yes if, a.) the Georgians are stretched too thin to effectively block a thrust out of the gorge. b.)The Russians have sufficient air assets to break any defensive line the Georgians put up. Without a.) AND b.), it’s a bigger death trap than the Roki tunnel mouth. I sincerely hope the Georgians have GPS coords on key points of the gorge.

    3.] The Black Sea gambit. Purpose: economic isolation. The Georgian navy isn’t much look at, but they do have Exocet and C802 anti-ship missiles at their disposal. The Russians ignore the fact at their peril. Secondary effect: further dispersal of their defensive elements; the Georgian army can’t be everywhere at once. Besides, if the Russians do an amphibious assault, their pretense of ‘defense of Russian nationals’ will be laid bare. Besides, activating that option means 1.] & 2.] above are a total bust.

    4.] Strategic bombers and Scuds? If true, this Russia over-playing it’s hand. Bringing that level of weapons systems to bear will change the geopolitical dynamic, considerably.

    So then, what can we do? Nothing…that would be a fatal mistake. NATO: don’t make me laugh. With the exception of France, the majority of the major players are prisoners to their pipelines…from the east. The UN? Bwahahahahahaha. You must kidding.

    What would I do? 1.] Send Putin a message: cease all military activity, or else. 2.] If that doesn’t work (give it 6-12 hours), send 3 B-2s in the dark of the night. 2 to Kodori Gorge and JDAM the road going to Georgia, 1 to Roki Tunnel and leave a present: 6 GBU-28’s. Two into the tunnel and other 4 onto tunnel mouth. Now for the riskiest part: drop 1 brigade of the 82nd into Georgia athwart the Abkhazia border and double down on Putin. If you have to send a message, you might as well make it unmistakable.

    Putin may ambitious, cunning and ruthless, but stupid he ain’t. He’ll stomp on little Georgia ’till the sun comes up, but going toe-to-toe with the US? Like I said, he ain’t stupid. Besides, it’s long past time to send a message to our friends, and our enemies. Might as well be now.
    Aug 9, 2008 - 11:14 pm

  7. Maybe the Georgian invasion will wake enough Americans up and end the messianic fantasy.

  8. from the BBC...
    ""This is hell, it's a disaster, but we have to fight to the end because Russia must be taught a lesson that it cannot act like this in the 21st Century - even if we all have to die."
    Some were also angry that Georgia's Western allies - particularly the United States - hadn't intervened more strongly.
    "Many people can't understand why the West failed to protect us," said Sandro, a student in Tbilisi.
    "America was seen as an ally, and Georgian soldiers have been dying in Iraq in the interests of global security. But the West has shown that it doesn't care about Russia invading other countries."
    "All they did was express 'concerns' while bombs were falling on us," added Shalva, his friend."

  9. The reach, to blame Obama for the failures of Team43, in dealing with Russia, is comical.

    If Obama said anything as detailed as Maverick has, he'd be raked over the coals, for acting like a presumptuve President. Just as ocurred when he gave a bland speach in Germany.

    No, duece, the play here is not on how Obama would spin, this one is still smack in the middle of Team43's plate.

    Does the US stand with its ally, or let them twist in the wind, that decision is not Obama's to make, or even much comment upon, in public, before the Decider sets a course.

  10. DR, you are correct. It is team 43's watch and watch we will. For the record, what do you recommend?

  11. I'd be with the Capt, use some B2 strikes, send in the 82nd.

    We sponsored Georgia to NATO, we should act as if they were members.

  12. Provide Georgia with CAP and superiority and pump up the pressure on the Russians.

  13. There really isn't much that can be done. A Ceaderford noted we are a tad bit preoccupied in Iraq and Afghanistan topped with a generous helping of Iran. Most Americans don't know, or care, squat for Georgia (ain't there a lot of neeegroos there and they can't play on the Masters course?) And Condi's cries of violating a Sovereign nation, pretty laughable given our recent behavior.

  14. I invite the McCain campaign or anyone else to freely use the photo montage "Sometimes Hope Is Not Enough"

  15. Ash. Neeegroos? You need to get out more.

  16. Pres. Bush declines to slap Misty May-Treanor's bikinied butt

    Bush wisely chose instead to brush his hand across the small of May-Treanor's back. (See photo.)


    That did, however, lead to a hilarious Reuters photo caption and immediate correction (hat tip to Mike Allen's Saturday Playbook).

    Original photo caption: “U.S. President George W. Bush playfully pats the backside of U.S. Women's Beach Volleyball team player Misty May-Treanor (L) at her invitation while visiting the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Grounds at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China, August 9, 2008. Team mate Kerri Walsh (R) watches.”

    Corrected caption, eight minutes later: “ATTENTION EDITORS - CAPTION CLARIFICATION U.S. President George W. Bush playfully pats the back of U.S. Women's Beach Volleyball team player Misty May-Treanor (L) at her invitation while visiting the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Grounds at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China, August 9, 2008. Teammate Kerri Walsh (R) watches.”

    That English language can be tricky, can't it? "Back" and "backside" are so similar but seem to have completely different connotations.

    -- Andrew Malcolm

  17. In this case, the NYT is right.

    The Chinese DATT was in a doubly good mood yesterday. Beaming about the Olympics - and we having found ourselves in a bad spot.



    Take a page for Hungry 1956 and the Russian playbook...

    Show the world the inept quality of Russia arms again (syria over lebenon 1983)

    This is a time for actual action...

    Throw Russia out of the G8 and make it the G7 again... If the euro's dont have the balls (after all they would freeze this winter) then again, HIT the Russians where it hurts, their proxies....

    hezbollah, syria & iran are perfect targets...

    hit them now and hard...

  19. There won't be any B-2's, or 82nd Airborne. Whatever the Deal is: it's been made.

    Probably just S. Ossettia, and Abkhazia. If Putin double-crosses us and goes for the pipeline he'll just have to take it. Seems doubtful, though.

    We'll be selling a lot more planes, etc. to Poland, Ukraine, and the other ex's.

  20. "This is hell, it's a disaster, but we have to fight to the end because Russia must be taught a lesson that it cannot act like this in the 21st Century - even if we all have to die."

    These idiots will learn very quickly what time it is -- time to die.

  21. It was foolish to have sponsored Georgia into Nato. Nato should be a membership of states that have a solid national position and standing.

    It is premature to allow countries with longstanding claims and counterclaims on neighboring territories to be full members.

    The folly of the concept is apparent in Georgia.

    Nato was formed when Europe and the US had a common enemy and a common threat. Membership was clearly based on an obvious political demarcation. That demarcation started to blur with the reunification of East and West Germany. Where Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic were natural participants, East Germany was not. East Germany was always a potential fifth column in Nato.

    The myth that Russia had somehow changed and could be integrated into the west was another folly.

    We talked it but did not believe it. No, we cannot be sending the 82nd into Georgia. That would destroy the village to save it. We can do no more than provide assistance to Georgia to defend itself. That assistance can be substantial. We can go no further than the countries of Poland, Hungary and France are willing to go.

    That is the reality.

  22. Maybe we should allow the Russians to be the "occupier" for a while...

    Long supply lines, through mountain roads and tunnels...

    I wonder what would happen to Russia if they start getting whacked by ied's, stinger missiles and whack a mole?

  23. WIO, look at a terrain map and you will see why yours and Fellow peacekeeper's ideas are good ones.

  24. "I wonder what would happen to Russia if they start getting whacked by ied's, stinger missiles and whack a mole?"

    Nothing will happen to Russia. It's what will happen to Georgia that you should be asking. There will be no more Georgia. Georgians have a very poor reputation in Russia. Russians see Georgians as gangsters and bandits. My experience is not much different. There will be compunction in completely erasing Georgia.

  25. There will be ^no compunction in completely erasing Georgia.

  26. I think, by far, the most interesting development is the French Planes on the Teddy Roosevelt on their way to blockade Iran. Also, the Arc Royal being in the mix.

    BTW, guys, that is a Hell of an Armada going to the Gulf.

  27. Now is the time to to show the world the quality of Russian weapon systems...

    While they are showing off eating a tiny nation, let's watch their weapons systems in iran, lebanon and syria crumble like butter in the sun...

    Art of War RULE ONE...

    Never attack DIRECTLY

    Thus weaken their proxies...


    Now would be the perfect time to destroy Iran's nuke program, Hezbollah's 30,000 rockets Syria's tanks and new anti-aircraft systems

  28. So, . . You say: What is China getting out of all this?

    Funny you should ask.

  29. Nothing like a crisis in one of the world's numberless armpits to stir up the grandiose ambitions of the Sunday morning uninvolved.

    Parry-and-thrust has its uses.

    Now we're into some serious parrying time.

  30. Yep, you can pick up the Sunday morning fishwrap; or, you can head for the Bar for your info. I know which one I trust.

  31. "This is hell, it's a disaster, but we have to fight to the end because Russia must be taught a lesson that it cannot act like this in the 21st Century - even if we all have to die."

    Brave lad but not quite rational enough (THIS.IS.SPARTAAA!) Grievously, if left to invade unhindered the Russians will have little compunction in massacaring a large part of Georgia later, thats how they won Chechenya in the end. He's right enough in this though, if the Russians pull this off cheaply they'll do it again somewhere else sooner rather than later. There was a whole string of this kind of proxy/provoke/intervene stunt in the early 90's right up till the Chechens stopped it from being fun. When all is said and done, a million Chechens died to spare the world more than a decade of Russian molestation.

    From the US side, leaving a minor ally like Georgia to hang alone does not send a good message. A nasty business all round. But hey, look at the silver lining, arms manufacturers are sure to win.

  32. For what it's worth, it just don't look to me like the numbers are sufficient for much more than some serious "message sending."

    I think they stop with S. Ossetia, and Abkhanizia (or, how the hell ever you spell that shithole.) They'll blow up some other shit down South just to make themselves double-clear.

    What did the old boy in The Godfather say? Every ten years, or so, you've got to clean out the "Bad Blood?"

  33. "From the US side, leaving a minor ally like Georgia to hang alone does not send a good message."

    Oh, I don't imagine that's what's happening at all.

    Too be a fly on the wall at the US embassy in Tblisi and over at MOD...

    Man, that's the shit.

  34. My guess the Americans told the Georgians to fsck off, and rightly so.

  35. The BBC is reporting that the International airport in Tiblisi is being bombed.

  36. The impending blockade of Iran is, potentially, I think, a much bigger deal. We're talking almost 40% of the World's oil coming through the Straits of Hormuz.

  37. August 10, 2008
    Georgia Update, a Service of the Government of Georgia

    Timeline by 10th of August 12:20

    August 9 - 10, 2008

    11:15 The village of Shavshvebi between Gori and Kareli have been bombed by Russian aviation.

    08:45 Ten Russian jets attack Upper Abkhazia. One jet has been downed by Georgian Government troops.

    07:40 Russian jets bomb village of Urta in Zugdidi district.

    05:45 Russian jet entered Georgian airspace from Dagestan and dropped 3 Bombs on Tbilisi airplane factory.

    6,000 Russian troops enter Georgia through Roki tunnel overnight; 90 tanks; 150 Armored Personnel Carriers; 250 artillery gunships.

    4,000 Russian troops land at port of Ochamchire in Abkhazia, from Black Sea port of Sevastopol
    22:30 Russian air forces bombarded Chkhalta, administrative center of Upper Abkhazia. No Casualties reported.

    By 19:45 Tskhinvali is under ultimate control of Georgian Government troops.

    Russian Navy prevented Moldovan Cargo Ship Lotus - 1 carrying wheat from entering Poti Port. Lotus - 1 was forced to go back.

    16:35 Oni was bombarded by Russian aviation.

    16:15 Two Russian battleships are heading towards Poti port. By this time they are near Gudauta.

    16:05 Four Russian jets flew over Upper Abkazia.

    15:45 Abkhaz separatist leader Sergey Bagapsh announced the launch of bombardment of Upper Abkhazia.

    14:30 The Parliament approved ordinance of the Declaration on the State of War and full mobilization.

    14:00 Russian air force attack Upper Abkhazia (Kodori gorge) in several places, including the airdrome in the village of Omarishara.

    12:40 Kopitnari airdrome is bombed again.

    10:22 Russian air force continues to bomb Gori, located 60 kilometers northwest from Tbilisi and is outside the conflict zone.

    10:20 One more Russian military airplane is shot down in Gori, located 60 kilometers northwest from Tbilisi and is outside the conflict zone. The pilot has been captured.

    10:00 Russian air force bomb Kopitnari airdrome in several kilometers from Kutaisi.

    The entire 58th Russian Army, located in the North Caucasus, enters the South Ossetia region. They are engaged in battle with the Georgian army in Tskhinvali, which is in the conflict zone and 92 kilometers northwest from Tbilisi.

    01:20 Gatchiani in the Gardabani districts was bombarded, which is 20 kilometers southeast of Tbilisi and outside the conflict zone and is also close to the BTC pipeline, but the pipeline is not damaged.

    01:00 Poti was bombarded a second time, which is located on the Black Sea coast, 260 kilometers west from Tbilisi, is outside the conflict zone and is a pure civilian target.

    00:34 Person calling himself “Armen” calls the 022 Patrol Police number and says a bomb is planted in President’s Residence. He also says the new President Administration and Ministry of Internal Affair buildings will soon be bombarded.

    00:20 Vaziani airfield is bombed again, which is 2-3 kilometers from Tbilisi International Airport and is located outside the conflict zone.

    00:17 Lightening bombs are dropped on Senaki military base, which is 213 kilometers west of Tbilisi and is outside the conflict zone. 1 serviceman and 5 reservists were reported killed. The railway station in Senaki is also bombed and eight are killed.

    00:12 Poti port, which is located on the Black Sea coast, 260 kilometers west from Tbilisi, is outside the conflict zone and is a pure civilian target, is bombed heavily.

  38. Buddy Larsen on Putin three years ago: "We're gettin' the band back together."

    You could not sell that at BC, though they're in our hair everywhere.

  39. The oil markets will go insane in the morning.

  40. Russia will pay for the war with the increased price of oil.

    Total personnel: 26,900
    Main battle tanks (T-72): 82
    Armoured personnel carriers: 139
    Combat aircraft (Su-25): Seven
    Heavy artillery pieces (including Grad rocket launchers): 95

    Total personnel: 641,000
    Main battle tanks (various): 6,717
    Armoured personnel carriers: 6,388
    Combat aircraft (various): 1,206
    Heavy artillery pieces (various): 7,550

    Source: Jane's Sentinel Country Risk Assessments

  42. time to start f*ckin up russia INSIDE russia...

    how many ethnic peoples to the russians control/occupy?

  43. I think Bro Mat will disagree, WIO!

  44. doug said...
    I think Bro Mat will disagree, WIO!

    I am sure he will

    But I think the way to fight the Bear is to poison his honey

    Russia is the world's largest country, spanning over 11 time zones...

    why not cause them to LOOK inward to keep their internal peace..

    This will cost them BILLIONS...

    the modern day empire of russia is an expansionist empire that has occupied so many different peoples lands (not unlike china as well)

    art of war teaches not to go head to head..

    now is the time to f&ck up Russia with some payback

    iran, syria and hezbollah need a boot up their asses and the weapons sold to them by russia needs to be destroyed...

    Israel has a track record of showing how over priced russian arms are and now would be a most excellent time to reaffirm the soviet (did i say soviet?) crap they call weapons..

    the games have already begun several years ago, we just have been sitting on the sidelines while russia and her proxies run up and down the field (killing US all the while)

  45. My first port at the new BC:

    Russian Imperialism = Roll back of Jihadism
    American Imperialism = Push forward of Jihadism

    I think that's something to consider, WiO.

  46. Rufus,
    Gazprom is slated to build a lot of the Turkmenistan/China Gas Pipelines!

  47. Got any Hash to go with that Port?

  48. I still remember my first Port.

  49. You wont like what I'm smoking. :)

  50. Some believe it's carcinogenic. :)

  51. "Russian Imperialism = Roll back of Jihadism"

    Trish can personally attest: This is not true.

  52. Maybe Trish can personally attest as to who supplied the Pakis with their nukes. Same with Iraq. Same with Iran. And why is it that Turkey has the largest conventional army in Europe.

  53. Bush started pushing Biofuels in 2001. Any questions?

  54. He certainly did not push very hard, rufus.

    If the US leaves the Georgians twisting in the wind, then NATO is done for, in Afghanistan.

    There will not be a nonUS Nato dime for their military expansion.

    If the US allows the Russian navy to blockade Georgian ports, that sends an even worse message.

    The idea that the Russians will be sisuaded if some stray dog Lebanese are killed, funny, too.

    Destroy the 58th Army, the Russians will stop and reconsider.

    That could be done from the air.

    That the US was foolish to sponsor Georgian to NATO, unimportant.
    We did it, foolish or not.

    Can we all spell Montyard?

  55. We produce over 250 Million Tons of Municipal Solid Waste in this Country. Companies like this will turn that into between 20 and 25 Billion Gallons of Ethanol.

    I love this.

    We'll advance you $3 Million. Forget the Three Million Just Build the Danged Plant!

  56. Which is not to say that the US will take any action of signifigance. No we will speak of the difficukies and leave those that supported US to their own devices.

    Which is typical of US.

    Mr. Saakashvili should have called Mr Diem or, maybe, the Son of Shah, for a character reference.

  57. Are we leaving Georgia?

    I missed that bulletin.

  58. Have the Russians left Georgia?

    Has their advance even stopped?

    Any guarentees that it will?

    While the Georgian Army fought shoulder to shoulder with US, in far away lands, where they had no reason to be there, but that we asked.

    But hey, what's a border but a line on a map, to Team43

  59. They've got many, many big Nukes, Rat. We don't attack them; they don't attack us.

  60. Bush, and Putin were arguing over the "Details" of the deal - Not over the invasion. I'm sure the Russians are going to break a few more eggs than we wanted.

  61. I was thinking and hoping like you that they'd stop @ (unspellable name), but from the line of Trucks on the front of the NY Times, I wonder how many eggs are in the cunthairs.

  62. Why do you mention the MOD, Trish?

  63. 'Rat,
    Didja ever read about the Court wrt Ramos and Campieon?

    They began by shedding doubt on the drug liar's story, then 7 months later just parroted what W and his lover Sutton wanted to hear.

  64. Why would there be action there?

  65. Yes, I'm an ignoramus, remember?

  66. Trish sometimes becomes so tired that she cannot continue.

  67. On the other hand, Doug, It IS Russia. They might just go to Tblisi (man, don't you just love the spelling on these names?)

    I kinda hope they do take the whole enchilada. That'll keep'em busy for awhile.

  68. Russian Ground Forces Assault Vital Georgian City

    Russian troops advanced on the city of Gori in central Georgia on Sunday night, for the first time directly assaulting a Georgian city with ground forces.

    Looks like a No-Kill Zone

  69. "Trish sometimes becomes so tired that she cannot continue."
    Poor Baby, maybe we EB'rs can buy you Dragon Dictate.

  70. Believe it or not, young people on computer threads are eager to help one another, sometimes even gifting rather extensive software projects.

    Poor Trish sometimes can't summon up the love to scribble a sentence or two.
    Post Menopause Blahs?

  71. Poor baby hasn't been the one yelling, "You and them fight!"

  72. 2164th: Maybe the Georgian invasion will wake enough Americans up and end the messianic fantasy.

    Right now McCain's vow to kick Russia out of the G8 (which he made BEFORE this invasion, to the snorts of the Obama team) looks pretty dang good.

  73. CPT. Charles:

    Thanks to all [I spent an hour+ condensing my thoughts…wordy is easy, terse is hard].

    Ic: I understand the risks, trust me on this one. I’m from a different era, the USSR was the primary foe and we studied hard; for me it was both professional and personal. My father escaped the DDR and I’m a first-generation American. I don’t hate the Russians, far from it…I pity them. By and large they’re fine people [if a little xenophobic…] in a beautiful, rich country with the ill fortune to be usually ruled either by thugs, madmen or fools. There have been bright lights in their past, but they’ve never lasted more than generation, if that long.

    That being said, the Russian Federation is now an enemy state and should be treated as such. My off the cuff solution was as minimal as possible, hence the B-2s. The 82nd was to be a line in the sand; alas the Russians are massing unmolested. Unfortunately, too many players are thinking talk will provide a solution; for the current situation talk is worthless. I have, I think, a good sense of the Russia we now face: it is an autocratic, aggressive state with a poorly glued on smiley face. I could go on for a good while with my opinions and analysis…but this isn’t the time, nor the place.

    Just know this: the coming decade will be one of challenge and peril. Poor choices will lead to disaster and darkness you can scarce imagine. Through my parents memories, I know how bad things can get; pray you don’t find out.

  74. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  75. If UK Dude only knew what's REALLY happening in/to CA!

    "Russians giving away passports?

    How successful do you think Mexica will be in California with giving away their passports?

    Do you think if Mexica then will invade California, people will run to Mexico for shelter?

    Interesting how conveniently people ignore facts if they are not in support of their theories.

  76. Thae sun finally broke out today.

    Yes it did.

    And the birds are well fed and watered.

  77. Big to small, they wait their turn.

  78. Not quite the way others describe it!

    Georgia attacked territory inhabited by ossetins. Ossetins don’t want to leave in georgian state. They declared it point blankly in the early 1990s. After 1992 conflict Russian troops were located there to keep peace and prevent fighting. It was done by UN decision. Russians kept peace there for 16 years.

    Now Georgians supplied and encouraged by US suddenly attacked South Ossetia. Georgians announced that there would be no fire from their side just several hours before attack! and then at night started to shell sleeping Ossetian city on the first day of Olympic games!

    They wiped out city almost completely, killed 2000 ossetins (mainly civilians in their houses) and forced 34000 to flee to Russia. Mind that the whole population of South Ossetia is just about 70000.

    Who is aggressor?

  79. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  80. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  81. I don't even want to scroll back to see what that's all about.

  82. "The Bush administration said Sunday that it would seek a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Russian military actions in Georgia. "
    That'll get her done!

  83. The Washington Post
    ...or Tbilisi Post?

    If you were running the largest newspaper in the capital city of the world's sole superpower, which foreign-policy issues would you select as your top priorities? The war in Iraq? Terrorism? Nuclear terrorism, something that could change the American way of life forever? Energy policy, which is already severely affecting many Americans' lives? If you don't like these, what about China, India, Iran, North Korea, the Middle East peace process or climate change?

    The Washington Post's answer to this question may surprise you: it's Georgia (the one ruled from Tbilisi, not Atlanta). In barely more than five months since the beginning of January, Lexis-Nexis shows that the Post's editorial pages have carried at least nineteen separate contributions focused on Georgia and its relations with Russia—almost one per week—if one combines editorials (seven) and opinion pieces (twelve).[1] The vast majority of these (but not all) have the same thesis: that Georgia, under grave threat from Russia, must be rescued by the United States, usually through accelerated membership in NATO and American pressure on weak-kneed Europeans.



  84. Didn't know they had Embeds!
    - Chaos reigns in Georgian rebel city after battle
    ""It's terrible. We don't know what's going on," one elderly woman told a Reuters reporter who entered the city with Russian troops.
    "I haven't seen anything like this in my whole life."

  85. You'll love this, Mat!
    American Support, Good or Bad?

    Yoni the Blogger

  86. ukdude at BC writes:

    Come on guys, you may have succumbed to all this CNN brainwashing but just take a look at the facts:

    1. Russians were present as peacekeepers in Ossetia over 15 years and kept the piece successfully.
    2. Ossetians voted to break away from Georgia.
    3. Georgians started the conflict this time having moved into Ossetia.
    4. Ossetians are fleeing to Russia, not to Georgia - and to draw some WWII parallels, nobody was fleeing to Germany when they invaded Europe but people were running in exactly the opposite direction.

    Russia is clearly not an agressor here, there is absolutely no evidence that Russians want to invade Georgia or any other country. And US really does not give a damn about Georgia, Ossetia or anybody - it is only a playing card to put some pressure on Russia.


    I happen to agree. This also ties in with what I wrote earlier regards US imperialism and Jiahd, to which Trish gave zero answers. US economic and geopolitical machinations seem to me to have been totally highjacked by Saudia and the oil mafia. The only ones that benefit from enmity between orthodox christian Moscow and orthodox christian Tbilisi are the Turks and the Jihadi world. Everything Tbilisi has, it got as a gift from Russia. If it wasn't for the Russians, there would be no Tbilisi and no Georgia. The Turks would have annihilated them all.

  87. Doug,

    Looks to me Yoni is starting to pick up on that equation I mentioned earlier.

  88. jeez I check out for a short time and the world goes to hell.

  89. It was all on your broad shoulders, al-Bob, and you failed us.
    Makes me consider again that "al" prefix.

  90. Not aiming this at the bar, but it's always amusing (did I say amusing, I meant annoying) to see the latest newly minted experts begin pontificating on every event like they'd even heard of or thought about the place even a week ago.

  91. Georgia's making its play to become our newest adoptee.

  92. Quite true, sinless.

    And we encouraged them. That is the real point of the matter, the credibility we gain or lose. Not the Georgians, except by luck of the draw.

    We made 'em Musketeers, one for all, all for one. They paid their dues. Now when the fat hits the fire the US heads for the nearest conference call.

    Talk about appeasing despots.

    While the Irans spout platitudes the Ruskies roll tanks, and we say we are to busy, in the sandbox, worried about what the Iranians may do in a few years.

    Where we've been on the Iranian border for six years, to the point we cannot do anything else.

    We shot down Russian pilots in Korea and Nam, rufus.
    Hit them with a few precision munitions, they'll stop their advance.

  93. They were flying under Korean, and VN flags, Rat - in Korean, and VN planes. Biggo Differencio.

  94. The Chinamen entered as Koreans?

  95. "Hit them with a few precision munitions, they'll stop their advance."
    As the Captain said, that Gorge is a Kill Zone.
    But fear not, Condumb and W(USS) are lobbying the UN w/vigor.

  96. Condumb is establishing a legacy of surrender around the Globe.

  97. I brought up Buddy's Dad @BC.
    He said he asked him how they kept climbing in those B-17s, knowing the odds.
    Dad said,
    "We figured we were already dead, after that, it was easy."

  98. Trish's Armpit:
    Since early 2000s visible positive developments have been observed in the economy of Georgia. In 2006 Georgia's real GDP growth rate reached 8.8%, making Georgia one of the fastest growing economies in Eastern Europe.[1] The World Bank dubbed Georgia "the number one economic reformer in the world" because it has in one year improved from rank 112th to 18th in terms of ease of doing business.[45]However, the country has high unemployment rate of 12.6% and has fairly low median income compared to European countries.

    IMF 2006 estimates place Georgia's nominal GDP at US$7.76 billion. Georgia's economy is becoming more devoted to services (now representing 54.8% of GDP), moving away from agricultural sector ( 17.7%).[1]

    The country has sizable hydropower resources.

    The 2006 ban on imports of Georgian wine to Russia, one of Georgia's biggest trading partners, and break of financial links was described by the IMF Mission as an "external shock",[46] In addition, Russia increased the price of gas for Georgia. This was followed by the spike in the Georgian lari's rate of inflation.[citation needed] The National Bank of Georgia stated that the inflation was mainly triggered by external reasons, including Russia’s economic embargo.[47] The Georgian authorities expected that the current account deficit the embargo would cause in 2007 would be financed by "higher foreign exchange proceeds generated by the large inflow of foreign direct investment" and an increase in tourist revenues.[48] The country has also maintained a solid credit in international market securities.[49]

    Georgia is becoming more integrated into the global trading network: its 2006 imports and exports account for 10% and 18% of GDP respectively.[1] Georgia's main imports are natural gas, oil products, machinery and parts, and transport equipment.
    The Russian Alkys banned import of quality Georgian Wine, the better to fry men's liver with bathtub juice.

  99. DOS talking points, Doug?

    Vee hav ways...

  100. buddy larsen:
    highly recommend this very brief piece, h/t instapundit. » Georgia on my

  101. We Helped In Iraq, Won't You Help Us Now?

    Good question. On the other hand, who wants to get in a shooting war with the Russians.

  102. No one, bob.

    Good men are paid to finesse this.

  103. Should have thought of that, bob, before we took 'em in.

    Or is the US just a fair weather ally?

  104. The United States, a fair weather friend, a summer time soldier, sunshine patriot.

  105. DR: The United States, a fair weather friend, a summer time soldier, sunshine patriot.

    For almost a hunnert years we've been going "Over There" to roll back the Hun, only to get told by our own allies, a generation or two after we save them, "Yankee go home". How about we just skip to the "Yankee go home" part without the D-Day/Belleau Wood/Hamburger Hill part.

  106. Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili seems to care less about these people than about asserting that they live in Georgian territory. Otherwise he would not on the night of 7-8 August have launched a massive artillery assault on the town of Tskhinvali, which has no purely military targets and whose residents, the Georgians say, lest we forget, are their own citizens. This is a blatant breach of international humanitarian law.

    Saakashvili seems to have Overplayed His Hand

  107. When Hitler rolled into the Czechoslovakia, he'd have rolled on out, if confronted. He was not.

    Here goes Putin, in the despot role. We have our own George Walker Bush cast in the Neville Chamberlain part.

    Putin has looked into Georges eyes, saw a easy mark. He's just been biding his time, 'til George was short.

  108. Iosef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili,aka Uncle Joe, was a Georgian.

    vili = must mean son, or son of

  109. As for me, I don't like the idea of getting in a shooting war with the Russians. If they had any sense they'd help us with Iran.

  110. "Or is the US just a fair weather ally?"
    Use em and discard them.
    The Compassionate Conservative, Christian Way.
    Mexican Patriots Ramos and Campeon know all too well.

  111. RWE:

    Folks the best thing we can do to respond to the Russians in Georgia is to get our own house in order.

    Consider: Russia, already a major oil exporter, has taken action to secure control over part of Venezuela’s oil, has influence over Iran’s oil due to being Lord Protector of that country in the UN and the source of nuclear expertise. Now Russia has cut off Georgia’s oil thoroughfare, perhaps temporarily, but they know they can reimpose it any time – and who knows what the conditions of the final settlement will be.

    Russia is trying to become its own OPEC, and is well on the way to succeeding.

    Against all this, Nancy Pelosi’s and Harry Reid’s desperate machinations to prevent access to the U.S.’s own untapped oil supplies have all of the significance of a child’s tea party with her doll collection as the guests – a tea party being given in Warsaw in August 1939.

    The best thing we can do to upset Russia’s plans is to get our affairs in order here at home. And if that means introducing the Democratic party leadership to some nice safe rubber rooms, that’s fine.
    To me their timing looks more than a little suspicious. Useful Idiots, indeed.

  112. Energy Outlook lookin better every day!
    We don't need our stinkin Oil!

  113. To late to do that with honor, Ms T. We've already let 'em into the Game. The Georgians have ante'd up.

    They chose our side and we cheered them on. Poor performance has consequences, just as good performance does.

    We should not have let them in, if we were not willing to go the distance, with them.

  114. Read wi"o", bob. He is not all wrong.

    The Russians have supplied the Iranians with the backbone of their nuclear technology. With their air defense.

    The Russians are joined at the hip with the Iranians. Want Iran to back down, bloody Vald's nose.

    wi"o" has it almost right, just 180 degrees off. Hit the 58th Army from the air and Abracadabra will see Baghdad '03 redux.

  115. Countries don't have "Friends." Countries have Interests.

    It's not in our Interest to get into a shooting war with the other Nuclear Power.

    The Great Game continues; played, this time, against the backdrop of Peak Oil.

  116. I should have said, "Another Major" Nuclear Power.

  117. Countries have allies, rufus, not friends.
    Without allies the US stands alone.

    Is that the legacy we leave for the future, Fortress America in a Global market?

    No, letting Russian aggression go unanswered is not in the US interest, not at all.

    Brushing back Russia, is.
    They are on pins and needles, in the Kremlin. With Putin telling them that he looked in George's eyes and saw his soul. He knows George is a pussywhipped frat boy with no hardcore.

  118. We're showin everybody how to win, 'Rat:
    "It's good for the world to have girls playing softball," he said. "And these women are going to show young girls how to win."

    Bush met with corporate sponsors of the U.S. Olympic team later in the day, then made his statement on Georgia before hustling to the Olympic basketball arena to catch the women's game between the U.S. and the Czech Republic.

  119. That was a Hell of a pitch in Yankee Stadium.
    (7 years ago)

  120. In highly contentious exchanges with his Russian counterpart Vitaly Churkin reminiscent of the Cold War, US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told the Council that Moscow was seeking "regime change" in Tbilisi and waging "a campaign of terror" in Georgia.

    I remember this Churkin from a Borah Symposium On Peace that we have every year. Was quite a while ago.

    Words At The UN

  121. Taliban Force Pakistani Troops From Tribal Area

    The pullback from an area where the Taliban and Al Qaeda have forged close ties came after the military launched an offensive there late last week.
    Hope we get some updates from the Softball Front.

  122. We've always stood alone, Rat (except when it was in someone's interest to help us.)

  123. Opinion be known, back when the Ruskis reinstituted the Bear bomber penetration exercises, if we had downed one or two ...
    Georgia would not have been invaded.

  124. As pappa rat would tell ya

    "Give 'em an inch, they'll take a mile"

  125. No, rufus. Coinciding national interests.

  126. Remember, Folks, it was Japan attacking us, and Germany's subsequent Declaration of War against us that got us into WWII.

    It was our decision to "fight Communism" that led to our entrance into Korea, and Vietnam.

    Gulf War I, and II was to "protect the oil."

    We didn't "go to war" with the Bear over Hungary, Czechoslavakia, or Finland. It just wasn't important enough to the Interests of the United States, (or Rufus.)

    It's all about Rufus, you know.

  127. No, rufus. Coinciding national interests.

    Ain't that a distinction without a difference?

  128. Time for a grain embargo.

    No, no, not that. Anything but the dreaded grain embargo.

  129. It's late and I'm trying, rufus.

  130. Boycott the International Spaace Stattion.
    Kick Russia out of the Olympics.
    Boycott caviar, and Russian mail order brides.

  131. This comment has been removed by the author.

  132. But you see, rufus, the analogy is not the Prauge Spring or the Hungarian Revolution, both were much different. If we are going into the past for Soviet analogies, Georgia is more akin to Cuba.

  133. The first rule of IR: Countries will act as if - AS IF - they're sovereign. Even and especially when you believe otherwise.

    Oh, the termerity.

  134. I don't see that we've got many cards to play, at least immediately.

  135. But then the US did not invade Cuba.

    We let the Communists have their American beachhead.

    The Russians have learned from our mistakes.

    Will we leave the Georgians like Kennedy abandoned Brigade 2506. Forward deployed but cut off from CAP and logistic support which were always integral to the success of the mission?

  136. "I'd like to congratulate the 16 nations involved in Sea Breeze 2008 on an extremely well planned and conducted exercise," said U.S. Navy Captain John Moore, Commodore of CTF-367 and Sea Breeze deputy commander. "Everyone participating in this exercise should be very proud of the level of interoperability and cooperation that was achieved among the sea, air and land components as well as among nations."

    "We completed the training we set out to accomplish, and we have strengthened the already strong partnerships among our countries," said Ukrainian Admiral Viktor Maksimov. "We look forward to next yearrâ?s exercise, and I personally invite everyone here back for Sea Breeze 2009!"

    Nations participating in this 11th anniversary of Exercise Sea Breeze include host country Ukraine as well Armenia, Azerbaijan, Canada, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

  137. "Boycott caviar, and Russian mail order brides."

    This time you go too far!
    Boycott al Bob!!

  138. No Bob, we're not playing this hand.

  139. Rufus,
    What do you think of RWE's assesdment of the coming situation wrt energy?

  140. Miriyan Gogolashvili, of Tkviav, said: “The Russians will be here tomorrow. They want to show us and the world how powerful they are. Tomorrow it will be Ukraine and nobody in the West is doing anything to stop them. Why were our soldiers in Kosovo and Iraq if we don’t get any help from the West now?” he asked.

    The Russians are the enemy of the entire world, he added.

  141. Why volunteer for duty, if, when the time comes. the cops won't come to your neighborhood? Just because the Gangs there are to powerful.

    It'd take the faith of our fathers to do the right thing and stand by our allies in the world, when the going could get tough.
    With today's leadership just the threat of a hard row to hoe sends US to a conference call.

  142. Doug, I didn't see it. If it involves a lot of Renewables I'm all for it. If it's a lot more drilling I'm sorta agnostic.

    I'm an Ethanol/Biodiesel Now guy; you know that.

  143. rufus has access to the production numbers but here is just an idea of how little Mr Bush has pushed.

    We know from our reading assignments that Sweet Sorghum is the premier bio-mass for ethanol production.

    Grain sorghum production, at 505 million bushels, was up 82 percent from 2006, thanks to favorable growing conditions throughout the major sorghum-producing region. Planted area totaled 7.72 million acres, up 18 percent from 2006. Harvested acreage, at 6.81 million acres, was up 38 percent. Nationwide, yields averaged 74.2 bushels per acre, with yield records set in Texas and Arkansas and tied in Kansas and Nebraska.

    If the US were to double sorghum acres with "Sweet" production, we'd have 550 million bushels of bio-mass, next year.

    How many distilleries we'd need, rufus can direct US, but that'd be really pushing ...

    It is a small amount of the total US farmland, why, just in king corn we had a 2007 U.S. corn crop that was one for the record books, with 13.1 billion bushels of production eclipsing the previous high, set in 2004, of 11.8 billion bushels, according to the Crop Production 2007 Summary ...

    Driven by favorable prices, growing ethanol demand and strong export sales, farmers in nearly all states increased their corn acreage in 2007. Planted area, at 93.6 million acres

  144. "Sorghum produces high yields, is naturally drought tolerant and can thrive in places that do not support corn and other food crops.

    Sorghum also fits into established production systems and is harvested the year it is planted, unlike perennial grasses, so it fits well in a crop mix with perennial species and existing crops, like cotton," said Rooney.

    A pioneer in developing high-biomass sorghum, Rooney's first breeding lines — the precursors to hybrids — can approach 20 feet under favorable conditions, he says, and could produce more than 2,000 gallons of ethanol per acre — more than four times the current starch-to-ethanol process.

    To accelerate product development, Ceres and TAES will work together to expand their marker-assisted breeding efforts. Markers allow plant breeders to identify useful traits in seed tissue or when plants are still seedlings. Large numbers of markers provide a roadmap of the sorghum genome, cutting years off development timelines for new products, and making it easier to improve the makeup of the plants to facilitate processing.

    "Markers and biotechnology will be crucial for developing sorghum for cellulosic biofuels," says Rooney.

    Mascia said Ceres has Texas-sized expectations for the collaboration. "When we combine their resources with our high-throughput trait development capabilities, we believe we can double the rate of improvement to biomass yields, while expanding the range of the crop for earlier planting in cooler and drier conditions, especially on so-called marginal or unproductive land," said Mascia.

    From October of 2007

    Ceres and Texas A&M to Develop and Market High-Biomass Sorghum for Biofuels
    linked here

  145. 2,000 gallons per acre
    44 gallons per barrel
    45 barrels per acre

    7 million acres

    315 million barrels, annually

    factor in the energy equivilence and it's still a bunch.

    That's an energy Manhatten Project that could be up and running, producing alternative fuels in 16 months.
    If it turns out to be unprofitable, the decision to subsidize it or let it fade away, can be made.

  146. Or you can bypass the oil mafia the imperialists the war profiteers by using electric cars powered on distributive renewable energy. Imagine that. No you can't, can you.

  147. On Slog to Safety, Seething at West
    It was the question of the day among exhausted Georgians: Where are the United States and NATO.

    “We killed as many of them as we could,” he said. “But where are our friends?”

    It was the question of the day. As Russian forces massed Sunday on two fronts, Georgians were heading south with whatever they could carry. When they met Western journalists, they all said the same thing: Where is the United States? When is NATO coming?

    Since the conflict began, Western leaders have worked frantically to broker a cease-fire. But for Georgians — so boisterously pro-American that Tbilisi, the capital, has a George W. Bush Street — diplomacy fell far short of what they expected.

  148. In India they have done ...

    Winslow also claimed sweet sorghum produces eight units of fuel for every unit of fuel used to make it in developing countries. Its energy efficiency ratio compares favourably with corn, which uses one and a half times as much energy in its production as it offers as an end product.

    Even in the United States, where mechanized production uses more fuel, sweet sorghum ethanol should still have four times the energy yield of corn-based ethanol, Winslow said. ICRISAT also claimed ethanol now being produced in India using sweet sorghum US$1.74 dollars a gallon, lower than US$2.19 for sugarcane and US$2.12 for corn.

    ICRISAT started producing ethanol from sweet sorghum at a plant in Andhra Pradesh, India last June. ICRISAT has also teamed up with Tata conglomerate to build an ethanol distillery capable of drawing 10,000 gallons of ethanol from locally grown sweet sorghum.

    In February, Tata Chemicals indicated plans to invest up to INR 500 million (US$12.7 million) on a biofuel pilot project that will draw up to 30 kilolitres (7,920 gallons) per day of ethanol from sweet sorghum at Nanded, Maharashtra. The new plant is expected to begin production in two years' time.

    So a $13 million USD distillery produces 180 barrels per day.
    65,700 per ammum
    Need 4,800 distilleries of that capacity.
    A $62.4 billion USD project.

    All up and running in five years.
    That's pushing bio-fuels.

  149. Great link on CERES, and Sorghum, Rat. CERES is the "real deal."

    We could replace oil in a heartbeat. Between Ag products like Sorghum, biomass (switchgrass, miscanthus, forestry waste,) municipal solid waste, etc. it would be like falling off a log. Nobody would even notice it happened.

    But, it will be tough, politically. The Sauds, and Exxons, are unbelievably rich; and, the Stakes are Enormous.

  150. The Mainis maintain they are not competition to major automakers now. But in five to 10 years time, when they say production of the Reva could run into millions of cars around the world, it could be a different matter.

    Indeed, they may face competition at home in India well before then.

    Ratan Tata, head of the Tata Group, said last month (July) that an electric version of the Tata Indica was a possibility during 2009.

    Reva Ready

  151. The important point is: We will be able to do it when we positively, absolutely have to. That's good to know. In the meantime, a lot of politics, and disinformation campaigns will get in the way. There will definitely be fits, and starts.

    The Price of Gas will, in the end, dictate.

  152. from Doug's post at BC--“We killed as many of them as we could,” he said. “But where are our friends?”

    It was the question of the day. As Russian forces massed Sunday on two fronts, Georgians were heading south with whatever they could carry. When they met Western journalists, they all said the same thing: Where is the United States? When is NATO coming?

    Since the conflict began, Western leaders have worked frantically to broker a cease-fire. But for Georgians — so boisterously pro-American that Tbilisi, the capital, has a George W. Bush Street — diplomacy fell far short of what they expected.

    Darned sad if you ask me. They'll see us as letting them down, when we hadn't really promised them anything.

  153. Have to handle the existing inventory, mat

    According to the US Bureau of Transit Statistics for 2006 there are 250,851,833 registered passenger vehicles in the US. Out of these roughly 251 million vehicles, 135,399,945 were classified as cars, while 99,124,775 were classified as "Other 2 axle, 4 tire vehicles," presumably SUVs and pick-up trucks. Yet another 6,649,337 were classified as vehicles with 2 axles and 6 tires and 2,169,670 were classified as "Truck, combination." There were approximately 6,686,147 motorcycles in the US in 2006.
    In the year 2001, the National Automobile Dealers Association conducted a study revealing the average age of vehicles in operation in the US. The study found that of vehicles in operation in the US, 38.3% were older than ten years, 22.3% were between seven and ten years old, 25.8% were between three and six years old and 13.5% were less than two years old. According to this study the majority of vehicles, 60.6%, of vehicles were older than seven years in 2001 ... ... In 2005 the overall median age for automobiles was 8.9 years ...

  154. Sure we promised them, bob

    With US or against US.
    The stood with US, the Russians stood solidly with Iran.

    We sponsored them for NATO, bob

    Lots of promises and reassurances that those giving never thought would be called upon.

    The only force powerful enough to stop the rise of tyranny and terror, and replace hatred with hope, is the force of human freedom...[and] America will stand with the allies of freedom to support democratic movements in the Middle East and beyond, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

    These words, delivered by President George W. Bush in his 2005 State of the Union address, drew cheers and applause.

    There is more than hust rhetoric, to the US committment to Georgia

    For a country that is slightly smaller than South Carolina, with only 4.6 million citizens, Georgia receives a staggering amount of military support from the United States.

    In 1997 Georgia received its first FMF grant of $700,000. In 1998, Washington increased FMF more than 7 times over, granting $5.3 million in aid. Since those first years, Georgia has received a total of $107.7 million in FMF grants.[138] The Bush administration requested an additional $12 million in the 2006 budget.[139]

    Additionally, Georgia has been a recipient of International Military Education and Training funds since 1994. Between 1996 and 2001, the IMET aid hovered around $300,000 to just over $400,000 per year. And then, in 2002 the funding almost doubled to $889,000.[140] In 2003, the funding increased another 33% to $1.2 million—similar amounts were granted in 2004 and 2005.[141] The Congressional request for $1.2 million in FY 2006 represents an almost 2,000% increase in IMET aid since 1996.[142]

    Both Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited Georgia in 2004, pledging continued U.S. support to the country.[143]
    American soldiers are also training Georgian "rapid response" forces to protect the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline from terrorist attacks.[152] Construction on the pipeline through Georgia is near completion and will connect the Mediterranean with the Caspian oil fields, which hold the world’s third largest oil and gas reserves. This will serve a number of geopolitical interests-- Georgia will be less dependent on Russian oil and the U.S. will be able to lessen its reliance on Middle Eastern oil.

  155. USAID has provided over $1 billion in humanitarian and development aid to Georgia since assistance began in 1992. The objectives in Georgia are focused on building democracy, promoting regional stability,and fostering economic growth and health services. In the next four years, USAID programs aim to foster new attitudes and values that encourage citizens to be responsible and accountable for their country. The four long-term objectives in the country center on: economic growth, energy sector reform, democracy and governance, and social and health services development.

  156. "Have to handle the existing inventory, mat"

    The existing inventory can be eliminated as fast as you can mass produce them electric cars. The electric cars are that much of a better value proposition in terms of overall cost of operating them. All you need is the infrastructure to extend the battery range. Right now you're looking at 150km round trip on a charge. And that will quickly improve when the market is established to support greater R&D into battery technology.

  157. Yup, it seems from your list Rat we did do more than I was aware of. But they never got into NATO, vetoed by the Germans I read somethere today. Germany bowing to Russian pressure so to keep the gas flowing? At any rate they've gained the stability of a Russian occupation force. So now the call should go out for sanctions against Iran, Russia, maybe China too, for good measure, for what they've done to Tibet. Sanctions all around.

  158. When will that be, mat?
    Date certain please.

    Until then I need liquid fuel in my vehicles. So do all my friends, neighbors and business associates.

    We cannot replace 250 million units with something future prospects and hope.

    In 2007, a total of 71.9 million new automobiles were sold worldwide: 22.9 million in Europe, 21.4 million in Asia-Pacific, 19.4 million in North America, 4.4 million in Latin America, 2.4 million in the Middle East and 1.4 million in Africa.

    In the US. let's use 20 million units per year production. Take twelve years to replace the existing fleet. While today there is no production facility of machine parts ready to install in a factory, not enough R&D, yet.

    Add three years for that.
    Best case scenario is a fifteen year transition. If we all agreed to go electric, tomorrow. Which is not going to happen.
    The cars are to small.

  159. In Israel, where signifigent tax benefits were provided for hybrid vehicles, sales have been slow.

    The Electric infrastructure project projects 10,000 cars sold per year, the hybrids sell about 1,200 units, if memory serves.

  160. I already gave you the dates, dRat. Nissan is retooling a new plant just for this, to the tune of a billion dollars. 2010 will see limited release. 2011 is when full mass production begins.

  161. "In Israel, where signifigent tax benefits were provided for hybrid vehicles, sales have been slow."

    Israel is not a rich country. Most families do not own cars. Cars are very expensive in Israel. In real terms, a car in Israel costs 4-5 times what it costs in the US. To give you an idea of how expensive cars are in Israel, the cheapest car costs $40,000. For $100,000 a young couple can buy a 2 bedroom 70m^2 apartment.

    I think where PBP (Project Better Place) gets it right, is that they basically provide their car for free. All you pay is the millage on the car. And I think this will work even in Israel.

  162. 100,000 units. 200,000 max from a new auto plant.

    1% of the need.

    It took the Chinese, workong hand in glove with the Japs seven years to build a production facility capable of less than 4% of the US market.

    So we need 25 of those Nissan plants, to break ground and begin construction tomorrow, to get to 20 million units per year, in seven years.

    Best case scenario now is a 22 year transition.

    GUANGZHOU, China, September 19, 2006 – Guangzhou Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. (GHAC) began production at its second automobile plant, the new ZengCheng plant in Guangzhou City, Guangdong province. With an annual production capacity of 120,000 units the new plant increases Guangzhou Honda’s total production capacity to 360,000 units.
    GHAC began production in March 1999, delivering Honda’s latest models with world-class quality to Chinese customers, opening a new era in the Chinese automobile market. Since then, the production capacity has grown steadily with the growth of the Chinese market, and with the startup of the new ZengCheng plant, the total production capacity of GHAC has increased to 360,000 units.

  163. "So we need 25 of those Nissan plants"

    I think you will have those. Mercedes is already signaling they want in. But I think you will be lagging Israel and Europe by at least 5-10 years. This is because your domestic car manufacturers, in terms of management and vision, are extremely deficient. So yeah, 20 years for the US, what others will have accomplish in 10.

  164. Mat's now a full-blooded Canuck w/proper anti-US attitude.

  165. Hey, Mat.
    Some Joo was on Miller w/a scheme to have battery replacement infrastructure in place first.
    Drive 100 miles, stop in for fillup, switch battery packs. home, you can charge your own.

  166. Thot he was w/Nissan too.
    He gave some dollar figure for the manufacturing and infrastructure for X numbers of cars.
    Came up with some doable number in Billions, maybe I can find it.
    Probly a pipe dream, of course.

  167. Iraq Private Sector Falters; Rolls of Government Soar

    The number of Iraqi government employees has nearly doubled since 2005, while private businesses have failed to flourish.
    Why work?
    Free Oil Money, compliments of Uncle Sugar!

  168. I could pull a Trish and ask Dennis who?

    but, yes.

  169. Doug,

    I'm about to repost this on BC:

    The ones most to benefit from enmity between orthodox christian Moscow and orthodox christian Tbilisi are the Turks and the Jihadi world. Everything Tbilisi has, it got as a gift from Russia. If it wasn't for the Russians, there would be no Tbilisi and no Georgia. The muslim Turks would have annihilated them all. Looking at the latest premeditated provocation by that US installed stooge and complete moron Saakashvili, I see just another sad example where US economic and geopolitical machinations have been completely highjacked by the Saudis and the oil mafia. Fred, that's the real connection to Kosovo.

    Your critique?

  170. Better Place Better Place
    ● In March 2008, Denmark demonstrated its continued global leadership in environmental policy by committing to an electric recharge grid of its own. DONG (Danish Oil & Natural Gas) Energy company has partnered with Better Place and Renault-Nissan to power electric vehicles with unstored electricity from wind turbines. For the press release, click here.

    ● Renault-Nissan is already developing the first line of battery-powered electric cars for Better Place, and other auto makers are soon to follow. For the press release, click here.

    ● In January 2008, Israel became the first nation in the world to declare a plan for oil independence by 2020. Partnering with Better Place and Renault-Nissan, Israel has committed to widespread deployment of an electric recharge grid to power electric vehicles by 2011. Renewable energy will be supplied through Israel’s growing solar power sector. For the press release, click here.

    ● In March 2008, Denmark demonstrated its continued global leadership in environmental policy by committing to an electric recharge grid of its own. DONG (Danish Oil & Natural Gas) Energy company has partnered with Better Place and Renault-Nissan to power electric vehicles with unstored electricity from wind turbines. For the press release, click here.

    ● Renault-Nissan is already developing the first line of battery-powered electric cars for Better Place, and other auto makers are soon to follow. For the press release, click here.

    ● In January 2008, Israel became the first nation in the world to declare a plan for oil independence by 2020. Partnering with Better Place and Renault-Nissan, Israel has committed to widespread deployment of an electric recharge grid to power electric vehicles by 2011. Renewable energy will be supplied through Israel’s growing solar power sector. For the press release, click here.

  171. Their economy was in the Tank before they got things reformed and joined the World Business Community.

    Larsen says that Gal reporter that got eliminated was investigating phoney 1998, 99 Russian cover story for THEIR dirty deeds.

  172. If you do not remove him from your roll, I will stop posting here.

  173. Maybe we can then read you at BC.

  174. Oh, no, wait. Don't tell me.

    It was my mention of the Chinese DATT at 10:21.