Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Interesting doings in the the (former Soviet) Republic of Georgia. The newly elected Georgian president was denied entry into the semi-autonomous region of Ajaria. It’s basically a power struggle between the Ajarian leader and the Georgian president, who aren’t particularly on friendly terms.

What I found interesting was that, as the BBC noted, The Russian government, meanwhile, has involved itself and warned Georgia not to use force against Ajaria. First off, why is the Russian government meddling in Georgian domestic affairs? (American leftists think only Washington does this sort of thing).

This is ironic for two reasons. First, the Putin government in Moscow recently brushed off international criticism of the conduct of Sunday’s presidential election and the preceding campaign. They don’t like foreigners interfering in their internal affairs.

The other irony, quite obviously, is that Russia is using a great deal of force in some semi-autonomous place called Chechnya. Again, Moscow resists international calls for restraint in Chechnya telling the world (especially the European Union) to mind its own damn business. But Putin has no problem sticking his nose in Georgian politics.

France and Rwanda have been trading accusations. First, French authorities have accused then rebel leader (now Rwandan president) Paul Kagame of ordering the shooting down of the plane carrying the then Rwandan and Burundian leaders in 1994. This event was the pretext the Rwandan regime’s extremists were looking for as an excuse to implement their pre-planned genocide that eventually killed at least 800,000 people. Kagame denied the accusation and accused France of ‘direct involvement’ in the genocide.

Kagame told Radio France Internationale, “They [the French] trained the genociders. They were in positions of authority over the armed forces who committed the genocide. They also participated directly in the operations: by infiltrating roadblocks to identify people by their ethnicity, in punishing Tutsis in favor of Hutus. All this was done in plain site, at the roadblocks. We have everything on video, numerous proofs of French participation. Not the Frenchpeople, but certain elements who were acting on the order of the government and who managed roadblocks during the genocide.”

Strong stuff. Unfortunately, plausible too, considering the close relations between Paris and its client regime in Rwanda and considering the military operation the French launched to help the genociders escape to then-Zaire.

I was listening to a piece on NPR on the 50th anniversary of Edward R. Murrow’s famous See It Now show taking on Sen. Joseph McCarthy. What was most interesting, and powerful, about the show is that it consisted not of Murrow attacking the senator from Wisconsin, but almost entirely of footage of McCarthy’s own words. Rather than editoralizing, Murrow gave McCarthy enough noose to hang himself. He let McCarthy speak for himself and the viewers could draw the obvious conclusion. One extract was McCarthy saying in 1950 that the fight against communism was a bipartisan fight and that America needed two strong parties. That was followed by him saying in 1954 that one party, the Democrats, was being treasonous in the anti-communist struggle. When I heard McCarthy making these last comments, I understood why Ann Coulter (author of Treason : Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism) considers him such a wonderful role model.

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