Saturday, May 19, 2007

21st Century Aggression

Apparently Russia attacked Estonia early this month. Or more precisely, multiple waves of coordinated, sophisticted attacks were launched on Estonia's internet services. The story is only now coming out and in the process I learn that Estonia is one of the most internet enabled nations in the world. For that reason, the attacks are serious.

Estonia and Russia have no shortage of bad blood between them. Centuries of bad blood, which successive Russian and Soviet regimes have generated, along with a few years of Nazi occupation or liberation, depending on one's national perspectives. All suspicions turn toward Russia, whose governmental IP addresses figure prominently in the attacks. The Russian government denies involvement, claiming hackers appropriated public IP addresses as cover. The Estonians are suspicious; they accuse the Russian authorities of non-cooperation and failing to assist in the investigation.

Russians probably aren't too bereaved about the attacks on Estonia. In fact, Russian chauvinists consider Estonia part of Great Russia. Many other Russians believe Estonians are dishonoring Russian sacrifices to liberate Estonia from the Nazis. Russia, like the United States, has a sense of destiny and prerogative. Estonia is their neighborhood. It would not surprise me if the attackers are the Russian equivalent of American wingnuts, taking action where they believe the government has failed.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin can say, "Shocked. I'm shocked."


I orginially titled this piece "The 21st Century War" but as I wrote, I discovered that this hostility lacks the blood, destruction and body parts which I consider the definition of war. This attack does not require the direct taking of human life. So it's not war. It's serious business and can cause great losses but it's not war. Regardless, the world is likely to see more of these attacks as it becomes ever more dependent on information systems.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Can You Get Any More Cynical?

John McCain, quoted in a NYT article about the way candidates avoid their own histories:
Others have been haunted by their legislative history. Mr. McCain has been attacked over the McCain-Feingold law by a host of Republicans, including Mr. Romney, during both candidates’ debates.

In an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News last month, Mr. McCain characterized campaign finance as a Beltway issue.

“Outside of Washington, I never have anybody stand up and talk about McCain-Feingold,” he said. “There’s nobody who ever does.” Himself included.


John McCain is no longer St. John McCain in Unsolicited Opinion. He is no longer the annointed media candidate, the man of straigtht talk and candor. McCain has become instead a slavish panderer. Those of us who have known him throughout his career in Arizona are not surprised. That's the John we've always seen. What surprised us was his media dieification in 2000. The years since have seen McCain returning to his familiar ways. Now he's an also-ran.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

When You Really Need to Say Occupation

The new US embassy in Baghdad sends a clear message to Iraq: We plan to stay.

Labels: ,

Czar Agrees with Rez Dog

Check it out! CheneyBush's new War Czar Agrees with my plan for American policy in Iraq. Almost prophetically, Mimus highlighted my plan in the Best of The Medley just the other day so you may have even read my humble offering. Here's what the new czar, Lt Gen. Douglas Lute, said last year:

...[T]he military wanted "to see a smaller, lighter, less prominent U.S. force structure in Iraq," both to undercut the perception of occupation and to prevent what he called "dependency syndrome" -- the notion that U.S. forces will do what is necessary and therefore local forces do not need to step up.

Ultimately, he said, Iraqis need to forge a political solution. "Our purpose is not fundamentally to draw down U.S. forces, but rather to produce a durable, reasonable solution in Iraq," Lute said. "And that absolutely hinges on the ability of the Shia, apparently the simple majority Shia, to produce a compromise solution that is inclusive of the other two major parties, the Sunni and the Kurds."

Nothing short of inclusive compromise among the Iraqi factions will end the violence. Certainly more violence is not the answer.

It's way cool to have my ideas recognized at the highest levels of government. Of course, this is a government run by CheneyBush's political mafia, so common sense may only take Gen. Lute so far. I will simply echo retired Marine General Jack Sheehan:
"I wish the guy luck, he's got his work cut out for him."

Labels: ,

Yolanda King

Yolanda King, daughter of Martin Luther King, died yesterday. No doubt God needed to balance the karma of the afterlife on the day Jerry Falwell died.


Jerry Falwell

Yesterday I was looking at the Whole Wheat Radio chat. For some reason, the part of tdiscussion was about Jerry Falwell and someone commented that he was sorry about something. I piped in that he was just a sorry individual. Later, I learned that he had just died and regretted my comment. As sorry an individual as he was, Falwell was a human being who was loved by his family and, I am sure, loved in return. I also learned via, skippy, that I violated the Thurman Munson rule of improve, which is never to make fun of someone on the day they die. I'm not an improv performer but I can see giving the newly deceased and his family a moment of peace in their sorrow

So now Falwell's been dead for over 24 hours, I can resume my normal perspective: Falwell was a bigot, a small minded individual and hateful. The world is no better for his life or even his passing. He institutionalized his hatred so that others may carry it on even as they claim to follow the Prince of Peace. If you need evidence, Timothy Noah has neatly catalogued Falwell's litany of hate and distortion at Slate.

Bring your own barf bag.

Labels: ,

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Blogiversary

Mimus Pauly at Mockingbird's Medley is celebrating the third anniversary of his blog. Not only is Mimus a thoughtful, articulate blogger, he had the perspicacity to invite yours truly, among others, to join The Medley as a co-blogger. I have enjoyed the opportunity to post there and to read contributions by my fellow co-bloggers, BadTux the Snarky Penguin, The CultureGhost, Michael Hawkins, Rainbow Demon, Scorpio and skippy the bush kangaroo who, of course, is known for coining the phrases "blogtopia" and "blogiversary".

As part of the celebration, Mimus is posting the "Best of The Medley" this week, including his own "I'm Not A Clinically Insane Bastid, But I Play One On the Internets..." as well as highlighting some of the contributors' posts.

Three years of blogging is hard. Many blogs don't last but Mimus has shown he can continue to offer ideas and opinions in a very penetrating manner. If you look through his archives, you can even learn how a print shop works.

Congratulations, Mimus, and thanks.