Wednesday, May 23, 2007

From Russia with Nashis:

Well, I must say I'm pleasantly surprised to see that the British government hasn't swept the Litvinenko Polonium 210 killing under the rug. I figured for sure the British government wouldn't want to get the Russian bear all worked up and risk getting their oil and natural gas cut off.

Yesterday, British prosecutors accused former KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi of killing Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko last November. Naturally, the Russians have reacted very badly to the accusations and vowed to resist a British extradition request. For his part, Lugovoi denied that he killed Litvinenko by dropping Polonium 210 into his tea, saying the charged against him are politically motivated.

As much as the Brits might want to paper this over, they can't just ignore the fact that a foreign agent assassinated someone in the heart of London while also managing to spread radio active material all over the city, exposing over 700 Brits to radiation poisoning and another 670 people outside of England. (Not too subtle those KGB types.)

The AP quotes a former US intelligence officer saying that the Lugovoi prosecution is "Foolish." Bob Ayers says, "Russia is becoming a monopoly when it comes to energy supplies in Europe, and the last thing you want to do is jeopardize that supply." I like how these spooks stick together, but the problem is that Vladimir Putin's Russian is rapidly turning into a fascist nation which not only crushes internal dissent with thuggish tactics, but also sends assassins abroad to knock off its opponents.

Letting him and his goon squads get away with this sort of thing for fear of the spigot being turned off would be an admission of weakness and the worst example of British appeasement since Neville Chamberlin flew into Munich.

Of course, as Peter Hitchens writes in The Daily Mail, what exactly can the UK do about it?:

"It is a new experience for Britain, so long herself a feared power who could behave much as she wished, to be the weaker party in such a quarrel, and with no great hope of getting stronger.
We are, in my view, being warned crudely and bluntly that in future we must treat Moscow with respect, in the street-gangster sense of the word."

And I don't suppose we should be worried about the fact that Vlad has started up his own little army of Brown shirts, called the Nashis, (rhymes with?), who storm around Russia beating up people who don't like Vlad and haranguing the British ambassador on a regular basis. Nashi means "our thing" but has nothing to do with the Mafia. As Vlad told Romano Prodi once, "The word Mafia was born in Italy, not Russia." [Raw Story]

Recently the Nashis turned their ire towards Estonia for moving a statue of a Russian "liberator" a few feet down the road. NEWSWEEK reports that the Nashis shut down a highway out of Russia into Estonia and disrupted a press conference by the Estonian ambassador "retreating only after her body guards sprayed them with pepper gas." The paramilitary Nashis: "Now claim 15,000 ranking members and 100,000 supporters," NEWSWEEK reports. Sergei Markov, one of the main members of the Nashis says, "The idea was to create an ideology based on a total devotion to the president and his course." Hmmm. . . Where have I heard that before?

Are you getting the impression that Vlad isn't giving up power any time soon?

"Two weeks ago," Owen Matthews and Anna Nemtsova write, "in the city of Sosnovy Bor, on the Estonian border, Nashi volunteers visited local schools to show a film titled 'Lessons in Courage.' It opens with footage of a vast Nashi meeting of young people wearing identical white T shirts with a big red star. Next came shots of Putin juxtaposed with photos of a noble-looking wolf, followed by images of rats. 'Putin is a lonely wolf surrounded by rats, [a ranking member of the group Nikolai] Panchenko told the school kids. 'Russia has become too corrupt. It is time to change things, time for stronger leaders -- like us.'"

Rats, huh? Who used to use images of rats in his their propaganda? Oh right, that was Goebbels, who used rats to depict the Jews. But not to worry, we don't want to do anything foolish like challenge Vlad's new 21st century Reich. As long as he's playing ball on the Iran thing and just cutting off oil to old Europe, we've got nothing to be concerned about. Oh, but there is this: Niklai Panchenko also says:

"It's time to put an end to America's being the strongest and most influential empire."

And as a little post script, here:

As I write Vlad is railing against the new US plan to put anti-missile missile batteries (that, by the way, don't work) in Eastern Europe to protect the US against Iran and North Korea. (What?)
Condi Rice says we can talk to the Russians about this, but "I don't think anyone expects the United States to permit somehow a veto on American security interests." I don't think anyone expects the US to just go around the world telling everyone to shut up or put, either, but I'm just thinking what Vlad must be thinking of Condi these days. I seem to remember him saying something about African culture that wasn't exactly very enlightened, yet totally characteristic of the man.

"We all know that African countries used to have a tradition of eating their own adversaries." [The Sun]


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