Tuesday, March 6, 2007



Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dracula frees pedophiles

What's the link between good old count Dracula and pedophilia? In Romania, the country which gave the famous pop-cult figure with sharp teeth, an American pedophile was released from jail after serving half of his term for writing a book about..Dracula.
According to the law, the convict Kurt Treptow was entitled to his early release because his writing counted as work in prison.
And contributes to promoting some more "Dracula-turism" in Romania.. hopefully without underage victims..

Monday, February 26, 2007

two little davids against mighty russia

The small Baltic country Lithuania is teaming up with Poland in veto-ing an EU-Russia agreement that needs to be signed by the end of this year. Their request - to include tougher clauses on energy relations, so that politicized interruptions in gas and oil supplying are excluded in the future.
Russia refuses to sign an EU Energy Charta which would allow its energy market to open up to foreign investors. More so, Russian foreign minister Serghei Lavrov said EU's new energy policy (developed by another Balte - the Latvian Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs) imposes "unacceptable" mechanisms for transit and investment. The key to the stalemate is of course Germany, who heads the EU presidency for this first half of 2007 and who has to keep the thin line between its own national interest (the direct pipeline being built from Russia under the Baltic Sea) and the EU interest - less dependency on Gazprom and the oil-pipeline Druzhba. The Poles and Lithuanians already have been imposed sanctions by the Kremlin, so Germany has to use its bigger negotiating power to obtain some compromise from Mr. Putin.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"Pelosi's America exists. It's called Europe"

Yeah, for y'all Pelosi fans out there: just take a closer look to the gloomy economy in Western Europe, where welfare, social security, free health care are the rule.
Paul Belien, the editor of "Brussels Journal" wrote in the yesterday's Washington Times:

"Those who think that Europe is America's past, think again.Europe matters to America. It matters more than ever before. Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy and the liberal special-interest groups that currently dominate Congress want to reshape America in Europe's image: socialist, secularist and multicultural.
Americans who want to know what their country will be like 20 years from now if it follows the path its politicians want it to take, need only look at Europe.

First there was the rise of the welfare state, which led to the steady emergence of highly taxed, slow-moving and maladaptive economies that must support growing and eventually unsupportable demands by the citizens.
Second, there was secularism. People who have the state taking care of them from the cradle to the grave no longer need God. The welfare state also intentionally undermined religion to crush the spirit of freedom among its subjects. And it undermined demographics, because people who do not believe in God do not believe in the future and see children as a burden.
Third, a wholly new danger emerged, namely that of welfare immigration -- the immigration of people, increasingly from cultures which have not been shaped by the basic forces of European civilization, who come purely for the purpose of claiming benefits."

The amazing EU report on the CIA prisons

Aren't they lovely, the European Members of Parliament? Or should I say "EUROCIALISTS"? They just adopted a report on alleged secret CIA prisons in Europe, based on no facts, no proofs, just media reports and allegations. But hey, in Strasbourg, France, the home country of anti-Americanism, who cares about real evidence?
The author of the report, an Italian Socialist by the name of Giovanni Fava said that "We must be vigilant that what has been happening in the past five years may never happen again". No, indeed. Instead of secret renditions, we prefer terrorist attacks and plots. They're much safer, really.
Luckily there were some common-sensed people, but unfortunately not in majority. Here the statement of center-right MEP Jas Gavronski (also Italian):
"The EPP-ED Group today...could not support the final report...because of its lack of any proof to sustain the allegations of wrongdoing by Member States. It is disheartening, however, to see that speculations and loose assumptions have been allowed to fill the void where the facts should have been stated."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

crazy politics in new europe

Seems like as soon as they join the EU, Eastern European countries go crazy. Best example: Romania.
Just a one-month old member, the former communist country has put off any reforms and good practices and started an unbelievable campaign against its flagship-reformers.
Most recent case: a Parliament's resolution requesting the resignation of the Justice Minister. The only minister who got European and US-wide recognition for her bold reforms in a corrupt and politicized justice-system is now being accused of "lacking a reform strategy" and engaging in "political police". Obviously, Mrs. Macovei has upset some local oligarchs who think that since Romania is in the EU, corruption is no longer an issue and should be quietly overlooked.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Putin, el Principe

Vladimir Putin has once more proved to be the quintessential "Prince", in Machiavellian reading. First, he fired some acid remarks at the Munich Security conference, accusing the US for having "overstepped its borders in all spheres - economic, political and humanitarian, and imposed itself on other states." According to the (mildly said) authoritarian Russian president, the US has gone "from one conflict to another without achieving a fully-fledged solution to any of them".

His rhetorics were mainly aimed as an image-boost before his current visit to the Middle East. Coincidentally this visit took place just in US-allied countries: Saudia Arabia, Jordan and Qatar.

It's a power-game, of course. And on the rising anti-American wave, Putin hopes to acquire even more power through his oil and gas-deals. Smart move, Prince.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bob Gates tough on NATO

This week, Bob Gates was in Munich at the Security Conference, where he hold a pretty tough speech on NATO unity and strength. Here some excerpts:

"The distinction I would draw is a very practical one - a “realist’s“ view perhaps: It is between Alliance members who do all they can to fulfill collective commitments, and those who do not.
NATO is not a “paper membership,“ or a “social club,“ or a “talk shop.“ It is a military alliance - one with very serious real world obligations. "

There cannot be any doubt: The world needs a vibrant and muscular transatlantic alliance. The cooperation between our countries must continue and it must deepen. We will need to work hard at it. And we are working hard together in the Balkans, in Afghanistan, and, many of us, in Iraq.

As we face these challenges as rich and powerful democracies, it is worth recalling the words of a leader of a fledgling and weak alliance of disparate provinces with:

  • Disrupted economies;
  • Differing issues and goals;
  • Diverse allegiances;
  • Mutual suspicion;
  • An army comprised of soldiers often with parochial loyalties, and lacking in equipment and training; and
  • With but one strong ally.
George Washington reminded his countrymen - and us - that “Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.“ These should be our watchwords going forward: “Perseverance“ and “spirit.“ And, I should add - “unity.“

Thursday, February 8, 2007

EU's small steps towards Ukraine

If only the EU finally woke up. But no, one small step at the time. Meanwhile, Russia is moving much quicker in getting back the Soviet-style influence and domination upon countries like Ukraine.

During his visit to Berlin, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said that he has no doubts that one day his country will join the EU. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country holds the EU's rotating Presidency, said she endorses a close cooperation agreement with Ukraine and when this will be implemented "we'll see how we will go further".
Is it so hard to say "yes, one day you will join, but you first have to meet all the criteria"?
At least NATO should move faster. On Saturday,Yushchenko is to attend the Conference on Security Policy in Munich. He is expected to meet with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. And to be given a perspective for his country to join NATO.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Go Sarkozy!

French Interior Minister and presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy defended "Charlie Hebdo", a French weekly sued for publishing the (in)famous Mohammad cartoons. "I prefer too many caricatures to an absence of caricature" said Sarkozy in a letter read out by "Charlie Hebdo's" lawyer in the Paris court where the case is being heard.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

soros funds EU common foreign policy

Great news for the Euro-federalists. Liberal finance-guru George Soros announced on Saturday in Davos that he's planning on spending between $450 and $500 million on civil society projects this year. His new projects aim to promote a "common European foreign policy" and also to study the integration of Muslims in eleven European cities.

It's still a mystery how this common foreign policy will look like, with 27 different member states - the old ones prominently anti-American and fond of Russia, as opposed to most of the new EU members from Eastern Europe.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

georgia and the soviet nukes

Remember last week when Georgia announced it arrested a Russian who tried to sell weapons-grade uranium to Georgian government agents?
Well, there's an encouraging follow-up to that.
Yesterday, Georgia and the US have signed an agreement to cooperate in the fight against the smuggling of nuclear and radioactive materials.
Under the accord, the US will provide Georgian experts with equipment and training to help combat nuclear smuggling.
Let's see how Moscow will react to that.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Why NATO isn't working properly

When even the NATO Secretary General admits it publicly, why further pretend that the Alliance is working properly? With countries like France or Belgium who fear the "American influence" more than the Muslim terrorists or the energy and political dependency on Russia - where is the EU heading?

"Some deliberately want to keep NATO and the EU at a distance from one another. For this school of thought, a closer relationship between NATO and the EU means excessive influence for the USA. I do not share European instinctive fears about undue influence of the USA in European affairs anyhow. Europe is sufficiently self-aware – and they know it in Washington too," Jaap De Hoop Scheffer.


Just a little reminder..who are the 5 permanent members (with veto-right) in the UN Security Council?
Ok, now what are the chances of the UN to REALLY take some measures against Iran's obvious nuclear activities? That's right. Zero. Russia, for instance, announced to be interested in a "a gas OPEC". Putin's statement came just days after Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei publicly called on a visiting Kremlin official to establish a group of natural-gas producers similar to OPEC. Russia and Iran are the world's largest and second-largest holders of gas reserves. All clear?

good ol' chirac

Hmm...remember France? and all the jokes about their consistency and courage during wartime? This is not a joke. This is for real.

Speaking to the New York Times, IHT and Nouvel Observateur journalists, monsieur Chirac said this: "Having one [atomic bomb], maybe a second one a little later, well, that's not very dangerous. Where will [Iran] drop it, this bomb? On Israel? It would not have gone 200 meters into the atmosphere before Tehran would be razed to the ground." His aides quickly realized their man had committed the gaffe of saying what everyone thought he really believed, and so left out those passages from an official interview transcript. The journalists also got a return call from the president on Tuesday, in which he noted that "I should have paid better attention to what I was saying and understood that perhaps I was on the record."

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 2, 2007, page A18.