So what do I read in this morning's Financial Times online, but that old well-trained KGB agent, Vladimir Putin, falling back on his training and telling us, in essence, what has happened in Georgia. Here are his "accusations" -
"Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister, on Thursday accused the US of provoking the conflict between Russia and Georgia, in the latest sign of escalating tensions between Moscow and Washington. The Bush administration dismissed his comments as 'ludicrous'.
" 'Why . . . seek a difficult compromise solution in the peacekeeping process?' asked Mr Putin in an interview on CNN. 'It is easier to arm one of the sides and provoke it into killing another side. And the job is done . . . '
"In an apparent allusion to John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, who has taken a tough line on Russia, Mr Putin said: 'The suspicion arises that someone in the US especially created this conflict with the aim of making the situation more tense and creating a competitive advantage for one of the candidates fighting for the post of US president.' He added, in a reference to the presence of 130 US military advisers in Georgia: 'The American side in effect armed and trained the Georgian army.' "
So substitute Russia for the US, South Ossetia for Georgia, and Medvedev for McCain and one has a clear statement of what Russia actually did.
- Russia arms and trains the South Ossetian militia.
- The South Ossetian militia provokes the Georgians into attacking.
- One motivation was to create nationalist support for Medvedev as the new Russian President
- Georgia stupidly attacks.
- Russian executes in trap and crushes them with its well-planned and well-prepared trap.
Hmm ... perhaps CNN is reverting to its old form, too, in parroting the Russian line.
Good up move yesterday in US stocks. MBI speculation began working well as its long term prospects for doing municipal bond insurance business got a boost.
Lousy numbers out of DELL after hours. DELL is losing business on both sides - from HP and from Macs - so has to cut prices. Like Starbucks, another 1990s star is having has trouble.
PS: In the memory department, recall that in late 2007 superbeefer Goldman, Sach's chief economist, Jan Hatzius, predicted a recession in Q2 and Q3 of the US for 2008. Uh ... GDP grew at 3.3% in Q2 2008. I guess he was wrong, by a mile. I don't suppose he'll be admitting error.
Words of the Day
"Votive" - adjective [$10]
Votive means offered or consecrated in fulfillment of a vow.
"Votary" - noun [$10] (usually followed by "of")
Votary means 1. a person vowed to the service of God or a god or cult; 2. a devoted follower, adherent, or advocate of a person, system, occupation, etc.
1. Will Obama's fervent supporters continue sending him their votive contributions in sufficient size to fund his propaganda campaign ?
2. The new Demigod spoke to his votaries last evening with his gigantic image in a classical Roman setting. I was reminded of the recently discovered, giant marble statue of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. The adoration of the human-gods is back in vogue.