So I decided last week to fulfill a promise I made to my wife when I finished writing my book, and to take a vacation with her without bringing my laptop along. While the Amalfi Coast was a nice break from it all, I couldn't help wishing a few times that I had time to sneak away to an Internet cafe to say:
Sochi 2014: Hurrah! There will be those who will scrunch their noses and complain that awarding the Olympics to Russia right now is rewarding Putin and Putinism. I'm usually among the Kremlin's critics, but let's put the politics aside for a while and recognize that Russia has come a very long way since the last time it hosted a Games (the 1980 summer version, which was boycotted by much of the West because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan) and that this is a nice way of recognizing it. Plus, Sochi's a beautiful spot, and Russians who are beginning to once more feel isolated from the rest of the world needed this far more than the Austrians or South Koreans needed another boost to their national egos.
The Lobster Summit: What a crock. The only reason Bush was able to keep smiling while Putin drove another nail in his missile-defense plan was that he wasn't yet understanding that Vladimir Vladimirovich was saying (he won't until Condi explains it to him later). I can't help but wondering if some KGB frogman put that poor fish on Putin's hook.
Proof of a Russian attack on Georgia: This story, by Marc Champion in the Wall Street Journal, likely went unnoticed by many since it was published on America's July 4 holiday. But it's very important and deeply disturbing. Effectively, the United Nations has determined that Russian attack helicopters took part in a March 11 assault on Georgia's Kodori Gorge. While it was made to look like an attack by Abkhaz separatists, the UN has determined that a Russian missile, fired from a helicopter, struck a Georgian government building during the fighting. As Champion points out, not only does it bring back dark memories of the early 1990s, when Russian forces aided separatist forces in Georgia and other former Soviet republics, it suggests problems ahead in Kosovo. Russia's strategy to get the West to back down on the issue of Kosovo's independence has been to link the future of Serbia's restless ethnic Albanian province with that of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the two Russian-backed separatist enclaves in Georgia, as well as Transdniestr in Moldova.
mosnews.com: Anyone know where it went?