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bush_jintao

From the breitbart.com article:
Relations between Washington and Beijing are improving and they will need to work together in the face of the global economic slowdown, state media said in a commentary early Thursday.

The editorial did not comment specifically on what it expected from US president-elect Barack Obama, although it did note the 30th anniversary of ties coincided with the first year of his administration.

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A map of civilizations, based on Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations". Bright red = Japanese, dark red = Sinic, orange = Hindu, green = Islamic, medium-light blue = Orthodox, dark blue = Western, purple = Latin American, brown = African. Other colors (light green, yellow, turquoise) indicate mixed civilizations or perhaps attempts to found civilizations.

 

 

A map of civilizations, based on Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations". Bright red = Japanese, dark red = Sinic, orange = Hindu, green = Islamic, medium-light blue = Orthodox, dark blue = Western, purple = Latin American, brown = African. Other colors (light green, yellow, turquoise) indicate mixed civilizations or perhaps attempts to found civilizations. -wikipedia

 

 

From the wsj.com article:
The last of Samuel Huntington’s books — “Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity,” published four years ago — may have been his most passionate work. It was like that with the celebrated Harvard political scientist, who died last week at 81. He was a man of diffidence and reserve, yet he was always caught up in the political storms of recent decades.

“This book is shaped by my own identities as a patriot and a scholar,” he wrote. “As a patriot I am deeply concerned about the unity and strength of my country as a society based on liberty, equality, law and individual rights.” Huntington lived the life of his choice, neither seeking controversies, nor ducking them. “Who Are We?” had the signature of this great scholar — the bold, sweeping assertions sustained by exacting details, and the engagement with the issues of the time.

He wrote in that book of the “American Creed,” and of its erosion among the elites. Its key elements — the English language, Christianity, religious commitment, English concepts of the rule of law, the responsibility of rulers, and the rights of individuals — he said are derived from the “distinct Anglo-Protestant culture of the founding settlers of America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.”

Critics who branded the book as a work of undisguised nativism missed an essential point. Huntington observed that his was an “argument for the importance of Anglo-Protestant culture, not for the importance of Anglo-Protestant people.” The success of this great republic, he said, had hitherto depended on the willingness of generations of Americans to honor the creed of the founding settlers and to shed their old affinities. But that willingness was being battered by globalization and multiculturalism, and by new waves of immigrants with no deep attachments to America’s national identity. “The Stars and Stripes were at half-mast,” he wrote in “Who Are We?”, “and other flags flew higher on the flagpole of American identities.”

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More on Samuel Huntington here.

From the rushlimbaugh.com article:
RUSH: Here’s a story, this is on the New York Times blog today.  “Obama to Take Oath on Same Bible as Lincoln.”  This is by Katherine Q. “Kit” Seelye.  “Barack Obama will be sworn into office with the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used for his first inauguration in 1861. The move further extends the parallels that [The Messiah] has drawn with Lincoln since he announced his candidacy for president in February 2007 in Springfield, Ill. 

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From the reuters.com article:

A test launch of Russia’s new submarine-based missile Bulava has failed, Interfax news agency said on Tuesday, quoting a source in the military-industrial complex.

Russia plans next year to equip some of its nuclear-powered submarines with Bulava, capable of carrying up to 10 warheads to the distances of up to 8,000 km (5,000 miles). However, about half of the test launches have failed.

The source told Interfax that Bulava deviated from its course soon after being launched from the Dmitry Donskoi submarine, which belongs to the Northern Fleet based in the Arctic port of Severomorsk.

The military wants Bulava to become the workhorse of Russia’s missile forces, with the ground-based Topol-M replacing aging Soviet-era rockets.

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From the breitbart.com article:
Russia would come under crippling financial pressure and may need to raise money externally if oil languishes at an average of $30 a barrel over the next two years, the World Bank predicted Friday.

The bleak scenario would mark a rapid unraveling of Russia’s oil-fueled economic gains over the past eight years, during which time the government has paid down most of its foreign debt and built up a vast stockpile of international reserves.

The World Bank currently forecasts an average oil price of $75 a barrel over the next two years, said Bogetic.

Among emerging markets, Russia has been one of the hardest hit by the global financial crisis and plunging oil prices, the mainstay of the Russian economy. These factors have put the national currency under intense strain and triggered massive stock market losses and capital outflows from the country.

Russia, which grew at over 8 percent last year, is facing a severe slowdown in growth, and possibly even recession next year, analysts say. Torrid figures released earlier this week showed that industrial output had plunged 10.8 percent in November from the previous month, signaling a dramatic slowdown in the final quarter.

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From the news.yahoo.com article:
A Russian anti-submarine destroyer and two logistical warships are entering waters off Cuba in a nonmilitary visit that’s the first of its kind since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Admiral Chabanenko vessel is unfurling black plumes of smoke as it chugs toward Havana Bay, flanked by two smaller boats.

Closer to shore, a barge that routinely ferries food from the United States to the communist-run island is apparently moving to make room for the Russian boats. Washington’s trade embargo allows direct sale of U.S. agricultural products to Cuba.

The Russian ships plan to moor on Friday in Havana in a show of increased cooperation between the two countries, though Cuba’s government is not commenting.

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From the news.yahoo.com article:
Russian authorities arrested Sunday at least 150 people taking part in opposition demonstrations in Moscow and St Petersburg organised by former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, police said.

Police spokesmen said about 90 people were detained in Moscow and 60 in St Petersburg for attempting to take part in unauthorised demonstrations.

Hundreds of anti-riot police packed Triumfalnaya Square in central Moscow — surrounding it with trucks and metal barriers — to stop the rally from going ahead. Dozens of people were detained and forced into police buses, AFP reporters said.

Kasparov and other activists had planned the “Dissenters’ March” a day after they launched a new opposition group, Solidarity, and vowed to “dismantle” the regime of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Kasparov and his allies called the rally to protest against what they call the undemocratic policies of President Dmitry Medvedev and Putin. But Moscow city authorities had refused them permission, officially because other demonstrations were already planned in Triumfalnaya Square.

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Thanks to Aesthetic Traditionalist for pointing out this article.

From the news.yahoo.com article:
Russian warships have been plying the waters off Venezuela and Panama in recent weeks and are now heading for Cuba, but U.S. officials are not so much wringing their hands as yawning.

Asked about a Russian warship transiting the Panama Canal earlier this month, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — who saw the ship while crossing the canal last week — told The Associated Press: “I guess they’re on R&R. It’s fine.”

The Pentagon, while puzzled by the Russians’ actions, also is taking a ho-hum attitude. The U.S. military commander for the region, Adm. James Stavridis, head of the U.S. Southern Command, said that from his vantage point, there is no reason to be concerned about the Russian naval activity.

“They pose no military threat to the U.S.,” Stavridis said in an e-mail to the AP on Tuesday.

Under the gaze of the U.S. Southern Command, Russian ships this fall held joint exercises with the navy of Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Chavez, is a fierce U.S. critic.

Navy Rear Adm. Tom Meek, the deputy director for security and intelligence at Southern Command, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that he sees little chance of Russia teaming up with Venezuela in a militarily meaningful way.

“I don’t think that Russia and Venezuela are really serious about putting together a military coalition that would give them any kind of aggregate military capability to oppose anybody,” Meek said. “Frankly, the maneuvers they conducted down here were so basic and rudimentary that they did not amount to anything, in my opinion.”

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has made no effort to hide his irritation at what he considers American arrogance.

“God forbid from engaging in any kind of controversy in the American continent,” he said, referring to his Blackjack bombers flying to Venezuela for a training exercise. “This is considered the ‘holiest of the holy,'” he said during a meeting with Western political scholars at his Black Sea residence in Sochi. “And they drive ships with weapons to a place just 10 kilometers from where we’re at? Is this normal? Is this an equitable move?”

The joint naval exercises with Venezuela were Russia’s way of “demonstrating to the U.S. that it has a foothold in a region traditionally dominated by the U.S.,” said analyst Anna Gilmour at Jane’s Intelligence Review.

Still, she and many Russian analysts say Moscow’s deployments of warships are largely for show.

Russia’s navy is a shadow of its Soviet-era force, having suffered from a serious lack of investment since the 1991 Soviet collapse. Many ships and submarines have rusted away at their berths, and deadly accidents occur regularly.

Read the article here.

Diplomacide: “I sure hope this is not a display of hubris on the part of the Americans.”

From the breitbart.com article:
Russia said on Monday it was sending a group of warships to Soviet-era ally Cuba in its latest defiant naval move around US waters, part of a drive to revive old Cold War ties with Latin America.

The warships will visit Havana on December 19-23, the navy said, continuing a tour that has already taken in US foes Venezuela and Nicaragua and seen the ships pass through the Panama Canal for the first time since World War II.

“This will be the first visit to Cuba by Russian warships since the Soviet era,” the Russian naval headquarters said in a statement.

The destroyer Admiral Chabanenko and two other ships already held exercises with Venezuela’s navy in the Caribbean Sea last month.

The naval manoeuvres close to US waters are seen as a riposte to Washington’s own moves in Russia’s Soviet-era sphere of influence, including in the Black Sea.

US officials have said they see no military threat from Russia’s naval manoeuvres but continue to keep a close eye on the situation.

Despite the growing Russian assertiveness, defence experts have said Russia’s navy remains severely weakened following years of post-Soviet neglect.

That impression was reinforced by the inadvertent fatal poisoning last month of 20 people aboard a Russian nuclear-powered submarine that was undergoing tests off the Pacific coast.

Read the article here.

moneyburn

From the reuters.com article:

President-elect Barack Obama’s team is considering a plan to boost the recession-hit U.S. economy that could be far larger than previous estimates and might reach $1 trillion over two years, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Obama aides, who were considering a half-trillion dollar package two weeks ago, now consider $600 billion over two years “a very low-end estimate,” the newspaper said, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter.

The final size of the stimulus was expected to be significantly higher, possibly between $700 billion and $1 trillion over that period, it said, given the deteriorating state of the U.S. economy.

Read the article here.

Diplomacide Mothballed

Diplomacide has been mothballed.
December 2008
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