Friday, March 28, 2003

In the gutter in Russia
WARNING: this is brutal, hardcore, stuff, definitely rated NC-17. I was on this American-made site from Russia and happened to see the link.

I don't know who/what to hate more: Mark Ames and tourists like him, the мамочки, pimps and others running the Russian sex trade or the conditions in Russia that cause this.

But it reminds me of something I wrote here another day, learnt from Mark Bonocore: that in Catholic and Orthodox societies you have extremes, incredible holiness and incredible evil, in the same society, while Protestant cultures flatten this out into mediocrity.

Из церковного календаря: По словам И. Шмелева, утвердит, что рядом с "окаянною Русью" (даже в одной душе), всегда стояла и Русь молитвенно домогавшаяся ко Господу и достигавшая его лицезрения ... Россия жила, росла и цвела, потому что Святая Русь вела несвятую Русь, обузывала и учила окаянную Русь, воспитывала в людях те качества и доблести, которые были необходимы для создания великой России. "Научись, Россия, веровать в Правящего судьбами мира Бога Вседержителя и учись у твоих святых предков вере, мудрости и мужеству!" - Св. Иоанн Кронштадтский

(In the words of I. Shmelyov, it confirms that along with 'damned Russia' - and even in the same soul - there always stood a Russia that sought the Lord in prayer and attained the vision of His countenance ... Russia lived, grew and flourished because Holy Russia carried unholy Russia along with it, restrained and taught damned Russia, nurtured in the people valour and those qualities essential for the formation of a great Russia. 'O Russia! Learn to believe in Almighty God, who governs the fate of the world, and from your holy ancestors learn faith, wisdom and courage!' - St John of Kronstadt)

From Russian Catholic friend
His comment on these stories: It is a lot easier to start a war than to end one. Please connect the dots, and pray. Kyrie, eleison.

CNN: Red China readies for future US fight
by Willy Wo-Lap Lam

US-Cuba tension mounts

Russia vs. US
MOSCOW (AP) - Reflecting a new chill between Moscow and Washington,
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov accused the United States on Wednesday
of trying to destroy Iraq and waging what he dubbed an information war
against Russia.

Ivanov also supported the proposal of some legislators to put off
ratification of a pivotal U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control treaty, saying
the war in Iraq could fuel unfair criticism of the pact.

``Maybe now is not the right moment psychologically to bring this document up
for ratification,'' Ivanov said. ``If we wait for some time, and concentrate
all our efforts on ending the war ... then at a more quiet moment we can
quickly deal with this issue.''

The treaty, signed in May by Russian President Vladimir Putin and President
Bush, calls on both nations to cut their strategic nuclear arsenals by about
two-thirds, to 1,700 to 2,200 deployed warheads, by 2012.

The Senate unanimously approved the treaty earlier this month in what was
seen as a diplomatic move to win Russian support for war in Iraq. But Moscow
has only hardened its stance.

In one of his strongest anti-war statements to date, Ivanov accused
Washington of hypocrisy and said its strikes were endangering the wider
region.

``What democracy are they talking about when they are trying to completely
destroy the country?'' Ivanov said.

``If such massive bombardment continues, a humanitarian, economic and
environmental catastrophe will become inevitable in the near future, not only
in Iraq but in the whole region.''

Ivanov dismissed U.S. allegations that Russian companies provided Iraq with
anti-tank guided missiles, satellite jamming devices and night-vision goggles
in violation of U.N. sanctions.

``We are seriously concerned by the attempts of certain circles in the United
States to drag Russia into an information war over Iraq by making unfounded
accusations,'' Ivanov said. The two companies that have been implicated in
the transaction, Aviakonversiya and KBP Tula, have denied any role.

A senior U.S. diplomat countered that the United States has ``very hard
information'' contradicting Moscow's denials. Speaking on condition of
anonymity, the diplomat said that at least Aviakonversiya had dealt directly
with Baghdad and that it had employees tending to the equipment in Iraq.

The diplomat said it was unclear whether, after repeated U.S. demands to
investigate the alleged transfer of military equipment, Russian officials
``just didn't look hard enough or whether there were efforts to conceal
things.'' Washington is demanding that Russia punish the companies involved.

Despite his fierce criticism of the war, Ivanov emphasized that Moscow wants
to preserve good relations with Washington. ``We consider it inadmissible to
slide back into confrontation,'' he said.

The U.S. diplomat said neither side was ``mincing words'' over their
disagreement over Iraq, but speculated that at least some of the angry
rhetoric from Russian officials was ``tending to the home front.''

A poll conducted earlier this week showed a dramatic rise of anti-American
sentiments in Russia with 55 percent of respondents saying they view the
United States negatively, compared to 15 percent last summer.

Only 5 percent of 1,600 respondents in a nationwide poll completed earlier
this week by the respected All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center said
they sympathize with the United States in the war. Some 45 percent said they
side with Iraq, 46 percent said they supported neither side, and the rest
were undecided. The poll had a margin of error of 3.4 percent.

03/26/03 13:27 EST

[Me: Бог хранит Россию.]

Gorbachev: US-Iraq war a mistake
The stopped-clock paradigm in action.

Diplomatic implications of new, bogus ‘preventive war’ doctrine

North Korea Cuts Off UN Command Contact
By VINCENT YU

PANMUNJOM, Korea (AP) - Claiming the United States may attack, North Korea on
Wednesday cut off the only regular military contact with the U.S.-led U.N.
Command that monitors the Korean War armistice.

The move will further isolate the communist North amid tensions over its
suspected nuclear weapons programs.

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun on Wednesday dismissed as ``groundless''
allegations by the North that American forces may attack.

``There will be no war on the Korean Peninsula as long as we do not want a
war,'' Roh was quoted as saying by his office, adding that Washington has
repeatedly pledged to resolve the crisis peacefully

Meanwhile, U.N. envoy Maurice Strong said that North Korean officials told
him in meetings in Pyongyang last week that they ``reserved the right'' to
reprocess their spent fuel rods that experts say could yield enough plutonium
for several atomic bombs within months. Such a move would spike tension even
further.

North's Korea People's Army sent a telephone message to the U.N. Command
saying it will no longer send its delegates to the liaison-officers' meeting
at the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom.

``It is meaningless to sit together with the U.S. forces side to discuss any
issue as long as it remains arrogant,'' the North's official news agency KCNA
quoted the North Korean message as saying.

North Korea claimed again Tuesday the United States may attack the communist
state after the war in Iraq and spark a ``second Iraqi crisis.'' It pledged
to beef up its defenses.

The U.N. Command, which has monitored the armistice since the end of the
1950-53 war, had no immediate comment. Without a peace treaty, the Korean
Peninsula is still technically at a state of war.

U.S. officials representing the U.N. Command have met North Korean officers
at Panmunjom almost weekly since the end of the war.

In Japan, space agency officials were preparing to launch their first spy
satellites into orbit on Friday. North Korea has condemned the move,
prompting fears it may retaliate and test-fire a long-range missile.

Meanwhile, North Korean lawmakers convened the country's rubber-stamp
parliament. The 687-member Supreme People's Assembly usually meets once or
twice a year to approve a new budget and discuss policies for the year ahead.

North Korea's Central Radio reported that the parliamentary session opened
with deputies paying tribute to the statues of leader Kim Jong Il and his
father, late President Kim Il Sung, vowing to remain loyal to the
totalitarian regime.

North Korea accuses Washington of inciting a dispute over its alleged
programs to develop nuclear weapons to create an excuse for invasion.
President Bush has branded the North part of an ``axis of evil'' with Iraq
and Iran.

Washington says it seeks a diplomatic solution to the crisis - but Bush has
said that if diplomacy fails a military solution may be considered.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan left Wednesday for Washington
to discuss North Korea with Secretary of State Colin Powell and other U.S.
officials.

During his four-day visit, Yoon also hopes to arrange a summit in the United
States between presidents Roh and Bush, which he said would take place in
late April at the earliest.

With the United States focused on Iraq, experts fear North Korea might use
the opportunity to reprocess spent nuclear fuel to make atomic bombs.

The standoff flared in October when U.S. officials said Pyongyang admitted
having a secret nuclear program in violation of a 1994 pact.

Washington and its allies suspended oil shipments, promised under that
agreement, and Pyongyang retaliated by withdrawing from the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty and taking steps to reactivate a nuclear facility
capable of producing several bombs within months.

03/26/03 04:26 EST

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