Sunday, August 31, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Who Started the War?
[Updated at the bottom to add more quotes.] It's unclear. Or, maybe not:
“Can I stop you for a second?” I said. I was still under the impression that the war began on August 7 and that Georgian President Saakashvili started it when he sent troops into South Ossetia's capital Tskhinvali. What was all this about the Ossetian violence on August 6 and before?
He raised his hand as if to say stop.
“That was the formal start of the war,” he said. “Because of the peace agreement they had, nobody was allowed to have guns bigger than 80mm. Okay, so that's the formal start of the war. It wasn't the attack on Tskhinvali. Now stop me.”
“Okay,” I said. “All the reports I've read say Saakashvili started the war.”
“I'm not yet on the 7th,” he said. “I'm on the 6th.”
“Okay,” I said. He had given this explanation to reporters before, and he knew exactly what I was thinking.
“Saakashvili is accused of starting this war on the 7th,” he said.
“Right,” I said. “But that sounds like complete bs to me if what you say is true.”
Thomas Goltz nodded.
Added: Why did Totten bury the lede?
Added: It's a very long post.
The [Georgian] peacekeepers had a military objective, and the first rule of warfare when you're talking to the media is not to reveal to your enemy what you're going to do. So they weren't going to blather into a microphone and say well, actually, I'm trying to go through Tskhinvali in order to stop the Russians. So what did he say instead? I'm here to restore constitutional order in South Ossetia. And that's it. With that, Georgia lost the propaganda war and the world believes Saakashvili started it. And the rest of the story...you know.”
Friday, August 15, 2008
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Wasatch: Mountain Flowers
Wasatch: The 'Time Allows' Post
You can't tell from this picture, but you're looking at the upstairs, with a bedroom and living room, to a two-story cabin. Down a narrow, steep staircase is a kitchen and door to the outside.
It must have been in the late 70's or early 80's when they added this part to the cabin. The upstairs is a bedroom and modern bathroom. Before the only toilet facility was a (very clean) outhouse. The downstairs of the addition is a living room with couches that can be slept on.
If you turned around, this is what you'd be looking at:
This is the view from the back side of the cabin. (More pictures of the backyard below in the "Moose" post.)
Before you drive the private road a quarter mile up to the cabin, you have to stop to unlock a gate over a bridge at a rushing creek. We walked down to the creek and I climbed out on to a rock and encouraged the kids to follow me. They were hesitant but also eager. While on the rock, my brother called. That's me on the cell phone holding on to my four-year-old.
Should be a mountain flowers post up next. [Added: there's definitely a metaphor for parenting in the above picture.]
Friday, August 01, 2008
Another Taste of Wasatch
We stopped at nearly every rock because the kids think they're great photo opportunities:
My nephew Jack loved carrying around some plastic binoculars that the kids got two years before at Yellowstone.
The kids started whining not long into the hike, but when we caught site of either a beaver or badger sunning itself on a slab on concrete a quarter of the way up, and when we heard about a moose on the trail ahead, they set the pace ahead of me and Gene, who had a four-year-old "up on shoulders."
Here's the moose cooling off on a patch of snow:
Sigh. It was a very nice hike. I'm taking a guess, but I think we ended up around 9300 feet elevation.
More later as time allows.