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Mr Jones

This is indeed a tense time for us all who watch the former KGB operative tell the U.N. to kiss off as Russian troops roll in to Georgia with 2500+ troops, fighter jets, tanks, bombs, bombs, bombs and more bombs despite Georgia’s plea for a Cease Fire. Well, shucks, what’s a bully to do when the whole world is yelling at you to stop the invasion.
Maybe the same thing one would do when Moqtada al-Sadr offered a dismantling of his Mahdi Army if we agree to a timetable of leaving Iraq. Remember, as Ravij Chandrasekaran reported on extensively,  was that despite his fiery rhetoric, what Moqtada really wanted, was a seat on the Governing Counsel….But CPA staffers, including viceroy Jerry Bremer rarely traveled into Sadre city and didn’t know how popular he had become.  And SCRI and Dawa, the two largest Shiite parties, were able to convince those powers that be that he shouldn’t be there. So, in August 2003 he (Moqtada al-Sadre) formed a militia called the Mahdi Army to protect himself and to gain respect from other Shiite leaders. By February of 2004, he was a HUGE threat. You don’t need me to remind us of what happened in Sadre City: The first city-wide disaster when we realized, as we were trapped, that Iraqis were never going to give us those promised roses.  
Well shucks, I’m not a military or foreign affairs expert. But I must disclose that I do come from a family that doesn’t exactly trust the Russian Government, being the granddaughter of an Officer in the Polish Underground Resistance against the KGB. Particularly after the Soviets rounded up the Polish Military Officers around Warsaw and those in exile in England in 1946. My grandfather, Boleslaw, was able to escape the KGB prison camp 6 weeks later and fought in the underground resistance for the following 10 years.
The KGB terrorized my mom’s family the entire time, until he died of cancer, in an undisclosed hospital 10 years later (a free man!). Anyway,  the Soviets were monstrous then, and it appears that they just can’t stomach the breakup of the Soviet Union. If Georgia were rich with only sheep-herders, instead of oil, maybe we wouldn’t be having this conflict. But I don’t know.
Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mister Jones. I certainly don’t know. And yes, Hunter would have something for us to think about right now. But it is appalling either way.  
The last time I saw Walter Isaacson while he interviewed   the 15th United States Deputy Secretary of State, John Negroponte.  It was so depressing to hear the dep. Sec .of State saying it would be a “pity” if international peace talks fall apart. Maybe he just had too many glasses of wine at lunch.  (the previous event, I watched the Dalai Lama single  Walter out and thank him for creating a “dialogue” between the Tibetan monks and the Chinese scholars, at least at the Institute.  His Holiness said that it was “very helpful”  after his speech that this would have to be the “Age Of Dialogue.”

Yes,  this was BEFORE Russia invaded Georgia. So here we are,  less than a month later, watching the Russians roll in after Georgia has agreed to cease fire in South Ossetia and plea for a total cease-fire of Russian troops – with the only response being more bombs. It is all very depressing. Particularly given this presidential election climate.

I’ll listen to McCain on Thursday and post (hopefully with better research) on Huffingtonpost.com, to see what he has to say about it.  Arianna has given Obama some VERY good advice about how to handle this one.
But… it’s not all bad here.  I do have very good news on the local front.  Our sweetheart George Recile is coming to town for Aspen Jazz fest! He’ll be here with our friends Tony Garnier, Don Herron, Stu Kimball, Denny Freeman and yes, our dearest Bob Dylan will lead. . Yes! Did you buy tickets yet?

 Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson

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