Tag: world war III

Tweets of the Week #2


Welcome to the second edition of “Tweets of the Week.” It was a busy seven days for news and my twitter feed provided much useful information — in micro-form.

The Scottish independence referendum featured especially prominently in my feed. This was perhaps my favorite tweet about the final result:

Prior to the vote, my feed was filled with some great tweets about the #indyref. Here are a few of the shorter ones that I found especially helpful:


The Scottish referendum, of course, was not the only interesting issue in global politics this week. And, over the long haul, it almost assuredly wasn’t the most important either.

For example, the continuing spread of Ebola might be the biggest near-term threat to international security — depending upon how we define “security.”

No matter how depressed you might be about the prospect of new war in the Middle East, this tweet helps provide context:

But read this too, on ISIS/ISIL:

It also seems appropriate to be worried about Ukraine:

Finally, here’s a blast from the past that might be quite helpful in a class that is discussing renewed war in Iraq:


I leave my office and come home to a signed ceasefire….

Earlier today, I wrote:

Before I leave the office, I just wanted to note that the dynamics between Georgia, Russia, and the United States are very bad right now. A small Russian force has apparently deployed fifteen miles outside of Tblisi, Rice is calling the Russians all sorts of names, and Moscow’s pissed about the US-Poland deal.

… oh, and on the analytic front: Rob Farley and Dan Drezner both have interesting things to say about NATO and the crisis. Needless to say, I agree with them on some points and disagree with them on others.

But anyway, let’s all keep our fingers crossed for an acceptable resolution soon.

And now…..

… Saakashvili, under pressure from Rice, signed the ceasefire agreement limiting Russian forces to the breakaway republics and their immediate vicinity–in Georgia proper. Rice is demanding that the Russians leave Georgia; they say they’ll comply with the ceasefire.

Damien McElroy of the Telegraph sums up the drama:

merica’s chief diplomat arrived in the Georgian capital Tblisi for talks with a deeply suspicious President Mikheil Saakashvili, who sought to strengthen guarantees of a complete Russian pullback. In the end, the pro-Western Georgian leader had little option but to accept the accord on a day that Russia threatened to target Poland with its full arsenal.

Before the arrival of international monitors, Russia troops retain the scope to take defensive forward positions in Georgian territory. Even as Miss Rice and President Saakashvili emerged from almost five hours of talks, Russian armoured personnel carriers had moved from the city of Gori to within 25 miles of the capital.

The French-drafted document left ambiguity over the sequencing of a Russian return to its battle lines before fighting broke out on August 8. America demanded that Russian pullback into South Ossetia and Abkhazia, where it has formal peacekeeping role, as soon as the Kremlin signs the document.

“Our most urgent task today is the immediate and orderly withdrawal of Russian armed forces and the return of those forces to Russia,” said Miss Rice. “With this signature by Georgia, this must take place – and take place now.”

As the Tbilisi talks began, President George W Bush called on Russia to back down and condemned Moscow’s expansionism. “Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century,” he said. “Moscow must honour its commitment to withdraw its invading forces from all Georgian territory,” The Russian leadership remained defiant, declaring it would back a drive for independence by the two enclaves in the aftermath of the conflict.

“Russia, as guarantor of security in the Caucasus and the region, will make a decision that unambiguously supports the will of these two Caucasus peoples,” said President Dimitri Medvedev after a meeting with German Chancellor Ankela Merkel in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. “Unfortunately after what has happened it is unlikely Ossetians and Abkhaz can live in one state with Georgians.

A clearly emotional President Saakashivili, who accused Russia of barbarism in its assault on Georgian troops, said the ceasefire terms would only bind Tbilisi to the terms of an armistice. He said Georgia would never recognise the division of its territory.

“Never, ever will Georgia reconcile itself with the occupation of even one square kilometre of its territory,” he said.

Which leaves me wondering:

What will it take for the Georgians to figure out that South Ossetia and Abkhazia…

Are gone.


They weren’t before the war. If it weren’t a mathematical impossibility, I would say that the events of the last week reduced the chances of Georgia regaining the two territories from zero to an even smaller value of zero.


Bush on WW 3

Did President Bush, at his October 17, 2007, press conference, threaten the world with war?

You decide:

Q But you definitively believe Iran wants to build a nuclear weapon?

THE PRESIDENT: I think so long — until they suspend and/or make it clear that they — that their statements aren’t real, yeah, I believe they want to have the capacity, the knowledge, in order to make a nuclear weapon. And I know it’s in the world’s interest to prevent them from doing so. I believe that the Iranian — if Iran had a nuclear weapon, it would be a dangerous threat to world peace.

But this — we got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel. So I’ve told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon. I take the threat of Iran with a nuclear weapon very seriously.

And we’ll continue to work with all nations about the seriousness of this threat. Plus we’ll continue working the financial measures that we’re in the process of doing. In other words, I think — the whole strategy is, is that at some point in time, leaders or responsible folks inside of Iran may get tired of isolation and say, this isn’t worth it. And to me, it’s worth the effort to keep the pressure on this government.

And secondly, it’s important for the Iranian people to know we harbor no resentment to them. We’re disappointed in the Iranian government’s actions, as should they be. Inflation is way too high; isolation is causing economic pain. This is a country that has got a much better future, people have got a much better — should have better hope inside Iran than this current government is providing them.

So it’s — look, it’s a complex issue, no question about it. But my intent is to continue to rally the world to send a focused signal to the Iranian government that we will continue to work to isolate you, in the hopes that at some point in time, somebody else shows up and says it’s not worth the isolation.

Surely Bush doesn’t think Iran would use a nuclear weapon against the US, does he?

If American and Israeli nuclear arms cannot deter feared threats from small new nuclear powers (like Iran would be), then these states should get rid of their nuclear weapons. They serve virtually no purpose other than deterrence against nuclear threats.


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