Russian soldier defects

An active-duty draftee in the Russian army fled to Georgia.

Tensions Flare as Russian Soldier Seeks Asylum in Georgia –
TBILISI, Georgia — A 21-year-old Russian soldier, sitting down with a Big Mac at a McDonald’s here in the Georgian capital, said Tuesday that he had changed into civilian clothes and walked across the South Ossetian border into Georgia because he was fed up with his military service there.

The soldier, Junior Sgt. Aleksandr Glukhov, a computer buff from Udmurtia, a central Russian republic, seemed unaware of the clamor he had prompted at home. As information about his action filtered out from Tbilisi, Russia’s Defense Ministry contended that he had been abducted by Georgian forces and was being forced to discredit the army as “information provocation.”

At least this one was sober.

Threats in the Age of Obama: “worth checking out”

I wanted to thank Tom for plugging Threats in the Age of Obama, part of Nimbles “Age of Obama” series of edited volumes on policy in the new administration.

Some of the contributors:

Dan tdaxp, Christopher Albon, Matt Armstrong, Matthew Burton, Molly Cernicek (PDF), Christopher Corpora, Shane Deichman, Adam Elkus, Matt Devost, Bob Gourley, Art Hutchinson, Tom Karako, Carolyn Leddy, Samuel Liles, Adrian Martin, Gunnar Peterson, Cheryl Rofer, Mark Safranski, Steve Schippert, Tim Stevens, and Shlok Vaidya.

And most importantly of all: Michael Tanji.


Soob just wonders who designed the cover!

Buy it from

Update on SSPX

It’s been striking how political the coverage of the rehabilitation of several Society of Saint Pius X bishops have been. The story has been on Catholicgauze and this blog. One example of a political take on the matter is Andrew Sullivan’s post (admittedly, from a blog not known for quality).

Unfortunatley, another example of biased coverage is this NPR report:

Just days before the pope revoked the excommunication of the four bishops, one of them, Richard Williamson, again denied the Holocaust.

“The historical evidence is hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler,” he said in an interview that aired on Swedish television.

When his interview began circulating on the Internet, the Vatican was quick to try to dampen the controversy.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said Williamson’s views are in no way linked to the pope’s decision. Lifting his excommunication, Lombardi added, does not imply sharing his ideas.

And the official daily L’Osservatore Romano stressed that the pope deplores all forms of anti-Semitism.

But for many Jewish leaders, efforts to distance the Vatican from Williamson’s revisionist views sounded hollow.

Rabbi David Rosen, the director of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations, said that without Williamson’s full recantation and apology, the Catholic-Jewish dialogue is in jeopardy.

“It raises a question mark on the Catholic Church’s own commitment to combat anti-Semitism, which Pope John Paul II described as a sin against God and man. If an individual is a Holocaust denier, which is a blatant anti-Semitic position, then how do you accept an individual as a bishop if he is in complete conflict with your official teachings?” Rosen says.

What’s biased? Omission. The NPR conveniently leaves out – without providing an update or anything – that Rome politely asked the SSPX bishop in question to shut up. SSPX told him to shut up, too.