Has Russia really invaded Georgia proper?

(crossposted at Dailykos)
In my previous diary on this topic, I examined the background to the South Ossetian war. Today, I try to examine the current situation in the war.

Yesterday, most of us probably heard the news that Russia had taken the city of Gori, only 40 miles or so from Tbilisi.

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War between Russia and Georgia

(Crossposted at Dailykos)

As most of you probably know, Russia has ordered troops into the disputed region of South Ossetia after Georgia escalated the conflict by an offensive against the Ossetians. Georgia has withdrawn its 2000 soldiers from our Iraqi coalition, and although an actual declaration of war does not seem to have occurred, its clear that a war is indeed occurring.

My own take on the situation is that Georgia is somewhat at fault here for escalating the conflict, but Russia also seems to have had its moves planned out, and if its indeed escalating the conflict and moving against Georgia proper (rather than restricting its intervention to Ossetia) as Georgia claims, then its also at fault.

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Reflections on Silence

(Cross-posted at Dailykos)

I participated in the Day of Silence today at school, and wrote the following statement to explain my participation to others:

As you may know, today, April 25 2008, is the Day of Silence, a national movement calling attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people who must endure bullying and other harassment. But my silence in specific is also to call attention to all the silent victims on this planet: the millions of victim in Darfur, Iraq, and other areas of crisis, the hundreds of millions who face malnutrition worldwide, the billions who live in poverty; all the forgotten people of the world in general, as well as all those who will suffer in the future from the problems we have forced ourselves to forget. For 365 days a year, we are silent on these problems. I can only regret that my own silence will be for but one day.

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Crisis in South America: Possible Venezuela-Colombia war

Here's a diary entry that isn't a candidate diary, for once.

Manynewsagencies from all over the world are reporting that Colombia and Venezuela may go to war. Colombia is one of the few US allies in South America (we've given it billions of dollars in foreign aid, and supplied a few hundred troops as advisers), and Venezuela has one of the largest oil supplies in the Western hemisphere.

The background of this crisis is that Colombia launched an air strike into Ecuador territory to kill Raul Reyes, a top commander of a group of Colombian rebels. Analogies to this action might be if we invaded Pakistan to root out Al-Qaeda and Taliban members, or if (not likely to happen) Cuba launches an air strike into the U.S. aimed at anti-Castro exile terrorists such as Luis Clemente Faustino Posada Carriles.

In any case, Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa is friendly to Hugo Chavez of Venezeula, who has responded to the airstrike by shutting down the Venezuelan embassy in Bogota (capital of Colombia) and ordered ten tank battalions moved to the border of Colombia.

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New Texas Poll actually shows Obama leading

A new poll of the Texas primary by Public Strategies Inc supposedly shows Clinton leading Obama 46-43. Consequentially, its received a lot of attention here, including being front-paged.

However, not many people seem to have looked into the detailed poll results. It seems that Public Strategies made a few simple math errors. If you look at the results for question 10d, the complete poll numbers are:

Definitely Hillary Clinton 34%
Likely Hillary Clinton 6%
Lean Hillary Clinton 3%

Definitely Barack Obama 33%
Likely Barack Obama 8%
Lean Barack Obama 4%

Undecided 12

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Thoughts from a former Edwards supporter

Many people have remarked that Barack Obama attracts unprecedented support from young voters. But this 16-year old Democrat (in spirit, as he is too young to register) supported John Edwards' candidacy until he suspended his campaign.

I started becoming interested in politics because of the Iraq war. I remember first learning of Obama during the summer of 2004, reading of his address during the Democratic National Convention. I remember reading of his record and marveling that such a liberal person could be elected into the Senate by such an overwhelming margin. I remember watching him stand up and speak for voting integrity in Ohio only a few days of being swore into the Senate. I remember reading Dreams from my Father a year ago, and the feeling of inspiration I received from his story. And so it was, when Edwards left, I supported Obama over Clinton by the slightest of margins.

What did I like about Edwards that caused me to support him? I respected his focus on poverty, on health care, on the environment, and in each case he led the policy proposals of the other two candidates. Most of all, I respected his fighting spirit, his positive message that we could and would overcome the problems of the country. I think I trusted him to carry out his proposals, to not later reject them in the spirit of 'compromise.' After all the defeats we've suffered in Congress over the past years, I am tired of hearing of 'compromise.' For how do you compromise between war and peace, between life and death, between truth and lies, between right and wrong?

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