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Friday, February 4

We interrupt coverage of jury selection for Michael Jackson's trial with news that World War Five has broken out

"Pundita! China and Russia announced more about their plans for joint military exercises, the President of the United States gave a State of the Union speech, the Secretary of State announced a trip to Europe and the Middle East, and you're tattling on a website in China and getting sarcastic about a marriage proposal from a laboratory rat! Is this your idea of keeping your readers informed about US foreign policy issues?
[Signed] Not Born Yesterday in New York

Dear NBY:

Pundita waited in vain for the American news media to get around to announcing that the first battle in World War Five * had been launched. When these things happen Pundita plunges into a dark mood. We snap at the squirrel for leaping onto the conference table and accuse the raccoon of being a Trotskyist. And we lapse into sarcasm. But after all, allowing a lab rat to vent his spleen is not any less important to the grand scheme than endless nattering over what President Bush said and didn't say in the State of the Union address.

If we study the war plan, Syria is next on the list. What more do you need to know? Bush made a nice pitch to the Yushchenko Ukraine lobby. No news there. Let's see, what else.... Tyranny discussion a rehash of the Inaugural address....It was a great State of the Union speech but provided no news on the foreign policy or war front. Not that we're complaining, mind you; the last thing America needs during a war is a commander-in-chief who's bursting to tell all.

With regard to your worry about China-Russia military exercises, kindly read the report ("China Loans Russia 6 Billion for Yukos Deal") that the Chinese website cribbed from The New York Times . Then fit that report with the news via the link above about "Western" banks calling in a marker on Yukos debt. Take special note that both announcements, along with the announcement on more details of China-Russia military exercises, came at virtually the same time.

Pundita is not one of those punditas who cackle "I told you so" but we have mentioned more than once to our readers that West Europe might be staring at the abyss, if big money stashed from Soviet state companies taken over by the oligarchs is pulled from banks in Europe. But they were foolish to bluff at Russian poker and more foolish to attempt to use Ukraine against the Kremlin.

The biggest fool, however, was the US Department of State. They should have stood back from the battles that Putin and the oligarchs were waging against each other. They should have kept in mind that the country they're supposed to serve first and foremost is currently at war.

* cut-and-paste URL for Epoch Times "Western Banks Press Rosneft to Repay YUKOS Loan"
http://english.epochtimes.com/news/5-2-2/26225.html

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