Monday, January 23, 2006

Blame for blowing up of Georgia gas pipe

The blowing up of the gas pipeline cutting off supplies to Georgia and Armenia, may, according to some reports, leave those countries with no gas supplies for a week at a time when they are experiencing the coldest weather in 20 years. President Saakashvili has unequivocally blamed Russia: "This was a brutal attempt by Russia to force Georgia to give up its gas pipelines."

Even though no evidence has yet been presented, blame is already being apportioned for these outrages. The next few days will be no joke for the citizens of Georgia, but for some reason it all reminded me of a joke I heard in Poland many years ago, about passengers in a train compartment.

In the compartment are an attractive young Polish girl, an old peasant woman, a Russian soldier, and a Polish patriot. The train goes through a tunnel. In the pitch darkness is heard a scuffle, a kiss..and then a slap.

The train emerges into daylight, everyone is sitting as they were, but now glaring at one another. The Russian soldier has a bright red cheek.

The old woman thinks that the awful Russian soldier must have kissed the girl, who hit him back... The girl thinks that the Russian soldier must have tried to kiss her, but stumbled and kissed the old woman in the darkness, who then slapped him...
The soldier, a perfectly decent sort, figures that the Polish patriot kissed the girl, she swung and missed, and must have hit him...But the Polish patriot knows that he kissed his hand, then gave the soldier a smack in the mouth...

Scott comments: Levko, they have a variation of that one around here too. And it is a funny one.

It looks like Georgia thinks it can pile on with this one even though Russia may be innnocent in this, at least to the extent they didn't do it intentionally. Though if it is infrastructure problems, which would be most likely, it just confirms what we have been talking about for the past few days. And it highlights how shortsighted the Kremlin has been on this whole thing. Maybe the money was on the table and they just couldn't resist especially when it came to poking Yuschenko and "our Ukrainian brothers" in the eye. But it sure ain't no way to run a business. Is it all that clear that Gasprom investors are going to be very happy with these events starting Jan. 1st and ending with the blown up pipeline? Is Europe? Gazprom and the Kremlin just might have succeeded single handedly in reversing the tide of history in Europe on nuclear energy.

It reminds me of the old lawyer joke about a man on trial for murder. His attorney thinks he can't fight on the facts so he pays a juror to persuade his fellow jurors to vote for manslaughter, a lesser included offense.

Sure enough when the verdict comes in it's manslaughter. Reporting back to the lawyer, the juror said, "It was real tough but I did it. When they took the first vote, it was 11 to 1 for acquittal..."

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