I've been away for a while but I have been doing some work over at Non Sum Dignus expiring minds might be interested in.
Here's some inside info on what's really behind the crisis in Ukraine from the Guardian. It seems we're playing a dangerous game with the Russian bear. Judging by the chilly body language between Putin and Bush in Chile last week I would say things are headed towards a bad patch in U.S./Russia relations.
Now that Condi Rice is the new Secretary Of State she can get back to her favorite subject, sovoietology.
According to Ian Traynor:
"In the centre of Belgrade, there is a dingy office staffed by computer-literate youngsters who call themselves the Centre for Non-violent Resistance.
If you want to know how to beat a regime that controls the mass media, the judges, the courts, the security apparatus and the voting stations, the young Belgrade activists are for hire.
They emerged from the anti-Milosevic student movement, Otpor, meaning resistance. The catchy, single-word branding is important. In Georgia last year, the parallel student movement was Khmara. In Belarus, it was Zubr.
In Ukraine, it is Pora, meaning high time. Otpor also had a potent, simple slogan that appeared everywhere in Serbia in 2000 - the two words "gotov je", meaning "he's finished", a reference to Milosevic. A logo of a black-and-white clenched fist completed the masterful marketing.
In Ukraine, the equivalent is a ticking clock, also signalling that the Kuchma regime's days are numbered.
The Democratic party's National Democratic Institute, the Republican party's International Republican Institute, the US state department and USAid are the main agencies involved in these grassroots campaigns as well as the Freedom House NGO and billionaire George Soros's open society institute
Officially, the US government spent $41m (#21.7m) organising and funding the year-long operation to get rid of Milosevic from October 1999. In Ukraine, the figure is said to be around $14m."
Looks like Putin's contention that the U.S. is trying to peal off former Soviet client states into the western spere of influence isn't just paranoia.
Look for trouble in Abkhazia in Georgia, where there was yet another desputed election last month. The Russians will pick their fights and this looks like a likely cannidate.