Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Check out the BHTimes…

Just published the 236th BEING HAD Times. As usual there is some interesting stuff going on. Perhaps the most interesting story is that the trial has begun in the case of the Polish spy ring which was caught selling secrets to the Polish embassy back in June. I still am having a hard time believing that all of this is real. There has been a lot of gamesmanship going on between the Poles and the Belarusians and though for all intents and purposes it certainly seems as though we have genuine case of espionage going on here, I reserve the right to keep my doubts. Most of my disbelief comes from the simple fact that we are reading about it and secondly those S300's are the most advertised pieces of equipment on the web. I mean, how much cloak and dagger can there really be if anyone with an internet hookup can know anything they want about equipment in question? To me this whole thing could just as easily be an advertiser for selling the damned things as it is real news.

But speaking of missiles, there is also a bit more about Belarus and the potential placement of nuclear arms on her territory by Russia. Officially at least, Belarus returned all of the missiles which were located here back in 1996. That was another Political red herring for sure but this is what they said. The catcher here though is that if and when a Union State is created, Belarus will at that time agree to have Russian nukes come onto the playing field, this according to Lavrov himself. Again I am not so of the mind as to the reality of the situation here because most probably, Belarus already has Russian nukes on the property. I don't know this for a fact but frankly, it would make sense because Belarus bends to the will of Russia in much the same way that Texas, California, New York and Chicago dictate policies to the surrounding regions and states. But in any case, regardless of any more Bush/Putin fishing trips it looks like we are do for some potential first strike action and hey, no fear here: Belarus already has lots and lots of experience farming radioactive land. Putin says: Let's get it on!

Also included in this number is a section devoted to some cultural events which will be taking place in the next while. I think I have been remiss in not showing these sorts of activities which have been getting more and more prevalent over the last few years. Minstioned today was a story about hot film director Tom Tykwer showing two short films at the German Film Festival in mid-September. Also, The State Theatre in Brest will be having their annual Belaya Vezha international theatre festival from the 8th to the 14th. This by the way is the real thing and has been one of the cultural highlights of Belarus since its inception. Congratulations as always need to be made to Alex Kozaks, the director of the Brest theatre for maintaining this logistical nightmare year after year. And no, the plays are not only in Russian.

And finally about the BHTimes in general, I guess it might be time to make a few changes. There has not been a lot of Bloggers writing specifically about Belarus for a while so this aspect seems to be giving way to a discussion about Russia and its relationships with both the west and with BY. Not that I have any problems with Russophobe, TOL or Robert Amsterdam, but it seems as though the general shift may have gone too far to the east. Of course, this is also the truth about the fate of the Republic of Belarus; she is tied deeply to Russia and there is great possibility that the state will be absorbed within Lukashenka's tenure. From the perspective of simply presenting the news, this doesn't bother me too much but from a more patriotic or at least prideful perspective, eventually this gazette was supposed to be about The Republic and not The Empire. I tell you though, the day we start trading in Russian rubles rather than Belarusian rubles is the day it is all over as far as any ideas about an independent Belarus might go. But would it surprise you to know that Belarus as a whole might not even care? Tanya likes to point out that really, Belarus hasn't ever been independent except during the last decade and a half which means that the idea of not being connected to Russia is the exotic idea and not the other way around. Also, ethnically speaking, probably only about 25% of the current residents can even claim white Russian blood or a local heritage dated back before the war. Is there an ambivalence setting in? Has Gazprom economics simply wiped out any hopes of a real national pride or a genuine appreciation of the local culture and language? Or perhaps a better question: Has this been the intention all along? Certainly it seems that way to me. But don't take my word for it. Check it out for yourself.

More soon…