Hard News by Russell Brown

Yet more on the Russians

Letters in from two readers on the owner of the site that hosts the iraqwar.ru translations (I'm still not clear on the extent of his involvement with the original Russian-language posts), a Russian nationalist and military buff (aeronautics a specialty) who calls himself "Venik".

It's useful to get some perspective on where this is coming from. I'm still inclined to sit back and judge the merit of the site by the accuracy of its predictions.

Interestingly, this somewhat startling story just posted on the (pro-war) Washington Post website seems to largely bear out what is being said on the Russian site - disgruntled senior officers, overstretched resources, an enemy unexpectedly inclined to stand and fight and a war that might take months to conclude.

Anyway, on with the caveats:

"Venik" who runs the site has been a contributor to various military newsgroups for years (search for him under Google Groups).

In the past his contributions have ranged from the mildly probable to the wildly improbable and been treated as a semi troll.

I wouldn't hold his site as being authoritative of what the Russians think/know or of what is going on in Iraq. Especially if he reports verbatim from a newsgroup of all sources!

As always, make sure you treat everything with a healthy dose of cynicism until proven otherwise.

Michael Jar

As a long-time reader of your blogs I finally have to send you my concerns about a particular link that appeared in your recent article on hardnews.

The site you mentioned is well known to me. But please do also note that it is not written in the interest of peace but rather carries worrying links to weapons-pages and to a serbian nationalist page.
This page is obviously run by a bunch of nationalists. As if Russia was not involved in a bloody war itself. As if Milosevich was really the angel he is being portrait on the linked page.
The actual war coverage reads like the a pamphlet by military freaks. Even if they publish maybe even more truth than Anglo-American media, it is obvious for what purpose. At least to me.

Why dont you link to French of German media? They are doing a reasonably good job on balanced and responsible war coverage. OK, maybe hard to find online and all in German or French. And dont look at non-public TV-sites, they suck pretty much.
Since the war broke out I had to completely change my mind about BBC world, which used to be my main television news source. But since they turned really ignorant and show pictures of tanks and missiles, of allied troops, with a soundtrack of the technoid BBC World music, I switched back to ARD and also arte (French-German TV) which turn out the to live up to the former BBCs standards of well balanced information.

By the way: You should be able to watch Deutsche Welle in Auckland, it seemed to reach as far as Devonport, so maybe it reaches West Auckland too ... ;)

Please check back with the page that you suggested and maybe add a note that that site may carry on to extreme and brainwash nationalism. Which in many cases is the source of todays wars.

Greetings from Berlin,