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THE GREAT ROAD OF GEORGIA….The Observer reports that despite Russian claims that they’re withdrawing from Georgia, they appear to be doing no such thing:

The country’s forces were in control of several key areas outside the original conflict zone — including the Black Sea port of Poti and the western town of Senaki. Additionally, troops had established new ‘buffer zones’ around the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

There was compelling evidence yesterday [] that Russia is planning a long-term occupation of Georgia. The Observer witnessed Russian soldiers digging trenches seven kilometres outside the port of Poti next to the Rioni river and the main highway to Tbilisi.

….The Kremlin’s plan now appears clear: to maintain a significant military presence in Georgia, capable of choking the country’s economy and shutting down its major trade routes. It also allows Russia the option of a future invasion, should it want one.

OK, fine. If the West is looking for a way of supporting Georgia that doesn’t involve dumb ideas like boycotting the 2014 Olympics or kicking Russia out of the G8, how about building the Georgians a new cross-country road and rail link? One further south that wouldn’t be under Russian control?

Now, I know what you’re thinking: every place south of the current cross-country road is full of mountains. And so it is. But that didn’t stop the Ming emperors from building the Great Wall of China, did it? If they can build a thousand miles of wall, we ought to be able to build a couple hundred miles of road and rail. So let’s get cracking.

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We just wrapped up a shorter-than-normal, urgent-as-ever fundraising drive and we came up about $45,000 short of our $300,000 goal.

That means we're going to have upwards of $350,000, maybe more, to raise in online donations between now and June 30, when our fiscal year ends and we have to get to break-even. And even though there's zero cushion to miss the mark, we won't be all that in your face about our fundraising again until June.

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