Re: the difference between Latvia and Lithuania

vello wrote:

But "you" did it effectively - Grozny was levelled. btw, in that
thing US and Russia are someway similar.

The way you know Chechen war is one sided, understandably.
The very very beginning was not about "war" - the idea was to demonstrate Force. Russian tanks column on approach to Grozny was attacked - four or five tanks burned - the commander had to wait a couple hours to talk to Moscow for permission to return fire. Boys meanwhile were getting killed by a Single artillery gun.
The major miscalculation was that Dudaev will not go into a fight.
We now know what the hell followed.
As to your idealist ideas - as the Volgograd native I can tell you this: Volgograd's medical battalion was located in Grozny's train station and *all* being shot after heroes of Dudaev got there: the wounded and doctors, everybody. This is yours "freedom fighters". Murderous scumbags.
When you talk how brutal Russkies behave there - just remember that episode. It is not an excuse, it is an explanation.

You compare Russians and Americans - you have a point here - I couldn't believe in the beginning that they use children to stop armored convoys to shoot. Guess what - it is exactly what they are doing today in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And the last but not the least: Grozny IS a city founded, built and populated by Russians.
As I see it - it is not about Imperialism, it is a clash of civilizations.
What you Estonians do if your neighbor be Somalia?


On the other hand - I will never come to terms with American obsession
with God and religion. It just freaks me out on principle: they
believing so delegate part of their life to a gamble.

Euro Constitutions are rather legalizing particular basic cultural
treats which were in place for centuries. In the US case it was created
from a scratch, a product of a pure intellectual effort.
Guys writing that paper were 99,9% british intellectuals and was based
on european ideas starting from old Athens democracy. US was too young
back then to offer independent intellectual potential. btw, most of
European constitutions are written in scimilar way: by intellectual
idealists after fall of kings/kaisers regime.
American Constitution was written by very sober and clever people,
doesn't matter where they came from.

Yau agreed with me we can't jump out of our shoes. If constitution
would be written by frenchmen or spaniards, it would be different
paper (no idea would it be better or worse then English original).

As a matter of fact - if you look
at the history of the US it is always going the way UP without
catastrophe falls like European Mega Slaughters of WWI and WWII.
These people did had their roots in Enlightenment as a wake up from
centuries of savagery Europe spent between Rome and XVIII America.
It was despite not due to Europe, they escaped across the Pond for a
reason. France and a century later Russia exploded against the usual
Euro ways just to produce a mirror monsters. America is intelligent
design, Europe is a slow huge elephant of Darwin's evolution.

US was happy not having real competition in American hemisphere so
after killing down aborigins and robbing big part of Mexico their
possibilities to behave badly were seriously limited by nature. btw,
from the end of ww2, US share in world GDP and trade is constantly
falling. For today about half is gone what was after war.

Culturally there may be varieties inside a nation -
lifestyle in Alaska and Missisipi may differ, South- and North Italy
are completely different and there are different cultures in any end
of Germany. But by other hand there is in most cases some clear things
what differ US, German and Italian cultures. If you want to compare
something with Europe, take America as whole.
I do take it as a whole when it makes sense.
It makes sense any time when we talk about continents or about
nations. Comparing forest with a tree is confusing, even it that tree
is sequoia :-)
ps - I've seen another amusing documentary on Soviet space program, -
about "Almaz" station, which was a super duper manned spy station armed
with a real gun to destroy a "kamikaze" satellite if being approached.
It was nice thing and Energia booster was developed for Almaz, not
Buran. But then the oil price crushes and all other things in the same
As I understood the cause was different - out of four manned missions
only two were successful the other two were fighting life threatening
troubles - one when aboard lost power for a couple of days.

I wonder how much sci-fi romantism played a role in the project.

Sorry, you seemly think Polyus - a project of "space gunship" - it
borns and dies with Energia, try Google. May be wrong but by me Almaz
was never "gunned" (was wrong, they had something on board, was it
airgun or 30mm aircraft cannon. But Polyus was much more sophisticated
thing, real batlleship for Star Wars.)