Cold War turns hot in South Ossetia / Georgia as troops commence invasion

Well all pretense of negotiated settlements and cease fires has seem to go out the windows.

Georgian troops and South Ossetian forces have engaged in some pretty heavy shelling today that’s left at least 10 Georgian troops dead. The BBC is also reporting that fighters from around the region are gearing up for battle and heading to the scene:

Moscow-based Interfax news agency quoted the head of Russia’s province of North Ossetia, Taimuraz Mamsurov, as saying: “Hundreds of volunteers from North Ossetia are on their way to South Ossetia. We cannot stop them or prevent them from going.”

It also quoted Sergei Bagapsh, the head of Georgia’s other breakaway province of Abkhazia, as saying: “About 1,000 Abkhaz volunteers are leaving for South Ossetia.”

Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, is under attack from many sides, according to published reports.

The London Telegraph is going so far as to call this a full scale invasion by Georgian forces, including photos of troops on the move.

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War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq: A Series of Cases, 2003-2007

The Government Printing Office has a new title out that’s actually quite a big seller apparently. ”War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq: A Series of Cases, 2003-2007″ is written by military doctors and covers some incredibly gruesome casualties they’ve experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, both military and civilian victims. The book is being given to a number of hospitals (especially ER rooms who deal with gunshot wounds) and also to doctors arriving in country for the first time:

“The average Joe Surgeon, civilian or military, has never seen this stuff,” Lounsbury said. “Yeah, they’ve seen guys shot in the chest. But the kind of ferocious blast, burn and penetrating trauma that’s part of the modern IED wound is like nothing they’ve seen, even in a New York emergency room. It’s a shocking, heart-stopping, eye-opening kind of thing. And they need to see this on the plane before they get there, because there’s a learning curve to this.”

Amazon is sold out apparently. Unfortunately I suspect a lot of people are going to use this either for their own sick ‘glee’ and curiousity or for some sick political purposes (apparently the photos are pretty rough). The military tried to censor the book from coming out but doctors said it was needed and would save lives, so eventually the DoD relented.

War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq: A Series of Cases, 2003-2007 (Textbooks of Military Medicine).

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FARC leaders Cano and Jojoy surrounded by Colombian forces?

Ok, this is sketchy and there are some reports on Colombia TV as well.

Apparently the Colombian military has two of FARCs top rulers surrounded and in their sights.

Santos said military forces have surrounded the two highest commanders of the rebel group. “We have all the leaders in sight and their hope for survival is slim,” he said.

This would be as major as the Bettancourt rescue mission. We’ll get to translating some of the Spanish language press and see what’s what.

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Children in South Ossetia being evacuated before war starts

The BBC is reporting on more preparations for the Russian Georgian war of 2008. Bus loads of children from the border area are being put on buses and sent to Russia to escape the fighting (that may take place). Not surprisingly, both sides are blaming the other for increased tensions.

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