Europeans can almost set their watches by this regular event. It is early November and yet again there is uncertainty over supplies of Russian gas to Eurozone countries, just as the winter is about to begin. The opening salvo this year was fired by Russian Prime Minister (and de facto ruler) Vladimir Putin, who said on Saturday that “ It appears we are again having problems with payments for our energy supplies, which is extremely regrettable. The EU has still not provided Ukraine with the money it has promised for that purpose.” Putin accused Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko of blocking the payment of the EU's $1.7 billion loan as a weapon in his internal battle against the former-ally-turned-opponnent, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Let us guess: everything will be sorted out in the nick of time, just as temperatures in Europe hit zero. Time for Europe to re-think its energy strategy.
Some firing squads are all issued with blank cartridges with the exception of one person. This helps alleviate personal responsibility for the execution squad.