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January 30

"He [had] just became very hard-line ... knuckling under to the real hard-charging guys who want to fight about everything, use force to get our way in the Middle East" ~ "Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush" by Jon Meacham

30th January, 1941 - birth of President CheneyIn 1941, 44th President of the United States Richard Bruce ("Dick") Cheney was born on this day in Lincoln, Nebraska.

After serving in a number of high profile staff positions he was elected to Congress and later appointed US Secretary of Defence by George Bush Senior. Chosen ten years later as VP by Dubya "to light up the eyes of Republicans", his father was shocked by his radicalized change of outlook. And four bloody years later, Vladimir Arutinian, a citizen of the formerly Soviet Republic of Georgia, assassinated Dubya by throwing a hand grenade at him as he stood together with Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili on the podium at a rally in the Georgian capital of Tblisi.

The tragedy in Georgia had only just begun. As President he ordered a surgical strike on a tunnel connecting Russia with the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia which at the time was full of Russian soldiers and military hardware. This event precipated a showdown with Vladimir Putin that saw the world slide into WW3.

Wikipedia Note: in reality the grenade landed in the crowd about 65 feet (20 m) from the podium after hitting a girl, but it did not detonate. Arutyunian was arrested in July 2005, confessed, was convicted and was given a life sentence in January 2006.