Honestly! If you really want to know what’s going on in the world, you have to read the Asia Times.
“GORI, Georgia (Reuters) – Georgia called for a ceasefire on Saturday after Russian bombers widened an offensive to force back Georgian troops seeking control over the breakaway region of South Ossetia.
“President George W. Bush said Russian attacks on Georgia marked a ‘dangerous escalation’ of the crisis and urged Moscow to halt the bombing immediately.
“Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told Bush the only solution was for Georgian troops to quit the conflict zone.”
Georgia calls for ceasefire in South Ossetia, by Matt Robinson, Reuters, August 9, 2008
Well, this is horrible, and here’s some background you might have missed:
Don’t panic, this is from 2002:
“As Georgian troops began their ‘anti-terrorist’ operation in the Pankissy Valley last week, an alleged Russian air strike against a village in the valley made Georgian-Russian uneasy relations dangerously hostile. In reference to the incident, Georgian President Edward Sheverdnadzhe demanded an apology from Russia to normalize damaged relations, while the Georgian ambassador to the United Nations accused that country of state terrorism. The sudden escalation of hostility between the two neighboring countries reflects the growing sense of insecurity of Russia since the deployment of American “military advisers” in Georgia. It also indicated Georgia’s increasing boldness in its relations with Russia, stemming from its expanding military relations with the United States, a growing power in the Caucasus and Central Asia.”
Georgia and Russia square off, by Hooman Peimani, Asia Times, September 3, 2002
But closer to the present…
“The Caucasus Republic of Georgia, as nations go, is not apparently a major global player. Yet Washington has invested huge sums and organized to put its own despot, Mikhail Saakashvili, in the presidency in order to close a nuclear North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) iron ring around Russia.
“US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited the capital Tbilisi and made sharp statements against Moscow for supporting the separatist Georgian states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, in essence blaming Moscow for an imminent war Washington has incited in order to bring Georgia into NATO by the December NATO summit.”
” The underlying issue is the fact that since the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991, one after the other former members as well as former states of the USSR have been coaxed and in many cases bribed with false promises by Washington into joining the counter organization, NATO.”
“Although the United States has trained several crack Georgian units in the past few years, the fighting effectiveness of all other elements is uncertain. There are no trained sergeants, and troop morale is running low. Only about 50% of the military equipment is operational, and coordinated operations in adverse conditions are impossible.”
~Ah, but here’s the crux of the matter:~
“However, Georgia under Washington’s man, strongman President Mikhail Saakashvili – a pretty ruthless dictator as he recently showed against domestic opposition – refuses to back off its provocative NATO bid.
“Georgia is also a strategic transit country for the Anglo-American Caspian oil pipeline from Baku in Azerbaijan through Georgia to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. As well, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline has been key to Azerbaijan as an alternative to the control of the Russian state monopoly Transneft in order to convey its oil and gas resources toward the West. The entire Caucasus is part of what can be described as a new Great Game for control of Eurasia between Washington and Russia.
“As the Moscow Times sees it, ‘One way to disrupt Georgia’s NATO aspirations would be to heat up the conflict in Abkhazia to a level that would make it unacceptable for the Western alliance, which acts by the consensus of all members, to offer membership. Georgia’s leadership could be escalating tensions in hope of prompting Abkhazia and Russia to make a move that would leave the West with no chance but to intervene.”
A war waiting to happen, by William Engdahl, Asia Times, July 16, 2008
Where there’s oil, there’s trouble.
“Last week, the gloves finally came off the Dmitry Medvedev presidency in Russia. It had to happen sooner or later, but few would have expected this soon. It was crystal clear US President George W Bush administered a diplomatic snub to Medvedev on the sidelines of the Group of Eight (G-8) summit meeting at Hokkaido, Japan.
“Bush characterized him patronizingly as a ‘sharp guy’ soon after they met in Hokkaido on July 9, but that was after making sure Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice proceeded to Prague and signed a deal just the previous day to install a US radar system as part of its missile defense system in Central Europe.
“If Medvedev’s core mission in Hokkaido was to underscore Russia’s growing role in the world arena as a power with which the West has to contend, Bush acted as if he couldn’t care. The US was also plainly dismissive of Medvedev’s proposal at the G-8 for a pan-European security system that would include Russia. Medvedev expressed his ‘dismay’ on hearing about the Prague deal. As if to rub in the snub, Rice proceeded from Prague to Bulgaria, where the US has for the first time established a military base, and then on to Georgia to discuss its plans of joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
“While in Tbilisi, she called for international mediation to stop violence spilling over in Georgia’s beakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abhkazia, which have been sources of rising tensions, with Georgia accusing Russia of trying to annex the regions. To carry matters further, the US began a joint military exercise with Georgia codenamed Immediate Response 2008, near Tbilisi, which will continue through the month of July.”
Russia’s energy drive leaves US reeling, by M K Bhadrakumar, Asia Times, July 19, 2008
And any secret deals or promises of aid from the bush administration to Georgia are out the window. Or should be, but bush might be like his dad and leave a Somalia-like mess for his successor. Poor, Georgia. They just didn’t know not to go out on a limb during an election year. Because whether the U.S. intervenes or not, lots of people are going to die and none of them will be named Bush or Cheney.
Why do the Republicans need the Cold War so much? Why? I thought they wanted it gone more than life itself. And yet they’re doing everything they can to resurrect it. Obviously the U.S. needs more conflict so the bush mafias can rule through fear. They sure can’t govern through consent worth a damn.
(Whew…blogging like this really wears me out. No wonder I don’t do it anymore.)