Friday, August 08, 2008
The U.S. and the Russians Are Once Again In A Standoff in Europe - Thanks to the Bush Administration
Conflict has erupted in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Georgian troops have attempted to reclaim the breakaway territory of South Ossetia. South Ossetia is a small enclave of about 70,000 people that is culturally & economically connected more with Russia. The breakaway region, backed by Russia, wants independence. Abkhazia is another region that wants to break from the Georgian government.
On the other side is Georgia, backed by the United States. The Georgian government does not want to give up control of the South Ossetia region. The U.S. has been ignoring warning signs of a conflict for months. In fact, the U.S. has been an instigator, escalating tensions. Ironically, this is all taking place as the Olympic Games are starting in Beijing. Leave it up to Bush and the United States to screw up the Olympics. Almost everywhere the U.S. goes, it brings nothing but war, chaos and trouble. This is why the U.S. is a growing pariah in the World. The U.S. couldn't even agree to call an end to the fighting at the UN. And it's ironic that Bush lectures the Chinese and other Countries about Democracy, freedom and allowing self determination, yet at the very moment that the U.S. is giving these lectures, it does not support self determination for the people of South Ossetia. This is despite pushing for Kosovo Independence. It is clear that U.S. political leaders only support freedom and self determination when it is convenient.
I have warned several times before that this was one of the biggest hotspots in the World. It is more volatile than the Korean DMZ in terms its likelihood for conflict...and it could have global consequences. Russian troops patrol the disputed region and thousands of U.S. troops are in Georgia. This could get as ugly as Berlin.... maybe worse. In Berlin, conflict was averted. We seem to be already past that threshold in Georgia. It's amazing how a tiny region of just 70,000 people could have the potential to create a regional conflict that could impact so many others. Remember WWI began over nonsense and it ended up being one of the most costly wars in human history, killing millions upon millions of people. And nations ended up in a stalemate.... gaining very little if anything that was worth the cost.
The Georgian conflict is another example of the U.S. being asleep at the wheel. The incompetence and recklessness of the Bush Administration exacerbates these conflicts, and has wasted so many lives already. Will we survive the next 6 months of this administration? Will we survive the policies of the next President? Who knows. My confidence that we will come out o.k. keeps eroding from one week to the next. But U.S. foreign policy has to change. In the Georgian conflict, the U.S. has allowed the Georgians to dictate policy, potentially at our expense, and even when it is not in our interests. It's another case of U.S. foreign policy decisions being made by foreign Presidents and Prime Ministers...and we simply follow along.
This latest conflict centers around oil and oil transit routes. The U.S. and Russia are competing for defacto control of the region so that they can control the flow of the regions natural resources. Another reason why the U.S. needs to end its dependence on foreign energy. The U.S. has few compelling, overriding interests in Georgia. Yet we sent a few thousand U.S. troops there after 9/11 under the guise of terrorism. The U.S. promised the Russians and other nations that U.S. troops would be out by now, but the Bush Administration did not keep its word. As a result, we have a situation that some analysts had feared...a new Cold War front.
See More Information About Georgia and the Roots of the Current Conflict