Friday, August 08, 2008

Fighting Breaks Out In Georgia

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


Andre said...

What's laughable is that the White House gave a statement...FROM BEIJING. So while Dubya is watching the Women's Heptathlon High Jump,

On the real, the world's eyes are fixed predominately on conflicts in the Middle East (and sporadically on Africa). I'm wondering how much this will fall under the radar.

While I agree that this is another missed opportunity for our country to promote the so-called democracy for which it is ostensibly fighting, I don't think the Georgia conflict will arouse any more tension than is already there from our nation's perspective. It's hard to make the black eye our country has any darker.

Andre said...

I meant to say: "...all while Dubya is watching the Women's Heptathlon High Jump."

Typos are the devil.

your mom said...

Russians have been instigating for years. If not for US supporting Georgia, Georgia would be over run by Russian troops. Osseti was part of Georgia, and there were hundreds of thousands of Georgians living there before Russia started acting up. Get your facts straight.

The Angry Independent said...

Your Mom,

I never claimed that Russia was blameless... but a lot more blame has to go to the U.S. and "The West". The situation in Georgia was relatively stable (although there were clashes) since the 1992 conflict.

Things did not begin heating up again until the U.S. began making a push to install its own puppet government and after 9/11, and began pushing for NATO membership. THEN the U.S sent troops to Georgia...all of this in the face of strong Russian objections... designed to agitate Russia. Georgia provides no significant benefit to the U.S., nor does the Ukraine. Much of U.S. policy in the region has been designed to aggravate tensions with Russia... surround Russia with NATO member countries and to isolate them...all the while, thumbing their nose at the Russians and instigating conflict.

The U.S. has no business there...and they knew it would create problems. The presense of the U.S. in Georgia has bolstered their President.... leading him to make irrational decisions...hoping to draw us into a conflict on his Country's behalf. If the U.S. were not there, he would not have made this decision... especially now, on the opening day of the Olympics.... attempting to pull the U.S. into some sort of confrontation. The Bush administration is nuts to allow the situation to get this bad.

Alex said...

This post raises interesting questions, though the certainty of the positions you take obscures some of the more complicated dynamics in this situation. While it is true that most South Ossetians seem to have little enthusiasm for being a part of Georgia (any more than Hungarians in Transylvania have a desire to be a part of Romania, or Russians in Estonia and Latvia to be a part of those countries, Basques a part of Spain, and countless other examples across Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia), the profits to the political and security elite in South Ossetia has come to be the prime motivation for this clique to spurn productive negotiations with Georgia, and to provoke the Georgians into a war. Moreover, while the United States is always influential, you severely overestimate its role and influence in this conflict. The US favors the principle of sovereignty over the principle of self-determination in this case, as it usually does, the Kosovo case notwithstanding. (And there are good though certainly not disputable reasons for the US positions in both cases.) Of course, perceived American interests lie in protecting the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which ensures that the Caspian Sea oil that flows through the pipeline remains out of reach of the Russians. Given the pipeline politics Russia is clearly prepared to engage in, this might not be such a bad idea. You say that the US is interested in Georgia's own natural resources--this was probably a typo, because Georgia has no great resources of its own. Finally, to call the present Georgian government a US puppet is simply wrong. Generally, you post reveals a kind of typical American arrogance--the notion that everything that goes on in the world is due to you, or under your control, or at least your business. The Georgians and the Russians--and the South Ossetians--have scores to settle, and though the US is player, in the fighting going on today it's position is marginal.

The Angry Independent said...


You are right, Georgia does not have much in terms of natural resources....but it is in a key position for the transit of oil.
Whether the natural resources are in Georgia or in neighboring Countries, my point is the same... The U.S. wants to control the flow of these resources.

And the Georgian President was heavily supported by the U.S. during the campaign there. He was their clear favorite...and they helped him win. He's essentially owes the U.S....but now he's trying to drag us into a conflict that we don't need.