And the Sane people of the World, myself included, cannot understand why.
The Bush Administration Seeks To Insert The U.S. Into the Conflict
Why is the military always the answer to every problem for the United States? It is always the first thing U.S. leaders think about in a crisis. It’s as if no other options exist for these people.
Well, it appears that the Georgian conflict could eventually escalate. The Bush administration has announced that it will send humanitarian aid to Georgia via the U.S. military. The Bush administration also says that it will take control of Georgian ports. The question is - how are they going to do this without a possible confrontation? They know that Russia has blockaded Georgian ports, taking full control of most of them.
The following is from the International Herald Tribune:
On a day the White House evoked emotional memories of the cold war, a senior Pentagon official said Wednesday that the relief effort was intended "to show to Russia that we can come to the aid of a European ally, and that we can do it at will, whenever and wherever we want." At a minimum, American forces in Georgia will test Russia's pledge to allow relief supplies into the country; they could also deter further Russian attacks, though at the risk of a potential military confrontation.
"We expect Russia to ensure that all lines of communication and transport, including seaports, airports, roads and airspace, remain open for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and for civilian transit," Bush said. "We expect Russia to meet its commitment to cease all military activities in Georgia, and we expect all Russian forces that entered Georgia in recent days to withdraw from that country."President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia, who has sharply criticized what he called a failure of the West to support his country, declared the U.S. relief operation a "turning point" in the conflict, which began last Thursday when Georgian forces tried to establish control in the breakaway region of South Ossetia, only to be routed by the Russians.
And what did the Russians do right after the U.S. came out with these statements about keeping Ports and rail lines open? They re-captured a Western port, took more prisoners, and blew up the rail line between Tblisi and Gori, cutting off an important link. And that was simply to prove a point and it allowed the Russians to thumb their noses right back at the U.S. .....you see, everytime that the U.S. makes these grand statements and demands that Russia do something (instead of talking to Russia, listening and truely negotiating in good faith about solving these wider issues once and for all) it only complicates the situation. It makes it more difficult for EU and OSCE diplomats to mediate.
Complicating matters even more....John McCain issued a statement last week stating that if he becomes President, he would push hard to have Georgia included in NATO. Thanks a lot John McCain. Essentially he is saying that he wants to all but guarantee a U.S. conflict with Russia if he is elected, as if we need any new wars, not to mention a war of that magnitude. The U.S. can't handle the two wars that it is currently entangled in. Complete madness!!!
Amazingly Barack Obama, the so-called "change" candidate, followed suit... saying that Georgia should be a part of NATO. That was the last straw for me in terms of how I view Barack Obama and his candidacy.
I knew that the longer this conflict dragged on, there would be a greater risk of the Bush administration doing something stupid like sending in the military's "humanitarian aid". Why in the world would the U.S. send troops (of any kind) to a conflict zone like Georgia unless it was seeking confrontation?
The danger with this situation is that a misunderstanding could lead to a larger conflict. We are dealing with 3 irrational government leaderships - In Georgia, Russia, and the United States. Increased involvement by the U.S. will only increase the risk of an incident. No one will be able to say that it was unforeseen if an incident occurs.
This new U.S. mission may be a deliberate attempt by the Bush administration to inject the U.S, further into the conflict. This “humanitarian” mission in Georgia may also be an effort by the Bush Administration to get the U.S. involved in a war without seeking Congressional approval. The guise of “humanitarianism” is always a convenient tool for avoiding Congressional approval for wars. Why a large humanitarian mission now in the absence of a permanent peace deal? And why is the U.S. so eager to take the lead role, when the EU had already taken this responsibility?
I also find it interesting that Bush is sending a humanitarian mission via the military so soon in Georgia. It all seems so disingenuous. If the U.S. were really concerned about humanitarianism, then why in the Hell hasn’t he sent significant help to Darfur, where there is a real genocide underway….responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Africans, and displacing hundreds of thousands more?
What is really going on here is that the U.S. seems to be itching for a fight with Russia. At the least, the U.S. wants to continue poking Russia in the eye. In fact, we are in a frightening situation where war hawks control the governments of all 3 principal Countries in this conflict, particularly in the U.S. and Russia. In the U.S., we have an administration still controlled by neocons who long for a return of old Cold War tensions. They dream of taking us back to that period. They seem to welcome the idea of confrontation with Russia. Consequences? Who cares about consequences? They don’t care about the consequences of their hard-line approach. The rush they get from Cold War nostalgia overshadows the consequences.
On the Russian side….you have some of the same nonsense going on…. A group of ex-KGB men who also want to return to their old Cold War glory. Putin has made clear that he wanted to return Russia to the kind of status that it held during the Soviet days.
Any humanitarian mission should be part of a larger international effort - not an effort led by the U.S. military. The “humanitarian” mission seems to be about machismo…ego, and an effort by the U.S. to puff its chest. In fact, this whole conflict is about egos. Pride and emotionalism have trumped rational thought in Georgia, Russia and the U.S.
The U.S. intends to entrench itself even deeper into Georgia, by stepping up military contacts (despite the U.S. trained Georgian Army being trounced once already), and providing more economic aid. Senator Joe Biden - a possible VP choice for Barack Obama, recently took a trip to Georgia promising more money from American taxpayers. (I am amazed at how fast they move for European Countries, but have yet to provide the same urgency for Darfur, where tens of thousands have been killed....where there really is a genocide taking place).
As if that's not enough, the U.S. and Germany, among others, have essentially promised NATO membership for Georgia, with Ukraine not far behind. This is despite the fact that it makes no good sense whatsoever, and many experts have sounded the alarm about such a move. Some believe that NATO is like a book club, or a treehouse gang. They seem to forget that NATO is a one for all, all for one military defense alliance. The risks of a conflict increases, and the burden on member countries increases (esp. the larger nations) whenever a new nation is added. Furthermore, NATO has not traditionally been in the business (until recently) of including unstable Countries, and countries that are in conflict, and have regular skirmishes with their neighbors. Why The U.S. wants to make this move is beyond comprehension and goes against everything that is sane & rational.
Article On Georgia and NATO from March 08
Article from the New York Times
More on NATO
Georgia Still on Course for NATO membership