Real News: Russia-Asia Cooperation A Nightmare For US Hawks

Yesterday we saw F William Engdahl and George Friedman of Stratfor introduce the background to the Russo-Georgian war, Russia’s motivations and their re-emergence as a major power that has reached the limits of its tolerance for US neocon/imperialist tendencies and the drive to encircle Russia.

Engdahl continues today with the third in the three part series on the geopolitics of the situation in the Caucasus, with a discussion of growing Russian Asian cooperation and its ramifications in international relations as a counterbalance to US power, particularly in light of the continued provoking of Russia and sparking of a new cold war as the US and Poland agree to place a missile base in Poland, a plan that has infuriated Moscow and sparked fears in Europe of a new arms race.

“We have crossed the Rubicon,” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said, referring to U.S. consent to Poland’s demands after more than 18 months of negotiations.

Washington says the planned system, which is not yet operational, is needed to protect the U.S. and Europe from possible attacks by missile-armed “rogue states'” like Iran. The Kremlin, however, feels it is aimed at Russia’s missile force and warns it will worsen tensions.

U.S. officials also said the timing of the deal was not meant to antagonize Russian leaders at a time when relations already are strained over the recent fighting between Russia and Georgia over the South Ossetia region.

August 15, 2008 – 3 min 44 sec

F William Engdahl: The Geopolitics of Georgia (3 of 3)

Russia-Asia cooperation a nightmare for US hawks

Russia and Georgia swapped accusations today presenting a huge challenge to the EU-sponsored ceasefire agreement designed to end seven days of fighting. The accord had envisioned Russian and Georgian forces returning to their original positions. These conditions have yet to be met. The United Nations estimates 100-thousand people have been uprooted by the fighting, including 12-thousand South Ossetians who fled north into Russia. F William Engdahl believes that “Russia China and the nations of Eurasia are beginning to cooperate politically and economically and this is a nightmare for Washington.”

F William Engdahl is an economist and author and the writer of the best selling book “A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order.” Mr Engdhahl has written on issues of energy, politics and economics for more than 30 years, beginning with the first oil shock in the early 1970s. Mr. Engdahl contributes regularly to a number of publications including Asia Times Online, Asia, Inc, Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Foresight magazine; Freitag and ZeitFragen newspapers in Germany and Switzerland respectively. He is based in Germany.


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    • Edger on August 15, 2008 at 15:10

    “I can think of no good reason for the United States to have a missile defense system in Poland, EXCEPT to provoke Russia. To ANNOUNCE such a deal NOW, given the situation in the Caucasus, is simply madness”, as Armando noted late yesterday at Talkleft.

    • Edger on August 16, 2008 at 03:27

    Bush vowed Navy aid to Georgia too soon

    By Jonathan S. Landay | McClatchy Newspapers

    August 14, 2008

    President Bush Wednesday promised that U.S. naval forces would deliver humanitarian aid to war-torn Georgia before his administration had received approval from Turkey, which controls naval access to the Black Sea, or the Pentagon had planned a seaborne operation, U.S. officials said Thursday.

    As of late Thursday, Ankara, a NATO ally, hadn’t cleared any U.S. naval vessels to steam to Georgia through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, the narrow straits that connect the Mediterranean and the Black Seas, the officials said. Under the 1936 Montreaux Convention, countries must notify Turkey before sending warships through the straits.

    Pentagon officials told McClatchy that they were increasingly dubious that any U.S. Navy vessels would join the aid operation, in large part because the U.S.-based hospital ships likely to go, the USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy, would take weeks to arrive.

    “The president was writing checks to the Georgians without knowing what he had in the bank,” said a senior administration official.

    “The president got out in front of the planning when he talked publicly about using naval forces,” said a second senior administration official. “At that point we need to look at treaty obligations, our bilateral relations with the Turks and others, waterway restrictions and what kind of ships might be appropriate and usable – something like the Comfort or something already in the Med (Mediterranean).”

    The U.S. officials requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly, because the issue is diplomatically sensitive or because the administration takes a dim view of officials who reveal its internal deliberations.

    Here we have two “senior administration officials”

    …of the Bush Administration who are, for lack of a better way to say it, telling the American people that their President is incompetent. They are leaking this with the full knowledge that it will humiliate Bush and make him look out of touch, uninformed, and ridiculous. To think that he could snap his fingers and send the US Navy into the Black Sea reveals that this man has no grasp on reality and no one advising him who knows what the hell it going on.

    This should be screaming from every paper, news show and website–the President doesn’t know what he’s doing, and he’s trying to send military forces into a situation he does not understand.

    Hat tip to Warren at They gave us a republic…


    • Edger on August 16, 2008 at 04:43

    their provoking of Russia after all…

    AP reported a few hours ago:

    MOSCOW (AP) – Russia warned Poland on Friday that it is exposing itself to attack – even a nuclear one – by accepting a U.S. missile interceptor base on its soil, delivering Moscow’s strongest language yet against the plan.

    American and Polish officials stuck firmly by their deal, signed Thursday, for Poland to host a system that Washington says is meant to block missile attacks by rogue nations like Iran.

    Moscow is convinced the base is aimed at Russia’s missile force, however, and the deal comes as relations already are strained over the fighting between Russia and U.S.-allied Georgia over the separatist Georgian region of South Ossetia.

    “Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike – 100 percent,” Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of staff of Russia’s armed forces, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

    He noted Russia’s military doctrine sanctions the use of nuclear weapons “against the allies of countries having nuclear weapons if they in some way help them.” Nogovitsyn said that would include elements of any strategic deterrence system, according to Interfax.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the deal “absolutely clearly demonstrates what we had said earlier – the deployment has the Russian Federation as its target.”

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