Real News: The Geopolitics Of Georgia

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Yesterday we learned from Pepe Escobar, reporting for The Real News, that contrary to most reports in the US media, Georgia had been the original military aggressor in the conflict between Georgia and Russia with it’s ground attacks and aerial bombardment beginning last Thursday of the separatist province of South Ossetia in it’s attempt to forestall any reunion of South and North Ossetia.

Today F William Engdahl summarizes the geopolitics behind the conflict, with the unnerving statement that “This is probably the most unstable area on the planet right now“.

August 13, 2008 – 3 min 8 sec

US attempts to get Georgia into NATO, coupled with its desire to erect an anti-missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech republic would give it first strike capability towards Russia. Moscow sees this as a national security threat against the sovereignty of Russia. Political economist F William Engdahl believes this is the geopolitical endgame being played out in Georgia.

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.

Both John McCain and Barack Obama have attempted rather successfully in the media to stand the situation on its head with cold war rhetoric as Obama, ignoring the background to the situation, somewhat misleadingly referred to the Russian backing of South Ossetia as simply a violation of Georgia, and McCain, with his hot button pushing statements Tuesday…

…stepped up a fusillade against Russian “aggression” and declared that today, “we are all Georgians.”

Addressing voters in Pennsylvania, McCain said he had spoken by telephone earlier with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who he said wanted to thank the American people for their support.

“I told him that I know I speak for every American when I say to him, today, we are all Georgians,” said the Republican, a hardliner against Russia who wants the mighty nation expelled from the Group of Eight club.

Both McCain and his Democratic rival Barack Obama have condemned Russia’s incursion into Georgia following the Saakashvili government’s abortive attempt to rein in the breakaway, pro-Moscow region of South Ossetia.

“It is past time for the Russian government to immediately sign and implement a ceasefire,” Obama, who is on vacation in Hawaii, said in his latest statement on the crisis.

“Russia must halt its violation of Georgian airspace and withdraw its ground forces from Georgia, with international monitors to verify that these obligations are met,” the Illinois senator said.


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    • Edger on August 13, 2008 at 12:06

    But it appears that for both Obama and McCain, since the WOT rhetoric doesn’t work so well at inspiring fear anymore that it’s time to revive Russian commies bent on world domination as the newest old boogeyman.

    • 3card on August 13, 2008 at 14:18

    “I am a jelly donut” but got confused.

  1. about the motivations of both parties speaks to a significant lack of analysis ( not yours ) the interconnections between Russia and former satellites.

    It seems to me the prevailing attitude in North America is that the issues of the former Eastern Europe and former satellites are of little significance to us now that they have no political value in a post cold war era. At least during the cold war we had recognized analysts who had some interest in those states. Seems both the satellite nations and Russia will capitalize on that ignorance.

    I almost wish Obama had said nothing instead of reacting. McCain well he is really from the cold war era.

    Russia clearly still has authoritarian tendencies, the government at least, I can’t speak about the citizens. My own view, however ill informed is that Russia will always seek to protect itself through vague authoritarianism as a response to being a historical target of past imperialism. Of course, we in America resort to authoritarianism under the guise our protecting freedom.

  2. this blog post interesting in shedding some light on the situation.

    It’s a classic case of self determination vs national sovereignty. If one thinks that governments have the right to maintain their territorial integrity even should some of their citizens wish to declare independence, then Georgia has the right to retain control of its breakaway provinces, even with force if need be. If one thinks that people should be able to determine their own sovereignty, then one has to be sympathetic to the Abkhazian and South Ossetian declarations of independence, since it does seem clear that the overwhelming majority of ethnic Abkhazians and South Ossestians would prefer independence.

    In that sense, I would have the same questions about this that I would about the attempts by the southern states to break away from the US…an event which lead to the Civil War. He poses an important question. I’m not sure how I could answer it to tell you the truth.

    All I know is that I’m sure the PTB are exploiting this situation for their own ends.

    • Edger on August 13, 2008 at 18:43

    I agree with Engdahl’s assessment that this could be one of the most unstable situations in the world right now.

    Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili is so closely tied to the Bush administration that I don’t see how he could have made the decision to attack South Ossetia without Bush’s go ahead. Perhaps he felt or was led to believe that Bush would send in US forces to back him if Russia responded.

    It seems that somewhere along the line someone made a very bad miscalculation and created a situation that rapidly got out of control, leading Putin in Russia to take the opportunity to give Bush a slap in the face  while “defending” South Ossetia and also having the opportunity to retake Georgia, giving Russia control over the pipelines running through the country? There is so much going on here it’s difficult to separate out the real picture.

    • Viet71 on August 13, 2008 at 19:00

    I don’t know South Ossetia from East Ossetia.  But I wish all Ossetians well.  Especially the kids and the animals.  (Anyone know the South Ossetian national dish or national anthem?)

    Strongly suspect that to the extent the U.S. is mucking around in that part of the world it has to do ultimately with oil.

    The U.S. simply does not need another platform from which to launch nukes, in any direction.

  3. ~~US military to head a humanitarian mission~~ in Georgia…

      from Russia Today

    Above is a link to a minute by minute chronology. Note that the most recent is on top and it “counts backward” as you read down the page.

    Right now the top link is:

    15:13 GMT – Bush orders Defence Secretary Gates to start a “humanitarian mission headed by the U.S. military” in Georgia.

    This is a good site to keep track of the “other” side.  

  4. We are supporting the original aggressors, who are criticizing us for not acting sooner. Fine and good to send humanitarian aid, but then send it to both sides of the conflict  – Russian papers are reporting 2000+ civilian casualties from the first day of Georgia’s invasion into S. Ossetia!

    Russia is very possessive of its former republics – look how long the war in Chechnya lasted!  And this time Russian citizens were attacked (according to Russian papers), so the invasion is not surprising, and it is not something that the US (through Bush’s “diplomacy) can stop.  The EU might have a shot, but not us, not now.

    I’m against war in all forms, but who are Bush and co to criticize a military rebuttal after unleashing hell for no reason in Iraq?  No one will listen to them.  They are corrupt fools and world knows it.

    Yet another foolish foreign policy move – just in time to possibly mire us in a huge conflict during our elections!  I guess McCain’s military experience will come in handy during WW3.

  5. on the elite origins of neoliberalism in the 1970s.  I think it’s in “A Century of War.”  He’s studied the subject quite thoroughly.  He is probably also an adherent of the William I. Robinson/ Leslie Sklair “transnational capitalist class” thesis, that nations are today mere conduits for the movement of capital and so there is a transnational capitalist class pulling the strings.

    In this case, it appears that the transnational capitalist class has decided not to intervene in the dispute between Saakashvili and Russia.  Maybe they’ll intervene later, though.

    Eventually, given enough war and enough burning of those prized global oil reserves, we will wish for nuclear war as a safer and less painful mode of death than the starvation and heat prostration promised by abrupt climate change.

  6. McCain adviser got money from Georgia

    By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer

    2 hours, 3 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON – John McCain’s chief foreign policy adviser and his business partner lobbied the senator or his staff on 49 occasions in a 3 1/2-year span while being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the government of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

    The payments raise ethical questions about the intersection of Randy Scheunemann’s personal financial interests and his advice to the Republican presidential candidate who is seizing on Russian aggression in Georgia as a campaign issue.

    McCain warned Russian leaders Tuesday that their assault in Georgia risks “the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world.” . . . .

    • Edger on August 13, 2008 at 21:55

    Stratfor acknowledges Russia defeated US, not Georgian army in South Ossetia

    The USA acknowledged that Russia had virtually defeated the US, but not the Georgian army in South Ossetia. US instructors have spent four years training the Georgian army for an attack against Russian citizens. The US administration refused to help Saakashvili, because the true goal of the new game in the Caucasus is absolutely different.

    Experts of Stratfor, the so-called Shadow CIA, stated that the Russian army had not only preserved its battling capacity but also proved to the whole world that was it capable of defeating an armed enemy, trained by US instructors.

    A report from Stratfor particularly mentions that the operation in South Ossetia has exercised three things. First off, Russia has proved to have the army capable of conducting successful operations, in which many Western observers doubted before. Secondly, the Russians have showed that they can defeat the forces trained by US advisors. Finally, Russia has shown that the USA and NATO do not find themselves in the situation when they can interfere into a conflict from the military point of view.

    At the same time, the experts consider it to be a military demonstration of Russia to former republics of the Soviet Union, including Ukraine, the entire Caucasus and Central Asia. In addition, they see a hidden warning to Poland and the Czech Republic against the background of a possible deployment of elements of the US missile defense system in those countries. However, the experts exclude an opportunity for Moscow to organize an intervention against some of the above-mentioned countries.

    Stratfor’s statement means that the fight is over for Georgia and that the US administration is not going to cross the red line in its relations with Russia. Saakashvili’s hopes for NATO to become involved in a conflict with Russia went up in smoke.

    The USA is pursuing absolutely different goals, and the creation of the Great Georgia is surely not on its list. The Republicans organized the provocation to portray Russia as a monster on the globe on the threshold of the November elections. This plays into the hands of John McCain, who openly says that “Russia’s imperial ambition” needs to be curbed.

    This way or other, the USA has used the small country of Georgia as a toy.

    And Pravda front page today…

    USA shows its meanness again as Russia mourns victims of genocide

    Rice stated that the time, when the world would have to deal with the consequences of what happened in South Ossetia and Georgia, would come, although she did not specify what consequences Russia may eventually face. Condoleezza Rice’s anti-Russian remarks became yet another demonstration of double standards of the Bush’s administration in terms of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Rice repeated several times that Russia had a lot to lose, including its international reputation and its role in the international community

  7. USA approves Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia and Russia

    US presidential runoff John McCain said that Russia should not interfere in the conflict in South Ossetia. The pro-Georgian propaganda in the US media testifies to the same opinion. It brings up the idea that the Georgian aggression against the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia has been coordinated with the US administration. Nevertheless, all arguments of US politicians and experts ( interviewed some of them) do not withstand any criticism.

    “We must immediately call a meeting of the NATO Council to estimate Georgia’s security and consider the measures, which NATO may take to stabilize the highly dangerous situation,” John McCain said. . . .

  8. If assholes have to set up a war to promote their other asshole’s political agenda.  I have ho doubt warring factions of the Illuminati are to blame as their command over entire nations is complete.

    No doubt our media is propagandizing this for it contributes to the accelleration of the destruction of the US in ways we don’t yet realize.

    Truth watchers are pissed and looking for alternatives to youtube for censoring firsthand reports directly from Georgia……or was that the cyber war cointelpro department of the Pentagon, only the true of heart know.

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