Russia Georgia War
A Brief History of Russia and the West
By Richard K. Moore
August 13, 2008
Everyone, since geopolitics was invented, has always known that Eurasia is the key to global supremacy. For that reason, Russia has been under attack by the West every time the West could get it together to launch an attack. Napoleon had his try, and the Germans had a go in World War I, having been manipulated in the context of Britain's balance of powers strategy. Then in World War II the Germans attacked again, having been re-armed by Western financiers. A strong, healthy Russia, even if geopolitically benign, is an obstacle to any power who seeks hegemony in global affairs.
The Cold War, an invention of the West, embodied two primary objectives. First and foremost, it provided an excuse for interventions all over the globe on the part of the US — ostensibly 'protecting the free world from Communism' — while in fact exploiting the hell out of what were deemed to be 'underdeveloped' nations. Secondarily, the Cold War amounted to a long-term attempt to destabilize the Soviet Union, which finally succeeded in 1990. The Cold War was perhaps the most successful of the historical series of attacks on Russia.
Once the Soviet Union had been destabilized, Yeltsin, a tool of the West, continued the attack on the Russian Republic itself, selling off its assets to cronies, while leaving Russia's infrastructures to rot. But lo, there arose in the East a great leader, along with surging oil prices, and Putin managed to turn Russia back into a contending superpower. The tide had turned. The Bear had awoken and found its courage. The old Grand Chess Game was again afoot.
The next Western attack, following that of Yeltsin, came in the form of CIA-managed 'colored revolutions', in the Ukraine, Georgia, et al. Russia has itself to blame for the ill will toward Russia that lingered in these places, but in reality that old history is not relevant in these political events. That ill will was exploited successfully by the US, but in fact these nations would fare much better in close cooperation with Russia than as client states of the West.
I don't want to romanticize Russia, not at all. But one must recognize certain things about Russian imperialism as contrasted to Western imperialism. Western imperialism — driven by banking elites — has economic exploitation as its primary objective. Russian imperialism — driven by national interests — has national security as its primary objective. While Western colonies, a.k.a. client states, are always poorer than the West, the Eastern European satellite nations typically had a higher standard of living than Russia itself during the Soviet era. Russia was more concerned with having a stable buffer against the West, than it was with robbing the satellites of their assets.
This is why I say that the nations surrounding Russia, now that they have gained their independence from Russian bureaucratic methods, would be better off economically by integrating themselves as peers into the Russian sphere of influence. Unfortunately, Russia is pathetic with propaganda, and with population management, as compared to the West, so they resorted to dictatorial methods in the Soviet era — and hence all the residual ill will that currently beclouds sound economic thinking. Any client state of the West is destined for economic exploitation, typically by means of enriching a local elite and keeping it in power as long as it plays ball with the international bankers — and suppresses its own people.
The Current Situation
Russia has turned the tide re/colored-revolutions, and is enticing back to the fold many of its neighbors by offering them favorable and profitable economic deals — not by installing suppressive client regimes. Russia has also out-foxed the US-UK oil cartel in the Caspian region and elsewhere. Russia, in concert with China, is beginning to eclipse the US-EU Axis in many areas, including manufacturing, control over energy supplies, productive economic activity, and monetary reserves. Only in military capability does the US continue to hold a #1 rating, and the actual military advantage slips day by day away from the Pentagon, as Russia and China develop their 'asymmetric' counter-measures.
This is the context in which US-NATO trained, armed, and encouraged Georgia to launch its brutal and illegal attack on South Ossetia, intentionally killing Russian citizens and peace-keepers, and intentionally targeting civilians generally. Nearly all of the casualties in the overall conflict were inflicted by Georgian forces at the outset of hostilities. The US and UK media refer to the total number of casualties, and imply that Russia is to blame for them. Such is the nature of our so-called 'free press'.
Clearly the US & NATO had no intention of backing up the Georgian forces, although Saakashvili was most likely led to believe otherwise. It's always dangerous to go with a 'green light to attack' from America. Saddam fell into that trap and got the Gulf War for his reward. And way back in the 1956 Hungarian uprising, the Voice of America had promised the rebels that America would come to their aid, and then they were left out to dry, cannon fodder for Cold War propaganda. The Kurds have been similarly betrayed on several occasions. The Native Americans had a phrase about the Yankees, "White Man speak with forked tongue".
Russia could not possibly have responded other than she did, on humanitarian grounds alone, along with national pride, and backed up by current international law & practice. And given the current geopolitical situation, Russia was probably looking for an opportunity to demonstrate her new-found assertiveness on the world stage. So the whole scenario was totally predictable by Washington, and the outcomes are exactly what the US wanted. Hence the one-sided spin in the media. The whole point of the operation was to demonize Russia and to reinstate the Cold War regime, an objective the US has been building up to for some time.
What's To Come
This leads us to considering two possible future scenarios: armageddon and regionalism. In the armageddon scenario — the stuff of Cheney's dreams — we finally have World War III, a nuclear exchange, and the winner takes all, if a winner remains standing. In the context of that scenario, the Georgian exercise would be meant to harden the lines, and to prepare populations to understand the 'why' of conflicts to come.
In the regionalism scenario, which I explored in The Post-Bush Regime, a Prognosis, the motivation for the Georgian exercise would be more along the lines of 1984, the creation of an enemy persona, an essential character in propaganda drama — "The Wicked Witch of the East unleashes her winged monkeys on the 'innocent' Georgians" — that sort of thing.
In support of the armageddon scenario we have reports of a US-NATO naval armada converging on Iran, with the intention of a full blockade. Russian military ships would challenge such a blockade, and off we go into armageddon land.
In support of the regionalism scenario we have reports of a collapsing dollar, and of the Amero coming to the rescue, along with the North American Union. A circling of the wagons into regional self-sufficiency, and most likely a post-capitalist, neo-feudal, world system.
Which will it be? Your guess is as good as mine.
On the other hand, by means of grass-roots intervention, a whole new scenario could be introduced. Only time will tell.
Copyright 2008 Richard K. Moore
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Comment by Peter Meyer, 2008-08-16:
The hypocrisy exhibited by George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice and Mikhail Saakashvili in their public statements is breathtaking. Bush criticizes Russia for "invading a sovereign country", which is exactly what the U.S. did to Iraq in 2003. Rice and Saakashvili speak constantly of the "territorial integrity" of Georgia, insisting that Abkhazia and South Ossetia must be recognized as Georgian territory, ignoring the fact that the Abkhazians and Ossetians are not ethnic Georgians, have their own language and culture, and (since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991) have made it very clear that they do not want to be ruled from Tbilisi.
It should not be forgotten (although this is one of the aims of the Western propaganda currently issuing from the Western mainstream media) that the Russia-Georgia war began when the Georgians attacked Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, during the night of August 7th (a date presumably chosen by the cynical Americans so as to eclipse the Beijing Olympics to begin on the following day). The BBC showed footage of hundreds of rockets being launched on the night of the 7th against Tskhinvali (and for the next two weeks most of the BBC news was about Georgia, with very little coverage of the Olympics). These rockets were directed against the civilian population, and the university and the hospital were hit as well as many residential areas. Hundreds of people were killed, villages were destroyed by Georgian troops, the civilian population was terrorized and tens of thousands of South Ossetians fled north to Russian territory (Refugees turn anger on Saakashvili). In response the Russians moved soldiers and tanks into South Ossetia and quickly defeated the Georgian army. But the Georgian attack which began the war is no longer mentioned in Western media reports, which instead portray the Russians as the aggressors. Condoleezza Rice, a bare-faced liar (as she always has been), presents the Russian defense of the South Ossetians following the Georgian attack as of the same nature as the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, clearly an absurd comparison, but one which (she hopes) will be received uncritically by a gullible Western audience who will then accept her demonizing of the Russians.
The Georgian attack on the civilian population of South Ossetia was obviously intended to draw the Russians into Georgia. The Russian move against the port of Poti is militarily quite understandable as a way to prevent the Americans and the Israelis from supplying further military hardware to the Georgian army. All this was no doubt foreseen by the Americans, who have set up this confrontation with the Russians and who are now exacerbating the situation by their Cold War rhetoric, ably assisted by Saakashvili describing the Russians as "barbarians" and "cold-blooded murderers" (though it was his army that murdered hundreds of residents of Tskhinvali in the initial rocket bombardment).
Clearly the Americans have orchestrated the events of the last week as a prelude to something bigger. Bush speaks of providing "humanitarian assistance" to the Georgians by sea, which implies a confrontation with the Russian navy in the Black Sea. There is a massive US naval armada now headed for the Persian Gulf, possibly to begin a blockade of Iran as required by US legislation enacted in May 2008.
The sight of Russian tanks in Georgia was exactly what the Americans needed to motivate the Poles (after eighteen months of negotiations) to sign a defense treaty allowing the US to establish a missile base on Polish territory, manned by US military personnel. The BBC and other Western "news" media continually repeat (with the aid of talking heads from the Heritage Foundation and other propaganda outlets) that the US missile base is "purely defensive", totally ignoring what is obvious to the Russians and to anyone else with a brain that this base will enable the Americans to install nuclear-armed cruise missiles capable of hitting Moscow within fifteen minutes of launch. This is obviously a situation which the Russians cannot allow. But the US-Polish agreement also requires the US to defend Poland in the event of an attack. (Note that World War II began when, two days after the German attack on Poland on September 1st, 1939, Britain declared war on Germany, as required by its defense treaty wth Poland.) The Americans are thus gambling that the Russians will not take out the US missile base for fear of precipitating nuclear war between US and Russia, but instead will allow the US in effect to put a gun to the head of Russia and demand its surrender (the culmination of the American drive for world domination). If the Americans have miscalculated, and the Russians do take out the missile base, then the consequences could easily include hundreds of millions of deaths in a very short time.
Additional comment, 2008-08-31:
In Operation The Eagle Strikes Richard Moore points out that "the US has been preparing for many years to carry out a nuclear first-strike against Russia ... What we are now seeing is the countdown to the first strike. ... Ultimately Russia will be forced to take an action that will be perceived by Western audiences as 'going too far', and that will be the excuse for the first strike."
This action "going too far" could well be a Russian attack on the U.S. missile base in Poland. It's likely that this is exactly what the U.S. has planned as the event which will "justify" its first strike. Even though the U.S.-Polish agreement no doubt does not explicitly permit it, the U.S. can (as stated above) easily install nuclear-armed cruise missiles capable of hitting Moscow in fifteen minutes, and this is a possibility that Russia cannot allow to occur, as it amounts to the U.S. holding a gun to the head of Russia.
Thus it seems that the U.S. is counting on Russia at some point in the escalation of U.S.-Russia hostilities to attack the missile base, which is when the U.S. will launch an all-out nuclear attack against Russia (and probably China as well).
The Russians might prevent this by a pre-emptive nuclear attack against the U.S. (simultaneous with an attack on the Polish missile base). In order to avoid having to do this, it's possible that Russia has privately informed the leaders of Poland that, in the event of the first sign of cruise missiles being launched from the Polish missile base in the direction of Moscow, Russia will launch nuclear-armed cruise missiles (or surface-to-surface ballistic missiles) which will devastate the ten largest cities of Poland. This is not something that would worry the Americans (their strategy includes the possibility of killing millions of Russians anyway), but it would obviously motivate the Poles to make strenuous efforts to prevent the Americans from installing nuclear-armed cruise missiles at the Polish missile base. But it's not certain that the Poles can actually do this, especially if the agreement does not allow for close Polish inspection of what is happening there. If the U.S. does manage to install Moscow-targeted cruise missiles then a pre-emptive attack upon the U.S. by Russia may be Russia's only chance of avoiding either unconditional surrender or obliteration. The U.S. strategic plan for world domination is thus gambling with, and placing in extreme danger, the lives of millions of its own citizens as well as those of European countries.
F. William Engdahl: Missile Defense: Washington and Poland just moved the World closer to War
Sarah Palin is a product of an extreme fringe of the American Evangelical movement known variously as the Third Wave Movement, also known as the New Apostolic Reformation, or as Joel's Army, a part of what is called Dominionism. ...
As one researcher familiar with the history of the Third Wave Movement or Dominionism describes, Dominionism "is based on the idea that in the end times there will be an outpouring of supernatural powers on a group of Christians that will take authority over the existing church and the world. The believing Christians of the world will be reorganized under the Fivefold Ministry and the church restructured under the authority of Prophets and Apostles and others anointed by God. The young generation will form 'Joel's Army' to rise up and battle evil and retake the earth for God."
Joel's Army followers are most often labile teenagers and young adults. They are taught to believe they're members of the final generation to come of age before the end of the world. Sarah Palin was twelve when she first came into these circles.
Palin recently told interviewer Charles Gibson of ABC News that Georgia should be granted membership of NATO. When pressed on whether this would mean that the US would be obliged to defend Georgia if Russian troops went into the country again, she replied, "Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help ... We have got to show the support, in this case, for Georgia." Is this Sarah Palin a stateswoman with foreign policy experience, or is it Sarah Palin the Dominionist who sees a potential war with Russia as part of an 'Elijah/Jezebel showdown on the Earth'?
— F. William Engdahl: Christian Fundamentalism Permeates the Republican Party: Sarah Palin's links to the Christian Right
Update, September 17, 2009:
- Anne Gearan: Obama junks Bush's European missile defense plan
President Barack Obama abruptly canceled a long-planned missile shield for Eastern Europe on Thursday [2009-09-17], replacing a Bush-era project that was bitterly opposed by Russia with a plan he contended would better defend against a growing threat of Iranian missiles.
The United States will no longer seek to erect a missile base and radar site in Poland and the Czech Republic, poised at Russia's hemline. That change is bound to please the Russians, who had never accepted U.S. arguments, made by both the Bush and Obama administrations, that the shield was intended strictly as a defense against Iran and other "rogue states". ...
"Our new missile defense architecture in Europe will provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America's allies," Obama said in announcing the shift, which U.S. officials said was based mainly on a May U.S. intelligence assessment that Iran's program to build a nuclear-capable long-range missile would take three years to five years longer than originally expected.
The replacement system would link smaller radar systems with a network of sensors and missiles that could be deployed at sea or on land. Some of the weaponry and sensors are ready now, and the rest would be developed over the next 10 years.
The Pentagon contemplates a system of perhaps 40 missiles by 2015, at two or three sites across Europe. That would augment a larger stockpile aboard ships. ...
The Obama administration said the shift is a common sense answer to the evolution of both the threat and the U.S. understanding of it. Iran has not shown that it is close to being able to lob a long-range missile, perhaps with a nuclear warhead, at U.S. allies in Europe.
Think about this. There is, and never has been, a danger that Iran might lob a nuclear missile on the U.S. or any European country. It is obvious that if Iran were to do this then it would be obliterated in a nuclear retaliation. Therefore the U.S. change of strategy has nothing to do with Iran, but rather with Russia. Either (a) the U.S. has realized that its previous plan to launch a nuclear first strike against Russia using the proposed Polish missile base was seriously flawed or (b) the Poles have (secretly) informed the Americans that they will not allow the development of the Polish missile base to proceed because of the danger that this would pose to Poland (in the event that the Americans used it to attack Russia) or (c) the Germans became very alarmed by Russia's plans (in response to the Americans) to base nuclear missiles in Kaliningrad (targeted at European cities) and put pressure on the Poles. So the Americans have had to rethink their strategy for their nuclear first strike against Russia. Fortunately this is likely to put their timetable back somewhat, perhaps to 2015 rather than 2012. Or perhaps this decision by the Americans is a ploy to deceive the Russians (and the rest of us), and the timetable remains intact, minus the Polish missiles.
The following article demonstrates that relief at the American decision to scrap the Polish missile base is actually unjustified, since the Americans have simply decided to pursue their goal of military domination of the world by other, and (in their eyes) better, means.
- Rick Rozoff: U.S. Missile Shield Plans: Retreat Or Advance?
Obama is promising a missile shield system not only more effective but more ambitious than the one he has rejected. ... The shift in policy is one of emphasis and not essence and portends the expansion and not the constriction of missile deployment plans in Europe. ... The Defense Secretary [Robert Gates] ... has not indicated a change of course but rather a more sophisticated version of his previous plans.
Armageddon is still on schedule.
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