Who started Cold War II?

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Who started Cold War II?

Post by ziggy on Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:30 pm

Who started Cold War II?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

19/08/08 "WND" -- - The American people should be eternally grateful to Old Europe for having spiked the Bush-McCain plan to bring Georgia into NATO.

Had Georgia been in NATO when Mikheil Saakashvili invaded South Ossetia, we would be eyeball to eyeball with Russia, facing war in the Caucasus, where Moscow's superiority is as great as U.S. superiority in the Caribbean during the Cuban missile crisis.

If the Russia-Georgia war proves nothing else, it is the insanity of giving erratic hotheads in volatile nations the power to drag the United States into war.

From Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan, as Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, U.S. presidents have sought to avoid shooting wars with Russia, even when the Bear was at its most beastly.

Truman refused to use force to break Stalin's Berlin blockade. Ike refused to intervene when the Butcher of Budapest drowned the Hungarian Revolution in blood. LBJ sat impotent as Leonid Brezhnev's tanks crushed the Prague Spring. Jimmy Carter's response to Brezhnev's invasion of Afghanistan was to boycott the Moscow Olympics. When Brezhnev ordered his Warsaw satraps to crush Solidarity and shot down a South Korean airliner killing scores of U.S. citizens, including a congressman, Reagan did nothing.

These presidents were not cowards. They simply would not go to war when no vital U.S. interest was at risk to justify a war. Yet, had George W. Bush prevailed and were Georgia in NATO, U.S. Marines could be fighting Russian troops over whose flag should fly over a province of 70,000 South Ossetians who prefer Russians to Georgians.

The arrogant folly of the architects of U.S. post-Cold War policy is today on display. By bringing three ex-Soviet republics into NATO, we have moved the U.S. red line for war from the Elbe almost to within artillery range of the old Leningrad.

Should America admit Ukraine into NATO, Yalta, vacation resort of the czars, will be a NATO port and Sevastopol, traditional home of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, will become a naval base for the U.S. Sixth Fleet. This is altogether a bridge too far.

And can we not understand how a Russian patriot like Vladimir Putin would be incensed by this U.S. encirclement after Russia shed its empire and sought our friendship? How would Andy Jackson have reacted to such crowding by the British Empire?

As of 1991, the oil of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan belonged to Moscow. Can we not understand why Putin would smolder as avaricious Yankees built pipelines to siphon the oil and gas of the Caspian Basin through breakaway Georgia to the West?

For a dozen years, Putin & Co. watched as U.S. agents helped to dump over regimes in Ukraine and Georgia that were friendly to Moscow.

If Cold War II is coming, who started it, if not us?

The swift and decisive action of Putin's army in running the Georgian forces out of South Ossetia in 24 hours after Saakashvili began his barrage and invasion suggests Putin knew exactly what Saakashvili was up to and dropped the hammer on him.

What did we know? Did we know Georgia was about to walk into Putin's trap? Did we not see the Russians lying in wait north of the border? Did we give Saakashvili a green light?

Joe Biden ought to be conducting public hearings on who caused this U.S. humiliation.

The war in Georgia has exposed the dangerous overextension of U.S. power. There is no way America can fight a war with Russia in the Caucasus with our army tied down in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nor should we. Hence, it is demented to be offering, as John McCain and Barack Obama are, NATO membership to Tbilisi.

The United States must decide whether it wants a partner in a flawed Russia or a second Cold War. For if we want another Cold War, we are, by cutting Russia out of the oil of the Caspian and pushing NATO into her face, going about it exactly the right way.

Vladimir Putin is no Stalin. He is a nationalist determined, as ruler of a proud and powerful country, to assert his nation's primacy in its own sphere, just as U.S. presidents from James Monroe to Bush have done on our side of the Atlantic.

A resurgent Russia is no threat to any vital interests of the United States. It is a threat to an American Empire that presumes some God-given right to plant U.S. military power in the backyard or on the front porch of Mother Russia.

Who rules Abkhazia and South Ossetia is none of our business. And after this madcap adventure of Saakashvili, why not let the people of these provinces decide their own future in plebiscites conducted by the United Nations or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe?

As for Saakashvili, he's probably toast in Tbilisi after this stunt. Let the neocons find him an endowed chair at the American Enterprise Institute.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20554.htm
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Re: Who started Cold War II?

Post by shermangeneral on Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:20 pm

Well zig the more I read about this misadventure the worse it looks.

And the more it looks like the U.S. was the architect.

And there is some speculation it was done to help the McCain campaign,

(I hope that turns out to be untrue)

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Re: Who started Cold War II?

Post by Randall on Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:07 pm

Buchanan makes some good points concerning Georgia's suitability (or lack thereof) as a reliable NATO ally. However, it should be pointed out that Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czechs, Romania, the Baltic states, and now Ukraine and Georgia, did not clamor for membership into NATO because the US forced them to. They wanted in because they fear Russian domination. Obviously their fears are well-founded.
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Re: Who started Cold War II?

Post by Aaron on Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:42 pm

Who Started the War in Georgia?
Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2008 By ANDREW PURVIS / BERLIN Nothing spawns conspiracy theories like war in a remote place. The latest one comes from a singularly well-placed source. In an interview with CNN last week, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the U.S. of orchestrating the war in Georgia in order to benefit the candidacy of John McCain. He claimed that "U.S. citizens were indeed in the area of conflict" and that "the only one who can give such orders is their leader." Without endorsing Putin's claim, many European officials reportedly harbor suspicions that there was more American involvement in the crisis than previously reported. That may be one reason, some European political analysts say, why European Union leaders this week failed to impose concrete sanctions on Moscow for its Georgian adventure.

Moscow's recriminations, amplified in the echo chamber of bloggers with a Manichaean view of world politics, are sure to boom further with the arrival tomorrow in Tbilisi of Vice President Dick Cheney. A frequent advocate of robust U.S. intervention, Cheney is expected to highlight Georgia's role as a standard bearer for the free world while announcing a new $1 billion U.S. aid package to help rebuild the war-damaged country. His presence is almost certain to be linked to that of U.S. warships in the Black Sea, to which Putin has already promised a "calm" response.

Yet while many questions remain unanswered about why Georgia embarked on such a suicidal war, the American role in particular seems in danger of being exaggerated. No evidence has yet been uncovered, by Putin or anyone else, that the U.S. or its advisers triggered the conflict.

That is not to say, however, that Washington is a disinterested party, since it has maintained especially close relations with the government of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Saakashvili graduated from Columbia University School of Law and worked briefly for a New York City law firm before taking up opposition politics back home in the 1990s. As has been widely reported, some of the groups that helped organize the 2003 Rose Revolution that ousted his predecessor, Eduard Shevardnadze, received funding from the U.S. government. Since Saakashvili took office in 2004, his government has continued to receive strong U.S. funding, and the Georgian military was rebuilt with the help of U.S. defense aid and training from American military advisers. (Georgia also sent 2,000 men to fight alongside the U.S. in Iraq.) Several U.S. citizens, including Daniel Kunin, the son of former Vermont governor Madeleine Kunin, have worked as senior aides to Saakashvili's administration. Randy Scheunemann, a senior adviser to Republican presidential candidate John McCain, was a lobbyist for Georgia until earlier this year. And the Georgian President has friends in high circles in the U.S., including Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden and McCain himself.

Statements from President George W. Bush and others may have emboldened Saakashvili to expect U.S. assistance that in the end wasn't forthcoming, but that's a far cry from an active role in launching military action. The truth is that both Russia and Georgia had plenty of reasons of their own to start a war. Putin, who resents Saakashvili for his brazen defiance of Moscow and close ties to the West, had ample grounds to try to invade Georgia and oust him. Saakashvili, for his part, had staked his presidency on "reintegrating" Georgia's two breakaway territories into Georgia proper.

What remains unclear is which one of them moved first. Russia contends that on the night the war began, Aug. 7, they were simply responding to a Georgian attack on the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali and the threat to the lives of Russian and Ossetian civilians there. But that scenario does not explain the widely documented buildup since the spring of Russian forces just across the border from South Ossetia, which made it possible for up to 150 tanks to cross into South Ossetia within hours of the Russian order to attack.

Russian officials initially claimed that up to 2,000 civilians died in South Ossetia on Aug. 7 before Russian troops arrived on the scene. That estimate has since been reduced by Russia to 133, which is well short of anyone's definition of a "genocide" that would justify a rapid foreign intervention. Representatives of Human Rights Watch, who visited all four hospitals in the region shortly after the battle, say the organization has proof of only 44 deaths that night.

Yet Georgia's claim that Russia started the war is not completely convincing either. In an interview with TIME, Saakashvili said he ordered his troops to attack the South Ossetian city of Tskhinvali only after Russia launched its invasion into Georgian territory; his professed aim was to slow Russia's advance by 48 hours in order to give the international community time to act. But on the night of Aug. 7, and for three to four days afterward, Georgian officials did not say that Russia had launched its invasion first but only that their forces were responding to stepped-up attacks by 120-mm mortars from Russian-backed South Ossetian forces on Georgian positions.

There may be a kernel of truth to both sides. Saakashvili may have thought that his forces could stamp out the South Ossetian defense force in one swift strike without provoking a Russian response; indeed, a mistaken belief that Western allies could intervene diplomatically to restrain Russia might have encouraged him in that calculation. For its part, Russia could well have sought to provoke Georgia into such a response (by urging the South Ossetians to step up attacks on Georgian positions) in order to provide them with a pretext to invade.

"Georgia miscalculated, but so did we all," one Western diplomat in the region said. None of this speaks to the overwhelming force that Russia used after it launched its invasion and the deliberate flouting of international opinion that Moscow has displayed since. The conflict is not over yet, and there is plenty of blame to go around. But when it comes to assigning responsibility, there's no strong case for the U.S. being the first address.

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Re: Who started Cold War II?

Post by Stephanie on Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:43 am

What should Russia's neighbors do? All just allow Putin to expand his power at their expense?

I just can't believe anybody would try to make Putin out to be the victim in this. He is a power hungry thug with no respect for the sovereignty of his neighbors.

I oppose US intervention in this. I prefer the US withdraw from international agencies like NATO and the UN that threaten our sovereignty and push us to intervene in conflicts with other nations. Still, even I don't excuse Putin's actions.

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Re: Who started Cold War II?

Post by Aaron on Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:58 am

This was an article from Time/CNN. I'm not trying to make Putin look good. I posted it to show that there are some on the left who believe the US is not responsible for this war much to the chagrin of most liberals.
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Re: Who started Cold War II?

Post by Stephanie on Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:33 pm

Aaron,

I wasn't responding to your post.

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