What Were They Smoking in the White House?

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What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by ziggy on Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:53 pm

Crisis in the Caucasus. What Were They Smoking in the White House?

By Eric Margolis

19/08/08 "Lew Rockwell" -- - The Bush administration appears to have pulled off its latest military fiasco in the Caucasus. What was supposed to have been a swift and painless takeover of rebellious South Ossetia by America’s favorite new ally, Georgia, has turned into a disaster that left Georgia battered, Russia enraged, and NATO badly demoralized. Not bad for two days work.

Equally important, Russia’s Vladimir Putin swiftly and decisively checkmated the Bush administration’s clumsy attempt last week to expand US influence into the Caucasus, and made the Americans and their Georgian satraps look like fools.

We are not facing a return to the Cold War – yet. But the current US-Russian crisis over Georgia, a tiny nation of only 4.6 million, and its linkage to a US anti-ballistic missile system in Eastern Europe, is deeply worrying and increasingly dangerous.

On 7 August, Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, ordered his US and Israeli-advised and equipped army to invade the breakaway region of South Ossetia, which has been struggling for independence from Georgia since 1992. Most of its people were Russian citizens who wanted union with Russian North Ossetia.

If not directly behind Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia, Washington had to have been at least fully aware of Saakashvili’s plans. The Georgian Army was trained and equipped by US and Israeli military advisors stationed with its troops down to battalion level. CIA and Israel’s Mossad operated important intelligence stations in Tbilisi and coordinated plans with the Saakashvili, whose political opponents have long accused him of being very close to CIA and the Pentagon.

Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia was launched while the world was absorbed by the Beijing Olympics, and Prime Minister Putin was in the Chinese capital. The attack was clearly planned to be a lightening strike that would occupy all of South Ossetia and then Abkhazia before Moscow could react, presenting the Kremlin with a fait accompli.

Who in Bush’s or Cheney’s office approved this stupid adventure? Why did the very smart Israelis get sucked into this imbroglio?

Saakashvili’s stealth "coup de main" quickly turned into a disaster. Russia’s 58th Army responded by routing Georgian forces and delivering a humiliating strategic and psychological blow to the Bush administration. Saakashvili fell right into Moscow’s trap.

Georgia and Russia have been feuding since 1992 over two Georgian ethnic enclaves, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, whose people differ in ethnicity and language from Georgians and who wanted to rejoin Russia.

The young, US-educated Saakashvili became Georgia’s president in 2003 after an uprising, believed organized by CIA and financed by US money, overthrew the former leader, Eduard Shevardnadze. I came to know and respect Shevardnadze in Moscow when he was Mikhail Gorbachev’s principal ally and architect of Soviet reform.

Had the able, clever Shevardnadze still been in power, this misadventure would never have happened.

Saakashvili quickly became the golden boy of US rightwing neoconservatives and their Israeli allies, who held him a model of how to turn former Russian-dominated states into "democratic" US allies. Georgian critics claim Saakashvili kept power by intimidation, bribery, and vote rigging. The youthful Georgian leader, his head swelled by promises of US support and NATO membership, launched a war of words against Moscow.

Amazingly, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a supposed Russian expert, even publicly assured Saakashvili that the US would "fight" for Georgia. Washington’s latest fiasco falls squarely into her lap.

US money, military trainers, advisers, and intelligence agents poured into the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Israeli arms dealers, businessmen and intelligence agents quickly followed, reportedly selling some $200 million or more of military equipment to the Georgian government.

By expanding its influence into Georgia, the Bush administration brazenly flouted agreements with Moscow made by president George H.W. Bush not to expand NATO into the former USSR. President Bill Clinton and George W. Bush both violated this pact. Under the feeble Yeltsin regime, bankrupt Russia could do nothing. But under Putin, newly wealthy Russia finally pushed back after a long series of provocations fromWashington.

Russia’s tough deputy prime minister, Sergei Ivanov, sneeringly observed that Georgia had become a "US satellite." He was absolutely right. And Ivanov, a former KGB colleague of Vlad Putin, knows a satellite when he sees one. Georgia provided the US oil and gas pipeline routes from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan that bypassed Russian territory. Russia was furious its Caspian Basin energy export monopoly had been broken, vowing revenge.

Now that the Russians have checkmated the US and client Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia will likely move into Russia’s orbit. The west rightly backed independence of Kosovo from Serbia. The peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, who are ethnically and linguistically different from Georgians, should have as much right to secede from Georgia.

Besides thwarting Bush’s clumsy attempt to further advance US influence into Russia’s Caucasian underbelly, Putin delivered a stark warning to Ukraine and the Central Asian states: don’t get too close to Washington. Putin put the US on the strategic defensive and showed that NATO’s new eastern reaches – the Baltic, Bulgaria, Romania, and the Caucasus – are largely indefensible.

It’s a good thing Georgia was not admitted to NATO, as the White House had reportedly promised Saakashvili. Had Georgia been admitted before this crisis, the US and its NATO allies would have been in a state of war with Russia. Disturbingly, Germany’s conservative prime minister, Angelika Merkel, rushed to Tbilisi to assure Saakashvili that her nation still backed NATO membership for Georgia.

Is the west really ready to be dragged into a potential nuclear war for the sake of South Ossetia? Are American and German troops ready to fight in the Caucasus? Georgia is a bridge too far for NATO.

President George Bush, VP Dick Cheney and Sen. John McCain all resorted to table pounding and Cold War rhetoric against Russia. McCain, whose senior foreign policy advisor is a neoconservative and was a registered lobbyist for Georgia, demanded that the US and NATO "punish" Russia and put it into diplomatic isolation.

Unfortunately, the indignant John McCain’s could not even properly pronounce "Abkhazia."

America’s neocon amen chorus demanded a confrontation with Russia, chanting their usual mantras about Munich, appeasement and the myths of World War II. One certainly wondered if the Caucasian fracas was not staged by the Republicans to provide Sen. McCain with the "three a.m. phone call" he has been longing for and a chance to sound tough. This he did, even though his rhetoric was empty and his solutions vapid. Barack Obama ducked the issue or issued a few tepid bromides about halting "Russian aggression."

Meanwhile, hypocrisy flew thicker than shellfire. Bush, who ordered the invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, and is threatening war against Iran, accused Russia of "bullying" and "aggression." Putin, who crushed the life out of Chechnya’s independence movement, piously claimed his army was saving Ossetians from Georgian ethnic cleansing and protecting their quest for independence.

Bush and McCain demand Russia be punished and isolated. The humiliated Bush is sending some US troops to Georgia to deliver "humanitarian" aid. Equally worrisome, the US rushed to sign a pact with Warsaw to station anti-missile missiles and anti-aircraft batteries, manned by US troops, in Poland. This response is dangerous, highly provocative, and immature. The next president will have to deal with the Bush administrations reckless and foolish acts in the Mideast, Eastern Europe, Afghanistan and now, the Caucasus

The west must accept Russia has vital national interests in the Caucasus and the former USSR. Russia is a great power and must be afforded respect. The days of treating Russia like a banana republic are over. Have we learned nothing from World War I or II, both of which began with flare-ups in obscure Sarajevo and the Danzig Corridor?

The US’s most important foreign policy concern is keeping correct relations with Russia, which has thousands of nuclear warheads pointed at North America. Georgia is a petty sideshow. US missiles in Poland and radars in the Czech Republic are a dangerous, unnecessary provocation that is sowing dragon’s teeth for future confrontation.

Eric Margolis, contributing foreign editor for Sun National Media Canada, is the author of War at the Top of the World. See his website.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20556.htm
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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by SamCogar on Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:39 am

YADA, ..... YADA, ..... YADA

First you align yourself with and support ......... China and Communist North Viet Nam.

Next you align yourself with and support ......... China and Communist North Korea.

Next you align yourself with and support ......... the actions of the Tally Ban in Afghanistan.

Next you align yourself with and support ......... the actions of Saddam, ....... the Iraqi religious fanatics, ...... the insurgents ....... and anyone else, group or Country that have been doing their damnest to get the US Military out of Iraq.

And now you are aligning yourself with and supporting ......... the actions of the Russians in their invasion into the country of Georgia.

Ziggy, .... please tell us, .......... why did/do you oppose Bush's invasion of Iraq ....... but overwhelmingly approve of Putin's invasion of Georgia?


.

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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by shermangeneral on Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:49 am

It looks like the bush bunch has again got theirself in a situation where no matter what they do they will look bad.

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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by ziggy on Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:13 am

Ziggy, .... please tell us, .......... why did/do you oppose Bush's invasion of Iraq ....... but overwhelmingly approve of Putin's invasion of Georgia?

Why did/do you approve of Georgia's invasion of South Ossetia- and using American military equipment in doing so?
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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by SamCogar on Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:38 pm

Ziggy, .... please tell us, .......... why did/do you oppose Bush's invasion of Iraq ....... but overwhelmingly approve of Putin's invasion of Georgia?


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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by Randall on Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:57 pm

That opinion piece reeks of leftist paranoia, and makes a very fundamental error: The author assumes that the US government directs every military action anywhere in the world. Georgia was warned repeatedly not to respond to Russia's provocations. Should we have been more adamant? Clearly so, but contrary to some fevered imaginations on the Left, the neocons and Jews don't control the actions of foreign governments. Obviously Saakashvili rather egegriously miscalculated, and fell into Russia's trap. Make no mistake, Russia wanted this war, and had been planning for it for months. A nation-state cannot organize such an overwhelming military response in just two hours.
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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by ziggy on Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:11 pm

Ziggy, .... please tell us, .......... why did/do you oppose Bush's invasion of Iraq ....... but overwhelmingly approve of Putin's invasion of Georgia?

First Sam, tell us why you support the Georgian attacks upon Ossetia. They were the predicate aggression that prompted Putin's invasion.
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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by ziggy on Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:16 pm

Randall wrote:That opinion piece reeks of leftist paranoia, and makes a very fundamental error: The author assumes that the US government directs every military action anywhere in the world.

Yeah, and that ole' leftist Pat Buckhannon agrees with him.
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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by Randall on Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:24 pm

The far left and the far right often meet; the political spectrum is not a line, but a circle.
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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by Aaron on Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:25 pm

Randall wrote:That opinion piece reeks of leftist paranoia, and makes a very fundamental error: The author assumes that the US government directs every military action anywhere in the world. Georgia was warned repeatedly not to respond to Russia's provocations. Should we have been more adamant? Clearly so, but contrary to some fevered imaginations on the Left, the neocons and Jews don't control the actions of foreign governments. Obviously Saakashvili rather egegriously miscalculated, and fell into Russia's trap. Make no mistake, Russia wanted this war, and had been planning for it for months. A nation-state cannot organize such an overwhelming military response in just two hours.

I'm curious as to your response to this Frank!
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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by ziggy on Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:44 pm

Georgia was warned repeatedly not to respond to Russia's provocations. Should we have been more adamant? Clearly so, but contrary to some fevered imaginations on the Left, the neocons and Jews don't control the actions of foreign governments.

The GWB administration is so diplomatically inept that it can't even persuade its own allies to avoid shooting themselves in the foot with military hardware the U.S. made available to them.

Obviously Saakashvili rather egegriously miscalculated, and fell into Russia's trap. Make no mistake, Russia wanted this war, and had been planning for it for months. A nation-state cannot organize such an overwhelming military response in just two hours.


Or maybe it was the U.S. that wanted this war- and goaded for it- to try to convince the other former eastern European Soviet satellites that they really do need to join NATO.
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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by Aaron on Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:04 pm

It was Russia who wanted this war for the express purpose of keeping NATO off their border but I'm not the least bit suprised that you lay the blame at GWB's feet.

Same old same old.
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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by ziggy on Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:49 pm

Randall wrote:The far left and the far right often meet; the political spectrum is not a line, but a circle.

You know, Randall, I think you're onto something there. Wink Wink
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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by SamCogar on Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:29 am

ziggy wrote:
Ziggy, .... please tell us, .......... why did/do you oppose Bush's invasion of Iraq ....... but overwhelmingly approve of Putin's invasion of Georgia?

First Sam, tell us why you support the Georgian attacks upon Ossetia. They were the predicate aggression that prompted Putin's invasion.

Ziggy, if you keep posting shit like that ....... then I will hammer your ass to the wall.

Then you will again be able to flex you newly acquired "monster muscles" to edit/delete my posts ........ and because the Administrator feels sorry for you ........ you will be permitted to get by with it.

No frigging way, Zigster, ....... you can't COVER YOUR ASS by stipuating that I must FIRST answer your question. Put you in a Witness Chair and actions such as that ..... and the Judge would have ass in jail in a heartbeat.

Zig, your ass is now on the carpet in front of God and everybody and you need to explain why you have been pro Socialist / Communist for the past 50 years ........ while at the same time claiming to be "a true Patriot" and avid supporter of the COTUS and BOR.

SamCogar wrote:YADA, ..... YADA, ..... YADA

First you align yourself with and support ......... China and Communist North Viet Nam.

Next you align yourself with and support ......... China and Communist North Korea.

Next you align yourself with and support ......... the actions of the Tally Ban in Afghanistan.

Next you align yourself with and support ......... the actions of Saddam, ....... the Iraqi religious fanatics, ...... the insurgents ....... and anyone else, group or Country that have been doing their damnest to get the US Military out of Iraq.

And now you are aligning yourself with and supporting ......... the actions of the Russians in their invasion into the country of Georgia.

Ziggy, .... please tell us, .......... why did/do you oppose Bush's invasion of Iraq ....... but overwhelmingly approve of Putin's invasion of Georgia?


.



.

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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by ziggy on Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:40 am

Sam, I am not the least bit intimidated by your big red letters and pretend tough talk and your dancing queers.

I have been married to Ms. Ziggy for almost 42 years, and you can't hold a candle to her when it comes to nailing my ass to the wall. You are just an amateur pretending to be an expert.

So I will repeat- why are you OK with the predicate Georgian agression against Ossetia?
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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by SamCogar on Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:01 am

ziggy wrote:Sam, I am not the least bit intimidated by your big red letters and pretend tough talk and your dancing queers.

I have been married to Ms. Ziggy for almost 42 years, and you can't hold a candle to her when it comes to nailing my ass to the wall. You are just an amateur pretending to be an expert.

Ziggy, and just how could Ms. Ziggy be very good at "nailing your ass to the wall" .......when for most all those firsr 30+ years of marriage ...... you spent damn near every waking hour at your garage or on 'road calls'?


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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by ziggy on Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:15 am

She ain't complained a word about that Sam- at least not since I sold it for enough $$$ to make her very happy. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

And so I will repeat- why are you OK with the predicate Georgian agression against Ossetia?
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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by Randall on Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:18 pm

Zig, "aggression" might not be the right word, given that the South Ossetians were, in the days leading up to the war, launching small attacks against isolated Georgian outposts and troops. Whether they were doing this at the behest of the Russians is unclear. "Foolish response" might be a better way to describe Georgia's action.

You make the argument that Bush's track record of inept or non-existent diplomacy was a contributing factor to the Russian invasion. That is a generally a legitimate point, but I'm not sure how applicable it is when dealing with the Russians. Carter was the most Moscow-friendly US president since Roosevelt, but all his diplomatic overtures did not prevent the Soviets from invading Afghanistan. Sometimes the Russians just like to remind the world that they can do what they want. Often it comes back to bite them.
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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by Randall on Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:24 pm

Or maybe it was the U.S. that wanted this war- and goaded for it- to try to convince the other former eastern European Soviet satellites that they really do need to join NATO.

What former eastern European Soviet satellites would those be? They are all already in NATO, at their own request. Ukraine and Georgia, two former Soviet republics, had already made it clear that they want to join NATO; it doesn't seem that they needed any more convincing. Finland, maybe?

Sorry Zig, but I think you're stretching a bit.
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Re: What Were They Smoking in the White House?

Post by Aaron on Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:48 am

SamCogar wrote:Zig, your ass is now on the carpet in front of God and everybody and you need to explain why you have been pro Socialist / Communist for the past 50 years ........ while at the same time claiming to be "a true Patriot" and avid supporter of the COTUS and BOR.

First you align yourself with and support ......... China and Communist North Viet Nam.

Next you align yourself with and support ......... China and Communist North Korea.

Next you align yourself with and support ......... the actions of the Tally Ban in Afghanistan.

Next you align yourself with and support ......... the actions of Saddam, ....... the Iraqi religious fanatics, ...... the insurgents ....... and anyone else, group or Country that have been doing their damnest to get the US Military out of Iraq.

And now you are aligning yourself with and supporting ......... the actions of the Russians in their invasion into the country of Georgia.

Ziggy, .... please tell us, .......... why did/do you oppose Bush's invasion of Iraq ....... but overwhelmingly approve of Putin's invasion of Georgia?

You know Frank, even if you take out all the bells and whistles of Sam's post, he makes a very valid point and ask a very valid question. Now you don't have to answer any of this. The only thing that will be hurt (further) is your credibility.

Do you or do you not have reply to Sam's question?
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