Monday, August 11, 2008

Georgia..And All Of Us


"..a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing." - British PM Neville Chamberlain talking about Czechoslovakia during Munich.

President Bush just made a statement about the Russian assault on Georgia with some fairly aggressive language, as is his habit.

Of course, the million dollar question is - what, if anything is he planning on doing about it? So far, aside from bellicose remarks and ferrying 2,000 Georgian troops in from Iraq to the front in their home country, not much.

In the meantime, this loyal democratic ally of the US is being raped and we are doing nothing. The Russians have been behaving with almost unbelievable brutality towards civilians and soldiers alike. They have already burst out of the South Ossetia enclave, opened up a fresh assault out of Abkhazia, another Russian enclave on Georgian territory and moved into Georgia itself, taking the strategic town of Gori which gives them a lock on the country's railroad and highway and effectively cuts Georgia in half. In the meantime Russian planes are bombing the civilian airport, the capital Tbilisi and the main port of Poti, while the Russian navy blockades the coast.

The Georgian government quickly accepted a ceasefire sponsored by the EU. The Russians, who've obviously planned this for quite sometime did not, and Russian PM Putin declared that his country would pursue its mission to its 'logical conclusion'. Seeing as Russian troops are conducting a full scale ground invasion and are on the way to the Georgian capitol, that means that they plan to bring Georgia back into the Russian orbit, either by annexing it or by installing a puppet government who will dance to Moscow's tune. If they're allowed to get away with this thuggery, they will have accomplished several things, all of whom bode ill for the future.

They will have taken over the strategic pipeline leading to Azerbaijan and Central Asia, putting Russia in a position to control the energy flow into Europe and blackmail Europe at will.

They will have sent a chilling message to the other nations of the old Soviet Empire to submit to Russia or be destroyed.

And most importantly, they would have shown those nations that an alliance with the United States was worthless when the rubber meets the road.Many Georgians are reportedly asking, 'if they Americans won't help us now, why did we help them in Iraq?' Damn good question. For that, if nothing else we cannot let Georgia fall.

In order to prevent it, rather than diplomacy that the Russians are going to ignore anyway, I suggest we alter the facts on the ground. I suggest we airlift in a single brigade of our own `peacekeepers' to enforce a ceasefire and bolster the Georgians. That would provide enough manpower to show Putin we mean business without really being perceived as a major threat to Russia. Those US uniforms on the ground would send a clear message to these fascists as well as our friends in the area - we're standing behind our ally..do you really want a full scale with the US over this nonsense? Because the Russians know full well that an attack on US troops would amount to exactly that. And Putin is a rational actor if nothing else. The Russians would take the avenue offered them and withdraw, just as they did every time they were forcefully confronted during the Cold War.

It would be far better if the Europeans likewise sent token forces , but they're unbelievably craven, and this will probably end up being America's show if it happens at all. In any event, we can't allow Georgia to fall while we stand by and watch this aggression against one of our allies go unchallenged.

Our word as a nation ought to be worth more than that.

Would it worsen relations with Russia? Possibly, although a strong US stance might actually improve things. In any event, Russia has hardly been a friendly nation in any sense of the word for a long time now. They're a revanchist, imperialist regime that has its fingers everywhere there's trouble to be fomented, from Iran to Europe to Darfur and even President Bush must long since have dropped any illusions that he still sees into Putin warped KGB soul. Better by far to put things on an honest footing.

In any event, if we do nothing, we will have suffered a far greater defeat than we realize.










9 comments:

louielouie said...

it appears that the words of the current occupant of the white house second inaugural address are as empty as the space between his ears.
all that blather about standing with people as they yearn for freedom.
empty promises.
the fix may already be in.
in exchange for putin not moving back into cuba as he mentioned he would, he may just take georgia instead.
the US does nothing.
rub is, the US would do nothing either way.
imo, we have the first bush to blame for this. he should have stomped on these bas*ards back in 1990.
but noooooo, it's more important to do biddness with these people.
i wonder...........
if the people in riyadh have told their lap dog in the white house what to do.
we could turn this into another afghnistan on the russian bas*ards. this could be another cuban crisis. the similarities/analogies are endless.

B.Poster said...

Excellent post!! I think you are spot on. What you suggest might actually work. I think the thinking here seems to be that Russia will not want to engage the Aemrican troops directly. Any committment of troops is fraught with risks but then anything worth having is fraught with risks.

That is a very good question you posed. If we won't help Georgia now, why did they help us in Iraq? If we can't come through now, then NATO is likely finished. No one will ever want to ally with us again. Russia will surround us and we will be finished as a major world power and the very survival of the United States would placed in grave danger. I would go as far as to suggest that we confront Russia right now as the very survival of our country depends on it because it does. In any event, we cannot run scared evey time Russia flexes its muscles.

We shouild be prepared to reopen the Cold War. This time we need to finish the job!!

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Louie,
I couldn't agree with you more, except for the bit about the 'empty space'. That's Dubbyah's curse, I think...he knows what's right but is compelled to do what he knows is wrong because of other considerations.

Daddy did the same thing to the Kurds after the First Gulf War,if you remember. And you're right, Reagan defeated these scum and they were begging for help...imagine the scenario if Bush I had quietly demanded they dismantle their nuclear arsenal before we gave them a red cent!

But that's what happens when you deal with a fascist entity and don't defeat them utterly..they come back again, with dreams of grandeur.

Every great power has its betrayals,but this one seems so avoidable...one freaking brigade of US peacekeepers and these scum would crawl back to Russia rather than openly fight us. I'm sure of it.

Regards,
ff

PS: What did you think about "The Pschosexual element in Islam"?

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Poster,
Thanks for the kind words...one of th ethings I like about McCain is that I have a feeling he'd do exactly that..send in a brigade and dare the Russkis to pick a fight. And you know what? They'd back down.

Regards
FF

B.Poster said...

Freedom Fighter

Thanks for the reply to my post. You seem certain that if the US sent in a brigade that the Russians would back down. While I like your optimism, I'm not sure this would be the case. The Russian military is more than capable of standing toe to toe, if you will, to the US. I'm just not sure that one brigade would be enough. Besides the American and world news media would decry the American action of sending troops as an escalation of the conflict or something to this effect.

Btw, you and Luie are spot on. George H.W. Bush should have finished Russians off. He didn't and now they are back stronger than they ever were before.

We have spent far to much time focusing on the so called "axis of evil" of Iran, Syria, North Korea, and the former Iraqi government. We have largely ignored the much bigger threats of Russia and China. We are paying a steep price for this now.

Finally, the American and Western leadership should watch and learn. When the Russians went to war, they did not do it piece meal. They went all out. None of this limited war bull. When we go to war, we need to be prepared to do the same. Fight the war all out to win. OTHERWISE DON'T GO TO WAR!!

B.Poster said...

Apparently the US military was surprised by the speed of the advance by the Russian military and by its aggressive actions. This indicates they have been getting their intellegence from a combination of flawed sources. I think their primary sources were the CIA and the main stream news media. If theose were my main sources, I would have been shocked too. I should be in charge of the CIA. I think I can do much better than the ideolouges who currently run things at Langley.

louielouie said...

i do not share poster's optimism regarding the rooskie soldiers.
question: why come toe-toe with your enemy if you can defeat him/her at a greater distance?
if i may put on my ff baseball cap for a moment............
there.......
i am not at all familiar with the terrain of this area, however, the rooskies had to get there some how. with our air mobility, i would overrun occupy the border crossings, i.e., control the borders. the rooskies will have to fight to get in and/or out. the rooskies already in will not be re-supplied and will be left to the people of georgia. the only fight would be for the air. a squaron of f/a-18 should clear the air and "make it mine". as you occupy the border you are neither in russia or georgia, and we are not because we said so. if you like though, we could come into russia............
then look into putin's soul and tell him, "be careful the trap you set for others does not become your own".
then tell him you're pulling out of the int'l space station operation and he can have our share.
then you go play golf or tennis or whatever recreational activity you wish. but don't waste your time watching the olympics.
LL takes off the ff baseball cap.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hello Poster, Louie.

I have the advantage of knowing a little bit about the terrain.

The only way into Georgia from Russia by ground is via the Kori Tunnel through the rugged Caucasus Mountains.

The Georgian Army lost the war because they were unable to secure/destroy the tunnel before the Russians got their armor through it.

If the tunnel had been taken out, the only way in would have been via the Black Sea ( and the Russians are not noted for their skill at amphibious landings) or from the air via paratroopers, which would have precluded the use of heavy weapons.

My whol epoint about airlifting one brigade in, as I stated, was as 'peacekeepers' which meant th eRussains would have had to withdraw unless they really were hell bent on a war with the US...which they're not, trust me on that.They would have withdrawn forthwith.

Poster, the Russian military has always been a Potemkin vilage(google it)and even during their glory days in WWII, they would have been destroyed by the Nazis if it wasn't for US aid and Hitler's stupidity in starting Operation Barbarossa in July rather than in April or May..thus getting the full brunt of th Russian winter before victory was assured.

They're no match for the US military. Just compare how their adventure in Afghanistan went as compared to our invasion, if you have any doubts.

ff

B.Poster said...

Louie

I wann't aware that I expressed any optimism. While I would lover to be optimistic, I'm not. I don't think one brigade would be enough. The Russians are more than capable of engaging one brigade or even a few brigades. I think it is higly possible that they would choose to take in on. In any event, the Western media elites will blame America for escalating the conflict!!

Before sending in the brigade American leaders would need to carefully think through the risks associated with such a manuever. Some are as follows: 1.)the Russians have been preparing for war for quite a while. To this end, they have upgraded their nuclear arsenal and have developed hardened bunkers along with underground cities. At this time their is little appetite for more war in America. If the Russians call our bluff and engage the peacekeepers, what then? Are we prepared to reopen the Cold War? sending in a brigade may be exactly what Putin wants us to do. He gets to use this as an excuse to take the fight directly to the Aemricans and America gets vilified in the world media for excalating the conflict!!

As for Louie's suggestion, the Russian air force is more than capable of standing up to the USAF. We run into the same issue. Are we prepared to reopen the Cold War?

Any type of intervention is fraught with risks. But then nothing worth having or doing is risk free. If the US wishes to remain a major world power, it will definitely have to respond to this action by Russia. If we fail to respond, not only will our status as a major power be lost but the very suvival of the United States may be placed in grave danger. What does seem clear is, if the US wants to remain a major power, it can run away like cowards every time Russia flexes its muscles!!

As far as Afghanistan goes, the Russians had to go against the Mujhadeed fighters. I think we may have helped them to some degree but it was primarily their efforts that defeated the Soviet Union. In the current case, we have some nominal allies in the country whereas Russia really did not. Also, Russia was fighting a war of conquest. We are not.

Also, I attibute part of our lighter casualties, to date, than the Russians suffered during their war with Afghanistan to better planning on the part of American generals. We are unlikely to overpower the Russians but we can out think them. This is what Reagan and his advisors did. They outsmarted the Russians!!

Finally, even some of our military commentators don't seem to get this. For example, Col. Ralph Peters wrote an article about the incompetence of the Russian air force. Supposedly they did not hit allot of their targets. What Mr. Peters does not seem to understand is indiscrimate bombing is part of the plan. There is likely nothing like indiscrimate bombing to scare and intimidate the enemy populace. What Mr. peters calls incomptence is likely actually part of the Russian plan. Whether we send in the air force as Louie seems to suggest or a brigade as Freedom Fighter suggests, this action is fraught with tremendous risks. The Russians are more than capable of countering it. As with mosts risks, there are also fabulous opportunities. If we assist the Georgians in pushing back the Russians, we may succeed. If we succeed, it may be Russia who suffers a major set back and we may end with a major strategic victory.