Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We'll Nuke You!

So adding to the list of reasons to distrust Russia, they confiscated 4 American Humvees in Georgia today. They are replacing Georgian TV with Russian TV as part of their propaganda campaign inside Georgia. They took Georgian troops prisoner. They stand by while South Ossetians and Chechens burn and bulldoze the homes of Ethnic Georgians. Now we can discount some of this as "typical of conflict", it seems odd after a cease fire has been agreed upon. They could rush into the country in a few hours, but can't seem to pull back in less than a week? It is part of a little "terror campaign" or perhaps the "security measures" that Russia and its allies are allowed to conduct over the next 6 months? The icing on the cake, a Russian General threatened Poland with nuclear attack if that nation continues to host the US missile defense shield. NATO called that "pathetic" and promised Georgia that NATO membership talks would continue- although they may be more drawn out than initially planned.

Look, I think that "the missile shield" for what it is worth, is no longer really about containing Russia. It started that way, but I don't think that has been it's primary motivation over the last several years. And I don't think NATO is aimed at Russia anymore, although it would have been wise to disband it back in 1989. However, it has come in handy for taking military action in place of the UN. And it has doused Russian hopes in places like the former Yugoslavia.

However, Russia's continued sense of threat is becoming something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. And it isn't helping itself or anyone else with cold war rhetoric.


Dr. Strangelove said...

USWest writes, "I don't think NATO is aimed at Russia anymore, although it would have been wise to disband it back in 1989."

Could you elaborate, please? I have not heard that suggestion before. Would you have preferred it to be replaced with something else?

Raised By Republicans said...

Putin/Medvedev's rhetoric seems to be conforming the standard mode of dictators. If you are accused of something accuse your accuser right back but louder. It's the "I'm rubber you're glue" approach to diplomacy.

Russian accusations that Georgia's government is "criminal" and that they were committing "genocide" in South Ossetia is starting to sound like Hezbollah or Hamas calling the US government a terrorist regime.

Raised By Republicans said...

The above link is to a story that tries to untangle how this war started in the first place. It repeats the story about South Ossetian rebels firing on a Georgian cease fire offer that LTG lambasted me for (saying that I "wrong on the facts").

Raised By Republicans said...

OK, me again.

Three things. You can bet your life that the Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians think NATO is directed against a potential Russian attack. In fact, I'd bet that NATO is the main reason Russian threats against these countries haven't been nearly as serious as they have been against Georgia.

Second, Putin's trying to disrupt the oil pipelines from the Middle East to Europe that Russia doesn't control.

Third, Putin's using war and threat of war to distract Russians from the house of cards that their oil fueled economy has become and abuses of power that he and his cronies are engaging in (the Republicans are doing the same thing here in the US).

USWest said...

Dr. S, NATO as we all know, was a joint security agreement among the Western states that was meant to defend them against attack by an outside party, which at the time was code for the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. Attack one member, all the others would come to its defense.

Back, after the USSR was dissolved, there was a lot of talk about the "mission" of NATO and if it was relevant anymore considering that its primary purpose was to defend against a state that basically didn't exist anymore.

The NATO alliance floundered for several years until the former Yugoslavia broke apart. By 1995, it was evident that an international military force was needed to bring the Bosnian/Serb/Croatian camps under control. But the UN did not have the resources to send peacekeepers and there were vetoes on the Security Council that would have prevented it anyway. Russia, who by then was the accepted inheritor of what was left of the USSR, was trying to bring the Serbs around to some type of peace agreement without much success. So the way the international community got around the problem was to send in NATO. I believe they had Russian agreement for that. And this was said to "re-energize" NATO.

So the idea of disbanding NATO was part of the dialog for a brief period. Then there were a series of negotiations between NATO and Russia, including the establishment of the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council. But despite all of this effort, NATO still remains a thorn in Russia's side and so perhaps that should have been dissolved or reconstituted with a different purpose back in 1990.

USWest said...

RBR: I really think that for Russia, they see it as pay back time. The US is militarily over extended; the economy is in the toilette; the president is a lame duck; it's an election year. What a better time to cause trouble? Hell, we would have done it, once. But I draw the line on allowing ethnic cleansing.