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Pinochet and Me

Pinochet and Me

By Marc Cooper

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Ear to the Ground

Georgia and Russia Get Their War On

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Posted on Aug 8, 2008
Georgian Soldiers Enter South Ossetia
guardian.co.uk

Georgian soldiers enter South Ossetia after a bombardment by Georgian planes devastated Tskhinvali, the regional capital.

Georgia bombed separatists in the country’s South Ossetia region Tuesday evening, killing 25; Russia rolled an estimated 150 tanks into Georgia in retaliation, ostensibly to defend the region’s high Russian immigrant population. Georgia pleads its case as a “freedom-loving” nation to garner U.S. support; any semblance of logic retreats.

For a more analytical approach to the current state of Russian/Georgian relations, read the excellent “Why they are fighting” Q&A, also available on the Guardian’s Web site.


The Guardian:

Georgia and Russia were today on the brink of war after Russian tanks rolled across the border to back separatists in the breakaway South Ossetia region.

The Russian incursion began after Georgia launched a major military offensive to retake control of South Ossetia, which has enjoyed de facto autonomy since the early 1990s but officially remains part of the country.

The Georgian president, Mikhail Saakashvili, called on the US—a key ally—to intervene, saying it was in Washington’s interests to help his “freedom-loving” nation.

“Russia is fighting a war with us in our own territory,” he told CNN. “We are a freedom-loving nation that is right now under attack.”

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amunaor's avatar

By amunaor, August 10, 2008 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena…here are a couple of ‘outside’ links—

Russian-Georgian War Threatens To Drag Israel Into the Conflict:
http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_seyret&Itemid=91&task=videodirectlink&id=223

Georgian use of cluster-bombs has been brought into question. French President, Sarkozi, is demanding a full investigation into what has been deemed aggression and genocide on the part of Georgia.

US incited Georgia offensive in S. Ossetia:
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=66208§ionid=351020602

Israel ‘has a hand in S. Ossetia war’ :
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=66203§ionid=351020202

This doesn’t look good folks!

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, August 10, 2008 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

Sounds like the Georgian president is a chip off the old Bush.

Thank god for our second amendment rights.

I routinely e-mail my elected officials at congress.org and make sure the letters are posted for all to see….as if it will do any good, but I’ll bet the Israel loving zionists do it nonstop 24/7 to inflate their percieved numbers supporting this and other imperialist actions by our government which generally occur without congressional approval.

I’m on a list and proud of it.

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By cyrena, August 10, 2008 at 3:50 am Link to this comment

by Mikhail, August 9 at 3:13 pm #

Mikhail, thank you for this post.  As a US citizen, I’m very appreciative of hearing from those of you who are actually there. We know well, the devious games that are played.
This is particularly relevant, at least in my opinion..
•  “…USA has strategic interest in region – pipeline going through Georgia. So official government of USA will never realize that Georgian president is criminal politician betrayed its nation (in fact people in Georgia do not want war), instead government of USA will support him (several hours ago a train with NATO armored machines came to Georgia). …The next victim of Georgian fascists will be Abhasian nation.”
This basically says it all, which is the entire criminality of the destruction of life.
I read one article appropriately framed as such, (from the US side of course) and another that appears to be (maybe) a bit more neutral in terms of what is going on here.
http://www.truthout.org/article/georgia-declares-state-war-russian-bombs-fall
Then again, I don’t know, which is why I appreciate your observations.

JW…I’m inclined to agree with your take here…
Idealistically they should have their right to self-determination, no matter how small they are.  But make no mistake about it, Russia’s motives here are not caused by support of self-determination ideals, they want to reassert their influence over the region, and what better way to do that than by dividing the three small countries (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan), and the multitude of autonomous regions and getting them to fight each other.  Divide and conquer.  Each one of those regions has strategic, geographic importance too: Ossetia is within 50 miles of the Georgian capital, Abkhazia has a long, tourist friendly coast and possible oil reserves, Nagorno-Karabagh shields a thin and vulnerable strip of Armenia that extends down to Iran, without which Christian Armenia would be almost completely surrounded by Muslim Turks, with whom they fought many wars recently.
The three Caucaus countries (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan) should simply make their peace, and try to form some sort of union to collaborate on the problems of autonomous regions and to keep the US, Russia, and other influences out.
~~~~~
A huge failure of the UN has been its inability (at least so far) to create the necessary legal structure that would allow for these small nations to exercise their self-determination. In that respect, the US is no less guilty or complicit than is Russia, having consistently undermined the authority and legitimacy of the UN for decades. It’s far worse now of course, once our own government was overthrown in the electoral/judicial Coup of 2000. The UN at that point, became as much a victim of the same coup as did the citizens of the US.

That said, it CAN still be accomplished, using the foundational guidelines that allow for any nation to establish itself, at least theoretically. The reality of the geopolitical power held by the only ‘superpower’ power left, is what has prevented this from coming about. Still, your suggestion of these three Caucas countries forming their own sort of union would be in their best interests..if that is even possible. It seems to me that the people of those countries might very well be more agreeable to that than what appears to meet foreign eyes.
~~~
Zeitgeist,

Thanks for your update on the blockade. I’m not surprised, but still sickened by it all. And to the earlier post, about this being yet another exploitation by the Bush thugs..it’s obvious. Oil and pipelines. What else could it be?

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By Mikhail, August 9, 2008 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please stop genocide of Ocetian nation!

Starting 1989 nationalistic fascist Georgian government tries to annihilate and expel Ocetian nation from its territory. As the result of Georgian warfare against small nations, tens thousands of Ocetian, Abhasian, Armenian and Russian people died since 1991. The scale of genocide is concealed by Georgian mass media. Brutality of Georgian fascists and freaksville torture of the local population overrode the torture of fascists during the Second World War.

Georgian mass media stir up the sickness of Georgian nation – they believe they are only people deserving life on Georgian territory, they are exclusive, elitist; other nations should move out or be killed.

At the moment the tragedy is happening – Georgians systematically shooting dead the Ocetian people in their own houses or burying under the falling homes.

Georgian fascists destroyed Ocetian settlements and town Tskhinvally – they lay even with the ground.
The number of victims buried by Georgian fire under the ruins cannot be calculated – it is amounted to thousands.
Georgians destroyed all hospitals. Medics cannot work under the fire of Georgians. People saved in underground stores do not have food, water, electricity, gas for 3 days – they cannot go out because of Georgian fire and cannot move out of town because Georgians are trying to take hold with tanks and armored vehicles of the only road from the town to tunnel controlled by Russians.

At that Georgian president insincerely is saying that he tries to make constitutional order and peace, and suggesting lefthandedly to cease fire. All his actions are aimed towards USA and NATO (he even speaks with his nation in English so that you understand him).

USA has strategic interest in region – pipeline going through Georgia. So official government of USA will never realize that Georgian president is criminal politician betrayed its nation (in fact people in Georgia do not want war), instead government of USA will support him (several hours ago a train with NATO armored machines came to Georgia).

The next victim of Georgian fascists will be Abhasian nation.

People in USA and Europe please force your politicians to stop Georgians.

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By JW, August 9, 2008 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s a complicated situation.  The Ossetians don’t feel that they should be part of Georgia, they say that they were simply put inside Georgia’s administrative borders when the republic was still part of the Soviet Union.  They were likely too small to be made into a republic of their own like Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kazakhtstan, etc., but they had to fit somewhere, so whoever drew the map put half of Ossetia in Russia, and half in Georgia (which back then was a “rebuplic,” kind of like a “state” or “province” of the USSR).

There are many such enclaves in the Caucauses: Ossetia, Abkhazia (also in Goergia, also about to be engulfed by conflict), Nagorno-Karabagh (an ethnic-Armenian enclave that Stalin decided to put within Azerbaijan’s borders, the conflict there lasted from 1988 to 1995 and it is also “frozen,” the way the Ossetian conflict was), Nakichevan (a small Autonomous island of mainly Azeris stuck between Armenia, Turkey, and Iran).  Each one of those regions wants autonomy and independence, but each one is likely too small to make a viable country.

Idealistically they should have their right to self-determination, no matter how small they are.  But make no mistake about it, Russia’s motives here are not caused by support of self-determination ideals, they want to reassert their influence over the region, and what better way to do that than by dividing the three small countries (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan), and the multitude of autonomous regions and getting them to fight each other.  Divide and conquer.  Each one of those regions has strategic, geographic importance too: Ossetia is within 50 miles of the Georgian capital, Abkhazia has a long, tourist friendly coast and possible oil reserves, Nagorno-Karabagh shields a thin and vulnerable strip of Armenia that extends down to Iran, without which Christian Armenia would be almost completely surrounded by Muslim Turks, with whom they fought many wars recently.

The three Caucaus countries (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan) should simply make their peace, and try to form some sort of union to collaborate on the problems of autonomous regions and to keep the US, Russia, and other influences out.

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amunaor's avatar

By amunaor, August 9, 2008 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Thursday, August 7, 2008
Massive US Naval Armada Heads For Iran

Operation Brimstone ended only one week ago. This was the joint US/UK/French naval war games in the Atlantic Ocean preparing for a naval blockade of Iran and the likely resulting war in the Persian Gulf area. The build up of naval forces in the Gulf will be one of the largest multi-national naval armadas since the First and Second Gulf Wars. The intent is to create a US/EU naval blockade (which is an Act of War under international law) around Iran (with supporting air and land elements) to prevent the shipment of benzene and certain other refined oil products headed to Iranian ports. Iran has limited domestic oil refining capacity and imports 40% of its benzene. Cutting off benzene and other key products would cripple the Iranian economy. The neo-cons are counting on such a blockade launching a war with Iran…
FULL STORY HERE: http://europebusines.blogspot.com/2008/08/massive-us-naval-armada-heads-for-iran.html

ALSO….........

August 9, 2008
Israel, Iran and the New Necons
ANP Video : Neocons say Bush should let Israel attack Iran after Election Day before new president takes office—http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=2033&updaterx=2008-08-09+00:24:54

American News Project: Washington’s neocons are alive and well, advising both John McCain and President Bush. Now many are saying Bush should permit Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities after Election Day before the new president takes office. ANP investigates as we chase down John Bolton, Bill Kristol and Frank Gaffney to see how far ahead these hawks are thinking. And a new report says the whole plan could backfire.

ALSO….........

Newsmax
Thursday, August 7, 2008 9:00 AM

Sen. Joe Lieberman: Iran’s Activitie are ‘An Act of War’

Sen. Joseph Lieberman termed Iran’s training of Iraqi insurgents “an act of war” in a Florida appearance Wednesday evening on behalf of Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign…

Lieberman praised McCain’s experience, saying it had given him “good judgment in war and in peace.”...

Lieberman drew applause after he announced that former Israeli cabinet minister Natan Sharansky had endorsed McCain…

Asked later if he agreed with Sharansky that an Obama presidency was “a risk” to Israel, Lieberman told Newsmax: “I guess I’d say it affirmatively: A McCain presidency will be good for the state of Israel.”...

Full Story: http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/Lieberman_Iran/2008/08/07/119751.html?s=al&promo_code=6781-1

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By cyrena, August 9, 2008 at 4:10 am Link to this comment

Humm, I should have read the Q and A first, but it does confirm my own intuitive connection to the same issues with the ethnic population of Kosovo, because this has been a problem in so many of the same circumstances.

From the Q & A..

“..The root of the problem is that the international community cannot agree on rules for the independence of small regions. Russia said that granting independence to Kosovo would set a dangerous precedent. Moscow now seems determined to prove it was right all along…”

Humm, this is a problem, though Russia’s complaints about the independence of Kosovo was rooted in resolutions legitimized by the International Community. Of course most of us here in the US don’t follow it back that carefully, and prefer to believe what is closer to ideological preferences not necessarily based on facts or neutrality.

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By cyrena, August 9, 2008 at 3:57 am Link to this comment

By STorpedo, August 8 at 12:49 pm

•  “..It sickens me how CNN decided to stick to the Russian invasion story only because Georgia’s president gave them an “exclusive” report, and dont bother to check any other sources which are all saying the truth-snipers started killing ossetians during the last week, and heavy artillery fire demolished most of the town last night…”

STorpedo,

It sickens me too, because far too many Americans believe it, even though by now, we should know better. Washington DC controls the media, and so naturally, since Washington DC is on the ‘Georgian side’ that’s the side we hear. It’s never about the truth.

This seems to have many of the same basic elements as the Bosnian conflict which was a genocide of ethnic Muslims by the Serbs. THAT time, the US claimed to be on the side of the Bosnians, but there was far more to that then met the eye. That isn’t to say that the atrocities weren’t taking place, but we never got the real story, even then. Not until nearly two decades later, are we discovering how much the US had invested in that, and it has left many questions. So, the independence of the Bosnians was ‘encouraged’ by the US, just as the independence of the semi-autonomous Kurds in Northern Iraq is encouraged by Washington. But for some reason, Washington now decides that they much support “Georgia’s” territorial integrity.

Flippin’ hypocrites just piss me off.

I am admittedly uninformed about the specifics of this conflict, so I’ll go back to the Q & A section of the Guardian piece that is associated. I ‘presume’ that if there are peacekeepers in the area, that there must be some sort of a UN resolution or other documentation regarding this. Of course I could be wrong. So, I’ll check the Q & A first, to see if there’s any mention of that.

Meantime, I agree with Patrick Henry. I’m sick of the US meddling in the affairs of other nations. It’s not like we don’t have a million plus major problems to deal with right here at home.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, August 8, 2008 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

The U.S. Govt. has no business in this affair and should stay out of it.

Send the fleets home and close the 170+ US bases around the world or transfer them into U.N. bases.

We have more pressing matters here at home.

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By STorpedo, August 8, 2008 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From what I’ve heard its about 70,000 people. I happen to be Russian and our newsagencies are talking live to people in ossetia, and unfortunatley a great deal of ossetia’s people are in bunkers scattered all over Tskhinvali, because Georgian aircraft are bombing the town hour on the hour. It sickens me how CNN decided to stick to the Russian invasion story only because Georgia’s president gave them an “exclusive” report, and dont bother to check any other sources which are all saying the truth-snipers started killing ossetians during the last week, and heavy artillery fire demolished most of the town last night.

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By Noah, August 8, 2008 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Doesn’t the title of this article trivialize the situation a bit? It doesn’t seem like the most opportune moment to make an attempt at being clever, especially considering that human lives have been lost.

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By Arthur Filitov, August 8, 2008 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And one more idea to to think over - Russia as other civillized countries is totally devoted to the Olympics and a war scandal is the last thing my country wants to happen. Ther’s no profit for us in this war conflict, but there’s a one for Georgian government. Backed-up by the glorious United States Georgia wants a reunion with its de facto independent areas. The world community will be eager to support a small country under attack during the Olympic Games.

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amunaor's avatar

By amunaor, August 8, 2008 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Imagine for a moment in the US, if dictatorial factions within Florida or California were being covertly armed to mount a separatist movement.

The Georgian elements desire for independence is being shrewdly exploited by Bush Anglo/American desire for U.S. corporate hegemony and oil routes and pools within the region, while the unfortunate Ossetians are caught in the middle. The corporatocracy could care less about emerging democracies, whose consistent track record has been to extinguish any such sentiments which happen to bubble to the surface within its realm; competition, a thorn in the side of imperial and corporate dominists. The U.S., pandering to Georgian separatist sympathies, has been arming these insurgents via the Ukraine; great for the corporate war industry - bad for freedom and democracy.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By tim, August 8, 2008 at 11:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tskhinvali is tiny - only about 20,000 people - I hope they’ve all left ... this is going to be horrible given what the Russians typically do

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