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With ‘Allies’ Like NATO, Georgia Better Not Annoy Russia

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Posted on Sep 16, 2008

By William Pfaff

It was a pathetic event, better forgotten, the visit to Georgia on Monday of NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and ambassadors from all 26 members of NATO. They were there, the United States said, to demonstrate that “NATO can’t be cowed by the Kremlin.”

The NATO delegation might have seemed less cowed if it had been made up of generals in uniform. But that would have upset the Kremlin. Perhaps the diplomats should have worn camouflage, as fashionable teenagers do in difficult Western city suburbs. They might have looked more muscular for the unhappy Georgians, while not fooling the Russians.

If NATO really did not want to seem cowed, the ambassadors and the secretary-general might have promised NATO membership to Georgia right on the spot, to be confirmed as soon as the full alliance meets. They might have announced plans for NATO bases and U.S. missile installations. They would not have dreamed of such a thing.

The truth is that thanks to Russia’s incursion into a belligerent Georgia in mid-August, a country in possession of Washington’s assurance that it soon would be given a “membership action plan” for joining NATO now hasn’t a hope of membership in the alliance—whatever may have been said on Monday about NATO’s “open door.”

As Helene Carrere, the eminent French historian of Russia, has said, Georgia has now done the greatest service to the new Russia that has been done in years. Vladimir Putin should be sending (symbolic) roses to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili for having precipitated this episode.

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Actually, Moscow would do better to send banks of roses to NATO’s European members for their irresponsibility and timidity in not having blocked the United States from carrying out the deliberate provocation to Russia of offering Georgia and Ukraine NATO membership.

An intelligent military alliance leadership does not offer or even imply military guarantees it has no intention, and no reasonable possibility, of honoring. Donald Rayfield, a Yale historian, writes that “for over a thousand years the Georgians and Armenians have appealed to Europe for support as fellow Christians, as Europeans by culture, if not by geography, and after being strung along by Crusaders, by Louis XIV, by various Popes, by Presidents Wilson, Roosevelt, and both Bushes, can still not believe that the answer they get will always be a perfunctory apology.”

Their European friends will say that deeper interests of state unfortunately require them to appease the major power of the region (particularly when he supplies most of Western Europe’s oil). Too bad about the Westerners’ “cultural and spiritual brothers.”

Intelligent national leaders of a country in Georgia’s position would know that geography too often is destiny, that their choices are limited and that their future would be better served by diplomacy than by wars they lose.

In the 19th century, when Russia “liberated” the states of the Caucasus from the weakened Ottoman and Iranian empires to which they had previously belonged, most of them were glad enough. Only the Circassians chose “desperate surrender or flight,” and the Chechens and Dagestanis “resistance to the death.”

The Armenians and Ossetians at the time expressed relief, and the Georgian reaction—according to Rayfield—was “complicity and acceptance” (a sentiment that persisted under the Soviet Union, to which Georgia contributed a disproportionate number of leaders, including Stalin himself, and Lavrenti Beria, as well as Eduard Shevardnadze, last foreign minister of the Soviet Union and second president of newly independent Georgia in 1992—deposed by Saakashvili in the American-supported “Rose Revolution”).

The Europeans, led by Nicolas Sarkozy—current holder of the EU’s presidency—and the EU’s foreign relations chief, Javier Solano, have successfully negotiated a Russian withdrawal and a European force to supervise peace between the Georgians and the two autonomous regions that Russia has undertaken to protect.

For all the quasi-hysterical talk about “resurgent Russia,” Putin’s Russia is not the Soviet Union. The USSR had an ideology that condemned all existing governments as illegitimate and was committed (in theory) to overthrowing them all. It controlled an organization—the Comintern—devoted to doing just that. Russia today is a conventional nation-state with no expansionist or revolutionary ideology, only a reasonable concern about not having hostile neighbors. Just like the United States. Everyone knows about the Monroe Doctrine.

The Georgian government continues to talk about rearmament and revenge. It ought to talk about a special arrangement with the European Union that would be politically and economically advantageous, and give them an international association to which the Russians would have no reason to object, and would indeed find reassuring. Georgia has no real alternative to getting along with Russia. NATO membership now is closed, and was—as Georgia has found out, at heavy cost to its people—always a snare and delusion.

Visit William Pfaff’s Web site at www.williampfaff.com.


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By Tony Wicher, September 18, 2008 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

By Getreal, September 18 at 3:45 am

For some great analysis of world events since the collapse of the Soviet Union by one of the world’s premier geostrategists, read “Second Chance” by Zbigniew Brzezinski.

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By Eso, September 18, 2008 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

A thought for Wm. Pfaff: When in 1982 Argentina faced an economic collapse, it occupied the Malwina islands. Unexpectedly, the British objected and an armed conflict ensued. The West is in a situation similar to the one faced by Argentina—economic collapse. While it does not seem likely that the U.S. and NATO will attack Russia, an attack on Iran has long been planned and may act as a diversion of attention (rescue) from the financial world suffering a major attack of angst over its economic sins. Incidentally, sins were once bought off with so-called indulgences. The West has since learned to buy off its sins with arms, which—when they fail to deter—lead to wars of “reformation” or as the catholic neocon administration has it—fighting terrorism with export of “democracy”.

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By Folktruther, September 18, 2008 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

The world won’t be multipower for long, Getreal.  China is developing economically four times faster than Europe and the US, and is developing Asia.  In less than a few decades, China will be the sole leading power.  It’s form of capitalism is centralized and superior to unregulated capitalism.  It’s imperialism is also more benigh.

But world socialism cannot develop without opposing this more benign form of capitalism, after supporting it against the barbarism of US imperialism. 

To do so requires a more general world ideology to replace the marxist ideology that was the major progressive unifying theory of the 20th century.

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By Getreal, September 18, 2008 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

The French revolution was a very straighforward bourgeois (money class, merchant class) revolution. They of course mobilized peasants and workers—not that difficult, conditions was terrible—but it was the money class finally getting rid of the aristocracy—a series of families, the landed gentry.

The aristocracy was still sort of in control in 1917 Russia, but capatalism was somewhat developed. The Bolshevik Revolution was a classic Marxist revolution—likely as classic as possible a workers revolution. The working class, the proletariat in fact kicked out of power the people who took power in the French revolution—the bourgeoisie.

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By Getreal, September 18, 2008 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

Man, this discussion has left the article and is all over the map (pun sort of intended). The cold war obviously featured a bi-polar world—2 huge powers dividing the globe and not much anybody could do about it. It more or less worked, after a fashion in that no ugly catastrophies like the 2 world wars occurred.

After the USSR collapsed, there was a possibility to tone things down, to rachet down the level of war-preparedness, war-mongering, arms build-up and sales, etc. But the US, under the stupid neo-cons with their PNAC delusions of being the one hegemonic global power for the 21st century, went after global domination.

Things didn’t work out as they hoped, and they failed to understand that it has and will continue for a long time to be a multi-polar world. Russia signalled loud and clear—shove on over!

China can’t be denied, and other powers are developing quickly: Brazil, India, to name a few. It’s going to be a multi-polar world, and that is totally unavoidable. And the US is facing the prospect of sliding down the scale of powers to become possibly by mid century, one of the lesser big powers.

Saakashvili is unstable and I don’t think he understood that the US was in no position to fight Russia. Putin knew that and trapped the megalomaniacal Saakashvili. I suspect that Condi was serious in not wanting him to attack S. Ossetia. But McCain had every reason to encourage it and one of his main campaign officials, Randy Schuenaman, is close to Saakashvili and is/was a paid lobbyist for Georgia. Not much doubt that he encouraged Georgia to attack; it sure helped his man McCain…Connect the dots.

A multi-polar world with a 10-member (permanent) Security Council is the way we’re headed, and it’ll likely be a bit of an improvement.

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By KDelphi, September 17, 2008 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

Folk and diamond—You are right, I was not aware of what you are saying. But, of course I only had BA level Philosophy and Political Science. (Except maybe one class in each in grad school, but that was years ago)

I realize that the west is always tilted to the west.
My profs were pretty good about that (they were Quakers, most of them, and we had Peace Studies, Peace Resource, Conflict Resolutions, et al, which , belive it or not, was considered pretty “liberal” for its time. You shouldve heard some of the comments when I included a transscript with my resume. (“What the hell is peace studies??”)

I actually had Esperanto—did ANYBODY have that?? (It was supposed to become a “universal language” fot those saying “What the hell is Esperanto?”” LOL)

I’d be happy to be referred to a website. If I dont know any better, just think what people who went to Messiah or Liberty Bible Baptist think.

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By diamond, September 17, 2008 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

‘The USSR had an ideology that condemned all existing governments as illegitimate and was committed (in theory) to overthrowing them all. It controlled an organization—the Comintern—devoted to doing just that’. Hey! Is this where they Bush Doctrine came from?

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By Folktruther, September 17, 2008 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

You may be right, Rage, that Geogia and Loonyashvili were duped.  Operation IMMEDIATE RESPONSE had just finished and Cheney’s security rep was in Georgia at the time.  At one time the loony president of Georgia declared war against Russia, which lasted a half hour before he called for a cease fire.

But it probably wasn’t for any geo-strategic reason, since such an attack was strongely against the geo-strategic interests of the US and Israel.  It was probably, as Putin says, because the Bushites wanted a war to bolster McCain, that being the only way he could win.  This is probably the reason that the US attacked Pakistan publically, to create war hysteria to bolster McCain.  It is insane geo-strategy as I commented elsewhere.
                ***
The French and Russian revolutions had a different class basis, KDelphi.  The French revolution brought the business owning class to power, under the delusive guise of Fraternity, while the Russian revolution brought the miniscule Russian working class to power.

Fifteen alliad countries, including the US, invaded Russia to support the Whites against the Communists.  They increased Russian casualties to nearly 14 million dead.  It largely wiped out the Russian working class.  Lenin wanted to unite Russia with more advanced German workers but the Soviets were defeated at the battle of Warsaw, and couldn’t link up across Poland.

None of this was in mainstream Western history for many decades, nor was the mutiny of Western troops, the shooting of their officers and their joining the communists.  Western history is as deceptive as the mainstream media, largely by excluding world historic events.  The American population is largely deluded by what is not stated, and can’t be stated without subverting American ideology.

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By KDelphi, September 17, 2008 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

eso—I dont agree with the political theology of the west either. My thinking woudl be more in line with Venezuela’s Chavez or Bolivia’s Morales.

Baudrillard and Virilio, both being from Paris, , it woudl seem, would have a “reformed”, post-modern philosophy, although I would not call it the theology of the west. Some of it seems to be related to human factors theory, anti industrialism. But, I havent had philosophy for years.What exactly, would be your definition of “west theology”? I am not being confrontatiotnal—you just brought up people I hadnt thought about in years.
]
Zizak, appaears to be a neo-Stalinist.(I’d admit, I’ve never heard of him).I was always under the impresion that the French Revolutions and Russians Revolutions had very similar goals, although very drastically different outcomes.

But, maybe you disagree. I admit, I’m in over my head a little here.

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By Eso, September 17, 2008 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi. My perspective is somewhat aligned with the thinking of Jean Baudrillard, Paul Virilio, Slavoy Zizak and like. I stopped believing the political theology of the West quite a while back.

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By KDelphi, September 17, 2008 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

Eso—As I said, I would prefer a NO polar world but i was trying to be realistic—not one of my strong points.

I dont see that, where there are multiple parties (UK, EU, Canada)that business takes over the parties any more than they have in our duopoly—in fact, I would say, it seems less so.

I think a socialistic democracy , with a parliament, prime minister and proportional representation is a perfectly sound alternative to the capitalistic two-patty racketeering and “legalised bribery” (as Feinghold calls it) that we have now in the US.

Dont you think that , in the more advanced (socially and economically) countries , such as the EU and Canada , that the govt does better at protecting the populace against the extremes of the so-called “marketplace”? It may be alot different now, but my impression is that it is alot better for the gen. pop. , with social safeguards, a social safety net, and a less militaristic view of hte world I know Canada is headed a little more conservative. But a so-called “liberal” in the uS, would stil look like a moderate (or conservative ) at best, in the rest of western culture.

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By rage, September 17, 2008 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“The truth is that thanks to Russia’s incursion into a belligerent Georgia in mid-August, a country in possession of Washington’s assurance that it soon would be given a “membership action plan” for joining NATO now hasn’t a hope of membership in the alliance—whatever may have been said on Monday about NATO’s “open door.””

The Georgians were duped so Condi could get that missile defense thingy signed. That, and to help Gramps appear to be somewhat Presidential after Obama’s extra successful Turn the World Blue Tour 2008! The Georgians were tricked into kicking the Bear with a promise that the US would be right there to back them up in that fight. The truth is all Condi and Rove wanted was a place to start the missile defence system against Russia and Iran, whom Putin has warned Dumya and cronies to not attack. Dumya’s cronies told the Georgians to call Putin’s bluff. Then Putin layered on a vicious beat-down. The Georgians looked to Dumya who shifted the blame to NATO and the EU, who really didn’t promise Georgia anything during that conversation with Dumya’s minions.

Now, Georgia is pissed. The Russian encursion now occupies more territory than before the US prompted Georgia to poke the Bear which was not even asleep. Yes, the Bear was sitting right there, eyes wide open, while the US goaded Georgia into just jabbing the large and lethal beast as much as it could before the Bear swiped Georgia. Georgia found out the hard way what happens when you deal with Dumya. Surely Georgia knew when they went into this thing they had nothing for Russia, the other nuclear superpower, in a fight. And, they had to know they couldn’t count on the US to deliver everything Dumya promised from NATO. These days, NATO ain’t feeling the US that deeply. And, the US forces are spread too thin already, trying to drill for oil. The poor Georgians were little more than human shields set up to protect the US during Dumya and Cheney’s preparations to attack Iran for its oil before Obama takes oath. Face it, drilling for oil is the only purpose Dumya sees for living on this planet.

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By Eso, September 17, 2008 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi. I do not believe that a multi-polar world works any better than a multi-party (say, more than three) state. In a multi-party state, it is the business interests that take over the parties. One of the problems of our time is the West (with the U.S. leading) acting as if it knows what to do in a world it has failed to control—beginning with matters at home. After the collapse of the Soviet Union (not because the West defeated it, but because the Great Experiment did not work), the West became lost in its excesses and the excesses it caused: skyrocketing population growth (when I was a teenager there were only 2 billion people in the world, cities as financial cathedrals and holes of despont for those who live it its slums, the political (and educational) dumbing down of the great majority of people, etc. In short, the West and its neocon “democracy” does not work either, and if the current economic crisis does not wash us away, the next wave is not far behind. Russia, by reasserting itself has caused the West to drive into the ditch to avoid an even greater catastrophy (like going to war over corrupt Georgia or Latvia). Russia may prove to be nothing more than a tick with a great bag of gas on its back, or it may give us (and itself) the critical (crisis filled) pause we need to see that we live in a world where reality we have created is virtual and does not match with reality.

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By KDelphi, September 17, 2008 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

Folk—I had heard it somewhere, so I looked it up. It was Pew poll—you may be right…or not. It was taken in 2007—it looks like the Olympics didnt help the Chinese, at least among “minorities in 12 countries” (no t sure how defined minorities—I tried to look).

As they grow richer (and more capitalistic) it seems that, while opinions of teh US remain very steadily negative , the Chinese govt is taking a hit , too.

One a function of the other?

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By Folktruther, September 17, 2008 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

I didn’t know, KDelphi, that most earthpeople preferred a unipolar China- led world.  I am one of those people and assumed that, as usual, I was a minority.

Before world opinion can be strengthened and legitimated to create institutions that promote the interests and values of people rather than power, inmperialism, especially US imperalism, must be defeated and earthpeople urbanized.  China is instrumental in this historical process.

Simultaneously it is necessary to generalize marxism to include ethnicity, especially races, as part of the theory of the power process, which ruling classes use to maintain their power.  This will take a conceptual revolution in social science similar to the scientific revolutions in the history of the natural sciences.

With US violence safely neutralized, whether or not it initiates a nuclear war, world opinion can then take on the Chinese economic imperialism which no doubt by then will have developed.

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By Tony Wicher, September 17, 2008 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

By Ron, September 16 at 6:21 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

One word: Kosovo. The West is breaching international law. The West breaks promises (remember 1244?).

Now Russia is doing the same and we are crying out loud.

Stop the double standards! And un-recognize Kosovo!
——————————————————————————-
Actually, since the great majority of the people of Kosovo and South Ossetia both want to secede from their respective countries, I would favor a negotiation where we recognize South Ossetia as part of Russia if Russia will recognize an independent Kosovo. I think either secession or unification should be recognized if it is the clear will of the majority of the population.

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By KDelphi, September 17, 2008 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

Eso—I agree—but, it already IS a MULTI-polar world, The uS has just been unable to accept it yet.

How about a multi-polar world, even one in which the US is not considered one of hte major powers? I know that you think that is ridiculous. I can assure you that it is not.

Even better, how about a NO polar world? I know that that is not in the cards as of yet. But, if we just keep shifting from country to country, and that one country gets to “
run he world”—power corrupts.. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

In a recent survey, a slight majority of people on the planet, woild actualy prefer a unipolar world to be “led” by China over the uS. I’m not sure that most US citizens realize what a position of weakness the uS is now dealing from.

The emperor lost his clothes a lomg time ago.

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By Eso, September 17, 2008 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

I am anxious to see if Russia is able to make something more from having drawn the line in the sand. The world desperately needs an approach to reality that is not a free for all market and globalization to benefit corporations. Yes, I am for a bipolar world. Else, drawing a line means nothing, but inviting a confrontation for little cause.

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By KDelphi, September 17, 2008 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

There was a hearing that I DVRd on C-SPAN, concerning the conflict in South Ossetia—the concensus towards the end, seemed to me, to be that GWB and the neo-cons would like nothing better than to re-boot the Cold War (some GOP still actually referred to it as the USSR—unbelievable, after “Reagan brought down the Berlin Wall and ended the Cold War” and I’m trying to sell some oceanfront property in Arizona), and fear-monger teh American people into spending a bunch more on “defense ” (offense?). This MOney would undoubtedly go to (the former) Halliburton (still trading with Iran from Dubai—its new home), Lookheed Martin, Boeing, Dow, go on and on. They all own stock in these (alot of Dems, too) and dont give a frick who dies.

The US has been practicing “encirclement” ever since the “wall came down”. The missiles in Poland (to protect EU from IRAN?? COME ON!), the apparent Asia/Russian “alliance” (which I think, is probably in response to the belicose Bush), at least in the uN Security Council, and , now Russian Naval ships in port in Venezuela—all point to a new era of US/Russian suspicion, which never needed to occur, and wil be used to keep people afraid and wiling to spend more money on armaments.

It could also “help them to see” that they must vote for someone who “has the stomach” to sing “Bomb, bomb Iran”.And, then do it.

If we dont stop being “arms to the world” (I know its hard to find a US export people will buy, but its no excuxe!), a new “Cold War” might be inevitable, but, this time, I dont feel the US would be coming form a position of strength. To the contrary, Russia nd the EU, Ukraine—they all know taht we are broke. (They hold the receipts to our “loans” right?) That we have over-extended our military.And that the average US citizen is de-moralized and depressed over the neo-cons mis-rule. And that the Dems total lack of balls to stop it.

Why dont we stop being hte middle man, and just ask China to give Georgia a billion dollars.

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By homo_nonsapiens, September 17, 2008 at 9:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

russians still have s strange custom to “unproportional answers”

for example
- in 1812 Russian army visited Paris - perhaps only for sightseeing and by warm invitation from Napoleon

- in 1945 they crossed upon europe up to capital of “sovereign country” - that really caused the suicide of that country leader (he was too glad)

remember - Soviet victory in 1945 was the foundation on which Europe has no war more than 60 years? despite all subversive activity of “islanders” on other side of Pacific ocean

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By P. T., September 17, 2008 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

The Comintern didn’t overthrow any governments.  The USSR (and Russia today) tried to see to it that it was surrounded by countries with governments that were friendly.

The Cold War was an excuse for U.S. imperialism, as critics at the time pointed out.  U.S. imperialism marches on, Cold War or not.

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By cferus30, September 17, 2008 at 5:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lets just reverse the scenario and see if the same rules apply.

Image Russia said it was going to arm Cuba. Wait a minute, that did happen and we all saw the results.

Countries are only allowed to decide their own destiny of it suits America’s needs.

Otherwise, all deals are off.

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By Getreal, September 17, 2008 at 4:29 am Link to this comment

Great article. But it’s not rocket science to recognize some of life’s deepest realities, like…geography! as Mr. Paff points out.

NATO made total sense during the cold war. The USSR aggressively came pretty far west in Europe and western Europe allied themselves together and with the US and Canada. If any country was attacked, they were all attacked and they would have had to respond and fight as one—period. No doubt or choice about that.

When the USSR broke up, obviously NATO lost its raison d’être. No amount of pretending (or bullying on the part of the US) could turn it into a US global offensive alliance that would hang together if the inevitable happened. Surrounding Russia with “NATO” countries was simply a US imperialistic plot, and the real countries of NATO had no stomach at all to get into an all-out war with Russia over countries on the big bear’s borders. This is not anywhere near a realistic alliance that could hold together when push came to invasion.

Those fabulous Russian chess players understood that and knew just how silly, (while deeply insulting and dangerous) was the US push to have basically all countries east as far as Russia be part of “NATO”. As if!

Unstable, megalomaniacal Saakashvili was the perfect doofus to walk into the trap set by the wily Putin. And then the Russians slapped the piss out of George Bush by taking all the military toys they could carry and destroying the rest. You could almost hear Putin saying: “How do like your NATO relationship so far?

Of course the goose and gander principle says that if Kosovo could be recognized as independent, so could S. Ossetia and Abkhazia. But, I totally disagree with *Ron* above, where he says: “Stop the double standards! And un-recognize Kosovo!”. Kosovo is 92% Albanian and only 4% of the population is made up of Serbs!!?

Given the demographics and the history, Kosovo should have been given its independence; no serious geopolitical expert would deny that. 2 things were very shaky regarding that situation though: 1) the cavalier treatment of Serbia’s ally Russia, as if Russia didn’t matter, and didn’t have massive nationalistic pride!!, and 2) yes, the hypocrisy of the US and European reaction to the whupass Russia laid on Georgia was unreal…with a straight face. It said it all. 

In other words, while recognizing Kosovo was the right thing to do, arming Georgia to the teeth and promising it “NATO” membership was as stupid and dangerous a US imperialistic gambit as it was indefensible in any way you choose to look at it. And it was ridiculous to pretend that the borders of Georgia could not be violated in the face of a referendum (91% participation) in which 99% of Ossetians voted for independence or joining Russia.
While Russia’s invasion was mean and nasty, the US and Saakashvili richly asked for it. Totally awful that those Geogians had to pay the price for the foolish recklessness of Saakashvili, Cheney, and McCain.

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By andrushka, September 17, 2008 at 3:56 am Link to this comment

When will journalists finally stop saying that the Russians invaded Georgia, when Georgia was encouraged to do exactly the same thing by Washington? Then GWB would help, BUT he did not.
It would be nice for a change to report FACTS.

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By Folktruther, September 16, 2008 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

The policy has been the same under both parties.  The comments of Obama and McCain were similar.  The intiation for the billion dollars to rebuild Georgia’s military came from Biden in the Senate.

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By Ron, September 16, 2008 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One word: Kosovo. The West is breaching international law. The West breaks promises (remember 1244?).

Now Russia is doing the same and we are crying out loud.

Stop the double standards! And un-recognize Kosovo!

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By Fadel Abdallah, September 16, 2008 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

A great sober article William Pfaff! I vote for you to become our next Secretary of State under a winning Obama’s administration!

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By BobZ, September 16, 2008 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Chris Matthews on Hardball asked a hypothetical question dealing with both foreign policy and our economy. The question was during these difficult economic times would American’s be ok with giving the nation of Georgia one billion dollars of borrowed money to help them with rebuilding their infrastructure at the expense of rebuilding the infrastructure of the state of Ohio. The McCain spokesperson said American’s would be ok. with that. Matthews was skeptical as he should have been. If this question comes up in the debates and McCain gives the same answer, this election will be over. Matthews went on to say how that answer represented the neoconservative view of foreign affairs and that McCain would represent no change from that view. McCain is not only clueless but dangerous.

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By Big B, September 16, 2008 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

Ah, the neocon wet dream about a resurgent and beligerant russian bear! Just because those subhuman towelheads proved to be a rather disappointing nemesis, we’ve gone back to the old cold war pond hoping to get a tug on the line. Fortunatly, the russkies aren’t biting, as they already know the dangers of losing the guns and butter argument.
According to some sources I have read, the Russians, despite their newly found economic power, only spend about 40 billion dollars on national defense in a years time. this would make them a very inferior opponent indeed. Besides, they have learned the lesson that the japanese and chinese, as well as the germans have, that true power in the 21st century lies not in military might, but in potentially crippling economic and trade power.
While the russians are concentrating on solidifying their economic future, we are installing cameras on the nosecones of bombs so we can enjoy a cool picture of it blowing something up.
The russians don’t need to make war with us, for we will collapse from within(where have I heard that before….oh ya!)

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By Tony Wicher, September 16, 2008 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

Good article. At least here on Truthdig one can find an unbiased assessment of the international situation, instead of the constant Neocon Imperialist lie echoed everywhere in the MSM lie that Russia invaded Georgia without provocation.

McCain/Palin might actually be crazy enough to admit Georgia to NATO which would lead to WW III in short order. Another very rational reason to be afraid, very afraid, of a Republican victory.

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By yours truly, September 16, 2008 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Will the battle for South Ossetia, like the battle of Stalingrad go down in history as a battle that brought down an empire?  If so, once again the world will have Russia to thank for putting a stopper to an empire’s expansionary aims, at Stalingrad sixty-five years ago for having halted Nazi Germany’s advance and now at South Ossetia for arresting the development of Empire-USA.

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By Folktruther, September 16, 2008 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

And Ukraine, which is partially Russian, is in the throes of a revaluation of its confrontive, American attitude toward Russia.

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