Friday, August 15, 2008

Red Bear Rising

My previous post was in memory of a writer who made his mark on history by openly opposing Soviet Communism at the height of its power. In the 10 days since I wrote it, Russia has invaded Georgia, then pretended to agree to EU-brokered cease-fires, then immediately ignored those cease-fires by continuing its invasion and advancing its forces deeper into Georgia, bombing cities and killing civilians as it goes. {Update: Since I started writing this post, another agreement has been signed.}

Russia’s naked aggression has clear aims: To raise a middle finger to the world, to strike fear in the hearts of its neighbors who have grown increasingly free over the last 15 years, and to test whether anyone has the will to respond to it with anything besides empty talk. Make no mistake: This is being done to trumpet Russia’s reemergence as a superpower, one that is able and willing to subjugate other nations. The Soviet heart still beats – only its name has changed.

As Robert Kagan put it in the Washington Post: “The details of who did what to precipitate Russia’s war against Georgia are not very important. Do you recall the precise details of the Sudeten Crisis that led to Nazi Germany’s invasion of Czechoslovakia? Of course not, because that morally ambiguous dispute is rightly remembered as a minor part of a much bigger drama.”

Many of us have long thought that Vladimir Putin is an enemy of freedom and that his vision for Russia is no different than the old Soviet dictators’ vision for the U.S.S.R. After all, he was in the KGB before ascending to Russia’s presidency, and the KGB is not the kind of organization anyone ever leaves – at least not while they are alive.

And it is Putin who in 2005 stated: “First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century. As for the Russian people, it has become a genuine tragedy.” Try telling that to the ghosts of the 65 million people who were murdered by the Soviet Union for daring to question its authority.

And it is Putin who, after coming to power, erased the press freedoms which had been gained in Russia after the Soviet Union dissolved.

And it is Putin’s regime that is widely believed to have poisoned Ukraine’s pro-Western presidential candidate Viktor Yuschenko in 2004, when he was running against the pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovych.

And it is Putin who has engaged in friendly dealings with Saddam’s Iraq and Ahmadinejad’s Iran, supporting each of them against us.

And it is Putin who has actively opposed us building a missile defense system to protect both us and Russia’s neighbors.

And it is Putin who has sought to meddle in the affairs of Poland and the Czech Republic (countries now free but once under the thumb of the U.S.S.R.) when they ponder assisting us in building that missile defense system.

And it is Putin’s regime that claimed vast stretches of the Arctic Ocean’s seafloor – and thus the massive oil reserves beneath that seafloor – belong to Russia despite being in international waters.

President Bush’s erstwhile comment that he looked Putin in the eye and found him trustworthy has always been baffling, as have all the gaseous remarks about Russia being some sort of friend. I have always gotten the exact opposite impression from Putin’s beady eyes, and this clip from last year shows I have not been alone.

For centuries, the Russian state has been something to fear. No matter what form of government has been in power, its rulers have used brute force to advance imperial aims and to make other countries’ business their own. There is no reason to expect the Russian state to be any different today, especially when so much of Europe has become dependent on its oil.

And speaking of oil, did I mention that Georgia – which sits in the oil-rich Caspian region, sandwiched uncomfortably between Russia and Iran – has been counted on by Western nations to be an important conduit for oil in the coming years? Do you not think that fact was taken into consideration by Russia's rulers as they targeted Georgia for invasion?

Despite having a small military, Georgia has sent troops to Iraq and steadfastly supported us there. We owe them a true defense of their freedom and sovereignty.

The immediate question is: Will we honor our moral obligation?

The ultimate question is: What will be the implications of our actions - or, God forbid, of our inaction?

Recent reports suggest that Israel is ready to take on the beast of Iran. We should encourage them to do so carte blanche, and we should stop ignoring the dark clouds that have been swirling for far too long over Russia. The two theatres may even be related, since there is reason to suspect that Russia and Iran are acting in concert. President Bush has been resolute in the Middle East, but it could turn out that his legacy will be determined by how he responds to Russia in the waning days of his presidency.


Jenny said...

Well I just have to say very impressive blog my dear cousin! Very insightful,also! I am subscribing to both Erika and your blogs, love you all. Your cousin, Jenny

Seven Star Hand said...

Hi John,

Good article. Now take an hour or so to truly understand what's behind the veil...

Here's another analysis on the Russia-Georgia shenanigans. Only this one addresses the machinations of the "hidden hands" behind this and other dastardly events.

It's time for people to wake-up to the true nature of the world leaders that have set this thing into motion. It is far more deceptive, contrived, and sinister than most would believe. That is why I have been patiently setting a very unique trap for these snakes. Take the time to understand and then hold their feet to the fire !!!

This whole Russia-Georgia affair is a purposely-orchestrated and easily-pierced theatrical production. How convenient is it that the Bush Administration trained and prepped Georgia and then (some...) US troops-trainers pull out just before they initiate an "apparent blunder" that the Russians have been ready and poised to respond to, for months. Remember, nothing of this scale can be pulled together quickly, and all sides have been watching each other, like hawks, for decades.

Also remember that both sides have satellites and very well equipped spy agencies, so any assertion that anyone was surprised is laughable. It goes without saying that the leaders on all sides of this strange little war have something up their sleeves that most people have no clues about. All the pieces were placed on the board before major world leaders went off to the Olympics, pretending to be surprised, and pretending to be mad at each other afterwards.

Likewise, isn't it just a little too contrived that the US media is spinning that McCain is being helped by a war that the Bush administration openly and undeniably helped to start? This is one more key to the truth about this slimy little affair and the low-life snakes that arranged it. Here's more help connecting the dots and closing the trap door on these evil halfwits.

Time to get a clue, before its too late...

Peace and Wisdom...