Saturday, August 16, 2008

Georgia, Russia, Neocons and America

No community or a nation can have undue advantages over others. Such benefits are temporary and deleterious to lasting peace.We have to maintain a healthy balance within our communities and with all nations, what is good for America, has got to be good for the world and vice versa. Sadly, our foreign policy is run by short-sighted men who do not understand the concept of Justice.

I am looking forward to the end of Bush-Cheney-Rice era and hope for a bright future for America with Obama. We still have extremists controlling the media and our administration who are intolerant to another point of view. We need to restore America to what it stood for; democracy and respect for international law.

I have a dream, a dream to strengthen the pluralistic values of America, and the desire to encourage the community of nations to review our values of Liberty, Justice and co-existence as catalysts for prosperity.

We should consciously abandon the fear mongering Neocons, whose policies have done nothing but destruction of us and other nations. Every thing they have proposed was out of the fear and they have miserably failed America, and it is time to ask them work from the angle of live and let live or simply take a vacation and relax and come back to a better world.

A few article on the Georgia-Russia conflict are listed below

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: Good for Muslims and good for the world. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at

Who Restarted the Cold War
Pat Buchanan

"Putin's Hostile Course," the lead editorial in The Washington Times of Oct. 18, began thus:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin's invitation to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Moscow is just the latest sign that, more than 16 years after the collapse of Soviet communism, Moscow is gravitating toward Cold War behavior. The old Soviet obsession – fighting American imperialism – remains undiluted. ...

"(A)t virtually every turn, Mr. Putin and the Russian leadership appear to be doing their best in ways large and small to marginalize and embarrass the United States and undercut U.S. foreign policy interests."

The Times pointed to Putin's snub of Robert Gates and Condi Rice by having them cool their heels for 40 minutes before a meeting. Then came a press briefing where Putin implied Russia may renounce the Reagan-Gorbachev INF treaty, which removed all U.S. and Soviet medium-range missiles from Europe, and threatened to pull out of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, whereby Russia moved its tanks and troops far from the borders of Eastern Europe.

On and on the Times indictment went. Russia was blocking new sanctions on Iran. Russia was selling anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. Russia was selling weapons to Syria that found their way to Hezbollah and Hamas. Russia and Iran were talking up an OPEC-style natural gas cartel. All this, said the Times, calls to mind "Soviet-era behavior."

Missing from the prosecution's case, however, was the motive. Why has Putin's Russia turned hostile? Why is Putin mending fences with China, Iran and Syria? Why is Putin sending Bear bombers to the edge of American airspace? Why has Russia turned against America? For Putin's approval rating is three times that of George Bush. Who restarted the Cold War?

To answer that question, let us go back those 16 years.

What happened in 1991 and 1992?

Well, Russia let the Berlin Wall be torn down and its satellite states be voted or thrown out of power across Eastern Europe. Russia agreed to pull the Red Army all the way back inside its border. Russia agreed to let the Soviet Union dissolve into 15 nations. The Communist Party agreed to share power and let itself be voted out. Russia embraced freedom and American-style capitalism, and invited Americans in to show them how it was done.

Russia did not use its veto in the Security Council to block the U.S. war to drive Saddam Hussein, an ally, out of Kuwait. When 9-11 struck, Putin gave his blessing to U.S. troops using former republics as bases for the U.S. invasion.

What was Moscow's reward for its pro-America policy?

The United States began moving NATO into Eastern Europe and then into former Soviet republics. Six ex-Warsaw Pact nations are now NATO allies, as are three ex-republics of the Soviet Union. NATO expansionists have not given up on bringing Ukraine, united to Russia for centuries, or Georgia, Stalin's birthplace, into NATO.

In 1999, the United States bombed Serbia, which has long looked to Mother Russia for protection, for 78 days, though the Serbs' sole crime was to fight to hold their cradle province of Kosovo, as President Lincoln fought to hold onto the American South. Now America is supporting the severing of Kosovo from Serbia and creation of a new Islamic state in the Balkans, over Moscow's protest.

While Moscow removed its military bases from Cuba and all over the Third World, we have sought permanent military bases in Russia's backyard of Central Asia.

We dissolved the Nixon-Brezhnev ABM treaty and announced we would put a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Under presidents Clinton and Bush, the United States financed a pipeline for Caspian Sea oil to transit Azerbaijan and Georgia to the Black Sea and Turkey, cutting Russia out of the action.

With the end of the Cold War, the KGB was abolished and the Comintern disappeared. But the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House and other Cold War agencies, funded with tens of millions in tax-exempt and tax dollars, engineered the ouster of pro-Russian regimes in Serbia, Ukraine and Georgia, and sought the ouster of the regime in Minsk.

At the Cold War's end, the United States was given one of the great opportunities of history: to embrace Russia, largest nation on earth, as partner, friend, ally. Our mutual interests meshed almost perfectly. There was no ideological, territorial, historic or economic quarrel between us, once communist ideology was interred.

We blew it.

Who Restarted the Cold War
Premen Addy

Georgia learns a brutal lesson

The anniversary of Indian independence was to have been the event of my week, evoking remembrance of things past, reflections on time present, with perhaps a cursory glance at mysterious runic shapes for clues to the future. That, alas, was a not to be. Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvilli decided to strut his hour upon the stage, little realising that the exercise would release bolts of lightning accompanied by claps of thunder, which have begun to reverberate across the globe. An adventurer by instinct, a huckster in search of a role, Mr Saakashvilli was primed and programmed by his American mentors and put through his paces at the Harvard University Law School with a State Department scholarship. He returned to his native Georgia, with an American spouse in tow, and ignited the 'Rose Revolution' whose force lifted him to the seat of power.

Not cut from the cloth of Brutus or Mark Antony, Mr Saakashvilli is invariably his inimitable self, much given to incontinent perorations on his democratic and human rights credentials and Russia's sins of commission and omission down the ages. He is a case study of creatures great and small trapped in a great game in which they are at best hapless pawns.

The mainstream and creationist American view of America is not far removed from Catholicism's immaculate conception. The systematic extermination of the Indian peoples of the North American plain, the long years of Black slavery, the use of atom bombs on Japan when the country's rulers were suing for peace, the massacre of the Vietnamese and Indo-Chinese peoples through carpet bombing and defoliation and the deceitful war on Iraq (without the discovery of the weapons of mass destruction, which were its alleged justification) are conspicuously absent from mainstream American political discourse. Its commanding heights are dominated increasingly by dipsomaniac disquisition on the threat to world order from the Professor Moriarty of modern crime, Mr Vladimir Putin himself.

America is a great country with a multitude of wonderful accomplishments but its self-serving theology of unblemished virtue and rectitude is in danger of taking all humanity over the abyss. The United States is deep in the constructing of empire: American exceptionalism through Calvinistic grace makes the exercise credible in many American eyes. The dissolution of the Soviet Union constituted an opportunity for a divinely ordained enterprise; the vast expanses of Eurasia and its natural wealth to be dominated and exploited by American decree.

Nato's noose is drawn ever tighter round the Russian neck. American military and missile bases are already ensconced in Romania and Bulgaria -- two states once in harness with Adolf Hitler's Third Reich and the invading Nazi legions into the USSR -- in a bid to strangle the possible emergence of a rival centre of power in the Black Sea. Mr Saakashvilli, a midget in a grand design, was instrument in the baiting of the Russian bear. His troops and tanks, guns blazing, entered the rebellious Georgian enclave of South Ossetia to subdue its recalcitrant Russian-speaking population. He and his Anglo-American handlers calculated wrongly that a quiescent Kremlin, absorbed by the glittering opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympiad, would take the blow in humiliated silence.

It was delusional fantasy. The Georgian President has received a salutary and brutal lesson, and the US and Europe have been put on notice that Russia's era of passive accommodation is now closed. The Sunday Telegraph -- the haw-haw voice of Toryism -- produced an inebriating leader threatening Russia with combat based on the West's superior economy and military technology. Nazi Germany was similarly convinced of a triumph that never was, as was Napoleon a century earlier.

The US-led coalition of the willing hasn't covered itself in glory in either Iraq or Afghanistan, with Britain engaged in an urgent recruitment drive in Jamaica to replenish the diminishing manpower of its armed forces, particularly its under-strength Army. Nato may not have the stomach for a replay of Stalingrad.

The Independent's Mark Siegal, reporting from the border town of Vladikavkaz, Russia's old Caucasian staging post, tells of young Russians streaming in from all parts of this huge nation to volunteer for action. Muscular 30-year-old Nikolai from Stavropol, the birthplace of Mr Mikhail Gorbachev, had "left his job, jumped into the car and driven 600 miles through the night to sign up to defend the Russian cause". Another young compatriot barked, "This war is absolutely a war between Russia and America. The biggest mistake was in underestimating us. Now you'll see what happens."

A pity that American neocons are not much given to reading, let alone understanding, history. Having taken repeated provocations from Imperial Japan's forces along the Mongolian-Manchurian border in the summer of 1939, Marshal Zhukov was despatched to the frontier to sort out the problem -- which he did to such telling effect that Tokyo's military turned southwards and attacked the European colonial presence in South-East Asia rather than try conclusions again with the Red Army. Marshal Zhukov, the conqueror of Berlin, had saved his country the hazards of a possible two-front war in the aftermath of the Nazi assault. Appropriate force projection in pursuance of a political goal was thus vindicated. Thirty years later, in 1969, along their common frontier on the giant Amur river, the Soviet response to an unprovoked Chinese assault, which resulted in 61 Russian dead, left China's territory looking like a moonscape.

Mr Gorbachev, poor man, had wound up the Cold War (much to his credit) without precautionary insurance against Western bad faith. Western leaders made false promises on Nato non-expansion eastwards. Realpolitik, not pie-in-the-sky bromides on peace and brotherhood, is still the surest guarantor of peace and security.

A perusal of Barbara Crossette's report in the New York Times, at the commencement of the Pakistan-incubated Islamist insurgency in Kashmir in January 1990, will reveal the prognostication of an unnamed Islamabad-based Western diplomat, that the world was about to witness a permanent shift in the Sub-continental balance of power. The prediction mercifully was as still-born as the Nixon Administration's hope of similar geopolitical change in the wake of its support for the Pakistani military dictatorship in its war with India in December 1971.

India's public discourse on foreign and strategic policy is prone to mix political metaphors: The organising principles of a yogic ashram have no place in the fundamentals of statecraft. Force in the defence of dharma, as Krishna expostulated to Arjuna, is morally justified. It was so more than two millennia ago; it is as true today.