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The U.S. military and industrial complex will use Russian aggression against Georgia as an excuse to amp up military and verbal aggression against Russia in general. I believe it is an attempt to marshall world opinion against Russia so that the U.S. and possibly NATO, can continue to further their interests in that region.

From Bruce Gagnon, political organizer and author:

It's all about oil and natural gas. Russia has the world's largest supply of natural gas and Iran has the world's second largest supply. There is much oil and natural gas up in the Caspian Sea region. Which ever country controls this part of the world will have a jump start in controlling the keys to the world's economic engine for the foreseeable future.

and maybe this is why NATO isn't so eager to jump into the fray and condemn Russia:

South Ossetia and Abkhazia are small areas on the border between Georgia and Russia where the majority of residents belong to ethnic groups other than Georgian. During the Soviet era, both of them were semi-autonomous areas under Soviet control.

In 1990, after Georgia became independent, Georgia claimed both areas as part of Georgia.

Russia opposed this claim as did residents of the areas, and Russia forced Georgia at gunpoint to allow autonomy to both regions in 1992, and both regions have been acting as de facto independent countries since then.

Peacekeepers from Russia commissioned by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have been stationed in both countries since then.

as far our involvement, I think Gagnon, who links to several articles in his notes, sums it up for us:

After the so-called Rose Revolution and the overthrow of Edward Shevardnadze in 2003 it became a policy of the Georgian government to repudiate the independence of both regions and to work for re-establishment of Georgian control.

In 2006, a referendum was held under OSCE supervision with 34 observers from Poland, Germany, Austria, and Sweden. The referendum drew a 95% turnout and voted 99% in favor of full independence.

Georgia rejected the results, claiming that ethnic Georgians were intimidated out of voting, and arguing that the Russian peacekeepers actually were supporting the Ossetians.

Meanwhile, Georgia developed a close relationship with the Bush administration and cultivated a relationship with the EU, beginning application for membership in both the EU and in NATO. Georgia has the third largest number of troops in Iraq, after the US and Britain. The US has supplied the Georgian army with a large amount of war material.

In mid-July of this year, the US military held a joint war games training exercise in Georgia with the Georgian military.

Will the proposed stationing of NATO troops in Georgia, actually serve to further American and global capitalist corporate/oil interests in the region?

Or should we be saying, hands off Georgia and the entire region?

Originally posted to scorpiorising on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 06:12 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for the truth... (17+ / 0-)

    as to how we, and other first world capitalist nations, further our interests through military aggressions and the support of aggressive actions against sovereign nations.

  •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dksbook, scorpiorising

    Corporations rule the world - not governments.  As always, just follow the money.

    If you are in DC see Man of La Mancha at the Church Street Theater opening 7/10/08

    by BDA in VA on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 06:18:24 AM PDT

    •  And Wall Street is backing away from Russia. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scorpiorising, dmnyct

      That's no surprise, since command economies are very risky.  With increased risk is an increase in credit spreads & the overall cost of doing business.  That's starting to be reflected in the increasingly expensive cost of Russian debt.

  •  hegemony (7+ / 0-)

    is what you see when you peel the "freedom!" sticker off all the actions of the major powers today.  

    It's apparently assumed someone will end up with all the good stuff, and everyone else will wither away.  So the whole Clash of the Titans crap begins in earnest, and quaint ideas like humanitarian actions and compassion and quality of life and workers' rights fall by the wayside.

  •  nah, i don't think it's so much about the oil (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ORDem, Euroliberal, dansmith17

    it's about conflict in general.

    america's had a war economy pretty much non stop since ww2.  we always had an iron in the fire somewhere.  eisenhower's warning unheeded, we have allowed the military-industrial complex to be the engine of our economy.

    i think the powers that be have decided that terrorism and non-state actors are far to nebulous a goal to function in the context of the constant war economy.  the iraq war is terribly unpopular among many of the same americans who supported the cold war, even if they didn't enjoy it.

    just my $.02

    •  Check out Gagnon's sources... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mickT

      Some years ago I read the book called The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski which I recently wrote about in relation to his being a chief foreign policy advisor to Barack Obama. Brzezinski has been critical of the Bush administration for invading Iraq essentially saying that it was the wrong war. Brzezinski has long maintained that Russia and China were the targets that had to be militarily contained if the U.S. hoped to continue its role as chief superpower of the world. He says, "Eurasia is the world's axial super continent. A power that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world's three most economically productive regions, Western Europe and East Asia. A glance at the map also suggests that a country dominant in Eurasia would almost automatically control the Middle East and Africa. With Eurasia now serving as the decisive geopolitical chessboard, it no longer suffices to fashion one policy for Europe and another for Asia.....Eurasia accounts for 75% of the world's population, 60% of its GNP, and 75% of its energy resources. Collectively, Eurasia's potential power overshadows even America's."

    •  I doubt military spending is even close (0+ / 0-)

      to a substantial portion of GDP.  That's a claim you need to evidence, because it's prima facie untenable.

      •  Not sure what you are referring to. n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  "We've always had a war economy." (0+ / 0-)

          If you're not saying that military spending is driving our economy, what are you saying?  That we spend money on the military?  That'd be true but uninteresting.

          •  wow that takes me back (0+ / 0-)

            You know that Johnny Werzner kid - the kid who delivers papers in the neighborhood? He's a fine kid. Some of the neighbors say he smokes crack, but I don't believe it. Anyway, for his 10th birthday, all he wanted was a burrow owl, just like his old man. "Dad, get me a burrow owl. I'll never ask for anything else as long as I live". So the guy
            breaks down and buys him a burrow owl. Anyway at 10:30 the other night I go out into my yard and there's the Werzner kid looking up in the tree. I said, "What are you looking for?" He said, "I'm looking for my burrow owl." I say, "Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick! Everybody knows that a burrow owl lives in a hole in the ground! Why the hell do you think they call it a burrow owl, anyway?!" Now Stuart, do you think a kid like that is gonna know what the queers are doing to the soil?

            but back on topic...  what i am saying is that a) Very Important People have, for a long time, thought that we needed to keep military action going because without it we might slip back to 1932; b) i do not agree with this; c) i think that military spending, if you consider it to include contractors like halliburton and KBR, has more money thrown at it than just about anything else in america besides exxon.

            or, to quote another really good song:

            America you know you're so stoned. Stoned on television, music, and print. Stoned on alcohol, religion, and drugs. Terms like freedom and democracy. Stoned on violence and a war economy. Stoned on a nation's addiction to meat. Stoned on a nation's addiction to oil. America is based out of its mind.

      •  About 5% (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        burrow owl, scorpiorising

        It's about 5% of GDP.

        I'll leave it to you to decide whether that's substantial.

        http://www.bea.gov/...

      •  7.6% of GDP -- Chalmers Johnson (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        scorpiorising

        Chalmers Johnson gives a detailed accounting here of military-related spending and estimates that it totals 1.1 trillion for the current calendar year.  Current forecasts for US gdp in 2008 are running at about 14.45 trillion, so the Johnson tally represents about 7.6% of gdp.

        As Johnson points out, this is probably a conservative figure, since the Pentagon plays a vast shell game with the true figures and is by all normal standards operating without an audit trail.

        The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein -- best book ever, I nominate for a Nobel Prize!

        by xaxado on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:26:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  well it depends really (0+ / 0-)

        on what you consider military spending.

        do you count contractors, for instance?

    •  That's unsupportable (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scorpiorising

      As we have been at war nonstop since 2001 and it's done our economy no favors at all.

      If you want to retool that statement to say that America has used all its influence to lock the planet into a petroleum economy, as that is the paradigm under which American superpowerdom was made possible and sustained, then you have more of a case...

      A hero is someone who never tires of laying the smack down on C&J trolls. :)

      by cskendrick on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 07:43:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  not just the war (0+ / 0-)

        but the tax cuts.  hence the defecit.  world war 2 was what finally ended the depression.  and, ever since, we've had what could charitably be called a war habit, and what could more realistically be called a war addiction.

        sure, we've had a petroleum economy, but it seems to me that's pretty incidental to american superpowerdom.  otherwise, everybody else with a petroleum economy would be a superpower.

        years america spent doing war, starting with world war 2: 1941-45, 1950-53, 1960-75, 1983, 1989-91, 1995-96, 2001-08

        37.50 (i count grenada and panama as .25 years) years of war in 67 years.  over half our time.

        if somebody you knew spent every day after 1 PM drunk, would you say they had an addiction?  i would.

        •  More powerful countries fight more wars (0+ / 0-)

          You have to control for proximity of forces and more powerful countries with a large portfolio of vested interests abroad enter into more treaties, more trade arrangements and, regrettably, more wars.

          Run that same logic up against any great power you can think of; I think you will see a very strong correlation.

          A hero is someone who never tires of laying the smack down on C&J trolls. :)

          by cskendrick on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 11:07:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  really? (0+ / 0-)

            because when i think of the USSR, sure, there's some bad stuff in there, but i can't think of anybody they went to war with besides afghanistan.

            on the other hand, when i think of nations today that are perpetually at war (besides the US) the first thing that pops to mind is the Congo.  hardly an economic powerhouse.

            personally, i subscribe to the theory that violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.  i think that a nation's aggressiveness is directly proportional to the incompetence of it's leaders to achieve its goals through other means.

            •  Then you are not considering a lot of cases (0+ / 0-)

              and direct assistance in revolutionary movements abroad.

              I think the most prominent cases would be Hungary and Czechoslovakia...

              A hero is someone who never tires of laying the smack down on C&J trolls. :)

              by cskendrick on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 06:27:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  The Cold War is what they know how to fight well (3+ / 0-)

    It's these hot wars with people whose skin color isn't lily white that are so confounding to them.  

    Perhaps they think they can regain prestige by standing up to an enemy that got them so many voters 20 years ago.

    John McCain is so (Ned) Divine!!

    by Glinda on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 06:30:14 AM PDT

  •  2000 Georgian troops in Iraq (3+ / 0-)

    makes them the third largest ally in Iraq. Wow, 2000! Why wouldn't we want to go to war with Russia over that phenomenal show of support and strength?

    Seems like a reasonable trade off.

    •  not anymore they went home! (3+ / 0-)

      nothing till 2005 2 years after war started then initial 800, went up to 2000, last year.

      It is significant for them considering entire Georgian Army is around 26,000.

      They were using it as a way of getting free high class training, by rotating troops through on 6 month rotations they were training up their entire army.

  •  looks to me like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scorpiorising

    saakashvili was nudged into this by neomCainery.

    mCshitheap gets to pose for the cameras and say stuff that sounds all commander-n-chiefy and the neocons get to amp up the fear factor.

    timing is everything, both in execution and analysis.

    I said Where'd You Get Your Information From Huh? You Think That You Can Front When Revelation Comes?

    by GANJA on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 07:33:22 AM PDT

  •  Some of both (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scorpiorising

    Yes, the U.S. has behaved at times  like an imperialist power more interested in control and in those natural resources than anything else. But so has Russia, and there is good reason to want to check their aggressiveness.

    We should be supporting the autonomy of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and it seems to me as though Russia has as valid a claim to those regions as Georgia. At the very least, we should support their permanent autonomy.

    But, it also makes some sense to bring Georgia in to NATO, and to respond to and deter some of Russia's excessive aggression. Russia seems to have used a rather small skirmish in South Ossieta as an excuse for a full out invasion of Georgia. And Russia's previous recent meddlings in the affairs of it's neighbors include even poisoning their unfavored candidate in the last Ukrainian presidential election. So we ought to stand with the leaders of Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and the Ukraine and take steps to guarantee their security from such attacks.

    •  Small skirmish??? (0+ / 0-)

      Aren't you downplaying the invasion of Georgia into the autonomous region of South Ossieta?

      I think the ambition of our interests there are much more than the containment of Russia.

      Some years ago I read the book called The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski which I recently wrote about in relation to his being a chief foreign policy advisor to Barack Obama. Brzezinski has been critical of the Bush administration for invading Iraq essentially saying that it was the wrong war. Brzezinski has long maintained that Russia and China were the targets that had to be militarily contained if the U.S. hoped to continue its role as chief superpower of the world. He says, "Eurasia is the world's axial super continent. A power that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world's three most economically productive regions, Western Europe and East Asia. A glance at the map also suggests that a country dominant in Eurasia would almost automatically control the Middle East and Africa. With Eurasia now serving as the decisive geopolitical chessboard, it no longer suffices to fashion one policy for Europe and another for Asia.....Eurasia accounts for 75% of the world's population, 60% of its GNP, and 75% of its energy resources. Collectively, Eurasia's potential power overshadows even America's."

    •  I'm not defending Russia... (0+ / 0-)

      They are part of the global capitalist struggle. Their privatization policies have harmed and killed millions since the fall of the USSR.

      However, we might look at this in comparison to Russia in Mexico, looking to establish oil interests.

      They rightly so, feel threatened.

  •  Funny thing that... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dksbook, another American, dmnyct

    The Georgians (the people, not just the government) see things a bit differently.  By the way, so do the Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, and Poles.
    For decades now, before and after the end of the Soviet Union, russians have been moving into strategic cities in various countries of the former Soviet Union seemingly for the purpose of extending Russia's claim that these are 'russian enclaves' in need of Russian protection.  The russian enclaves in Vilnius, Tallinn, and Riga, the capitols of their respective countries are composed primarily of 'former' russian military officers and KGB personnel and their families.  Then there's that whole history of Russia invading these countries and killing millions of people, both before and after the creation of the Soviet Union.
    Human Rights Watch, no friend of the Bush administration they, reports that fewer than a hundred Ossetians were killed and fewer than three hundred Ossetians injured or wounded in the Georgian operations there, as opposed to the 2,000+ claimed by the Russians.  Various independent reports place Georgian dead and wounded in the range of 5,000+.
    The Russians didn't exactly stop at the South Ossetian border either.  Gory is quite a distance from South Ossetia.  The Russians bombed a natural gas pipeline in Georgia that is far to the south of South Ossetia.
    Given Russian past and recent behavior, if I was a Georgian/Latvian/Lithuanian/Estonian/Pole, I'd probably try to cultivate a relationship with western powers as well.

    "I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a democrat."--Will Rogers

    by soonergrunt on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 08:14:26 AM PDT

    •  Russia was respecting... (0+ / 0-)

      the autonomy of the two regions, and had peacekeeping forces there. Witness the top rated diary, the 12 year old from South Ossetia facing down Fox news.

      Certainly we're not one to point fingers when it comes to causing innocent deaths.

      But we certainly shouldn't ignore Russian atrocities. But how could we expect any different reaction? We helped provoke this, and for that, we should take responsibility, but we won't.

      We'll simply keep pointing fingers at Russia, while we continue our own self-positioning in that region.

      •  It would be more correct to say (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        another American

        that Russia was creating the autonomy of the two regions and had occupation forces there.
        This situation has existed since before Bush became President.  Bush's own ineptitude, venality, and stupidity does not, and should not ever be used as an excuse for Putin's behavior.  Indeed, it enabled it.

        The fact that the russians still want an empire after all these hundreds of years of empire apparently only comes as a surprise to Bush, Rice, and some Daily Kos members.

        "I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a democrat."--Will Rogers

        by soonergrunt on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 02:06:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not ignorant of the notion... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soonergrunt

          that Russia wants an empire. Indeed, the autonomous regions are, in a sense, already part of that empire. We have an empire also. And then there is the global, capitalist empire that joins, and puts us in competition, with other nations.

          I'm merely pointing out that we are sticking our nose, and advisors, into an area that Russia already claims dominance of. It is terribly risky, even suicidal behavior, and we should do everything we can to expose our interests there.

    •  I forgort Ukraine! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scorpiorising

      Ukraine Offers West Radar Warning

      Ukraine has said it is ready to make its missile early warning systems available to European nations following Russia's conflict with Georgia...

      President Viktor Yushchenko said his country could ensure its sovereignty only through collective security...

      Only that, he said, "could prevent any actions like those which occurred on 7-8 August at first in South Ossetia, and then in other regions of Georgia".

      "I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a democrat."--Will Rogers

      by soonergrunt on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 05:08:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not buying it... (0+ / 0-)

    The plan leading up to this situation appears to have been Democracy building by the administration. But they have been quite mistaken on how Putin's Russia would respond to this in the long run. Not to mention the verbal mouth of the president of Georgia.

    Where they go from here could turn into a Berlin Wall situation where NATO or UN forces will need to be put in place to keep the peace along this border. But to put anything else into this is too early.

    Wynter

    "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." - Hitchhiker's Guide

    by Wynter on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 09:26:58 AM PDT

    •  You should read other sources... (0+ / 0-)

      here:

      It is a little known fact that the U.S. and Israel have been training and arming the Georgian military since 2002. This situation is tantamount to risking a restart of the Cold War with Russia. It has also sown the seeds of a much larger conflict in that part of the world by encouraging Georgia to embark on military manoeuvres. Little Georgia (4.5 m. inhabitants) even has 2,000 troops in Iraq, soldiers that the U.S. is now quickly flying back to Georgia. This goes a long way towards explaining how involved the Bush-Cheney administration and its Israeli surrogates have been in sticking it in the eyes of Russia. And now, the Russian bear is reacting. This is brinkmanship at a high level.

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